Welcome Joshua Shinavier as an Apache TinkerPop Committer

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Marko Rodriguez

Jun 7, 2019, 9:46:27 AM6/7/19
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TinkerPop was started in the summer of 2008. Josh and I were living in Santa Fe creating a "knoweldge graph" company. Our product required something I was saying should be a “like a network database.” Lo and behold, we found a "graph database" product out there on the webs. The product’s website was a single page containing a downloadable jar. The database's name was Neo4j. Supposedly, we were Neo4j's first US customer. Emil, Matthias, and Johan flew out to Santa Fe (from Malmö) a couple of times to work with us — grinding code day and night.

At the time, Neo4j only had a Traverser Java API, no query language. I remember sitting in my apartment with Josh and saying to him:

"We should create a graph query language for Neo4j."

He responded, like he still does today:

“Already done — its called Ripple.” 

I’ve seen Josh work with Ripple. Pen and paper to bookkeep the stack. Eek! Also, RDF oriented. Thus, more "pattern matching" than “traversing." :/


I liked this one smartphone game developed by a company named LabPixies. "Ha, their name is totally ridiculous." So, that got me thinking and  “TinkerPop” plopped out of my mind. For the name of the language, I thought of a bunch of traversers flowing over the graph…a bunch of little gremlins! We ran the project idea by Peter Neubauer (Neo4j) and he was excited. Thus, together, Josh, Peter, and I founded TinkerPop…and the rest is git history. (somehow a buddy of mine named Vadas got immortalized in the toy graph as v[2].)

Over the years, Peter moved on to other things…likewise, Josh. Fortunately, Stephen Mallette reached out to me a few years after the project was founded. To this day, Stephen remains the backbone of TinkerPop. Keeping it tight, keeping it legit, and keeping it going.

While Josh and I had gone our separate ways, every now and again our paths meet up. Lo-and-behold, the push to TP4 perked Josh’s interests and along with Kuppitz and Stephen, we have been making great progress on something we are calling the mm-ADT (Multi-Model Abstract Data Type). Along with Stream Ring Theory, mm-ADT will be the foundation on which we build TP4. 

Given the herculean effort that is brewing, we officially welcome Josh to the Apache TinkerPop project (the #1 project in the history of projects — so my mom says).

Take care,

Joshua Shinavier

Jun 7, 2019, 12:02:03 PM6/7/19
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Many thanks, Marko. I am bullish about the direction we are taking with TP4. For years now, graph databases have been the "real developers'" alternative to the Semantic Web -- simple, straightforward, effective. And yes, indeed! For a long time, I saw Gremlin as "Marko's not-quite-Ripple", but these days, I get it. TinkerPop has been a success in large part because of its accessibility vis-a-vis powerful, flexible, but arcane contraptions like RDF. At the same time, there is a need for more flexibility, particularly now as companies are looking to property graphs and TinkerPop for building massive enterprise knowledge graphs. What exactly is a property graph schema? How do we merge graph datasets in a sane way? How do we reason on graph data, and how do we build better bridges between property graphs and the external data models where most of the world's data actually lives? I see TP4 as a push to get the best of both worlds -- simplicity and versatility.

About the name, I thought Jen made it up...? Vadas must have been "in the room" at some point during the whiteboarding process, and so rightly deserves a credit in the TinkerPop classic graph.

Stoked to be working with you fine gentlemen.


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Marko Rodriguez

Jun 7, 2019, 12:21:01 PM6/7/19
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About the name, I thought Jen made it up...? Vadas must have been "in the room" at some point during the whiteboarding process, and so rightly deserves a credit in the TinkerPop classic graph.

Whoa — great memory. Yes, Jen did make it up. Huh. I was the one addicted to the LabPixies game though :). Just Google’d the name. It was called “FloodIt!” (screenshot attached)…. :/ And yes about Vadas as well — academia — if you were near the action when it happened, you get coauthorship.


Flood-It! 2: ç„¡æ–™ã §ã “ã “ã ¾ã §é ¢ç™½ã „ã‚²ãƒ¼ãƒ ã‚’é Šã‚“ã ˜ã‚ƒã £ã ¦ã „ã „ã ®ï¼ ï¼Ÿã ¨é©šæ„•ã ªãƒ‘ã‚ºãƒ«ã‚²ãƒ¼ãƒ ã€‚352 | AppBank – iPhone, スマホ㠮㠟㠮㠗㠿を見㠤㠑よ㠆
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