At MySQL Camp (over 200 registered participants!), one of the first sessions was lead by Jay and themed "Measuring the MySQL Community".
The purpose of having MySQL community metrics is to know how MySQL is serving its community. At which rate is it growing? Or is it shrinking? Ideally, we would be able to say "in October 2006, the number of installations of MySQL grew by 3,2 % from 10 340 455 to 10 671 350 installations" and "the community activity index grew from 10,4 to 10,8".
There are built-in problems with this, though. While we know that we have over 10M yearly downloads, we don't know how many of those are in active use. And we know many get their MySQL packages from distributions.
Sheeri Kritzer proposed making a the server "scorebord" public. Basically, SHOW STATUS information would be aggregated as a service somewhere on MySQL Forge. "In November 2006, 417 petabyte was stored worldwide in MySQL databases (up 10,4 % from october). During the same month, 57G queries were launched against MySQL databases (up 9,4 %)."
This would require an opt-in type of "phone home" service from MySQL or some of the tools using MySQL (GUIs) to ping MySQL.
There's a great spirit here at the MySQL Camp. I'm looking forward to the upcoming sessions!