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Streaming Systems by Tyler Akidau, Reuven Lax, Slava Chernyak

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Chapter 6. Streams & tables

You have reached the part of the book where we talk about streams and tables. Astute observers may now wish to point out that I said, rather emphatically, back in my original Streaming 101 blog post, that I would no longer talk about streams. You are correct! I have since been convinced otherwise. But before you throw this book in the trash, a) consider recycling it instead and b) hear me out.

You know how in physics class they teach you a bunch of classical mechanics stuff like Newtonian theory etc, and then once you think you’ve more or less mastered that, they come along and tell you it was all bunk, and classical physics only tells you part of the picture, and there’s actually this other thing called quantum mechanics that really explains how things work at a super low level, but it didn’t make sense to complicate matters up front by trying to teach you both at once, and oh wait we also haven’t fully reconciled everything between the two yet so just squint at it and trust us that it all makes sense somehow? Well this is just like that, except your brain will hurt less because physics is way harder than data processing, and you won’t have to squint at anything and pretend it makes sense because it actually does come together beautifully in the end, which is really cool.

Disclaimers aside, the point of this chapter is to try to describe the relationship between the Beam Model (as we’ve described it in the book up to this point) and the theory of “streams ...

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