Last week we ended the first Monty Program Ab company meeting in Mallorca, Spain. Even if many of us have met before, there are a couple who had not met everyone before and it was great to be together. Even for myself, since I was in the Sales org at MySQL and Sun, I wasn't that close with all the oldtime developers, so it was great to finally spend several days with them.
Since it was the first meeting both for the company and MariaDB project, we spent a lot of time on the "vision, strategy" excercises. Btw, for future MariaDB meetings we will in the future always invite all the Maria Captains and other community members, it is not intended to be a meeting of one company at all. For this meeting, we had 3 non-employees present and they gave valuable input, so it already works, even if we will do more of it in the future.
In the groupwork on Monty Program's own vision, we clearly saw that everyone subscribes to the Hacking Business Model and want to work in a company that follows it.
The other thing that was seen as important was to preserve and save the MySQL Ab culture. We noted with Monty and Patrik that this was a good thing to explicitly say. Looking at our recent blogging efforts (Monty, Igor, Kurt) one might almost get the image we only have bad things to say about Sun/MySQL... it became very clear that the vision of Monty Program Ab is actually based on very warm feelings towards our roots.
Since we strive for transparency, most of the things created can be found on the public AskMonty.org wiki.
We started with working on a general vision for MariaDB, including asking ourselves where the database industry is going in general. The results of these discussions can be found on MariaDB_vision_Majorca2009 page. Since MariaDB is not as a project owned by Monty Program, everyone should be welcome to contribute and discuss the vision either on the wiki or on the maria-discuss mailing list. (I mean it: the document is just a summary of what was done as groupwork in Mallorca, it's not like it's set in stone or complete or anything.)
The most important things that we produced were certainly
Definitive list of features and fixes going into MariaDB 5.1 release and More general list of tasks related to the release
Of special note:
1) Ken Jacobs always complains that the community is developing enhancements to InnoDB as Linux only, then complains that Innobase Oy is slow to integrate them into official InnoDB releases. Well I have to give Ken one point here, turns out XtraDB is not compiling on Windows. Obviously that will have to change before we release MariaDB as RC!
2) Merging in MySQL, XtraDB and PBXT will take several days, so we are likely to miss our target of month-end feature freeze.
3) Building installer packages for various platforms is a huge task. Even if we will start with supporting only a limited set of platforms. (Volunteer packagers are more than welcome!)
Update: As mentioned on the wiki, OurDelta is preparing to build MariaDB 5.1 packages for Linux using their build scripts for 5.0. Turns out they also have a Sparc box and could look into that, yay! Arjen also has contacts with another company who could possibly do the Windows installer (which for MySQL is not GPL, is this true?). In summary: if you want to give a helping hand, contact Arjen directly to see what is still needed.
4) Wonder if some company producing Sparc servers is willing to donate a server to the MariaDB project? We don't currently know how we would support Sparc.
We have several things almost ready, and it seems like we could actually quickly update 5.1 to 5.2. during the winter. Of course, first we have to release 5.1.
If you have input on how replication should be done, or something else should be done, go ahead, it's a wiki.
One more important thing we clarified when talking about MariaDB development, was that we will generally contribute any bug fixes we do back to MySQL. MySQL engineers at Sun had already been asking for some fixes we've done, and of course we'll do that, it just hadn't been discussed how to do it. I also admire one developer who made it clear that even if we are an engineering services company and we generally do whatever we get paid to do, there is a lot of code in MySQL he has written and feels morally responsible for, especially in cases where possibly nobody else than him knows the code well enough. That was yet another moment when I admired the spirit our team has about the product they work on!
The last day of our visit was spent cruising on the Mediterranean, swimming, jumping from the boat into the water, looking at fish and just being together, which is different on a boat than on IRC and important to do once a year.