A face to face meeting may indeed be possible, if our World Tour celebrating the acquisition of MySQL by Sun has a stop close to you, and if I happen to be lucky to be attending that particular meetup just announced:
To toast the success of the acquisition and engage with customers, employees, community developers and partners, Sun and MySQL executives will kick-off a global tour in March, hitting major cities worldwide leading up to the popular MySQL Conference & Expo in April. Every Sun-MySQL community can participate online, including videos, photos and comments from each stop at www.sun.com/mysqltour. This site will invite the public to visit the tour in a nearby city to meet Sun-MySQL executives, local developers and other open source enthusiasts.
If you click at the Google map, you'll see our schedule.
The trip takes us to interesting places. For me, there's a first: Izhevsk, the capital city of the Udmurt Republic in Russia (start in Moscow, fly straight towards the Ural mountains, stop at 2/3 of the distance). That's where MySQL has one of its longest-serving and most prominent development teams, and I'm ashamed I haven't dropped by before -- but happy to be able to fix it in March.
And if you're a MySQLer or MySQL meetup organiser, do contact Sun about hosting an event close to you. Email MeetUpTour@Sun.COM and contact your local MySQL Community Team member: Jay Pipes for North America, Lenz Grimmer for EMEA, Colin Charles for APAC, and worldwide Community Team Lead Giuseppe Maxia -- who all are best approached through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tour talks about us as "rock stars". Now where's humble old MySQL? Well, perhaps you never regarded MySQL as humble, but I'll tell you two anecdotes on the topic anyway.
First, yes, I'd like to think we're humble. But at the same time, we're sticking out our heads in various circumstances. From my former-and-current boss, ex-MySQL-CEO now-Sun-SVP MÃƒÂ¥rten Mickos, I've with pride stolen the expression "We're world famous for being humble". It tries to capture that we don't claim MySQL is good for all purposes ("we're the best for everything"), but we still don't hide that MySQL is being used by some fairly impressive enterprises.
Second, I'll tell you about a humbling experience from right after I joined MySQL in 2001. Our founder, Michael "Monty" Widenius wanted me to be exposed to the external community of MySQL users. So he asked me to go to Belgrade in Serbia, to present for the Open Source Network of Yugoslavia. The room could fit 200 people. About 250 turned up. I was the only foreign speaker, and I had asked for some tips by MySQL's first non-founder employee, Sinisa Milivojevic (incidentally a Serb). So I opened with "Dobar dan svima!", good day to you all. Applause! Wow! Then I continued with a phrase that I've forgotten by now, but it meant "sorry for not speaking Serbian". Further applause! "Why? It's just me, Kaj!", I was thinking. But I was truly being treated as a rock star. Talking to the hosts after the presentation, I understood that my favourable reception was partly due to a Western foreigner finally visiting Serbia without dropping bombs in their necks, and even apologising for not speaking Serbian.
Unfortunately, Belgrade isn't on my track this time, but at least Dublin, Stockholm, Moscow, Izhevsk, Kiev, Hamburg, Munich and Milano are. And this time, I promise to do more than just the greeting sentences in a predominant local non-English language (huh, except for Gaelic in Dublin). Let's see if I succeed.