On Friday last week, after the intensive days of the conference, Ars Technica wrote and published a nice article about MariaDB including many of the messages we had been delivering during the conference, http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/04/mysql-founders-latest-mariadb-release-takes-enterprise-features-open-source.ars.

MariaDB seals
MariaDB seals

Last year, when it became clear that O’Reilly wasn’t going to arrange the MySQL user conference in the future, there was a lot of discussion on who should arrange it. In the end Percona was pretty fast informing everyone that they had booked the convention center in Santa Clara to arrange the conference this year. Now with the results to hand it’s easy to say that the conference was very well arranged. Great work Percona!

The MariaDB booth was located in the .Org section of the expo hall and we experienced a huge crowd, especially on the first day (Wednesday) of the conference. Our t-shirts were really popular and we could probably have handed out even double the amount of what we had with us. Unfortunately for those in attendance, we had to put some aside for our next upcoming event in Bellingham, WA, USA 28-29th of April. It’s the LinuxFest Northwest 2012, http://linuxfestnorthwest.org. We hope to see some of you there!

We released MariaDB 5.5.23 GA on Tuesday of the conference. Apparently people just loved this news and we’ve enjoyed double our usual download rates since then.

On the SkySQL MariaDB Solutions Day on Friday the 13th, the MySQL founders Monty and David started the day with a panel and the day continued with sessions on all kinds of MariaDB and MySQL related topics. Make sure you read SkySQL’s summary, http://www.skysql.com/blogs/jenwilbur/seal-you-next-year-successful-mysql-friday-13th-santa-clara.
SkySQL has also posted pictures of the event on https://www.facebook.com/skysql.

Happy panelist Monty
Happy panelist Monty

During the conference we had many interesting conversations with people and businesses that we haven’t had a chance to meet before who had migrated to MariaDB. I’m certain there will be even more of these discussions this year and next.

To stay up to date with MariaDB, add yourself to the MariaDB announce list, which informs mainly about new releases. Also add yourself to the MariaDB Facebook page to get even more MariaDB news. Sign up at http://mariadb.org.

I just finished reading a couple of interesting, and somewhat related, blog posts which I think are worth sharing (apologies to anyone who has already seen them). One is from Jelastic and the other is from Michal Hrušecký.

I’ve written about MariaDB and the Jelastic cloud before (see MariaDB now available as a hosted database via Jelastic cloud platform). Now Jelastic has published statistics on the relative popularity of the various databases they offer. The good news is MariaDB is currently the database of choice for 14% of their customers. The bad news is that we’re in fourth place behind their other three database choices (MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB). However, MariaDB has only been available on their platform for a little over two months and we’re very happy that so many users of Jelastic’s state-of-the-art Java cloud are choosing to use MariaDB. Thanks!

In the second blog post, Michal Hrušecký shares the results of what he terms his “little MySQL survey”. This time MariaDB comes in second behind MySQL Community Server (and ahead of MySQL Cluster and Percona Server). In case you didn’t know, Michal packages MySQL and MariaDB for openSUSE, so this survey was a good way for him to judge the relative popularity of some of the more popular variants and give him ideas on how to improve things.

BTW: If you know of other interesting/informative/etc… blog posts related to MariaDB, let us know so we can add them to the Blog Posts Relevant to MariaDB page of the AskMonty Knowledgebase!

One could say that MariaDB now is 2 years old as a packaged product. The latest version, MariaDB 5.3 Beta, is the culmination of many years of hard work. We believe it contains the largest and most significant change to the code of MySQL since the launch of MySQL 5.0. I’m talking about the changes made to the central product component called the Optimizer.

Why did we touch something so central to the product? The fast answer is that the original Optimizer is about 17 years old. Prior to the work we did for MariaDB 5.3, the Optimizer hadn’t had any huge evolutionary improvements or changes in a decade (except for some features that were added in 2003-2005). It was missing basic functionality that one can expect in any 2010s relational database. Things like hash joins or efficient handling of subqueries.

We’ve also wanted to gradually make MariaDB better at handling bigger tables and bigger queries. This requires query plans to have better access locality. Batched Key Access and to some extent hash join give us that. Another important aspect is that there were a vast amount of not-so-good performance related issues with the old optimizer.

An overview of all changes can be found at http://kb.askmonty.org/en/what-is-mariadb-53.

The development of many of the new optimizer features that now appear in MariaDB 5.3 were started in 2006-2008 as part of a future version of MySQL. In MariaDB 5.3 these features were polished and in some cases completely redone.

We also believe this code to be the best tested code ever released in either MySQL or MariaDB. This is important since MySQL is a widely adopted product. We cannot and will not introduce a whole bunch of new bugs in a central component of MariaDB. We could never live with such a product, and no one else could either.

The beta version of MariaDB 5.3 including these changes has now been available for almost two months and we recently released our second beta version. We have been continuing the stabilization of the product during this time with the help of the growing community around MariaDB which has been reporting issues they have found. A huge thanks to all of you!

It will still take a while until we declare 5.3 stable, but all the effort is starting to pay off. In addition to positive end-user feedback we have also seen the first signs of success through early benchmarking tests like these:
- DBT-3 tests,
https://lists.launchpad.net/maria-developers/msg04278.html
- Group commit,
https://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/mysql-at-facebook/group-commit-again/10150261692455933

It should be noted that the Optimizer changes I’ve talked about above are not the only things new in MariaDB 5.3. There are a lot of other improvements and new features as well. Things like the improved Group commit I refer to in the above link and microsecond support that deserves a special mentioning:

- The support for microseconds in TIMESTAMP, DATETIME, and TIME
A feature that has been requested for many years – http://bugs.mysql.com/8523

Lastly, while stabilization work on MariaDB 5.3 continues we’re also working on MariaDB 5.5, which is MariaDB 5.3 merged with MySQL 5.5. This is something the community has been waiting for for a long time. I’m happy to tell you that we’re not far away from a beta of MariaDB 5.5. It’s going to be an interesting end of the year.