My Ideas for MySQL Camp III

Diary: January 21st 2008 – Martin Luther King Day (Day doctor’s practices are closed BTW.)

“I have a dream”, poetic . Actually I have thumping 5 day straight headache but that’s another story.

I have a dream for MySQL Camp III. A 48 hour Global Hackfest. I ran this by Jay over Thanksgiving, to get back to more the purpose of the Camp, for hackers, coders and the very experience to get to together to share their skills, and for those at the top of our respective game to learn just a little more. MySQL Camp II was a success to attendees in general, but of little value to the experts.

I hope to get us middle to advanced ground. Here is an overview.

  • 48 hour event
  • Say 12pm Friday GMT to 12pm Sunday GMT
  • Global meeting points of two or more to work together, sleep, eat and play together (in fact the goal is not to attend alone, you should really try to get to at least the closest person that’s also attending, it’s designed to be a distributed group event)
  • 4 key areas
    • Getting Starrted. Getting the code, understanding the basics of compiling – Linux, Mac OS/X and Windoze. CLI & IDE debugging options
    • A&D. Analysis of problems, selected bugs, existing patches etc, reviewing procedures, documentation requirements, important of test plans etc. Laying down a plan on what’s going to happen, how long it’s going to take etc.
    • Doing it. Taking a working developer environment, and a set plan, and executing to completion
    • Reviewing it. Getting an insite into MySQL and how bug fixes, community contributions etc are submitted, reviewed, proposed and received
  • I would anticipate we would run say 2 or 3 tracks of these 4 points, so we would repeat stuff, perhaps a different problem, but this enables you to get a real grip, as well as cater for the 24hr cycle.
  • I could see the Doing it interesting, perhaps depending on attendees either a mentor process where a code guru could instruct some youngerlings, or multiple teams working in parallel on the same problem, a little bit of competition.
  • Code base line version and list of bugs/features to be looked at to be pre-determined, so we have a clear structure during the event. This will be proposal format, and may include for example back porting patches for example.
  • We will definitely be having some prizes and some fun, it’s going to be one of those work to 3am in the morning weekends regardless of where you live.

I expect to run this format of MySQL Camp twice, the first to work out any serious problems. I had hoped in November last year to get this before UC2008, fat chance, but I’m proposing a MySQL UC2008 a BOF on the subject.

I had spoken with good friend Farshan Mashraqi that had done some good Sun webinars recently and he was seeking a contact to see if Sun could donate the time/bandwidth for the electronic component or even sponsor. (This was clearly discussed late last year) Seems now this may be easier, or harder with Sun’s involvement.

I have a lot more details, but I want to get this out there into the world, and get some feedback first.
I’d like people’s feedback. Here are 5 questions to start with.

  1. Do you think it’s a good idea?
  2. Would you attended/participate?
  3. Could you contribute in some why? What?
  4. The one thing that appeals the most on the concept?
  5. The one thing that appeals the least/lacks/needs on the concept?


  1. says

    Hi Ronald,

    I like the general idea, but I wonder what the point would be? There is plenty of hacking going on without a global hackfest, and MySQL is not accepting the patches (or at least not nearly fast enough to make a global hackfest worthwhile). Unless you’re fixing important bugs which are currently open — but in that case you’re a) doing work for MySQL for free; b) likely duplicating work that someone else is doing; and c) not getting paid for rather boring work.

    So, I see your vision for the event itself. What’s your vision for the results of the event?



  2. says

    Very good point, Jeremy. The current blockages in the contributions pipeline first must be resolved before this is a (fun) exercise in futility. Unless of course, the hacking will be done on MySQL ecosystem projects like Maatkit or DorsalSource or something?


  3. says

    Well, it’s not necessarily about extending the source code. I could see a lot of value in getting together to hack on lua scripts for mysql proxy, for example.

    I think that a bofh at the conference is a good idea — there, you can get ideas of things to hack *on*, and then have team leads that would “organize” that “hack room”. For instance, let’s say I want to get hacking on a proxy script to deal with some security & auditing functions — I can organize that hack room, and anyone that wants to hack on that can. In addition, there can be a meta “proxy hack room” where people can hack and ask questions. For instance, if someone has a personal script they want to develop, they can hang out on an IRC channel called “#proxyhack” and ask general questions like ‘how do I make a substring with proxy?’

    That way we can have appropriate tutorials for appropriate rooms, to start.

    Ask Dossy how he runs his hackfests: — he does them every Monday, which I assume can be useful for “hey let’s hack this up! OK, see you Monday then!”. I think the secret is having some pre-organization….that’s not to say that someone can’t come in and say “hey anyone wanna hack replication binlog-do-db so it uses real objects, not just what db you’re in?” and redirect a few people *during* the event….