Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Karen's Commitments to the MySQL Community

A new start always provides an opportunity to reassess your way of doing things:

  • “Am I doing the right things with my life?”

  • “Which habits could I change -- in order to be a better neighbour?” 

Since Karen Tegan Padir took over the MySQL product from Mårten Mickos, we at Sun have taken a thorough look in the mirror.  The result of this introspection allows us to publish our conclusions and new community commitments this week in conjunction with the MySQL Conference & Expo in Santa Clara. 

For those who don't yet know Karen, let me state a few facts: 

  • Karen is VP of Sun's newly-founded MySQL & Software Infrastructure group

  • She describes herself as a geek and a straight-shooter, and I can attest to both 

  • She was deeply involved in Sun's decision to acquire MySQL, as well as the subsequent integration work throughout 2008 

Karen Tegan PadirIn my previous blog, "MySQL Culture and Business Philosophy Goes Mainstream at Sun", I stressed that the key point to remember is that Sun is completely committed to building a big open source-based business, and very much supportive of the various communities that Sun is engaged in. That may sound a bit abstract, so I have worked with my new boss, Karen, to spell out for the MySQL community what it actually means in practice: 

First: We shall now start releasing MySQL Community Server binaries as frequently as we release the MySQL Enterprise Server. We want everyone – community and customers -- to get the best bits first from us. This is why future Monthly Rapid Updates of MySQL 5.1 will remain available for the community. Moreover, future MRUs of MySQL 5.0 will also become available for the community. 

Second: We shall focus even more on our traditional core product values of stability, Performance and Ease of Use. Like you, we hate bugs, we hate slow, we hate waiting for fixes, and we hate awkward usability -- even more than we love new functionality. The MySQL 5.4 performance release, which is considerably faster than MySQL 5.0 or 5.1 in most use cases, is a case in point.

Third: We shall allocate additional resources to the health and well-being of the MySQL Community. We focus both on users and developers. We shall now devote a greater portion of our internal MySQL Engineering Team resources to reviewing and eventually merging architecturally-compatible features written by external contributors, even if those features weren't on our own roadmap.

Finally, fourth: We shall do more to improve our internal software engineering practices. We will brush our teeth every morning and evening, exercise several times a week, and eat (mostly) healthy food. Some of us may at times still take a vodka shot, but if so, then only to be social and to provide an excuse for singing badly, but not while writing code. 

In the spirit of open-ness, please give us ideas on how we can implement these changes. Let the MySQL community team know what you think. For those at the show this week, stop Karen in the halls and introduce yourself. Above all, enjoy!


  1. MySQL Conference: Join us at the BoF about MySQL Code Contributions and the MySQL Development Cycle tonight at 7:30pm in Ballroom A...

    The MySQL Conference & Expo 2009 in Santa Clara is now in full swing and Karen Padir just gave the opening keynote, talking about Sun's continued and improved commitment to Open Source and the upcoming MySQL products like the MySQL 5.4 performance...

  2. Wait, I can't drink vodka while I wrote code anymore? Is this officially in the handbook? Maybe we can just say no committing code while drinking?

  3. [...] is currently in something of a state of disarray within Sun, although as Kaj Arno points out, it is in the process of correcting its past mistakes with regards to the community and software engineering. Oracle [...]

  4. [...] # Kaj Arno detailed the changes taking place within Sun designed to improve the commitment to MySQL Community [...]