NewsBits: Redis, etcd and Elasticsearch updates, Go 1.8, Github guides and chatops and more


NewsBits for the week ending 17th February - Redis gets a critical update, etcd's latest release, Elasticsearch gets a bump, CockroachDB takes on the Jepsen test, how Postgres is tested, Go 1.8 arrives, Github open sources open source guides, Netflix ChatOps GitHub and a stupid hackathon in Sweden.

Compose's NewsBits are the bits of news which we think you should know about. From databases to developer tools and always something extra, these are the NewsBits:

Database bits

Redis 3.2.8 Critical

On Jan 31st, Redis 3.2.7 was released with a "high" urgency rating to fix some security issues. Also in the release was an upgrade the Jemalloc memory allocator. Fast forward to February 12th and the release of Redis 3.2.8, with a "critical" urgency rating. That Jemalloc update woke up a nasty deadlock problem and the Redis developers have backed it out for now. So if you upgraded to 3.2.7... you'll want to upgrade again to 3.2.8. The tale is told in the release notes.

etcd 3.1

We're a little late on this but a few weeks ago, the etcd developers at CoreOS released etcd 3.1. The new version of etcd is steadily settling in; if you didn't know, between 2.0 and 3.0 the developers switched away from the tree of keys and values to a flat namespace and redesigned many features of the database, TTLs becoming leases and long polling replaced with watchers and the underlying communications switching from HTTP to gRPC. Well, with 3.1 released those new features have been streamlined and now a gRPC proxy is available to act as a front end to a secured cluster. It's a great update to quite a radical rework.

Elasticsearch 5.2.1

The Elasticsearch developers continue updating Elasticsearch 5, with their latest Elasticsearch 5.2.1 release. As the release notes note, this is bug fixes and an upgrade to Lucene 6.4.1.

CockroachDB does Jepsen

The developers at CockroachDB put their distributed database into the workout that is the Jepsen test. CockroachDB is an interesting up and coming database in that it talks PostgreSQL's wire protocol with durable replication and transparent sharding for scale. The analysis sees the Cockroach beta getting a number of serializability issues shaken out. "There’s still a lot of work to do before CockroachDB is suitable for general release, but putting time into safety early in the development process has paid off" says the conclusion, noting the lack of atomic clocks needs to be accounted for.

PostgreSQL Tested

Wonder how PostgreSQL is tested? This video from the last PGConf US 2016 can shed some light on that. The next PGConf US is at the end of March.

Developer bits

Go 1.8

Go 1.8 has now officially arrived . The enhanced backend from Go 1.7 is now on all architectures, so more platforms are generating faster code, and the compiler runs around 15% faster. Garbage collection pauses less, the HTTP server now does HTTP/2 Push and there's more use of Contexts, including in the database/sql and net packages. And it's easier to sort. The plugin functionality expected for 1.8 has arrived, but only for Linux with macOS and others deferred to Go 1.9. The release notes have more in-depth details - look out for struct conversions that can ignore tags and mutex contention profiling.

Github's open-source guides

GitHub has announced their new open-source guides. As you may expect, they are delightfully produced and full of concrete ideas on how to build a sustainable open source project, from finding your first users to managing a large community. You'll find them at


ChatOps are a "big thing" at the moment; there is something compelling about driving systems through the same conversational framework you use to coordinate work with. Over at Netflix, they just released HubCommander which is a ChatOps tool for managing access to multiple GitHub based organizations and repositories, complete with additional authentication, a self-service and least-privilege philosophy. The Apache Licensed code is, of course, available from a GitHub repository.

And Finally

A Stupid Hackathon in Sweden

Do you like to think stupid and make stupid work? Then the Stupid Hackathon might be for you. Earlier this month Stupid Hackathon Sweden took place and in a slideshow from the event we get to enjoy some of the hacks. Winners include the Image Size Slayer, which given a picture of the Eiffel Tower returns a picture of a model of the Eiffel Tower. Other winners include Chat Roulette for Castanet-Morse users, reCATcha where you have to prove you are not a cat and the shock based space awareness Electric Man.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan was 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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