Apache Kudu Weekly Update October 11th, 2016

Posted 11 Oct 2016 by Todd Lipcon

Welcome to the twenty-first edition of the Kudu Weekly Update. Astute readers will notice that the weekly blog posts have been not-so-weekly of late – in fact, it has been nearly two months since the previous post as I and others have focused on releases, conferences, etc.

So, rather than covering just this past week, this post will cover highlights of the progress since the 1.0 release in mid-September. If you’re interested in learning about progress prior to that release, check the release notes.

Project news

  • On September 12th, the Kudu PMC announced that Alexey Serbin and Will Berkeley had been voted as new committers and PMC members.

    Alexey’s contributions prior to committership included AUTO_FLUSH_BACKGROUND support in C++ as well as API documentation for the C++ client API.

    Will’s contributions include several fixes to the web UIs, large improvements the Flume integration, and a lot of good work burning down long-standing bugs.

    Both contributors were “acting the part” and the PMC was pleased to recognize their contributions with committership.

  • Kudu 1.0.0 was released on September 19th. Most community members have upgraded by this point and have been reporting improved stability and performance.

  • Dan Burkert has been managing a Kudu 1.0.1 release to address a few important bugs discovered since 1.0.0. The vote passed on Monday afternoon, so the release should be made officially available later this week.

Development discussions and code in progress

  • After the 1.0 release, many contributors have gone into a design phase for upcoming work. Over the last couple of weeks, developers have posted scoping and design documents for topics including:

    The development community has no particular rule that all work must be accompanied by such a document, but in the past they have proven useful for fleshing out ideas around a design before beginning implementation. As Kudu matures, we can probably expect to see more of this kind of planning and design discussion.

    If any of the above work areas sounds interesting to you, please take a look and leave your comments! Similarly, if you are interested in contributing in any of these areas, please feel free to volunteer on the mailing list. Help of all kinds (coding, documentation, testing, etc) is welcomed.

  • Adar Dembo spent a chunk of time re-working the thirdparty directory that contains most of Kudu’s native dependencies. The major resulting changes are:
    • Build directories are now cleanly isolated from source directories, improving cleanliness of re-builds.
    • ThreadSanitizer (TSAN) builds now use libc++ instead of libstdcxx for C++ library support. The libc++ library has better support for sanitizers, is easier to build in isolation, and solves some compatibility issues that Adar was facing with GCC 5 on Ubuntu Xenial.
    • All of the thirdparty dependencies now build with TSAN instrumentation, which improves our coverage of this very effective tooling.

    The impact to most developers is that, if you have an old source checkout, it’s highly likely you will need to clean and re-build the thirdparty directory.

  • Many contributors spent time in recent weeks trying to address the flakiness of various test cases. The Kudu project uses a dashboard to track the flakiness of each test case, and distributed test infrastructure to facilitate reproducing test flakes. As might be expected, some of the flaky tests were due to bugs or timing assumptions in the tests themselves. However, this effort also identified several real bugs:

    As a result of these efforts, the failure rate of these flaky tests has decreased significantly and the stability of Kudu releases continues to increase.

  • Dan Burkert picked up work originally started by Sameer Abhyankar on KUDU-1363, which adds support for adding IN (...) predicates to scanners. Dan committed the main patch as well as corresponding support in the Java client. Jordan Birdsell quickly added corresponding support in Python. This new feature will be available in an upcoming release.

  • Work continues on the kudu command line tool. Dinesh Bhat added the ability to ask a tablet’s leader to step down and Alexey Serbin added a tool to insert random data into a table.

  • Jordan Birdsell continues to be on a tear improving the Python client. The patches are too numerous to mention, but highlights include Python 3 support as well as near feature parity with the C++ client.

  • Todd Lipcon has been doing some refactoring and cleanup in the Raft consensus implementation. In addition to simplifying and removing code, he committed KUDU-1567, which improves write performance in many cases by a factor of three or more while also improving stability.

  • Brock Noland is working on support for INSERT IGNORE as a first-class part of the Kudu API. Of course this functionality can already be done by simply performing normal inserts and ignoring any resulting errors, but pushing it to the server prevents the server from counting such operations as errors.

  • Congratulations to Ninad Shringarpure for contributing his first patches to Kudu. Ninad contributed two documentation fixes and improved formatting on the Kudu web UI.

Want to learn more about a specific topic from this blog post? Shoot an email to the kudu-user mailing list or tweet at @ApacheKudu. Similarly, if you’re aware of some Kudu news we missed, let us know so we can cover it in a future post.