Monty Program At The CLS And OSCON

digital 3 Comments

In July several Monty Program employees attended the Community Leadership Summit and O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention (OSCON), myself included. While there we spoke to developers, partners, users, and interested bystanders of a number of SQL servers: MariaDB, MySQL, Postgres, and others.

The week started with the Community Leadership Summit. First, a big thank you to Jono Bacon for organizing a fantastic unconference, and allowing us to participate! Monty Program considers it our privilege to have helped to sponsor the event, and we look forward to attending and sponsoring it again in the future.

Being an unconference, the schedule is determined by the attendees. We scheduled a session entitled “What’s going on with MySQL?” to answer community questions about the possible future of the MySQL community. The session was very well atttended, with DBAs, developers, Sun employees, and Monty Program execs all in attendance. Also present was Bruce Perens, creator of the Open Source Definition, and Larry Rosen, author of the Open Software License and Academic Free License. To us, this was illustrative of the great interest by many community members in seeing the path Oracle chooses to take with MySQL in the future. Topics included possible scenarios, disaster planning for worst case scenarios, and best practices given Oracle’s relative silence with regards to their plans for MySQL (a topic addressed by Monty in a blog post earlier in July).

A video snippet of the session is available at Wikimedia. Have a look! (Requires a browser plugin capable of Theora playback)

On Sunday night the Postgres team had a release party for Postgres 8.4. Congratulations to the entire Postgres team! It’s a fantastic SQL server, and 8.4 has an impressive list of improvements. Monty and I were invited to the party, and we had a great time. There was a t-shirt auction, and Monty bought the t-shirt off Josh Berkus’ back. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you have seen Josh bare-chested, and a semi-inebriated Finnish hacker having nasal sex with his t-shirt. Classic. Thanks to the Postgres team for a really fun evening!

Postgres vs MySQL? The flame-war is a myth. Grow up. :)

There was a concerted attempt to recover for Monday morning, and the beginning of OSCON. It’s the premier open source conference, and we were delighted to have been invited to speak. Our talk was on Thursday, and was again well attended.

We divided our talk into three parts. First, I gave an overview of what MariaDB is, how the project works, our philosophy, and our methods. Second, Monty talked about the work we have done thus far, what’s already been incorporated into our MySQL fork, and what lies ahead. Finally, we opened the floor to questions. Thankfully a break was scheduled for after our talk, as the question period ran well over the session time limit. O’Reilly staff were very understanding, and graciously allowed us to keep using our session room.

One thing that was made clear is that we have not been communicating enough about exactly the kind of work we are doing. This is a failure on my part. In my defense, I have been somewhat reticent about pestering our development team for status updates, as I’m really keen on getting a GA release of MariaDB out ASAIMS (“as soon as it makes sense”). Mark Callaghan, one of our favorite users, was especially curious about what features and bugfixes we have implemented. He was quite cheerful about it, and declined to slap me for not being more communicative (thanks Mark!).

Some of these questions were answered in Monty’s portion of our presentation, and our slides are available from O’Reilly’s OSCON site. Grab the PDF and find out what we’ve been doing, and how we have been doing it!

Next week is our company meeting in Majorca, and I will be spending time with the dev team compiling a definitive list of what you can expect to find in the MariaDB GA release that is tentatively scheduled for later this month. I’ll blog about that as soon as I have the information, and also ensure it is put on the Maria wiki. Remember, we won’t release code we ourselves wouldn’t use in production. Thus, if the release date slips a bit, understand it’s because we’re committed to providing busy DBAs with production servers the very, very best.

Thanks again to Jono, the Postgres team, Tim O’R and Alison Randal at O’Reilly, and everyone else that made our week so fun and productive! And finally, apologies for the tardiness of this post. I have had house guests ever since returning from OSCON. :)

Sun: “GPL FUD is not a standard business practice.”

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about an acquaintance that had been given some very strange legal advice from a Sun sales rep. It generated a lot of interest, from both people inside Sun and those outside. Here’s what I have learned since:

1). Many people think that keeping your sources’ identities private makes the resulting information lies or FUD. They should talk to Woodward and Bernstein.

2). Many people cannot interpret a question mark at the end of a sentence. I was not making an indictment with my previous post, I was asking a question.

3). Most Sun employees do not make mistakes 1 and 2.

The third point is what prompts this post. Thanks to some concerned people inside Sun, the person who received the bad information now has a clear line of communication to get it resolved. I hope they do so.

Also, Sun has asked that anyone that feels that they have been given bad advice by a Sun sales representative contact a sales manager to get the straight dope. You can find a list of worldwide contacts on Sun’s worldwide MySQL sales team page.

Sun employees have also assured me that the sales rep mentioned in my previous post was incorrect, and was giving advice contrary to Sun’s policy. It seems clear that some re-training or better training is in order. I hope Sun takes this opportunity to better educate their sales staff.

Hello Planet MySQL!

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My name is Kurt, and I’m a SELECTaholic … wait … wrong place. Strike that.

Thanks very much to Dups and Bryan Alsdorf for getting this all sorted.