Like Eureka!, only cooler

Concrete Mathematics Chapter 1 Warmups

It took me far longer than it should have, and I had a very partial success; I guess my excuse is that my brain was still cold…

At least I can claim I did try to solve all the exercises; I really spent hours on this.

Concrete Mathematics Chapter 1 Notes

For the first post of this hopefully long series, I have a few notes I wrote down as I was reading Chapter 1. Nothing revolutionary, but it gives me a chance to play with math notation.

Concrete Mathematics

Stephen Hawking once said that his editor had warned him that each equation in his book would halve the readership.

With that in mind, and taking into account the number of readers of this blog (or lack thereof), would I dare put any equations?

You better believe it!

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks Neo4j Day 3

Third, last and quite short day with Neo4j. Today on the menu: transactions, replication, and backups.

Transactions are a standard feature of relational databases, but NOSQL databases seem to consider them too costly (of the other databases in the book, only HBase and Redis also support transactions, as far as I can tell). Neo4j does support them, along with rollbacks.

Replication is Neo4j’s answer for High Availability and, to some extent, Scaling. The latter is limited as Neo4j does not partition the data, so everything has to fit in each computer in the cluster.

Finally, backups are exactly what you would expect them to be. Neo4J offers both full and incremental backups, which update a previous backup.

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks Neo4j Day 2

Today we play further with Neo4j, exploring the ReST API, indexes, and algorithms in various languages.

The ReST API is always available, although not the easiest thing to work with. Besides what the book covers, I also learned how to extend it, and how to bypass it for large loads.

Indexing can be manual, as the book shows, or automatic (although the documentation warns this is still an experimental feature).

Finally, the algorithms are mostly provided by an external library, JUNG, so its use require direct access to the data, bypassing the server.

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks Neo4j Day 1

As the book is still in beta and incomplete, I skip CouchDB (the chapter is not there yet in beta 2.0), and will spend this week with Neo4j.

Neo4j is a graph database, meaning it focuses on navigation between vertices (called nodes in Neo4j), through edges (called relationships). While other databases made it possible to join various pieces of data, Neo4j treats this as the main semantic mechanism

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks MongoDB Day 2

Today the book covers all kinds of queries goodness in MongoDB: indexing, advanced group queries, and MapReduce.

Once again, the contrast with Riak is stark. MongoDB is able to optimize queries on its JSON documents because it understand the format directly (whereas it is stored as an opaque block in Riak). Using JavaScript is also simpler: no need to quote the function codes; just pass a function object to the commands that need one.

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks MongoDB Day 1

It has been … a little over a week since I closed with HBase so it is time to move to the next database in the program: MongoDB. It is a so-called document oriented database, relying on Javascript and JSON like Riak but, MongoDB, unlike Riak, has a built-in support for querying, and can also perform partial updates.

Fittingly, this first day is about CRUD and queries.