Blog

Below is a collection of my thoughts, organized from most to least recent. Posts that I’m particularly fond of will have a little preview. Happy Reading!

  • Thinking about efficient backing stores for CRDTs

    2021-08-02 · About 10 minutes long

    A Conflict-Free Replicated Datatype is a bit like a smoothie: the same ingredients will produce the same result, regardless of the order in which they are added. In the context of, say, text editing in a distributed context, merging two documents will always succeed in a deterministic manner. In other words, A CRDT is a bit like a git repository that never has merge conflicts.

    There are many different ways to approach the construction of CRDTs, each construction having its own strength and weaknesses. Today, we’re going to focus on creating out an efficient backing store for a particular family of algorithms known as Replicated Growth Arrays (RGA).

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  • Stellar Quest (Mis)Adventures

    2021-05-03 · About 16 minutes long

    Good evening fellow Lumenauts!

    For those of you who don’t know what Stellar is yet, it’s a cryptocurrency that’s been around since about 2015 by the same guys who made Ripple. I personally find it notable for a couple of reasons:

    Instead of using Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake, Stellar uses the Stellar Consensus Protocol, which is a construction of Federated Byzantine Agreement. I’ve written more about (and am working on an implementation of) SCP here, for those interested. Stellar is really fast (e.g. closing times are <5s on average) and environmentally friendly (no mining or farming).

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  • A Tiny Introduction to Parsers

    2020-07-08 · About 3 minutes long

    A Question

    The other day, someone asked how parsers worked on The Programmer’s Hangout Discord server. Here’s an an abridged version of my explanation.

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