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 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

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.

Wednesday Oct 29, 2008

An HBR case on Wikipedia

Karim Lakhani has put together a business case study on Wikipedia. It is worth noting that Wikipedia uses MySQL as its database engine. 

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.   

Thursday Sep 11, 2008

Memcached and Java DB (Apache Derby)

Knut Anders Hatlen writes about memcached user-defined functions (UDF) for Java DB on OpenSolaris.

Knut has also mentioned the recent release of Apache Derby 10.4.2. A corresponding Java DB release should be available for download soon. (Usually this happens immediately but we're all at a developers' conference for the next couple of weeks.)

Monday Jun 02, 2008

Community Statistics for Netbeans Database Usage

"The database support in NetBeans allows users to connect to a database and view and modify the database structure and data. These graphs show which database servers users connect to most often."

Of particular note, besides the large usage of MySQL and Oracle, is the large usage of Java DB (Derby), and the significant PostgreSQL usage.

Thursday May 08, 2008

Who Dons the Java DB T-Shirt

 

Giuseppe Maxia took this picture at JavaOne, 2008, just a couple of days ago.

It shows Marten Mickos (MySQL) donning the Java DB T-Shirt and giving a friendly hug to PostgreSQL evangelist Josh Berkus.

That's how the story of the three open-source databases from Sun will keep unfolding.

Many observers have noted that customers and developers will have great choices to work with:

  • the premier open-source DB for web applications,
  • the premier open-source DB for demanding enterprise and reporting applications, and
  • the premier open-source DB for embedding in Java applications.

All from the same company.

Sun!

Sunday Apr 13, 2008

Community Dinner

Giuseppe Maxia blogs about the MySQL community dinner with some special guests in attendance.

Thursday Feb 07, 2008

Three Open Source Databases in Solaris SXDE 1/08

 

These three open-source databases, now in OpenSolaris SXDE 1/08, offer all the needed features for most of the applications out there.

"Three databases to run them all"...

... and of course, Sun offers solutions with commercial database vendors, like the Sun and Oracle's Enterprise Grid Solutions.


SXDE 1/08 is Released!

 

Sun Microsystems has released Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08, Sun's free OpenSolaris-based distribution targeted at developers.

This release brings together integrated web stack (Apache, MySQL, Ruby, Php, PostgreSQL), NetBeans 6.0, interoperability with Microsoft's CIFS protocol, support for virtual machines via Sun xVM hypervisor, based on  technology developed by the Xen community, Sun HPC ClusterTools based on the Open MPI effort.

There are three ways to acquire Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08: (1) Free download; (2) Have a free DVD mailed to you (at no cost); (3) Download a VMware SXDE 1/08 virtual machine.

Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

Sun To Acquire MySQL

Sun has announced an agreement to acquire MySQL. (Reports can also be found at WSJ and Reuters.) 

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's CEO, discusses the acquisition on his blog. Kaj Arno, VP of community for MySQL, has also discussed the acquisition form MySQL perspective.

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

Underground Notes and Voices from OSCon and Ubuntu Live

Some say Sun is as cool as OSCon (if not cooler) because, among most companies that support OSCon, only Sun can produce truly underground notes on OSCon.

David Van Couvering reviews Mike Olson's comments about his keynote at OSCon and pontificates about whether the value of Open Source could be limited to the collaboration it fosters. David aptly notes that

Open source and an open community gives you the assurance that the technology you are depending on is not going to be discontinued or put into "maintenance mode," it won't be acquired by someone who you would rather not do business with, and it won't be used as leverage against you to extract money or modify your behavior.

By way of further review, David contrasts MySQL as an Open Source project to PostgreSQL as an Open Source project.

In a separate underground note from OSCon, Barton George has posted his interview with Free Software Foundation lawyer Eben Moglen.

Barton has also produced a series of interviews with some six dignitaries during Ubuntu Live: Mark Shuttleworth. Tim Gardner, Jane Silber, Daniel Holbach, Stephen O'Grady, Jono Bacon.

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