Thursday Feb 09, 2012

Linux Documentation Writer Wanted!

The Oracle Linux and Virtualization Documentation Team is seeking an experienced Technical Writer
with a focus on writing documentation for the Oracle Linux product. (The MySQL Documentation Team is part of that group as well.)

Applicants should be located in either Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, or Finland (click on the links for a detailed job description).

We're a vastly distributed team, with writers in Australia, North America, and Europe. Our infrastructure is based on DocBook XML, and we're not just writing docs, but also maintain the whole processing and publication work chain.

Key competencies you should have include:

  • 3 or more years previous experience in writing software documentation (please provide URLs of your writings I can look at!)
  • Experience with writing documentation for system level software and operating systems
  • Strong knowledge of the Linux operating system
  • Strong knowledge of XML, DocBook XML, and XSL style sheets (and motivation to help maintain and expand our tools and infrastructure)
  • Ability to administer own workstation and test environment
  • Good experience with distributed working environments and versioning systems such as SVN

If this sounds like something for you, follow the links above and send in your application!

Wednesday Oct 07, 2009

MySQL University: Building MySQL Releases on Unix

This Thursday (October 8th, 13:00 UTC), Jörg Brühe will give a talk on Building MySQL Releases on Unix. Jörg will describe the tools used by the MySQL Build Team for release builds on Unix-style platforms, and present a script to simulate the essential parts of that process locally on a developer's home machine. He works at the MySQL Build Team, so you can expect in-depth insights and instructions.

For MySQL University sessions, point your browser to this page. You need a browser with a working Flash plugin. You may register for a Dimdim account, but you don't have to. (Dimdim is the conferencing system we're using for MySQL University sessions. It provides integrated voice streaming, chat, whiteboard, session recording, and more.) All MySQL University sessions are recorded, that is, slides and voice can be viewed as a Flash movie (.flv). You can find those recordings on the respective MySQL University session pages which are listed on the MySQL University home page.

MySQL University is a free educational online program for engineers/developers. MySQL University sessions are open to anyone, not just Sun employees. Sessions are recorded (slides and audio), so if you can't attend the live session you can look at the recording anytime after the session.

Here's the schedule for the upcoming weeks:

  • October 15: The Spider Storage Engine (Giuseppe Maxia)
  • October 22: Dual Master Setups With MMM (Arjen Lentz)
  • October 29: MySQL scalability on SPARC & INTEL X5500 (Nehalem) (Benoit Chaffanjon)
  • November 12: Gearman for MySQL (Giuseppe Maxia)
  • November 19: memcached Functions for MySQL (UDFs) (Patrick Galbraith)
  • December 3: Practical Full-Text Search in MySQL (Bill Karwin)

The schedule is not engraved in stone at this point. Please visit http://forge.mysql.com/wiki/MySQL_University#Upcoming_Sessions for the up-to-date list. On that page, you can also find the starting time for many time zones.

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Backing up with Dar

If you're interested in ways to back up stuff, and haven't tried Dar yet, here's an article on using Dar that I've just published on my personal blog. In short, Dar works very much like Tar, but it's got a built-in feature for slicing up archive files which comes handy when you want to distribute backup files across several media, for example DVDs or hard disks.

Sunday Jul 26, 2009

Setting up LVM on Suse Linux

You can do all sorts of magic with LVM, like backing up MySQL using file system snapshots, but in order to do so you need to set it first. When installing a new computer with Suse Linux I found that this was harder than expected, unless you know what to do. Needless to say, I didn't, but some friends gave me a hand on IRC, and now I do. :-)

So I wrote a little article about this which you can find here, in an effort to save others some time. The article is about setting up LVM with Suse Yast, but you can probably use it for other flavors of Linux, too.

Monday Feb 23, 2009

MySQL University: Backing up MySQL using file system snapshots

This Thursday (February 26th, 14:00 UTC), Lenz Grimmer will give a MySQL University session on Backing up MySQL using file system snapshots. Lenz is a member of the MySQL Community team and the maintainer of the mylvmbackup tool. mylvmbackup is a tool for quickly creating backups of a MySQL server's data files. To perform a backup, mylvmbackup obtains a read lock on all tables and flushes all server caches to disk, creates a snapshot of the volume containing the MySQL data directory, and unlocks the tables again. The snapshot process takes only a small amount of time. When it is done, the server can continue normal operations, while the actual file backup proceeds.

For MySQL University sessions, point your browser to this page. You need a browser with a working Flash plugin. You may register for a Dimdim account, but you don't have to. (Dimdim is the conferencing system we're using for MySQL University sessions. It provides integrated voice streaming, chat, whiteboard, session recording, and more.) All MySQL University sessions are recorded, that is, slides and voice can be viewed as a Flash movie (.flv). You can find those recordings on the respective MySQL University session pages which are listed on the MySQL University home page.

MySQL University is a free educational online program for engineers/developers. MySQL University sessions are open to anyone, not just Sun employees. Sessions are recorded (slides and audio), so if you can't attend the live session you can look at the recording anytime after the session.

Here's the schedule for the upcoming weeks:

February 26, 2009 14:00 UTC / 8am CST (Central) / 9am EST (Eastern) / 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET / 17:00 MDT (Moscow) Backing up MySQL using file system snapshots Lenz Grimmer
March 5, 2009 14:00 UTC / 8am CST (Central) / 9am EST (Eastern) / 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET / 17:00 MDT (Moscow) Good Coding Style Konstantin Osipov
March 12, 2009 14:00 UTC / 8am CST (Central) / 9am EST (Eastern) / 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET / 17:00 MDT (Moscow) MySQL and ZFS MC Brown
March 19, 2009
14:00 UTC / 8am CST (Central) / 9am EST (Eastern) / 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET / 17:00 MDT (Moscow) How to Use Charsets and Collations Properly Susanne Ebrecht

Wednesday Nov 26, 2008

No Webex With Firefox 3 on Linux

Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of Webex (in case you don't know what that is (lucky you!), it's a conferencing system), which might explain why Webex seems to hate me sometimes, but today Webex made me laugh. Or maybe cry, I'm not sure after having wasted more than an hour trying to set up Webex' Meeting Center on another computer. (I'm not sure if it's Meeting Center or rather Meeting Manager. Webex doesn't seem to be sure either.)

I'm exclusively running Linux on my computers (currently SuSE 10.3 and 11.0), and so I'm used to web sites not working properly, requiring some weird browser plugin that's hard or impossible to find, or requiring me to tune my browser settings. I'm mostly on Firefox (versions 2 and 3), but sometimes I use other browsers. Today, I had to use another browser.

The trouble started when I tried to set up Webex' Meeting Center, which is the requirement for being able to join a Webex meeting. As you can see in the screen shot, Webex claimed that Java wasn't enabled in my browser. The download URL provided in the error message turned out not to be helpful – it took me to a page with links for Windows and Mac OS X. But I'm on Linux. (This would be easy to find out for the Webex guys, since I'm not hiding or masking my user agent settings. But I agree that it's even easier to ignore.)

I double-checked, and of course Java was enabled in Firefox. This is my first 64-bit computer with a 64-bit SuSE 11.0, though, so I thought this might be the cause of the problem. I googled a lot, but couldn't find anything useful.

Out of curiosity, I fired up Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (thanks to CrossOver for helping me install all those Windows applications on Linux!), copied the Meeting Manager setup URL from Firefox, and pressed Enter. And voilà – Meeting Manager was set up within a few seconds.

Come on – do you really want me to use Internet Explorer on Linux? This is silly.

After some more clicking through the Webex web site, I found this page, which seems to indicate that Webex doesn't support Firefox 3 on Linux:

Then again, there's another page that contradicts the previous page (or maybe I'm not understanding it, and it really says that Firefox is supported only by two thirds):

Anyway, on this particular computer (which is in my living room), I'll probably use Internet Explorer whenever I'm forced to use Webex. Joy.

Whenever I can choose, I'll use Dimdim over Webex, though. Dimdim does the same things as Webex, only better. Much better, I would say (see my blog post on using Dimdim for MySQL University). And it requires just a Flash plugin. My Firefox browsers, 64-bit or 32-bit, version 2 or 3, have a Flash plugin that works for Dimdim. From a loyalty standpoint (I work for Sun Microsystems), I'd prefer a conferencing system that uses Java over one that uses Flash, but I hate it when web sites seem to give me a message like "we're using Java because it's platform-independent, but you'd better use Windows or Mac to stay out of trouble". I take comfort in the fact that Dimdim uses MySQL, though, and says so openly and visibly.

I have no experience how Dimdim scales, though. So far, I've used it for a maximum of 20 participants. (I've attended Webex sessions with well over 100 participants.) I'll keep you updated when I find out.

About

mysqlf is a common typo on the #docs IRC channel of the MySQL documentation team. It shows a high (some might say, dangerous) degree of identification with MySQL. Trying to pronounce it will probably result in tongue injuries.

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