NewsBits - PostgreSQL, MySQL Shell, ScyllaDB, Kaggle, Redis Pub/Sub, Blockchains, Emojis and DNA


NewsBits for the week ending March 10th - PostgreSQL 10's latest features, Google betas PostgreSQL, MySQL's Shell approaches release, ScyllaDB gets series B funding, Kaggle goes Google, a deep dive in the Redis Pub/Sub, Blockchains explained in code, the length of emojis and how to store data in your DNA.

We gather all the database, development, cloud and data news from the past week, for you to enjoy. This is NewsBits and here are the bits.

PostgreSQL 10 developments

We're tracking what's landing in the PostgreSQL code base for the release of 10 at the end of the year. First up is XMLTABLE support. XMLTABLE is a powerful command that lets you turn XML data into relational columns. Once in a relational form, you can bring the rest of SQL to bear on the data.

Second up, SCRAM Authentication has now been added to boost the password security when logging into PostgreSQL by encoding the stored passwords more securely than the current MD5 password hashing. There's still work to be done, though, on this much-wanted feature.

Google goes PostgreSQL

Google have added PostgreSQL to Google Cloud - the beta product is missing some features, like replications, high availability and the ability to import and export CSV data.

MySQL Shell gets a release candidate

A JavaScript, Python, and SQL aware shell for MySQL has been in beta for some time at Oracle. The wait may be coming to an end though as MySQL Shell 1.0.8 is the first release candidate for the new shell. It requires MySQL 5.7.12 or later and the X Plugin enabled to work but does offer some interesting capabilities usually seen on NoSQL databases for MySQL.

ScyllaDB's Serious Bee

Compose's friends at ScyllaDB have announced they've closed $16million of series b funding for their high-performance Cassandra replacement. The funding is destined to expand sales and marketing to bring the C++ based distributed database to a wider audience.

Kaggle now part of Google

Crowdsourcing, machine learning, and data science company Kaggle is joining Google. Kaggle's specialty is running open competitions to solve specific problems using particular datasets, and it appears that's what they'll continue doing, as Kaggle within Google.

Deep into Redis Pub/Sub

A deep dive under the hood of Redis's Pub/Sub architecture is the latest article published by Pusher. And when we say deep, we mean down to the ANSI C code and through the data structures behind one of Redis's more potent features.

Blockchains in 200 lines

Blockchains are powerful things for creating a distributed, immutable data set but they can be tricky to get your head around. So A Blockchain in 200 lines of code is a welcome article which offers a clear explanation through JavaScript code of how to build your own Blockchain implementation.

How big 💩?

It's a question asked by Jon New as he dives into the challenge of working out how long a string is. How long is the 💩 emoji? The answer is not one, but two thanks to the wonders of codepoints and surrogate pairs. This conundrum isn't an abstract issue; a bug in Chromium has it displaying two dots for a single emoji character, and it's a good example to remind people that strings are composed of complex characters and care should be taken when measuring and storing them.

And finally, DNA storage

People have asked if we can store data on DNA and now a paper from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research(pdf) is answering that question. They've come up with a method for using DNA as an archival storage system and done the lab work to show they can do it creating 151kB of synthesized DNA and a 42kB random-access set. While access time is likely to be in the tens of hours, the durability of DNA could see data stored for centuries. Hold on to your media for now, though. The biotechnology isn't quite there yet for large-scale data sets but could be soon.

If you have any feedback about this or any other Compose article, drop the Compose Articles team a line at We're happy to hear from you.

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 and keep reading.