Archive for February, 2006

A call to arms!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

With Oracle Corporation purchasing InnoBase, the company providing the InnoDB Storage Engine, and now reliable rumors of the acquisition of SleepyCat, the BDB Storage Engine, both key transactional storage engines for MySQL are effectively owned by a competitor.

While the is a strange and probably unchartered territory for both organisations, I’m personally concerned. I use InnoDB extensively, however if there was a comparable alternative within MySQL I’d consider switching out of principle. Is Oracle purchasing these organisations a bad thing? We don’t know. That’s the problem. While MySQL will undoubtly continue to provide these storage engines as part of the MySQL Database I believe a call to arms is needed.

It’s true that Oracle helped more general adoption of Linux when it announced this as it’s primary platform some years back. I’m sure with a middleware suite such as JBoss this will benefit from Oracle’s exposure, but will it benefit in it’s development? Will funding for development skew the product torwards what Oracle wants, not the community? Even things such as BerkleyDB being embedded in Open Office, and Google wanting to spend into the refinement of Open Office for possible web services options just makes you wonder whats happening. I’m on holiday’s trying to relax, and not do any reading, developing or communicating, but the one thing that makes my mind turn is, why is Oracle doing this?

My concerns are: look what happened to the acquired big commercial competitors, the PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards. Now, it’s a little difficult with the Open Source software, but I’m no licence expert. While it will continue to be available in current licencing options, I’m sure there has to be some concerns. Even something trivial like, all MySQL downloads that include these engines must first be registered on the website, and all these statistics must go to Oracle. Can they do this? I have no idea, but what if they could.

I’m sure internally in MySQL AB there are plans afoot for alternative transactional storage engines. The pluggable nature of these within MySQL makes it easy to move in this direction. I think sometimes, some functionality is kept close to heart, and you only here about it when some actual work is released.

I’m interested to guage reaction to see if a public working group should be setup to specifically tackle the issue of an independent transactional storage engine. Are there others out there that feel the same way I do. Now let me be clear, I’m not anti Oracle, infact rather pro Oracle, but I’m very anti Microsoft. If it was Microsoft buying these companies how would people react?

In my opinion this should be a bold announcement from MySQL now. In stating the development and release of a new Transactional Storage Engine this year, and then not evening mentioning InnoDB and BDB, they are downplaying the Oracle buy in, and emphasising a true Open Source Company option. In no means say they are no longer supporting InnoDB and BDB, but if the media exposure from MySQL continues to mention them, then it’s going to bleed into some reference back to Oracle.

I can’t contribute to the actual development in C++, if it was Java that would be a different matter, but as I move more away from hardcore coding there are plenty of other areas in which I could contribute.

InnoDB, BDB. What is Big Red Doing!

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Last year saw a record number of acquisitions by Oracle Corporation. Of note was in October 2005 InnoBase (Read Press Release) which had a direct relationship with MySQL providing the InnoDB Storage Engine. It’s too early to tell what the impact to MySQL will be if any.

I’ve been in Singapore, and have not read any news in the past few days, but all information I’m receiving from those collegues in the know is that Sleepycat Software (the company behind Berkley DB, and the MySQL BDB Storage Engine) is now firmly in the sites of Oracle Acquisition. The rumors of JBoss is also definitely on the go. No official news from any Oracle Press Releases as yet.

So what is Oracle doing, and what impact will this have for MySQL? Both InnoDB and BDB are key transactional storage engines. Given that MySQL has the full capability for ease of plugin for new storage engines is this a prod to MySQL to consider another alternative?

If I wasn’t mistaken, it seems Larry Ellison is looking to be a big name in open source!

MySQL Benchmarking

Friday, February 10th, 2006

As of MySQL 5.1.4, there is a supported benchmarking tool called mysqlslap. Not sure where they got the name from, is there going to be a mysqltickle next?

create database mysqlslap
use mysqlslap
use schema.sql

mysqlslap –skip-create-schema

–skip-create-schema
mysqlslap: No user supplied data to insert or –auto-generate-sql specified!

trashes schema

I’ll be using the MySQL Sakila Sample Database.

[arabx@web1 sql]$ mysqlslap -P3307 -hlocalhost.localdomain -uroot –auto-generate-sql Seconds to load data: 0.08929
Number of clients loading data: 1
Number of inserts per client: 0
Seconds to run all queries: 0.23113
Number of clients running queries: 1
Number of queries per client: 1000

mysql -P3307 -hweb1.onegreendog.com -usakila -psakila sakila

mysqlslap -P3307 -hlocalhost.localdomain -uroot –create=schema.sql
mysqlslap: No user supplied data to insert or –auto-generate-sql specified!
[arabx@web1 sql]$ mysql -P3307 -hlocalhost.localdomain -uroot mysqlslap

Syntax

$ mysqlslap -?
mysqlslap  Ver 0.1 Distrib 5.1.4-alpha, for pc-linux-gnu (i686)
Copyright (C) 2005 MySQL AB
This software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software,
and you are welcome to modify and redistribute it under the GPL        license

Run a query multiple times against the server

Usage: mysqlslap [OPTIONS]

Default options are read from the following files in the given order:
/etc/my.cnf ~/.my.cnf
The following groups are read: mysqlslap client
The following options may be given as the first argument:
--print-defaults        Print the program argument list and exit
--no-defaults           Don't read default options from any options file
--defaults-file=#       Only read default options from the given file #
--defaults-extra-file=# Read this file after the global files are read
  -a, --auto-generate-sql
                      Generate SQL where not supplied by file or command line.
  -C, --compress      Use compression in server/client protocol.
  -l, --concurrency-load=#
                      Number of clients to use when loading data.
  -c, --concurrency=# Number of clients to simulate for query to run.
  --create=name       File or string to use for create.
  -d, --data=name     File or string with INSERT to use for populating data.
  -#, --debug[=name]  Output debug log. Often this is 'd:t:o,filename'.
  -F, --delimiter=name
                      Delimiter to use in SQL statements supplied in file or
                      command line.
  -D, --drop-schema   Drop schema if it exists prior to running and after
                      running.
  -e, --engine=name   Storage engine to use for creating the table.
  -?, --help          Display this help and exit.
  -h, --host=name     Connect to host.
  -i, --iterations=#  Number of iterations.
  -x, --number-char-cols=#
                      Number of INT columns to create table with if specifying
                      --sql-generate-sql.
  -y, --number-int-cols=#
                      Number of VARCHAR columns to create table with if
                      specifying --sql-generate-sql.
  -n, --number-rows=# Number of rows to insert when loading data.
  -p, --password[=name]
                      Password to use when connecting to server. If password is
                      not given it's asked from the tty.
  -P, --port=#        Port number to use for connection.
  --protocol=name     The protocol of connection (tcp,socket,pipe,memory).
  -A, --skip-create-schema
                      Don't create a schema, use existing schema.
  -L, --skip-data-load
                      Don't load any data, use existing data set.
  -Q, --skip-query    Don't run any queries.
  -s, --silent        Run program in silent mode - no output.
  -q, --query=name    Query to run or file containing query to run.
  -S, --socket=name   Socket file to use for connection.
  -u, --user=name     User for login if not current user.
  -v, --verbose       More verbose output; You can use this multiple times to
                      get even more verbose output.
  -V, --version       Output version information and exit.

Auditing an existing MySQL Installation

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Yesterday I ran into an old collegue that now runs quite a successful computer store chain and highly successful web store here in Australia. Long story short he was having some MySQL problems, so I offered to pass my eye over it. Now, given that they had some data corruption in stock levels not being correct (e.g. getting to an inventory count of -1), my first split second thought was inappropiate transaction management.

In thinking last night, what would I do as part of auditing an existing MySQL Installation and application quickly for reference and also to highlight issues etc, assuming I would have no access to any administrators or developers.

So what would you do? I made some preliminary notes, here’s the full account of what I did do.

Audit Steps

OS Specifics

$ mkdir /tmp/arabx
$ cd /tmp/arabx
# keep a quick copy of stuff
$ script
# Linux generals
$ hostname
$ uname -a
$ uptime
$ df
$ which mysql
$ mysql --version

MySQL Specifics

$ mysql -uroot -p mysql
mysql>  show variables;
mysql>  show status;
mysql>  show databases;
mysql>  show processlist;
mysql>  show full processlist;
mysql>  select host,user,passwd from user;
mysql> exit;
$ cat /etc/my.cnf
# error not found?
$ find / -name my.cnf
# Results
$ cat /etc/mysql/my.cnf
$ cp /etc/mysql/my.cnf .
$ cd /usr/local/mysql
$ du
$ cd data
$ ls -al
$ cp *.err /tmp/arabx  # for later review
# What, no database, surely they were not recording in the mysql database
# quick confirm there was another database from earlier list?
$ grep datadir /etc/mysql/my.cnf
# I see off somewhere else
$ cd /var/lib/mysql
$ ls -al
$ du
$ cp *.err /tmp/arabx  # for later review
$ cd /tmp/arabx
$ mysqldump --no-data  -u[user] -p [db] > schema.sql
$ grep TYPE schema.sql
# Observation:  All MyISAM, the first proof of my initial theory
$ mysql -u[user] -p [db]
mysql> show tables;
mysql> show tables status;
mysql>exit;
$ cd /tmp
$ tar cvfz arabx.tar.gz arabx
$ scp arabx.tar.gz ...

Application Specifics
I’m not going to detail the steps here as this is really very implementation dependant. What I did in summary was:

  • Identified website location on filesystem, general du, ls -l commands
  • View working screens showing Stock Count logs, Forfill Order and Product Return
  • Review code of these areas, as well as the data, confirming what was seen on screen via SQL

Recommendations

Immediate

  • Cleanup current directory of html files to remove old files, or old backup copies. This ensures no PC has some old page with bad code bookmarked
  • Cleanup /usr/local/mysql/data as it’s now defined in /var/local/mysql. It threw me with to data directories and error logs. It was only that the database directory was not in the first location, otherwise I may have missed it initially.
  • Stock Adjustment page needs to log an Adjustment history for Audit Trail (Only Sales and Returns were in Audit Trail, so it left a possible gap?)
  • Implementation of Transactions. Given the volume of transactions, and that it would appear that LOCK TABLES had been implemented but removed due to performance, obvious choice is implement InnoDB tables, and transaction management in code. (Quite some work)
  • Change of some columns from DATE to DATETIME to record the time of occurance. (Code was using NOW(), so that part’s already done). Or, implement some TIMESTAMP columns (as none were in use) and leverage MySQL standard functionality.

Medium Term

  • Running MySQL 4.0, which is fine, but the data corruption and lack of clean website code, leads to an easier solution for auditing via triggers.
  • Upgrade to MySQL 5.0 Key reason, triggers. This enables more audit analysis with even less need for or initial understanding of the application
  • Implement a CVS respository. Even for single development, it’s a habit that far outways the impact of a few more commands.
  • Review Backup strategies for HTML code and respository, which was only being mirrored, but not backed up for a disaster recovery situation

I guess if I ever do this again, there is merit in cleaning this all up and providing some level of automation.
Does anybody have any suggestions of obvious other things to consider.

MySQL Workbench 1.0.1 First Impressions

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

These are my first impressions of MySQL WorkBench 1.0.1. Rant and rave you may say, but a new user, or an experienced modeller would probably observe these points. Also, given that (with a poll?) I suspect a good number of users will be previous DBDesigner users, some level of functionality that may not be considered initially in a new product, should be considered for this migration path of legacy users.

I’ll take the time to review the Forums adding my points, and review Bug System but for now, just blogging is easier.

Conclusion

Note: Generally a conclusion is at the bottom, but I’d suspect most readers will switch off quickly, I wanted to catch the gaze in the first few secs.

In summary, I’ve just scratched the surface, I’d do a more fuller QA review and testing, but I’m not certain yet of the best feedback loops, and whether it’s warranted. A lot of what I’ve said may already be known internally. I don’t want to sound petty, but I would not like to reference this as a 1.0 product, it’s got some way to go to being both stable, consistent, and complete in a basic level of functionality. In addition, the MySQL Website 5.0 page speal lists MySQL Workbench as a 5.0 product, I think this is a little inaccurate.

This product appears to have a sound start, but it’s a long way from me considering moving from DBDesigner, which is a real shame, as I’ve been waiting now probably 8 months to get my hands on this (and loose some annoying bugs in the now unsupported DBDesigner), and I’m desperately wanting to get support for MySQL 5 re-engineering.

Main View

After startup you are presented with the MySQL Gui Window, which consists of a number of elements, the menu line, the toolbars (horizantial and vertical), the Main View, and some tab views (shown on right side).
Main View

  • You can’t double click on a table to get into edit mode. You must choose the pencil (bottom left corner of table). When you have a table with 30+ columns, this involves some more scrolling, particularly depending on your view magnification, if you start by finding the table first in a large 150+ table model.
  • While the display of the different elements within a table is nice (e.g. Columns, Indicies, foreign keys etc), when I’ve got 150+ tables in my diagram I don’t want to see this verbose information. I’d like to see a user option of cut down views, removing this headings, display/hide indicies,foreign keys, triggers.
  • What does the lock icon do, and the other bottom right icon, there seems to be no feedback as to what they do?
  • What does the other icon do (not pencil, not lock), again appears to be no feedback?
  • I don’t see a snap to grid? I also don’t see anyway to adjust the size of the grid.
  • I see in the Schema window, the hopeful ability to reference multiple schemas (unclear of the full benefit here), but for now I see no clear way to create then one. Given this, when you select the Table Tool in the Tool Options you get a drop down box for schema. How do you create multiple schemas? Should you in one diagram? If you only have one defined, the drop box should not be present.
  • Tool Options shows 3 colors, that’s nice, however how do you move to selecting more? The color only highlights the table name in the Main View. I’d like to see a background color for all tables. Again in 150+ tables, color coding tables from modules makes it easier to see them, the heading is not enough.
  • You can color a table when creating, but there is no ability to edit the color at a later time?
  • After creating two tables both with Primary Keys, I tried to create a relationship between both, using all 3 relationship options. While I could select the source table, I couldn’t select the destination table in any way. (click, double click, etc)
  • Creating a view with the View tool, provides the iconic buttons in the top section of layout, different to the table layout. It should be consistent.
  • The View Tool, allows you to enter SQL for the view, that’s nice, but it should be displayed on the Data Model. The Data Model’s responsibility is to show tables, columns and relationships. It should show table names, column names (in the case of ‘*’, I think it should probably show ‘*’, not expanded columns due to the complexity.
  • I created a table with an INT(11), VARCHAR(40) and X (which becomes X(0), se Table Editor points). In the resultant Main View, I get INT,VARCHAR and X((0)) as the column definitions. There is no consistency here.
  • I would like to see the capability of removing data types from the display within tables. In a more structured environment, you would first start with a logical model, then move to a physical model, or in early design, you are just defining the probably attributes of table, before they become columns. The datatype isn’t determined, so just listing names, and icon (key,mandatory) is all that’s required.

Schema Tab

  • With my long list of tables, I would like to be able to quickly go from the table in this view to the table in the Main View. (Previously DBDesigner provided a double click to achieve this).
  • I understand that the ordering of categories within the database is alphabetical, but it should be in priority order (Table,View,Routine…). Two reasons, this is the likely creation process, you create tables first, and second, for any schema management prior to 5, the other 3 aren’t relevent.
  • With the previous point, I don’t see any compatibility management for MySQL versions. While there are two many subtle changes to warrent a great deal of work, a simply compatibility of 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 5.1 would clearly provide when in a 4.x compatibility, views, routines etc are invalid, and for simplicity should be removed from views (Schema Tab) and even vertical menu.

Editing

Table Editor.

  • Has no access to help. In this case, on first view I thought, what does Flags mean as a column attribute? While they not be any help yet, the infrastructure should be in place.
  • Data Type has no completion text. (a.k.a DBDesigner would autocomplete, say if you started with a D, to get Date)
  • Data Type, if you specify nothing, it defaults to (0) which is invalid. If you specify D it defaults to D(0). Regardless of what is entered, the table structure should be syntaxially valid at all times on exit of the field.
  • Options Tab. There are a lot of MyISAM specific options, yet I’m using the default Engine which was InnoDB. These should probably be hidden from view.
  • I don’t like the fact you have to go Apply, then Close, and it’s so easy just to go Close and lose your changes without warning. I think theres is a clear need just for a ‘Save’ which saves your changes and returns you to the Main View
  • Show Advanced/Hide Advanced, is only relevent for the Columns tab (at this time), so it should not be visible on the other tabs.
  • I see no ability in this version (1.0.1+) to define the set of valid Data Types (in my case I like to remove some, to simply autocompletion (which isn’t present)

Other

User Interface

  • No Tool tips for menu icons
  • Help | About didn’t do anything. Would have expected a popup window.
  • I’d like to see some tool tips on the icons used within the objects placed on the Main View.
  • There is no other placeholders for help. Worse case, defining the screens as to be completed, perhaps with some identifier, and then the ability for users to contribute to the help (a web 2.0 think), it will be better then writing from scratch. Even a wiki to allow users to start on the help would I think be benefical

Infrastructure
The saved files are XML, yet you give an extension of .mwb While that is nobel, and identifying it’s it’s .xml using a .xml shows it’s XML and also it makes it easier for other use. I can think of 2 straight away. First, I may wish to use XPath Explorer to quickly search for something. Second, I may use XSLT to provide a HTML quick view of my schema?

Errors
Go the following error, but was not able to reproduce, created table, added some columns, moved around tabs, added a new column lastUpdateTimestamp, [tab] to goto the data type, and crash.

** CRITICAL **: myx_grt_bridge_dict_item_get_value: assertion `dict != NULL’ failed

Testing/Trialing new MySQL Releases

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

By now, I’m sure you have all heard about Free VMware Player allowing easy and quick access to see, view and use other OS’s easily. For those Windows users out there, now is your chance to trial MySQL under Linux with no impact to your system, why wait.

See the MySQL Virtual Machine details on the VMware site. On closer inspection this effectively pushes you to the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) page within the MySQL website.

The MySQL guys needs to update their site to reflect new reference to the free player, rather then a trial version of Workstation. Even VMware Server is free (could be mentioned). You can read more about the offerings etc at a previous blog Using VMware Server (free).

Also MySQL is only offering MySQL 4.1.12 (that was released in May last year). Surely this would be a great way to push the newer releases, I’d like to see MySQL offer this for at least the current production GA version 5.0, and it would be a great way to promote new releases, like an alpha release of 5.1. How easy would it be then for people to trial and test the new features without any hint of messing up or changing any existing environments. Perhaps the MySQL marketing department could consider this?

Is is more work? Yes. Will it take resources? Yes. But look at the benefits. Instead of the diehards that are prepared to download bleeding edge releases, you can now reach a newer market of users with an easier, cleaner and throw away installation of newer releases. You would not consider doing it for every dot release, more the current GA 5.0, and alpha and RC’s for newer versions I think.

Using VMware Server (free)

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

VMware recently released the Free VMware player which allows you to test other OS’s easily in parallel with your current OS. They also provide the Virtual Machine Center so you can even trial easily a number of different pre-packaged solutions.

Of course, my only real need for this is to run Windows apps for limited reasons, and they don’t provide a Windows Virtual Machine, so in order to create one you need another product. VMware provide VMware Workstation which as a 90 day trial, I’ve downloaded a few times, but never actually tried.

Just released is VMware Server which is a free server virtualization for Windows and Linux. Now I haven’t read the differences between these products, but free verses free trial for what appears to be the same thing for what I want, well no brainer.

So in summary, I’ve downloaded the VMware server free edition, installed a Windows XP, and also installed the Browser Appliance from the Virtual Machine Center, and they both work. I’m happy for now.

Release Notes

rpm -ivh VMware-server-e.x.p-20925.i386.rpm

/usr/bin/vmware-config.pl

Making sure services for VMware Server are stopped.

Stopping VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]

You must read and accept the End User License Agreement to continue.
....
VMware is a trademark of VMware, Inc.

Do you accept? (yes/no) yes

Thank you.

Configuring fallback GTK+ 2.4 libraries.

In which directory do you want to install the mime type icons?
[/usr/share/icons]

What directory contains your desktop menu entry files? These files have a
.desktop file extension. [/usr/share/applications]

In which directory do you want to install the application's icon?
[/usr/share/pixmaps]

Trying to find a suitable vmmon module for your running kernel.

The module bld-2.6.9-5.EL-i686smp-RHEL4 loads perfectly in the running kernel.

Do you want networking for your virtual machines? (yes/no/help) [yes]

Configuring a bridged network for vmnet0.

Your computer has multiple ethernet network interfaces available: eth0, eth0:0,
wlan0. Which one do you want to bridge to vmnet0? [eth0]

The following bridged networks have been defined:

. vmnet0 is bridged to eth0

Do you wish to configure another bridged network? (yes/no) [no] no

Do you want to be able to use NAT networking in your virtual machines? (yes/no)
[yes]

Configuring a NAT network for vmnet8.

Do you want this program to probe for an unused private subnet? (yes/no/help)
[yes]

Probing for an unused private subnet (this can take some time)...
The subnet 172.16.71.0/255.255.255.0 appears to be unused.

The following NAT networks have been defined:

. vmnet8 is a NAT network on private subnet 172.16.71.0.

Do you wish to configure another NAT network? (yes/no) [no]

Do you want to be able to use host-only networking in your virtual machines?
[yes]

Configuring a host-only network for vmnet1.

Do you want this program to probe for an unused private subnet? (yes/no/help)
[yes]

Probing for an unused private subnet (this can take some time)...
The subnet 172.16.60.0/255.255.255.0 appears to be unused.

The following host-only networks have been defined:

. vmnet1 is a host-only network on private subnet 172.16.60.0.

Do you wish to configure another host-only network? (yes/no) [no]

Trying to find a suitable vmnet module for your running kernel.

The module bld-2.6.9-5.EL-i686smp-RHEL4 loads perfectly in the running kernel.

Please specify a port for remote console connections to use [902]

Stopping xinetd:                                           [  OK  ]
Starting xinetd:                                           [  OK  ]
Configuring the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

Building the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

Using compiler "/usr/bin/gcc". Use environment variable CC to override.

Installing the VMware VmPerl Scripting API.

The installation of the VMware VmPerl Scripting API succeeded.

Generating SSL Server Certificate

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]
Please enter your 20-character serial number.

Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or 'Enter' to cancel:

You cannot power on any virtual machines until you enter a valid serial number.
To enter the serial number, run this configuration program again, or choose
'Help > Enter Serial Number' in the virtual machine console.

Starting VMware services:
   Virtual machine monitor                                 [  OK  ]
   Virtual ethernet                                        [  OK  ]
   Bridged networking on /dev/vmnet0                       [  OK  ]
   Host-only networking on /dev/vmnet1 (background)        [  OK  ]
   Host-only networking on /dev/vmnet8 (background)        [  OK  ]
   NAT service on /dev/vmnet8                              [  OK  ]

The configuration of VMware Server e.x.p build-20925 for Linux for this running
kernel completed successfully.
$ vmware

When started you can enter the supplied license key that was emailed to you.

Running Internet Exploder (ie) under Linux

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

It’s really so simple, I’m surprised it doesn’t come bundled in distros. (Well I take that back, I’m as anti-microsoft as you can get, but unfortunately, we have to lower ourselves and our good work to the power of Bill who has it over those uninformed majority being brainwashed with a non-standard and flawed browser, that you have to break your code to get to work for it somethings).

Anyway, enough ranting, it’s all at www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/. If you can’t have this all done in 15 mins, well you need a faster internet connection! (it takes 14 mins for the downloads, and 1 min of work)

Pre-Requisites

You need Wine and cabextract as pre-requisites.

$ cd /src/rpm
$ wget http://optusnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/wine/wine-0.9.2-1fc1winehq.i386.rpm
$ wget http://optusnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/wine/wine-0.9.2-1fc1winehq.src.rpm
$ wget http://www.kyz.uklinux.net/downloads/cabextract-1.1-1.i386.rpm
$ wget http://www.kyz.uklinux.net/downloads/cabextract-1.1-1.src.rpm
$ rpm -ivh wine-0.9.2-1fc1winehq.i386.rpm cabextract-1.1-1.i386.rpm

ies4linux

$ cd /opt
$ wget http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/downloads/ies4linux-1.3.4.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz ies4linux-1.3.4.tar.gz
$ cd ies4linux-1.3.4
# It pays to just check some config options as documented first
# see http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/en/instructions/configuration/
$ ./ies4linux
=================  IEs 4 Linux =================
Install IE6, IE5.5 and IE5 on Linux via Wine.
Credits: Sergio Lopes slopes at gmail dot com
Project page: http://tatanka.com.br/ies4linux
See README file for more info

Installation options:
[1] Install IE6, IE5.5 and IE5
[2] Install only IE6
[3] Install only IE5.5
[4] Install only IE5.0
Please choose an option: 1

...  [churning downloads from that site including  DCOM98.EXE,  mfc40.cab,249973USA8.exe, ie60.exe, ie55sp2.exe, ie501sp2.exe
, swflash.cab ] ...
[ OK ]

Creating basic Windows installation ...
 Creating Wine Prefix
 Installing RICHED20
 Installing DCOM98
 Installing ActiveX MFC40
 Finalizing
[ OK ]

Installing IE 6 ...
 Extracting downloaded exe file
 Extracting CAB files
 Installing TTF Fonts
 Configuring ie6
[ OK ]

Installing IE 5.5 ...
 Extracting downloaded exe file
 Extracting CAB files
 Installing TTF Fonts
 Configuring ie55
[ OK ]

Installing IE 5 ...
 Extracting downloaded exe file
 Extracting CAB files
 Installing TTF Fonts
 Configuring ie5
[ OK ]

Installing Flash Player 8 ...
 Preparing installation
 Installing flash on ie6
 Installing flash on ie55
 Installing flash on ie5
[ OK ]

IEs4Linux installations finished! ...

Operation

If you want it, you run ie5, ie55, ie60. If I could see just one improvement, a command that you pass a url, and it just opens 3 windows so you can see them all side by side on one screen (bigger screen needed). Of course if you could script input on one, and have it reflected on all that would be even cooler. I’d suspect you could probably achieve this, have a Firefox driver that records stuff, like TestGen4Web, and then replays across the other 3 exploder windows. Food for thought.

Thanks goes to Tate for telling me about this. Yet again, it’s the referral of a physical person that put you on the path.

Waterfall verses Agile in Software Development

Monday, February 6th, 2006

There appears to be a resurgence of Waterfall Approaches. This upcoming conference, you can find details at www.waterfall2006.com raises some good points that are worthy of review based on the comment that ‘agile is so last decade’.

Well worth a quick look at the agenda and tutorials being proposed.

A working MySQL Workbench Under Linux

Monday, February 6th, 2006

I must admit I’d given up trying to get MySQL Workbench working under Linux. I guess I’d spent at least 4 or 5 days full time at it, and it was just out of my league, with GTK and C++ errors. It had seemed like a loosing battle, I’ve had 3 detailed documented goes at 1.0.0. Last Post 19th Jan, and 2 with 1.0.1 Last Post 31st Jan.

Anyway, the good news is I now have MySQL Worbench working under Linux. I’ve been working with MySQL AB on a number of specific problems and you should expect a release from MySQL AB soon to address these. Here is a summary of my experience.

  • 1.0.1 removes the requirements for java dependancies
  • 1.0.1 provides a README.linux with configuration requirements, and a subset list of minimum library requirements (which needs updating)
  • libsigc++2.0.11 (an older version) is necessary, most recent versions up to .17 do not work
  • Solving the library dependancies from true source .tar.gz was difficult to manage, however I finally got to use rpm libraries to provide some consistent reproducible steps. I’ll document later as there we a number of issues with achieving this under CentOS 4.2
  • Solving the GLIBCXX_3.4.4, GLIBCXX_3.4.5, GLIBCXX_3.4.6 error. This is what finally stopped me. Thanks to my new Guru Friend Alfredo who put me on the path to solving this.
  • Underlying glXGetProcAddress() compile error required code changes (which are being incorporated in next release). This finally lead to a binary being built.
  • Executing Binary lasted a split second Segmentation fault $PRG-bin $* Debugging determined the problem to be a specific NVIDIA issue, reverting back to generic Video Drivers only left me with a OpenGL and minimum 32MB 3D accelerated graphics card error.
  • Patched code to this problem (to be incorporated in next release) has lead to a working product, at least enough to play around. Now the real fun begins.

Got heaps more to write about, however that would have slowed down the good news. More to come soon.

My thanks to the team at MySQL AB. I have received excellent care and response from the top down. I’d like to say that all the pain has been worth it in the end, and had this not been a open source company, I would have given up a long time ago.

Google might and the loss of power to the underdogs

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

In doing some Internet Searching I came across an interesting feature on the IBM DeveloperWorks Web Site. For the purposes of this demonstration, I’ve done some more testing to make it easier to demonstrate.

DeveloperWorks in response to a Google Search, prompts the user within the page to continue searching the IBM site with the same search criteria entered from the Google Search. In theory this would not be complicated, this referrer information is available and used in most Web Stats programs that troll log files and then provide a Section showing Search Engine Terms that directed traffic to your site.

What I surprised about, is that IBM (A large company, and key open-source proponent), restricts this functionality to Google Only. Check this out.

For each Search engine in our test, we are going to go to the respective search page, and enter the term IBM Federated Database Technology.

As a result, most search engines should provide a reference to the article at http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0203haas/0203haas.html in the top results. We are then going to view this webpage from selecting the search results link.

The Search Engines I used were: Google · Altavista · Yahoo · Ask Jeeves · Excite



The code in effect is very simple, just some javascript.


if (document.referrer&&document.referrer!="") {
   // document.write(document.referrer);
   var q = document.referrer;
   var engine = q;
   var isG = engine.search(/google\.com/i);
   var searchTerms;
   //var searchTermsForDisplay;
   if (isG != -1) {
	   var i = q.search(/q=/);
	   var q2 = q.substring(i+2);
	   var j = q2.search(/&/);
	   j = (j == -1)?q2.length:j;
	   searchTerms = q.substring(i+2,i+2+j);
	   if (searchTerms.length != 0) {
	       searchQuery(searchTerms);
	       document. write("<div id=\"contents\"></div>");
	   }
   }
}

Federated Syntax

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

I’ve never used Federated. I’m waiting for the JDBC version capabilities so I can connect to a non MySQL Server (specifically Oracle). In reading the docs, I see that the syntax includes a CONNECTION String.


CREATE TABLE federated_table (
id INT(20) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
name VARCHAR(32) NOT NULL DEFAULT '',
other INT(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
PRIMARY KEY (id),
INDEX name (name),
INDEX other_key (other)
)
ENGINE=FEDERATED
DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1
CONNECTION='mysql://root@remote_host:9306/federated/test_table';

I’m surprised in the state of the syntax for two reasons.

  • First, there are hardcoded variables in the string, this sort of breaks the rules of seperating syntax from authentication specifics
  • Second, if you have multiple FEDERATED tables, you incur a level of duplication of this information, and then multiple necessary changes if the connection string is modified

I can’t ask I’d like to see the following, as I don’t use this syntax, but I’d like to suggest a level of abstraction of this information. Could the CONNECTION point to a referenced object (e.g. CONNECTION=’HOST1′). This would solve my second point. Now, the requirements of the HOST1 object needs to contain a connection string, and where would this be stored. I don’t have an answer for that one. Perhaps somebody else could make a suggestion?

Updated
Thanks Mike for your comment, click on comments below to read. Boy it’s been been a long time since I read any ISO Standards documents. Just to clarify Mike’s point for those investigative types. SQL/MED is Management of External Data, and the official ISO document is I believe:

ISO/IEC 9075-9:2003 Information technology – Database Languages – SQL – Part 9: Management of External Data (SQL/MED) ISO Reference

Abstract
ISO/IEC 9075 defines the SQL language. The scope of the SQL language is the definition of data structure and the operations on data stored in that structure. Parts 1, 2 and 11 encompass the minimum requirements of the language. Others parts define extensions.
ISO/IEC 9075-9:2003 defines extensions to SQL to support management of external data through the use of foreign-data wrappers and datalink types.

This document makes reference to DATALINK, a syntax I remember vaguely from Oracle Days. Will need to vett that. What’s also of note in this document is the reference to using the TABLE TYPE of ‘FOREIGN’.

I wonder why MySQL went with FEDERATED as the TABLE TYPE. I’m sure this is a good reason?

Brisbane MySQL Users Group Meeting with Brian Aker

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

We had the privilege of Brian Aker Director of Architecture for MySQL speaking at the Brisbane MySQL Users Group this week (28 th Jan 2006). After the initial discussions on various topics, Brian got into his discussion on MySQL 5.1. I was surprised that only 2 people (myself being one of them) had 5.1 installed and being used in any way.

Here were some of the highlights of the talk. Should have taken some more notes.

MySQL 5.1 Features

Partitioning Will include Range, Hash, List and Key handling and Subpartitioning. Documentation · Forum.
Partitioning is a table structure syntax. No changes to any SQL statements are required to use partitioning within your application.

Log Tables Log files can be stored within the database. Error log will definitely not be available. Official information is sketchy.
The 5.1.6 Release notes indicate mysqld -both-log-formats and –old-log-format arguments (as of 5.1.6), but nothing yet in the The MySQL Log Files Documentation

Fast Alter Table To speed up Alter Table for example extending a VARCHAR column, only the tables .frm is rewritten, and no adjustment to table rows is required.

Replication Documentation

  • Row Based Replication (RBR) (5.1.5) Documentation
  • mysqld arguments –binlog-format and –binlog-row-event-max-size

  • Support for Cluster (NDB)
  • GUID’s support

There was a good discussion on Master/Master including comparision to PostgreSQL. This could be achieved now using triggers and federated tables, or UDF’s. Planned in 5.2 is a Conflict Resolution implementation via use of Stored Procedures, which will be a pre-requisite before any MySQL multi-master implementation.

Federated Documentation · Forum

  • Transaction Support (still with some rollback issues) Note: Documentation still lists this as a limitation
  • 5.2 will provide full XA support

XML Parsing Support (5.1.5) Article
Provides support for XPath expressions in XML content stored in a database column.

Events (5.1.6 – not yet available) Article

There was a strong discussion on occurance management of events. Obviously the ability not to have cron jobs, username/passwords etc is great, but with most scripts there is always an amount of locking management (either via filesystem or database). I think we may have convinced Brian to consider a event syntax extension that would ensure that only one instance of a given event can run at any one time. As events are seperate threads it’s important that for frequently run events, there is appropiate management to ensure re-occuring events don’t back up. My opinion is for a syntax to run only one instance of the event (e.g. SINGLE INSTANCE, SINGLE OCCURANCE) We could have recommended BRISBANE as the syntax extension, however I doubt it would be considered standard.

Also discussed was appropiate TimeZone management, particularly to ensure events scheduled appropiately across databases managed globally.

Loadable Engines
This feature may be deferred to 5.2 to have a full feature. The goal of Loadable engines allows for no need to recompile MySQL from source, of even restart an instance for any change to the engine. I’m sure internally the one reason why this is important is to allow ease of testing when writing a new storage engine. Documentation – Writing a Custom Storage Engine · Article

Cluster improvements (NDB) Documentation · RoadMap

  • replication works with cluster
  • storage on disk based records, not limited to RAM
  • indexes still remain in RAM

Benchmarking Tool mysqlslap (5.1.4) Documentation.
The list of options looks impressive, and since my 5.1 version is 5.1.4 I’ll be playing some more here.

Archive Storage Engine Documentation · Forum

  • auto increment support (5.1.6)
  • Blob Speed Improvements

Instance Manager
Available in 5.0, but being better published in 5.1 is an Instance Manager allowing change of configuration/startup/shutdown etc. Documentation

Distribution Names
As part of 5.1, the use of -standard and -max versions will be eliminated. Brian mentioned he had lost count answering the question of the difference between -max and maxDB. As at 5.1.4 (what I have) the filenames still include -max, but we were assured this would be dropped.

INFORMATION_SCHEMA
Of course as part of these changes, there will be a number of new tables in the INFORMATION_SCHEMA including ENGINES (5.1.5), PLUGINS (5.1.5), PARTITIONS (5.1.6), EVENTS (5.1.6).
Of note, there is a FILES (5.1.6) for the storage of table information?

Other References
What’s New in MySQL 5.1 MySQL Change History for Version 5.1

Future Directions for MySQL

  • This year will also be a GUI Enterprise Manager for the community edition
  • FULLTEXT for other storage engines
  • More Transaction Engines
  • Federate Tables to non MySQL tables via JDBC
  • FULLTEXT loadable parser written in C
  • Alternative stored procedure languages
  • Replication Conflict Resolution Management by user definable stored procedures
  • myforge – A soureforge/freshmeat like open source system for MySQL projects

Other Discussions

There were a number of post talk discussions. Those of interest to me included running other languages in stored procedures (myPerl/myPhp user contributions available at Brian’s open source site www.tangent.org), increasing exposure to ISP’s to offer hosting with MySQL 5.0, including best practice guidelines, and of most discussion Asterisk The Open Source PBX.

PAE Support (Part 2)

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

I’ve solved the PAE Support problem with my current kernel of 2.6.9-22.0.1.ELsmp. Referring to my earlier post PAE Support with the inability to get Parallels VM Software working under CentOS 4.2.

The help was thanks to a prompt response of a support request from the company (so that’s a good sign). Ultimately the trick was to boot the 2.6.9-22.0.1.EL (i.e. not SMP) kernel. Of course the kernel I’m running is the default on my laptop. So really having no idea of the actual impact (obviously something to do with the HT technology I assume).

So, problem solved, will it have an impact on system performance with this kernel? Not sure. I’ve also been told that Parallels 2.1 will have PAE support, just waiting for the response to know if buying 2.0 gives me a free upgrade to 2.1.

Solving the GLIBCXX_3.4.4, GLIBCXX_3.4.5, GLIBCXX_3.4.6 error

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Let’s review the problem. I’ve got this on a number of occasions and different libraries. Here are some typical error conditions.

./mysql-workbench-bin: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.5' not found (required by ./mysql-workbench-bin)
Error: Missing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.6) is needed by package glibmm24

Special thanks to my new Guru friend Alfredo who put me on the path.

$ su -
$ cd /src/rpm
$ wget ftp://rpmfind.net/linux/fedora/extras/4/SRPMS/libsigc++20-2.0.11-1.src.rpm
$ rpmbuild --rebuild libsigc++20-2.0.11-1.src.rpm
$ cd /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386/
$ rpm -Uvh libsigc++20*.rpm
Preparing...                ########################################### [100%]
   1:libsigc++20            ########################################### [ 50%]
   2:libsigc++20-devel      ########################################### [100%]

Woot! It was that simple, download the rpm source, compile and install.

What does this ultimately mean? Well, something in your OS configuration isn’t the same as the platform used to build the rpm’s. In my case, I’m running CentOS 4.2, which was been upgraded from CentOS 4.0 via the Network Notification Tool. I’m also trying to install a Fedora FC4 rpm, on a RHEL platform. Anyway, it’s a simple solution and it works and that’s all we need for those that get stuck with this problem.

A detailed History of the problem

$ su -
$ yum install libsigc++20
Setting up Install Process
Setting up repositories
addons                    100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
update                    100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
nr-production             100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
base                      100% |=========================| 1.1 kB    00:00
nr-testing                100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
nr-mono                   100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
freshrpms                 100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
extras                    100% |=========================| 1.1 kB    00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
primary.xml.gz            100% |=========================|  35 kB    00:01
nr-mono   : ################################################## 143/143
Added 131 new packages, deleted 87 old in 1.31 seconds
Parsing package install arguments
Resolving Dependencies
--> Populating transaction set with selected packages. Please wait.
---> Package libsigc++20.i386 0:2.0.17-1.1.fc4.nr set to be updated
--> Running transaction check
--> Processing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.4) for package: libsigc++20
--> Processing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.6) for package: libsigc++20
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
Error: Missing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.4) is needed by package libsigc++20
Error: Missing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.6) is needed by package libsigc++20

So doing some investigation.

$ yum info libstdc++
Setting up repositories
addons                    100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
update                    100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
nr-production             100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
base                      100% |=========================| 1.1 kB    00:00
nr-testing                100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
nr-mono                   100% |=========================| 1.0 kB    00:00
freshrpms                 100% |=========================|  951 B    00:00
extras                    100% |=========================| 1.1 kB    00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
Installed Packages
Name   : libstdc++
Arch   : i386
Version: 3.4.4
Release: 2
Size   : 774 k
Repo   : installed
Summary: GNU Standard C++ Library

Description:
 The libstdc++ package contains a rewritten standard compliant GCC Standard
C++ Library.

$ rpm -ql libstdc++
/usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6
/usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6.0.3

$ rpm -qaR libstdc++
/sbin/ldconfig
/sbin/ldconfig
libc.so.6
libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.0)
libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.1)
libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.1.3)
libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.2)
libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.3)
libgcc_s.so.1
libgcc_s.so.1(GCC_3.0)
libgcc_s.so.1(GCC_3.3)
libgcc_s.so.1(GLIBC_2.0)
libm.so.6
rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) < = 3.0.4-1
rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) <= 4.0-1
rpmlib(VersionedDependencies) <= 3.0.3-1

Burning DVD’s under CentOS 4.2

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Attempt to update XCDRoast. Instructions at http://www.xcdroast.org/manual/dvd.html


su -
/usr/lib/xcdroast-0.98/bin
wget ftp://ftp.berlios.de/pub/cdrecord/ProDVD/cdrecord-prodvd-2.01a12-i586-pc-linux-gnu
mv cdrecord-prodvd-2.01a12-i586-pc-linux-gnu cdrecord.prodvd
chmod 755 cdrecord.prodvd
exit
# xcdroast not configured for root usage
xcdroast &
# You will get a warning message, this confirms that prodvd is installed

SetUp | Options | CDR_SECURITY_KEY
Now get 4.7GB option, but when attempting to write kept getting can’t init drive option, then it would eject DVD?

So I’ve moved to trying GnomeBaker


su -
cd /src/rpm
wget http://repo.nrpms.net/gnomebaker/0.5.0/RPMS/gnomebaker-0.5.0-1.1.fc4.nr.i386.rpm
rpm -ivh gnomebaker-0.5.0-1.1.fc4.nr.i386.rpm

There were some dependancies, but I’ve not noted these here.

Updating NVIDIA Drivers on my Dell 5150

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Details at http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

The latest is 1.0-8178. I currently have installed 1.0-7174

With this version is an auto config tool to do the X conf changes as well.

Another Enterprise LAMP stack provider

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

ActiveGrid, the Enterprise LAMP company, provides a service-oriented application platform built on the lightweight architecture of the proven LAMP software infrastructure stack. ActiveGrid Enterprise LAMP simplifies and speeds the development of service-oriented applications that weave together existing enterprise systems into new rich web applications and services. ActiveGrid Enterprise LAMP applications can be flexibly deployed on grids of commodity machines or at virtually any ISP.

Please see http://www.activegrid.com for more information.