With Gripen your pilots have everything they need to fly, fight and come home safely.
Photo: Sören Nielsen
You can download the calendar here.
With Gripen your pilots have everything they need to fly, fight and come home safely.
Photo: Sören Nielsen
You can download the calendar here.
A few days ago we published a blog post, “The conundrum of BI/aggregate queries on MongoDB”, where we analyzed and measured some performance issues that happen on MongoDB with aggregate/OLAP/DW type of queries. We also showed that if we would transform the JSON data into a relational form and query it with SQL on a PostgreSQL database, performance can be up to orders of magnitude better. Impressive!
However, this requires a significant effort. The DDL needs to be defined –and this may be non-trivial if the origin data is of high variety. Also the data needs to be migrated, and while there are many ETL tools for that, it is still an involved process. And won’t happen in real-time! What if I require real-time statistics? What if my origin data adds a new property that is not reflected in the DDL? Do I need to sacrifice the “schema-less“ness of MongoDB for being able to perform analytic queries?
With ToroDB Stampede you will see how your MongoDB collections are transformed, in real time, to a relational structure in PostgreSQL. From there, you can run your native SQL queries on the data and use your favorite Business Intelligence tools, without requiring any ETL or change in your current database infrastructure.
So how does it work? It’s very simple:
And this is where the fun begins. Now you have all your MongoDB data in perfectly shaped tables in a PostgreSQL database! Visualization and data exploration are greatly improved, and, more importantly, SQL querying, native SQL querying, is at your hand! Use it to connect to your favorite BI tools. Use it to migrate off of MongoDB to PostgreSQL. Use it to have a SQL replica. Unleash your unstructured data, into a relational database! See the example below to understand how ToroDB generates the tables and columns out of JSON documents, and check the documentation for more information.
Surely enough, performance matters. Does ToroDB Stampede deliver on the promise of 10-100x faster queries? There’s only one way to find it out. Benchmark time! The following benchmarks used one or more (when MongoDB was used in a sharded configuration) AWS i2.xlarge instances (4 vCPUs, 30GB RAM, 800Gb local SSD). We used a XFS filesystem and basic tunning was done on both MongoDB and PostgreSQL configuration. For each dataset, we manually created 6 different queries, that try to extract business value out of the information. MongoDB queries quere done via the Aggregation Framework and Stampede ones with regular (Postgres) SQL. All the tests were run 5 times, using the first two to warm up the caches and the numbers show the average of the last three runs.
Based on the Github Archive we performed an initial benchmark over a 500Gb dataset. We run 6 different queries (named A through F) which you may check here: MongoDB (A, B, C, D, E, F) and Stampede/PostgreSQL (A, B, C, D, E, F).
Up to 57x faster! All queries are significantly faster than MongoDB, and only one (A) is slightly slower compared to a 3-node MongoDB cluster. Trying with a smaller dataset reveals even bigger differences. This is likely due to a much better buffer management in PostgreSQL:
Woah! 267x faster! Query D takes 2,400 seconds on a single MongoDB node (about 20 minutes), 383 seconds on a three-node MongoDB shard (better, but still more than 6 minutes) and just 9 seconds on a single node PostgreSQL.
Here both MongoDB and Stampede had an index on both the _id and actor.login fields. Stampede will automatically replicate any index created in MongoDB (no action required on your side). We also wanted to try whether indexes were being used and what impact they had on the performance:
From the results we can conclude that: a) PostgreSQL results are almost the same, which is consistent with the assumption that indexes are usually not required for aggregate queries; b) MongoDB worsened the results for query A without indexes… but significantly improved query time for query D, when the index is removed! This may probably an issue with the query planner.
We also benchmarked another data set, based on the flights stats information from Transtats. Similar aggregate queries were written. Data size is smaller (50Gb) which leads to smaller differences:
Still, results are consistently faster even when pitched against the three-node MongoDB sharded cluster. And up to 11x faster queries, which is a very significant improvement! While developing Stampede we have performed benchmarks where we have observed more than 2000x faster queries. Of course, this may be a degraded case for MongoDB and surely Stampede does not perform always as well on every single circumstance.
So the recommendation is always the same: please don’t trust our numbers. Do your own. Benchmark Stampede, and please let us know the results.
If you need more information or you just simply would like to give us your opinion, please feel free to comment below or join the discussion on Hacker News! Thank you.
Pequeno exercício para o leitor:
P.S. A culpa é da França
You will, by now, be familiar with the argument: that Donald Trump’s triumph in the American presidential election represents a kind of social and political apocalypse. That his victory came at the hands of fundamentally irrational, bigoted, disgusting extreme right-wingers beyond the pale of civilised values. It is axiomatic that there can’t be any good reason behind voting for him, so it is assumed that 60 million Americans were duped by ‘fake news’ which must now be suppressed altogether.
In fact, the real ‘fake news’ was pumped out relentlessly by publications such as the New York Times, CNN, the Guardian and many other similar left-wing outlets which descended into hysterical denunciation of the voters’ choice. They serially distorted and misrepresented what Trump and his head of strategy, Stephen Bannon, had said, accusing them falsely of anti-Semitism and smearing them by association with the white supremacists who had leeched on to their campaign.
This Pavlovian reaction of demon-isation, character assassination and censor-ship, which also characterised the left’s reaction to the Brexit vote, is always caused by overwhelming fear. Of what are the left so afraid? Might their hysteria arise from their deepest nightmare: that they actually have much in common with those they consider the acme of right-wing evil?
Consider. Trump is a protectionist and against free trade. So is the far-left Democrat Bernie Sanders. So is Jeremy Corbyn. Trump is against globalisation and outsourcing jobs to cheaper markets. So is the British left. Labour, the trade unions and the Greens want to stop the dumping of Chinese steel; Unite has said major infrastructure projects should be tendered only to British firms.
Want another figure to hate? Take a bow, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen. She has attacked the ‘draconian policy of austerity’ that favours ‘globalised elites at the expense of the people’ and wants to nationalise foreign companies and banks.
Sound familiar? Thousands of left-wing activists marched against austerity outside last month’s Tory party conference, and Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell wants to nationalise all the banks, railways and utility companies. At the same time, McDonnell is struggling to differentiate the party from the government’s economic policies, backing the Conservative proposal to increase the threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate and trying to paper over Labour’s support for Philip Hammond’s debt-fuelled infrastructure plans by cavilling at ‘giveaways and gimmicks’.
On foreign policy, Trump is said to be isolationist. So is the left. Ever since the Iraq debacle, the left and the Poujadist right have made common cause in their determination never again to intervene in ‘foreign wars’. Thus Labour refused to back air strikes in Syria, prompting Hillary Benn to warn his party in vain against its isolationist Iraq War complex.
Trump thinks Nato is too costly and outdated. Jeremy Corbyn has said of Nato: ‘I’d rather we weren’t in it’ and his communications director, Seumas Milne, has written that ‘far from keeping the peace, Nato is a threat to it’.
Trump is accused of cosying up to Vladimir Putin. Last year, Corbyn was accused of ‘making excuses’ for Putin’s incursions into Ukraine after the Labour leader suggested Nato’s ‘excessive and obsessive expansion’ was to blame for the crisis.
Think that championing uncontrolled immigration is the left’s defining issue of conscience? Well, the libertarian right believes in relaxing immigration controls and encouraging open borders. A recent article in the left-wing Independent lavished praise on a report calling on Brexit Britain to retain free movement of people. The authors? The right-wing ‘free market fundamentalists’ of the Institute for Economic Affairs.
Think only lefties are against the ‘war on drugs’? Think again. The front page of the free-market Adam Smith Institute website currently promotes a ripe piece of drug legalisation propaganda.
Like the populist right, the hard left is reacting against a world which the centrist establishment has created. This is the world of globalisation, liberal universalism, corporatism, managerialism, the deliberate erasing of historical and traditional cultural bonds.
In repudiating this world, Corbyn/Sanders/Trump connect with more people than Clinton/Blair/Osborne. For all their horror at Corbyn and Sanders, Labour ‘moderates’ are paralysed by the fact that the populist insurgency is against the world they themselves have helped make. And they have no other song to sing. All they can do is demonise others to tell themselves they are different.
Ludicrously, Trump is said to have ‘dog-whistled’ anti-Semitism by criticising the corporate financial world for riding roughshod over people’s interests. Yet Bernie Sanders also claimed Hillary Clinton was controlled by Wall Street. No one accused him of an anti-Semitic dog-whistle.
The supposed clincher that reveals Trump’s inner fascist is that David Duke, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has voiced support for him, along with a rabble of neo-Nazi and white supremacist types. Trump is therefore guilty by association.
Yet the Occupy protesters against corporate finance, endorsed by a galaxy of left-wing luminaries, were also supported by David Duke. He called them the ‘Occupy Zionist Wall Street’ protesters and claimed: ‘The Zionist media has their paid whores condemning the demonstrations across America against these criminal banks.’ So does that also make Noam Chomsky, Kanye West, Billy Bragg and other Occupy supporters white supremacists and anti-Semites by association?
The truth is that the people who have now galvanised David Duke and his neo-Nazi ilk in the US and Britain are not Trump or the Brexiteers but the left themselves. Far-right fringe groups wither and disappear if ignored. Instead, the left have provided them with publicity beyond their wildest dreams. Worse still, by falsely claiming that racist and fascist views are now represented at the highest political level the left have effectively legitimised true bigotry and brought it into the mainstream of public discourse.
And all because the left has become unhinged over its own reflection in the mirror.
Legislators have drafted a bill that will boost Free Software on multiple levels within the Russian Federation's public sector.
The draft, approved by the Russian Federation's Duma (lower chamber) in mid-October, requires the public sector to prioritise Free Software over proprietary alternatives, gives precedence to local IT businesses that offer Free Software for public tenders, and recognises the need to encourage collaboration with the global network of Free Software organisations and communities.
The text enforces prioritising Free Software over proprietary alternatives by requiring public administrations to formally justify any purchase of proprietary software. The purchase will be considered unjustified if a Free Software solution exists that satisfies the list of technical specifications and standards. In addition, all IT purchase agreements in the public sphere must be registered in a dedicated registrar and detail the overall quantity and price of both purchased proprietary and Free Software.
In order to encourage local businesses, IT companies that distribute and provide Free Software products and services will by default receive bonus points in public tenders. With this measure, legislators intend to reduce the administration's dependency on foreign IT providers of proprietary software.
Despite the above, the bill also recognises the universality of Free Software. As the legislators acknowledge in explanatory notes appended to the text, the concept of "Russian Free Software" is meaningless due to the global nature of Free Software. The text recognises the need to support Russian Free Software companies in order to better integrate into global Free Software communities.
"[...]законопроект предлагает тем самым уйти от понятия «российское СПО», поскольку наборы программных кодов, открытых по разного вида свободным лицензиям, представляют собой по сути единую мировую платформу[...]"
[...]the draft bill suggests to withhold the concept of "Russian Free Software", because the source code available under different open licences represents in essence one global platform[...]
Another interesting aspect of the law is how the authors of the bill have made an extra effort to ensure the language used in the draft are correct. For one, only software carrying licenses that allow the four freedoms may be legally labelled as "Free Software":
"Свободное программное обеспечение (СПО) - программное обеспечение, имеющее открытый исходный код и распространяемое по открытым лицензиям на условиях специального лицензионного договора, на основании которого пользователь получает неограниченное право на его установку, запуск, а также свободное использование, изучение, распространение и изменение (модификацию) по своему усмотрению в любых, не запрещенных законом целях."
"Free Software - software which is open source and distributed under open licences based on special licensing contract terms, allowing a user unrestricted right to install, run, use, study, distribute and modify it freely, according to one's needs and for purposes that are not restricted by law."
Secondly, every time the bill text refers to the most famous free operating system, it refers to it as "GNU/Linux", not simply "Linux". This indicates an awareness not commonly found amongst authors of national legislations.
"The bill is an example of public software procurement done right." says Polina Malaja, Policy Analyst and Legal Coordinator at the FSFE. "The FSFE has long advised having all public administrations prioritise Free Software and recommended that all software developed by and for the public sector be published under a Free Software licence. As the authors of the Russian bill have come to realise, without Free Software public administrations will never be able to claim they have real digital sovereignty. Other European administrations should take note."
This is the November 2016 issue of the monthly DB-Engines Ranking of database management systems.
You can find the complete and most up-to-date ranking at DB-Engines.com.
|3.||Microsoft SQL Server||1213.80||-0.38|
|8.||Microsoft Access||125.97||+ 1.30|
|Copyright © November 2016 DB-Engines.com|
Criar um "cadastro nacional de usuários de internet" não é uma boa ideia. Na verdade, pra chegar perto de ser péssima ainda precisaria melhorar muito.
Não é tecnicamente viável,
não é economicamente viável,
não resolve o problema que se propunha a resolver e ainda cria novos.
NOTA PÚBLICA em que expressa discordância sobre o Projeto de Lei que propõe criação de
If you’re building a SaaS application, you probably already have the notion of tenancy built in your data model. Typically, most information relates to tenants/customers/accounts and your database tables capture this natural relation.
With smaller amounts of data (10s of GB), it’s easy to throw more hardware at the problem and scale up your database. As these tables grow however, you need to think about ways to scale your multi-tenant database across dozens or hundreds of machines.
After our blog post on sharding a multi-tenant app with Postgres, we received a number of questions on architectural patterns for multi-tenant databases and when to use which. At a high level, developers have three options:
The option you pick has implications on scalability, how you handle data that varies across tenants, isolation, and ease-of-maintenance. And these implications have been discussed in detail across many StackOverflow questions and database articles. So, what is the best solution?
In practice, each of the three design options -with enough effort- can address questions around scale, data that varies across tenants, and isolation. The decision depends on the primary dimension you’re building/optimizing for. The tldr:
In this blog post, we’ll focus on the scaling dimension, as we found that more users who talked to us had questions in that area. (We also intend to describe considerations around isolation in a follow-up blog post.)
To expand on this further, if you’re planning to have 5 or 50 tenants in your B2B application, and your database is running into scalability issues, then you can create and maintain a separate database for each tenant. If however you plan to have thousands of tenants, then sharding your tables on a tenantid/accountid column will help you scale in a much better way.
Common benefits of having all tenants share the same database are:
Resource pooling (reduced cost): If you create a separate database for each tenant, then you need to allocate resources to that database. Further, databases usually make assumptions about resources available to them–for example, PostgreSQL has shared_buffers, makes good use of the operating system cache, comes with connection count settings, runs processes in the background, and writes logs and data to disk. If you’re running 50 of these databases on a few physical machines, then resource pooling becomes tricky even with today’s virtualization tech.
If you have a distributed database that manages all tenants, then you’re using your database for what it’s designed to do. You could shard your tables on tenant_id and easily support 1000s or tens of thousands of tenants.“”
Google’s F1 paper is a good example that demonstrates a multi-tenant database that scales this way. The paper talks about technical challenges associated with scaling out the Google AdWords platform; and at its core describes a multi-tenant database. The F1 paper also highlights how best to model data to support many tenants/customers in a distributed database.
The data model on the left-hand side follows the relational database model and uses foreign key constraints to ensure data integrity in the database. This strict relational model introduces certain drawbacks in a distributed environment however.
In particular, most transactions and joins you perform on your database, and constraints you’d like to enforce across your tables, have a customer/tenant dimension to them. If you shard your tables on their primary key column (in the relational model), then most distributed transactions, joins, and constraints become expensive. Network and machine failures further add to this cost.
The diagram on the right-hand side proposes the hierarchical database model. This model is the one used by F1 and resolves the previously mentioned issues. In its simplest form, you add a customerid/tenantid column to your tables and shard them on customer_id. This ensures that data from the same customer gets colocated together – co-location dramatically reduces the cost associated with distributed transactions, joins, and foreign key constraints.
Ease of maintenance: Another challenge associated with supporting 100-100K tenants is schema changes (Alter Table) and index creations (Create Index). As your application grows, you will iterate on your database model and make improvements.
If you’re following an architecture where each tenant lives in a separate database, then you need to implement an infrastructure that ensures that each schema change either succeeds across all tenants or gets eventually rolled back. For example, what happens when you changed the schema for 5,000 of 10K tenants and observed a failure? How do you handle that?
When you shard your tables for multi-tenancy, then you’re having your database do the work for you. The database will either ensure that an Alter Table goes through across all shards, or it will roll it back.
What about data that varies across tenants? Another challenge with scaling to thousands of tenants relates to handling data that varies across tenants. Your multi-tenant application will naturally include a standard database setup with default tables, fields, queries, and relationships that are appropriate to your solution. But different tenants/organizations may have their own unique needs that a rigid, inextensible default data model won’t be able to address. For example, one organization may need to track their stores in the US through their zip codes. Another customer in Europe might not care about US zip codes, but may be interested to keep tax ratios for each store.
This used to be an area where having a tenant per database offered the most flexibility, at the cost of extra maintenance work from the developer(s). You could create separate tables or columns per tenant in each database, and manage those differences across time.
If then you wanted to scale your infrastructure to thousands of tenants, you’d create a huge table with many string columns (Value0, Value1, … Value500). Probably, the best known example of this model is Salesforce’s multi-tenant architecture.
In this database model, your tables have a preset collection of custom columns, labeled in this image as V1, V2, and V3. Dates and Numbers are stored as strings in a format such that they can be converted to their native types. When you’re storing data associated with a particular tenant, you can then use these custom columns and tailor them to each tenant’s special needs.
Fortunately, designing your database to account for “flexible” columns significantly easier with the introduction of semi-structured data types. PostgreSQL has a rich set of semi-structured data types that include hstore, json, and jsonb. You can now represent the previous database schema by simply declaring a jsonb column and scale to thousands of tenants.
Of course, these aren’t the only design criteria and questions to be aware of. If you shard your database tables, how do you handle isolation or integrate with ORM libraries? What happens if you have a table that you can’t easily add a tenant_id column? In this blog post, we focused on building multi-tenant databases with scaling as the primary consideration in mind; and skipped over certain points. If you’re looking to learn more about designing multi-tenant databases, please sign up for our upcoming webinar on the topic!
The good news is, databases have advanced quite a bit in the past ten years in accommodating SaaS applications at scale. What was once only available to the likes of Google and Salesforce with significant engineering effort, is now becoming accessible to everyone with open-source technologies such as PostgreSQL and Citus. If you’re thinking of modernizing your multi-tenant architecture, drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat.
This is Part 1 of Bible Design Blog’s extended look at the new 6-Volume Reader’s Bible published by Crossway. This post gives an overview of the project and shares my general assessment of its success. In later posts I will dig deeper into some of the details, from the typography and paper to slipcases. For a complete list of articles, scroll to the bottom of this post.
The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set arrived on my doorstep on the fifteenth of August at 12:53 p.m. It was a warm day, pleasantly windy. The box felt heavy in my arms. I set it on the dining table and went in search of a knife. Before I opened the package, I studied the printing on the side: Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto, with an address in Vicenza. The moment felt a bit momentous, so I did something I never do: snapped a photo of the unopened box. I hate unboxing videos. I’m temperamentally opposed to watching a grown person open a package online and linger adoringly over invoice, brochure, and packing peanuts. I resisted the urge to violate this conviction. But only just.
I don’t get excited about Bibles anymore. That’s what I kept telling myself, anyway. For almost a decade I’ve been writing about quality editions of the Bible, poring over details of print and paper and binding. Publishers send review copies, and if I’m interested in what I see, I write about them. When I meet my readers in person, two questions always come up: “Why don’t you post more often?” and “How cool is it that publishers send you free Bibles?” Well, it is cool, but not screaming-like-a-kid-on-a-rollercoaster cool. I’m a professional, after all. Sort of.
The cloth-over-board set (left) is available for $110 from EvangelicalBible.com, and the leather-over-board set (right) costs $300.
So I opened the box and lifted the wooden slipcase from its cushioned berth, pretending that I wasn’t jumping up and down on the inside. I was, though. A lot. And the more time I spend with the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, the less reserved I get. This is a beautiful concept executed beautifully. It’s one of the best editions I have ever covered at Bible Design Blog.
Good book design should be reader-friendly. Some texts present more of a challenge than others. Novels are easy. Bibles are hard. Scripture consists of sixty-six separate books of various lengths (more if you include the Apocrypha). That’s a lot of words. The simple task of designing a single volume to hold all that and still be readable is a challenge. Then you add all the chapter and verse numbers, the cross-references, the concordances, and the task becomes rather difficult. No matter how good the designer, certain compromises are inevitable: minuscule text, two columns, ant-like armies of references crawling down the margins.
This is what we’re used to.
The history of the printed Bible began in the mid-to-late fifteenth century and quickly became the history of the reference Bible. As Glenn Paauw relates the story in his excellent Saving the Bible from Ourselves, the steady creep of extra-biblical material onto the page resulted by the mid-sixteenth century in the reference edition more or less as we know it today. “It was the death knell for a certain kind of Bible,” Paauw writes, “a Bible that presented something closer to what the Scriptures inherently were.”
Reader’s Bibles are an attempt to unring that bell. They remove the extras and give the biblical text room to breathe. They offer up Scripture in a flowing single column paragraphed layout. They design the Bible like the kind of book you actually read, instead of the sort you only use for looking things up.
Crossway released an excellent ESV Reader’s Bible in 2014. In my review, I expressed the hope that the format would catch on. “I’d love to see one of these on everyone’s shelf, regardless of your preferred translation,” I wrote. “This is a format to spend some time with in the hope of recapturing a less mediated experience of reading the Bible.” Crossway has also published reader-friendly formats of The Psalms and The Gospels (see below).
For some people, the idea of a multi-volume edition of Scripture might be a hard sell. Why would I want a Bible in six volumes, far too heavy and cumbersome for easy portability, when I can have the whole epic story under one cover? Well, dividing the text into multiple volumes actually solves one of the greatest challenges associated with Bible printing: the necessity for sheer, ultra thin paper. Compare the original single-volume Reader’s Bible with the new ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set and you’ll notice one thing right away. The pages in the new set are much more opaque. See, as long as you’re fitting all those words under one cover, thin speciality paper is a must. Dividing the sixty-six books into six separate volumes frees you from that necessity. Whereas the one-volume Reader’s Bible was printed on 30 gsm Apple Thin Opaque paper, this one is printed on 80 gsm Munken Premium Cream. The sales literature describes it as “opaque and soft without being too bulky,” which is right on. Another way of putting it would be, this just feels like a nicely made book. You won’t think about the paper at all. You’ll think about the words on the page.
It helps to stop and consider what kind of set this is. The 6-Volume Reader’s Bible isn’t going to replace your fine print all-in-one edition. That’s not the point. Rather, it fills a niche that has largely gone unaddressed in the past: the need for a Bible designed for a lifetime of reading.
When I develop a love for a particular author, one of the things I do is search for nice editions of that writer’s work. Last year a friend pulled me into a reading challenge: together we would make our way through all of John Buchan’s Richard Hannay novels, from The Thirty-Nine Steps to The Island of Sheep. Since I was planning to spend a lot of time with Buchan, I hunted online for a set of the Folio Society edition of the novels. The five novels are beautifully designed and bound, grouped together in a sturdy slipcase. (Sound familiar?) When you look at the Folio Society set side by side with the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, a light bulb should illuminate above your head: “Ah ha! So, that’s the kind of thing this is.”
And the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible is quite a good example of that sort of thing, too. In all its details, from design to printing to binding, it compares favorably to the work of high end publishers like the Folio Society.
There are two versions of the set, one bound in cloth-covered boards with slipcase ($110) and another bound leather-over-boards with a dovetailed walnut slipcase ($300). The leather-over-boards set is an EvangelicalBible.com exclusive, by the way. Considering the cost of high quality Bibles these days, the leather set feels like value for money. Both options ooze with distinction, though.
The interior design is new for this edition. The text is set in 12 pt. Trinité No. 2, a typeface “inspired by the ideal harmony found in Renaissance incunabula,” and the lines of text are generously leaded. A single page in the original Reader’s Bible contained 42 lines of text. In the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, there are just 28. Apart from the occasional section heading, running headers at the top of the page, and the actual page numbers, there is nothing on the landscape but a gloriously proportioned single column text.
Trade-offs: the original ESV Reader’s Bible (right) is much more portable, but the new 6-Volume set is much more readable.
Compared to the one-volume Reader’s Bible (above), the new 6-Volume Reader’s Bible has larger type, more opaque paper, and almost half as many lines of text per page.
In other words, when you open the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible, what you see is just a well-designed book. No clutter, nothing to call attention to itself. Here’s a telling observation: when EvangelicalBible.com posted the first photos of these sets online, creating a bit of a social media sensation, I snapped a photo of the one I happened to be reading and posted it on Instagram. No feeding frenzy, though, because I photographed the book opened on a table, where it is pretty much indistinguishable from any other book — which is the point. (One commenter did get wise: “That looks suspiciously like a Bibliotheca volume.” Well, close.)
Crossway has produced a video that gives us a look inside the production process:
A wealth of production information is included in the booklet accompanying the set, too. The books are printed and bound in Italy by Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto — L.E.G.O. for short. Printed on a Timson T48 offset web press, the 48-page signatures are gathered into books and Smyth-sewn. The cover cloth is Manifattura Tasmania 7107 stretched over 2.25 mm board and the ink, in case you’re wondering, is Inkredible Revolution Black. The leather bindings are done in lightly grained black cowhide with a nice sheen.
A Beautiful Read
All of which means little if the 6-Volume Reader’s Bible isn’t a delight to read. Well, it is. It truly is. Each volume, thick or thin, feels good in the hand. They have a trim size of 8” x 5.5” — the same as the original ESV Reader’s Bible — which makes them comfortable to hold. Unlike the leather-over-boards edition of The Gospels, they open flat and are not too bulky. The boards are relatively thin and the leather sufficiently pared to avoid extra thickness.
A deeper look at the paper is coming soon. Suffice to say, the 80 gsm sheets strike a pleasing balance between opacity and suppleness. As much as I love The Psalms and The Gospels, I find the paper in each volume a bit thick. Not here. I can hold these books open with one hand, read for a long period, and never be distracted by bleed-through or the feel of the pages. A well made book doesn’t call attention to itself, and these are well made books. In comparison to the leather-bound editions of those earlier reader-friendly volumes, too, L.E.G.O. has brought an extra level of refinement to the binding.
The Gospels (above) is quite a nice edition, but the thicker paper prevents it from opening flat out of the box. The Reader’s Bible (below) offers a more refined experience.
Compared to earlier L.E.G.O. leather-over-boards editions like The Gospels (below), this binding is trimmer, more elegant, and has a pleasing gloss finish.
Each volume has a single ribbon for marking progress. I’m used to having two or three ribbons, so at first I wanted more. Then I remembered that this Bible actually has six ribbons, one in each volume. That’s plenty, right? You will need that ribbon, too, because a Bible like this invites deeper reading. I’m still amazed how much more I read, and how much more I notice in what I read, compared to traditional reference formats.
The question is, do you go with the clothbound set or spring for the leather? On aesthetics, the leather-over-board option wins. The deep black and warm brown combination of leather and wood is ridiculously handsome, not to mention ridiculously photogenic. I’m not as big a fan of the earth-tone cloth-over-board covers with their intricate design … until I handle them. The cloth has a nice tactile feedback, and the volumes feel great in the hand. There really isn’t a bad option here. If you can swing the leather set, though, it’s heirloom quality and I doubt you’ll regret it.
But here’s my real recommendation: find yourself a good reading chair. You will need it. The 6-Volume Reader’s Bible doesn’t want to sit on the shelf. It wants a special nook next to a comfy chair and a lamp.
The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set Complete Series
More to come!
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