Sunday, April 29, 2007

Distributed Battle of the Giants

Google and Yahoo are facing each other on a lot of battle grounds, and some of them are less public than others. Research is key to the long term survival of both companies, and lots of information is the bread and butter of the two. Without effective technology to burrow through unheard of volumes of data in record time, neither will make it. Some of the things coming out of this struggle are interesting.

New languages are under development by the research teams at both Yahoo and Google. Sawzall is a the topic of a research paper from Rob Pike, Sean Dorward, Robert Griesemer, and Sean Quinlan. Pig, with a much less elegant name, is an working language from Yahoo Research. Off the bat, note that Sawzall is a paper, and you can download Pig's source today. If Google has an implementation of Sawzall, they are not making it public at this time.

Both are based around respective implementations of the popular concurrency algorithm, MapReduce, originally a Google creation. Yahoo supports an open source implementation of this algorithm, named Hadoop. Google has yet and likely won't release source code or open up their MapReduce system, although much information is available through their research papers.

I guess I just find it interesting that although Google is considered so often to be the geeks company, and a more open and public loving corporate entity, much of it sometimes seems to just be face without substance. Yahoo is the one supporting the open source project, instead of a closed internal solution, and their concurrency language is available freely with its source code. Sometimes, I wonder if Yahoo is more in line with the communities than Google.

Found from Geeking with Greg.

No comments:

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

Blog Archive