It's the time of the year again: You have 2 more weeks to submit a great proposal to the biggest and baddest MySQL Conference: Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo 2013 (Santa Clara). Like many things in the MySQL community, this conference has also gone through a transformation over the past 3 years. But last year the growing pains and uncertainty ended with Percona putting up a great show. Attendance was up again (over 1000) and there was a sense of energy and excitement for the future of MySQL. If you are like me and like to dwell in nostalgia (so that you can get into the right mood for submitting great proposals) my coverage of last year's conference is found here: part 1, part 2. (If you don't care about the nostalgia, remember that speakers get into the conference for free!)
This is the second and final part of my notes from the MySQL conference. In this part I'll focus on the technical substance of talks I saw, and didn't see.
More than ever before I was a contributor rather than attendee at this conference. Looking back, this resulted in seeing less talks than I would have wanted to, since I was speaking or preparing to speak myself. Sometimes it was worse than speaking, for instance I spent half a day picking up pewter goblets from an egnravings shop... (congratulations to all the winners again :-) Luckily, I can make up for some of that by going back and browse their slides. This is especially important whenever 2 good talks are scheduled in the same slot, or in the same slot when I was to speak. So I have categorized topics here along various axes, but also along the "things I did see" versus "things I missed" axis.
My own talks
I have finally recovered from my trip to Santa Clara enough that I can scribble down some notes from this year's MySQL Conference. Writing a travel report is part of the deal where my employer covers the travel expense, so even if many people have written about the conference, I need to do it too. And judging from the many posts for instance from Pythian's direction, Nokia is perhaps not the only company with such a policy?
There has usually always been something that can be called a "soft keynote". Pirate Party founder Rick Falckvinge speaking at a database conference is a memorable example (I still keep in touch with him, having met him at the Hyatt Santa Clara). This year there was one less day, and therefore less keynotes. The soft keynote was therefore taken care of by Baron using some time out of Peter's opening keynote. Baron's talk was an ode to the conference itself, underscoring the meaning of the conference beyond just learning about technology. Sharing his own journey from a numb ASP.NET coder ("a good day at the office was when I changed a table based layout to pure CSS ...but nobody else seemed to care.") to his role today, he challenged people to network, make new friends and new revolutionary ideas. To me, it was a great opening keynote (and quite obviously would have made less sense on the last day of the conference). The talk, including Peter's part, is available on Percona.TV.
Oh boy, I'm starting to feel the stress of having to prepare a little bit of this and a little bit of that for the upcoming MySQL User Conference (Santa Clara, April 10 to 13). But I wanted to also jump on this meme and list a few sessions I definitively want to attend:
I'm speaking, so I suppose I need to attend:
- How to evaluate which MySQL High Availability solution best suits you. This 3 hour tutorial I'm co-presenting with Ben Mildren, a former Nokia collague who now works with Pythian.
An annual tradition of the upcoming MySQL user conference is the awards ceremony. Last year we introduced the opportunity for everyone in the community to nominate candidates and this was a big success. Now is the time to start nominating deserving winners for the awards for 2012, in the 3 categories named below.
The winners will be selected by a community panel (see below) and winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 11th at the Santa Clara Convention Center, as part of the evening Community Reception.
Please send in your suggestions for deserving winners
no later than: 23:59 Sunday February 29th (Pacific time)
Usually people do this around New Year, I will do it in February. Actually, I was inspired to do this after reviewing all the talks for this year's MySQL Conference - what a snapshot into the state of where we are! It made me realize we've made important progress in the past year, worth taking a moment to celebrate it. So here we go...
In the past few years there was a lot of fear and doubt about MySQL due to Oracle taking over the ownership. But if you ask me, I was more worried for MySQL because of MySQL itself. I've often said that if MySQL had been a healthy open source project - like the other 3 components in the LAMP stack - then most of the NoSQL technologies we've seen come about would never have been started as their own projects, because it would have been more natural to build those needs on top of MySQL. You could have had a key-value store (HandlerSocket, Memcache API...), sharding (Spider) and clustering (Galera). You could have had a graph storage engine (OQGraph engine isn't quite it, I understand it is internally an InnoDB table still?). There could even have been MapReduce functionality, although I do think the Hadoop ecosystem targets problems that actually are better solved without MySQL.
The program for this year's MySQL conference is now published.
As regular readers will remember, I served on the program committee this year and was one of those who appealed for people to send in great proposals. I would now like to thank all of you that sent in proposals. On my quick count we had over 250 proposals, and if I look at my own ratings I'd say about 180 of them were really good, conference worthy talks (and this already excludes some pretty good talks). A related piece of trivia was that this might have been the first year ever that the deadline for the Call for Proposals wasn't extended, which possibly took some of you by surprise. We simply got so many good talks by the deadline, that there wasn't any need to.
Just wanted to say I'm so happy: http://www.mysqlperformanceblog.com/2012/01/09/announcement-of-percona-x...
And also that this is a significant moment in the evolution of MySQL - things will never be the same again.