Orestes: a Time Series Database Backed by Cassandra and Elasticsearch

I used to work at a data analysis startup called Jut. Jut’s vision was to bring all your data together in a single environment. This enabled integrated analysis using our programming language, Juttle. It was challenging because there are many different types of data. Different data types require different models for optimal storage and querying. At the highest level, Jut divided all data into two kingdoms: metrics and events. Today I’ll cover the design and implementation of the metrics side, which was covered by a database named Orestes that we built.

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How does Bluebird promisify work?

High-performance code generation in Javascript

In describing the ConcurrencyMaster, I referred to Bluebird promisify as a magic function. Of course, it’s not really magical, it’s just a computer program. It only seemed magical because I didn’t understand how it worked. So this week, I’ve taken the opportunity to fill this hole in my knowledge by studying the internal workings of promisify. I like to learn about projects by fixing bugs in them, but Bluebird has no open bugs. Instead, we’ll just run through the working code and see what makes the magic happen. Here goes!

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How I fixed Node.js again

Yo dawg, I heard you like requires…

As usual, I was browsing the node.js issues page when I noticed #4467. The project owner jasnell had identified a small script that unexpectedly crashed with the message console.error is not a function. Huh? Last I checked, console.error is totally a function. I had to get to the bottom of this one. It turned out to be quite a rabbit hole, taking me through some of node.js’s most important features. Hold on to your hat!

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How I fixed libuv

A deep dive into the foundation of Node

It was another lazy, rainy winter afternoon, so once again I was looking to make the world of node.js a better place. Browsing the issues, I was struck by the bizarreness of #4291. The user anseki had written a simple script to read the next line the user types into the terminal. If you resized the window running the program while it was waiting for input, the program crashed with a segmentation fault.

Segmentation faults can happen in C when a program makes an invalid memory access. So somehow, resizing the window triggered an invalid C memory access from this Javascript program. Most untoward!

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How I fixed Node.js

My first open-source contribution

It was the lazy Saturday after Thanksgiving, and to burn off some of the extra calories from the preceding days I decided to break into the open-source world. I’d worked with node.js at Jut, so I was acquainted with the platform, though I had no experience with the source code. So I wandered into the issue tracker for the node.js repository and settled on issue 4049, a memory leak in the ChildProcess module.
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Pushing the performance limits of node.js

Building a data analysis platform in Javascript

Historical note: This was originally published as a post on Jut’s blog. Nobody wanted to pay for the product it describes, so Jut has gone in a very different direction of late, and Jut’s blog is a 404 at the moment. As a technical piece, though, I think it merits keeping alive.

We love node.js and Javascript. We love them so much, in fact, that when Jut decided to build a streaming analytics platform from scratch, we put node.js at the center of it all. This decision has brought us several benefits, but along with those came a few unique scaling challenges. With some careful programming, we’ve been able to largely overcome node.js’s limitations: I’ll share with you some of the tricks we used.

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