Richard Clayton

Writing Better Apps: Implementing Configuration

"Configuration" is the settings your application uses to change its behavior at runtime. Configuration might include simple values that adjust timeouts on requests to more complicated settings that swap out database or cloud service providers.

The process of collecting and validating configuration is critical to a stable . . .

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September 30, 2020

Writing Better Apps: Initialization

Whether you are writing a script, a multicommand CLI utility, or a networked server, applications should follow the same initialization pattern:

  • Get configuration
  • Build dependencies
  • Resolve and execute the entry-point function

Get configuration

Using the environment, and possibly command line . . .

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Posted in: nodejstypescript

September 19, 2020

Thoughts on using Kafka with Node.js (node-rdkafka)

Let me start by saying, node-rdkafka is a godsend. When we first started using it, the library was the only one fully compatible with the latest version of Kafka and the SSL and SASL features. I owe webmakersteve and other contributors all a six-pack of beer for making this possible (thank you!!!!).

With that said, I guarantee you . . .

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April 01, 2020

Avoid Synchronous Functions in Node.js

Sync Functions can dramatically slow down your app and they are almost never necessary.

tl;dr

Most synchronous methods in Node.js (statSync, readFileSync, etc.) have asynchronous alternatives (via callback). Using util.promisify can easily make these methods async/await compatible. Using the Promise-based equivalents can greatly speed up your application. In fact, I'd argue there's never a need for the . . .

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Posted in: nodejstypescript

February 29, 2020

Distributed Locking with Postgres Advisory Locks

TL;DR

Postgres Advisory Locks are a great solution for arbitrary application locks, particularly in scenarios where you are already using Postgres and have a need to block concurrent mutations to a resource (that resource DOES NOT have to be data in Postgres).


Concurrency is hard

We ran into a problem . . .

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February 16, 2020

WebSequenceDiagrams.com TypeScript Client

https://gist.github.com/rclayton-the-terrible/493cd0811542ff9693ac02746517ba71

TL;DR - TypeScript Client Gist: https://gist.github.com/rclayton-the-terrible/493cd0811542ff9693ac02746517ba71


If you are not familiar with WebSequenceDiagrams, it's an excellent tool for creating sequence diagrams for planning software flows. If you are not familiar with sequence diagrams, a quick Google search will . . .

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June 22, 2019

Node.js and Kafka in 2018

Yes, Node.js has support for all of the Kafka features you need.

If you want to use Node and Kafka together and are struggling to find straightforward answers to some basic questions, I hope this helps you out. We've been building out an event system at Peachjar using Node and Kafka and some of this knowledge is the fruit of our research.

    . . .

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Posted in: kafkanodejs

October 31, 2018

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