A Post MySQL Conference review. The 4 F's

Finally back home after some R&R at Yosemite before leaving the US. In conclusion, to sum up my experience of the 4th Annual MySQL Users Conference “Excellent”.
Here’s my take. Friends, Functionality & New Features, the Future.


I’ve used MySQL now for over 6 years, and full time for a number of years, yet I’ve only become active in the MySQL community, particularly Planet MySQL in the past 6 months. Over that time, I’ve read a lot from members, and heard from many people. It was great at the conference to meet many of these people for the first time. The list includes: Community MembersFrank Mash,Mike Kruckenberg, Markus Popp, Roland Bouman, Giuseppe Maxia and Paul McCullagh. MySQL EmployeesMike Hillyer, Colin Charles, Jay Pipes, Mike Zinner, and New ContactsKristian Köhntopp, Jeremy Cole, Sheeri Kritzer, Taneli Otala, Laura Thompson just to start the list.


Not only was there plenty of discussion on Server Functionality, there was plenty of MySQL Client functionality including the MySQL Workbench, MySQL Migration Toolkit and the other MySQL GUI products.
There were a number of discussions on uses and implementations of MySQL in large web deployments. It would be great to see some more white papers here.

New Features

A few months ago I wrote an article A call to arms!. In some part, I was just giving my opinion and hoping to gee up some support and feedback from the community. Well, the MySQL 5 Pluggable Storage Architecture got a great boost with announcements of transactional storage engines Falcon by Jim Starkey, Solid and PBXT. Add details of InnoDB New Features, MyISAM additions, and indications of other wonderful if not entirely practical options. I’m sure there is much more in stall to come this year that wasn’t discussed.

A number of talks featured Cluster including Monday’s tutorial, and with 5.1 and beyond I can see next year there will be more discussion on successful Cluster implementations. There was a lot of talks about Scaling out. I’d like to see more practical examples, perhaps a detailed tutorial.

The Future

What does the future hold for MySQL? The MySQL Server and Storage Engine Roadmap provided an insight of the upcoming planned features and releases over the next 2 years. Of course, the marketplace can change quickly, and MySQL is in a great position to react to the needs of the community quickly.

And before your know it, the 5th Annual MySQL Conference will be in play.

Conference Feedback

One thing I had a chance to discuss with Jay Pipes after the conference, I wasn’t the first to mention, and plans are already in motion, was a number of talks just needed more time. Moving the schedule to 55 minute talks gives that extra time, even if it is open question time from the floor, but it also makes knowing when sessions are on much easier, if they always start at the top of the hour.

In Conclusion

Frank (a.k.a Farhan Mashraqi) asked me what session I liked the most? Hard to say. Agile Database Techniques: Data Doesn’t Have to be a Four-Letter Word Anymore rated very highly, as the content was close to heart and my expertise. HackFest B: Creating New SHOW Commands by Brian Aker, showed just how easy it was to get into the MySQL source. Of course the internals are much more complex then this, but it was a good introduction. My favourite keynote was The Ubuntu Project: Improving Collaboration in the Free Software World. There were a number of talks I was disappointed in, as well as a number I didn’t get to due to 8 sessions in parallel.

I would have to say, that what impressed me most was no one single talk, but the functionality of the GRT Shell that Mike Zinner and his team have built into the GUI product line. I was very impressed, and I could see this providing extensive functionality and not just MySQL specific centric tools. This will be area I’ll be focussing on my contributions in the near future.