open life blog

Bon Voyage, Drupal Footnotes module!

On June 10, 2006 I had gotten commit rights to the Drupal contrib repository and uploaded my new Drupal 4.7 module: Footnotes.

Actually, I had created this simple Drupal input filter for this site,, that I created when publising the English translation of my book Open Life: The Philosophy of Open Source. I wanted to have a simple way to have footnotes within HTML, without having to number them and format them myself. (Same functionality that is common for any word processor.) Drupal's input filter framework made it very simple to add an fn tag. You can see it at work if you read the online version of my book from the web site.

MySQL locking with INSERT/DELETE workload

Yep. I see this too at work. InnoDB is in my opinion really good at handling concurrent workloads. So good I was surprised when I eventually found a project that was having locking issues. SHOW ENGINE INNODB STATUS showed queries had been waiting for hours on some locks they would never get. Yeah, it's a large and busy database, but it took me by surprise nevertheless.

It turns out, while InnoDB handles concurrent UPDATEs very efficiently, a combination of transactions that DELETE and INSERT rows - even just in the same general area of a table - will make the transactions wait for each other. Hence a workload that does a lot of inserts and deletes may get you into trouble. The solution is to change to READ COMMITTED or even READ UNCOMMITTED mode.

Presentation: Databases and the Cloud (and why it is more difficult for databases)

A week ago I again had the pleasure to give a guest lecture at Tampere University of Technology. I've visited them the first time when I worked as MySQL pre-sales in Sun.

To be trendy, I of course had to talk about the cloud. It turns out every section has the subtitle "...and why it is more difficult for databases". I also rightfully claim to have invented the NoSQL key-value development model in 2005.

NoSQL performance numbers - MySQL and Redis

Links to performance numbers posted wrt various NoSQL solutions:

A top 20 global website announced they have migrated from MySQL to Redis. There will be a keynote and everything. It doesn't say how big the Redis Cluster is, but they serve 100M pages / day, and clock 300k Redis queries / second.!topic/redis-db/d4QcWV0p-YM

Btw, they mention that MySQL remains as the master data store from which the Redis indexes are generated.
(The reason I don't mention the name of this Redis user is simply I feat my mom is sometimes reading my blog...)

A year with Drizzle

Today I'm coming out of the closet. Since I'm a professional database expert I try to be like the mainstream and use the commercial MySQL forks (including MySQL itself). But I think those close to me have already known for some time that I like community based open source projects. I cannot deny it any longer, so let me just say it: I'm a Drizzle contributor and I'm very much engaged!

I've been eyeing the Drizzle project since it started in 2008. Already then there were dozens of MySQL hackers for which this project was a refuge they instantly flocked to. Finally a real open source project based on MySQL code that they could contribute to, and they did. It was like a breath of fresh air in a culture that previously had only accepted one kind of relationships: that between an employer and an employee. Drizzle was more liberal. It accepted also forms of engagement already common in most other open source projects that are based on relationships between 2 or more consenting contributors.

But in 2008 I wasn't yet ready to engage with Drizzle. Like I said, I worked in a role where I would go to database users and help them use MySQL in demanding production settings. So as much as I admired Drizzle already back then, I needed something that could give me good releases, and support me when needed.

Burning Man popularity hits physical limits

I've never been to Burning Man myself, but I'm aware of the event due to Drizzle development stalling to a halt during that festival. In other words, I have many friends that go there.

It was interesting to read a statement from the organizers of Burning Man about the fact that this year there is way more demand for Burning Man tickets than they can sell. Apparently even the desert has its limits (and more so the road leading to it).

Organically growing volunteer projects are exciting because they just grow and grow and there seems to be nothing there to stop them. But once in a while they hit bottlenecks that need to be solved.

Call for Nominations for 2012 MySQL Community Awards

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
to: mysql.awards [at]
no later than: 23:59 Sunday February 29th (Pacific time)

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