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April 26, 2007

2007 MySQL Conference Comes to a Close

And just like that the 2007 MySQL Conference is over and folks are on their way back home, or off to vacations, or whatever comes next.

It has been a great week hearing how others are using technology to build good things. It has also been good to meet folks and have good conversation sharing ideas about what works, what doesn't work, and how to change things so they will work.

MySQL is in a really good place right now. I commented to more than one person that it is impressive the kinds of folks who are driving their business/application with MySQL and came to talk about it. These include (in no order) YouTube, digg, flickr, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Google, NASA, US Navy, SugarCRM, TicketMaster, and more. It is hard to beat that list when it comes to proof that a technology is viable.

Here's to another good year of pushing the LAMP stack and open source to wider use and acceptance.

Posted by mike at 8:22 PM

Pasha Sadri: Yahoo! pipes

Closing keynote of the 2007 MySQL Conference is Pasha Sadri from Yahoo! talking about pipes.

Pasha starts with a story about looking for an apartment near a park (this happened to him a few years ago). It was very tedious to go looking on Craigslist every hour clicking on every apartment and looking to see if the apartment was near a park.

Made a 50-line Perl script to merge database between Craigslist and Yahoo! local to get data sets. This turned into Yahoo! pipes which provides a visual editor to take data sources and create a set of controls over that data source and output the data in a certain way.

If you haven't seen pipes it is hard to describe, but very cool.

For design, pipes relied heavily on the idea of Unix pipes. The goal to have as many inputs as possible, and provide any output (RSS, badges, HTML, end user applications). There are a ton of processing tools, but they are also looking to allow end users to stick web services in as a processing step.

Pasha shows some cool end uses of pipes. One is a chat tool in SecondLife that uses pipes to translate the chat conversion real-time.

The conclusion includes a point about disposable applications that is interesting. The idea is that with pipes you can create an application to do something like finding apartments near a park and once you find the apartment you can throw it away.

Pipes uses MySQL as a database, squid for caching, PHP/Perl for serving/processing the pipes.

Posted by mike at 6:47 PM

Post-Talk Thoughts about INFORMATION_SCHEMA

There were a few interesting comment themes that came up in the INFORMATION_SCHEMA talk I gave this morning at the 2007 MySQL Conference:

  1. To my point about not getting too crazy about extending the I_S, an attendee who is passionate about SQL standards made the point that the I_S standard specifically mentions that is can/should be extended. Excellent news.
  2. There are some serious questions about performance of the I_S tables. More than one attendee commended during and after that the I_S isn't a viable option for them because of how slow it responds when trying to get data.
  3. The sample in the presentation didn't show using the conditions, but it is possible for an I_S fill_* function to use the conditions on the query. (I'll have to look and see if this is being done anywhere).

So while I think I provided a lot of information on how to use I_S, how to make your own I_S tables, and what is coming with pluggable I_S, I left with a lot of questions to ponder.

Posted by mike at 3:36 PM

Paul Tuckfield: Scaling MySQL at YouTube

Listening to Paul Tuckfield talk about YouTube's use of MySQL at the 2007 MySQL User Conference.

YouTube's web stuff is Python and Memcache. Database is MySQL with some serious replication. 100M views in a day happened in July 2006 but it is actually looks like it has more than doubled since then according to a graph that Paul showed.

Started with the replication setup with a single master for writes and many slaves for reads. Moved to a system where specific pages are pulled from specific replicas.

One of the important lessons they learned. When upgrading to 5.0 from 4.1 they had some of the servers perform much better than that others. Turned out that if they dump ed and then reimported the data the server performed much better. When moving to 5.0 if the tables are rebuilt they use a more compact data storage and gets better performance.

Paul spends some time talking about the RAID cache, filesystem cache, and database cache and making sure that they don't get in the way of performance. With a database cache the RAID and filesystem cache mostly get in the way for both reads and writes.

Paul's presentation works it's way up a graph of videos served over time. He highlighting some of the points on the graph where the system plateaus or drops off and what was happening with the DB at the time and how they got past it.

Note: Paul's presentation didn't end with the conclusion of the keynote. There is quite a "following" outside the conference hall listening to him go into more detail on the work at YouTube. I guess it continued beyond that by the group migrating to the breakfast area.

Posted by mike at 11:25 AM

Slides for Creating INFORMATION_SCHEMA Tables

This morning I'll be giving my session on hacking MySQL to create INFORMATION_SCHEMA tables. The presentation starts by talking about the what and how of INFORMATION_SCHEMA and then goes through an example of creating your own I_S to show how much space your data files are taking on the disk.

I have a copy of Pro MySQL and Expert MySQL to give away during the session.

The slides are here.

Posted by mike at 9:17 AM

April 25, 2007

Federation at Flickr: Doing Billions of Queries a Day

Listening to Dathan Pattishall talk about flickr at the 2007 MySQL User Conference. Dathan worked at AuctionWatch in 1999, then in 2003 worked at Friendster, now at Flickr.

Flickr was unable to keep up with demand. Replication was not working, too much slave lag. They came up with some requirements. Needed to support a write intensive site with multiple masters. There should be no single point of failures. Need to have real-time maintenance and be able to serve pages extremely fast.

At AuctionWatch they put folks on separate boxes. At Friendster they had an algorithm that spread folks across many machines. At Flickr they use federation, which is made up of shards, a global ring, and logic to connect shards.

Shards are a slice of a main database. Flickr uses active master-master replication but externalizing the auto increment process.

The global ring is a lookup ring used for data that can't be federated. Knows where stuff is.

When you click a favorite. Pull owner id is pulled from the cache to determine shard location (shard 5), my id is also pulled from the cache (shard 13). A distributed transaction then connects to the shards, adds the information, and commits.

The users are put onto the machine that contains their shard so as they make comments, upload photos etc in real time without seeing the replication lag as data goes to another machine.

During normal operation the shards are used at 50% capacity. When they need to do maintenance they move load onto fewer shards, which increases usage up to 70-80% while doing maintenance.

A typical flickr page is 30 queries. Some old data shows about 35,000 queries per section, spikes of 3 billion queries per day.

As far as hardware. They use EMT64 running RHEL4. 16GB of RAM and 6 x 15K disks RAID 10. They currently have 12TB of user meta-data in the InnoDB which does not count photos. Each shard might contain up to ~120 GB of data.

MySQL 5.0 is used for auxiliary data (logs) and generating ticket ids (for auto increment). They are on 4.1 for everything else.

They allow 400 connections per server in a shard. With two servers in a shard that means a maximum of 800 connections for the whole shard.

Meta-data is stored in the database, the photos are stored on a filer which is in multiple data centers.

Posted by mike at 12:35 PM

Funding: DotCom vs Today

This morning as I was driving over to the MySQL conference I thought about something Guy Kawasaki said yesterday. He said that one indicator of a sketchy VC-seeking group is if their proposal includes a large chunk of money for database licenses ("a million dollars"). The idea was that if you're building a new product there's a better chance of funding if you use something like MySQL and don't have to spend a lot of the investment on your database.

Flash back to mid to late 90s. From my limited experience this was opposite. The company I worked for was using Oracle for one reason, because it made them look serious when talking to funders. It meant that we were serious about scalability and poised to handle the heavy click loads. (The ironic thing is that we weren't. The application fell flat on it's face during even minimal loads, mostly because of the application architecture).

Another of the hundreds of reasons why the DotCom era fell to pieces.

Posted by mike at 10:20 AM

Bdale Bargee: Citizenship - Open Source Comunity Rewards and Responsibilities

Listening to Bdale Garbee, the Open Source & Linux Chief Technologist at HP, at the 2007 MySQL Conference.

Bdale helps HP pick the clever things to do the maximize how they can help open source software.

What is community? Might be towns, schools, churches, sports teams, volunteer organizations. The internet made a new type of community. Folks with common interest but are dispersed geographically can now be a community.

Bdale talks a lot about the Linux community and contributions and how things have evolved over the years.

HP sells and ships a new server every 11 seconds. Based on they percentate of Linux servers that sell, they ship a Linux server every minute.

Posted by mike at 9:58 AM

Clash of the Database Egos

The second "keynote" of Wednesday morning at the 2007 MySQL Conference is Kaj Arno refereeing a conversation between a number of "database egos." Since MySQL has a number of storage engines there are a handful of folks who have founded major database technology efforts that can be used from MySQL.

Monty Widenius: Co-founder of MySQL [answers a lot of the typical quesitons about how MySQL started].

Heikki Tuuri: created InnoDB. Worked for Solid and then went to University and decided to start with something new. Monty convinced him to open source.

Mikael Ronstrom: Father of 5 children and creator of MySQL Cluster. Came from Ericcson.

Jim Starkey: Father of many databases, most recently the Falcon storage engine.

Ari Valtanen: CTO of Solid Information Technology.

Paul Whittington: Father of NitroDB. High speeds, large volumes. Magic with using the index. Analytical queries can get data directly from the indexes. Added

Mike Smith: IBM.

Kaj asks "provocative" questions to the db egos to try to get them going. The API conversation is pretty mild. The conversation about ACID compliance gets a little more interesting.

What would you like to see on the Wikipedia? Heikki says "Wikipedia runs on InnoDB!"

Keynote ends with Kaj honoring Monty and designating him as the first MySQL Fellow. Standing ovation for Monty.

Posted by mike at 9:45 AM

Eben Moglen: Freedom Businesses Protect Privacy

The first keynote of Wednesday morning at MySQL Conf 2007 is Even Moglen, a professor at Columbia currently on leave, serving as the Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center.

Eben describes some of the very early ways that information and experiences were captured. He talks about the mind as the place where experiences were stored. Pictures in the mind are kept as a part of our memory.

Privacy is not just the big secret you have that you don't want anyone to know. Identity theft is not just someone knowing four pieces of information. The loss of privacy people looking at your data and inferring what you will do next. The powerful organizations of the future will be able to aggregate.

Your browsing history used to be in the browser. Now it is a service. You give all of your browsing history to someone else who provides your history to you but then requires you to give them premission and ownership of making inferences from your browsing history.

This will replace broadcasting. It will provide capability to bring you advertising when you need id. Things like your contacts, payments, photo library, shared video preferences, Amazon wishlists will make this possible. Spam is getting good. It is getting better and better at targeting Eben and knowing things he's genuinely interested in.

Research shows that younger kids are more aware of privacy issues on MySpace and Facebook than adults thinks they are.

Eben proposes one solution might be to store this data ourselves. The technologoly of memory isn't the problem, it's the solution of where we put that data. Should we have a pack-it-in, pack-it-out solution on digital data? Is it OK to hire data sherpas to get us to the top of Everest?

Free software is very important. Collectively we build this. We decide how much privacy we want. We decide how memory determines social power.

"Do no evil" might be true now, but down the road it is not possible to tell how the collection of all of this data will impact our society.

Posted by mike at 8:58 AM

April 24, 2007

Mission Critical Flight Planning Applications at the US Navy

Christine Vota is talking at the 2007 MySQL Conference about the US Navy using MySQL.

The session starts with an introduction from a MySQL sales engineer, Craig Sylvester, about how MySQL is used in government. Los Almos lab, the US Census Bureau and NASA all use MySQL for some part of their operations.

Christine's presentaition starts with a video about the operation of a Navy aircraft carrier. Maintenance, fuel, weather conditions, flightdeck plans etc all have to be tracked and shown all around the ship. The subject of the film is a new computerized flight deck and operations management system. Instead of having multiple systems around the ship it is all centralized into one repository.

For deployment they needed no single point of failure. Complete reduncancy. Needs to have minimal hardware physical footprint. They were looking for an alternative to a legacy database. They found MySQL and one other in-memory database. They did a MySQL jump-start and got the cluster up. They got a smaller application up and running on the cluster and it passed all of their failure checks so they went with MySQL.

An aircraft carrier has a 4-node cluster running. It runs on Linux, which is additional training because the systems folks on the team were primarily Windows and other Unix flavors. There were still some concerns. Lack of foreign keys, database sequences, missing varchar datatype, case sensitivity and consultant recommendation to not alter tables.

They were able to work around all of the issues. They installed a pre-Alpha version of Windows-based cluster management node.

It has been running for over a year 24/7. Haven't had any performance issues. She closes with a statement from the Navy about using MySQL.

Pretty cool (if you believe in MySQL) to think about aircraft carriers sailing around the globe with MySQL Cluster running.

Posted by mike at 6:04 PM

Professional Cat Herding: A FOSS Community Panel

I'm sitting in a session at the 2007 MySQL Conference where a handful of open source organizations are discussing working with communities. It is being facilitated by Jay Pipes, Community Relations Manager for MySQL.

Jay: What are the big Issues for your organization?

Zend: 3 big topics...2 of them security. The issues are security and frameworks. There are 99 frameworks.

SugarCRM: SugarForge (around 2 years old) has 300+ projects with millions of downloads. The issue is to make sure these extensions are secure and will work well with SugarCRM. Project certification is something they are thinking about. A new platform is coming to make module development even easier.

Pentahoo: Collaboration and making it efficient and valuable. There are around 75-100 folks participating.

Eclipse: Biggest challenge is segmentation. For example, who should Eclipse.org target? Should it be small list of committers, the larger group (hundreds of thousands) of member developers building on Eclipse, or the millions of end users. Also see a wide spectrum of belief in open source that makes it difficult to know how to present information. Some have open source as a strategy and others

MySQL: up to this point MySQL has really focused on users who are building *on* MySQL but are now making steps to include community in development efforts.

Jay: It is difficult to direct the community in a certain direction. What are the steps we can take to focus a community on doing something?

Eclipse: We don't pick winners. Don't try to recruit who they predict are going to be the leaders in the community on a certain technology. Create opportunities to have discussions.

Jay: Are there ways to control conflicts?

Pentahoo: Are higher up the stack so the conversations aren't religious debates. They are mostly companies that just need something. The architects spend time resolving commits.

SugarCRM: The community is a bunch of businesses, the developers are within the business. SugarCRM backs off. They try to maintain good relationships with key members because they carry a lot of weight.

Attendee: How do you folks get paid?

MySQL: Additional services. The licensing for enterprise is a lot of the business.

Pentahoo: Subscription model for support and indemnification.

SugarCRM Commercial open source. The open source project is free but there's a commercial product with more functionality. They have mostly open source users but find that a lot of folks want to upgrade.

Zend: Sell tools and offer professional services.

Jay: Is there a way that these various communities, knowledge, and resources could be better integrated?

Zend: Developers are a part of the community where they have the most focus. They tend to drop off areas where they don't have an immediate need.

General comment is that there should be RSS feeds from the various planets being picked up from the other planets and filtered accordingly.

Pentahoo: Perhaps get some kind of a credential or certificate that can be used across different organizations.

Jay: What kind of barriers are there that could be removed to foster better contributing?

Attendee feedback: Add single-signon (use OpenID) across various planets. Create a page with instructions for how to generate a patch and submit. Decide on a uniform patch format.

Posted by mike at 5:41 PM

Technology at digg.com

Listening to Elliott White III (Eli) and Tim Ellis (Time) talk about technology at the 2007 MySQL Conference. As expected, a packed session.

Eli is the Senior PHP dude, Time is the DBA.

Initially started with Apache 1.3 and PHP 4.x. Used MyIsam and MySQL full text search. Then moved to multiple servers, Apache 2.x, MySQL Innodb, PHP 5, and memcached. Are now using Lucene with solar for search. Currently around 100 machines, 30 databases and the rest serve other functions. 9 memcached machines running on the db slaves. Right now around 30 gigs of data. XSF for user interface stuff (millions of user images). ext3 for other things.

Many PHP servers behind a load balancer. Many MySQL slaves talking to a master. Randomize connections between PHP servers to MySQL connections.

Memcached is used heavily for caching chunks of content. You can't cache the entire page because it almost entirely customized for the user. There are issues to consider with memcached data how to failover and to handle things like when a memcached server goes down and then comes back up but has older data.

With MySQL, the first thing the DBA did was to bring in memcached to offload some of the works from MySQL. Then they started breaking databases into smaller ones (sharding) in order to get better performance. It makes it harder to do things in SQL because the data is in separate places.

Types of sharding:

This is like partitioning, but partitioning wasn't available at the time.

digg uses MySQL 5.0.32 on Debian. Their engine type is InnoDB (recoveres very quickly on a crash).

Current challenges:

Posted by mike at 12:01 PM

One Laptop Per Child

Another great keynote at the 2007 MySQL User Conference is Michael Evans form RedHat talking about the One Laptop Per Child project. Pretty incredible the things they are doing.

Michael makes a lot of great points, I think this video sums it up nicely:

Posted by mike at 10:25 AM

Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Innovation

Listening to Guy Kawasaki speaking on the Art of Innovation at the 2007 MySQL Conference. Guy worked for Steve Jobs as the Macintosh software evangelist from 84 to 87 (in the Macintosh division) trying to help people build software. Apple II was making all of the money and Mac spending it all.

Guy is now a VC, trying to find folks running great companies in their garage.

Top 10 format for being innovative:

  1. Make meaning. The greatest motivator. Steve Wozniak was motivated by the desire to change the world. Do not tell VCs you want to "make money." You attract the wrong kind of people. [cool Nike ad about woman and how she is measured]
  2. Make a mantra (not a mission statement). A mission statement is made at a fancy hotel with a golf course. It will take 2 days, facilitated by an outside consultant who is hired because no upper-management can communicate. 1st day is building team with physical exercises. 2nd day 60 people are in attendance and each person. [shows the Wendy's mission statement] A mantra is the reason you exist. Nike is "Authentic athlentic performance", Wendy's is "Healthy fast food". To generate a mission statement go to the Dilbert Mission Statement generator.
  3. Get to the next curve - don't just think in terms of the next increment of your product, think how to get onto the future curve of that
  4. Role the DICEE. Deep (shows the Reef sandal that has a bottle opener). Inntelligent (shows Panasonic flashlight that takes three sizes of battery). Complete (shows Lexus with support). Elegant (iPod nano). Emotive (Harley Davidson - nobody feels neutral to HD, you have a feeling about them).
  5. Don't worry, be crappy. If it is relevant it is OK to be crappy. The original Mac was pretty crappy when it came to interaction with other folks and expense. Ship and then test. Don't ship total crap, ship stuff that has elements of crappiness but has jumped the curve.
  6. Polarize people. Don't be afraid to. TiVo is an example. Advertisers hate them.
  7. Let a hundred flowers blossom. Be happy that people not in your target audience are buying. Ask them why and give them more reasons. Apple might have died back in the 80s because they were totally focused on spreadsheets. PageMaker came along and saved them.
  8. Churn, baby, churn. Do not keep shipping the same crappy stuff...keep upgrading your versions.
  9. Niche yourself. You want to be high and to the right on your graph, but the axis has to be labelled correctly. "Ex-Google employees" on the vertical and "driving German cars" on the horizontal is not a good graph to be on the right. The vertical should be "unique product or service", the horizontal should be "value to customer." A few examples are the Smart Car, LG Kimchi Refridgerator.
  10. Follow the 10/20/30 rule for pitching. 10 minutes for setup, leave 20 minutes for discussion, 30 point font.
  11. Don't let the bozos grind you down. One bozo is a smelly slob that tells you it can't be done. Tell them they are a loser. The more dangerous bozo is rich and famous, supposedly smart person that tells you it can't be done. Guy was the latter kind of bozo. He turned down a job as CEO of Yahoo! when they were just starting. Could have been worth $1B now. He didn't see that it was on the next curve of technology.

Read Guy's blog.

Posted by mike at 9:55 AM

Marten Mikos: The Participatory and Disruptive Spirit of the Dolphin

Tuesday morning at the 2007 MySQL Conference kicks off with Marten Mikos.

Marten talks about the shift from packaged, closed-source software running on commodity hardware. Today the most advanced companies are providing on-demand service, built with open source software, running on commodity hardware.

Open source disrupts inefficient models and produces new wealth (don't kill the messenger, open source is just a response to the market). It attracts the brightest developers, serves the fastest growing businesses, venture capital, and more.

Marten talks about amateurs vs. professionals and that the historical context of amateurs. The original meaning of the term amateurs

MySQL (the company) must be aware of innovation...both from internal and external sources.

Robin Schumaker steps up for a few minutes to demonstrate the MySQL Monitoring and Advisory service. Falcon is being built to expand the information available on the monitoring service.

Marten shows a slide with a scale of uptime requirements starting with three 9's working up to five 9's. At the botom end of the scale is the community edition (hmmm, that probably warrants some additional comments) and it moves up to the MySQL HA Cluster.

MySQL has employees in nearly 30 companies, 70% work from home in 100 major locations.

How do they run a company like this:

To be a disruptive business you find a smarter way to produce and distribute. Serve the underserved, keep it simple, and innovate to provide more convenience. You need to make money.

"We will not sue you to download our software and our product documentation without limits."

Some very interesting numbers about who is using MySQL.

Presentation ends with the award ceremony.

Posted by mike at 9:30 AM

April 23, 2007

DreamHost runs MySQL 5.0.x

Maybe this is not unique, I haven't spent anya lot of time looking through hosting companies with respect to the version of MySQL available. I was happy t see this morning as I was following along with the Vital Rails tutorial:

Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1193499 to server version: 5.0.24a-standard-log

Posted by mike at 12:15 PM

Vital Rails: An Introduction ot the Ruby on Rails Framework

First session on Monday morning at the 2007 MySQL Conference is Joe O'Brien (who's title is "artisan") giving a tutorial on Rails.

I've fiddled with Ruby over the past year and have run through the process of setting up Rails and "generating" a scaffolding but it never gets much farther than a simple page or few simple pages with very basic functionality. I'm hoping this will be a good jumpstart to move things along even if it covers a lot of what I know already.

Interesting...Joe starts by talking about the DHH Creating a weblog in 15 minutes screencast and says "if you've seen it, forget it". The video makes Ruby on Rails looks like it is about code generation or templates. It is not about that.

Joe dives right into talking about Ruby and its roots in Smalltalk and Lisp and looks at some of the language features. He then shows the Rails structure.

Joe then digs into ActiveRecord (makes sense for a MySQL Conference).

[The session has now turned into a very hands-on session where we're writing a database access program in pure Ruby looking very closely as SQL and various ways to construct DDL and other queries using Ruby. A good thing for a MySQL Conference.]

The tutorial then turns in the exact direction I need. Joe starts with a blank directory and runs the rails generator and starts looking at where to go from there. I've gotten to this point a few times and have struggled with what to do with the seemingly endless dump of directories and files.

A few places to look for stuff: peepcode.com, Pragmatic Programmers, Agile Web Development with Rails and The Ruby Way. Ruby Forge has a lot of good information. Caboo.se has a good weblog and a collaborative documentation project that looks pretty cool. The documentation for Rails has suffered since pre-1 versions so this is good.

There's an Enterprise Rails conference coming as well.

All of Joe's files that were used for the demo are up here.

Posted by mike at 11:19 AM

2007 MySQL Conference Underway

It is hard to believe a year has passed since the last MySQL Conference. It also seems like so much has happened since then.

From a community perspective one major difference from last year is how many of the active community members have become MySQL employees in the last year. Congratulations to all the folks who joined the force.

It is good to see all of these familiar faces, and to meet new ones. The speakers lounge was buzzing with activity, and the conference halls will be shortly as things get rolling.

Posted by mike at 11:06 AM

April 20, 2007

Red Sox Season Ticket Wait List Update

I've gotten some comments and email over the past year from folks asking questions about the status as a member of the Red Sox Season Ticket Wait List. I get periodic messages from the Red Sox ticket office with special deals that I haven't posted about.

Today I got an official update from the Red Sox Ticket Office on my status as a "valued member of our Season Ticket Waiting List."

The letter provides everything I would want to know. For many years there was 100% renewal of season tickets and no wait list members were offered season tickets. Prior to the 2007 season there were a number of 10-game packages offered to people on the wait list.

Those offered season tickets this year joined the season ticket waiting list between December 2003 and September 2004.

The letter also confirms my membership start date, June 30th, 2006.

So, if each year opens up enough season tickets to process about 1 year of waiting folks, we could theoretically be in the batch to get season tickets staring with the 2009 season. The information I've gotten in the past suggests that this can be seriously accelerated or delayed depending on the success of the team and renovations (adding new seats). Obviously a World Series team garners more season ticket renewals.

I have no idea about the growth rate of the list either. I imagine a lot of folks joined in the end of 2004 and in 2005 after winning the World Series. That will set us back.

Posted by mike at 12:28 PM

April 6, 2007

Saying No Isn't Easy, but It Feels Good

I've been struggling with this for a long time, the desire to accept whatever opportunity arises. Over the past few months I've said no to a number of folks and opportunities that I probably would have said yes to a year ago.

Why?

It might not be much to take something extra on when life is moving along calmly (by which I mean a full-time day job and a family with 3 kids) and an opportunity pops up every now and then. It becomes more complex when those opportunities get closer together, and very complicated when they start to overlap. The trouble with me is that I continue to say yes even as they start to overlap and in the end I have to nearly kill myself to meet multiple obligations.

This has led to a lot of thought about my time and where it is best spent. I find that it is pretty obvious to me if I'm doing something that feels worth my time.

It doesn't make it easy to say no, there are some things I've said no to that I'm still wondering about. But it does feel good to not be under the strain of many obligations.

Posted by mike at 9:00 AM

All Systems Go for MySQL Conference

In a few weeks I'm headed out to my 4th MySQL Conference. Typically I get all my travel/lodging set up way in advance but this year is different and I just got the last piece into place today. Yikes!

I haven't had much time this year for pre-conference MySQL posts, which tend to get more frequent leading up to the conference. I guess there is still two full weeks to get back into groove before I head out.

I'm looking forward to the conference for a few reasons (in no particular order):

I am interested to see what the feeling is this year, as it is the first post-Community/Enterprise -split conference. Will the balance between open source and business have shifted one way or another? Will these nagging thoughts get stronger, or be somehow be satisfied?

I'll see you there (except for the folks who I won't).

Posted by mike at 8:45 AM