Saturday, 29 November 2008

MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition: Position 2

The GA announcement of MySQL 5.1 is coming, and for downloading, it's already available, as I hope you have noticed from Giuseppe's blog. We continue our preparations, this time by announcing Position 2 in the MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition.

2. Guy Adams (Parallel Ltd., Milton Keynes, United Kingdom): Using Partitioning to Manage Satellite Networks. See Guy's DevZone article.

Thanks and congratulations, Guy! I hope you too are in a position to take advantage of your free MySQL Conference & Expo 2009 Pass, including a dinner with MySQL co-founder Michael “Monty” Widenius.

Links:

Friday, 28 November 2008

MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition: Position 3

The GA announcement of MySQL 5.1 is getting closer by the minute! So it's time for Position 3 in the MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition.

3. Corrado Pandiani (Football Club Internazionale Milano Spa, Milan, Italy): Using Partitioning and Event Scheduler for online logging & real-time stats. See Corrado's DevZone article, and his blog.

Thanks and congratulations, Corrado! I hope you are in a position to take advantage of your free MySQL Conference & Expo 2009 Pass, including a dinner with MySQL co-founder Michael “Monty” Widenius.

Links:

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition: Position 4

The GA announcement of MySQL 5.1 is close, so close that we're seeding the mirrors (I hope you noted Giuseppe's blog entry)! So it's time for Position 4 in the MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition.

4. Volker Oboda (TeamDrive Systems GmbH, Hamburg, Germany): Using the Pluggable API for TeamDrive. See Volker's DevZone article, and the Wikipedia article on TeamDrive.

Thanks and congratulations, Volker! Your MySQL Community Contributor T-shirt is underway.

Links:

Career trap: Internet

Do you read German? Then I have two recommendations for you.

First, go read this fresh interview with the German social networking guru Klaus Eck. It's about "a life long job application process".

Second, go read the book "Karrierefalle Internet" ("Career trap: Internet") by Klaus Eck. That book is what the interview is all about.

Klaus Eck's basic statement is "go manage your online reputation before others do it for you". He notes that he's seen plenty of Angst amongst social media newbies about how they're presented online, with the end result that those who are afraid don't do anything in their defense (i.e. they don't establish a web presence of their own), and are thus at the mercy of random comments on their real life turning up in the net. To me, the negative header of the book is rather a reason not to buy the book ("I want to steer clear of Internet, as it is a trap"), but perhaps he's right that fear sells ("I want not to be trapped by the Internet, so I'll buy the book").

At any rate, I bought the book, and I did so after noticing it by coincidence at the physical bookstore Hugendubel at home in Munich. So perhaps he's right that FUD sells.

As for the insights and structure of the book, I can only recommend it. Klaus has good suggestions and a good logic. He has thought of many Web related things I haven't, and I find myself concurring with most of those. I would disagree mainly on his recommendation to use Twitter only in one language. Nope. The web should reflect real life. What this means for your presence on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or anywhere is this: If your real life is multilingual, then so should your web presence be. Sure, in real life, I don't speak Italian to Russians. But on the other hand, I don't see a point in keeping it a secret from the Russians, that I have an Italian blog. Analogously, if you follow my Twitter feed, you'll see tweets in several languages. I pick the language based on who I direct the tweet at, and if you don't read the language in question, then it's likely that the contents are not that interesting for you, either.

Finally, I'd like to thank Klaus Eck for being one of the key sources of inspiration for my series of blogs where I "share my experiences improving my online manners through social networking websites, many of which are powered by MySQL.". So far, I've done Dopplr, Picasa Web and Facebook. More to come, with time.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Google Summer of Code 2008 Update

phpMyAdmin and MySQL Forge, along with the MySQL Build Farm initiative were the main MySQL related benefactors of Google Summer of Code 2008. phpMyAdmin got BLOB Streaming support and a simplified setup script, MySQL Forge got RSS and Atom feeds and the MySQL Build Farm got a test schedule.

Directly mentored by phpMyAdmin originator Marc Delisle, GSoC student Raj Kissu Rajandran completed the BLOB streaming support in phpMyAdmin. This is how he describes his project goals (which are now achieved):
It is often common to come across a website, especially a blog, that is built on a pairing of MySQL and PHP. Seeing as how most of those who run such websites on the Internet do not have access to a Shell account or have experience in managing applications from the command-line, applications like phpMyAdmin were built to allow the administration of MySQL databases through the convenience of a
web-base interface. Not to long ago, third-party support for streaming BLOB data was added to MySQL. This feature greatly simplifies the management of streaming content (audio, video) in and out of the database. Being both an avid programmer and frequent user of MySQL, I have decided to take upon the task of adding support for managing this feature in phpMyAdmin. The purpose of this document is to describe this feature and it's implementation and propose that Google fund its
implementation in phpMyAdmin through the Summer of Code 2008 program.

Raj's code is now integrated into phpMyAdmin, and he has gained phpMyAdmin committer status. More info:

Mentored by Michal ÄŒihaÅ™, GSoC student Piotr Przybylski set out to rewrite the phpMyAdmin setup script. Piotr set out (and achieved) these goals:
Current phpMyAdmin setup script does its job but it isn't easy to use by inexperienced users. Rewriting it would give them a simple setup wizard which would lead them though the entire configuration, showing only the most important options. On top of that, it would offer an automatic creation of control user and required databases, as well as automated update of existing tables in case these already exist. Advanced users would be able to switch to full configuration wizard and would also benefit from automated control user creation and database setup.

Piotr's code is integrated into mainline (but he still has some cleanup of the security checks to do). More info:

Mentored by MySQL Forge's originator Jay Pipes, GSoC student Robert van der Mast developed an RSS and Atom feed for MySQL Forge. His now completed goals were set out as follows:
I will develop a RSS and Atom feeds system for MySQL Forge (http://forge.mysql.com), so that MySQL Forge users can easily track new items on Forge by just using their RSS/Atom reader. The feeds will be cached to save unnecessary server load.

Robert's code is integrated into mainline Forge 2.0 code. More info:

Mentored by Adam Porter, GSoC student Charles Song implemented a Test Scheduler for the MySQL Build Farm Initiative. This is part of the Skoll project at the University of Maryland, "A Process and Infrastructure for Distributed Continuous Quality Assurance". His now-achieved goal:
The MySQL Build Farm Initiative seeks to create an automated environment that tests MySQL in multiple configurations over a powerful, virtual computing grid provided by community member's local machines.

Links:

Other MySQL related GSoC2008 projects are listed on http://code.google.com/p/google-summer-of-code-2008-mysql/downloads/list where this is the list of all eleven projects:

  • A front end to the mysqlslap program

  • Mysql query analyzing tool

  • Adding parallelism to mysqldump

  • MyBS extension for PHP

  • A Test Scheduler for the MySQL Build Farm Initiative

  • Memcached for MySQL Query Cache

  • RBAC system system for MySQL server

  • phpMyAdmin setup script rewrite

  • BLOBStreaming Support for phpMyAdmin

  • MySQL Forge GSoC project code by Robert van der Ma


Other references:

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Facebook: From 0 to 100 in less than 24h

Three weeks ago, I started my sporadic series of blog posts where I share my experiences improving my online manners through social networking websites, many of which are powered by MySQL. My first target was the traveller site Dopplr, and the second one was Google's picture sharing site Picasa Web.

This time, I'm taking a look at Facebook. As I said in the first (Dopplr related) blog post, I feel like a slow follower in the discipline of social networking on the web. And Facebook was a true case in point, where “everybody else” was there before me (my team, my boss, my aunt, my nephew, my goddaughter, countless colleagues; you get the picture).

Actually, there's an advantage to being a follower: It's easy to grow your network quickly. A mere 24 h ago I wasn't even registered on Facebook, and now, I have over a hundred confirmed friends. And the fact that we're talking about confirmed friends I take as a testimony to the power of Facebook: People actually use Facebook, actively. My Dopplr account hasn't filled up in nearly a month to even half the amount of Facebook contacts in less than a day. Sure, Dopplr isn't for my aunt, nephew or goddaughter, but still -- the activity level correlates with the usefulness.


The two most distinct advantages of Facebook is its worldwide coverage and its technical connectivity. The worldwide coverage is quite a bit weaker in large, well-developed non-English-speaking countries (such as Germany). There is near-zero motivation for my children (13 and 14 years old) to join, as "everyone that matters" to them is on Lokalisten.de, the older siblings of "everyone that matters" are on StudiVZ and their parents on Xing.com. Some similar situation prevails in Japan or China, but not so in Finland. There, all age groups go on Facebook. And this provides lots of value: Sharing pictures with my aunt is done with the same medium as I can ask my goddaughter's bigger sister for a favour, i.e. using her newly-acquired driver's license to pick up my son from Helsinki airport for a pre-Christmas party next weekend. Sure, I could have called her mobile phone, but Facebook was much less intrusive. She's there anyway!

The technical connectivity provides "networking effects between the networks", if you will. I have connected Facebook to my Doppler and Twitter accounts, and to my Google Reader. So status changes in Twitter propagate to Facebook. And new blog entries on Google Reader propagate to my notes / feed on Facebook. And given that, in turn, I have connected Twitter to my SMS and Google Reader to my blogs, it means that my Facebook news page gets automatically updated through my SMS tweets and blog entries. Without any further effort my side. (Sure, it was non-trivial to set up blog aggregation on Google Reader, but I had already gone through that for my home page http://kaj.arno.fi).

For those who neither tweet nor blog, automatic updates of a Facebook page may not sound like nirvana. Yet, that's very close to what it is, within the realm of social networking on the web. What's the purpose of tweeting or blogging or writing stuff for the web, if nobody reads what you write? Or rather, to be more reader centric, which web updates would you rather follow -- those that you get easily notified about in an app where you are anyway, or those for which you have to make a conscious effort to read, by starting a new app or web page? The effort should be on the side of the writer, and with Facebook, the effort is kept to a very manageable level of setup work, after which the updates propagate.

In order for the sentence "it's less than 24 h before I registered on Facebook" to be fully honest, let me now proceed to my summary:


















Positive experiences: Very many, quite significant


+ Suprisingly many friends, relatives, colleagues already connected
+ Good to get reminded of their existence and their daily life
+ Very good worldwide penetration
+ Great that Facebook integrates with Google Reader and my blogs
+ Great that Facebook integrates with Twitter, as this means that I can share things happening through SMS messages
+ Great that I could export an LDIF file from Thunderbird (my email program) and import them into Facebook, which based on email addresses identified already-connected friends very easily
Negative experiences: Few, if any
- Biggest irritation: When I uploaded the LDIF file at what seemingly was a peak time for Facebook, the connection broke several times -- but after a sufficient number of re-tries, the time-outs didn't reoccur
- There's a lot to learn in Facebook (private messages, public messages, updates etc.)
- I didn't find any outward-facing non-member landing page for invitations, along the lines of facebook.com/profile/kajarno
My own confusion -- no fault of the social network itself

I'm using Facebook in Swedish (hey, why use a foreign language?), and this isn't the language that the majority of my friends use in it -- so I don't know what "Upplagt", "Anteckningar" and other similar concepts are in their languages
My network presence isn't monolingual, and all of my friends don't read all of the languages I use. So I end up spamming those who don't understand Swedish with updates in Swedish. On the other hand, some stuff isn't interesting for anybody else except those who read Swedish. I just have to hope that my friends aren't annoyed by updates in languages they don't understand.
It isn't 100% clear to me what I should be public about. Why should I share the books I've read? The films I like? My favourite quotes? So far, I haven't
Remaining questions from my side
People ask me to verify that we "worked at Polycon 1995-2000" or "we travelled to Sorrento in 2006" and I have verified that, but where do I update my past activities myself?
And do I have any real benefit from entering past data?
How do I best group my many contacts into groups, such as based on what language I use with them, where I met them, etc.?
Should I invite real-life friends who are not yet on Facebook, to join?
When should I share pics using Picasa Web, when using Flickr, when using Facebook?
What is the intended use of "puffa" (I think it's "nudge" in English)?

All in all, Facebook is a scalable way of maintaining a social life, to keep in contact with people with a maximum of social interaction and a minimum of technical overhead. With less than a day's experience, I expect to use Facebook several times a week, and improve my offline real social life through online activities.

Links:

Saturday, 22 November 2008

MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition: Positions 5 to 10

With the GA announcement of MySQL 5.1 coming up, we have picked the winners in the MySQL 5.1 Use Case Competition.

To keep you in suspense, let me first announce those on positions 5 to 10:

5. Fourat Zouari (TriTUX.com, Tunis, Tunisia): Using Partitioning for Data Warehousing. See Fourat's DevZone article, and his blog entry from May 2008.

6. Ryan Thiessen (Big Fish Games, Seattle, Washington, USA): Logging Game Downloads with Partitioning. See Ryan's DevZone article.

7. Christopher Lavigne (Breadboard BI, Inc., Pleasanton, California, USA): Using MySQL 5.1 for Data Warehousing / Business Intelligence. See Christopher's DevZone article.

8. Jianzy Zhaoyang (Alibaba.com, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China): Using the MySQL 5.1 Event Scheduler for an Online Chat System. When Jian's ongoing migration is done, he has promised a DevZone article.

9. Jakub Vrána (phpMinAdmin, Prague, Czech Republic): Managing Events in phpMinAdmin. See Lenz Grimmer's blog entry.

10. Santo Leto (HoneySoftware, Trieste, Italy): 5.1 Use Case Reports. See Santo's blog entries.

Thanks an congratulations, Fourat, Ryan, Christopher, Jian, Jakub and Santo! Your MySQL Community Contributor T-shirts are underway.

Links:

Friday, 21 November 2008

The Death of the Standalone Document

I write emails, blog pages, Wiki pages. I create spreadsheets, presentations and web pages. I even do some detailed formatting of photo books and I layout text in detail with graphic programs or publishing tools.

But what I find myself doing more and more seldom is writing standalone documents.

I know the world is full of .docs, and I was just reminded of that, when talking to Marino Marcich, the head of the ODF Alliance, in Ankara, Turkey. I fully symphatise with the usage of an open document format, where there is true openness, true choice and true competition between software suppliers -- and not a monopoly based on format changes at the whim of individual companies.

However, my thinking is that the use of classical "Word processing" is a shrinking use case. I may be an exception, but:

  1. I prefer getting emails where the message is in the email body, not in an attachment.

    • I can read the message quicker.

    • I can search quicker within the message, or within the message folder.

    • I have less data to archive.



  2. I prefer finding and reading data over the web, rather than having to myself manage a directory tree containing documents.

    • I like sharing texts where I am in charge of their persistence, through pointing to it in the form of an URL.

    • If I want to enable my readers to read my texts offline, I just cut-and-paste a pure-text version as the email body.



  3. In the rare case that I want to control format and positioning of texts (for binders or other texts designed for usage on dead trees only), I use a drawing program, such as Omni Graffle.


This means that although I use Open Office, I do so for .odp files (presentations) and .ods files (spreadsheets), but hardly ever .odt files (texts).

True, it's much more annoying to get a .doc file than an .odt file, but getting any text attachment at all is usually quite a bit of overkill and an annoyance, at least for me.

I addressed this thinking with Aslam Raffee, the chairperson of the OSS Workgroup in the South African Government IT Officers Council a few weeks ago. And judging from his reaction, the standalone document isn't quite dead yet. But if it were for myself, and many of my MySQLer colleagues, the standalone document would soon face extinction.

The Query Analyzer -- a potential Killer App?

There have been plenty of blog entries and writings about the MySQL Query Analyzer, for what I think are good reasons. Labeling it a potential Killer App, causing many MySQL users to become paying Sun customers, may be a daring thing. However, the Query Analyzer might very well have what it takes. The key benefit of it is that it identifies the source of performance bottlenecks. In that sense, one could perhaps instead call it a profiler, as it analyses the set of all queries going on, as opposed to an individual one. One person to whom I described it said "ah, so it's sort of a DTrace for MySQL queries?" -- and for those who know what DTrace is, it's not a bad analogy.

Some of the key documents and blogs to read includes the overall product description, the Sun PR text, and the interview with Mark Matthews. Do read Mark Callaghan's review "Query Analyzer Rocks". Do read Zack Urlocker's Query Analyzer related business model discussion, where he asks "Can you develop a business model that works for the community and for paying customers?".

Given the non-FOSS nature of the Query Analyzer, there has also been some community discussion on this, such as Baron Schwartz mentioning an alternative to the MySQL Query Analyzer, followed by Mark Leith's response to it.

And the non-FOSS nature of the Query Analyzer is something I need to underline, in order not to set false expectations. It is part of the MySQL Enterprise subscription offering. It is not GPL software. So what this means is that you will be confronted with registrations, with trial periods and similar things familiar from other non-FOSS software, should you decide to try it out. You may agree or disagree as to whether that is right or wrong, but that is the business model we've chosen at Sun Microsystems (and read Zack's blog post for some of the underlying reasoning). And while my role as VP MySQL Community is primarily focused at growing and serving the MySQL user base, I am of course also interested in Sun having a business model for MySQL that enables growth in economic terms. I'm excited to see where the Query Analyzer will take us!

So, to sum it up: You may recall various discussions on Sun wanting to serve both the group of people who "have more time than money" and those who "have more money than time". The value of MySQL Query Analyzer just might be compelling enough for many to count themselves into the latter group.

Links:

Attending MySQL Events in Kiev 26.11.2008 and Moscow 1.12.2008

I have the pleasure to invite the Ukrainian and Russian MySQL communities to three events in the upcoming weeks, all of which I am attending myself.

Firstly, there is the Sun Microsystems ISV partnership event in Kiev on Wed 26.11.2008 from 10:00-18:00. The program for this event is published on my Russian language blog. Please register for this event through an email to Svetlana.Kovtun@Sun.COM.

Second, right after the ISV partnership event, we have a MySQL community get-together in the Sun offices within a 15 minutes walk. We'll talk about MySQL and Sun, the integration status and plans, at 18:30-20:00. I hope to get several of the former MySQL employees, current Sun employees, attending. As a community member, you can attend either one or both of these events, but always register with Svetlana.Kovtun@Sun.COM.

Third, we have a community event for the Moscow MySQL users. It happens on Monday 1 December 2008 from 19:00 onwards in the High School of Economics at Myasnitskaya 20, room 124.

Please register for this event by leaving a comment on Kostja Osipov's blog.

Ivan Nikitin: Moving home to Denmark from the clinic in Heidelberg

More good news on Ivan Nikitin!

Yesterday, I got an email and some fresh pictures from a happy Andrii Nikitin, Ivan's father. He met with a Danish doctor last week, and it seems as if everything is ready for Ivan and the rest of the family to move from the German clinic to Denmark at the end of November. The Nikitin family is settling down in Denmark and Andrii is already employed by Sun Microsystems Denmark.

Andrii, the proud father, says Ivan looks like any boy now. Sure, Ivan still gets tired a bit faster than other boys his age, and sometimes, he has a small nose bleed. However, the Nikitin family is now able to live as most families do.

The generous donations by the MySQL community and Sun employees were enough to cover the expert treatment Ivan got in Germany. It wouldn't have covered a transplantation, but it looks increasingly unlikely that one will be needed. The Nikitins and all MySQL guys at Sun are very, very grateful for the donations.

So to sum it up: Ivan Nikitin's future is painted in much brighter colours than ever before!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

BiliÅŸim '08: MySQL and FOSS advocacy in Ankara, Turkey

Imagine eating meze in Ankara with a Turkish Member of the Parliament, and member of the Turkish EU Harmonisation Committee. That's not the basic reason I joined MySQL AB back in 2001, but it's one of the most interesting outcomes of my decision. Bottom line: The honourable Mr Osman CoÅŸkunoÄŸlu was a fascinating person to talk to, with good insights as to how to save money for the Turkish public economy through using Open Source. Not surprisingly, he is well connected, having met Aslam Raffee and colleagues from many other governments worldwide, in South Africa just weeks before I had the pleasure of meeting with Aslam.

I'm in Turkey advocating MySQL for BiliÅŸim '08, or Informatics '08, a conference drawing hundreds of Turkish IT experts to Ankara. I've spent a lot of time with Marino Marcich, head of the ODF Alliance, who is here talking for the Open Document Format.

In addition to the not-planned-for-but-positive experience of getting acquainted with Turkish MPs, I had another unlikely event happen to me: My Turkish speech was simultaneously translated into English. Marino could confirm that the translation was intelligible. As I hadn't handed out my notes beforehand, I thus retain my hope that the Turkish "original" also was understood

As those who have noted my Italian, Russian, Spanish and Baltic blogs might guess, I have now started a blog in Turkish (at the address blogs.arno.fi/alman_degilim where Alman deÄŸilim means "I am not German"). It's properly aggregated (thanks Google Reader!) to my home page at http://kaj.arno.fi and currently filled with four entries:

Sadly, I'm impaired in writing more entries here, as Turkish isn't supported by Google Translate. Google, if you're reading: Turkish and Estonian are my top two wishes!

And for Turkey, I have another personal wish: Ban smoking in public places. Since nearly a year, Germany smells good, and I wasn't bothered by smokers even in Argentina, Chile or Uruguay. But the Sheraton lobby at BiliÅŸim, and the Turkish restaurants! Sure, I try to have the highest respect for local customs wherever I go, but if I'm surrounded by tobacco smoke, I have a hard time concentrating on the discussion at hand, or on enjoying good food. Nonetheless, thank you to my local Sun host Ilteris Sule for not smoking, and for also encoraging others not to do so in my immediate vicinity.



Let me conclude by the English version of my Turkish introduction today:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to come here and share my thinking about Open Source with you. I will present in English, but I have a number of key points I would like to present in Turkish.

However, I don't want to be rude, so let me start by presenting myself. My name is Kaj Arnö, and I am vice president of Community Relations at MySQL. I live in Munich, Germany, and I do drink beer. But I am not German. I am from Finland, as MySQL's founder, CEO and many other colleagues at MySQL. In the integration of MySQL into Sun, I also play the role of being MySQL's Ambassador to Sun, which means that I run from one Sun office to the next and explain what MySQL is all about.

My key points are all related to Open Source and Open Standards, especially in government. I have six points.

My first point: Open Source has changed the software market, for the better. Less vendor lock-in. More open competition. Let the best software win, with the best licensing conditions!

My second point: Open Source is in the economic interest of most if not all countries. Especially, Open Source makes it possible for a lot of the value created to remain within the borders of the country where it was created.

My third point: Open Source software can do much more than you think.

My fourth point: Innovation happens in Open Source. It caters to real needs of the user base, because the innovators are users themselves.

My fifth point: Lots of the Open Source comes from Sun. In fact, Sun provides the most volume of Open Source code of all companies. Open Office comes from Sun's office in Hamburg. Java is GPL and fully Open Source. Open Solaris is a full-fledged Open Source operating system.
GlassFish is a great application server. NetBeans is a superb integrated development environment, not just for Java, but for C, C++, PHP, and so on. And all of them come from Sun. Ah, and did I mention, MySQL has been acquired by Sun in February this year?

My sixth and final point: All of this is available to you, here and now, in Turkey.

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I clearly don't speak Turkish (and I have difficulties understanding what I'm saying). Thus, I will continue in English for the rest of my presentation. Sorry about that, and thank you for your attention, so far!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: A Tour of the Three Baltic Countries









Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the three Baltic countries for Sun Microsystems, talking about MySQL powering the Web economy. The tour started on Monday and Tuesday in Vilnius, Lithuania, followed by Riga on Wednesday and Tallinn on Thursday. Many similarities between the countries, which are externally often seen as one unit and which internally sometimes view each other as siblings.

I was joined during the trip by Dutch Sun colleague Martin de Jong, who observed that each of the countries have a larger area than the Netherlands, whereas the combined .lt .lv and .ee population isn't even half of that of the Netherlands.

But the economic importance of the Baltics is increasing. The Sun Microsystems activities are being managed through Sun Finland, whose country manager Hannu Nyländen accompanied Martin and myself through most of the tour.

I'll offer some country specific observations, but let me start by saying that the countries don't share a mutually intelligible language. While Lithuanian and Latvian are related and share some words, they are at least as far apart as German and English. They're both very old Indo-European languages, with Lithuanian being the older one, with one well-informed Vilnius attendee claiming close relationship between Lithuanian and Sanskrit. Estonian isn't Indo-European at all, but related to Finnish. Probably a bit closer to Finnish than German is to English (but quite a bit more distant than, say, Danish is from Swedish). At any rate, this leaves young Baltic people speaking English to each other, a bit older ones speaking Russian, whereas a generation or two prior to that, many would likely have spoken German to each other.

The trip started in Vilnius. Sadly, long-time MySQL colleague Domas Mituzas was in the US, so I didn't meet with him. Instead, we were hosted by Sun Microsystem's local Business Development Manager Rolandas Kymantas, who had gathered perhaps 60 Lithuanians into Reval Hotel Vilnius, where the venue was held.

I was very challenged to give the first five minutes of my speech in Lithuanian, as pronunciation is non-trivial and the stress was very challenging, on a par with Russian.

To continue my habit of writing blogs in languages I don't speak, I started a blog also in Lithuanian. The blog is at http://blogs.arno.fi/laisvas_zodis/, where Laisvas žodis means (or at least is supposed to mean) "Free speech".

The second destination was Riga, familiar to many MySQLers from our Developer Meeting two months ago. Here, we were hosted by Evijs Taube, Sun's Business Development Manager for Latvia. The event was in Reval Hotel Riga (the one with the bar on the 26th floor), and coincided with the Latvian Open Technologies Association's event. LATA (for Latvijas atvērto tehnoloģiju asociācija) and its sponsors (among them Sun) had managed to collect a whopping 350 participants to the event.

I was happy to note that my attempt at speaking Latvian was greeted by the audience. One attendee, Janis from Daugavpils (also known as Tvinky), posted a recording of it online. And my Latvian blog is live on http://blogs.arno.fi/labrit/, named Labrīt! for "Good morning!". I'm curious to see whether there will be any reaction to them, by MySQL's Latvian friends, such as Michael Dexter, who helped us a lot in September and whom it was a pleasure to meet again.

Estonia and Tallinn was the third and final destination. Again, the hotel belonged to the same chain. Reval Hotel Tallinn is somewhat of a double name, as "Reval" is the old Swedish and German name for Tallinn.

Martin de Jong and I were alone here, as Hannu had left for Finland. Our host was Sun's Estonian BizDev mgr Maidu Harjak. He had collected roughly as many attendees as Rolandas in Lithuania. On account of knowing Finnish, the Estonian speech wasn't quite as difficult as Lithuanian or Latvian. Creating an Estonian blog was a bit harder, though, as Google Translate doesn't help me with that. Instead, I had to resort to Aivar Joonas, my Estonian friend and reconstruction expert working at my country house in Finland. With his help, I chose to host the blog on http://blogs.arno.fi/vaba_lava/. Vaba lava is what you say when it's time for anyone to speak up, "The floor is open".

My blogs in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian so far only contain my speeches in the respective languages. And realistically, I won't post very frequently to them (in particular, Estonian is not supported by Google Translate). Nonetheless, I hope there is some benefit from having my local presentations online.

Links:

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Cross-platform MySQL Runs Best On Sun


Did you see the press release today, called "Sun MySQL Server Solution"?

What it means is that we start seeing the fruits of what we've been talking about all along since the acquisition, such as when launching MySQL this week in Argentina and in Uruguay:

  • That Sun remains committed to MySQL's cross-platform presence, doing at least as much as before the acquisition on any individual platform or for any individual stack.



  • That the acquisition of MySQL through Sun means unique opportunities for us to optimise MySQL to run best on Sun.


The unique opportunities to make MySQL run best on Sun is due to the fact that we get additional resources, Sun's expertise, and the possibility to influence not just MySQL code, but also the surrounding hardware and software.

Link: http://www.sun.com/systems/solutions/mysql/

Post from Uruguay: Meeting Señor Castro at the local launch of MySQL


Uruguay is the Switzerland of South America, in many ways: when it comes to bank secrets, to the size of the country, and to the relative cleanliness compared to neighbouring countries. Uruguay has a similar accent to that of Buenos Aires, and a highly developed economy with demanding database users.


Like yesterday in Argentina, I could today be part of the MySQL launch in Uruguay. Following our script from Argentina (meet press, present to customers, meet individual customers), the difference in Uruguay is that we mostly work through partners.



The most prominent Sun partner in Uruguay is Arnaldo C. Castro S.A. They hosted our customer event in hotel Cala di Volpe (Giuseppe told me this Italian name means "Bay of Foxes", and quite like Argentina, Uruguay has plenty of Italian immigrants). I met with plenty of representatives for Arnaldo Castro, until finally, I met with Arnaldo himself. I didn't dare ask him if he's the younger brother of Fidel, nor did I think of asking whether he is the uncle of Alexio, my Salsa teacher in Munich.


Shaking hands with Arnaldo Castro

Uruguay was a rewarding experience. Swift transport across "River Plate", which is just about the widest river I've ever seen. Or what other river does it take nearly an hour to fly across? You can hardly see the other side of the river from one "river bank", as below on the Ramblas (shore boulevard) on the Uruguayan side.


Do you see Argentina across the River Plate from the Ramblas in Montevideo? I don't.

I also gave another presentation of my Spanish speech. At the end, I took questions from the audience, and proudly understood all four questions in Spanish, without translation. I am getting to feel more and more affinity for what in Sun speak is called "the emerging markets".