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London Realtime hackweekend

April 17th, 2012 by Michael

Over the weekend, RabbitMQ co-sponsored London Realtime, two nights and two days of unadulterated hackery. It was all put on by the apparently indefatigable* crew at GoSquared, a very impressive debut effort.

As a co-sponsor we had one of the iPad prizes to award. We decided to allow hacks that used one or more of RabbitMQ, SockJS, or Cloud Foundry. This meant that about half of the twenty-seven hacks were eligible when it came to judging, making the choice rather difficult. Read the rest of this entry »

RabbitMQ Performance Measurements, part 1

April 17th, 2012 by Simon MacMullen

So today I would like to talk about some aspects of RabbitMQ's performance. There are a huge number of variables that feed into the overall level of performance you can get from a RabbitMQ server, and today we're going to try tweaking some of them and seeing what we can see.

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How to compose apps using WebSockets

February 23rd, 2012 by Marek Majkowski

Or: How to properly do multiplexing on WebSockets or on SockJS

As you may know, WebSockets are a cool new HTML5 technology which allows you to asynchronously send and receive messages. Our compatibility layer - SockJS - emulates it and will work even on old browsers or behind proxies.

WebSockets conceptually are very simple. The API is basically: connect, send and receive. But what if your web-app has many modules and every one wants to be able to send and receive data?

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AtomizeJS: Distributed Software Transactional Memory

February 21st, 2012 by Matthew Sackman

AtomizeJS is a JavaScript library for writing distributed programs, that run in the browser, without having to write any application specific logic on the server.

Here at RabbitMQ HQ we spend quite a lot of time arguing. Occasionally, it's about important things, like what messaging really means, and the range of different APIs that can be used to achieve messaging. RabbitMQ and AMQP present a very explicit interface to messaging: you very much have verbs send and receive and you need to think about what your messaging patterns are. There's a lot (of often quite clever stuff) going on under the bonnet but nevertheless, the interface is quite low-level and explicit, which gives a good degree of flexibility. Sometimes though, that style of API is not the most natural fit for the problem you're trying to solve - do you really reach an impasse and think "What I need here is an AMQP-message broker", or do you, from pre-existing knowledge, realise that you could choose to use an AMQP-message broker to solve your current problem?

AtomizeJS exists at the opposite end of the spectrum. There is lots of messaging involved, but you almost never get to see any of it. Instead, you write transactions in JavaScript that modify objects, and those objects are shared between all clients that are connected to the same AtomizeJS server. The API that you're given lets you do slightly more powerful things than you're used to from database transactions, in particular, retry allows you to abort a transaction but then restart it automatically once someone else has changed one of the variables you read. This means you have the observer-pattern, and from that you can then build any explicit messaging patterns you want. In most cases, I doubt you'll be building APIs that say send or receive, instead you'll be building richer data-structures - work queues, shared dictionaries etc. The question to pose then is: is it easier to build these things based on top of a transaction-like API such as offered by AtomizeJS, or on top of an explicit messaging API such as offered by RabbitMQ and AMQP brokers. There is no one solution and horses-for-courses etc, but please leave your thoughts below.

The gain that AtomizeJS provides is not so much in the use of STM from the browser, but the use of STM against a distributed object. This allows you to trivially share state between browsers, modify it safely in intuitive terms, and thus build your applications with little or no application-specific server-side code. Currently, it's a little clunky to use with browsers that don't support bleeding-edge JavaScript features (though I've provided some tooling to try and mitigate this), and everything does work with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, and Opera. Please have a go and let us know what you think!

SockJS 0.2 released!

January 24th, 2012 by Marek Majkowski

SockJS version 0.2 has been released:

You can test it in the usual playground:

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RabbitMQ 2.7.0 and 2.7.1 are released

December 20th, 2011 by Zteve

The previous release of RabbitMQ (2.7.0) brought with it a better way of managing plugins, one-stop URI connecting by clients, thread-safe consumers in the Java client, and a number of performance improvements and bug-fixes. The latest release (2.7.1) is essentially a bug-fix release; though it also makes RabbitMQ compatible with Erlang R15B and enhances some of the management interface. The previous release didn't get a blog post, so I've combined both releases in this one.  (These are my own personal remarks and are NOT binding; errors of commission or omission are entirely my own -- Steve Powell.) Read the rest of this entry »

Ponies, Dragons and Socks

November 3rd, 2011 by Marek Majkowski

We were wondering how to present SockJS and its possibilities to a wider audience. Having a working demo is worth much more than explaining dry theory, but what can you present if you are just a boring technologist, with no design skills whatsoever?

With questions like that it's always good to open a history book and review previous generation of computer geeks with no artistic skills. What were they doing? On consoles with green letters they were playing geeky computer games, MUDs (Multi User Dungeons) were especially popular.

Hey, we can do that!

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Performance of Queues: when less is more

October 27th, 2011 by Matthew Sackman

Since the new persister arrived in RabbitMQ 2.0.0 (yes, it's not so new anymore), Rabbit has had a relatively good story to tell about coping with queues that grow and grow and grow and reach sizes that preclude them from being able to be held in RAM. Rabbit starts writing out messages to disk fairly early on, and continues to do so at a gentle rate so that by the time RAM gets really tight, we've done most of the hard work already and thus avoid sudden bursts of writes. Provided your message rates aren't too high or too bursty, this should all happen without any real impact on any connected clients.

Some recent discussion with a client made us return to what we'd thought was a fairly solved problem and has prompted us to make some changes. Read the rest of this entry »

High Availability in RabbitMQ: solving part of the puzzle

October 25th, 2011 by Matthew Sackman

In RabbitMQ 2.6.0 we introduced Highly Available queues. These necessitated a new extension to AMQP, and a fair amount of documentation, but to date, little has been written on how they work. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping It Realtime Conference (Portland, OR)

October 19th, 2011 by Marek Majkowski

There's a lot of hot stuff happening in the web technology lately. JavaScript seems to be bearing the torch, both browser-side and server-side.

At the RabbitMQ HQ we're interested in developments in the wide world of messaging, and we're particularly excited about the JavaScript angle on messaging - namely WebSockets and related technologies.

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