Weekly Tech Enthusiast (Issue 264): Lessons from Elasticsearch

Original link: http://www.ruanyifeng.com/blog/2023/07/weekly-issue-264.html

Here is a record of the technology content worth sharing every week, released on Friday.

This journal is open source and contributions are welcome. There is also a “Who’s Recruiting” service, which publishes programmer recruitment information. For cooperation, please email ([email protected]).

cover picture

At the mouth of the Yangtze River in Baoshan District, Shanghai, a “Long Beach Sightseeing Tower” was built, with a diameter of 25.7 meters and a height of 180 meters. The special thing is that this tower is actually the exhaust tower of the Yangtze River Tunnel, but a glass curtain wall is installed on the outside, adding functions such as sightseeing and restaurants. ( via )

Inspiration from Elasticsearch

The “Red Hat incident” last month showed that the “customer service model” of open source software is not feasible. I have already written my opinion in the previous issue .

So, how does open source software make money? What if you can’t sell software or support services?

I have been thinking about this issue, and feel that the development of the industry and the future of individuals are all related to it.

My current view is that there is only one model left that is feasible , and only in this way can open source software be commercialized, and that is the model of Elasticsearch.

Elasticsearch is a well-known search software with a very large market share, and it is behind many large websites.

In 2004, Israeli programmer Shay Banon (Shay Banon) wrote a simple search tool in order to facilitate his wife to find recipes, which is the origin of Elasticsearch.

In the beginning, Elasticsearch adopted the most relaxed Apache license, with almost no restrictions, and you can use it however you want.

Later, Shay Banon took venture capital, established a company, hired programmers, and had to have income, otherwise the company would lay off employees and close its doors.

The way he thought of was to provide cloud services . You don’t have to build the search yourself, I built it, and you can use it after buying it. In this way, you will be more at ease, and I will also have income.

However, he never thought that this model would not work. The reason is that open source software is not exclusive. If your software is too successful, other people can also provide services and sell them cheaper, eventually defeating you and taking a larger market share.

The unfortunate thing about Elasticsearch is that the competitor it encountered was Amazon, the world’s number one cloud service provider.

Amazon didn’t spend a penny, got the code of Elasticsearch, built a search service for sale, and quickly let the original author out of business.

Seeing that the company was at risk of dying, Elasticsearch made a shocking decision.

In 2021, Shay Bannon announced that he would abandon the Apache license and switch to a new license: the code is still open source, but users are not allowed to sell cloud services for the software unless you are willing to disclose the entire server. (Note that it is the entire server, not just the search part.)

Amazon clearly will not accept this condition, so the new license essentially does not allow Amazon (including Google and Microsoft) to sell Elasticsearch cloud services anymore.

As the industry leader, Amazon certainly couldn’t swallow this breath. It simply broke its face, forked the Elasticsearch code, and began to maintain its own version, named OpenSearch , and continued to use the Apache license for the community to use for free. The two sides fought against each other.

It is still unclear who will win and who will lose, but anyway, Elasticsearch has a minimum survival guarantee and its income has stabilized. You have to use the authentic search service, only buy his home.

In my opinion, this is currently the only viable business model for open source software .

Some people call it the ” open source core model “: the core functions of the code are open source and can be used for free, but there are certain restrictions, such as exclusive cloud services, or some plug-ins and peripheral tools are closed source and require payment.

At present, besides Elasticsearch, MongoDB is also a well-known open source software that adopts this model.

Open source software startups, it is recommended to adopt this model . You maintain two versions at the same time: one is the open source community version, which allows everyone to use it for free, accumulating users and word-of-mouth; the other is the paid enterprise version, which has more functions and customer support.

Technology dynamics

1. Ultrasonic hibernation

A team of researchers at the University of Washington found that firing ultrasound pulses at a certain part of a mouse’s brain caused the mouse to enter hibernation.

This means that hibernation can be triggered artificially. This may be used for astronauts on long-distance space missions, allowing them to enter hibernation during long-distance travel.

However, some scientists do not agree with this discovery, thinking that it is just the energy emitted by ultrasonic waves, which activates the temperature neurons in the brain, tricking the brain into thinking that the ambient temperature has risen, thereby automatically lowering the animal’s body temperature and making the animal enter an inactive state.

2. American Network Trustworthy Mark

The U.S. government has announced that it will implement a “network trust mark” (below) for networked home appliances, indicating that the device is information secure.

This sign has a Logo and a QR code. After the user scans it, he will enter a web page with detailed instructions.

At present, the logo is voluntary, but it is not certain that it will become a mandatory certification one day. At that time, if it was not distributed to Chinese companies, it would be a market barrier in disguise.

3. Hospital black box

A Canadian company has launched a “hospital black box”, similar to an airplane’s black box, which records all information generated during surgery, including video, audio, instrument data, and more.

The device can be used for post-surgical analysis to reduce medical errors, ensure patient safety, improve surgical efficiency, and be used for doctor training. If a surgery goes wrong, it helps to know exactly which step went wrong.

Some doctors objected to the device, arguing that it would monitor doctors and increase medical lawsuits. To quell objections, the device now automatically anonymizes all data, making it unavailable to the outside world if it is compromised.

4. Solar radio telescope

The world’s largest solar radio telescope was launched in Ganzi Daocheng.

It consists of 313 antennas arranged in a ring with a diameter of 1 km. In the center of the ring is the computer room and calibration tower, which are used to coordinate and control all antennas.

Each antenna has a diameter of 6 meters and will rotate in the direction of the sun to monitor solar activity.

Coordinated observations of all antennas can form a virtual super-large-aperture antenna, thereby achieving high-precision imaging of solar eruptions.


1. Leaked Google Salary Data (English)

A document leaked on Google’s intranet contains detailed employee salary data. This article sorts out the maximum and minimum wages, bonuses and stock returns for different types of jobs.

In 2022, Google employees will earn a median salary of $279,802, one of the highest paid companies in the tech industry.

2. Dan Abramov announced his departure from the Meta team (English)

Renowned front-end programmer Dan Abramov wrote a 15-tweet series explaining why he resigned from Meta to leave the React team. (Contributed by @hacker0limbo )

3. Use Map/WeakMap to process DOM nodes (English)

Map and WeakMap are new data structures in the JS language, and many people don’t know their usage. The author gives a practical example.

4. Inheritance and composition (English)

If you want to extend a class, you can use inheritance or you can use composition. This article discusses their differences and where to use them.

5. The impact of CPU on branch code (English)

This article analyzes how the CPU processes the code, and then discusses how to write the branch statement (if), so that the execution efficiency is relatively high.

6. Return value type of Object.keys() (English)

This article is a popular science article on TypeScript, explaining why the return value type of the Object.keys() method is string[] instead of (keyof T)[] .

7. NixOS Installation Quick Guide (English)

NixOS is a Linux distribution that has a system configuration file that records installed software. As long as there is this file, the exact same system can be restored.

8. This blog is hosted on my Android phone (English)

The author introduces how to use an Android phone as a server to host a website.


1. Aimless.js

A JS library that generates various random values.

2. Primo

An open source content management system (CMS) developed as an alternative to WordPress, based on the JavaScript-based Svelte framework.

3. Link Redirect Trace

A browser plugin that displays all redirects for the current page.

4. Clang.js

Run C/C++ code directly in the browser. (Contributed by @luoxuhai )

5. mess-reader

An Epub reader for web pages that can be used offline. (Contributed by @daGaiGuanYu )

6. Automa

A Chrome browser plugin for automating tasks. In addition, Chrome has built-in user behavior recording . (Contributed by @dllen )

7. Rickrack (12 volumes of fireworks)

The open-source palette software provides a variety of color matching functions and is suitable for various design scenarios. (Contributed by @eigenmiao )

8. iFrame Resizer

A JS library for controlling the iframe window, which can adjust the height and width of the iframe window according to the content of the loaded web page, and provide many other functions.

9. Standard Ebooks

Epub e-book generation tool, see tutorial .

10. Tablane

An open source web software for task management. It is actually a list management software, and anything that can be represented as a list can be managed with it.


1. Starlink satellite coverage map

The website shows the location of Starlink satellites in real time, and there are currently more than 4,000 of them.

2. GhostlyStock

This website is a search engine for AI pictures, and all the pictures found are generated by artificial intelligence.

The idea is good, but there are few pictures, and the search effect is not ideal.

3. ChatGPT Chinese Online

The usage page of ChatGPT, and collected related resources. (Contributed by @jqsl2012 )

4. Global Music Sports Encyclopedia

The baby at home learns percussion, and often needs to search for some tunes on the Youtube platform, watch and learn. The author wrote this WeChat applet, which can be searched and downloaded. (Contributed by @rmrf )


AI-assisted Python learning site to practice coding online. (Contributed by @stanxing )


1. The longest line of sight

On July 16, 2016, a photographer took a photo (below) in the Pyrenees in Spain at an altitude of 2,820 meters. You can see the Alps in the distance.

The two sites are separated by 443 kilometers, certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest sight line in the world, and no one has seen further than this.

2. The Great Wall of Barbie

After the birth of generative AI, there are only unexpected pictures, and there is no picture that cannot be generated.

Recently, when the movie “Barbie” was released, a foreign architect couldn’t help thinking, what would it look like if the Great Wall was transformed into a Barbie style? Below is the picture generated by AI.


1. How polyester is back in fashion

Polyester (scientific name: polyester fiber) is a chemical fiber that was born in the 1920s and was once popular.

At that time, people regarded it as a kind of magic fabric.

It won’t wrinkle, so you don’t have to iron it, and it’s soft and easy to color, producing a variety of brightly colored fabrics, perfect for photo shoots and TV.

What’s more, it’s cheap, doesn’t wear out easily, and lasts a long time.

However, by the 1980s, it suddenly fell out of fashion.

The reason is that it tends to snag and pill, and over time, the surface becomes fuzzy.

On top of that, it’s not breathable, so you’ll get stuffy and stink with sweat over time. People have gradually developed an impression that only people with low incomes wear polyester clothing.

The price of polyester has plummeted as a result. Just when people thought that polyester clothing would be eliminated, things changed.

After entering the 21st century, fitness has become more and more popular. People like to run outdoors, exercise in the gym, climb mountains and hike. Sportswear companies quickly realized that polyester is very suitable for outdoor clothing, because it is not breathable, so it has a good thermal insulation effect; after modification, it does not absorb water, so it can dry quickly; So it’s strong enough for outdoor environments.

Once the market for polyester re-emerged, sportswear companies further improved polyester using the latest material science.

They weave polyester into the structure of wool, making it look like a wool material, but lighter, more insulating, and more water-wicking. This made polyester quickly occupy the outdoor clothing market.

One of the disadvantages of polyester is that it repels water, which means it is not suitable for direct contact with the human body, and it will sweat profusely if it is directly worn on the skin, which is very uncomfortable.

The researchers set out to see if it was possible to increase the water absorption of polyester. After several years of hard work, we finally successfully launched the polyester fiber that absorbs and wicks sweat. The method used is to add a round hole in the middle of the fiber to make the fiber hollow, so it has a capillary water absorption effect and can drain away sweat.

Once the water absorption problem is solved, polyester is very suitable for sports tank tops and sports underwear. It’s thin, light, durable, odor-free, and machine washable.

With the increase of the sports population and the price advantage of polyester, today, polyester is the world’s number one textile fabric, accounting for more than half of the global fiber consumption, which is about twice that of the second cotton. The annual output is close to 58 million tons, more than 10 times that of the 1980s. No one complains about how it looks and feels anymore, in fact people have grown to like polyester clothing too much.



In any field, deliberate practice is what makes top talent and what top talent uses to stay ahead. Deliberately training yourself is absolutely essential if you want to be a professional.

The Ultimate Guide to Deliberate Practice


If you’re a senior engineer or a senior manager, everything you do has a high opportunity cost, so the job you choose has to matter.

“The Road to a Senior Engineer”


There is a growing sense that the value of adulthood is declining and that the age of adulthood is being pushed back. As a result, our society is becoming more and more childish.

“Infantileism is the norm”


In the past, we learned the language of computers, and later we let computers learn our languages.

Stephen Wolfram , renowned computer scientist

this week in history

Saudi’s New Future City (2022 #217)

Ad blockers go too far (2021 #167)

I don’t want you to remember my face (2020 #117)

Complex systems cannot be maintained, Jurassic Park must fail (2019 #67)


document information

  • Copyright Notice: Free Reprint-Non-Commercial-Non-Derivative-Attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 License )
  • Date of publication: July 28, 2023

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