Standard and Non-Standard Evaluation in R

Kevin Feasel

2019-04-04

R

John Mount explains Standard Evaluation versus Non-Standard Evaluation in R:

In standard (or value oriented evaluation) code you type in is taken to be variable names, functions, names, operators, and even numeric literal values. String values or literals need extra marks, such as quotes.

John walks us through several examples along the way. At the end, John is a major proponent of Standard Evaluation over Non-Standard Evaluation.

Confluent Platform 5.2 Released

Mau Barra announces Confluent Platform 5.2:

Confluent Platform 5.2 represents a significant milestone in our efforts across three key dimensions:
1. It allows you to use the entire Confluent Platform free forever in single-broker Kafka clusters, so you are freer than ever to start building new event streaming applications right away. We are also bringing librdkafka 1.0 in order to bring our C/C++, Python, Go and .NET clients closer to parity with the Java client.
2. It adds critical enhancements to Confluent Control Center that will help you meet your event streaming SLAs in distributed Apache Kafka environments at greater scale.
3. With our latest version of Confluent Replicator, you can now seamlessly stream events across on-prem and public cloud deployments.

The top item is quite interesting: a free developer license and not just a 30-day trial.

DW Databases in PolyBase

I look at some databases people tend to ignore:

Today is a fairly short post covering a trio of databases you might not even know you have: DWConfiguration, DWDiagnostics, and DWQueue. The PolyBase installer drops all three of these on your instance. Let’s go in ascending order of the number of useful tables.

There are very few useful (to us) tables when using on-prem SQL Server as opposed to APS, but there are a few of note.

Managing Kubernetes Resources

Vincent-Philippe Lauzon takes us through some thoughts on Kubernetes resource allocation:

In this article we will look at how to inform Kubernetes about pods’ resources and how we can optimize for different scenarios.

A scenario that typically comes up is when a cluster has a bunch of pods where a lot of them are dormant, i.e. they don’t consume CPU or memory. Do we have to carve them a space they won’t use most of the time? The answer is no. As usual, it’s safer to provision capacity for a workload than relying on optimistic heuristic that not all workloads will require resources at the same time. So, we can configure Kubernetes optimistically or pessimistically.

Read the whole thing.

Using the Cosmos DB Change Feed

Hasan Savran (who just became a Microsoft MVP, so congrats to him) takes us through the Cosmos DB Change Feed:

Azure Cosmos DB Change Feed exposes Cosmos DB Logs to outside of CosmosDB. CosmosDB notifies you immediately when there is any change in your database. It supports all Inserts and Updates, Delete will be available soon. You can always use soft delete to catch delete events if you need to.

     By knowing what is changed in your database, you can trigger all kind of events and you can make your application work very smart. SQL Server has similar functionality but like many other features Log shipping is usually blocked by DBAs or the company policies. In CosmosDB, you don’t need to do anything to enable Change Feed feature! It’s already enabled, all you need to do is to configure it. Easiest way to catch change feed events is Azure Functions.

When I hear someone describe the change feed, I immediately imagine it as a Kafka topic.

Power BI: Comparing Web.Contents and File.Contents Performance

Chris Webb compares the performance of File.Contents and Web.Contents:

In my last post I mentioned the Power Query engine’s persistent cache, which in some scenarios caches the data read from a data source when a query is refreshed. Another important nugget of information that Ehren von Lehe of the Power Query dev team mentioned in a post on the Power Query MSDN forum recently is the fact that if you use File.Contents to get data from a file then the persistent cache is not used, but if you use Web.Contents to get data from the same file then the persistent cache is used. I guess the thinking here is that there is no point creating an on-disk cache containing the contents of a file that is already on disk.

Chris takes us through a couple of unexpected twists, so check it out.

Getting the Last Actual Execution Plan for a Query

Pedro Lopes takes us through a new dynamic management function in SQL Server 2019 CTP 2.4:

In CTP 2.4 not all actual execution plans will be available, you can see more details on that here.

For an upcoming CTP version, all queries will be available with the equivalent of the actual execution plan. At least those where the plan was cached in the first place, or those where the plan has not been evicted from cache.

That caveat aside, I’m happy with this.

Finding Dependency Clusters

Michael J. Swart performs cluster analysis with tables:

That ball of mush in the middle is hard to look at, but the smaller disconnected bits aren’t! Just like Ben, I want to work on those smaller pieces too! And just like the lonely tables we looked at last week, these small isolated components are also good candidates for extracting from SQL Server.

The script looks at joins in execution plans, which is a rather clever way of doing this when you don’t have a comprehensive set of foreign key constraints.

Deleting In Batches

Andy Mallon explains why deleting in batches is a good idea:

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of planning your data purges. Today, let’s look at the simplest requirement for purging data: Keep data for X days after it’s created. There are tons of cases where this is the rule. Log data, telemetry data, even transactional data is often retained based on X days since it is created.

Given how common this scenario is, let’s talk in a bit more detail about I like to go about deleting it. Deleting data is easy, right? DELETE t FROM dbo.Transactions AS t WHERE CreateDate <= DATEADD(dd,-90,GETDATE());

This part of the series covers the why; the next part will cover the how.

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