MySQL conference; The good, the bad and the ugly

The "2008 MySQL Conference and Expo" previously known as the "MySQL Users Conference" is over and I finally have time to blog.

What I really like with the MySQL conference is that it shows the loyalty that MySQL has from it's users and community. Year after year I get the change to meet the same friendly (!) faces and every year the group grows notable bigger (more than 2000 attendees this year). It really feels amazing for me to that I have had a small share in making this happen!

A lot of things happened during the conference, some good, some bad and some ugly.

Lets start with the bad parts and then go to the good stuff.

The Ugly

The ugly part was of course the announcement that MySQL was planning to change the MySQL server from open source/free software to crippleware by only giving out key parts of MySQL online backup (a server component) as closed source within the Enterprise server offering.

This announcement was not taken well by the MySQL community, as can be seen by the several hundreds of comments at slashdot

I would like to emphasis that this decision was made by the MySQL management team and *NOT* influenced in any way by Sun Management! All the Sun people I have met so far, including Jonathan Schwartz and my boss Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun, has made it very clear for me that Sun is for open/free software and they was caught by surprise by this announcement. I think this happened because the integration process between MySQL and Sun is yet not complete, and MySQL AB is still functioning more or less as an atomic entity inside of Sun.

MÃ¥rten showed at his keynote a photo of where they were burning the IPO Prospectus for MySQL AB. This was a very cool thing to do!

What the MySQL management team forgot to burn, was all the plans they had of how to make more money when MySQL would be a public company. They have apparently not yet realized that when MySQL AB was acquired by Sun, things changed. As I understand, Sun is not interested in closing MySQL up, in fact quite the contrary. Sun bought MySQL to expand their open source/free software offerings and also to use the expertise we have in MySQL AB to transform Sun to be even more successful in this software space. More about this later.

The Bad

MySQL 5.1.24RC binaries (but not the source) was released without federated tables compiled in. Federated tables is a feature that is used by thousands of MySQL users, including MySQL customers. A lot of people within MySQL development, the MySQL community team, product management and myself, tried to stop this from happening but unfortunately we where not successful. I find it outrageous that something like this can be done within an RC release and see this as yet another indication that 5.1 is far from being ready to be released as GA. I think we are still 4-6 months from having a stable 5.1 GA.

The conference was a very good one, but one can clearly see the commercial interests are starting to take over the conference. There were fewer talks from the MySQL community than before, talks from people that could be seen as MySQL competitors was regulated and some talks was censored. If the conference is going even more into this direction the next year, the community should start thinking about organising a MySQL developer conference that would be targeting those that are contributing to MySQL server or developing solutions with MySQL.

The Good

The next release of MySQL 5.1RC binaries will again have federated enabled, hopefully with most of the federated issues addressed.

I agreed to join Sun one week ago. I will be working at Sun Labs directly under Greg Papadopoulos. My tasks, among other things will include:
  • Finishing and Releasing the Maria storage engine as per current schedule
  • Continue to do architectural work on the MySQL server and in general help with MySQL development
  • Help Sun to be even more successful in the open source/free software world by actively helping different open source projects within Sun to be more involved with the community and more community driven.
I am very excited in joining Sun and working on making Sun the leading open source/free software company! I will of course make it a personal goal to keep MySQL development on track and to ensure that the MySQL server in the future will continue to be developed in an open source friendly fashion.

A new InnoDB version with a lot of new features was released under GPL at the conference for MySQL 5.1. Thanks to Heikki Tuuri and the InnoDB team!

My first talk "Maria engine" was quite well received. This included a short presentation of the XDB indexes that I have hinted about in one of my earlier blogs. A description of this will soon appear at http://forge.mysql.com/worklog/task.php?id=3537. We hope to finish the Maria 1.5 version, which includes concurrent inserts and selects to tables with versioning, within a few weeks. After that we will work on stabilising the MySQL-5.1-Maria release and then start working on the MySQL-6.0-Maria release that will include transactions.

You can find the slides to this talk at http://www.scribd.com/doc/2575706/Maria-Engine

The Maria BOF was even better received. Here we had a demo that proved that Maria was indeed crash safe and to celebrate the successful demo we then consumed 3 liter of black vodka.

My second talk "Future Design Hurdles to Tackle in the MySQL Server" or "The Future of MySQL (The Project)" was even better received. During the talk we had spontaneous chanting of "We don't ship crippleware" and afterwards I got many people coming to say to me that it was my best talk ever! (This doesn't of course say anything else than that I may be improving or that they have never heard me present before).

You can find the slides to this talk here.

I have been contacted to give this presentation again at other events, and I look forward to be working on MySQL with Sun, and with the MySQL Community.