Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

MySQL Conference Notes

MySQL Conference 2009 is coming around the corner, next week, in Santa Clara.

You may want to delve into the notes, as a fast way to learn about the happenings.

If you want to become an active code contributor to MySQL, the hackfest by Mark Callaghan seems interesting, and you should probably also start here and here

There will also be a special BoF geared to community contributors. (I still haven't been able to find out about the exact timing of this but you should be able to find out if you're there. Once I learn about the exact time, I'll post it here.)

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Double Free

MySQL Workbench has already received some great accolades this year and there is more to come!

Now, those attending the MySQL Users Conference will have a chance to become a MySQL schema design expert.

The Conference will include a free MySQL Workbench workshop called “Introduction to Data Modeling with MySQL Workbench” on Thursday (April 23, 2009) 3 - 4:30 PM in the Santa Clara Ballroom. According to Mike Zinner, MySQL Workbench development lead, "We are also offering a full tutorial on this topic on Monday that will have even more advanced content. Learn more about this here."

The Tuesday workshop will cover general concepts from basics of database schema design to performance-tuning of your schemata as well as more specific topics such as MySQL Workbench basics to WB add-ons and more will all be covered. This will also be a great chance to get introduced and plugged into the MySQL Workbench community. 

Last but not least, everybody attending the Tuesday Workshop will receive a 12-month MySQL Workbench Standard Edition subscription for free. (In case you're wondering, Workbench SE is the commercial edition of Workbench.)

There will be a limited number of seats. So register as soon as you can. 

Finally, Mike Hillyer will be giving the Monday tutorial on "Introduction to Data Modeling with MySQL Workbench".

Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

Three Great Beta Deliveries in One Week

Three great beta deliveries in one week!

MySQL Connector/.Net 6.0.2 beta, a new version of the all-managed .NET driver for MySQL.

MySQL Connector/C++ 1.0.4 beta, a new release providing  C++ API for connecting client applications to the MySQL Server. If you know JDBC, this should be familiar to you.

MySQL Connector/C 6.0.0 beta, a new version of the C API for accessing MySQL database servers

Use them and let us know what you think.

Learn more about Connector/C++ here.

Learn more about Connector/C here.

For FAQ on MySQL Connector/C; MySQL Native C API; libmysql; libmysqld, see here.

Addendum (April 9, 2009):

Ulf Wendel has just announced the alpha version of the MySQL driver for Open Office. (Thanks go, also, to Andrey Hristov who did much of the work behind this! For a full list of credits, see Frank Schoenheit's note.)

Instead of calling the MySQL Client Library directly, as the earlier versions did, the new version relies completely on the MySQL Connector/C++. (See above.) As Ulf notes, "Connector/OpenOffice.org is a thin wrapper around Connector/C++. OpenOffice.org and the MySQL Connector/C++ are written in C++. The OpenOffice.org database interface is derived from JDBC. Connector/C++ offers a JDBC like API."

Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

MySQL Community Contribution: One bug fix at a time ...

It is all about one bug fix, one little feature, one step at a time.

Armin Schöffmann fixed a bug (Deadlock in mysql_real_query with shared memory connections, is what Armin calls it), Armin signed the Sun Contributor Agreement (24 March 2009), Vladislav Vaintroub and Davi Arnaut reviewed, committed and queued the patch to MySQL 5.0 bug team (26 and 27th of March, 2009).

That's a great example of open, contribution-based MySQL development with real results.

Thank you Armin!

Thank you Vlad!

Thank you Chad!

Thank you Davi!

Thank you ... the one whose name I've left out! (Feel free to leave a comment below.)

MySQL Ideas for Google Summer of Code (GSoC)


Check out the ideas from MySQL for Google Summer of Code 2009!

These are specially-selected projects for students who are looking to do some coding in a real, open-source, highly-adopted software environment. 

The learning experience will be tremendous given that MySQL engineers will be mentoring them. 

Some student stipend is provided by the Google Summer of Code. It is intended for students to gain "exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits."

Monday Mar 30, 2009

A Toast to Marten Mickos

As Marten Mickos gets ready to move on, his executive buddies raise a toast in his honor.

Friday Mar 27, 2009

Microsoft Takes Note of MySQL

In a Financial Times report today about RedHat's quarterly earnings, Sam Ramji of Microsoft takes note of MySQL and its influence as a key component in the general move towards open-source software:

Larger deployments of open-source to firms that already run the technology in a small way might be the most that happens, due to the fact that recessions make IT managers worry about risk. For the same reasons, a recession is not the time to switch a workforce to a new technology.

Microsoft is counting on that, while accepting that every leading company will soon be running at least some open-source software.

“It’s a heterogeneous world,” said Microsoft’s Sam Ramji. While Microsoft continues to warn about the legal and economic perils of relying on Linux and similar systems, Mr Ramji’s role is to make sure that open-source programs already in use can work in conjunction with Microsoft software.

That way, just because a company is using the MySQL open-source database, it will not feel compelled to put it on top of the Linux operating system. By some measures, that defence is working well – Mr Ramji said 56 per cent of MySQL instances were running on Windows.

Then again, the easier Mr Ramji makes it for IT buyers to economise by putting open-source in more places, the more they will do just that and undermine his business in the longer-term.

Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Simon on the WSJ

Simon Phipps, Sun's Chief Open Source Officer, speaks to The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday Mar 17, 2009

New Sun Contributor Signatories for MySQL

I just checked the "Sun Contributor Agreement" (SCA) signatories list, and there are already 11 people who have signed the contributor agreement with an intent to contribute to MySQL.

Among the signatories, you will also notice Paul McCullagh of PrimeBase/PBXT fame. (To learn about how to submit your SCA paperwork, see here.)

Signing the SCA with an intent to contribute to any given Sun-sponsored open-source project would also suffice when it comes to contributing to any other Sun-sponsored open-source project.

So, as an example, Nils Goroll is both an OpenSolaris and MySQL contributor. (See Nils' OpenSolaris profile and see MySQL bug id 7417.)

Of course, it goes without saying that you do not need to be an OpenSolaris contributor to be a MySQL contributor. My intent here was simply to show how signing the SCA helps the contributor to reach out, interact and contribute w.r.t. any Sun-sponsored projects. The SCA signatories list, of course, makes all of this much more plain.


Friday Mar 13, 2009

Interview -- Second Part

Sun's web team has just posted the second part of the interview that Janice Heiss conducted with me recently.

Janice has also written a very good summary of the interview. In conducting the interview, Janice gave me an opportunity to go over some of my own thinking in the subject matters we considered together. I'm truly grateful to her for turning this into a productive conversation that goes well beyond the expected questions. Thank you Janice.

This interview was originally conducted for java.net and Sun Developer Network

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Contributing Code to MySQL -- Some Simple Guidelines

If you would like to contribute to MySQL development, you can read the relevant top-level page on the MySQL Forge.

This page has some useful links to various forms of contributing to MySQL, including contribution of code to MySQL. (The MySQL|Sun team have recently simplified some of these pages in order to make them more useful to community members and potential contributors.)

Note that after some simple paperwork submitted to Sun ("Sun Contributor Agreement" or "SCA"), any signatory can contribute to any Sun-sponsored open-source project, including to MySQL.

It is a common parctice to require initial paperwork to clarify rights to the contributed work. This practice is also used by other open-source communities such as the Apache Software Foundation.

It is worth quoting, from the the master document, that

As we gain more experience, absorb more contributions and receive feedback from the contributors, please expect some modifications to the contribution system described here.

Wednesday Feb 11, 2009

Launching the Glassfish Portfolio

Sun has launched the Glassfish Portfolio,  the best web application platform on the planet.

To learn more, you can also go to "the Aquarium" and "Miles to go...."

Thursday Feb 05, 2009

Golden Rules for Contribution-based Communities

There are some basic, golden rules when it comes to having a vibrant community of contributors.

The following are rules I have extracted and learned based on my experience managing and working with engineers actively involved and participating in the Apache/Derby, PostgreSQL and MySQL open-source communities. These rules are also based on extensive discussions with many folks involved with the MySQL community, with the PostgreSQL community and with the Apache/Derby (Java DB) community, over many years.

Before I go through these rules, I would like to thank Marten Mickos for having suggested some of the headings for these rules. (I originally had much longer headings for all of them.) I would also like to thank many of MySQL, PostgreSQL and Java DB colleagues, as well as to many other colleagues involved in open-source development, for having contributed to the ideas and practices behind these rules.

A) Transparency.
1.Often, this openness can span all the way from development (architectural specification, implementation design and planning, implementation, code review and walk-through) to testing, qualification and release.
2.It may be possible to move towards greater transparency over time but openness in development is often the minimum starting point. 

B) Dialog.
1.It should be possible to conduct open dialog and conversation regarding any aspect of the development (and other aspects of) work.
2.When mailing lists and other archive-able communication channels (such as wikis) focused on development work are opened up, it becomes easier to conduct open dialog and conversation regarding the development work. 
3.Of course, when a corporation or business concern contributes (either as a major contributor or a minor contributor) to the development of an open-source product, it is to be expected that some aspects of the development work (e.g. those related to specific customer needs) may remain obscure through mechanisms such as withholding of a customer's name. 

C) Pace.
1.It should be possible to track the fate of any contribution and have a public archive of the conversation conducted regarding that contribution—recording decisions made and various feedback loops in time for the purposes of learning and further work.
2.For this purpose, it is often sufficient to have a time record of the conversation conducted with respect to the given contribution.
3.These records can be searched to determine the fate of the contribution.
4.These records help provide a learning platform for the future contributors.

D) Setting Expectations.
1.Using available and open information, the contributor community should be able to form and entertain valid expectations regarding milestones, releases, timelines, etc.
2.Anticipating the future and related risk management helps all market participants to reduce transaction costs.

E) Small is Beautiful.
1.While it should be possible to absorb contribution of any size, emphasis should be put on  absorbing smaller and incremental contributions.
2.To create mass and momentum and community and quality, it helps to encourage smaller contributions.

F) Differences.
1.Not all contributions are equal.
Contributions are judged by whether they are well designed, fit into business roadmaps, are well documented, comply with standards, do not produce regressions in the code and improve performance.
2.Not all contributors are equal.
Contributors vary in expertise, skill and experience.
These variations give meaning to the practices and procedures of the contributor community.

G) Places.
1.It is clear where one needs to work.
There are enough branches or trees to serve distinctly different target groups.
2.Trees and branches are well-groomed.
Active code branches or trees are kept at a minimum set in order to keep the product roadmap and expectations coherent.

H) Parallelism.
1.Contributions are added in parallel with frequent synchronization so that community participants can respond to each others' work.Parallel work leads—naturally and out of brute necessity—to modularization, better and faster integration.

I) Incrementalism.
1.Work is conducted in increments.
2.Each contribution does one thing.
3.Each contribution has a test case that exercises it.

J) Learning.
1.Contributor community assets (channels of communications, forums, bug databases, etc.) are developed to improve learning by all participants and contributors.


Acknowledgment

I'd like to thank Brian Aker, Knut Anders Hatlen, Davi Arnaut, Kaj Arnö, Jorgen Austvik, Igor Babaev, Mark Callaghan, Peter Eisentraut, Sergei Golubchik, Shawn Green, Lenz Grimmer, Rick Hillegas, Stefan Hinz, Geir Hoydalsvik, Henrik Ingo, Alexey Kopytov, Mark Leith, Dmitry Lenev, Manyi Lu, Giuseppe Maxia, Paul McCullagh, Mårten Mickos, Chad Miller, Francois Orsini, Konstantin Osipov, Trudy Pelzer, Sergey Petrunia, Jay Pipes, Jeffrey Pugh, Ole Solberg, Georg Richter, Mikael Ronström, Kristian Waagan, Dag Wanvik, Monty Widenius, Jeff Wiss, and more.

Monday Feb 02, 2009

MySQL Conference & Expo Coming Up

MySQL Conference and Expo is coming up to Santa Clara this April.

The program schedule is really easy to navigate and tells you about everything there's to partake of.  

A quick review will show you that the  quality of the no-nonsense presentations will be amazing, and it will be a true privilege to attend the conference. (We should thank the MySQL community team for helping ensure this high level of technical quality and relevance.)

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Wikipedia on Sun | MySQL Servers

Wikimedia Foundation is expanding Wikipedia to multimedia with Sun Open Storage Solution and MySQL Database:

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second, depending on the time of day. Wikimedia needed to update its infrastructure to handle this huge volume of traffic and ensure that its systems were reliable, highly available, and easily scalable. It also wanted to expand its upload file limit from 20 MB to 100 MB to accommodate rich media (audio and video) content, but before it could do that it needed to expand its storage capacity.

It is great to see that how the most important non-profit content provider on the web grows and it is great to be part of that growth.

Wikipedia should be the subject of extensive studies in various fields of sociology, economics and information systems: social knowledge, open-source, open-content, markets, information economics and open-scoeity.

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

Best Database Tool

Developer.Com has selected MySQL Workbench as the best database tool of 2009!

Competing behind Workbench were:

  • Altova DatabaseSpy® 2008
  • LINQ (Microsoft® .NET Language Integrated Query)
  • SQL Server® 2008 Reporting Services
  • Oracle SQL Developer

Thursday Dec 25, 2008

The Gibbs

I was reading about the Amistad case on Wikipedia, and noticed the interesting role that Josiah Willard Gibbs Sr., the theologian, had played in finding a Mende speaker. (Gibbs learned how to say numerals one to ten in Mende, shouted it in the New York Harbor, and found someone who understood the numbers.) Gibbs name, of course, made me curious about this relationship to the other Josiah Willard Gibbs, the mathematician and physical chemist, whose theories we constantly apply in chemical thermodynamics. (Josiah Willard Gibbs, Jr. also happens to have been awarded the very first U.S. Ph.D. in engineering, under a dissertation entitledOn the Form of the Teeth of Wheels in Spur Gearing.)

It might be worth mentioning that Wikipedia runs on the MySQL database server, as has already been described in a number of case studies and presentations.

Monday Dec 22, 2008

Conversation with Lenz Grimmer

You can read my conversation with Lenz Grimmer or look at other interviews conducted by the MySQL community team. 

Sunday Nov 23, 2008

MySQL Query Analyzer

MySQL Query Analyzer is already helping people to drastically improve their application performance. 

Jeff Freund (CTO, Clickability) shares an interesting use case.

Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

MySQL Contributions

On his blog, Kaj Arnö has been writing about MySQL news, events, community and business developments for some time.

His most recent posts include (1)  a thank you note to David Axmark, one of the MySQL founders, for his 20-year contributions to MySQL and FOSS, and (2) an announcement regarding the move from MySQL contributor license agreement (MySQL CLA) to Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA), which is expected to be more contributor friendly.   

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