Geert JM Vanderkelen

My summary of FOSDEM 2008

My summary of FOSDEM 2008

I came home very tired yesterday, just walking around as a big MySQL billboard and I left with mixed feelings really.

First feelings were Happiness + Anger (=Love??). I had a nice dinner with Bruce and Magnus (PostgreSQL) on Thursday, met others at their booth and attended a few talks both Saturday and Sunday. I’m interested in their stuff, I do like PostgreSQL, just like probably everyone else in MySQL. But, I got very angry about 2 remarks made in the DevRoom: “MySQL loses data” and the infamous and idiotic “MySQL has no transactions”. FFS! The latter was corrected on the spot, that REALLY pissed me off (remark made by non-PostgreSQL crew btw).
Anyway, overall, I did like what I was hearing, the project is going well, and lots of cool stuff coming in! Very nice! Funny thing though: “Who’s using Partitioning?”, one guy (as far as I could see) put up his finger.

Next feeling: Amazed! Drupal! I don’t like PHP, bah, in fact, I’m happy I’m not doing it anymore. But what Drupal is doing there, and the attention it gets is just great! I really liked what I heard and the way it’s used to teach Managers about web design (or something) is pretty cool. MySQL Cluster was tried, but it can’t fit a moderate Drupal database. This is pretty normal, and the talk of Kris Buytaert actually mentioned alternatives (Master-Master replication, MySQL Proxy, ..) to overcome this. I had the opportunity to actually tell the crowd that MySQL ain’t just for small websites.. Another one of these lies and myths..

Last feeling for the future: hopeful! Yes, I tried to get us a place in FOSDEM next year, and it looks like it might getting somewhere! We should have a DevRoom there! *hint*!

Interesting is also a new PHP user group getting formed, but that will get some attention later on. I’ll try to help the guys out to get it running. Meeting up with Patrick from Sun was also great. Seeing old friends, drinking a beer (Duvel, counts for 3), and surviving wearing a MySQL shirt. My colleagues kept lower profile, hehe, I felt like a billboard.

2 thoughts on “My summary of FOSDEM 2008

  1. Magnus Hagander

    Hi Geert!

    First of all – nice meeting you at FOSDEM! I'm sure some people would be surprised to see two PostgreSQL guys having dinner with two MySQL ones – and one in-between:er – but I'm not. That happens all the time between the community people themselves – the "fights" are usually orchestrated by outsiders..

    As for the remarks – I hope (and think) I wasn't one of them ;-) (even though my personal experience with MySQL has been just that – but I'm no expert on setting it up, so that's likely why it happened) If I was, my apologies. It's certainly well known in the PostgreSQL community that MySQL has transactions these days – even though we may not agree with how they are implemented.

    As for the comment you received – I actually discussed that with someone else (sorry, can't remember whom). Why this comes up over and over again, even though MySQL has had them for quite a while. The conclusion we could come to was that it's probably some backlash from having for many years clearly stated that nobody needs transactions, so why have them. That changed quite a while ago, but communities can have long memories.


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