[erlang-questions] Twoorl: an open source Twitter clone

Yariv Sadan <>
Wed Jun 4 20:16:08 CEST 2008

You nailed it. Just last night I added a couple of columns to the
'msg' table to be able to store the user's gravatar settings in a
denormalized fashion. If I had committed to a fixed file-based format
for all user archives, making such a change would have been a pretty
big pain.

I see file based storage as premature optimization. You sacrifice
functionality for speed. That's probably why Google built BigTable on
top of GFS.


On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 8:16 AM, Damien Morton <> wrote:
> Well, the relational database is suitable for the quickly evolving part
> of their business, and there will always be a quickly evolving part of
> any business, so yes - inevitability is the perfect description.
> Now that their business has stabilised and they know what a larger part
> of it is supposed to do and what the performance goals they need to
> reach are, they can begin to crate a more specialised datastructure
> optimised for their (now known) use case.
> Question is - can they create such a specialised datastructure such that
> it _can_ evolve, for example, in the case where they wanted to handle
> not just 140 byte tweets, but also photos and video (twotos, and twideos)?
> On 6/5/2008 1:02 AM, Steve Davis wrote:
>> On Jun 4, 9:16 am, Damien Morton <> wrote:
>>> No database is needed. Everything can pretty much be achieved with files
>>> containing fixed-length records.
>> ...but you probably took my comment "and the inevitable(?) RDBMS" as
>> meaning that the architecture should be database-centric - actually
>> that's not what it meant -- as I described previously the RDBMS does
>> have a place for user accounts (not for the tweet storage). The
>> "inevitability" part was referring to the fact that pretty much any
>> (not all!) large-scale architecture will "need" an RDBMS "somewhere"
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