Thursday Jun 18, 2009

Among the favorites

One of my favorite JIRAs on Apache is #Derby-646.

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Webinar on the New MySQL Connector/C++

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 20, 2009), Ulf Wendel and Andrey Hristov, engineers working in the Connector team of Sun|MySQL database group, will be presenting a webinar about the new MySQL Connector/C++. This connector, which uses much the JDBC API patterns, was recently made available as a GA release during the MySQL Conference and Expo.

Register from anywhere in the world and listen to Ulf and Andrey as they talk to you about Connector/C++ from somewhere in Germany!

Addendum: At this very moment, I'm attending this free Webinar. It is truly amazing how well-coordinated this is. So, if you couldn't get to this, try to make it to some other upcoming MySQL Webinar.

Monday Apr 27, 2009

More Code Contributions to MySQL

MySQL has deep roots in open-source software development communities and code contributions to MySQL keep flowing in, being reviewed and integrated into the MySQL. 

During our BoF at the MySQL Conference and Expo, Lenz Grimmer talked about our work to make MySQL (even more) contributor friendly, with some more focused effort starting on February 1, 20091.

The desire to contribute code to MySQL remains as strong as ever as evidenced by this year's MySQL Conference and Expo, where I had an opportunity to speak with some contributors and partners who wish to contribute to MySQL. Of course, there are a lot of strong and varying opinions in this area.

As I said above, code has been contributed and absorbed in MySQL (according to either the MySQL CLA or SCA contributor agreements) for years now.

Examining just the patches and contributions submitted through the MySQL Bugs database, some 16 pieces of code contributions to MySQL have been absorbed into some version of the MySQL server in the first 4 months of this calendar year, and there are some 17 SCA signatories who are intent on contributing to MySQL.

As examples of code contributions being currently reviewed, one may point to two thread on "internals," one involving a review by Konstantin Osipov (contributor: Antony Curtis, WL#820) and another a review by Guilhem Bichot (contributor: Erik Ljungstrom). 

[1] February 1, 2009 was exactly 10 years from the day I started working for Sun Microsystems Inc., February 1, 1999, when I started in the J2EE RI development team.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2009

Portlanders Take the Realm

Last year, OSCON decided to move from its traditional venue in Portland.

Now, Portlanders, who identify their city as the real bastion of Open Source Software, have decided to establish OpenSourceBridge.ORG, a conference for Open Source citizens!

In July, where would you rather be?

Thursday Apr 16, 2009

A Real Student Bargain for JavaONe

09J1_300x250_v2-1.gif

This year, JavaOne let's students get in free!

Plus, they can sign up for CommunityOne at the same time.

Both passes are full conference passes with access to everything!

Educators can also get in free when they bring 10 students with them to the conference. If they aren't able to do this, they still get a fantastic deal of $895 for a full conference pass.

This is an unprecedented bargain and discount!

What is a Full Pass?

All the benefits of a FULL conference attendee, which includes: JavaOne general and technical sessions, panel discussions, HOLs (Hands-on-labs), BOFs (Birds-of-a-feather), the Pavilion and the After Dark Bash / Networking Mixer! Not to mention a "hang space" (which includes video games, movies & more!), plus you will be able to check email any time at one of our many hacker stations.

PLUS

Admission to the CommunityOne Deep-Dives. What does this mean? FREE training by our very own SLS on some really great topics, plus hugely discounted certification (vouchers will be handed out at the event)- certification can even be done on-site! There will also be numerous parties and chances for you to network with the best and brightest in the industry, from community leaders to "Rockstars" and everyone in between.

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.)

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.

Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Simon on the WSJ

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.   

Monday Sep 08, 2008

ERP and CMS on PostgreSQL on OpenSolaris

Jignesh K. Shah and Robert Lor describe how to set up Openbravo (an open-source ERP system) and Drupal (an open-source CMS) on PostgreSQL on OpenSolaris.

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Fast Strategy Introduction

Published by O'Reilly, Amy Shuen's Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide: Business Thinking and Strategics Behind Successful Web 2.0 Implementations gives a fast, well-written introduction to the strategy, economics and business of Web 2.0 companies—all based on cases that should be familiar to the reader. 

Tuesday Aug 05, 2008

LinuxWorld Expo?

I dropped by "LinuxWorld Expo" in San Francisco on Tuesday, and I think the only thing worth noting is the PgDay.

Five years ago, when I attended the same Expo, it had a completely different spirit, with a lot more participation by the main Linux vendors and a large variety of software companies.

(Other references: PostgreSQL on Solaris and on OpenSolaris.) 

Thursday Jul 24, 2008

OSCon Presentations

Until O'Reilly gets the slides for OSCon 2008 posted, you can find some of the slide-sets and more at SlideShare.

Sun Microsystems was a platinum sponsor of the conference and had some free, slickly-published guerrilla booklets on operating systems and OpenSolaris, and several un-conference presentations at their booth, including some amazing presentations on DTrace and ZFS. I was also happy to hear the Erleng packages will be available directly as an OpenSolaris IPS.

All this, until O'Reilly posts the presentation for public viewing.

Thursday Jul 10, 2008

DTrace Envy

A colleague in our PostgreSQL team just pointed me to a "little" note on DTrace, which seems to be ignited by the work that Robert Lor and Jignesh Shah have been doing. (The PG presentation involving the Mac OS and DTrace is Robert's)

Friday Feb 08, 2008

What is Open Source?

Open Source is not just about code that can be viewed and tinkered with freely. It is also about products, people, participation, communities, institutions, cultures, economics, business models and complex property rights. It is also about developing very complex products according to property rules and in organizations that make rapid development and progress possible. With their existence, open-source communities have anticipated a new, general model for collaborative creativity.
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