Spark, the Darling of Bigdata 0

Introduction to Spark, a powerful and fast real-time map/reduce framework

Spark project logo

Spark is a new up-and-coming open source distributed computing framework from the UC Berkeley AMPLab. By using a clever abstraction called an RDD (resilient distributed dataset), it is able to very elegantly unify the batch and streaming worlds into a single comprehensive framework.

Spark driver workflow

Originally built to solve distributed machine learning problems, Spark has quickly proven to also be the Swiss-Army knife of Bigdata. Companies latching onto the Bigdata movement are able to store mounds of data, but are still stuck with one very perplexing problem: extracting business intelligence is extremely difficult, even with existing tools that sit on top of Hadoop. Spark helps solve this conundrum by providing a very rich, accessible, and expressive API that makes working with Bigdata a breeze.

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A week of Verlet-JS 0

The little (physics) engine that could.

It has been an amazing (crazy!) week since releasing verlet-js to the world. The tiny library—which really just lets you link particles together—seems to have deeply struck a chord with people.

The reception and feedback that I've received so far has been wonderful! My mind is spinning with ideas of where to take it next. My focus, I think, will be to make verlet-js a playground for those like me; the creators, explorers, and the practitioners at heart.

The little (physics) engine that could

I thought I would share a few of the highlights of this past week:

  • Since release, there have been over 225 forks of the verlet-js code repository.

  • What started off as a weekend creative coding session has, at least for the week of April 22nd, become the most popular repository on GitHub!

  • People are finding areas ripe for enhancement, and have found bugs—some of which are fixed now—or soon will be.

  • The overall sentiment that I have received thus far is that, what can be accomplished with Javascript these days is completely mind-bending.

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Introducing Verlet-JS 0

An open source physics engine made for constructing 2D dynamic body simulations.

Particle meets constraint, and so verlet-js was born.

A framework for creating

I was experimenting with code one evening and ended up accidentally stumbling onto a new playground for my imagination, and what has now become verlet-js.

It is all based off an iterative technique called Verlet integration, which greatly simplifies force and motion calculations. The gist of it is that you can easily model intricate objects and dynamic behaviors—and it's insanely fun!

What I've built so far

Shapes / Hello world example Fractal tree example Cloth example Spiderweb example

How it works

Verlet-js exposes 3 basic primitives to you:

  1. particle: A point in space.
  2. constraint: Links particles together given some criteria and operational params.
  3. composite: A grouping of particles and constraints that let you have many objects in a scene.

With these primitives you just start building and connecting things together. Once you are hooked your imagination and curiosity will run wild!

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Hello. 0

Dear weary travelers of the Internets, welcome.

A beginning

It had been a while since I last built a website, and I found myself itching, strangely so, to design something—anything; I figured that it was a great chance to take a break from building server clusters, and fire up my long-time pal, good old Photoshop. What I created became the beginnings of this websites' design.

So here we are, I've finally found myself venturing into this whole blog thing. Content is sparse, paint is missing in corners, and it's still drying in other spots, but I'm mostly pleased with it thus far.

I think and breathe code, so Jekyll was the obvious first choice to use as a CMS platform. Getting it setup was no trouble at all, and it's now happily running under GitHub Pages. A bonus to using GitHub Pages is that this site is hosted essentially for free.

I spend all day in git, so using it to manage site content feels most natural to me. I can finally say that I do not miss Wordpress, sorry Automattic! Static CMS's like Jekyll are pushing forward by looking back.

I have no clue where this blog is going, or were it will take me. Hopefully not to any place that leads to /dev/null.