Monthly Downloads: 6
Programming language: Haskell
License: BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
Tags: Database    
Latest version: v0.1

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Liszt is an append-only key-list database.


For the sake of reliability, insertion is performed locally. Insertions can be batched up to one commit in order to reduce overheads.

commitFile :: FilePath -> Transaction a -> IO a
insert :: Serialise a => Key -> a -> Transaction ()

> commitFile "foo.liszt" $ insert "message" ("hello, world" :: Text)


lisztd starts a server. The first argument is the root directory to find liszt files.

$ lisztd .

You can use the command line utility to watch a stream. -b 0 follows a stream from offset 0. -f "%p\n" prints payloads with newlines.

$ liszt foo.liszt message -b 0 -f "%p\n"
hello, world


Liszt employs a 2-3 tree (special case of B tree) of skew binary random access lists as its on-disk format.

A liszt file consists of six types of contents: keys, payloads, tags, nodes, trees, and a footer.

Keys, Tags, and Payloads are bytestrings with arbitrary length.

A pointer to a content with type t is denoted by P t. It's a pair of the byte offset and the length of the content, encoded in unsigned VLQ.

A node is one of the following:

  • Empty node: 0x00
  • 1-leaf: 0x01 (P Key) Spine
  • 2-leaf: 0x02 (P Key) Spine (P Key) Spine
  • 2-node: 0x12 (P Node) (P Key) Spine (P Node)
  • 3-node: 0x13 (P Node) (P Key) Spine (P Node) (P Key) Spine (P Node)

Spine is a list of pairs of:

  • Rank: the number of payloads in a tree
  • Pointer to a tree

Spine prefixed by the length of the list.

  • Spine: Int [Int (P Tree)]

Tree is either

  • Tip: 0x80 Int Tag (P Payload)
  • Bin: 0x81 Int Tag (P Payload) (P Node) (P Node)

where the Int represents the length of the Tag.

A footer is a root node padded to 256 bytes long, and the padding must end with the following byte sequence:

8df4 c865 fa3d 300a f3f8 9962 e049 e379 489c e4cd 2b52 a630 5584 004c 4953 5a54

(last 5 bytes is LISZT)

Committing is performed in the following steps. This append-only scheme grants robustness to some extent.

  • Read the root node from the file.
  • Append payloads.
  • Append a new footer.

When an exception occurs in the middle, it will put the original footer to prevent corruption (TODO: find the last footer in case of corrupted file).