Saturday Feb 28, 2009

Information and Database Technology workshop at VJTI, Mumbai

VJTI, Mumbai organized a 5 day conference on Database research in January 2009. I presented MySQL there on the second day of the conference, 4th Jan 2009. The conference saw faculty members representing various universities/college from in and out of Maharashtra state along with some of the VJTI MTech students.

The main idea behind the conference was to initiate more research by the universities and also to connect the faculty members with the corporates.

MySQL and IBM's Tivoli were the only two products that were presented in the 5 day conference and the rest topics were all around research and development in database technologies such as distributed databases, GIS databases and such.

Working on the first sunday of the new year isnt a very good thing generally, but I think it was well worth it.

FSFS.IN/2008 Report


Free Software Free society conference in december 2008 was a very unique experience for me. The conference was attended by over 450 people. It was very encouraging to see the political involvement in this event.

Kerala government has shown tremendous awareness towards adopting free software. The fact that Kerala Chief Minister, V S Achuthanandan inauguarated the conference and the opposition party leader did the closing ceremony is enough of evidence that the conference had significant political weight. The conference also received a lot of media coverage (television as well as newspapers). This attention is not always seen in other parts of India.

The conference consisted of two tracks, one, Policy track where Free software in Education and research, Fisheries, Agriculture was discussed and the second, Technology stack, that covered all the technical Free and Open Source Software sessions.

I presented MySQL and OpenSolaris on second and third day of the conference and it was received very well. Both sessions, in spite being towards the end fetched a lot of audience, in the magnitude of 150 approx.

The policy tracks were very interesting, I thought. The speakers represented various fields like Eductation, Government, Corporates and Legal advisers and discussed on various topics to further adopt free software in government infrastructure and also elsewhere.

The audience was a quality audience. Many of the them represented various GNU projects. There seemed to be a lot of interest around people working on Malayalam localization.

I had a chance to interact with some of the students, whom I was showing OpenSolaris running on my laptop. He showed me the puppy Linux running on his and also mentioned that the Kerala state electricity board has systems running puppy Linux. I was delighted to find that they are not running Windows and very surprised to learn that a final year student knows a lot about what their government is doing with foss. I asked him if he would like to join their IT division and he reacted, 'that would be my pleasure'.

The event turned out to be very special as I had a chance to listen to and shake hands with Sir Richard Stallman. Sir Stallman's inaugural speech had made a good impact on me. He spoke very passionately about Free software and that clarified the real difference between free software and open source software for me. I really salute him for the passion he carries for the free software, but feel open source software is more real and practical.

During the conference I also heard about a very interesting project called gnowledge.org. This project is about building relationship and associate network for the knowledge articles. e.g. Water depends on knowledge of Hydrogen and Oxygen. The most interesting part here is that the dependent articles are based on Debian packaging system. So, when someone is fetching articles for H2O, one would automatically fetch dependent articles for Hydrogen and Oxygen. Smart!

The conference was extremely well organized. There was entertainment arranged for all the attendees after the sessions on all the days. I had a rare chance to see the Koodiyattam and will always cherish that experience. I strongly believe that Kerala is putting up a great example for other states in India for their foss adoption and I would love to participate in this conference again.

Thursday Dec 04, 2008

presenting at FSFS conference

Free Software, Free Society (FSFS) is hosting their 2nd International conference on Freedom in Computing, Development and Culture on 9-11th, December 2008 at Mascot Convention Center,
Thiruvananthapura, Kerala, India. I am doing couple of sessions at this conference, on MySQL and OpenSolaris. You can find other sessions from Sun on their schedule.

From their website, The Free Software Movement, started about a quarter of a century back, pioneered the various movements for freedom in the digital world – for instance, free knowledge represented by Wikipedia or freedom of creative works from copyright restrictions represented by Creative Commons. We also see a new form of social production where collaboration becomes more important than competition, where people from different parts of the world co-operate to create digital products including documents, music or software. These movements, in their own way, are helping to bring about a reduction in the Digital Divide and increasing access to useful works of knowledge. It is perhaps time to define the contours of this new space and situate interventions therein. Located at the intersection of Free Software, Development and Society, the FSFS Conference will examine the application of the Free Software model for freeing intellectual artefacts from the clutches of restrictive laws (like the Copyright Act), and making them available for human development. The conference will also address, inter alia, issues such as technology access and the digital divide, legal issues, and experiences of using the Free Software model in fields such as music, and literature.

Sir Richard Stallman
is doing the inaugural session and there are many more known FSF faces on the speaker list that excites me about this conference. If you happen to be attending this conference, I would be happy to talk to you!

Saturday Jun 14, 2008

SMF import for IPS packages in opensolaris


Installing postgresql/mysql packages from IPS repository on OpenSolaris 2008.05 is very simple n easy and Jignesh has described the command line steps in his post in detail. I tried the same thing on a fresh install of OpenSolaris, but using the Package Manager GUI and It is as easy as it should get with GUI tools.

The idea behind this blog, is to simply clarify to users/developers that as soon as you install any PostgreSQL/MySQL version, the SMF registry is not going to be updated. This might look obvious to many of you, but I see on some reviews that people are expecting that the SMF service will be installed in the registry.

A subsequent reboot will automatically import necessary entries in the registry or it can be manually added before reboot if desired, as below,

# svccfg import /var/svc/manifest/application/database/postgresql.xml
(for Postgresql version 8.2)

This needs to be done only once and the registry is updated permanently.

Also, Note that registry entries are not cleaned up once you uninstall these packages. You can manually delete them as given below. There is no harm in keeping them in the registry, but they are not going to be useful for obvious reasons.

# svccfg delete svc:/application/database/postgresql

Friday Mar 28, 2008

PostgreSQL, MySQL and Java DB at Sun Tech Days, Hyderabad 2008

Sun Tech days Hyderabad kept its promise of bringing thousands of techies to the conference even this year. Total 7000 people attended this conference that ran over three days in the last week of february. Like last year, student community dominated the number of registrations, but the number of developers from the Indian IT industry was still quite a significant percent of the total number. The conference had total 4 tracks running in parallel on the first 2 days and the last day, also called as the Open Source day, had in fact 5.

I presented 2 sessions this year. "PostgreSQL and MySQL, the databases inside Solaris" in the Solaris track on the first day and "MySQL and Java DB, the databases for Java developers" in the community track on the second day.

TalkAbout 300 people attended my session in the Solaris track and it was received very well. The recent announcement of MySQL aquisition helped here, I believe. I discussed features of both PostgreSQL and MySQL and also compared both of them specifically where they overlap. Also, I discussed how Solaris currently integrates these 2 databases and future plans with WebStack. I also presented the PostgreSQL + Zones and postgreSQL DTrace demo, which... worked.

Not so surprisingly, people seem to have been using these 2 databases already. This was evident from the questions I faced at the end. Issues such as Indic language support for PostgreSQL also came up. Unfortunately, This particular point need more attention in the PostgreSQL community and I think, if anybody has to do this, it has to be the Indian language experts. I also think solving this issue is critical for the success of OSDB with Govt of India adopting open source technologies in a big way. People also asked doubts on the comparison between these 2 databases, I was able to answer many of these. I received a comment on the talk, "I was always confused with these 2 databases and this talk has cleared a lot of that.", which is very satisfying.

The other talk was with the series of Java related talks and had much larger audience. Total, 1192 people attended this session and it is the biggest audience I have ever had. The repeat audience from the previous talk was minimal, about 1-2 %. Here, I introduced Java DB and also discussed/compared its feature set with MySQL. The later part of the presentation was focussed more on developing Java database applications. I presented the DerbyTaxdemo and also wanted to show Roumen's "Generating RESTful clients with MySQL using Netbeans" demo, but my Compiz-on-KDE crashed Netbeans and I could not show the demo.

OSDB BoothApart from the 2 sessions, we had a OSDB booth that was manned by Wei-chen and Saurabh Vyas. I spent most of my time at the booth. The booth was located right next to the conference hall and it was crowded all the time.

This year, the event was special for a lot of reasons. It is the 10th anniversary of tech days. We had Software EVP, Rich Green, MySQL Co-Founder David Axmark and Ian Murdock doing the keynotes. We also had a famous indian music band, Euphoria, performing and a fashion show for the audience. This was the first time I presented at the tech days and it was very special because it was also the first time MySQL was covered at Sun Tech Days and I feel honored for being associated with that.

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