Wednesday, 26 March 2008

MySQL Workbench: Check out our ER/DB design tool!

MySQL Workbench, the successor to DBDesigner 4 from FabForce, is a visual database design tool that integrates database design, modeling, creation and maintenance into a single, seamless environment for the MySQL database system. You can use it to design and create new database schemas, document existing databases and even perform complex migrations to MySQL.

It's now a good week ago since our first Release Candidate numbered 5.0.15, and if you haven't checked it out yet, now is a good time!


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

MySQL Forge 2.0 released

Point your browsers to

  • MySQL Forge is the directory for projects related to MySQL.

  • New MySQL functionality under work is described on the Forge Worklog.

  • New Forge 2.0 features includes site-wide search, commenting and voting.

  • Forge 2.0 hence sports ranking of projects.

  • Forge 2.0 has a new people section with profiles and listings of contributed tools.

  • The tools section is a code and tool repository for smallish code snippets.

  • The Preview Section lists sneak peeks at products before their official distribution.

  • The Forge Wiki is a community-maintained documentation repository.

Thanks Jay Pipes for the stamina to get out Forge 2.0, in the middle of all the work as the Program Chair for the MySQL Users Conference, coming up in less than a month!


Monday, 24 March 2008

MySQL Summer of Code 2008 opens today

Today, 24 March 2008, the student application period opens. And it remains open for a week, until 31 March 2008, presumably at one minute before midnight UTC.

If you haven't already discussed the MySQL related ideas published on, do so now.

A good place to first silently lurk in and then actively participate in is

As opposed to last year, you can now also apply for MySQL Worklog Items Open for Community Development listed on Worklog items are internal "todo items" or coding tasks identified (but not yet necessarily being actively worked upon) by MySQL AB, ehh, now Sun Microsystems.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Tech At Sun

Twice a year, Sun invites their Sun Fellows, Sun Distinguished Engineers and many Principal Engineers, Sales Engineers and Consultants to an offsite meeting, usually in California and this time in the Chaminade in Santa Cruz. For the first time, we now had MySQLers present -- and over 20 of us.

The purpose of the meeting is to share new trends, new technologies, and new ideas across Sun's wide spectrum spanning everything from the bare metal of the Niagara system through other aspects of system all the way to software.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to describe MySQL the Product, MySQL the Business and MySQL the Culture, in a long 90 minute day session in front of all the audience. Our Product, Business and Culture were described by a six-headed panel, with Jim Starkey, Jan Kneschke, Michael "Monty" Widenius, Mikael Ronström, Igor Babaev and Serg Golubchik.

MySQLers in general were very well received, despite our loud newbie comments about how to "properly" address Open Source issues and develop Free Software.

There's plenty of time to talk one-on-one, and a multitude of Birds-of-a-Feather sessions. We might have been excessive in the amount of MySQL related BOF sessions offered, as I at one point had to ask a colleague where "the Sun BOF" was.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Hamburg & Munich: Vicarious tourism, Lufthansa and Community

Yesterday, we concluded the Sakila Express World Tour, more aptly named "Sakila Tour of Seven Top European MySQL AB Sites Using Decadence Airlines". The last two were in Germany: Hamburg in the north, in Sun's offices, and Munich in the south, in Hilton am Tucherpark.

In Hamburg, we went directly into the meat with three hardcore developers. Onboarding, intellectual property, and contractors were the hardcore topics.

Ulf, Jan and Kay experienced Izhevsk and Kiev vicariously through the blog

The discussions added plenty of colour to the picture for Julie and Dave. Julie has a great metaphor for explaining the purpose of Sakila Express: To understand how the integration message comes out in the other end, in the Telephone game (also known as Chinese whispers, in German as Stille Post, in Swedish as Ryska posten, in French as Téléphone arabe, where the German version is the only one which would pass all tests of political correctness).

Sadly, Dave had to depart for the US after Hamburg, and sadly, Julie and I had to go back to reality from having used the rental jets of our beloved Decadence Airlines, into using normal airlines, in our case Lufthansa.

Lufthansa departs from the "normal" part of the airport in Hamburg

Me getting back to real life, in a real aircraft

The last stop in Munich saw plenty of local MySQLers, but this time also quite a few Sun employees and MySQL community members from Mayflower and other companies.

This time, my thank you note goes to Julie Ross and Dave Douglas. We had a fantastic week together! It was superb to meet with MySQLers, as a team of three, in so many different locations in such a short time. Your comfort zone when travelling was wide, and when in distress (not being allowed into the Moscow hotel without an immigration card, having lost the pilots in Izhevsk, not knowing how much time was left to get to the airport in Kiev), you still were a charm to travel with. You listened to the concerns of the MySQLers with interest, respect and an open mind, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that your presence was highly appreciated. Well done!

P.S. Julie: Do expect me to verify your knowledge of three key phrases whenever we meet from now on: Nasdrovye, Budmo and Zum Wohl!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Kiev: Eventum, contractors and ten more churches to go

Today in Kiev, we had a great time with MySQLers in Engineering and Support. And I got competition in the area of photography from Oleksandr "Sanja" Belkin. Other than that, this blog entry is again of the sit-back-and-relax type, not going into lots of MySQL detail. That's not to say that we wouldn't have gone into detail, though, although we saw more churches under the leadership of our Kiev team than we had seen in a long time.

This is how much I like my Sigma 8mm lens

We started the day by looking at Sun's on-boarding procedures for MySQLers in the Ukraine, sipping tea and coffee at the Hotel President. And we went through Sun's business model, through the importance of retaining the Eventum systems for Support, about how MySQL-time contractors are managed as part of Sun, as well as other topics familiar from other MySQL locations. Our Sun colleagues noted that our values, topics and concerns seem to be the same across our locations, and that MySQLers across the teams know each other quite well. With our IRC culture, Radio Sakila, our Development Meetings and other meetings, the strong bonds between MySQLers might not be that surprising, but I'm still glad it's noted by our colleagues at Sun.

After the "formal" meeting (which did conform with ZSP, the Zero Slides Policy), we went for a walk across Kiev. Our first stop was the City Hall, where hundreds of yellow buses were honking their horns.

There was a bus strike going on in Kiev

Valeriy, Alexey, Sanja, Bogdan, Julie, Dave

Then we went on to the main Independece Square, with a statue of a "kosack" leader. Yes, I know, these guys are probably spelt differently in English than in Swedish. But I refer to these fiercely independent guys on horses that carried swords and played the balalaika-like bandura instrument.

A kosack, a horse and myself at Kiev's Independence Square

Sanja (of Lugansk and Maria Engine fame) has a big camera


Sanja is from Lugansk, 672 km away from home but next to Kiev's well-known Internet Explorer monument

I like the Kiev architecture.

The Sofia Cathedral ...

... counts as several churches in my book

My favourite St Petersburg architect, Rastrelli, was hard at work also in Kiev

You remember Misha? Misha Bulgakov? Our local MySQLer who helped us in Moscow? Well, guess what, we jumped into a statue of him in Kiev!

Misha Bulgakov and me, both sceptical

Then we went for a Georgian restaurant, famous for a Soviet era film comedy "Mimino" about a Georgian and an Armenian (of whom a Japanese commented "all Russians look alike"). Our Ukrainian hosts educated us about Lviv (famous as Lemberg, from the Austro-Hungarian era), Kamennets-Podolski, Uzhgorod and other cool sights in the Ukraine. Personally, I enjoyed seeing the Crimea eight years ago, and am still looking for an excuse to visit Odessa on the Black Sea coast.

The Georgian and the Armenian from the Soviet comedy Mimino

After dinner, it was about time to head back for the airport. Just ten more churches! So we took the Funiculaire uphill, for a view of the Dnjepr river.

The funiculaire

The view over Dnjepr river

Ten more churches to go

This one counts twice

.ua is EU friendly

Time flew, and we needed to find our way to the hotel, so we took the metro.

Julie on the way down the endless Kiev metro escalators

A Kiev metro we barely missed

Dave, Aleksey and Julie felt I took a picture of their knees

Valeriy, Bogdan, Aleksey and Julie

It's fun in the Kiev metro

And now, the last leg of the Corporate Jet tour is coming to an end, as we're landing in a few minutes in Hamburg. Yup, we'll also do Munich tomorrow, but for that, we will have to take Lufthansa, as opposed to Decadence Airlines, which we've used so far. Ah, I have to confess, I could bear with another whirlwind tour of Europe with Decadence Airlines, despite sleep deprivation, not to mention a few issues with the Russian officials in Munich (not getting a visa), Helsinki (getting a visa but incurring huge extra cost), Moscow (not getting an immigration card), and Izhevsk (not having pilots, as the flight was randomly postponed by 1h).

Thank you all Ukrainian MySQLers, especially Bogdan Degtyarov and Lawrentii Novitzky, for excellent arrangements!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Izhevsk: A royal welcome and a shoot-out ends up in an orthodox visit

Today in Izhevsk, we had the best welcome a group of Sun-MySQL integration people could ever imagine. "As you've been flying a Corporate Jet, you now need a corporate car", our reception committee said.

And, we travelled in style. After some shampanskoye, we were shuttled into the white limo (somehow exported from the US into Izhevsk) fixed by the local MySQLers.
Today's Tip #1: If you look for meaty MySQL stuff, look elsewhere. If you look for travel tips for Russia, read this report of one of the most exciting day trips I've had in my life.

The Royal Welcome in Izhevsk

Today's Tip #2: If you want to go to Izhevsk, then start in Moscow, fly due east towards the Ural mountains, and land after two thirds of the distance. Be sure to bring a Russian speaking co-co-pilot.

The first red carpet that has literally been rolled out for the MySQL Ambassador to Sun
Today's Tip #3: If you want to pronounce "Izhevsk" and get away with it, pronounce the "zh" as the "s" in "pleasure" (which going to Izhevsk was at least for us).

I've been in a limo once before, in New York, but this was clearly the more fun one.

Wannabe-Izhevsk-employee Lars Thalmann pays for our dinner with a smile

The MySQL Izhevsk office has the corner room with the best view of all MySQL offices /me has seen

After having a great dinner (I had broccoli soup and a delicious sturgeon with black rice) and sending the latest emails and blog entries from the wireless in the Izhevsk office, our local hosts guided us to the local sights. The first one is the Kalashnikov museum. A must!

/me in front of the Kalashnikov museum

My main goal in the Kalashnikov museum was to see an AK-47.
Today's Tip #4: This is how to decipher the code AK-47: A as in Automatic, K as in Kalashnikov, 47 as in 1947 (similar branding to Windows 95).

The majestic entrance to the Kalashnikov exhibitions

And an AK-47 could be observed right from the beginning, as could the Windows error messages "File not found" in the video shows above the booths with soldiers from various centuries.

Mission accomplished: Kaj with an AK-47

The AK-47 is very similar in design to the Stg (Stormgevär) I used in Dragsvik serving in the Finnish army 1983-84. In fact, the AK-47 was commercially licensed to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European countries. According to our local MySQLers, the Chinese used the GPL version.

A modern-day AK-47, the Nikonov from 1994

Having seen the Nikonov, we looked out for the Kanonov, but found neither that one nor the Hasselblattov.

After that, we went for a test of how much we trusted our co-workers. There's a shooting range in the basement, where you can pick amongst sniper guns, handguns and an assortment of other guns produced in the belligerent city of Izhevsk.

Dave Douglas, Julie Ross and Alexander Barkov prepare for the shoot-out

Dave Douglas trains in the usage of backup motivational methods for making the Sun-MySQL integration work

/me tries the Big Mac of the Izhevsk guns -- the AK-47
Today's Tip #5: If you want to try out plenty of guns with little waiting time, at a low cost, and without signing heaps of legal indemnifications, go to the basement of the Kalashnikov museum in Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtia, wear protection for your ears, and be sure to really trust the colleagues you're going with.

After this much aggression, we had to go for more peaceful activities. Last year, the rebuilding of the cathedral of Izhevsk was completed, based on the original from around 1908 which was, ehh, deleted in the 1930s.

Alexander Barkov going up the stairs of the "chram" (cathedral)

Gospodi pomiluy! Lord have mercy! The contrast to the shoot-out couldn't have been bigger. We came into an orthodox mass with kneeling locals, sacral music and an atmosphere of complete tranquility.

An orthodox service in the cathedral of Izhevsk

The atmosphere in Russian Orthodox churches is peaceful
Today's Tip #6: If you want to have a look at the frozen pond in the Izh river, early March is a good month, and the central square of Izhevsk is a good spot.

The pond on the Izh river through Izhevsk

But all good things must come to an end. Ours came at 19:30, when we had to be back at Izhevsk airport, to catch the flight which we had booked for 20:00. You may have your own set of excuses for missing flights and flight times, but we ended up with a novel one: By 20:10, the pilots hadn't yet arrived. By 20:15, movement was sighted in the airplane and by 20:20, we had noticed the mixup being due to the one hour time difference between Izhevsk and Moscow.

Kaj, Dave and Julie departing from Izhevsk -- a day trip we'll never forget!

Anyway, it worked out, and we're now on our way to Kiev, in the Ukraine, with a short stopover in Vnukovo, Moscow.

Let me conclude by thanking our local MySQLers Alexander "Bar" Barkov, Alexey "Holyfoot" Botchkov, Ramil Kalimullin, Sergei Vojtovich, Sergei Glukhov, as well as the co-visitors Georgi "Joro" Kodinov from Bulgaria and Lars Thalmann from Sweden for arranging a most magnificient and memorable visit for Julie, Dave and myself! We're most grateful. Thank you also for the music, and the Kalashnikov vodka.

About immigration cards in Moscow

Tuesday evening, Moscow was our next stop. Engineering, Support, Internal IT, Professional Services -- as in Sweden, various MySQL departments were represented. Russia is a key personnel country for MySQL, and has been so for years. It's my third time with MySQL in Moscow, and it feels good to start being able to find Count Dolgorukyi, Arbat, St. Basil's Cathedral, Kremlin, the Red Square, and the Tverskaya Ulitsa.

So as not to bore you with repeating the MySQL on-boarding discussions we had, which were much the same as everywhere else, let me instead share our experience of how to login into Russia, and, more complicated, Marriott Grand Hotel on Tverskaya.

Scene 1: Yesterday, 15:00, Domodedovo airport, Rusaero Biznes Terminal.

  • Immigration lady: Do you need an immigration card?

  • We: Uhmm, if you say so

  • No further action, we depart from Domodedovo, which depending on traffic is between 60 and 120 minutes from the city

Scene 2: Yesterday, 16:30, Marriott Grand Hotel, Tverskaya.

  • Marriott check-in gentleman: Can I please have your immigration card?

  • We: Ehmm, we didn't get any!

  • Marriott guy: Surely you got one, at immigration, otherwise you wouldn't have got into the country!

  • We: Really, we didn't.

  • Marriott guy: So then I cannot register you into the hotel. It's the law.

  • We: OK, so what should we do?

  • Marriott guy: Go back to Domodedovo and get it!

  • We: But we're here only for tonight, it's five already, we have meetings!

  • Marriott guy: It's the law. We cannot register you.

  • Our local MySQLer (let's call him Misha Bulgakov) shows up: Hi! What's up?

  • ... explanations ... repeated firm statements from both parties ... time passes ... some of us get slightly nervous ... shall we sleep on Misha's floor? ... more time passes

  • Misha, in Russian, to the Marriott guy: What if I book the rooms?

  • Marriott guy: Uh, I suppose that would work.

  • ... investigations ...

  • Marriott Transport Desk: How can I help you?

  • Me: Can I book a taxi for tomorrow from here to Domodedovo Airport, tomorrow morning, room 1234, last name Arnö?

  • Marriott Transport Desk: Sure! But, what was the last name again?

  • Me: Uhmm ... Bulgakov!

  • Marriott Transport Desk: Right! No problem.

So, after Misha signing here and there, the Bulgakov party can continue and meet with the MySQLers at "our" office nearby, have excellent sushi at a Japanese restaurant, and take a walk to the Red Square.

Scene 3: Today, 8:30, Domodedovo airport, Rusaero Biznes Terminal.

  • Immigration lady: Privet!

  • We: Hey, you forgot to give us an immigration card yesterday. We couldn't check in to Marriott without it. We were in big trouble!

  • Immigration lady: Oh, what a pity.

  • We: It was slightly more than just a pity.

On we go. Izhevsk, here we come!