A new newsletter on database engines, streaming systems, query planning, compilers, incremental view maintenance, benchmarking, developer tools and whatever else nerd-snipes me this week

Dan Luu has been trying for months to persuade me that I should start a paid newsletter so that I can spend more time researching and writing interesting things. He hardly ever even mentions the existence of his own private patreon posts and still manages to make decent pocket money out of them, so this doesn't seem like an unreasonable idea.

I produce a lot of writing that mostly just gets sent to friends or left to rot on my hard drive. When I get around to turning something into a blog post it tends to end up on the Hacker News front page. It still seems kind of crazy to me that anyone might want to pay for my writing, but it also used to seem crazy to me that people would pay for my code. Maybe I'm just not very good at capitalism.

So I'm going to give this a go - any github sponsors at any tier will get access to all the new posts. Using github instead of substack is maybe a weird choice, but I want to be able to embed katex and interactive demos in the posts and provide code alongside for examples and case studies. I also expect to be releasing more open-source software this year as a side-effect of doing less consulting.

Here are the kinds of things that I might be working on and writing about this year:

I've spent the last 7 years building database engines, query planners, compilers, developer tools and interfaces for Materialize, RelationalAI, LogicBlox and Eve, as well as various smaller consulting gigs and personal research projects. I expect to be informative when talking about those subjects, and at least entertaining when talking about other subjects.

Some of the posts will also be published on this blog. Others will be exclusive to the newsletter. I expect the schedule to consist of bursts of activity interspersed with weeks of frustrated silence.

It may seem strange, but this is one of the most frightening things I've done in years. I can only see that as a good sign.