A Palantir cluster seamlessly integrates many pieces of proven technology. One of them is our customized version of the venerable Java search engine, Lucene. Search engine technology tends to be optimized for the common use case of indexing web documents (or similar information architectures) where you have a few search terms in each query and many, many documents as results. We want to leverage the inverted index capabilities of Lucene, but our data access patterns are a bit different than the typical use case: we need things like pervasive range-querying, different types of relevance, and dynamic views of the data based on security constraints. So in building our data platform, we’ve run into some interesting challenges that are pretty unique in the information retrieval realm, specifically:
Here at Palantir we use test-driven development (or TDD for short). Integrated tools like Eclipse and JUnit simplify writing and running unit tests. However, once you need to test a broader swath of functionality, it’s time to write functional, integration, and system tests. While technically not ‘unit testing’, the testing framework that JUnit provides is basically the same infrastructure that you want to leverage for writing these more involved types of testing.
Palantir is an intense place to work. There are people here around the clock (since developers set their own schedules) and folks and equipment arriving and leaving all the time. We’re a very focused bunch, trying to change the world as fast as we can by creating a whole new class of tools.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, Palantir was recently invited to the IEEE’s VisWeek in Dayton Ohio, and was honored to be invited to participate in the VAST Interactive Challenge as part of VisWeek.
On Oct. 9th, Palantir hosted our quarterly Government Conference in the DC area. The idea was to bring together customers of Palantir Government from across the defense and intelligence community to create a forum for them to:
Palantir has entered the 2008 VAST Challenge. We present an in-depth look at one of our challenge solutions as the first public example of the Palantir platform in action.
About 10 months ago, we released set of nine screenshots from our applications. Time has passed and we have not stopped working; the look of the applications has evolved. Here are some updated screenshots:
Some of our customers are pretty serious about data security. To that end, our products need to support and integrate with SSL for both data security and authentication. SSL is very neat technology, but there is a dizzying maze of standards to navigate to figure how to get it all to work.
Following the discovery that our offices were the birthplace of Java (or least the place where it had its childhood), I invited James Gosling to come visit. For those that don’t know who James Gosling is, he’s more-or-less the father of Java. Java started as a project of James Gosling’s in 1991; today, 17 years later, he’s still at Sun, in charge of guiding the Java platform into the future.