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· 10 min read
Yiming

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"This book is a classic. Treat it with respect".

The architect of my team said it when handing me The Dragon Book. It was around 15 years ago when I accidentally got into building language compilers in the early stage of my career. Unfortunately, I fell asleep while reading it at night and dropped it badly on the floor. I hope he didn't notice the small dent on the cover when I returned it.

· 13 min read
Yiming

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Authorization is a special topic for software development. You'll get many theories about different patterns if you do a search: their pros and cons. However, it's surprisingly difficult to find concrete examples to follow. It's mainly because the detailed approach highly depends on your specific application: its domain models, unique security requirements, and its choice of framework.

This post aims to fill the gap by targeting Prisma - the most popular ORM for TypeScript developers. By narrowing it down to a specific toolkit and language, we can explain the concepts more efficiently using code instead of words.

· 7 min read
Yiming

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SQL databases have been powering the web since their inception. The combination of strict schema, ACID transactions, and strong integrity makes it still the best storage choice for many apps even today. Database systems, albeit sounding unfathomable and dull, have been a highly vibrant domain in the past few years. Lots of talents are devoted to it, open source projects are created one after another, companies have been striving to build profitable businesses, and VCs have been making bets on those who look like the next unicorns.

Under the flourishing surface, the new generation of modern SQL databases is renovating this 50-year-old technology and gradually reshaping how we build web applications - what we do with it, how we manage it, and the way we program against it. This series of articles tries to explore this topic from multiple fronts, including:

Now we've come to the last part of this series. Let's get hold of the hottest trend of the year - AI, and see how modern databases enable easier development of AI-powered applications.

· 12 min read
Yiming

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Prisma is a beloved ORM for NodeJS developers. As with every popular open-source project, it has a long wishlist. Here are two prominent examples:

They are about the same thing and have received at least 1000 reactions in total. The ask is for modeling an inheritance hierarchy in the database. ORM’s responsibility is to fix the gap between the two world views: "table + relations" and "object-oriented". Polymorphism is an obvious missing piece in its mission.

· 10 min read
Yiming

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The security of most applications depends on two pillars: authentication (AuthN) and authorization (AuthZ). The former checks if the user is who one claims to be, and the latter governs what one can do in the system.

Authentication is a well-understood problem. After many years of evolution, the industry has summarized clear patterns you can adopt and best practices to follow. You'll find mature libraries and services available for all major programming languages, whether with credentials, magic links, OTP, MFA, or OAuth. Once you settle on a solution, it tends to be stable and rarely needs much change over time.

Authorization, on the contrary, is a whole different story. Concepts like RBAC and ABAC are well-known and widely accepted. However, how to implement them is vaguely defined, leaving developers a lot of room for creativity and mistakes. Authorization is a hard problem because it's often deeply coupled with the unique characteristics of your application, making it hard to have a one-size-fits-all solution.

· 7 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

SQL databases have been powering the web since their inception. The combination of strict schema, ACID transactions, and strong integrity makes it still the best storage choice for many apps even today. Database systems, albeit sounding unfathomable and dull, have been a highly vibrant domain in the past few years. Lots of talents are devoted to it, open source projects are created one after another, companies have been striving to build profitable businesses, and VCs have been making bets on those who look like the next unicorns.

Under the flourishing surface, the new generation of modern SQL databases is renovating this 50-year-old technology and gradually reshaping how we build web applications - what we do with it, how we manage it, and the way we program against it. This series of articles tries to explore this topic from multiple fronts, including:

Let’s discuss how DX (developer experience) is becoming increasingly crucial in database designs.