All posts filed under: Technology

New Visualizations

You may have seen Sefaria’s visualizations in the past, and maybe you’ve wondered where they come from, or how our team decides what kinds of visualizations to build. Because all of our texts are digital, Sefaria’s engineers and educators can use the data to help people see texts in new ways and gain new insights into ancient texts. Our newest visualization was designed and created by one of our summer interns, Sarah Engel. Originally from the Bay Area, Sarah is now a student at Stern College, double majoring in Computer Science and Jewish Education. She is interested in new ways of presenting and learning Torah. Sefaria’s team had recently completed two significant projects related to mitzvot: Rabbi Francis Nataf, Sefaria’s translator, completed our translation of Sefer HaChinukh, and Shanee Rosen, one of our engineers, was able to generate more than 10,000 links between mitzvot as they are described and counted in different halakhic works. So Sarah decided to create a parallel sets visualization to see how various categories of the 613 commandments connect with one …

Sefaria’s Eighth Plague

The best engineering goes unnoticed. Ideally, a website runs so perfectly that users never have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes. Over the past few weeks, Sefaria’s engineers have been working to create just that by speeding up the server at the core. Specifically, Sefaria is migrating the site from a single server to a multi-server architecture that allows us to trigger additional resources on demand. That way, when the site begins to slow as users access it in greater and growing numbers, we can automatically tap these resources, scaling them up and down according to traffic. And how do we test these servers? What do we use to mimic the swarms of users that descend upon Sefaria every day, hungry for learning? Locusts, of course! The eighth plague.