NewsBits: Linux changes boost ScyllaDB and a new PgBouncer


Welcome to NewsBits where you'll find the database and developer news from around the net for the week ending August 17th.

Here's those bits in full...

Database Bits

Linux 4.18 and ScyllaDB

Last weekend, Linux 4.18 was released with the usual legion of enhancements, fixes, new drivers and other changes. Among them, a change to the asynchronous IO (aio) system caught our eye. The initial commit dates back to January and adds a new poll command to test the readiness for file descriptors to the aio subsystem. The database angle? The work was sponsored by ScyllaDB. With the changes in place, the Seastar framework, which is the foundation for the Scylla database, runs 10% faster and doesn't need privileged threads either.


Announced with minimal hype, PostgreSQL connection pool PgBouncer's latest version, 1.9.0 has been released. The changelog details what's new; specifically a RECONNECT command which will make a rolling switchover between servers easier, the ability to see which servers need closing and a WAIT_CLOSE command to hold on till that happens so you can script your switchovers.


A newly arrived Go driver for SQLite, go-sqlite-lite, drops supporting Go's database/sql for a super-stripped down SQL experience. Potentially, it's ideal for embedding in applications which need a sensible, queryable persistence layer.

And as an aside, have you heard of the SQLite "server-process-edition"? It's modified with read/write level page locking for up to 16 simultaneous transactions. One HackerNews user reports on using it over 3 data centers with four 384 core machines and 3TB of RAM.

Developer Bits


If you've used Node-Red, you'll know it's a great way to drag and drop a message processing engine together. Well, now Node-Red 0.19 has arrived, bringing with it the ability to persist state of a Node-Red system outside the Node-Red runtime with a new context store. Right now, nothing changes as the context store is still an in-memory implementation but the plan is to add versions that use Redis or other databases. That'll make Node-Red much more resilient to restarts and for it to scale up better. There's also design changes in the editor, better handling of environment variables and lots of updates to the various nodes including support for servername in the TLS node when doing SNI connections.


Go 1.11RC1 is out. It's due for a full release at the end of August and is bringing some important changes with it. One of the more contentious issues in Go is the handling of dependencies and packages. With Go 1.11, we'll see a preliminary version of the new Go Modules system baked into the tools. The developers warn it's likely to change, but it does appear to be a vast improvement over previous ways of handling dependencies. Also experimental, but epic, Go's toolchain can now produce WebAssembly code which can run in all the major browsers and interact with the JavaScript/Browser runtime around it. There's also big speed boosts for generated ARM64 code and improvements around debugger support. More information in the draft release notes for 1.11.


It'll be coming as a preview later in the year, but right now the developers of the Tensorflow machine learning framework are looking to run public design reviews for a forthcoming Tensorflow 2.0. The Tensorflow 2.0 is coming post outlines what is being worked on and how Tensorflow governance will give the community a chance to discuss the direction the machine learning framework is heading in. The developers plan to use 2.0 to clean up deprecated APIs and unnecessary duplication.


Electron is a great tool for wrapping web applications into something more like a native desktop application. But it can be a bit complex to just play with it. Enter Electron Fiddle from the folks at Slack. It's a playground for developing Electron code so you can quickly write the JavaScript and HTML – which together are called the fiddle – hit the Run button and everything else is handled for you. It even downloads the right packages for you in the background and lets you quickly save or publish to a Github gist. Read more at the official announcement or just get fiddling.

And finally

We were reminded, by a HackerNews item, of Gource, a visualizer for software that produces delightful animations of the life of your Git repositories. If you are on a Mac, just run brew install gource, go to a directory with a clone of a project and run gource... then sit back and watch a glowing animated history.

NewsBits. News in bits, every Friday at Compose.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan is Compose's resident Content Curator, and has been both a developer and writer since Apples came in II flavors and Commodores had Pets. Love this article? Head over to Dj Walker-Morgan’s author page to keep reading.

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