Thursday May 19, 2011

Call For Nominations: Oracle Technologist of the Year 2011

Want to win the title of Developer, DBA or IT Manager of the Year?

Can you demonstrate outstanding achievements using MySQL and/or other Oracle technologies?

Then submit a nomination now!

Formerly Oracle Magazine Editors’ Choice Awards and now part of Oracle’s prestigious Oracle Excellence Awards program, these awards honor Oracle technologists for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle products and services. Winners are selected based on a compelling story of technology leadership and innovation that differentiates them from others in their roles. The awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2011 (October 2–6) in San Francisco.

The 10 winners will be selected across 10 award categories.

Read more and submit nominations here.

Thursday Aug 12, 2010

The MySQL Community Team is hiring!

MySQL community

Oracle investment in MySQL is growing, and so is our emphasis on community presence, participation, and leadership. We need now your help. Our team at Oracle needs to grow in order to support community better, and we are starting by filling the position for MySQL community manager in a place with a significantly large MySQL user base: North America.

Here we are again, with a fresh recruitment offer, for a MySQL Community Manager for North America. Please visit this link for the full req.

In the meantime, here is, in short, what we are looking for: We need a passionate MySQL lover, with a strong technical experience, and a recognized ability to get along with physical and virtual crowds. We also need someone who can speak in public confidently and has no objections to travel locally and abroad.

The job of a community manager is a powerful blend of a geek, a social media wizard, and a public speaker. I put the geek personality first, because leading by example is an important feature of this job.

If you want to apply, be aware that you will have fierce competition and we will subject you to tough scrutiny. If that doesn't scare you, Please go ahead and apply!

Good luck!

Monday Jun 21, 2010

MySQL Sunday tracks at Oracle Open World 2010

Oracle Open World is the conference of everything related to Oracle. This year edition, running from September 19th to 23rd, is expected to have more than 45,000 attendees, making it one of the biggest IT events worldwide.

Traditionally, on the Sunday preceding the main event, there is a full day technical event, fueled by the user groups, independently from the company. These Sunday events are wildly popular. they are organized by users for users, and these sessions are usually fully attended.

Now that MySQL is part of the Oracle portfolio, it is going to be part of the Oracle Open World show. In the spirit of the user groups events, there will be a MySQL Sunday event on Sunday afternoon, with four highly technical tracks, with well known speakers.

The official schedule has all the details of every session (search for "stream/track" = "MySQL Sunday"), but doesn't offer a broad view of the event. For your convenience, here's the unofficial schedule with some useful information.

Schedule

Time
Golden Gate B
Golden Gate C1
Golden Gate C2
Golden Gate C3
12.30 - 1.00
opening keynote
1.05 - 1.45
Chris Schneider, Ning, MySQL High Availability
Sarah SproehnleCloudera, Leveraging Hadoop to augment MySQL deployments
Calvin Sun, OracleInnoDB Enhancements and Roadmap
Lars Thalmann, Oracle, MySQL 5.5 replication enhancements
1.50 - 2.30
Philip Antoniades, Oracle, MySQL performance tuning best practices
Thomas AndersonOracle,Performance and Scalability Enhancements in MySQL 5.5
Ronald Bradford, 42SQL, MySQL Idiosyncrasies That Bite
Sheeri Cabral, PalominoDB - Mike Frank, Oracle, For best results – Use daily:  MySQL Workbench - Design, Develop, and Admin
2.30 - 2.45
BREAK
2.45 - 3.25
Sarah Novotny, BlueGecko, You know databases, how hard can MySQL be?
Giuseppe Maxia, Oracle, Boosting MySQL performance with partitioning
Harrison Fisk, Facebook, Advanced MySQL replication techniques
Jeff Freund, Clickability - Mark Matthews, Oracle, Efficient performance analysis and tuning with MySQL Enterprise Monitor
3.30 - 4.10
Mark Callaghan, Facebook, Success with MySQL
Duleepa "Dups" Wijayawardhana,Empire Avenue, Insert MySQL INTO Startup
Sheeri Cabral, PalominoDB, Proactively optimizating queries with EXPLAIN and mk-query-digest
Andrew Morgan, Oracle - Mat Keep, Oracle, MySQL Cluster: The Leading Open Source, HA Database for Real-Time Services
4.15 - 5.00
Closing keynote

Secure your seat.

MySQL Sunday is open to all Oracle OpenWorld, JavaOne, and Oracle Develop attendees, including those with the value-priced Discover pass ($50 if you register by July 16). You will be asked if you are attending MySQL Sunday during the conference registration process. Register today.

  • When: Sunday, September 19
  • Where: Oracle OpenWorld, JavaOne, and Oracle Develop
    San Francisco Marriott Marquis

Sessions.

(Alphabetically by title)

Advanced MySQL Replication techniques

Harrison Fisk

MySQL replication plays a critical role in most successful deployments of MySQL. Replication is relatively simple to setup, but takes much more mastery to optimize. Harrison will discuss some of the more advanced replication topologies, as well as practical tips and tricks designed to allow you to take your replication solution to the next level.


Boosting MySQL performance with partitioning

Giuseppe Maxia

Databases always grow. With partitions, MySQL 5.1 becomes an efficient and easy to use data warehouse. This session explains with practical examples how to create and use MySQL partitions and how they will increase your application performance. This presentation also covers the recent additions from MySQL 5.5


Efficient performance analysis and tuning with MySQL Enterprise Monitor

Jeff Freund - Mark Matthews

How do you know if your MySQL application is having performance issues? More importantly, how do you stop these performance issues before the application is put into production? In this session, learn how to use MySQL Enterprise Monitor to detect and notify you of existing performance robbing issues in production and how to use it in development and QA to prevent the problems from happening in the first place. Plus, you'll learn from Clickability, the leading on-demand Web Content Management solution provider, how the MySQL Enterprise Monitor and MySQL Query Analyzer are utilized to identify performance-tuning opportunities and to eliminate bottlenecks in a fraction of the time.


For best results – Use daily: MySQL Workbench - Design, Develop, and Admin

Sheeri Cabral - Mike Frank

Why are so many DBAs and developers using MySQL Workbench every day? Just ask Sheeri Cabral - Oracle Ace Director and MySQL guru. See how Sheeri designs, develops and administers MySQL databases at PalominoDB using Workbench.

PalominoDB provides remote services for MySQL and Oracle. Sheeri uses MySQL Workbench to manage distributed, replicated MySQL servers around the globe. Learn to leverage Workbench to connect, tunnel, script, control, configure, maintain, and manage your servers.

Sheeri will share her Workbench snippets and show a few in action. Later you can download these snippets to improve your own productivity.

Also on hand, Mike Frank, PM for Workbench will show how to extend Workbench with plug-ins.


InnoDB Enhancements and Roadmap

Calvin Sun

Oracle's InnoDB is the most popular, reliable, and proven transactional storage engine for MySQL. InnoDB provides transactions, row-level locking, multi-version concurrency control for superior performance, and referential integrity and all four ANSI SQL transaction isolation levels to ensure the integrity of your database.

In this session, you will learn InnoDB architecture and some innovative technologies in InnoDB for performance and data protection. You will also hear new performance-enhancing features to improve concurrency and scalability in InnoDB.


MySQL High Availability

Chris Schneider

This talk will cover high availability techniques, sharding fundamentals, third party technologies and how to decrease the likelihood of system outages.

  • Hardware specifications to consider
  • Functionally Sharding your data
  • Why one would use various topologies such as a relay slave,master-master replication or circular replication for High Availability
  • Fail over mechanisms you should consider with replication (i.e. keepalived, heartbeat)
  • How to safely and reliably replicate over a WAN for disaster recovery
  • Mixing up storage engines (e.g., Leveraging the Blackhole engine)
  • Third party options for sharding your data

Leveraging Hadoop to augment MySQL deployments

Sarah Sproehnle

When you're dealing with Petabytes of data, even MySQL starts to struggle. Hadoop can work alongside your current system, allowing you to perform complex analyses of your entire dataset. And with tools such as Sqoop and Hive, you can do all of that in an SQL-like language without needing to learn the complexities of the underlying MapReduce system.

This talk will demonstrate how you can augment your existing MySQL deployments with Hadoop for batch processing of large amounts of data.

In particular, these topics will be discussed:

  • Using Sqoop, an open-source tool for importing data from MySQL to Hadoop
  • Using Sqoop to export data from Hadoop back to MySQL
  • Using Hive, an SQL-like language, for doing reporting or ETL operations in Hadoop

MySQL 5.5 replication enhancements

Lars Thalmann

To scale the business, many companies have large data centers with replicated MySQL servers. Some have hundreds or even thousands of MySQL servers that replicate data. In this talk Lars explains how to use MySQL Replication for scalability and high availability and we especially review the new MySQL 5.5 features that has been implemented to support and simplify maintenance of such installations. Features include replication heartbeating, semi-synchronous replication plugin, fsync tuning, and relay log corruption recovery.


MySQL Cluster: The Leading Open Source, HA Database for Real-Time Services

Andrew Morgan - Mat Keep

MySQL Cluster has proven itself in mission critical telecoms and web services demanding real-time performance and HA in organizations including ALU, Cisco, Juniper, Telenor, UTStarcom & Zillow.com.

This session will introduce the most recent MySQL Cluster 7.1 release including:

  • ndbinfo: presents real-time usage statistics, enabling developers and DBAs to monitor performance and optimize applications.
  • The MySQL Cluster Connector for Java: an easy-to-use, high performance native Java interface & OpenJPA plug-in that maps Java classes to tables stored in the MySQL Cluster database.

Finally, Andrew and Mat will present some real-world case studies & explain some of the new capabilities that are currently in development.


MySQL Idiosyncrasies That Bite

Ronald Bradford

While MySQL is a popular and widely used RDBMS, some default features and settings are very foreign in comparison with other commercial RDBMS products. In this discussion, Ronald Bradford will discuss some of the MySQL defaults including a non-transactional state, silent data truncations, date management, and transaction isolation options. These are all critical for data integrity and consistency. He will cover in-depth topics including SQL_MODE that saves the day. He will also cover character sets and collations and the best practices to ensure your UTF8 is stored and retrieved correctly.

Insert MySQL INTO Startup

Duleepa "Dups" Wijayawardhana

When you picture a software startup today you no longer think of people in a garage creating a piece of software to be shipped on disks. It's all about data and global connectivity. Dups will lead you through the technical wonders of deciding to create a virtual economy and stock market and the decision to use MySQL. For Empire Avenue, MySQL is the foundation for a scalable, fast, web architecture which has allowed the company to create and deploy an application in record time with minimal cost. In the world of massive data and the web, you want applications that Scale Fast and Fail Fast. Those that scale and grab our imagination present new business opportunities, technical challenges and new economies. Welcome to the world of a Startup with MySQL.


MySQL performance tuning best practices

Philip Antoniades

Learn how to do basic tuning of MySQL using only the tools that come with MySQL. See how to tune for connections, select the best storage engines, and learn how to analyze the key statistics of a MySQL server. This is a technical talk, but no MySQL experience is needed.

Performance and Scalability Enhancements in MySQL 5.5

Thomas Anderson

In this technical, deep-dive talk, Thomas will explain the performance features added to MySQL Server and the InnoDB 1.1 Plugin. Including details on the scalability gains for multicore systems.


Proactively optimizating queries with EXPLAIN and mk-query-digest

Sheeri Cabral

This session will cover how to systematically find each query in a system and how to approve or optimize each query using EXPLAIN. Participants do not need to know how to use EXPLAIN or mk-query-digest to attend this session. This methodology can be used to find queries before they become problems; it can also be used in parts for regular query optimization of known bad queries.


Success with MySQL

Mark Callaghan

What determines whether a MySQL deployment will succeed? Some deployments are great while others are a constant source of trouble. The secret to success is you, not the MySQL RDBMS. Decisions that you make with respect to the database operations, server platform, schema and workload are critical. Mark will provide examples of decisions, both good and bad, that have a significant impact on the health of a MySQL deployment.


You know databases, how hard can MySQL be?

Sarah Novotny

DBAs everywhere are being asked to support MySQL as a less costly alternative in Oracle's portfolio. Rest assured, (almost) everything you know about Oracle can be translated and applied to supporting MySQL with some new vocabulary and some smart starting points.

This talk will touch on 5 things that are helpful to get right from the beginning. Through anecdotes, Sarah will spotlight some common pitfalls, share paths to a fix If you've inherited a running system and offer a vocabulary lesson so those who speak Oracle can start understanding MySQL.

She'll be touching on user management and security, backups and replicas, monitoring, storage engine choices, and probably monitoring again (because it is that important).


Speakers

(Alphabetically by last name)

Thomas Anderson

Thomas is a performance software engineer at MySQL.


Ronald Bradford

Ronald is a RDBMS industry expert with 2 decades experience using MySQL, Oracle and Ingres.

He presently provides MySQL and Drizzle consulting in the US and Europe for companies requiring assistance in performance analysis & tuning, web scalability, higher availability and for database architecture and design. Ronald has presented at many MySQL events including a number of presentations for Oracle resources. More information is available at MySQL for the Oracle DBA resources.

Ronald is co author of the upcoming Wrox Press book ‘Expert PHP and MySQL’

For more information and blog visit www.ronaldbradford.com and on Twitter Ronald writes at @RonaldBradford and @MySQLExpert


Sheeri Cabral

Sheeri K. Cabral has a master’s degree in computer science specializing in databases from Brandeis University. She has background as a systems administrator; has worked with Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Solaris, RedHat/Fedora, AIX, and HP-UX. Unstoppable as a volunteer and activist since age 14, Cabral founded and organizes the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, MySQL User group, and wrote the MySQL Administrator’s Bible.


Mark Callaghan

Mark leads the MySQL engineering team at Facebook. The team makes MySQL better for a large and critical deployment. The team writes about their work at http://facebook.com/mysqlatfacebook and publishes patches for MySQL at http://launchpad.net/mysqlatfacebook.

He previously lead the MySQL engineering team at Google. The team published a popular patch for MySQL that included semi-sync replication, user and table monitoring via SHOW TABLE_STATISTICS and USER_STATISTICS, SMP and IO performance patches for InnoDB, global transaction IDs for replication, row-change logging, transactional replication and many bug fixes.

Prior to Google Mark worked at Identity Engines, Oracle and Informix on database internals. Mark holds an M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He occasionally writes about MySQL at http://mysqlha.blogspot.com.


Harrison Fisk

Harrison is part of the MySQL team at Facebook. Prior to working for Facebook, he was employed at MySQL AB (subsequently acquired by Sun and then Oracle) for 8 years as a senior principal MySQL support engineer, trainer, and consultant. He also is the co-author of a book, MySQL Clustering. Harrison holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from University at Buffalo. His MySQL writings can also be found at http://harrison-fisk.blogspot.com.


Mike Frank

Mike Frank is a Senior Product Manager at Oracle focusing on MySQL - specifically Workbench, security, backup/recovery, platforms, and connectors. Prior to joining MySQL, Mike was Director of Technology at Idera. He was a Product Line Manager at PentaSafe Security Technologies which was acquired by NetIQ. His experience includes development and consulting in the fields of IT security, database design and management, e-business and trading systems.


Jeff Freund

Jeff Freund is the Founder and CEO of Clickability. With over 14 years of experience in the technology industry, Jeff works to expand Clickability’s leadership position in the Web Content Management category. Jeff is instrumental to Clickability’s rapid growth through the expansion of customer and partner initiatives, product innovation, and driving the market shift from traditional, on-premise technology to on-demand, cloud-based software and infrastructure. As Clickability's technical visionary and founding CTO, Jeff designed and deployed the first and only pure-play SaaS platform for the entire Web Content Management lifecycle. Under Jeff’s leadership, Clickability is responsible for the management and global deployment of over 500 websites worldwide for such companies as NetApp, BMC Software, PR Newswire (United Business Media), NBC, Cantor Fitzgerald, Smithsonian, Philly.com, and Eloqua, among others.


Mat Keep

Mat is part of the MySQL Cluster product team, responsible for product strategy and community development. In addition to driving adoption of MySQL Cluster into telecoms, web and enterprise industries, Mat is also involved in gathering user feedback and roadmap planning/ implementation with the engineering groups. Based out of the United Kingdom, Mat became part of MySQL in September 2008. Prior to that, Mat held a series of product management and development positions with Sun Microsystems and other vendors.


Mark Matthews

Mark Matthews is a member of the MySQL and Java communities since 1996, and joined MySQL as a developer in 2002. He is currently an architect for the MySQL Enterprise Monitor team at Oracle. Prior to joining the Enterprise Monitor Team, he was the original developer of MySQL's JDBC driver and still participates in the JDBC Experts Group. Before joining MySQL, Mark worked as a consultant helping deliver applications for the finance, healthcare, retail and cosmetics industries.


Giuseppe Maxia

Giuseppe Maxia, a.k.a. “The Data Charmer” is the MySQL community team lead at Oracle.

He’s an active member of the MySQL community and long timer open source enthusiast. During the past 23 years he has worked in various IT related fields, with focus on databases, object oriented programming, system administration. Fluent in Italian, English, Perl, SQL, Lua, C, Bash, and good speaker of C++, French, Spanish, Java. Works in cyberspace, with a virtual team.


Philip Antoniades

Philip Antoniades has over 10 years of Web and Database development experience, and has been a MySQL Employee since 2003. He currently heads the MySQL Pre-sales Consulting teams for the Americas and Asia at Oracle. Philip lives in New York City.


Andrew Morgan

Andrew is the MySQL Product Manager responsible for High Availability Solutions - in particular MySQL Cluster and replication. He is based in United Kingdom and has worked for MySQL/Sun/Oracle since February 2009. Before joining MySQL he was responsible for delivering High Availability telecoms applications which is where he became exposed to MySQL Cluster - replacing proprietary and 3rd party databases. His primary roles in MySQL are working with engineers to make sure that MySQL Cluster & replication evolve to meet the needs of their users as well as spreading the word on the what people can get from these technologies. Andrew blogs regularly at www.clusterdb.com.


Sarah Novotny

Sarah’s a founding partner of Blue Gecko. She manages and is a senior administrator in the MySQL/ LAMP practice. Her company does remote administration and management of databases around the world.

She additionally runs the Seattle meetups for LinuxChix, MySQL, and one focused on Opensource and general geeky socializing.


Chris Schneider

Chris is a certified MySQL professional with over 6 years in the MySQL community. He has designed, implemented and maintained small to large-scale MySQL installations. This includes building architectures from the ground up and improving on those that are currently in place while emphasizing scalability, performance and ease of use. A few of the companies he has contributed to are GoDaddy.com, Facebook.com, VMware, Virident, Plaxo.com and Ning.com.


Sarah Sproehnle

Sarah works for Cloudera, where she provides training on Hadoop, Hive, HBase and more. Prior to Cloudera, she worked for MySQL, teaching people database administration, high availability and performance tuning.


Calvin Sun

Calvin Sun is the development manager of the InnoDB group at Oracle. Prior to joining Oracle, he was the development manager of storage engines at MySQL. He has over ten years of database internals experience at Pervasive Software, MySQL and now Oracle. He has an M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Science and Technology of China.


Lars Thalmann

Dr. Lars Thalmann is the development manager for MySQL replication and backup. He is responsible for the strategy and development of these features and leads the corresponding engineering teams. Thalmann has worked with MySQL development since 2001, when he was a software developer working on MySQL Cluster. More recently, he has driven the creation and development of the MySQL backup feature, has guided the evolution of MySQL replication since 2004, and has been a key player in the development of MySQL Cluster replication. Thalmann holds a doctorate in Computer Science from Uppsala University, Sweden.


Duleepa "Dups" Wijayawardhana

Duleepa "Dups" Wijayawardhana is the CEO of the brand new web-based startup Empire Avenue based out of Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Prior to starting Empire Avenue, Dups worked for MySQL AB (later Sun Microsystems) and BioWare Corp. (later a subsidiary of Electronic Arts). At MySQL/Sun, Dups was the Community Relations Manager for North America as well as being on MySQL's Web Team. Dups has spoken at various events, and multiple universities on the topics of scaling and web site performance and is now reliving the front line fun of creating a social network and a virtual economy using MySQL, Memcached and whole host of new and old technology.

Tuesday May 11, 2010

MySQL track with free event at Kaleidoscope 2010

The Oracle Development Tools Users Group (ODTUG) is holding its annual conference in Washington, DC, from June 27th to July 1st. The great news this year is that, at popular demand, there will be a MySQL track, organized and manned by the MySQL community.

The even greater news is that, in addition to the general schedule, there are SUNDOWN SESSIONS

Monday, June 28, 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. (reception immediately following)

Join us on Monday, June 28 for a lively open discussion with Oracle MySQL ACE Directors. In addition to a specific session on MySQL, other Sundown Sessions will address: Middle Tier and Client-Side Development, Database Development, Hyperion, Essbase and BI, SOA and BPM, and Application Express. Drinks and snacks will be served during the sessions, followed by a reception for conference attendees and ACE Directors.

The sundown sessions are free, and they don't require a registration, however the organizers are asking you provide your name and email for confirmation of numbers of attendees by filling in this form.

As previously reported, there has been some love at first sight between independent Oracle User groups like the IOUG and the ODTUG (Oracle Development Tools Users Group). The end result was that a few skilled Oracle ACE Directors have taken the task of organizing the MySQL track within the conference, and the event is shaping up wuite nicely.

You can see the lineup in Sheeri's blog and more info in Ronald's pages.

This is a good chance for the MySQL community. Mingling with a wider organization of dedicated and skilled users is the starting point for widening one's business and to improve on best practices.

UPDATE: Track details with discount code for MySQL attendees.

Tuesday Sep 22, 2009

Lig at a few conferences this Oct

I have somehow managed to weasel been selected to speak at a few of the upcoming conferences this October.  I will be presenting at the various conferences either on Performance tuning the MySQL server or on using EXPLAIN.  I know... I know - they must be crazy to have picked me, but I am not crazy enough to turn down the opportunity.

 I will be speaking at Codeworks -Miami (Sept 30 - Oct 1), the Zend PHP Conference (Oct 19 - 22) and the Florida Linux Show (Oct 24) so if you are attending or just in the area - be sure to find me for a chat.  If you are at the Florida Linux Show I will be in the MySQL booth and should also have some goodies to hand out as well - thanks to the Community team... and who wouldn't want free swag...

It will be absolutely crazy for a bit (my husband will get to pretend he is single for a while) but I can't wait to see you there. 

Guest post by Ligaya Turmelle, MySQL Support Engineer

Wednesday Sep 09, 2009

MySQL / Open Source Event Calendar

The MySQL Community Team maintains a calendar to keep track of Open Source events and conferences that might be relevant from a MySQL point of view (either by submitting a talk, sponsoring or attending it). This calendar is now public - you can either look at the HTML version on the MySQL Forge or subscribe to the iCal feed (e.g. using Mozilla Sunbird or Lightning).

Are we missing an event? If you know any other events that should be included in this calendar, please submit your suggestions via this event submission form. Thank you!

Monday Jun 29, 2009

FrOSCon schedule draft published, CfP for OpenSQL Camp still open until July 19th!

FrOSCon Logo

FrOSCon, the Free and Open Source Conference, will take place on August 22nd and 23rd in Sankt Augustin, Germany. Sun Microsystems is a Gold Sponsor of the conference which takes place for the fourth time now. As for the previous years, the organizers have managed to arrange a great lineup of speakers and content. Presentations are held in both English and German — a first draft of the schedule is now available. However, it is still subject to change in some details, based on the feedback by the invited speakers.

I am looking forward to this event, especially since we're helping to organize the OpenSQL Camp subconference there, which will take place in parallel (there also is a subconference about Java this time). By the way: if you've missed the deadline for submitting your database-related talk to FrOSCon, you can still submit your talk for OpenSQL Camp until July, 19th! We look forward to your submission.

On the FrOSCon main tracks, there will be a number of MySQL-related talks as well as presentations about other Open Source projects sponsored and supported by Sun. Here's an excerpt from the schedule:

In addition to that, there are numerous other very interesting talks related to Linux, Open Source, Cloud Computing and other topics. There usually is a nice social event (BBQ) and BOFs on Saturday evening and the overall atmosphere at FrOSCon is very relaxed and friendly. So don't miss this opportunity!

Tuesday May 12, 2009

MySQL User Groups: Facebook is not mandatory

Several people commented on our last blog post or contacted us via our Twitter account, asking questions and raising concerns about migrating the MySQL user group organization to FaceBook. It seems like there is some confusion that we would like to address: you are not required to move to FaceBook. This was just a recommendation, you are of course free to choose whatever service you prefer to manage your MySQL user group. In fact, you are of course welcome to continue using Meetup.com for this! However, be advised that you will have to take care of any occurring fees by yourself from now on, as the sponsorship agreement between MySQL and Meetup.com was not renewed.

And if Facebook is not your cup of tea, there are other services that provide similar functionality. We've tried to document these on the MySQL Forge Wiki - please feel free to add your own suggestions and provide hints based on your experiences! Some of the other services that we know about include:

 In any case, wherever your user group's new home will be, please ensure to update the List of MySQL User Groups on the Forge Wiki! Thanks.

Monday May 11, 2009

MySQL User Groups : migrating event management to Facebook

Background

For several years, MySQL User Groups have been organizing their meetings with Meetup.com, a service that simplifies event management. However, MySQL User group organizers received a surprise message from Meetup.com a few days ago.

We were all taken by surprise by Meetup's sudden announcement and allegation that MySQL "did not want to sponsor" the users groups, because there is a valid agreement between MySQL and meetup.com. The agreement is still in effect, ending on June 10, 2009.

Apparently, there was some miscommunication inside Meetup.com, because the group organizers received a message stating that they should now pay for meetup services, which they used to get for free, thanks to MySQL sponsorship.

It took us a few days to track the origin of the misunderstanding, and when we thereafter got in touch with meetup.com, we learned that their business model has changed.

Moreover, they would no longer accept sponsorship agreements like the one we have had in place so far.

Current situation

Meetup.com's business model differs considerably from before.

This is the summary description of how the sponsorship works, as received from meetup.com:

"All organizers will need to pay their Meetup subscription fees and through sponsorship can receive financial support from participating in a sponsorship."

Without sponsoring, each MySQL User Group would end up spending 12 US dollars a month, or 144 dollars a year, for the ability to use Meetup.com's services.

What now?

MySQL User Groups are obviously free to use any service for event management and invitations. However, as Meetup.com has terminated our agreement, we in Sun's MySQL Community Team will no longer sponsor nor recommend the usage of Meetup.com for our User Groups. In this sense, while Meetup.com's announcement that MySQL did not want to sponsor the fees was originally not true, it has now become reality.

That said, we want to thank Meetup.com for graciously hosting MySQL groups so far. It's been a great service! We wish Meetup.com good luck with their new business model. And obviously, any user group that wishes to stay with Meetup.com is free to do so, but in that case, they will be responsible for the fees themselves.

The Community Team recommends the MySQL User Groups to manage from now on their user group invitations with Facebook. We've been in contact with Facebook on this, and they're thrilled at the idea of hosting MySQL groups.

And as you know, their service is free of charge.

We know such a migration is going to be a strain for many of you, and for this reason Colin has prepared an article to assist you in your migration (It's in Colin's blog ).

If your group has been inactive for a while, this might be a great time to re-invigorate your users with a change in scenery!

If you need a mailing list for your user group, we will gladly assist anyone who needs a dedicated list, like we've done for several groups before: http://lists.mysql.com/#ug.

The main point is to keep the groups working, and to keep meeting other users, regardless of the system used to spread the news.

If there are practical problems related to your migration, please let us know. If you would like to use different networks to organize your group, such as in particular Xing for German speaking MySQL User Groups, feel free, and let everyone know.

In particular, make sure to update your Group's whereabouts on the MySQL Forge Wiki.

Happy Meetings!

Thursday Jan 15, 2009

An interview with The Data Charmer.

By Giuseppe Maxia

The Data Charmer, a.k.a. The Wizard, is a free lance database consultant, with a long career in several IT fields. He is well known for his Perl and SQL expertise,although he is proficient in several other languages, such as C++, shell scripts, and Italian.

He has a split personality, one of which lives in virtual space and time, floating around UTC+1. The other (or the others, as there is a dispute about how many they are) is less documented and some people believe it to be fictional. He teaches Creative Biography at the University of Euphoria, CA (also known as Euphoric State).


G.M. Hello, D.C. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. I'll start with a question that most people ask. Who are you?

D.C. This is not really a question I'm willing to answer. Besides, the answer would be misleading. In the Internet age, I can be several people at once. Even presenting myself with the same name, I would be known as a different kind of individual in each place I appear. If I discuss philatelic matters in a specialized forum, they won't be interested in my involvement with the Perl community, thus I keep separate names for different places.

G.M. Ah! You're a philatelist, then?

D.C. No. That was just an example.

G.M. You have been associated with a few names in the IT field. Some have even said that you and I are the same person. What is your comment on such allegation?

D.C. Believe it or not, this question can't be answered in full. I may well be a different person when this interview is over. I could even be you, even though I recall many times when you have come to me for help, but the matter of identity is not compelling. I'm content with my fuzzy definition of a hyper space entity.

G.M. Ok. Let's move with more definite matters. What's your involvement with MySQL?

D.C. I started using it about eight years ago. I had a problem to solve quickly, and MySQL was available, easy to install, and it fit the bill

wonderfully. Then I found out that it was the right tool for a whole range of medium to high level problems, and I started using it instead of other more famous databases, despite the wide criticism from most Cargo Cult programmer, who claim that MySQL is not a real DBMS because it lacks this and that feature.

G.M. Whoa! Hold down. That's a mouthful. What's a Cargo Cult programmer?

D.It's a funny, but very effective concept introduced by Richard Feynman in regard to science. He recalls that during the WWII in some Pacific islands the inhabitants observed American soldiers gesturing on an airstrip when military cargoes were landing, carrying every sort of goods. When the war ended and the troops left, the natives tried to recreate the conditions for the cargoes to land. A man with half coconuts on his ears wandered the airstrip, waving wooden pads, while others inspected the horizon from the height of makeshift control towers. But of course no cargo arrived as a result of their efforts. Likewise, there are many programmers who solve their problems with cut-and-paste, without having any idea of why the original code was structured in that way.

G.M. Are you telling me that all MySQL critics are Cargo Cult programmers?

D.C. No. But a real good share of them are. Why? It's a matter of statistics. The Internet has dozens of millions of dynamic sites. Behind each of them there is some sort of database, but that does not mean that all their users are database experts. On the contrary, most web developers in my experience, know very little about databases, and they use databases through wrappers. If you ask those people which database they are using, they may tell you it's 'Java' or some trendy CMS brand. I came across many programmers who were using Oracle through one of such wrappers and they spent much time explaining to me why Oracle was the right choice for the task straight from some marketing ad. However, I was auditing their code, to find the reason for a performance bottleneck. They wanted to show me the interaction with Java classes that handled the database. Instead, I looked at the database logs, and I found an impressive number of commits and no join clauses in their select statements. It turned out that they were not using database transactions at all, and they were emulating transactions with client code. And what's worse, their code was emulating joins as well.

G.M. This looks too ugly to be a generalized case. Surely the majority of database programmers are not like that.

D.C. I would like to share your optimism, but my personal experience tells me exactly the opposite. Most database programmers have little clue of relational theory, and thus most performance and scalability issues are just a problem of lack of basics.

G.M. Perhaps we have gone too far from the main subject of this interview. Let's try to get back on track. How did you get involved with databases?

D.C. I had my first encounter with SQL about twenty years ago. I attended an Oracle course and I started using it at my employer's. A few years later I was introduced to formal relational theory during a long course in structured analysis. Before that , I knew about relational theory as a necessary complement of SQL, not the other way around. Once I got acquainted with formal relational theory, I found out that it suited me quite well. I can design data in 3NF just out of my head. Thus, when I see a beginner struggling with a 1NF or even breaking it, I can see immediately what's wrong.

G.M. After your initial acquaintance with Oracle, have you used it a lot?

D.C. Not really. At my employer's it was ruled out after a few months, in favor of a home made solution. I'm talking about mainframe applications, which were still common at that time. Oracle was supposed to replace a huge non-relational database that was designed in the 1960s and it was showing its age. Personal computers were not as ubiquitous as they became after 1995, and the idea of using a PC for a database was considered sort of bizarre by the few professionals of this field. There was no Linux and no widespread open source yet, and MSDOS was by all practical purposes the only choice of OS in the market. In these years I managed to migrate the mainframe database to a relational one, using a PC based API for a RDBMS written in C. There was no MySQL in sight yet, and that wonderful API did not have a SQL interface. I wrote a simple wrapper that sounded like SQL and with that I converted the existing financial procedures in the new system. Since then, I have been always curious about the internals of database system. When I found MySQL, with its open code, it was love at first sight.

G.M. Let's skip to a related subject. You said that at the end of the 1980s MSDOS was the only choice. What's your take now? Which is your OS of choice?

D.C. As a MSDOS user, I became quite an expert at circumventing its limitations, the biggest of which was lack of multitasking. Although multitasking processors had been available for a few years (80286 and 80386) there was no way of exploiting that. When Windows 3.1 hit the shelves, offering a simple multi tasking, I grudgingly embraced the new system. It was clear from the beginning that most of the knowledge accumulated during the years of MSDOS usage were nearly useless with Windows 3.1. Which had its problems as well. And so I waited for the next major miracle, Windows 95, announced as the ultimate problem solver. What was ultimately true though, was the realization that most of the experience I had with MSDOS and Windows 3.1was now going down the drain. It seemed that Microsoft was making a point of discarding the ones who had invested time and money to become proficient with its products. In the meantime, in 1993 I had a serendipitous encounter with an alternative operating system. Its name was Linux, and it could do multitasking much more efficiently than Windows. I started using it for some projects, and I appreciated its powers. In 1999, when it became clear that the successor of Windows 95 were going to make me discard yet again my previous knowledge, I began to use dual boot computers with Linux and Windows. In 2001, I abandoned every surviving hope of seeing a usable OS from Microsoft and since then I only have full Linux installations in my machines. This year I started using a Mac Laptop, and to my delight I could apply most of my Linux expertise to this OS. I am currently using three Linux boxes for sheer power and development, and the Mac for mobility.

G.M. What are your tools of the trade? Editors, and so on?

D.C. I'm a command line guy. I do my text manipulation from the shell prompt. Between shell built-in commands and Perl I do most of my work. My editor of choice is vim. I know that there are more powerful ones, but vim (or at least 'vi') is ubiquitous. If you can use it, you can work everywhere. Vim is to editors what MySQL is to databases.

G.M. You have been called a wizard, a guru, a hacker. How do you describe yourself?

D.C. I am an experienced user of tools and I'm always curious about how things work and eager to learn new things. I don't call myself a hacker, but I don't object being called that. About wizard and guru, well, it makes me smile when I realize that I can still surprise someone with my old tricks.

G.M. If you could leave one piece of advice into the universal bag of tricks for technology newbies, what would your advice be?

D.C. Be curious.

Thursday Dec 11, 2008

New blog for MySQL Community

There is a new blog in the MySQL Community arena.

It is a collaborative podium for guest posts. We will host colleagues or community members who have no blog and need a temporary place for their message. The first experiment was successful, and we decided to have a more stable place for it.

We start today by hosting Trim Perhad, System QA manager of MySQL, who presents some interesting performance results.
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