What is Cowboy?

Small overview with videocap from Phoenix Core Team Member about Cowboy 
12 September 2017   392

What is Cowboy?

Cowboy is an HTTP server for Erlang/OTP with support for the HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2 and Websocket protocols.

Cowboy aims to provide a complete HTTP stack. This includes the implementation of the HTTP RFCs but also any directly related standards, like Websocket or Server-Sent Events.

In this talk, Gary Rennie, a Phoenix Core Team Member, looked at the changes in Cowboy 2 and how we can use it with Plug and Phoenix by using a custom Plug adapter. He then looked at how this can be done using a library and integrating it with Plug. The same technique was then applied to Phoenix, writing a custom handler in a library and then using it with Phoenix. He also explored how HTTP/2 can be used to build a new Phoenix Transport, allowing Phoenix PubSub to work with a bidirectional HTTP/2 channel, investigate how existing transports work, and what changes are required to implement a custom transport.

Learn more at developer's website.

Aeternity and Erlang unite forces to address blockchain scalability

The partnership will strive to effectively serve billions of potential users
29 January 2018   270

Last week distributed computing platform aeternity partnered with fault-tolerant systems developer Erlang Solutions. Aeternity is going to scale its distributed network with fault-tolerant systems with the assistance of Erlang. It will allow to serve billions of users to further drive the adoption of blockchain technology. In addition to scalability, the partnership aims to address consensus-related mechanisms.

To achieve the scalability, aeternity brings in the concept of “state channels”: because only the people affected by the transaction need to know about it, then the parties instantiate some state on a blockchain and send signed updates to this state between each other. Thus, transactions are conducted as fast as information can travel, and channels stay independent from each other which in turn allow parallel transactions.

Regarding the consensus mechanism, it is a hybrid of Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake: Proof-of-Work determines block-order, while the hybrid algorithm will determine the answers of oracle questions and system variables.

As for Erlang, the blockchain itself, the contract language, the virtual machine, the oracle and governance mechanisms are written in Erlang. The specifics of the language is that it allows to write code that can respond to many requests and doesn’t crash. On top of that, the servers with the highest uptime in the world are based on Erlang.

The launch of main network is scheduled for Q2 of 2018.

The users on Reddit reacted positively on the news about the partnership some gave predictions:

@murt «Aeternity has been one of the best kept secrets in crypto but looks like it's starting to break out now. Will be $1B market cap in no time».

@davidsho1 «That's huge partnership. Erlang solutions processes for billions of users. Possibly biggest news in blockchain period. Too bad noone knows aeternity. Only a matter of time before word gets out. 100$ aeternity on mainnet very likely. This project has enormous potential».

@izroda «AE bull run, important new partnership, what more can you want from a Saturday».