Ostracon

Inspired by Twitch Plays Pokemon, Ostracon is a library for real-time voting over the internet. It used Erlang’s lightweight actor model so that each connection could be represented with a single actor. After a certain time period, a reduce function would take all the values and compute some arbitrary aggregated value that can be used in application logic.

My team built a couple of examples to demonstrate the library, starting with a pie chart that could resize in a live demo where each participant could join a vote every second.

A voting pie
A voting pie

We decided to also use the library to build a simple distributed game where players vote to control a professor in a quest to get grant money.

Ostracon in a simple game
Ostracon in a simple game
Louis Rassaby

Louis Rassaby

I’m a Brooklyn-based software engineer and entrepreneur. I’m the founder of Wirefreight, a customer-service SaaS platform for logistics. Previously, I led the new products engineering team at Phosphorus Genomics, analyzing genetic data and educating tens of thousands of people on their risks of developing or passing on genetic diseases.

Away from the keyboard, I make food and music. I’m half of a band called Cellolele and I once played in an ad for Versace.