MySQL Workbench 1.0.1 for Linux

Just released at the MySQL Forums yesterday an updated source version of MySQL Workbench for Linux available at ftp://ftp.mysql.com/pub/mysql/download/mysql-workbench-1.0.1.tar.gz.

So can Version 1.0.1 compile when I had no success with compiling 1.0.0?


$ su -
$ cd /src
$ wget ftp://ftp.mysql.com/pub/mysql/download/mysql-workbench-1.0.1.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz mysql-workbench-1.0.1.tar.gz
$ cd mysql-workbench-1.0.1
$ cd mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure --enable-grt --enable-canvas
$ make
MySQLGRT/MGRTValueTree.cc:255: instantiated from here
/usr/include/sigc++-2.0/sigc++/adaptors/bound_argument.h:158: error: 'const class sigc::bound_argument >&>' has no member named 'visit'
make[3]: *** [MGRTValueTree.o] Error 1
make[3]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.1/mysql-gui-common/source/linux'
make[2]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.1/mysql-gui-common/source'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.1/mysql-gui-common'
make: *** [all] Error 2

Arrrrrggggghhhhh!. What do I have to do to get this beast to compile. I am running the most current libsigc++ of 2.0.17, available for download at http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/libsigc++/2.0/

The job made easier this time by the src archive containing the all important README that provides both dependancies and required additional configuration arguments. However it only stated libsigc++ 2.0 which is what I have.

more /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.1/mysql-workbench/README.linux

Compiling Workbench from Scratch
================================

Required Software:
------------------

Much of the requirements are common for all GUI tools shipped by MySQL (such as
Administrator and Query Browser). Instead of building everything by hand, you
should try using the packages supplied by your distribution, preferably using
some tool like apt-get, smart or even yum. Do not forget that you need the -devel
(or -dev) version of each pacakge as well as the main one.

- gtkmm-2.4 or newer and it's dependencies, such as:
        - glibmm-2.4
        - libsigc++-2.0
        - gtk-2.4 (or whatever is required by gtkmm)
- libpcre-5
- MySQL client libraries and headers for MySQL >= 5.0
- OpenGL libraries and headers
- lua 5 (www.lua.org)

Building:
---------

- unpack workbench
- cd mysql-gui-common
- ./configure --enable-grt --enable-canvas
- make
- make install
- cd ../mysql-workbench
- ./configure
- make
- make install

I’ve logged as Bug #16880. I understand there are many variables in different Linux Operating Systems, and libraries, however if I meet the minimum requirements, I have no other options. Perhaps some specifics of what exact versions of required libraries were used to compile in an internal environment would be helpful. Are programs compiled on a generic OS distro and not a developers machine, so it can be reproduced and is testable.

Updated
In public response to pablo’s comment (click on comments to see, which I think is unqualified, please give more details), MySQL AB do read this, I have had positive comments from MySQL AB staff, and they have been proactive since I’ve raised this an earlier issues. In the space of some 4 hours I’ve had a confirmation and verification of my listed Bug, so in this case, response is excellent. Previously with 1.0.0 I was frustrated in a number of areas, first I’ve been waiting probably 8 months to get my hands on this product, at present I don’t have an alternative Open Source Linux Modelling tool supporting MySQL 5. Second, there seemed to be slow progress or perhaps insufficient feedback of progress from MySQL AB, but unless we raise our voice how will they know.

Again in defense of MySQL AB (of which I am not associated with), this is an developing Open Source Product and what we as the community ultimately get out of the product it what we collectively put in. If for example we just say it’s buggy, but don’t report it, seek advice, try to use our best abilities to reproduce and assist in providing a better product. Unfortunately the language and GUI requirements are skills I am not confident in. If they were I would be more involved in coding to correct this problem to move forward.

Another reason for presenting my information is to seek advice if others are experiencing these issues, to raise awareness to MySQL AB, who are an organisation with limited resources yet continue to provide what I consider is an excellent product for it’s current marketplace targets. I’m keen to see a working product because then I can provide 15 years of database modelling experience in large systems design in the review and testing of the product, and hopefully contribute in identifying useful and practical functionality to continully improve the product.

Again, speaking on MySQL AB’s behalf, the introduction of GUI products released last year on which the MySQL Workbench are built on, are only new products and new products take time to mature. Of course I’ve love a fully working product, but I’m not providing finances to millions or billions in R&D for software development.

I think it’s important that we all embrace the ideals of Open Source. Sure they are not perfect at this time, but this is not the ideal of one company to change the world of computing and computer software, but to all individuals to have an opportunity to contribute.

Pablo, I would be most happy to take this discussion offline and ask some more questions regarding the concerns you have made in your post, and try to help better understand your concerns, but without a suitable valid email address I’m unable to respond.

Downgrading a MySQL schema from 5 to 4 (Part 2)

As requested by Frank, here are the working parts of my earlier Downgrading a MySQL schema from 5 to 4 article.

The Problem

To recap, I received a MySQL Version 5.0 schema via a sql file, however I was unable to upgrade from MySQL 4.0 to MySQL 5.0 on my old RedHat 7.3 production server. As an interim solution, I still wanted the schema and data to allow for initial development (without the 5 specific features including Views,Triggers and Procedures/Functions). However the MySQL 5.0 SQL file would not run in MySQL 4.0.

Sample

Here is a small subset of the MySQL Sakila Sample Database schema to demonstrate the problem.

DROP SCHEMA IF EXISTS sakila;
CREATE SCHEMA sakila;
USE sakila;
--
-- Table structure for table `actor`
--
CREATE TABLE actor (
  actor_id SMALLINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  first_name VARCHAR(45) NOT NULL,
  last_name VARCHAR(45) NOT NULL,
  last_update TIMESTAMP NOT NULL DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP ON UPDATE CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,
  active BOOLEAN NOT NULL DEFAULT TRUE,
  PRIMARY KEY  (actor_id),
  KEY idx_actor_last_name (last_name)
)ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8;

Conversion

The following commands produced the output valid for a MySQL 4.0 database.


$ dos2unix sakila-schema-0.2.sql
$ cat sakila-schema-0.2.sql | sed -f mysql5to4.sed >sakila-schema-0.2.mysql4

NOTE: These commands are Linux Commands. There are probably Windows compatible commands however without Windows around to test this, I’m not going to offer any advice here. Anybody with any experience here please advise.
If you don’t have Linux, then get it. Sound to hard, well start with a Live CD, for example Knoppix or Ubuntu. These will allow you to boot of CD and it will never affect your Windows machine. If you don’t have broadband or a CD Burner, look at buying a computer magazine. You will find quite regularly options or Live CD’s. Of if you can’t afford that, Ubuntu – ShipIt will ship you the CD for free.
Even better then this, you can now use VMWare Player and have a working Linux environment running in parallel with your Windows at the same time, and it will not affect Windows in any way. You just need the VMWare Player, then a suitable Virtual machine. If there is a single person with an excuse why they can’t experiment with Linux, your not embracing Open Source. Start today, start right now, I’ve given you the links.

Results

DROP DATABASE IF EXISTS sakila;
CREATE DATABASE sakila;
USE sakila;
--
-- Table structure for table `actor`
--
CREATE TABLE actor (
  actor_id SMALLINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  first_name VARCHAR(45) NOT NULL,
  last_name VARCHAR(45) NOT NULL,
  last_update TIMESTAMP NOT NULL,
  active TINYINT NOT NULL DEFAULT TRUE,
  PRIMARY KEY  (actor_id),
  KEY idx_actor_last_name (last_name)
)TYPE=InnoDB;

The Code

Ops, almost forgot the important bit. Note, the syntax in this file is specific, characters and spaces are significant. My advice if you have no idea about ex regular expresssions and syntax, don’t touch.

The contents of mysql5to4.sed

s/CREATE SCHEMA/CREATE DATABASE/
s/DROP SCHEMA/DROP DATABASE/
s/ DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8;$/;/
s/ENGINE=/TYPE=/
s/ ON UPDATE CURRENT_TIMESTAMP//
s/ DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP//
s/BOOL /TINYINT /
s/BOOLEAN /TINYINT /
/^DELIMITER/d

Further Work

  • These workarounds work on a generated mysqldump file. For example, I bank on implied standards of UPPERCASE in the syntax of commands.
  • I don’t cater for situations where DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP is defined on a TIMESTAMP column which is not the first listed in the database table. This could be catered for with some more shell scripting with awk (More about awk 1, 2, 3)
  • I don’t cater for syntax situations not currently described in the Sakila Sample Database.
  • For now, I’ve manually removed the TRIGGERS, VIEWS, PROCEDURES and FUNCTIONS, however there would be good success via shell scripting to also archieve this.

MySQL Alternative

Morgan provided a suitable syntax for mysqldump in his Compatibility between MySQL Versions article, however I found this not to work completely successful. Here are my findings.

Syntax


mysqldump --compatible=name

Example

Using 5.1.4-alpha-max under Linux (not glib23)

$ mysqldump -P3307 -hlocalhost.localdomain -uroot -d --compatible=mysql40 sakila

The resultant file had the following lines, I’ve just cut and paste to show issues.
Using 4.0.13-standard.


mysql> DELIMITER ;;
ERROR 1064: You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'DELIMITER' at line 1

Using 4.1.10a-standard

mysql> DELIMITER ;
ERROR:
DELIMITER must be followed by a 'delimiter' character or string

This invalid handling of DELIMITER has a downstream affect when it gets to triggers.

mysql> /*!50003 CREATE TRIGGER `ins_film` AFTER INSERT ON `film` FOR EACH ROW BEGIN
-> INSERT INTO film_text (film_id, title, description)
-> VALUES (new.film_id, new.title, new.description);
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> END */;;
ERROR 1064: You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'END */' at line 1

I Need to get around to checking the Bug Database to see if these need to be logged.

What makes your blood boil?

It’s appalling that in this day of technological advancements and communication, the excuse for publishing dated information just doesn’t fly. 50 or 100 years ago you could be excused for writing something that was 6 months out of date, yet this article “Which Database Is Right For You?” Dated (2006-01-05) states:

So what doesn’t MySQL support? Today, MySQL doesn’t support views (‘virtual’ tables made from other tables), stored procedures (small programs that can be stored in the database) or triggers (actions that the database can be told to do automatically when certain things happen). However, many of these features are promised in future versions.

Well as I finished the article, looking forward to the contact details to notify this “writer” of their dated information, I was beaten to the punch.

Editor’s Note – Correction: We were contacted by Jay Pipes,Community Relations Manager, North America MySQL, Inc. who says that “MySQL 5 (the current stable release of MySQL) does indeed support stored procedures, views, triggers, functions, and many more features.”

Why can’t they put that note in the MySQL section of the article, it can easily get missed at the bottom.

It was only recently that I went out to by a magazine on referral to read an in depth article “The Usual Suspects”. I was most disappointed in it’s dated and in someways inaccurate content. You can read my comments at Review of Database Magazine Article – “The Usual Suspects”

Sequences in MySQL

One piece of SQL functionality that doesn’t appear to have any consistency or an ANSI SQL Standard is the management of system generated sequential numbers, used for example in suggorate keys.

MySQL uses AUTO_INCREMENT which serves the purposes adequately, however in my documenting of differences with Oracle in my upcoming MySQL Conference presentation “MySQL for Oracle Developers” there a number of key differences with Oracle’s SEQUENCE usage.

MySQL AUTO_INCREMENT to Oracle SEQUENCE Differences

  • AUTO_INCREMENT is limited to one column per table
  • AUTO_INCREMENT must be assigned to a specific table.column (not allowing multi table use)
  • AUTO_INCREMENT is INSERTed as a not specified column, or a value of NULL

The MaxDB Reserved Words list includes SEQUENCE for the CREATE SEQUENCE however I’ve never used MaxDB. Other popular open source products such as PostgreSQL and Ingres use sequences. Refer to the references section for more details.

Usage

The following provides an example sytax usage within MySQL and Oracle.

MySQL

CREATE TABLE Movie(
id           INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
name     VARCHAR(60) NOT NULL,
released YEAR NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (id)
) ENGINE=InnoDB;


INSERT INTO Movie (name,released) VALUES ('Gladiator',2000);
INSERT INTO Movie (id,name,released) VALUES (NULL,'The Bourne Identity',1998);

Oracle

CREATE TABLE Movie(
id          INT NOT NULL,
name     VARCHAR2(60) NOT NULL,
released INT NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (id)
);
CREATE SEQUENCE MovieSeq;


INSERT INTO Movie (id,name,released) VALUES (MovieSeq.NEXTVAL,'Gladiator',2000);

You can within Oracle use a Before Insert trigger to simulate handling of the MySQL Insert syntax. Note: Within Oracle you will require a SEQUENCE per table and a TRIGGER per table. Oracle supports multiple triggers of the same type per table (not sure if MySQL supports this).

CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER BRI_MOVIE_TRG
BEFORE INSERT ON Movie
FOR EACH ROW
BEGIN
  SELECT MovieSeq.NEXTVAL INTO :new.id FROM DUAL;
END BRI_MOVIE_TRG;
.
RUN;


INSERT INTO Movie (name,released) VALUES ('The Lion King',1994);

Oracle’s syntax uses the sequence name with .NEXTVAL or .CURVAL.

Future Directions

I would like to see a SEQUENCE implementation with MySQL (whether official or unofficial). I’m sure some enterprising person in the community already has one. Database abstraction layer systems would also most likely have implementations. I liked the PostgreSQL Syntax for ease of use with the following commands.

  • NEXTVAL(‘sequence’);
  • CURRVAL(‘sequence’);
  • SETVAL(‘sequence’,value);

Wanting something and doing something about it are two different things, so here is what I wiped together to demonstrate a possible implementation. It needs a lot more work in appropiate error handling. transaction management, testing and performance analysis, however it shows the options of one possible implementation.

currval

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS sequence;
CREATE TABLE sequence (
name              VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
current_value INT NOT NULL,
increment       INT NOT NULL DEFAULT 1,
PRIMARY KEY (name)
) ENGINE=InnoDB;
INSERT INTO sequence VALUES ('MovieSeq',3,5);
DROP FUNCTION IF EXISTS currval;
DELIMITER $
CREATE FUNCTION currval (seq_name VARCHAR(50))
RETURNS INTEGER
CONTAINS SQL
BEGIN
  DECLARE value INTEGER;
  SET value = 0;
  SELECT current_value INTO value
  FROM sequence
  WHERE name = seq_name;
  RETURN value;
END$
DELIMITER ;

Some Testing:

mysql> SELECT currval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| currval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                   3 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)
mysql> SELECT currval('x');
+--------------+
| currval('x') |
+--------------+
|            0 |
+--------------+
1 row in set, 1 warning (0.00 sec)
mysql> show warnings;
+---------+------+------------------+
| Level   | Code | Message          |
+---------+------+------------------+
| Warning | 1329 | No data to FETCH |
+---------+------+------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

What was interesting was I originally used a cursor, as below, but the results for passing an invalid argument (basic boundary testing), returned a SQL error while the above implementation returned a more manageable warning.

 DECLARE c CURSOR FOR
    SELECT current_value FROM sequence
    WHERE name = seq_name;
  OPEN c;
  FETCH c INTO value;


mysql> select currval('x');
ERROR 1329 (02000): No data to FETCH

Indeed the Apache Object Relational Bridge Sequence Manager section shows a very cool syntax for MSSQL.

UPDATE TABLE SET @MAX_KEY = MAX_KEY = MAX_KEY + 1

UPDATE table SET var = column = value which effectively allows you to eliminated the need for a seperate UPDATE and SELECT for this type of operation.

nextval

DROP FUNCTION IF EXISTS nextval;
DELIMITER $
CREATE FUNCTION nextval (seq_name VARCHAR(50))
RETURNS INTEGER
CONTAINS SQL
BEGIN
   UPDATE sequence
   SET          current_value = current_value + increment
   WHERE name = seq_name;
   RETURN currval(seq_name);
END$
DELIMITER ;

mysql> select nextval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| nextval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                  15 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.09 sec)

mysql> select nextval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| nextval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                  20 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql> select nextval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| nextval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                  25 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

setval

DROP FUNCTION IF EXISTS setval;
DELIMITER $
CREATE FUNCTION setval (seq_name VARCHAR(50), value INTEGER)
RETURNS INTEGER
CONTAINS SQL
BEGIN
   UPDATE sequence
   SET          current_value = value
   WHERE name = seq_name;
   RETURN currval(seq_name);
END$
DELIMITER ;

mysql> select setval('MovieSeq',150);
+------------------------+
| setval('MovieSeq',150) |
+------------------------+
|                    150 |
+------------------------+
1 row in set (0.06 sec)

mysql> select curval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| currval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                 150 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select nextval('MovieSeq');
+---------------------+
| nextval('MovieSeq') |
+---------------------+
|                 155 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Other References

Ingres CREATE SEQUENCE Page 105.
PostgreSQL CREATE SEQUENCE
Apache Object/Relational Bridge – Sequence Manager – Subproject of The Apache DB Project
MySQL CREATE PROCEDURE

To enum or not to enum?

I’ve never used database columns that embedded defined valid values within the schema definition. Within MySQL there are 2 definitions, ENUM and SET. There are a few reasons why, but first an explanation of these data types.

In summary, using the MySQL Sample Database.

CREATE TABLE film (
film_id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
...
rating ENUM('G','PG','PG-13','R','NC-17') DEFAULT 'G',
special_features SET('Trailers','Commentaries','Deleted Scenes','Behind the Scenes') DEFAULT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (film_id)
)ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8;

So from this, the following commands allow you to inspect this information via mysql.


DESCRIBE film;
SHOW COLUMNS FROM film LIKE 'rating';

With the introduction of the INFORMATION_SCHEMA in MySQL 5, a more traditional method using a valid SELECT statement.


SELECT COLUMN_TYPE
FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA='sakila'
AND TABLE_NAME='film'
AND COLUMN_NAME = 'rating'

This is great, however you have to know a lot of information, the table_name and column_name ok, they are fixed, but now the table_schema information is required to be known by the application.

Why I don’t use these?

Historically, there have been 3 reasons why I’ve never used ENUM.

  • First, it’s not standard SQL (at least to my knowledge), and historically hasn’t been consistent between Database products
  • More importantly as data, it’s terrible to maintain easily, as it’s within the table structure
  • The management of valid values within an application, and the need to manage this data dynamically.

Now, I’m not certain if within MySQL there are any funky ways to manage this type of information. I’d welcome comments on what people do. However from my previous experience, this is my method of implementation.

All information of this type, I refer to as a code. I implement this within a common table, defined as reference_data (based historically on the Oracle cg_ref_codes). Here is a cut down version of my definition for simplicity purposes.


CREATE TABLE reference_data(
id INT UNSIGNED NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
type VARCHAR(20) NOT NULL,
code VARCHAR(20) NOT NULL,
value VARCHAR(100) NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (id)
)ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8;

Of course, I’ve extended this basic structure to include ordering of data per type, default value of a given type, grouping of types (for larger systems) and a status to manage historically codes no longer valid for new data.

Within tables, I define all codes with an extention of _code so as to clearly identify the content of a given column.

So, for this example I would add data such as:


INSERT INTO reference_data(type,code,value) VALUES
('rating','G','General Audience - All Ages Admitted'),
('rating','PG','Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children'),
('rating','PG-13','Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13'),
('rating','R','Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian'),
('rating','NC-17','No One 17 And Under Admitted');

This for me provides the following benefits:

  • The Data is data, meaning it can be easily modified via normal application and sql functionality
  • Additional information such as a more general description can be provided and presented to end users
  • Additional attributes non shown in this example, provides ordering support, and a default value
  • The same set of data for a given type can be used in multiple tables

Now, the clear downside of this level of functionality is that the data integrity that is managed by ENUM at the database level has now been lost. You need to temper this with the level of access to your database, and you can easily implement via Database Triggers this level of security. However, I think that clear ability to tie the required values for an ENUM column to easy accessibility via an application, and allow for easy management is clearly a strength.

I’m yet to be convinced otherwise.

Support for Technology Stacks

As part of my next conference presentation Overcoming the Challenges of Establishing Service and Support Channels I’ve been struggling to find with my professional sources, any quality organisations that provide full support for a technology stack, for example a LAMP stack, or a Java Servlet stack.

Restricted to searching via online, I’ve been impressed by what I’ve found at Spike Source www.spikesource.com. An organisation with an experienced CEO, well known in the Java Industry. They certainly have all the buzz words covered in their product information.

Benefits of their SpikeSource Core Stack.

  • Fully tested and certified
  • Installs in minutes with integrated installer
  • Enterprise-class maintenance and support available
  • Vendor neutral
  • Horizontally and vertically scalable

SpikeSource offers three prebuilt configurations that can have you up and running in around ten minutes. These configurations comprise the following component choices:

  • LAMP Stack – for Websites with dynamic database-driven content written using Perl and PHP.
  • Servlet Stack – for dynamic Websites written using Java-based Web technologies such as servlets.
  • J2EE Stack – for Web applications that separate Web interface and application logic using Java Servlets and Enterprise JavaBeans.

Supported Platforms. What’s of interest here is RHEL, SuSE as well as Fedora Core 3. In line with for example Oracle software running under Linux.

What’s interesting, is they have MySQL 4.1.14 in their spikesource stack (1.6.2), so they are quite some months behind here. Especially now that MySQL 5 has been available 3 months now. Not only just stack technology, their infrastructure supports a large number of open source products and appears to provide infrastructure via a community to enhance the product offerings within this stack. The Spike Developer Zone Components List provides a long list of products.

Their release notes provide good instructions, in particular what configuration was used in the building of the software. For example, here is the MySQL Release Notes, MySQL Quick Start Guide, MySQL Troubleshooting Guide

They talk about testing, where Core Stack Testing provides more details here.

They also claim to provide VMWare Community Virtual Machine that can be run via the free VM Player on any system without having an effect on an existing system. This is indeed impressive, however it doesn’t seem available. There are many other installations available at the VMWare site.

I’m interested to see what else existing in the marketplace for a fully supported technology stack, rather then support of individual components (e.g. RedHat for Linux, MySQL AB for MySQL, JBoss for a servlet container)

In reading comparisions, there is reference also to Source Labs – www.sourcelabs.com. Anybody that can offer recommendations that I can research would be great.

Downgrading a MySQL schema from 5 to 4

Why oh why would you want to do this. Well it my case, I’ve committed to developing a web application using MySQL 5 features, knowing that I had to upgrade my production server from 4.0

Well as part of doing this, I hit a stumbling block. My current production web server runs RedHat 7.3, and even with all the latest rpm updates, it does not have glib 2.3 which is required for MySQL 5. I’m no guru, but trying to upgrade from Redhat 7.3 to 9, to at least get these rpm is not an easy process. I’m not confident to try to compile glib 2.3 and all it’s dependancies on a production server, nor is it possible to recompile MySQL down (I suspect not). All just too many variables. It appears the time has come to scrap it and work with a more current RedHat Enterprise Linux version. Down side, the 25 web sites are not going to be too happy.

Anyway, as an interim to at least move forward as much as possible I dowgraded the provided schema.sql to at least run under 4.0. We all know about new features in 5.0, so this is just really the same list, but it was worthwhile documenting.

  • Remove views
  • Remove triggers
  • Remove DELIMITER syntax
  • Change ENGINE= to TYPE=
  • Change DROP SCHEMA to DROP DATABASE
  • Change CREATE SCHEMA to CREATE DATABASE
  • Remove DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8 from table definition
  • Remove DEFAULT TIMESTAMP from TIMESTAMP columns (NOTE: Need to verify the column is the first TIMESTAMP column)
  • Change BOOLEAN to TINYINT(1)

Update:
Friend and collegue Morgan points out that if I was dumping a schema with 5.1 you could use the syntax mysqldump --compatible=name. Unfortunately in my case the schema was coming from a third party, however now I know this syntax, I can always ask for it.

Update 2:
I know in earlier versions that you could get a MySQL product installation, and also get one compiled with glib23. I just figured that over time the older glib22 were dropped, and were not available with 5.1. It seems domestic blindness has now hit me in computer software. I did review the MySQL 5.1 downloads page, and did not see lower in the page mixed in the 30 to 40 downloads and option to download a glibc22 version. Thanks Arjen for pointing that out.


Domestic Blindness
“The inability to find a common object that is right in front of your face.”

The challenges of compiling non working Open Source (Part 2)?

Did I push to much in my last post? I don’t think so, but I guess it’s a fragile balance sometimes in Open Source between those keen end users, and the developers that do give so much towards their own creations (I understand, I’m in that category myself).

I was very proud of my work yesterday, it took a whole day of my time (I do have better things to do, like finish my own Open Source project HTMLtags, while will allow me to build my sample application, which I can then use for my MySQL Users Conference presentation). I learnt to dig around the net a lot, go on the wild goose chase several times, understand some more under the hoods of compiling, libraries and dependencies in the GTK world I would have otherwise not really cared about. But as I said, I got to a brick wall by the end, and it was dishearting.

It seemed my Bug Report #16604 on MySQL Workbench compiling listing a clear number of bugs was not well received by the development team. Maybe I should have slept on it, but about 1am in the morning I made another plea for assistance.

Well I woke this morning, and as I mentioned in my opening statement was I too passionate about this pursuit. Perhaps not. Overnight, a positive response to my #16604 provided feedback that my hard work was indeed incoporated, and the next clue of compilation (which could just be in a simple INSTALL file hopefully in the future) was presented.

So eagerly ignoring breakfast, and the increasing pile of dirty dishes, I jump in with this new intel. It ws just one line.

you need to configure gui-common with: ./configure –enable-grt –enable-canvas to enable the components needed by Workbench.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure --enable-grt --enable-canvas
$ make
make[3]: Entering directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/library_grt/source'
if gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I../.. -I../../library_grt/include -I/usr/include/glib-2.0 -I/usr/lib/glib-2.0/include -I/usr/include/libxml2 -I../../library_util/include -I../../library_util/shared_include -I../../library_grt/newt -I/opt/mysql/include -I/usr/include/pcre -I/usr/include/python2.3 -DENABLE_JAVA_MODULES -DENABLE_PYTHON_MODULES -DLUA_TEXT_DIALOGS -g -O2 -MT lua_dialogs.o -MD -MP -MF ".deps/lua_dialogs.Tpo" -c -o lua_dialogs.o lua_dialogs.c;
then mv -f ".deps/lua_dialogs.Tpo" ".deps/lua_dialogs.Po"; else rm -f ".deps/lua_dialogs.Tpo"; exit 1; fi
lua_dialogs.c:20:17: lua.h: No such file or directory
lua_dialogs.c:21:21: lauxlib.h: No such file or directory
....
make[3]: *** [lua_dialogs.o] Error 1
make[3]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/library_grt/source'
make[2]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/library_grt'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common'

More googling, hopefully http://www.lua.org is what this is???


$ cd /src
$ wget http://www.lua.org/ftp/lua-5.0.2.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz lua-5.0.2.tar.gz
$cd lua-5.0.2
$ ./configure
$ vi config
# (change Line 151: INSTALL_ROOT from /usr/local to /usr)
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ make
make[3]: Entering directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/source/linux'
if g++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I../.. -DXTHREADS -D_REENTRANT -DXUSE_MTSAFE_API -I/usr/include/libglade-2.0 -I/usr/include/gtk-2.0 -I/usr/include/libxml2 -I/usr/lib/gtk-2.0/include -I/usr/X11R6/include -I/usr/include/atk-1.0 -I/usr/include/pango-1.0 -I/usr/include/freetype2 -I/usr/include/freetype2/config -I/usr/include/glib-2.0 -I/usr/lib/glib-2.0/include -I/usr/include/gtkmm-2.4 -I/usr/lib/gtkmm-2.4/include -I/usr/include/glibmm-2.4 -I/usr/lib/glibmm-2.4/include -I/usr/include/gdkmm-2.4 -I/usr/lib/gdkmm-2.4/include -I/usr/include/pangomm-1.4 -I/usr/include/atkmm-1.6 -I/usr/include/sigc++-2.0 -I/usr/lib/sigc++-2.0/include -I/opt/mysql/include -I/usr/include/pcre -DENABLE_JAVA_MODULES -DENABLE_PYTHON_MODULES -I/usr/include/freetype2 -I../../library/include -I../../library_util/include -I../../library_util/shared_include -I../../library_grt/include -I../../library_grt_modules/include -I../../library_grt_workbench/include -I../../library_gc/include -I../../library_gc/ftgl/include -I.. -DDATADIRNAME=""share"" -DCOMMONDIRNAME="""" -g -O2 -MT MGRT.o -MD -MP -MF ".deps/MGRT.Tpo" -c -o MGRT.o `test -f 'MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc' || echo './'`MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc;
then mv -f ".deps/MGRT.Tpo" ".deps/MGRT.Po"; else rm -f ".deps/MGRT.Tpo"; exit 1; fi
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc: In member function `void MGRT::init_thread(const std::string&)':
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:115: error: `myx_grt_shell_print_welcome' undeclared (first use this function)
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:115: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once for each function it appears in.)
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:170: error: `myx_lua_init_loader' undeclared (first use this function)
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:194: error: `myx_grt_init_lua_shell' undeclared (first use this function)
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc: In member function `void MGRT::perform_shell_command(const Glib::ustring&)':
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:275: error: `myx_grt_lua_shell_execute' undeclared (first use this function)
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc: In member function `Glib::ustring MGRT::shell_prompt()':
MySQLGRT/MGRT.cc:283: error: `myx_grt_lua_shell_get_prompt' undeclared (first use this function)
make[3]: *** [MGRT.o] Error 1
make[3]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/source/linux'
make[2]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common/source'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common'
make: *** [all] Error 2

This seems defined in library_grt/source/myx_grt_lua_shell.c which has compiled to object code. So it’s probably clearly related with the lua dependency in
some way, but I’m not a C++ developer so apart from googling and greping it’s a good 3 levels over my head.

A very strong dead end again, clearly very C++ and MySQL specific. Back to my new buddy within MySQL AB, for the next clues.

The challenges of compiling non working Open Source?

One of the great benefits of Open Source, it’s Free, and you can get great support, sometimes even from the developers directly (rather then 5 levels of paid customer support for a commercial product). One of the greatest banes of Open Source, if you have a problem, and nobody has experienced and documented in a forum etc the problem you have with the same OS, libraries etc, you could be totally up the creek without a paddle, boat and for that matter water. (luckily you still have oxgyen)

Well, I’m having this problem with MySQL Workbench. A product promising so much, but if you can’t get the binary working on Linux to even start, where do you go.

You will see via the Forums, I’m not the only person. This is the current Bugs List.

Wanting to make a difference, even just for myself, and those others that also seem lost, I set out to pursue this to the bitter end. Long story short, some 6-7 hrs later I’m so close, and the response in a related Bug at the point I’ve now finally reached is:

at this moment we do not process bugs of mysql workbench, because it’s still in the intensive development, and we provided snapshot in order to give people first implression of WB.
I am changing status to ‘Analyzing’ and return to this bugreport when WB will be issued officially.

Well, my only statement here at 11:30pm at night, is I’m annoyed and frustated. The only reason why I’m compiling source is the snapshot doesn’t work, there is no information of when it will be issued officially, infact as I’ve mentioned previously, there are 3 different versions for 3 different OS’s at present. (More Info in Forums). It’s complicated as it seems to be all one way communication, people reporting problems, but no information feedback in return. Perhaps I should have worked on my own Open Source project?

My simple question in response to this comment is. “Please provide the source that built the binary, so at least we can work with the same apples. The released source and snapshot binary are not consistent.”

My only pursuit now is to publish my findings. I’m made signficant progress that will help others, but only so far. I’ve also uncovered 3 configuration errors, and library inconsistency as per minimum requirements (which isn’t documented, it’s hit and miss, trial and error), and a fatal compilation error stopping you in your tracks. My current logged bug report of this Bug #16604

The road already covered

My environment is CentOS 4.2 (a.k.a RedHat Enterprise Linux RHEL 4.2) recompiled and free.

The first pot hole.

Downloaded Linux Binary 1.0.0-alpha from ftp://ftp.mysql.com/pub/mysql/download/mysql-workbench-1.0.0-alpha-linux-i386.tar.gz (announced on forums MySQL Workbench 1.0.0alpha for Linux (November 24, 2005)

Errors on startup.
./mysql-workbench-bin: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.5' not found (required by ./mysql-workbench-bin)
./mysql-workbench-bin: /usr/lib/libstdc++.so.6: version `GLIBCXX_3.4.4' not found (required by ./mysql-workbench-bin)

Refer to my Initial findings published at forums (December 16, 2005) over 1 month ago with details of my environment and installed libraries.

Looking at the hole, now it’s a trench.

Diving right in.

$ su -
$ cd /src
$ wget ftp://ftp.mysql.com/pub/mysql/download/mysql-workbench-1.0.0-alpha-linux.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz mysql-workbench-1.0.0-alpha-linux.tar.gz
$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure

Errors
No package ‘gtkmm-2.4′ found
configure: error: Library requirements (libglade-2.0 gtkmm-2.4) not met; consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if your libraries are in a nonstandard prefix so pkg-config can find them.
Found http://www.gtkmm.org – gtkmm is the official C++ interface for the popular GUI library GTK+. First problem, current version is 2.8, previous version (as on home page links is 2.2).

More digging, clicking the home page documentation link, and some docs recommend binary installs (why am I not surprised). gtkmm 2.4 documentation. What the! The home page has 2.8 and 2.2, and the docs are 2.4. I’m a little confused, but I trundle on.

Found http://www.gtkmm.orgNo RHEL binaries, tried for Fedora Core 4. Attempt to Add FC4 extras to yum settings and do yum install gtkmm24-docs failed. (this was the docs recommendation)

So track it down on a mirror. Now that is now gtkmm24 Version 2.6???? I’m sure there’s a reason but I’m a GTK lay person and it’s confusing me.


$ wget http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/4/i386/gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm
$ wget http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/4/i386/gtkmm24-devel-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm
$ wget http://public.planetmirror.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/4/i386/gtkmm24-docs-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm

$ rpm -ivh gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm
warning: gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm: V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 1ac70ce6
error: Failed dependencies:
libglibmm-2.4.so.1 is needed by gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386
libsigc-2.0.so.0 is needed by gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386
libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.4) is needed by gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386

I figured it wasn’t going to be that easy. However, found an interesting note, (GLIBCXX_3.4.4), hmmm, see that error before. Is that sunlight I see looking up out of the trench.

It doesn’t ran it pours.

Won’t focus here.

libsigc Not found in CentOS RPMS Found at http://libsigc.sourceforge.net

$ cd /src
$ wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/libsigc++/2.0/libsigc++-2.0.17.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz libsigc++-2.0.17.tar.gz
$ cd /src/libsigc++-2.0.17
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install
$ rpm -ivh gtkmm24-2.6.2-2.i386.rpm

Still fails with same dependancies including libsigc-2.0.so.0 which is what I just compiled.

Using a trench digger now, shovelling was too much work.

I won’t bore you with the iterative details of my approach, needless to say, basically I had to work backwards from this resultant coding, a number of times. But this worked. (Compiling the dependancies that is)


$ cd /src
$ wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/libsigc++/2.0/libsigc++-2.0.17.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz libsigc++-2.0.17.tar.gz
$ cd /src/libsigc++-2.0.17
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr
$ make
$ make install

One Down, note the –prefix=/usr is significant.. There must be some funky way to use LD_LIBRARY_PATH, LIBDIR, just need somebody to explain why simple evironment variable doesn’t work downstream.


# configure: error: Package requirements (sigc++-2.0 >= 2.0.0 glib-2.0 >= 2.4.0 gobject-2.0 >= 2.4.0 gmodule-2.0 >= 2.4.0) were not met.
$ cd /src
$ wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/glibmm/2.4/glibmm-2.4.8.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz glibmm-2.4.8.tar.gz
$ cd /src/glibmm-2.4.8
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr
$ make
$ make install

Two down.


# Requires checking for glibmm-2.4 >= 2.4.0 atk >= 1.6.0... Package glibmm-2.4 was not found in the pkg-config search path.
$ cd /src
$ wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/gtkmm/2.4/gtkmm-2.4.11.tar.gz
$ tar xvfz gtkmm-2.4.11.tar.gz
$ cd /src/gtkmm-2.4.11
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr
$ make
$ make install

Three Down.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure
checking for pcre-config... no
configure: error: Could not find pcre-config script. Make sure the pcre libraries are installed

What is pcre-config? Not much luck finding that, try pcre, come across http://www.pcre.org/ – Perl Compatible Regular Expressions. Well could be, no info about pcre-config, nothing on the Perl regular expressions man page. Well, no pain no gain, it’s in a yum list so.


$ yum install pcre

Already installed, well that doesn’t help. Some more digging around, more time digging a bigger hole, there’s a pcre-devel, let’s try that.


$ yum install pcre-devel

Voila!, I have a pcre-config script


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure

./configure: line 3488: -f: command not found

Are a problem, lucky already documented in Forums (at least somebody has been this far).

Replace Line 3488
if ! -f po ; then
with
if test ! -f po ; then

Try Again.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure

./configure: line 7368: syntax error near unexpected token `else'

Haven’t see this documented.

Replace Line 7466 (note 2 lines earlier)
if test "${ac_cv_prog_PCRE_LIBS+set}" = set; theN
with
if test "${ac_cv_prog_PCRE_LIBS+set}" = set; then

Try Again.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ ./configure
$ make
../../library_util/include/myx_util_functions.h:30:18: pcre.h: No such file or directory

Patience is running short, a find locates file in /usr/include/prce directory.


# I'm now no longer amused with this, I'm not a C developer, but basic code should compile.
$ cp cd /usr/include /pcre/* /usr/include
$ ./configure
$ make
MGTableEditor.cc: In constructor `MGTableEditor::MGTableEditor(bool)':
MGTableEditor.cc:229: error: 'class Gtk::ComboBoxEntry' has no member named 'get_entry'
MGTableEditor.cc:265: error: 'class Gtk::ComboBoxEntry' has no member named 'get_entry'

Well, why am I not surprised. More reading, now into the bowes of GTK. API Docs at http://www.gtkmm.org/docs/gtkmm-2.4/docs/reference/html/classGtk_1_1ComboBoxEntry.html
shows that get_entry is valid for 2.4.

Hmmm, more though, now is that 2.4, or is that 2.6. Well this trench digger just fell into the hole is was digging.

A bigger hammer, now the full blown Hydraulic Excavator

I won’t linger here, been down this path before, however more plumbing was required so it was an iterative process again.

cd /src
wget ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.6/glib-2.6.6.tar.gz
ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.6/glib-2.6.6.tar.gz
cd /src/glib-2.6.6
./configure --prefix=/usr


# checking for sigc++-2.0 >= 2.0.0 glib-2.0 >= 2.6.0 gobject-2.0 >= 2.6.0 gmodule-2.0 >= 2.6.0... Requested 'glib-2.0 >= 2.6.0' but version of GLib is 2.4.7
cd /src
wget http://ftp.acc.umu.se/pub/GNOME/sources/glibmm/2.6/glibmm-2.6.1.tar.gz
tar xvfz glibmm-2.6.1.tar.gz
cd /src/glibmm-2.6.1
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install


cd /src
wget ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.6/atk-1.9.0.tar.bz2
bunzip2 atk-1.9.0.tar.bz2
tar xvf atk-1.9.0.tar
cd /src/atk-1.9.0
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install


cd /src
wget ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.6/pango-1.8.2.tar.gz
tar xvfz pango-1.8.2.tar.gz
cd /src/pango-1.8.2
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install


# Requested 'pango >= 1.8.0' but version of Pango is 1.6.0
cd /src
wget ftp://ftp.gtk.org/pub/gtk/v2.6/gtk+-2.6.9.tar.gz
tar xvfz gtk+-2.6.9.tar.gz
cd /src/gtk+-2.6.9
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install


#pango-1.8.2.tar.gz
# checking for ATKMM... Requested 'atk >= 1.9.0' but version of Atk is 1.8.0
# checking for GDKMM... Requested 'gtk+-2.0 >= 2.6.0' but version of GTK+ is 2.4.13
cd /src
wget http://ftp.acc.umu.se/pub/GNOME/sources/gtkmm/2.6/gtkmm-2.6.5.tar.gz
tar xvfz gtkmm-2.6.5.tar.gz
cd /src/gtkmm-2.6.5
./configure --prefix=/usr
make
make install

Now the test.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-gui-common
$ make clean
$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

WOOOOHOOO! no errors here!

One down, one to go.


$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-workbench-1.0.0
$ make clean
$ ./configure
$ make

make[3]: Entering directory
`/src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-workbench/source/linux'
make[3]: *** No rule to make target
`../../../mysql-gui-common/source/linux/libwbcommongui.a', needed by `mysql-workbench-bin'. Stop.

Investigation

$ cd /src/mysql-workbench-1.0.0/mysql-workbench/source/linux # (current make directory)
$ ls -l ../../../mysql-gui-common/source/linux/lib*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7410114 Jan 18 22:43 ../../../mysql-gui-common/source/linux/libmacommongui.a
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 8006062 Jan 18 22:44 ../../../mysql-gui-common/source/linux/libqbcommongui.a

Similar library name exists, but not libwbcommongui.a Well that’s it, it’s finally now looks not a environement problem, more a software development problem. I’ve logged my findings at Bug #16604. I guess we will wait for a good response.

Was it all worth it! Well 90 mins of documenting, the longest blog I’ll ever write. If the next runner can move this forward to a getting a binary from compilation, that then starts, then it was worth it. But only in a reasonable time.

Database Modelling Software for MySQL

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’ve been using DBDesigner 4 from FabForce, an open source visual design tool, and apart from working around a number of bugs, I’ve found it practical to design from scratch. The big plus, it works under Linux.

With the announcement that this was being incorporated into MySQL, called MySQL Workbench, I was looking forward to getting my hands on it. I guess that was about 8 months ago. Finally about 6 weeks ago, Version 1.0.0-alpha was released for Linux. Unfortunately it didn’t work, would not even start for me. Logged as Bug #15421, which got marked as a duplicate of Bug #15218 (I could have sworn I did a search first). Anyway, this got promptly closed as Unable to reproduce, but I see it’s finally been reopened again.

Windows is at 1.0.2, Mac OS/X is at 1.0.3-alpha, and yet linux is still at 1.0.0-alpha. What gives? There seems to be a clear lack of communication as to what’s going on.

The problem is, I’m preparing presentatations for the Brisbane MySQL Users Group, and the MySQL User Conference, and I want to import an existing MySQL database into a modeling tool to generate diagrams. It seems that DBDesigner4 is not MySQL 5 friendly, and given it’s not supported anymore where do you turn.

In DBDesigner, I get the error. “dbExpress error: Invalid Username/password”. Upteen double checks and then searching on the web finally leads to
http://forums.mysql.com/read.php?113,32121,57081#msg-57081, and the trick SET PASSWORD FOR ‘some_user’@’some_host’ = OLD_PASSWORD(‘newpwd’);

So now I can get a connection to the database, there ain’t no model to import. It seems I’m now forced to go look elsewhere for a open-source and free modelling tool that runs under Linux.

Ultimately I can’t really complain, this is the primary problem with Open Source, on one side, it’s Free, the other side support, documentation and help can be a hit and miss affair, and there are no commitments to a release schedule or feedback as there is no money involved.

Still if after all this time, I’m forced to go out and buy a product, it will be a great shame.

How many installations, and just what are they doing?

Would it not be great if on the MySQL website there was a page of stats (updated daily) that provided statistics like number of installations, a breakdown of versions registered (not certain I like that exact word) , OS’s, countries etc. More specifically, some useful stats on the engine types in practical use, avg number of tables per database etc. Of course the types of stats could be limitless, but with the success of MySQL as well as other open source projects, more imperial figures on installations other then just downloads I think would definitely benefit given the current momentum. (Availability of information to competitors could be both a good and bad thing.) Perhaps figures can be shown in percentages, not actual numbers.

Anyway, nice idea you say, we can all come up with ideas, but how could you implement something like this.

I made a post yesterday and mentioned the thought of an XML storage engine. It seemed to stir some feedback. Those notes were actually taken from more detailed notes that I’ve never published so I thought it would be good to explain some of the background.

Many months ago at the Brisbane MySQL Users Group our informal discussions following the evening presentation turned to a more detailed analysis of the different engine types available within MySQL. A throw away comment by somebody like ‘We have no idea if BDB is really used?’ prompted me to consider the possibility of why can’t this question be answered in the future.

How would it work? Well for each installation of MySQL on a server (given you can have multiple installations of varying versions per machine) the option to provide a feedback loop is made available post installation, it could even be part of the install processs (probably not in .rpm). The feedback loop configures the following basic settings.

  • Frequency (Monthly, Weekly, Daily, Once Off)
  • Granularity (Summary, Verbose)

What would I have this feedback loop submit:

  • MySQL Version
  • OS Version
  • Country/Locale
  • Number of User Databases (excluding mysql & test)
  • Number of tables per storage Engine per database

More detailed information, not necessary for stats, but perhaps useful for MySQL internals would be output from the SHOW set of commands. (variables, status, table status,engines, innodb status). This alone is another topic, allowing collection of information that can be used to evaluate usage, possible tunings etc). Additional information such as number of triggers, stored procedures etc, would identify if this level of functionality is actually really being used out there.

By registering with MySQL to provide a feedback loop from your server installation to MySQL, you are provided with a unique Id, which enables clear tracking for MySQL, but provides clear anonymity for the customer to ensure we are not taking any propriety information from them.

We never want to hide the data of an installation that is provided to MySQL, it needs to be in the open. Why not make it an open standard of data exchange (using XML), and why not then enable the installation itself to use these statistics internally for some level of reporting.

XML allows for the files to be reused outside of MySQL directly. Using XSLT you could take these XML files for better presentation of statistical information. This would probably go against the ethos of MySQL with now information stored in XML instead of the database. So why not create an XML Storage Engine.

It would for lack of a better word be grossly inefficient, however it was more a Read/Only type structure, more you just write out a chunk of data in one go, and you always read the entire file. You don’t do partial updates (you could, but you rewrite the entire file), it leads itself to statistically information, written once only. Of course you would have to satisfy the search

What other possible extensions for an XML storage engine, you could store and read RSS feeds, even OpenDoc standards as implemented by Open Office for Documents.

Now, regardless of all the associated complexities like, how do you post add this functionality to older versions, how do you automate the scheduling of the feedback look across different OS’s, blah, blah, blah, the purpose is just to throw the idea around for a minute and see what falls out.

Additional statistics more useful for internal MySQL usage could pinpoint numbers of upgrades, from which version to which versions (more specifically if not current GA version). The biggest downside is as part of Open Source you can’t enforce gathering any of this information, so when the website says 1 million installations (it’s 1 million of people that have taken the time to notify MySQL, and that could be 10% or 50%, you just don’t know).

Could there perhaps be space here for a commercial product? I doubt it as this is very tightly coupled with MySQL, and unless there was seamless integration I doubt very few people would go to any trouble after installing MySQL.

It’s just an idea, but it’s nice to have ideas at least some of the time.

MySQL 5.1 is gaining some momentum

It wasn’t that long ago that MySQL released the GA Release of Version 5.0 with major new features (Oct 24 2005). It still took 5.0 about a year to go from alpha to GA, however I’d suspect a much shorter turnaround this time.

Version 5.1 is already at alpha, and the largest public functionality mentioned has been Partitioning. It is also anticipated that Storage Engines (a very handy MySQL feature in comparison to other RDBS products), will be a hot-pluggable API instead of a source re-compilation. Now I’ve never even looked at the Storage Engine code, but it’s been talked about a few times, particularly the CSV Storage Engine in general discussion.

There are some new features being documented now, but not generally available in an alpha build including Events Management (5.1.6) and XPath support within SQL (5.1.5).

Well I could use the events management immediately with some refactoring of code into a stored procedure. My current CRM allows for a system wide (ie all users) Phone Batch to be created for phone donations. Batches are locked into daily, so a new batch must be manually created each day. The ability to both automatically create a daily open Phone Batch, as well as automatically close the previous day’s while only a small task, removes a currently repetitive task from somebody’s day. Of course at present, this is planned, but via a cron job and wrapper script, now I could do it all in the Database.

XPath expressions, interesting, I use XPath Explorer a great standalone Java app, and Eclipse Plugin, but I guess now I can just do it at a SQL Prompt. What I’d really love to see is an XML Storage Engine.

XML Storage Engine

What about an XML Storage Engine? It would for lack of a better word be grossly inefficient, however it was more a Read/Only type structure, more you just write out a chunk of data in one go, and you always read the entire file. You don’t do partial updates (you could, but you rewrite the entire file), it leads itself to statistically information, written once only. So would it provide any benefit. Really only you have any sources of XML data and you just want to keep this information in an XML format, effectively the MySQL data file is an actual XML file that can be easily copied.

XML would allow for the files to be reused outside of MySQL directly. Using XSLT you could take these XML files for better presentation of statistical information. What other possible extensions for an XML storage engine could be possible. You could store and read RSS feeds, even OpenDoc standards as implemented by Open Office for Documents.

Would it serve any real purpose? Probably not. But with MySQL Storage Engines at least it’s easily possible.

Linux Format Reader Awards 2006

The Linux Format magazine is having it’s annual reader awards in a number of categories.

These include (I’ve include my picks after each category):

You can nominate at http://www.linuxformat.co.uk/nominate/. Nomimations close Friday 10 Feb 2006.

Adding to the Library Collection

I took the chance today to order some books from Amazon today to add to the library. Of course I’m still reading 2 current books Spring in Action and the MySQL Certification Study Guide in order to site the second MySQL Professional Certification Exam.

As with most things, you start off looking or reading on the web for something and you end up completely somewhere else. In this case, it was looking at Linux Software Labs (Australia) at the price of their Linux Distribution CD’s, which lead me to the book Beyond Java listed on their site. Called my local computer book store, but not being open (Boxing Day Public Holiday), lead me to go, “well I’ve been meaning to order some books from Amazon”, what were they again. So this lead me to coming up with a whole new list, and I figured for the cost of freight to Australia, I may as well order a few. So here is what I got.

Better, Faster, Lighter Java, MySQL (3rd Edition) (Developer’s Library) , High Performance MySQL,and of course Beyond Java.

The hard part now being the waiting 6-10 days.

Speaking at MySQL Users Group

I’m preparing to speak at the next MySQL Brisbane Users Group in Febraury 2006. My topic will be Know your competitor – A MySQL Developers Guide to Using Oracle Express Edition. You can get a full copy of my presentation slides at my Articles Page.

Having a strong background in Oracle, and having been using MySQL for the past 5 years, the release of Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE) as a Free offering (with limitations of 1 CPU, 1GB Ram, and 4GB disk) is an interesting move by Oracle.

I’ve written a number of recent comments on various Oracle/MySQL things including Responses to some Oracle v’s MySQL Questions, How can Oracle 10g Express Edition target MySQL?, Oracle 10g Express Edition Target Audience. Is it MySQL?, Oracle 10g Express, Free v’s Open Source and OFA.

The question could be posed, what relevence does this have to MySQL developers? Well, in some respects very little, but in others, both knowing about your competitor a little more, being able to see their offering, and in particular in comparision to MySQL can help in a level of understanding in Database differences. I am hoping that from the discussions, people will consider some approaches to design and development that is more “database compatible”, regardless of which database.

Will Oracle 10g Express Edition take off, well difficult question, there are many target markets, will it compete with MySQL in Open Source, hopefully my talk will sporn some discussion of peoples experiences in the various organisations and businesses represented in our meetings.

Review of Database Magazine Article – "The Usual Suspects"

In the “Australian Technology and Business Magazine” – December 2005 edition there was an article on comparing database products. Here are my comments, which I also plan to forward to the editor.

BTW: I’ve since also found this articles content on another site here. It seems that most if not all is the same.

In response to your cover story article “The Usual Suspects Four databases we suspect your business could be quite interested in.” which appeared in the December 2005 edition, I would have to sum up your article in one word “Disappointing”. Let me provide some feedback from my perspective.

You start by defining a scenario, which is the only approach you can take for a suitable comparision of database products due to diversity of features available in todays products. A good start, necessary to limit the discussion of features and functionality. However, you then specify some additional business requirements, for example “relatively small e-commerce” and “cost of the initial server and database software is certainly an issue.” Now, having worked for a number of small internet and e-commerce companies, you don’t have the budget for a Dell Quad Xeon processor machine, nor then the requirements for co-located hosting or dedicate networking bandwidth for your fancy new hardware as well as the additional staffing support costs. So immediately your scenario is more unrealistic.

The major sticking point I have is your 4 processor requirement. The most efficient and cost effective initial implementation is to lease dedicated servers, there are numerous reasons including cost savings, better hardware support, larger bandwidth capacity and easy growth path to start. You can also easily monitor growth and more quickly change needs then having a large initial hardware cost. I could continue regarding hosting, however this alone changes the requirements to using single or dual processor machines given your scenario. With this in mind the playing field is now completely different but a better reflection of the scenario. Your argument for “scale up to a small server farm”, also does not hold, because you can easily get economy of scale in splitting application server and database server, splitting OLTP and batch database requirements and other common practices, not to mention additional benefits such as redundancy.

My final comments on your hardware, specifically in relation to MySQL (including using Version 3), you can get significant performance from hardware given your small size requirements and even with modest growth on single and dual processor equipment. Other then opening remarks your article makes no further references to performance requirements or indeed any level of performance analysis of the products reviewed in this article.

You make scant reference to other database products, mentioning only one ‘Sybase’ in half a sentence in your opening and once again. In 8 pages, surely rounding the article to give a clearer perspective of the marketplace with even one paragraph to mention that there are many different database products both commercial and open source that service differing business needs. Other major products not compared at this time include Sybase, Informix, Ingres, PostgreSQL, MaxDB and Berley DB as well as many more.

Your choice of products is also not consistent or reflective of your scenerio. I’ll provide a few specific reasons. Firstly, you compare beta products against production products, if your criteria was current production products you should have compared using MS SQL Server 2000, however that would clearly provide a poor reflection in Microsoft due to it’s clearly dated product. If you allowed one beta product, why then did you not use MySQL 5.0 beta which was available at the time. While you have taken the effort to adjust your article to include references to MySQL 5.0, and you in turn choose MySQL as your editor’s choice, you should have been consistent throughout the article as you give mixed comparising referencing two versions of one product. Futher to this, you choose to use a dated Oracle product in 10g Release 1. 10g Release 2 has been available for a number of months. I would also question your decision to choose the more expensive Standard Edition over Standard Edition One, but this again could be soley due to your overspecd hardware.

If your rationale for including beta was cost based, then you did Oracle a clear injustice. You make again, only a half sentence reference to Oracle’s new released free product in the opening section. You mix more recent MySQL 5.0 information within your review of MySQL 4.1.14, yet you mention nothing of Oracle 10g Express Edition, for example it’s a free product much like Microsoft SQL Server Express, but also has similar limitation in 1 CPU, 1GB RAM and 4GB of disk but all the power and functionality of other Oracle Products, as well as default inclusion of web based administration tools with HTMLDB.

Your quick product summary (4 columns of information) suffers from a number of already mentioned points, however in relation to the only commercial product with a free offering, MS SQL Server Express, you clearly gloss over the limitations. 1 CPU, 1GB Ram and 4GB of disk is critical information, this should have been included in the product summary, you only go part the way. Regarding MySQL, should have clearly stated reference to $0 under GPL license. On that note, and mentioned in your detailed review, there are limitations in the distribution of MySQL within a commercial product and this is not in your summary.

Your article places no emphasis on performance or efficiency. Given your need to mention your testing on quad processor hardware, you make references to various limits of CPU across products, memory and hardware requirements as well as some generic maximum sizings, but nothing on performance, throughput and then growth potential, as this was part of your opening scenario.

It’s not possible to clearly date when this review of products was performed, granted the marketplace has changed rapidly in recent months, the fact that your article references Oracle 10g Express edition clearly includes changes were possible to the article in early November.

In an 8 page article, as mentioned you could have allocated one column to mention that the Database marketplace contains many more products. In particular considering you have included an Open Source product, and you selected this as product of choice, I feel this gives even more justification to at least giving credit to the emerging Open Source Database market. You actually place I recall only one mention to “Open Source” which is signifcant in the context of your choice. Other products would include PostgreSQL, Berkley DB, Apache Derby and even Ingres. While your article should clearly not need to analyse these at this time, by leading into this topic you provide clear opportunity for further discussion.

At the end of the day, while you provided a concise one page breakdown of features and certain limits, this technical information does not provide a clear benefit to an IT manager, or even a technical person.

Responses to some Oracle v's MySQL Questions

I was asked a few questions by a reporter thru a collegue, here is an extract of the discussion.

1) Based on your initial experience with Oracle Database Express Edition, what are your initial thoughts on the product in terms of meeting developer needs?

Installing Oracle 10g Express Edition was a breeze. (Article). In the past Oracle products have been more difficult to install, however this has gradually improved with the more recent version releases of 8i, 9i and 10g. This easy installation via rpm under Linux, in particular the inclusion of HTMLDB provides an ideal database environment that is functional in just a few minutes. This is an important first step in gaining initial developer support.

With the database installation, the Web Based HTMLDB Interface and a sound amount of developer articles online at the Oracle Technology Network ( http://otn.oracle.com), there is a lot of information to meet a developers need. In particular, HTMLDB which offers Database Administration, general SQL tools, easy data management and a complete web forms development environment. There is a learning curve in understanding this functionality, however it is an extensive and powerful tool for developers, and requires a minimum of syntax specific knowledge. With the release of Raptor in December, Oracle will have a visual tool for development, which will complement this offering in meeting developer needs.

2) As a mySQL developer, do you think it is on par with proprietary database offerings?

MySQL celebrated it’s 10 anniversary this year, and with the Release of MySQL 5.0, gave the open source community a product to match the strengths of others products with new functionality including views, stored procedures, triggers and a data dictionary. Oracle provided these features with Oracle Version 7, released in 1992, long before MySQL was even a company. In a commercial world, MySQL now offers the strengths of an Oracle Database Product, however Oracle has grown extensively and offers not only a commercial database product but an entire suite of products. MySQL is on par in a great number of areas. Granted they are catching up quickly, and the Open Source community offers features that commercial companies cannot. This includes the ability for open source companies to change, adapt and correct more quickly, bringing features and functionality to the marketplace more often, and more open support and knowledge bases enabling users to gain easier and open access. These two points offer downsides that commercial product offerings in turn offer back, including more commercial strength functionality, and more consistent and managed knowledge management, particularly in support.

3) Do you think the efforts of vendors like Microsoft and Oracle to gain mindshare with entry level versions of their products would entice mySQL developers like you to consider their higher-end database products?

I think that Oracle 10g Express Edition caters to different markets. For existing users and developers with Oracle, the opportunity to provide their products for resale at a reduced cost, with a zero cost Oracle license is a definite market and opportunity for these Oracle Partners. I think the education sector, including universities is another potential market, where a genuine free product can be used in teaching, and then practical application, and lead into usage within the professional employment. The third sector, the competitor market, which includes MySQL and Microsoft is more complicated. Oracle will need to go further to bridge the gap in convenience for MySQL developers. To sight a few examples, MySQL is generally available now in online hosting packages, on Linux Distros. It’s quick, easy and convinient to access, and is gaining significant popularity in the open source community, a good barometer in success in a developer driven environment. When Oracle can provide it’s products within a Linux Distro and you can see Online Hosting providers offering packages including the Oracle 10g Express Edition database, gaining market share will at least be more convenient.
One other strength, is MySQL being part of LAMP, and the significant wealth of open source products developed with MySQL, makes it hard for Oracle to ever gain ground in these continued product offerings. Perhaps if Oracle considered a bounty system, much like Ubuntu, and enticed developers to ensure Open Source products were Oracle compatible, would further entice MySQL developers. (Article)
The downside of these two examples, is there is no return in investment to Oracle, so it will depend on which markets are ultimately intended for Oracle 10g Express Edition. (Article)

4) Among the proprietary database vendors, who do you think has the best offering in your opinion, and where would mySQL fit in?

In this marketplace, there is a platitude of Database Offerings (can provide a list if you want), Oracle has always been the market leader in the commercial space, and there still is no other offering to match this. Historically, software development with databases was undertaken by IT professionals and there were a small number of commercial products available. Oracle gained a large market share in the past 20 years and has kept up with technology advancement. In the past 10 years, the Open Source community has changed the shape of the product offerings, and has also change the type of developers. There is a divide between the professional developers with qualifications and specific experience in software development in a structured development environment, and the new age of developers that have easy access to tools and information, and can easily contributed to an open source project that may have hundreds or thousands of developers worldwide, but they do at times lack solid grounding, and this can lead to bad habits. Depending on your requirements, a large commercial organisation, or a small webstore and blog, there are different needs, and you can’t therefore compare database products based solely on features. You need to include the customer requirements, as well as the ability for a database product to grow and adapt to your business in the ever changing environment.

I think in this day and age, there needs to be a tolerance between multiple database offerings within organisations. As the CIO or CTO of a large organisation, I would hope that different needs within the organisation would lead to two database products in use and synergy, both Oracle and MySQL.

How can Oracle 10g Express Edition target MySQL?

As I mentioned earlier, is MySQL a target of the new Oracle 10g Express Edition. Maybe not specifically, but let’s assume it’s on the radar screen. What can Oracle do to woe MySQL users and developers?

I see distinct marketing will be required for Oracle 10g Express Edition, marketing for example to existing partners must be different to “Competitor Marketing”. While I’m sure Oracle will now be able to get benefits from Parters trying to sell their products, now being able to reduce costs to customers (at least initially). Other partners that never considered selling developed applications due to the license cost may now reconsider.

But back onto MySQL. Oracle needs to target specific information to MySQL. OTN Technical Articles for Developers and Architects has nothing on MySQL. I can see the need for a Cookbook to attract MySQL users. The Oracle 10g Express Edition page has some information on developer docs, but not on Conversion, Migration and comparison. Some more opportunity here!

While on Migration, I attempted using the Oracle Migration Workbench to migrate my Version 5 database, without success. MySQL would be low on the agenda if a Version 5 migration was not available for a product that’s been in a pre-production release for most of 2005.

So, there is a clear need for some documentation, Quick Start Guides and How To’s for the MySQL community. Obviously being able to do a database migration also very high. But again this is not a practical application, it’s just the icing.
Until some Open Source projects actively engage in Oracle 10g Express Edition, it will always be a novelty to the MySQL community that won’t get off the ground.

I can see one way to jump start the process. Oracle could offer bounties, much like Ubuntu, to get some of the large open source projects Oracle 10g Express Edition compatible.
For example, http://www.phpbb.com, http://www.oscommerce.com, http://www.phpwebsite.appstate.edu, http://www.dotproject.net.

Now offering $200 per project, that would shake some things up!

Oracle 10g Express Edition Target Audience. Is it MySQL?

Just where is Oracle planning on targeting the new Oracle 10g Express Edition?
The obvious answer would be to counter the arch nemesis Microsoft, and the low end product offerings, like the MS SQL Server and the low end free engine MSDE. I didn’t realise to recently, that Microsoft have finally released the next version of MS SQL Server, being 2005, and at the same time provide a free cut down offering, strangely enough called “Express Edition”. It’s taken Microsoft 5 years. Makes you wonder if Database Technology is a high priority!

Is Oracle also now threatened in anyway by MySQL? I think not, however the continued growth of MySQL, it’s availability on any Linux server and in many distros, and now with the MySQL 5.0 GA release with features like Views, Triggers, Stored Procedures, Information Schema and ANSI SQL compliance allows MySQL to compare itself in features with Oracle. Certainly from our local MySQL Users Group, the inside MySQL news is it’s targeted against Microsoft.

Of course Oracle has been around for quite some time, and when I started working with Oracle 7 and Oracle Designer 1.2 back in 1996, these features were already available.

Oracle 10g Express Edition is a specialist database product from a database company, and with the wealth of knowledge that has lead the lasted version 10, everybody else has a long way to go to match this strength. From MySQL, the feature set even in Version 3 and 4, was adequate for application development in many areas, and the community is driving additional features to match other database product offerings.

I think it will be interesting to see what additional information Oracle releases targeted against the MySQL community. I’ve got a number of thoughts here, will post more details soon.

Oracle 10g Express, Free v's Open Source and OFA

In lunching with an old Oracle Friend, the topic turned to Oracle 10g Express Edition, and we discussed the pros and cons for organisations. The first thing he asked me was, “Have you tried loading the database larger then the 4G limit yet”. Some People?

In general the consensus seemed that it was viable for a small organisation, good for a startup company to get into a no cost entry solution, but appealing to those venture capitalists as you have a definite growth pattern.

I’m warming to more actively pursing Oracle 10g Express Edition, especially with HTMLDB, and at present while preparing to submit a paper for an upcoming Open Source conference which I hope is accepted, I’ve allocated some time on the significant topic of Open Source Verses Free. Stay tuned.

It dawned on me later in the day to more closely investigate the Oracle RPM installation and where exactly everything went in the FileSystem. I was surprised that it was not OFA compliant.

What if an existing Oracle customer with licenses was trialling Oracle 10g Express Edition and using the same staff.
Or more importantly, what if a new Oracle person picked up some bad habits from the Oracle 10g Express Edition, and when placed in a more commercial Oracle DBA environment got caught out?

I’m a Database Modeler, I’ve studied it, and I’ve practiced it, I’ve applied it and I’ve learnt some things from time to time of other “experts”, but nowadays, you put a database in somebody’s hands, like MySQL which is readily available, and all of a sudden you have people claiming to know and understand database design. Food for thought.

I hope from this new Oracle 10g Express product, also comes some good support from the Oracle Community to ensure a high standard in all things databases.

MySQL 5 differences

Just a note, while MySQL provide a list of Version 5 Features (Official Data Sheet), I’ve so far found a few small things.

mysql> DESC [table], the Null column now shows NO when it was blank

When you grant ALL to a user, it’s gets CREATE VIEW privilege, but when upgrading, you have to manually specify the privilege for previous users that had grant ALL>

Some OUTER JOINS no longer work

MySQL 5 Production Release

MySQL has offically released Version 5 (5.0.15).

Just installed over the RC (5.0.13) and restarted had my development machine working fine, however now I need to more closely investigate 2 complicated queries with Outer Joins that no longer work between 4 and 5, and 2 update queries that have crashed my 5.0.13 install.

The following steps were used to upgrade from 4 to 5.0.13

MYSQL=mysql-standard-5.0.13-rc-linux-i686
cp $MYSQL.tar.gz /opt
cd /opt
tar xvfz $MYSQL.tar.gz
/etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql stop
ps -ef | grep mysql
rm -f mysql
ln -s $MYSQL mysql
cp -r $OLD/data/ mysql

du mysql/data

chown -R root /opt/mysql
chown -R mysql /opt/mysql/data
chgrp -R mysql /opt/mysql
chown -R root /opt/mysql/bin
/etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql start
ps -ef | grep mysql

/opt/mysql/bin/mysql_fix_privilege_tables –basedir=/opt/mysql –password=******

mysql -uroot -p mysql
show tables;

Brisbane MySQL Users Group

By accident I came across a MySQL Users Group in Brisbane .http://mysql.meetup.com/84/. I guess I should have thought about it sooner, I go to the QLD Java Users Group, I spent a long time going to the Oracle Users Group, and have been involved in an XP Users group.

Anyway, it was great to meet with other MySQL users, meet some local MySQL staff, get some inside news of events and products.
There was also a presentation on Ruby, yet another scripting language. The software creator had however introduced some nice features including build-in Unit Tests with the release, easy inspection of class methods, easy extensibility of system classes. The langauge architecture was very inteperative, based in C, however all system functions are provided and run from Ruby source.