Python Tutor

Python Tutor, created by Philip Guo, helps people overcome a fundamental barrier to learning programming: understanding what happens as the computer executes each line of a program’s source code.

Using this tool, you can write Python, Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, Ruby, C, and C++ programs in your Web browser and visualize what the computer is doing step-by-step as it executes those programs. So far, over 1.5 million people in over 180 countries have used Python Tutor to visualize over 15 million pieces of code, often as a supplement to textbooks, lecture notes, and online programming tutorials.

http://pythontutor.com/
https://github.com/pgbovine/OnlinePythonTutor/

Replicating SQLite using the Raft consensus protocol

Detailed background on rqlite can be found on these blog posts. Note that master represents 2.0 development (which is still in progress), with a new API and Raft consensus module. If you want to work with 1.0 rqlite, you can find it here.

rqlite is a distributed system that provides a replicated SQLite database. rqlite is written in Go and uses Raft to achieve consensus across all the instances of the SQLite databases. rqlite ensures that every change made to the database is made to a quorum of SQLite files, or none at all.

rqlite gives you the functionality of a fault-tolerant, replicated relational database, but with very easy installation, deployment, and operation.

https://github.com/otoolep/rqlite

Sysdig vs DTrace vs Strace: a Technical Discussion

First off, let me start with a big thank you to all of you for your interest in sysdig! We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from the community, and by the quality of the comments, questions, and contributions we’re receiving.

For the uninitiated, sysdig is a system-level exploration and troubleshooting tool for Linux with native support for containers. In this post, I want to try to answer two important and recurring questions we’ve received:

  1. “How does sysdig work?”
  2. “How is this different from the plethora of tools already available to analyze a Linux system or the processes that run on top of it (SystemTap, LTTng, DTrace, strace, ktap to name few of them)?”

I’ll address both questions by providing a technical breakdown of sysdig’s architecture. But before doing that, let’s look at two very well-known tools: strace and DTrace.

https://sysdig.com/blog/sysdig-vs-dtrace-vs-strace-a-technical-discussion/

A (relatively easy to understand) primer on elliptic curve cryptography

Author Nick Sullivan worked for six years at Apple on many of its most important cryptography efforts before recently joining CloudFlare, where he is a systems engineer. He has a degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in computer science with a concentration in cryptography from the University of Calgary. This post was originally written for the CloudFlare blog and has been lightly edited to appear on Ars.

Readers are reminded that elliptic curve cryptography is a set of algorithms for encrypting and decrypting data and exchanging cryptographic keys. Dual_EC_DRBG, the cryptographic standard suspected of containing a backdoor engineered by the National Security Agency, is a function that uses elliptic curve mathematics to generate a series of random-looking numbers from a seed. This primer comes two months after internationally recognized cryptographers called on peers around the world to adopt ECC to avert a possible “cryptopocalypse.”

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/a-relatively-easy-to-understand-primer-on-elliptic-curve-cryptography/

PostgreSQL Indexes: First Principles

We have all heard about indexes. Yeah, that thing that it’s automatically added to the Primary Key column that enables fast data retrieval and stuff. Sure, but have you ever asked yourself if there are multiple types or implementations of indexes? Or maybe, what type of indexes your favourite RDBMS implements? In this blog post, we will take a step back to the beginning, exploring what indexes are, what is their role, types of indexes, metrics and so on. And all of this in PostgreSQL…

http://eftimov.net/postgresql-indexes-first-principles

nxweb – Fast and Lightweight Web Server for Applications Written in C & Python

“Sometimes web applications need small and fast components that are best written in C.

Example: ad banner rotation engine. It gets invoked many times on every page of your site producing little HTML snippets based on predefined configuration. How would you implement it?

CGI is not an option as it gets loaded and unloaded on every request. Writing a module for your main web server such as Apache httpd or nginx gives best performance but server’s API isn’t very friendly (especially when dealing with shared memory, etc.). What we need is sort of servlet container for C (just like Java has).

Before writing NXWEB I evaluated a number of existing light/embeddable web servers (mongoose, microhttpd, libevent, G-WAN) each one having their own drawbacks (see notes to benchmarks)…”

http://nxweb.org/