Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wukong, Bringing Ruby to Hadoop

Wukong is hands down the simplest (and probably the most fun) tool to use with hadoop. It especially excels at the following use case:

You've got a huge amount of data (let that be whatever size you think is huge). You want to perform a simple operation on each record. For example, parsing out fields with a regular expression, adding two fields together, stuffing those records into a data store, etc etc. These are called map only jobs. They do NOT require a reduce. Can you imagine writing a java map reduce program to add two fields together? Wukong gives you all the power of ruby backed by all the power (and parallelism) of hadoop streaming. Before we get into examples, and there will be plenty, let's make sure you've got wukong installed and running locally.

Installing Wukong

First and foremost you've got to have ruby installed and running on your machine. Most of the time you already have it. Try checking the version in a terminal:

$: ruby --version
ruby 1.8.7 (2010-01-10 patchlevel 249) [x86_64-linux]

If that fails then I bet google can help you get ruby installed on whatever os you happen to be using.

Next is to make sure you've got rubygems installed

$: gem --version

Once again, google can help you get it installed if you don't have it.

Wukong is a rubygem so we can just install it that way:

sudo gem install wukong
sudo gem install json
sudo gem install configliere

Notice we also installed a couple of other libraries to help us out (the json gem, the configliere gem, and the extlib gem). If at any time you get weird errors (LoadError: no such file to load -- somelibraryname) then you probably just need to gem install somelibraryname.

An example

Moving on. You should be ready to test out running wukong locally now. Here's the most minimal working wukong script I can come up with that illustrates a map only wukong script:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'rubygems'
require 'wukong'

class LineMapper < Wukong::Streamer::LineStreamer
def process line
yield line
end, nil).run

Save that into a file called wukong_test.rb and run it with the following:
cat wukong_test.rb | ./wukong_test.rb --map

If everything works as expected then you should see exactly the contents of your script dump onto your terminal. Lets examine what's actually going on here.

Boiler plate ruby

First, we're letting the interpreter know we want to use ruby with the first line (somewhat obvious). Next, we're including the libraries we need.

The guts

Then we define a class in ruby for doing our map job called LineMapper. This guy subclasses from the wukong LineStreamer class. All the LineStreamer class does is simply read records from stdin and gives them as arguments to the LineMapper's process method. The process method then does nothing more than yield the line back to the LineStreamer which emits the line back to stdout.

The runner

Finally, we have to let wukong know we intend to run our script. We create a new script object with LineMapper as the mapper class and nil as the reducer class.

More succinctly, we've written our own cat program. When we ran the above command we simply streamed our script, line by line, through the program. Try streaming some real data through the program and adding some more stuff to the process method. Perhaps parsing the line with a regular expression and yielding numbers? Yielding words? Yielding characters? The choice is yours. Have fun with it.

Meatier examples to come.


  1. How to work with unicode text files with wukong? Thx

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