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Thursday, August 19. 2010
We've had a few last-minute changes to the schedule, as some speakers could not make it due to visa or family issues. But we managed to keep all slots filled on both days and I think we've come up with a very nice program! In addition to the two sessions I already had, I've volunteered to take over Giuseppe's talk about Shooting from the Hip. MySQL at the Command Line.
I would like to express my special gratitude to the folks at Percona, who really did their utmost in order to find replacement speakers for their accepted talks.
I look forward to this weekend. And if you're interested to attend: I still have a few vouchers for free admission to the conference left over. Please contact me directly if you'd like to get one – first come, first serve! See you on Saturday!
Friday, August 13. 2010
I just wanted to send out a friendly reminder: you still have time until next Monday, 16th of August, 8:00 am (UK) to submit MySQL-related talk proposals for the Conference Series Technology & E-Business Suite 2010 conference which will take place in Birmingham (Nov. 29th - Dec. 1st). The UK Oracle User Group is looking forward to set up a dedicated track with great talks about MySQL! Thank you.
Wednesday, July 14. 2010
If you wonder why there hasn't been an update from me for quite a while — I just returned from two months of paternal leave, in which I actually managed to stay away from the PC most of the time. In the meanwhile, I've officially become an Oracle employee and there is a lot of administrative things to take care of... But it feels good to be back!
During my absence, Giuseppe and Felix kicked off the Call for Papers for this year's European OpenSQL Camp, which will again take place in parallel to FrOSCon in St. Augustin (Germany) on August 21st/22nd. We've received a number of great submissions, now we would like to ask our community about your favourites!
Basically it's "one vote per person per session" and you can cast your votes in two ways, either by twittering @opensqlcamp or via the opensqlcamp mailing list. The procedure is outlined in more detail on this wiki page.
As we need to finalize the schedule and inform the speakers, the voting period will close this coming Sunday, 18th of July. So don't hesitate, cast your votes now! Based on your feedback we will compile the session schedule for this year's camp. Thanks for your help!
Friday, March 12. 2010
I've been working in a fully distributed work environment for almost 8 years now (I joined MySQL AB in April, 2002). Therefore I've been reading Toni Schneider's blog post about the "5 reasons why your company should be distributed" with great interest – he raised several points that I fully agree with and which I covered in my talks about "Working for a virtual company - how we do it at MySQL" at last year's next09 conference (slides, video) and at FrOSCon 2009 (video).
However, Toni draws a profusely positive picture here, or, as my dear colleague Dean pointed out "The blog overly simplifies the realities of a distributed workforce, making it sound like it's all ponies and rainbows".
Continue reading "Thoughts about working in a distributed organization"
Saturday, March 6. 2010
I recently received a question from Robin Schumacher at Calpont, the makers of the InfiniDB analytics database engine for MySQL: "How would you recommend we try and get bundled in with the various Linux distros?"
Since this question has come up several times before, I thought it might make sense to blog about my take on this.
First of all, please note that there is a difference between "being part of the core distribution" and "being available from a distributor's package repository". The latter one is relatively easy, the former can be hard, as you need to convince the distributor that your application is worth devoting engineering resources to maintain and support your application as part of their product. It's also a space issue – distributions need to make sure that the core packages still fit on the installation media (e.g. CD-ROMs or a DVD). Therefore they take a very close look at each package and if it's really needed to be part of the installation medium or if it's fine to provide it for download from a package repository instead.
Distributors prefer to keep their core product small and restricted to the "basic OS building blocks". While MySQL might still be considered to be a part of this, this probably does not apply to the various plugins and extensions that are available for it. Therefore the best approach is to invest some engineering time and start doing the packaging yourself, either by hiring an engineer capable of creating and maintaining the packages, or by finding someone in your community who has the required experiences and is willing to do it.
While it's of course possible to set up and maintain your own build and package hosting infrastructure for that, I recommend to make use of the existing services provided by the distributors.
The top tier distributors all provide means of offloading the maintenance of "non-core" packages to their community, offering various options for packages to be made available. For example, Novell/openSUSE provide the free "Build Service", which is capable of building packages for other distributions as well (e.g. Fedora, Mandriva, Debian/Ubuntu, etc.). In addition to automating the builds, the Build Service also takes care of the distribution via their download mirror network and ensures that your application can be found via their package search interface.
Ubuntu/Canonical have "Personal Package Archives (PPAs) – if your project is hosted on Launchpad already, that might be something to look into for providing Debian/Ubuntu packages. Alternatively you could join the Debian project and start building and maintaining your package there. They maintain a list of "Work-Needing and Prospective Packages", a description of the process on how to become a new maintainer is outlined here.
If you'd like to target Solaris/OpenSolaris as well, there is the OpenSolaris Source Juicer – a web service which allows OpenSolaris community developers to build packages (using RPM spec files) and publish them for review, so they will be included in an official package repository. The Software Porters Community Group coordinates, advocates, encourages and helps with the porting of Software from multiple Platforms to the OpenSolaris Platform.
Wednesday, March 3. 2010
From the CMake.org home page:
CMake is a family of tools designed to build, test and package software. CMake is used to control the software compilation process using simple platform and compiler independent configuration files. CMake generates native makefiles and workspaces that can be used in the compiler environment of your choice.
CMake is used in some other MySQL projects as well, e.g.
From this version on, CMake can also be used to build MySQL on Linux and other Unix platforms. For the time being, the autoconf/automake files are still available as well, but will be phased out once the CMake build enviroment has reached the desired level of maturity. The change was announced on February 28th on our "internals" developer discussion list.
The purpose of WL#5161 is to simplify the MySQL build system. It is much easier and less error-prone to maintain a unified build system for all platforms than two separate ones.
CMake has been chosen because of several reasons; the worklog description lists a few pro-CMake arguments (slightly rephrased):
I'd like to mention a few additional reasons:
The CMake Wiki lists a number of other "nice to have" features.
From a developer perspective, I hope that it will make it much easier to finally implement two things that many developers working with MySQL have been waiting for (now that the build code has been cleaned up):
Building MySQL with CMake is quite simple and straighforward – the process is outlined on the MySQL Forge Wiki. The document is still work in progress and we'd like to encourage you to take a look at it, try to follow the steps and update/improve the Wiki page, if needed! Your feedback on the build process is appreciated. Feel free to join our internals mailing list to discuss your impressions and observations or submit a bug report via the Bug Database. It's likely that the build still has a few rough edges that we'd like to fix quickly (e.g. BUG#51502 – a fix for this one is already commited to the mysql-next-mr-bugfixing source tree and will be merged into the mysql-next-mr trunk soon).
If you're new to CMake, you might want to take a look at the "Getting Started With CMake (An End-User's Perspective) For Cross-Platform Building" screencast or the "Running CMake" article.
Monday, December 7. 2009
Last week, my colleagues Giuseppe, Kai and myself attended the SAPO Codebits event in Lisbon, Portugal. Codebits is an annual, invite-only hacking event, which went on for three days. The venue they chose this year was the "Cordoaria", a former rope factory located in the Belém district, close to the 25 de Abril Bridge (which is an impressive sight!). I have been told that the Cordoaria is the longest building in Portugal and I have no doubts about that! The building is so long that the crew used bicycles to get from one end to the other. I've taken a number of pictures from the event as well as from Lisbon itself, you can find them in this flickr set.
The organizers described this year's event as follows:
3 days. 24 hours a day. 600 attendees. Talks. Workshops. Lots of food and beverages. 24 hour programming/hacking competition. Quizz Show. Rock Band Contest. Lots of gaming consoles. More food. More beverages. More coding. Sleeping areas. More fun. An unforgettable experience.
I wholeheartedly agree, we had a great time! The conference started with sessions and presentations on a wide range of topics on the first two days. Afterwards, a 24-hour programming contest was held. I was invited to give two talks, one being my all-time favourite about "MySQL High Availability solutions" (slides, video), the other one was titled "Why you should be using a distributed version control system (DVCS) for your project" (video, slides). Both went quite well and the feedback I received was pretty positive. Giuseppe talked about "MySQL Schema Migration" (slides, video) and gave an "Introduction to Gearman" (video). Kai's talk was titled "Think before you develop" (video) and gave a nice roundup of tips and best practices for setting up and developing new web projects.
The Codebits session schedule was filled with amazing and interesting talks in four parallel tracks. Sometimes it was hard to choose – some other talks I attended and enjoyed:
Walter gave a lockpicking workshop after his presentation, which I attended as well. I was quite impressed (and a bit shocked) to find out how easy many locks can be opened this way! Later that evening there even was a live band named "Pornophonique" playing (one guy with a guitar, the other one using an Nintendo Game Boy for making music), but I missed that show as I was too busy opening more locks... Fortunately the concert and most of the sessions were recorded on video (in excellent quality) and are already available from the SAPO video pages. Kudos for this speedy service!
But this just matches my overall conclusion of this event: very well organized, great speakers and venue. Thanks to the organizers for having us, we really enjoyed our stay!
Posted by Lenz Grimmer in Linux, MySQL, OSS at 15:39 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, November 5. 2009
This blog post is a by-product of my preparation work for an upcoming talk titled "Why you should be using a distributed version control system (DVCS) for your project" at SAPO Codebits in Lisbon (December 3-5, 2009). Publishing these thoughts prior to the conference serves two purposes: getting some peer review on my findings and acting as a teaser for the actual talk. So please let me know — did I cover the relevant aspects or did I miss anything? What's your take on DVCS vs. the centralized approach? Why do you prefer one over the other? I'm looking forward to your comments!
Even though there are several distributed alternatives available for some years now (with Bazaar, git and Mercurial being the most prominent representatives here), many large and popular Open Source projects still use centralized systems like Subversion or even CVS to maintain their source code. While Subversion has eased some of the pains of CVS (e.g. better remote access, renaming/moving of files and directories, easy branching), the centralized approach by itself poses some disadvantages compared to distributed systems. So what are these? Let me give you a few examples of the limitations that a centralized system like Subversion has and how these affect the possible workflows and development practices.
Continue reading "Aspects and benefits of distributed version control systems (DVCS)"
Thursday, October 29. 2009
So you're a small startup company, ready to go live with your product, which you intend to distribute under an Open Source License. Congratulations, you made a wise decision! Your developers have been hacking away frantically, getting the code in good shape for the initial launch. Now it's time to look into what else needs to be built and setup, so you're ready to welcome the first members of your new community and to ensure they are coming back!
Keep the following saying in mind, which especially holds true in the Open Source world: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!". While the most important thing is of course to have a compelling and useful product, this blog post is an attempt to highlight some other aspects about community building and providing the adequate infrastructure. This insight is based on my own experiences and my observations from talking with many people involved in OSS startups and projects.
Continue reading "Some friendly advice for bootstrapping your OSS project"
Posted by Lenz Grimmer in Linux, MySQL, OSS, Solaris at 21:12 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, October 26. 2009
This time of the year is usually a very busy one, as there are plenty of events and conferences to attend. Just take a look at our calendar of OSS events on the MySQL Forge to see what I mean! Here's a quick summary of the ones that I will attend and speak at until the end of this year:
On November 14-15, I'll attend the openSQL Camp in Portland (OR), USA. I missed the first one that took place in Charlottesville (VA) in 2008, but had a lot of fun organizing the European Edition earlier this year. The upcoming one will be more like an unconference again - the list of proposed sessions looks very interesting and the attendee list reads like a "who is who" list of the OSS database community.
On December 3-5, I'll be joining Giuseppe at SAPO Codebits in Lisbon, Portugal, which is going to be a very cool event: "3 days. 24 hours a day. 600 attendees. Talks. Workshops. Lots of food and beverages. 24 hour programming/hacking competition. Quizz Show. Rock Band Contest. Lots of gaming consoles. More food. More beverages. More coding. Sleeping areas. More fun. An unforgettable experience". I will be talking about my favorite topic of MySQL High Availability (I'm currently working on revising my slides based on several excellent discussions about MySQL HA that happened on Planet MySQL in the past weeks) and about the benefits (both social and technical) of using a distributed revision control system (DVCS) like bazaar, git or mercurial for your open source project.
Shortly after Codebits, I will attend SLAC 09, the "Secure Linux Administration Conference" in Berlin, Germany (December 10-11), where I will give two MySQL-related talks (in German) - my usual suspects, but in revised and extended form: MySQL High Availability solutions and MySQL Backup & Security best practices.
Monday, October 19. 2009
FOSDEM, the Free and Opensource Conference, will again take place in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday and Sunday (6th and 7th February, 2010). Now happening for the 10th time (congratulations!), it is one of the largest Open Source conferences in Europe, with a strong focus on developers. Sun/MySQL have been regular sponsors of and contributors to the event in the past and it is alway a great experience to be there. It's very rare to meet so many well-known and bright people from such a wide range of OSS projects.
They have now opened their Call for Participation - the organizers are seeking input on talks for the main conference tracks (deadline: 2009-11-22) , lightning talks (deadline 2009-12-28) and project stands (deadline: 2009-11-22).
As for the last conference, we plan to apply for a MySQL developer room (and maybe a project stand, anybody interested to join? Please contact me!). However, the web site currently states that they are "slightly reworking the concept of developer rooms", so it remains to be seen what this will turn into. In any case, we will set up our own call for papers, once the developer room allocations have been finalized (and we were lucky). I was initially thinking about running another OpenSQL Camp, but it's probably too short after the upcoming one in Portland...
If you have an interesting talk about a MySQL-related subject, consider submitting your proposal now! We will gladly review and comment on your proposal in advance, if you would like to get our input or need suggestions about topics! Thanks.
Friday, September 4. 2009
First off, I would like to thank all of the participants and supporters, particularly my colleagues Regina Steyer and Iris Musiol for the perfect logistics and co-sponsoring as well as Uli Graef, Thorsten Frueauf, Matthias Schmidt, Alexander Rubin and Joerg Moellenkamp for manning the Sun booth and the help on site.
Another big Thank You goes out to my team mates Giuseppe and Colin as well as to Sheeri K. Cabral, who were a big help in keeping the OpenSQL Camp on track and by supporting the event by giving talks. In addition to that, Sheeri recorded most of the OpenSQL Camp sessions on video and published them in record time!
So here's a quick summary of both events from my side, starting with the main conference.
Sun was a Gold sponsor of the event and we had a booth right at the main entrance area; it could hardly be missed. It consisted of two large and two small desks as well as a divider behind them. For demos, we had a (slightly noisy) Sun Fire X2200 M2 Server and four SunRay 2 Thin Clients (which by themselves triggered a lot of questions and curiosity by many visitors). The booth was flanked by rollup-banners on both sides as well as various posters attached to the divider. Here's a picture of our booth before the event opened:
We also had a number of talks in the main conference track (both German and English):
The comments and ratings of these sessions were generally very positive. Our booth was well attended, especially during the session breaks. In total, there were over 1.400 visitors at the conference over the two days.
I personally did not attend many sessions in the main conference tracks, as I was too occupied with the OpenSQL Camp and the booth organization. However, I managed to listen to Uli Graef's talk, which was a very technical and interesting session about ZFS features and internals. Being a big fan of ZFS myself, this was a very worthwhile session to be at and my impression was that it encouraged others to take a closer look at this truly amazing file system.
The second talk I attended was Sunday's keynote by Dries Buytaert from the Drupal project about "The Secrets of Building and Participating in Open Source
As for previous FrOSCons (is that the proper plural?), there was a social event scheduled for Saturday evening, providing barbecue (Steaks and Sausages as well as vegetarian dishes) and drinks. This event usually takes place outside and is always an excellent opportunity for networking and talking with key people from other OSS communities and projects. And there was plenty of time for talking - the queues for the grilled food were long...
Here is a list of other blogs and articles about FrOSCon that are worth a read (in no particular order and both German and English):
In addition to the main conference tracks, FrOSCon also provided a number of so-called "Developer Rooms" to OSS projects, so that they could organize sub-conferences or hackfests of their own. We applied for a room to set up a conference dubbed "OpenSQL Camp", related to the topic of Open Source databases, which was approved.
We then sent out a call for papers and invited people from the many OSS database communities to join us and talk about their projects. Every session proposal was published on the OpenSQL Camp web site and people were able to vote on the sessions they were most interested in via email or twitter:
The organization and scheduling of the talks and speakers was done via the FrOSCon conference system (Pentabarf), which made it very easy to perform this task and also made sure that the OpenSQL Camp sessions were included in the main conference program. Below is a full list of sessions at our subconference (see the FrOSCon Program page for abstracts, speaker info, links and slides). We had two cancellations by speakers on short notice, but were able to cover the gaps with ad-hoc presentations. I'd like to send a special thanks to Geert Vanderkelen, who gave a great presentation about MySQL Cluster despite the very short notice and some technical difficulties at the beginning!
Most talks attracted between 20-50 attendees and we had a great mix of topics from several different database projects (with a slight majority of MySQL-related talks). The Panel Discussion (moderated by me), called the "OSS Toolshed Shootout" went quite well and the speakers had a good time answering questions on various topics about their projects. Thanks again to all OpenSQL Camp speakers for making this event a success!
All in all I think that both FrOSCon and OpenSQL Camp were well worth supporting and attending - we were able to provide insight and trigger some interesting discussions among the OSS enthusiasts and developers in the audience. It was also a good opportunity in get in touch with many people of other OSS communities, fostering the MySQL (and other Sun OSS projects) ecosystem.
I personally look forward to next year's FrOSCon - a Big Thanks to the organizers for another great event!
Posted by Lenz Grimmer in Linux, MySQL, OSS, Solaris at 22:56 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 3. 2009
IPC 2009, the International PHP Conference will take place on November 15th-18th in Karlsruhe, Germany. While the deadline for the call for papers for the main conference program has already passed, there is still an opportunity to submit MySQL-related content: the organizers plan to have a special MySQL Day, which will take place on Tuesday, 17th of November.
Quoting for the Call for Papers web page:
We would like to encourage you to support and contribute to this event by submitting interesting talks related to MySQL and PHP! If you have any questions or comments about this MySQL Day, feel free to get in touch with Robert Lippert or Björn Schotte directly. Thank you!
Thursday, August 6. 2009
I'm happy to announce that the schedule for OpenSQL Camp 2009 (European Edition) has been published on the FrOSCon timetable now. We have a great selection of topics and speakers, so don't miss it! OpenSQL Camp is a subconference of FrOSCon, the Free and Open Source Conference, which will take place on August 22nd and 23rd in St. Augustin, Germany.
The admission fee for the entire conference (both days, incl. OpenSQL Camp) is 5 EUR, you can pre-register here until August 10th (and if you do so today, you will still get a free T-Shirt as well!). Of course, you can also just show up at the entrance and pay the entrance fee on site. The OpenSQL Camp will be located in Room C120 - see the instructions on the FrOSCon web page on how to get there and where to find accommodation.
In case you can't make it to Germany for the European Edition, Eric Day and Selena Deckelmann have started to organize another OpenSQL Camp in Portland, Oregon which will take place on November 14th and 15th. More details can be found on the OpenSQL Camp Wiki. Space is limited to 120 attendees, so sign up today and reserve your spot!
Monday, July 20. 2009
The Call for Papers for the OpenSQL Camp 2009 (European Edition) has ended yesterday — we received 27 excellent session proposals from various Open Source Database projects. I would like to say a big "Thank You" to everyone who submitted a talk! In the beginning I was a bit concerned that the conference would become too MySQL-centric, but this fortunately changed in the last few days.
Sadly we now have more than double the amount of sessions than we can actually host, which means that we will have to review and vote on the sessions to distill the final program. We've formed a small committee that will perform this task (currently consisting of Sheeri, Giuseppe and myself) and is in charge of finalizing the schedule. But you can help us with this! We are seeking your input on which sessions you would like to attend until Sunday, July 26th (12:00pm PST).
The system basically asks for "one vote per person per session", giving you a chance to influence the program yourself: you can cast one vote for each session by either stating you would be interested in attending it (+1) or not interested (-1). Additionally, you can add a comment for each vote to provide a reasoning for your choice. Ideally, you should of course plan to actually attend our event, but you are welcome to tell us what you would have been interested in, in case you can't make it to the Camp. See the OpenSQL Camp wiki page for more details and instructions. You can submit your votes via Twitter or the OpenSQL Camp mailing list.
We look forward to your input!
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