Saturday Oct 30, 2010

Into the sunset


After four years working with the MySQL team, under three different companies, it's time for me to pursue a new career.

Tomorrow is my last working day at Oracle. (Working? But it's Sunday! So, ehm, kind of, anyway, you got the point.)

You may look at my personal blog in the coming days to know what I am going to do next.

Right now, I would like to just say thank you to all my colleagues in the MySQL Team, and to all the community people with whom I have shared the wonderful experience of these four years.

And also, thanks to all the ones who have offered me a job. Really. There were many offers. I am sorry I could not take them all and I had to choose one in the end, but thanks, my friends, for believing in me.

See you around!

P.S.: This blog will not be updated anymore.

Wednesday Sep 01, 2010

Mårten Mickos strikes back

Mårten Mickos, the CEO of Eucalyptus and former CEO of MySQL AB, will be back on stage as the closing keynoter on September 19th at MySQL Sunday, one of the community events at the start of Oracle Open World 2010.

The opening keynote will be delivered by Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle.

MySQL Sunday has a very rich schedule, and by the registration numbers it looks like it's going to be packed.

Sunday Jul 04, 2010

MySQL track at the German Oracle User Group conference


As we have seen for other events, the MySQL community has been invited to attend and participate in conferences organized by the Oracle User Groups.

After the past, present and future events in the United States, now we start with Europe.

There is a MySQL Track at the DOAG 2010 Conference, the main event of the German Oracle User Groups, and the CfP expires on July 10th.

The event is of course important for German speakers, but English speakers are also accepted.

As the other events in the US, this is a good occasion for MySQL users to get acquainted with the independent Oracle user group organization, and find common business needs. There are many MySQL users among the Oracle User Group members, and much curiosity about this small database that powers the Internet.

If you want to get a talk at this conference, feel free to submit a proposal. Or simply mark the dates: November 16th to 18th.

MySQL users, don't be shy!

Follow Paul McCullagh's example, and get ready to explore a yet uncharted but promising territory.

Saturday Jul 03, 2010

Monty doesn't say ...

Monty says:

During the last 2 years, I have seen a lot of the people that originally worked at MySQL AB and who joined Sun together with me, go away in different directions. More than 50 % of them have already left Sun/Oracle.

Matthew Montgomery commented...

I'm curious where you are getting that > 50% number? How would you have any access to that sort of HR information? Sounds like one of those numbers that falls under the "83% of all statistics are made up" rule.

And Monty answered

The MySQL Alumini in linkedin group has close to 200 members, a majority that also joined Sun and this group doesn't include all people that have left. I have also heard the number 50 % from MySQL people that recently left Oracle, so I have good reasons to believe that this figure is reasonable accurate.

Then I left a comment, but I haven't seen it published yet. So here goes


Your figure is far from being accurate.

The MySQL Alumni group includes at least 75 people (hand counted, there may be more) who are still working with MySQL at Oracle.

The Sakila Alumni is a group of former MySQL AB employees. I am also part of that group, but I still work with the MySQL team at Oracle. You'd be also pleased to acknowledge that, as of January 16, 2008, when MySQL AB was acquired by Sun, the number of all-time hired employees was way over 600. On that day, there were already more than 200 former MySQL AB employees.

If you have better information that doesn't come from hearsay, I'd like to know.


Actually, if you go to the MySQL Alumni group on LinkedIn, and click on "members", and then on "advanced search", you get this summary:

So, according to LinkedIn, out of 194 Alumni, 49 are at Oracle, 49 at Sun Microsystems, and 21 in a time machine still at MySQL. That makes 120 people out of 194 who are still with the team, unless their "current company" is not up to date.

And, to make things more clear, let me add something. I was challenged to publish the current staffing numbers to settle the matter. Let me remind everyone who wants to get involved in this silly claim that the burden of proof lies with the claimant. I have no obligation to release company confidential records to dispel FUD.

Friday May 21, 2010

MySQL 5.1.47 and 5.0.91 released - Two strong reasons to upgrade

MySQL security MySQL has released security updates for MySQL 5.1.47 and 5.0.91. The most important changes in these releases are fixes of three security bugs. One of them is a problem that had been lurking in the code for many years, and it was found by chance when one of our developers, testing something unrelated, stumbled upon one of the vulnerabilities. Later on, when analyzing the bug, the developers found one more issue, and they fixed it as well.

MySQL 5.1.47

In addition to the security update, MySQL 5.1.47 is also very important for an additional reason. The InnoDB plugin that ships with this version has been updated to 1.0.8, which is considered to be of General Availability (GA) quality.

There are more changes, including some twists to the error log, to make replication administration more robust.

MySQL 5.0.91 security update

Together with MySQl 5.1.47, there is a security update of MySQL 5.0.91.

Since MySQL 5.0 is now in Extended Support state, the binaries are not in the main download pages, but only in the archives. As the MySQL Lifecycle Policy says, only serious security bugs are fixed, and the binaries are provided at the company's discretion.

If you are still using MySQL 5.0, this is a good moment to upgrade to 5.1.

Tuesday May 04, 2010

The MySQL Community meets the Independent Oracle Users Group

ioug After the MySQL Conference, while most of my European colleagues were busy with volcanic disruptions and seeking alternative routes to the Old Continent, I headed to Las Vegas, to attend Collaborate10 a conference different from the ones I have been used so far.

Collaborate10 is the conference of the Oracle Users Groups. I had been asked to participate with a few talks on MySQL, and I was curious of meeting this for me new organization. I prepared three talks, one introduction to MySQL and two advanced ones, and thus equipped I ventured along the immense corridors of the Mandalay Bay convention center.

The conference started on Monday, but the convention center had plenty of activity on Sunday as well. Part of the action, and a big surprise for me, is that the board of directors of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) wanted to meet me, and not just informally in front of a coffee cup, but in one of the board rooms, where I was seated at the head of a long conference table and asked to talk to them about MySQL and its community.

Boy! That was quite an experience. That meeting was very pleasant and informative. I learned that the IOUG is very well organized, with national and regional groups, publications, benefits for members, several conferences, and much more that I don't feel qualify to convey in full.

The process of mutual learning called for a presentation of MySQL and its community, which looks comparatively very much scattered and hard to fit under a single umbrella. Nonetheless, we managed to explain the relative positions, and I was impressed by the high relevance given to community in this organization, independently from Oracle, the company. Also very relevant to me is the attitude of the IOUG members, who are very much technically oriented, and thus quite similar to many MySQL users, who like a direct involvement with their tools.

There was not room for final decisions, but we ended the meeting with the understanding that it makes sense for both communities to explore each other and find out how they can eventually interact in common activity, such as group meetings and conferences. The root of the IOUG interest in MySQL is not only in the Sun acquisition by Oracle, but also in the results of a recent survey among their 20,000 members, where 44% of them say that in addition to historical Oracle products, they also use MySQL. Of course this fact calls for a desire of knowing MySQL users and exchanging notes.

Therefore, this is my first pass. I am letting the MySQL community know that the IOUG is willing to know more on MySQL and the MySQL community, and is eager to facilitate the introduction of MySQL groups among its ranks, in the ways that will be mutually determined by the interested parties. Therefore, MySQL users, if you know someone who is a member of the IOUG, you may start getting acquainted and exploring the possibilities offered by this mature institution, and explore in which ways the two sets may overlap.

I am not suggesting any rushed move from either side. Some preliminary courtship and information gathering must precede more serious commitments. But both sides can start thinking about the advantages that one group's exposure to the other can bring along. There is business to be done on both sides of the ditch, as many Oracle users are also MySQL users. There is going to be need for training, consulting, conference talks, integration, migration, and much more may come to mind after some pondering.

For the Oracle community, being in contact with MySQL users may be a refreshing and enlightening experience, since MySQL users are traditionally well versed in Web related issues, and can teach one trick or two to users whose experience is delimited by the walls of corporate rules. On the other hand, the MySQL community can have a similar epiphany by comparing experiences with their Oracle counterpart. I did that for the four days of the conference, and I must say that the questions that I got from this particular audience were quite revealing and useful.

After meeting the IOUG, I managed to meet another board of directors, this time it was the Oracle Development Tools Users Group (ODTUG), a group of very skilled people, who produce high level training sessions that are always sold out and a conference that gathers the best experts on Oracle development tools. The ODTUG is interested in the MySQL community for the same reasons that raises the IOUG attention. But their interest is somehow more pressing, because the main conference, Kaleidoscope, is quickly approaching. Therefore, they wanted to get in touch with some MySQL community people immediately, in order to include some MySQL contents in their conference. The conference is in Washington, and I was going back to Europe, since the volcanic ashes, by the time of my scheduled return trip, weren't a threat anymore. Therefore I gladly absolved my task by involving two super heroes of the MySQL community, who have recently been awarded the title of Oracle ACE Director: Ronald Bradford and Sheeri Cabral. Having left the matter in their capable hands, it wasn't long before they came up with a full emergency schedule for the conference, with an understanding for an integrated and more thoroughly planned schedule for next year. You can see the rest in The MySQL community impacting the Oracle community.

Finally, I would like to spend a few words to thank my hosts at the IOUG conference for their hospitality, for the excellent organization shown, and for providing some fun among all the business, which this picture can describe better than any words.

Friday Dec 11, 2009

Active support for MySQL 5.0 and extended support for 4.1 will soon end

At the end of this year, two long lasting versions of MySQL will fall off the radar, each of them in a different way.

MySQL 5.0 active support will end.

What does that mean? it means that there won't be regular monthly updates and bug fixes. This version enters the extended support period, which lasts until 2012. During this phase, only security and major bugs fixes will be applied.

MySQL 5.0 will still be available in the download pages for two more years, and any security updates will be released on those pages.

The previous version, MySQL 4.1, instead, will be retired completely. It has ended its extended period. As such, it will be removed from the download page, and also from the download archives. Next year, if you want to play with MySQL 4.1 binaries, you will have only two choices: becoming a customer (binaries for all versions are kept forever (or as long as someone uses them) for the MySQL Enterprise users) or build it yourself by extracting the code from the Bazaar archives.(1)

For more information, check the calendar and the fine print at the MySQL lifecycle page.

(1) That is not entirely true. There is another way, but I leave it as an exercise to the astute reader.

Tuesday Aug 18, 2009

MySQL Labs : server snapshots available for download

Users familiar with the MySQL development process will remember that our developers use a tool called pushbuild, which builds the server code with the latest changes, using several operating systems, and runs the test suite.

MySQL Labs

This tool produces one binary package for each platform where the test runs, and every day there are a few dozen of such packages, waiting to be deleted and replaced by the ones created with the next build.

For long time, several people suggested publishing these binaries for the community. Each time, there was some minor or major impediment, such as getting together different teams and requesting resources from a third one. But the community team persisted and kept banging at the door until, at last, we can announce that the binaries are available for download at

These binaries are temporary. You will find online for a few days, and they will eventually be replaced by newer ones. The exact dates of updates are not known. We build every day, but not all the builds are successful. Builds that fail to compile don't produce any binary, and builds that fail the test suite are not exported to the snapshot pages either.

But the binaries will be available fairly often, allowing the community to do early testing on bug fixes or new features.

A word of caution. These binaries have passed a test suite, but they have not been tested extensively like the monthly releases. Therefore, these binaries are for testing only, not for production. To make things clear, the package names include the word "snapshot" and the build date. And the files are not in the same page as the official releases.

Currently (2009-08-18) there are two branches: the latest 5.1 builds and the 5.1 GIS. For each branch, we plan to keep online at least the latest two builds before purging the oldest ones, but we may increase this number if we see that storage is not a problem.

Further releases will be introduced next month.

Notice that, unlike the normal releases, only a few platforms are included, and there are no dedicated packages (.dmg, .pkg, .deb, .rpm) but only tarballs (tar.gz, or zip for Windows). These packages are supposed to be used for testing only. In every Unix system, you can install them using MySQL Sandbox or, if it suits you, a manual installation.

I would like to thank the web and build teams who have worked together to provide this feature, and especially Daniel Fischer and Markus Popp, who delivered the ultimate goods.

Your feedback is valuable. Please let us know what you did with the snapshots.

Monday Jul 13, 2009

The MySQL Librarian is here!

I have had a wish for a few years. I wanted to find a way to put together the valuable information that the community produces about MySQL, a way that would let me easily find the interesting content that I may have missed when on vacation, or when busy with a conference, a company meeting, or a long stream of coding.

That wish started to take shape last year, when I was traveling with Dups during the East Coast tour. I drove, he took notes. He drove, I took more notes. During meals and walking breaks we discussed and refined the idea. When we went back home, a plan was ready. Dups started coding in January.

At first, his changes were completely invisible. He was refactoring the Planet MySQL code to integrate it with the advanced features that had been developed for the main site. After a series of secondary changes, there came the substantial one. The voting system allows people to show their appreciation or dislike of a post. The tagging system makes the blog posts easy to search.

However, that's only blogs. What about presentations, videos, pictures? Welcome to the MySQL Librarian, the coronation of my wish. My congratulations to Dups for coding it under the pressure that a community relations manager is subject to, while traveling across the continent several times, talking at conferences, dealing with communities, paperwork, blogging, his cat, and some more stray duties that fall on his head regularly.

The Librarian is the place where the community creates, collects, improves, and maintain high quality contents. What you find in the Librarian is not the result of a search engine. It's the refined outcome of cherry picking MySQL related articles, videos, presentations, and pictures, done by dedicated users. The MySQL Community. You. Me. Everyone interested.

There is a detailed description of the Librarian in the Dev Zone. No need to duplicate it here.

Please, share my dream. Come make the MySQL community Librarian the best place to find and post valuable information.

Thanks to the early testers for their patience and valuable advice. The MySQL Librarian is good also because of their comments!

Thursday Jun 11, 2009

MySQL has a new release model

In an earlier post, the pursuit of openness, I announced that MySQL is working at a new release model.

There are still a few details to sort out, but the general plan is ready. The new release model has been approved and starts to operate immediately.

The basic principles of this model are:

  • The trunk is always at least in beta quality.
  • A milestone starts in beta quality ( never in alpha) with a merge between the trunk and a stage tree;
  • Milestone releases, with RC quality, released every three to six months.
  • Integration windows between milestones allow the insertion of new features from stage trees
  • GA releases happen every 12 to 18 months;
  • There are not more than two releases in active support.

The practical consequences of this model adoption is that what was planned for the previous development is now canceled. MySQL 6.0 planned features (Falcon, Maria, Online Backup) are not a priority for the time being.

The next stage tree will be Azalea, which will include the 6.0 features that are stable enough to have a chance to be merged with 5.4 (mainly, subquery optimization batched key access, the fix for Bug#989, out parameters in stored procedures, information_schema.parameters, and some more).

The fundamental difference between this version and the previous one is that Azalea is not blocking. In the previous model, nothing could be released until all the features were ready. In this model, if the features in Azalea are not stable by the time of the intended GA for 5.4, we will rollback, and release only what is ready and stable.

This sort of train model, which has been quite successful with other open source projects, is more dynamic, easy to understand, and more open to participation.

The details of the model are explained in a MySQL University session, today, June 11, at 14:00 UTC (16:00 CET), where Tomas Ulin, director of engineering for the MySQL server, will explain the model and answer questions.

Wednesday Jun 10, 2009

webinar on Data Reduction and Smoothing in MySQL

If you have missed Michael McFadden's session at the last MySQL Conference, here's a chance to catch up.

On June 11, at 17:00 UTC Michael McFadden will present at a free webinar, on the subject of Faster Data Reduction and Smoothing for Analysis & Archival in MySQL.

Don't let the "For ISVs" distract you. This session is a collection of very practical and down to earth tips for tasks that can be in the TODO list of any DBA.

In addition to being practical, Michael's advice is justified by rigorous statistical analysis, and the tips he provides have both the benefits of practical testing and a scientific justification.

Did I make you curious enough? I may add that the tips provided in this lesson will privilege SQL instead of external languages coding, but some Python will be there as a bonus for the patient attendees.

Thursday Jun 04, 2009

MYSQL Planet now with tags and search

Planet MySQL

All this started during a long drive from Charlottesville to Washington, back in November 2008, when I and Dups discussed the status of MySQL Community web presence.

We agreed that we needed to enhance the usefulness of the tools for the community, and MySQL Planet was the first candidate for change. Externally, you have noticed very little until now. First, a login, then the voting system, the Buzz, the Italian, Japanese, and Russian aggregators, an improved treatment for group blogs, and finally the Tags and Searching.

Behind the scenes, there is much more. Dups has been refactoring most of the Planet MySQL code, with the goal of integrating it with the main site. The idea is to eventually allow users to search and use the information available in several formats, such as blogs, forums, presentations, articles, events, and to connect them to each other.

With today's release, we finally see a good reason for logging in to Planet MySQL. Now you can edit tags, thus making the blog posts more useful and easily searchable.

Kudos to Dups and Lenz for the results we got so far. However, there is much more in the making. Stay tuned for the next improvements.

Tuesday May 12, 2009

MySQL reengineering project

Here's another chapter of the MySQL evolution saga.

We know that MySQL today, although hugely popular and effective, has many shortcomings. A Refactoring effort has been announced, after a few months of internal discussions.

The effort is open to external contributions. There is a mailing list for discussing the "what" and the "how" of the new path.

The goals of the project are basically

  • Modularity. Make it easier to add new features without breaking existing ones.
  • Pluggability. Make it easier for third parties to add functionality.
  • Maintainability. Make it easier to fix bugs and test, by way of reducing code complexity.

How does all the above differ from Drizzle?

Simply stated, in its progressive approach. Drizzle is a radical change in the database structure. Strip everything down and start from scratch. This effort, instead, is more gradual. We want to fix the server step by step, keeping it alive while we improve its structure.

Got ideas on this matter? Jump in the arena of the MySQL Internals mailing list and participate!

Friday May 08, 2009

MySQL Event in Montreal : one more big shot

Dups is organizing an MySQL event in Montreal.

Also Kaj Arnö is coming along, and will show the results of an interesting research about social networking.

Event: Meet and talk to MySQL Gurus

Where: 1800 McGill College Avenue, Suite 800, Montreal

When: 5-7pm, Monday May 18th

Maximum: 25 people, please RSVP by email or blog comment, or, if you are a Facebook user (and who isn't?) you can do it from this event page.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

MySQL Community awards 2009

Attending the MySQL Users Conference in 2006, I had one of the best days of my career. At the morning keynote, my name was called, and I found myself on stage, together with Markus Popp, Roland Bouman, and Rasmus Lerdorf, being awarded a Community Member of the year crystal ball. That day is permanently in my mind as a very fond memory.

For this reason, it is a particular pleasure for me to be in a position to suggest the next ones who will hold the community awards. It is a collegial decision, not my own. Each member of the community team submits a few names, we discuss the pros and the cons, and then we settle for the first three names in the list.

This year, the agreement fell on three names, who were included for different reasons.

MYSQL UC 2009 - Marc Delisle Marc Delisle should be familiar to anyone working with MySQL.

As the author of phpMyAdmin, he deserves gratitude and respect from the community.

For the few who are unfamiliar with it, phpMyAdmin is a web based GUI for MySQL, which has helped millions of users to improve their experience with MySQL from beginner to expert.

Probably the only question that everyone in the community will ask is "what? He was never awarded before?". Indeed. This award was long overdue.

Good job, Marc! The MySQL community would not be as large and happy without your contributions.

MYSQL UC 2009 - Ronald Bradford Ronald Bradford has been a community member for long time, with with a genuine passion for MySQl and its ecosystem.

I remember when, in 2006, he fought Sheeri in an auction to get a T-shirt with the developers name. At the end of the day, he had earned himself a mention in MySQL source code, and a solid reputation as a lover of community.

After a brief period as MySQL employee, Ronald has gone back to the trenches, and his contributions to the community have always been constant and of high quality.

Whenever I can, I enjoy working with him. He is a fine analyst and a hard worker.

Well done, Ronald!

MySQL UC2009 - Shlomi Noach

Shlomi Noach is the new blood among the award winners.

His contributions are proof that you don't need to be a superhero to become a good community member. As Sheeri said in her keynote, you just need to do something well. If there is something that you enjoy and can help others, don't ask questions, and do it.

Shlomi's fresh approach in the community arena is a very welcome and necessary addition. The community needs both the extremely advanced articles of Matt Yonkovit and Shlomi's wake-up posts that make some experts scratch their heads and keep them on their toes.

Thanks, Shlomi. Keep being curious! We like it.


Giuseppe Maxia


« February 2017