Tuesday, 10 February 2009

FOSDEM '09: A visual and verbal report

"Welcome to FOSDEM!" Well, FOSDEM ended on Sunday, but I'd like to provide you with a short recap of my Q&A and Roadmap presentation. Warning: I may go into more visual detail than verbal. This is because reports from the community, OlinData and Philippe Back as well as twitterings by Ulf Wendel already post most of what I said. It's because my presentation (1.5 MB) is posted on MySQL Forge. And it's because those present are waiting for the following level of detail of my answers, and I am not sure I'm able to provide much of that prior to our users conference 20-23 April 2009 in California.

So the further detail I provide may be limited to the 8mm pictures taken. They're taken by Ulf Wendel, who wasn't hard to convince to borrow my camera for a while -- and I'm glad I did. They're edited in a closed-source program called Photoshop, which I am happy to say uses MySQL (Adobe was a speaker at an internal Dev Mtg of ours a couple of years ago).

Photoshop note: My editing is partly simple cropping and partly Image / Adjustments / Shadow/Highlight... which is a CS feature I discovered only a few weeks ago, and will always use to enhance pictures which mix too dark areas with too light ones.

But first to the Sun/MySQL related substance. I provided the FOSDEM audience with the opportunity to give us some candid feedback on how we're doing. My specific question was "What is MySQL/Sun not so good at?".

The overall message, based on both qualitative feedback (audience comments) and quantitative (about 10 raise-your-hand-if questions), was clear:

  • Shorten the MySQL release cycle! That's pain-point #1! And 6 months is what's expected. Even 12 months is too long.

  • Half-baked features is pain-point #2!

  • Sun is doing alright on MySQL Stability, Performance and Ease of Use, overall, although improvement is of course possible (related to half-baked features)

  • For the core issues, MySQL is perceived as really easy-to-use

This is what Ulf Wendel twittered:

  • Kaj Arnö doing Q&A at FOSDEM. He has wonderful personal introduction slides. He asks for what MySQL is bad at

  • Roland [Bouman, former Sun/MySQL employee] complains about Plugins, others mention inmature features, Giuseppe [Maxia] reports about internal Five One Feature Maturity Team (FOFMT)

  • Kaj promises to forward all comments to Marten's successor. Lenz [Grimmer, reports to Giuseppe] is doing the scribe. Someone suggests dedicated Enterprise Marketing

  • Finally, someone is asking about multi-core improvements and DW optimization.

  • Kaj asking: Release cycle long 5.0, 5.1 given - now, what shall we do?

  • Suggestion: continue on the plugin road, support storage plugins both from technical and business perspective. More and faster releases?

  • Hands up. Q: Improve Contributions? Many. Federated? Very few. GIS? Much. Monitoring *inside* the Server? Many. Is Performance OK? Many.

  • More hands up. Q: Stable? Many (but you hear *hmm*, *ooohs*, *nnnn*)

  • End of the session. Kaj states that his goal is to have more frequent releases of MySQL while remaining fast and stable

Lenz indeed took more detailed notes, and I have compiled them for Karen Tegan Padir and others in our internal discussions. However, I won't go into detail until we have something more detailed to say.

In the meantime, I'm sticking to the neutral topic of distorted 8mm pictures.

Preso soon starting

Corner 1

More of same corner


Another corner

"What are we not so good at?"

"How many of you ... ?"



Roland getting ready

Distorted Kaj

The male toilet has a sign "env | grep fluid && rm -rf /dev/willy". Females don't need that detailed instructions. Theirs just said "Ladies". 



  1. Hi man,

    I like so much your history...rs

    Happy MySQL'ing!

  2. Hi Kaj! Thanks for the report.
    My thoughts scribbled at http://arjen-lentz.livejournal.com/147705.html
    Hope you find this feedback useful.

  3. [...] Finally, Sun/MySQL’s Kaj Arno got a really big hand at FOSDEM ‘09. [...]