Announcing RethinkDB 2.3.6: the first release under community governance

We’re pleased to announce the availability of RethinkDB 2.3.6, the first release since RethinkDB transitioned to community governance. This update includes a range of bugfixes and stability improvements. For a complete list of changes in this update, you can refer to the release notes.

After the company behind RethinkDB shut down last year, a group of community members and former employees devised a transition plan to ensure that the database would live on as an open source software project. That effort culminated earlier this year when we officially joined the Linux Foundation and relicensed RethinkDB under the permissive ASLv2.

Today’s update is an important milestone, as it is the first fully community-driven RethinkDB release. Version 2.3.6 is also the first release that we’ve issued under our new license. Although development on RethinkDB never really halted, it took some time to spin up the infrastructure and processes that we needed to facilitate new releases. Now that we’re back in action, we’re looking forward to rolling out more regular updates.

We are already working towards the release of RethinkDB 2.4, our next major version. We have several new features already implemented for version 2.4, including support for table modifier functions. A modifier function lets you provide an arbitrary ReQL expression for the database to execute on every write operation that affects a table’s contents. You can use modifier functions for performing validation or automatically adding fields to new documents.

Please note that we’re using a new signing key for the packages in our APT repository. Before you upgrade to the latest packages on Debian or Ubuntu, you will need to fetch the new public key (0742918E5C8DA04A):

$ wget -qO- https://download.rethinkdb.com/apt/pubkey.gpg | sudo apt-key add -v -"

Get involved

As an open source project that is developed and financially supported by its users, RethinkDB welcomes your participation. If there’s a feature or improvement that you would like to see, you can help us make it a reality. If you’d like to join us, there are many ways that you can get involved:

For more details about the project’s status and roadmap, you can watch the recordings of our latest community meetings on the RethinkDB YouTube channel. You can also keep an eye out for our upcoming appearance on the The Changelog podcast.

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RethinkDB joins The Linux Foundation

When the company behind RethinkDB shut down last year, a group of former employees and members of the community formed an interim leadership team and began devising a plan to perpetuate the RethinkDB open-source software project by transitioning it to a community-driven endeavor. Today’s announcement by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) marks the culmination of that effort. The CNCF purchased the rights to the RethinkDB source code and contributed it to The Linux Foundation under the permissive ASLv2 license.

RethinkDB is alive and well: active development can continue without disruption. Users can continue to run RethinkDB in production with the expectation that it will receive updates. The website, GitHub organization, and social media accounts will also continue operating. The interim leadership team will work with the community to establish formal governance for the project. Under the aegis of The Linux Foundation, the project has strong institutional support and the capacity to accept donations.

Over the past several months, members of the community have expressed interest in making donations to fund ongoing RethinkDB development. We’re now equipped to accept those donations and put the money we raise to good use. Stripe has generously agreed to match up to $25,000 in donations. You can donate here to support RethinkDB’s future as an open-source project.

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RethinkDB is shutting down

Today I have sad news to share. After more than seven years of development, the company behind RethinkDB is shutting down. We worked very hard to make RethinkDB successful, but in spite of all our efforts we were ultimately unable to build a sustainable business. There is a lot of information to unpack – over the next few months, I’ll write about lessons learned so the startup community can benefit from our mistakes.

I just installed RethinkDB 2.3.5 on a new laptop and took a few minutes to slow down and play with the product. I’m very proud of what we built alongside our community – RethinkDB’s technology more often feels like magic, and I hope it will continue to play an important role in advancing the state of the art in database technology.

We’re working with members of our community to develop a continuity plan for RethinkDB and Horizon. Both projects will continue to be available, distributed under open source licenses. We hope to continue our open development process with a larger community of contributors.

We’d like your help to ensure RethinkDB’s future as an open-source project! We don’t have all of the details figured out, but we wanted to be as open as possible during this process. If you’re interested in contributing, please join us in the #open-rethinkdb channel of our public Slack group. You can expect to see development slow down in the meantime, but everything will continue to be available on rethinkdb.com and horizon.io. We will post updates on our blog and Twitter as we continue working things out.

With the company shutting down, we also wanted to find a new home for our team. We looked at a number of options, and were deeply impressed by Stripe – in particular, their commitment to building better developer tools, contributing to the open source community, and helping technology companies to scale faster and more effectively. We’re excited that the members of our engineering team will be joining Stripe, where we can put our expertise to work solving new problems and building infrastructure for developers around the world. Between now and when the team joins Stripe, they will help us with with our efforts to establish a sustainable future for RethinkDB as an independent open-source project.

Thank you for standing with us over the years.

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Use the RethinkDB C# driver in PowerShell on Linux

PowerShell is a scripting and command line shell built on top of the .NET runtime. Although it was originally created for Windows, Microsoft recently introduced an open source version of PowerShell powered by the cross-platform compatible .NET Core. Users can now download and run PowerShell on Linux and Mac OS X.

One of PowerShell’s strengths is its interoperability with the .NET ecosystem. PowerShell can load types and methods from .NET assemblies, making it possible for PowerShell scripts to incorporate functionality that is implemented in practically any C# library. That capability also makes PowerShell a great environment for interactively exploring C# APIs.

When Microsoft announced the availability of PowerShell on Linux earlier this month, I tried it out in a Docker container on my home Ubuntu server. As an experiment, I had it load up the C# RethinkDB driver developed by Brian Chavez. Using the driver, I was able to instantiate a RethinkDB database connection and perform queries from the comfortable confines of the interactive PowerShell command line environment.

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RethinkDB meets Pokémon Go: computing the shortest path between Pokéstops with ReQL

Mobile developer Niantic recently brought Nintendo’s popular Pokémon franchise to smartphones with an appealing augmented reality game called Pokémon Go. The much-anticipated launch was super effective, attracting an unprecedented audience. Around the world, aspiring Pokémon trainers are taking to the streets and hitting gyms, striving to be the very best–like no one ever was.

Here at RethinkDB, we’re having a blast(oise?) trying to catch ‘em all. We ventured out of the office last week to join the vast multitude of Pokémon enthusiasts playing the game in downtown Mountain View. In the interest of increasing the efficiency of our future Pokémon adventures, we began to consider how we could use RethinkDB to determine the best route for hitting all the local Pokéstops.

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