NewsBits - SQL Server on Linux, CockroachDB, Citus 6.0, PostgreSQL parallelism, Linux entryism and more

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The Compose NewsBits for the week ending November 18th - Microsoft's SQL Server is surprising on Linux, CockroachDB talks stability, Citus 6.0 is ready for multiple occupants, PostgreSQL serialization trips parallelisation, Linux gets opened with the enter key, Kaspersky is making its own OS, Dash for iOS is open sourced, Ruby 3 is going to be three times faster, React and React DOM finally separate and rhinos - now available in paper form.

NewsBits is database news, developer news, security news and some curiosities. NewsBits, part of your recommended weekly intake of news and bits. No fake bits guaranteed. Now, read on...

Database Bits

SQL Server for Linux is real - Microsoft let the world get their hands on the v.Next Public Preview of SQL Server including the Linux version. The first tweets from downloaders show surprise, as SQL Server on Linux is apparently the NT kernel ported to Linux user space and hosting the Windows SQL Server. Talking about strangers in strange lands, Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation while a Microsoft blog warned people not to use Windows to edit Linux files when running Bash on Windows.

CockroachDB stability - A few months back, Cockroach Labs talked about their trouble scaling up the open source CockroachDB and staying stable. Since then, they have addressed that problem and in CockroachDB Stability Post-Mortem: From 1 Node to 100 Nodes, Spencer Kimball looks at the social and technical engineering that went into solving that problem. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in how a product can evolve.

Citus 6.0 - CitusData released version 6.0 of Citus, their PostgreSQL based distributed database, with PostgreSQL 9.6 support and multi-tenant application support through sharding. The latter feature allows applications to separate tenant data onto different servers while still acting as a single database.

PostgreSQL parallelism - Over at the Cybertec blog, a posting sheds light one gap in PostgreSQL 9.6's new parallel queries - that they are not supported if you use SERIALIZABLE. It safely falls to running the query on one processor. Worth knowing.

Meteor and Redis - Meteor users who don't like the idea of using Meteor's oplog for fast updating may be interested in the Redis-oplog project which can be plugged into existing Meteor applications and use Redis as the source of update information. There's also the ability to mute reactivity if needed and create custom channels.

Security Bits

Linux, Enter now - Sometimes vulnerabilities are ridiculously simple like CVE-2016-4484 which involves holding down the Enter key for around 70 seconds at boot to trip up the password handling of the filesystem encryption and drop you into the initramfs and onwards into the rest of the system. There are fixes to the problem included in the post and fixes are landing in distributions - it needs physical access, which is a big mitigation, but the researchers think if you have full remote console access you may be able to exploit it.

Kaspersky makes an OS - Apparently, Kaspersky has had enough of vulnerable operating systems and is rolling their own. Don't expect it on your desktop as this microkernel architecture OS has its eye firmly set on the domain of network infrastructure, IoT, and industrial control systems. Apparently, it's been fourteen years in the making, though much of that has been thinking about the problem. Given Kaspersky's issues with AV on Windows and Microsoft, the timing of the OS announcement is interesting if light on details.

Developer Bits

Dash for iOS - Users of Dash, the documentation browser for macOS which was pulled from the App Store can now get it back thanks to it open source Dash for iOS. You can now install the remote control app for the desktop Dash by using your own copy of XCode, which most developers should already have installed.

Ruby 3 performance - An interesting interview with Heroku's Matz and Koichi and Github's Tenderlove about Ruby 3x3. Ruby 3x3 is the plan to make Ruby 3 three times faster than Ruby 2, and it's being done through a process of constant iterations and enhancement over time. And in which we learn about optcarrot, an NES emulator in Ruby which is one of the benchmarks for Ruby 3x3.

React and React DOM - What would seem to be a minor version bump for React is apparently a lot more according to the React Blog. After a year of teasing the React DOM code out into its own package, the React DOM is now separate from React which has only renderer-agnostic code inside it now.

Final Bits

Kinetic Rhinos - We're somewhat big on rhino's at Compose, we even employ one so we rather like the idea of our own cardboard kinetic rhino sculpture even if they aren't called Rocco.


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Image by Ilya Pavlov
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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