NewsBits - Scylla, SQL Server, Redis, SQLite, TiDB, Ruby, Elixir and more


The database and developer news for the week ending January 6th includes a new Scylla release, SQL Server on Linux explained, JSON for Redis, a lighter SQLite, TiDB's multi-storage engine distributed database, the latest language rankings, new Ruby and Elixir releases, Go vs C, Go vs Python, Graphviz in the browser, Yubikeys in USB C ports and something's just not right with Star Wars storage media.

Database bits

Scylla 1.5 - Just before the holidays, the ScyllaDB developers rolled out Scylla 1.5, the latest release of their C++ based Cassandra-compatible (as in can use Cassandra disk files) database. This release added more of the self-tuning intelligence to handling disk writes.

SQL Server on Linux - Microsoft explained how they brought SQL Server to Linux and the explanation confirmed what we knew - there's a lot of Windows in there wrapped in a platform abstraction layer.

JSON for Redis - With Redis 4.0 getting near, more modules are emerging such as ReJSON which adds a JSON datatype to Redis along with a range of commands for manipulating it.

SQLite-r - The latest update for SQLite, 3.16.0, uses 9% fewer CPU cycles and adds experimental PRAGMA support.

TiDB - There's a lot of people working on various Go-based distributed databases - One that seems to be really coming together is TiDB, which has over six thousand stars on GitHub. With support for multiple storage engines (GolevelDB, LevelDB, RocksDB, LMDB and BoltDB), it's own SQL layer and MySQL protocol compatibility.

Developer bits

Languages, languages, languages - The latest Redmonk language rankings is out. It uses a simpler model than the better known TIOBE rankings by correlating language use on Github vs ranking on Stack Overflow. Spoiler, the top 5 is still JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python and a tie at fifth for C#, C++, and Ruby. Up and comers include Elixir, Rust, Swift, and TypeScript.

Ruby 2.4.0 -Talking about Ruby, Ruby 2.4.0 was released on Christmas Day, with performance improvements, hash table enhancements, and a unified Integer which includes Fixnum/Bignum.

Elixir 1.4.0 - Also updated, the Erlang ecosystem-based Elixir has reached version 1.4. This adds a Registry module for name-lookups, dispatching or pub-sub queuing, async stream functions and color highlighted data structures.

Go vs C - If you want to compare Go and C, why not browse a side-by-side reference sheet from Hyperpolyglot, home of a range of language and tool side-by-side comparisons.

Go vs Python - Google's search for a faster Python runtime has led them to create Grumpy, a tool which translates Python code to Go code ready for compilation. Upsides include better handling of concurrency with no global interpreter lock. Downsides include the design decision to not support C extensions which does mean some popular modules won't run and no dynamic code operations (as it's translated to statically typed Go). Grumpy is alpha code for now.

Tool bits

Graphviz in the browser - The viz.js site puts Graphviz's very useful graph description to diagram processing into your browser. Although Graphviz has been done as a service, viz.js is actually an EmScripten wrapper around the Graphviz code, so it actually is running in your browser.

Yubikey for C - The Yubikey key is a popular way of doing 2FA, but the integrated USB connector meant it didn't plug into new USB-C based machines. Well, now there's the YubiKey 4C, out in February, which will have a USB C plug. But you'll need an adapter to plug that into USB A sockets.

Odd bits

Star Wars Storage - Don't read if you've not seen it yet, but there's something pretty odd going on with storage media in Star Wars, Rogue One. Vice has a look at all the storage in the universe and asks some pertinent questions.

If you have bits you think should be in NewsBits, or any feedback about any Compose articles, drop the Compose Articles team a line at We're happy to hear from you.

Image by Ilya Pavlov
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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