How data streams work (AKA queue design)

Good blog post by Timothy Downs on how queues and data streams work with a layman example at https://hackernoon.com/introduction-to-redis-streams-133f1c375cd3

Quoting the example here

We have a very long book which we would like many people to read. Some can read during their lunch hour, some read on Monday nights, others take it home for the weekend. The book is so long that at any point in time, we have hundreds of people reading it.

Readers of our book need to keep track of where they are up to in our book, so they keep track of their location by putting a bookmark in the book. Some readers read very slow, leaving their bookmark close to the beginning. Other readers give up halfway, leaving theirs in the middle and never coming back to it.

To make matters even worse, we are adding pages to this book every day. Nobody can actually finish this book.

Eventually our book fills up with bookmarks, until finally one day it is too heavy to carry and nobody can read it any more.

A very clever person then decided that readers should not be allowed to place bookmarks inside the book, and must instead write down the page they are up to on their diary.

This is the design of Apache Kafka, and it is a very resilient design. Readers are often not responsible citizens and often will not clean up after themselves, and the book may be the log of all the important events that happen in our company.

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