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Displaying posts with tag: documentation (reset)

MySQL Librarian: Capturing Community Insights
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In the MySQL Community team, our charter is to serve the MySQL community — new and old MySQL users alike. One of the ways we do this is by facilitating information exchange between community members, where the new can learn from the old.

And there’s been lots of that information exchange going on, such as over mailing lists (in the early days the dominant vehicle), forums, and Planet MySQL.

One problem with this information exchange has been its ephemeral nature. The same questions pop up for many new users, and should they for some reason not be amongst the issues solved in the MySQL documentation, chances are you’ll have to

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Dependence on MySQL Documentation
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I think many people truly realized how much they take the MySQL documentation for granted during the recent multi-hour outage from mysql.com’s data center. Apparently there is a lot of FUD floating around about the legality of mirroring the documentation, as presented by Justin Swanhart and asked by Mark Callaghan.

The manual page at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/copyright-mysql.html says:

You shall not publish or distribute this documentation in any form or on any media, except if you distribute the documentation in a manner similar to how Sun disseminates it (that is, electronically for download on a Web site with the software) or on a

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MySQL docs freedom
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As you may or may not know, long long ago (in this universe) I used to be the MySQL documentation team  Yes, a team of one. This was 2001. It was a great and interesting time. The current much extended team is doing a great job with the now much bigger set of docs!

Today, I find myself disagreeing with my former colleagues on one particular aspect, namely its licensing. You see, the documentation has never been released under an open license, it used to be plainly copyright all rights reserved, and later some rights were granted to distribute the docs together with the server.

Statements made earlier by Karen Padir regarding possible opening up of the docs license filled us with hope. Then, Stefan Hinz (the current docs team lead) wrote a blog entry

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MySQL Documentation Licensing Woes
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By now many folks know that MySQL documentation is not changing its license. This is an issue with many sides, but before I go through them, I want to address a comment made by Masood Mortazavi:

People who are interested in forking the server — and potentially interested in creating what is in effect separate communities of their own — should probably develop their own docs for their own forks.

(There is a cost involved here, I know. However, it should be a cost worth paying if developers of forks really believe in their work. MySQL AB certainly paid that cost in developing the docs while it had already made the code itself freely available under GPL. So, the

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MySQL documentation team announces docs will NOT be GPLed. Boo MySQL. Boooo.
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In a blog post today, Stefan of the MySQL documentation team says that the MySQL documents will not be open sourced. Now, I have to go back and review the MySQL CE Keynote that Karen gave, but I'm pretty sure she said to the audience that it was "going to happen". Why would she even bother bringing it up in the keynote if it was never really being considered anyway? There has been little community input on this, and I for one am outraged that a GPL product would not release the documentation as GPL too.

I'm now totally convinced that MySQL does not understand, and will never understand the MySQL community.

Is this an opportunity for Oracle to try to stall community participation in MySQL? I don't want to be paranoid, but this could just be the hints of bold new changes in MySQL strategy,



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When is the MySQL 5.4 documentation going to be online, and GPL?
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I went looking for the MySQL 5.4 documentation today, but alas I could not find it. In particular, I went looking for the list of changes between 5.1.34 and 5.4.1.

If 5.4.1 is beta then it should definitely have documentation, at least in beta form. This is especially true in light of the Sun MySQL conference keynote kind of dangling a carrot on a stick, as it were, with a question to the audience about opening the docs up under the GPL. The comments system also needs updated too. I think that if public comments are available on the web site, then those comments should have a rating system attached so that crappy, wrong and useless manual comments can easily be filtered. But I digress.

So, Sun, when are going to release all the MySQL documents under the GPL? Is it going to be in the MySQL 5.4 time frame, or in some far off hazy future? And why are there no 5.4 documents available



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Google Summer of Code: Help improve MySQL documentation!
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MySQL is participating in Google Summer of Code 2009 (GSoC for short), and so is the MySQL documentation team. We've just put our ideas on this page; you might want to have a look if you're interested in applying for a GSoc project.

One of the projects is purely technical and doesn't involve writing any documentation, but rather improving the technique that goes on behind the scenery.

The other project does involve writing documentation, but it's mostly (if not exclusively) about creating examples for the Connectors & APIs chapter of

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MySQL documentation available on docs.sun.com now
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We're proud to announce that significant parts of the MySQL documentation are available on docs.sun.com now, including the MySQL 5.0 Manual, the MySQL 5.1 Manual, the MySQL 6.0 Manual, and the MySQL Enterprise Monitor documentation.

Big deal? Well, certainly for us, the MySQL Documentation Team. This marks a big step forward towards making MySQL visible as software offered by Sun Microsystems. The reason for publishing our documentation in two places (the MySQL Developer Zone and the Sun documentation home) is to make MySQL more visible and the docs easily accessible for Sun customers who are used to finding documentation in the "traditional" place on

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Yet another replication trap
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When I filed Bug#39197 replication breaks with large load with InnoDB, flush logs, and slave stop/start, I genuinely thought that it was a serious problem. I was a bit puzzled, to tell the truth, because the scenario that I was using seemed common enough for this bug to be found already.
Anyway, it was verified independently, but there was a catch. The script in the master was using SET storage_engine=InnoDB to create the tables necessary for the test. That looked good enough to me. The script was indeed creating InnoDB tables on the master. The trouble was that the "SET"



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MySQL Enterprise Monitor documentation public now
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The MySQL Enterprise Monitor continuously monitors MySQL servers and alerts to potential problems before they impact the system. It helps eliminating security vulnerabilities, improves replication, optimizes performance, and more. Its newest feature, Quan (Query Analyzer), helps identify queries that could be tuned to improve performance. Quan enables database administrators to do the work that would otherwise require hours in just minutes, or even seconds, and it provides ongoing statistical information about the performance of your queries.

MySQL Enterprise Monitor is a commercial offering by Sun Microsystems, and so was the documentation. To help anyone (even if they're not customers) get a better and complete understanding of what exactly MySQL Enterprise Monitor is about and what it can do, we've decided to make its full documentation publicly available.

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Recommended Reading (Business, Engineering)
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As part of an internal programme at Sun, I am a “SEED mentor” for another Sun employee (not a former employee of MySQL, but what we Sun Dolphins call Sun Classics). He is called Alok and lives in Bangalore, and sadly, our schedules crossed so that I couldn’t meet him when I was at our Bangalore offices in July. So I am mentoring someone I’ve met only over phone — but we’re getting along just fine.

Two of the topics we’ve discussed recently are blogging and books. So after hanging up after our 9 CET 12:30 Indian time mentoring session, I got the idea to combine the two: write a blog entry about the books I recommended Alok.

One thing Alok is contemplating at the moment is the


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Using the MySQL Doc source tree
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I’ve mentioned a number of times that the documentation repositories that we use to build the docs are freely available, and so they are, but how do you go about using them?

More and more people are getting interested in being able to work with the MySQL docs, judging by the queries we get, and internally we sometimes get specialized requests.

There are some limitations - although you can download and access the docs and generate your own versions in various formats, you are not allowed to distribute or supply that iinformation, it can only be employed for personal use. The reasons and disclaimer for that are available on the main page for each of the docs, such as the one on the 5.1 Manual.

Those issues aside, if you want to use and generate your own docs from the Subversion source tree

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MySQL Reference Manual Search
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Martin Brown’s blog shows a pretty good way of navigating the MySQL Reference Manual. It’s worth noting, however, that finding the different topics has been a lot easier since mysql.com started using a Google appliance for its search.

I use the documentation all the time and have been doing so for years (I won’t claim that I can remember +2000 pages worth of ever-changing content). A few years back, I stopped using the search box on dev.mysql.com because the result sets were enormous, with lots of unrelated references. My technique was to do a Google site search:

For replication use the expression: replication

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MySQL manual gets improved searching
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Hooray! The MySQL reference manual has a new search system. It now uses a Google Appliance and the results should be a lot better. The old system was not very helpful. It used to break config variables into multiple words and search on them individually and give a billion results I didn’t care about. I’ve just tried to search for some things like key_buffer_size and got results I think are very useful.

I love the MySQL manual. It is a great example of quality software documentation. As someone recently mentioned, it is not released under a Free license though — that would be a great improvement, too!

When did this change happen, by the way? Maybe it’s been there for a while and I just missed it because I grew accustomed to

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It Lives!
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When I was on the MySQL Documentation team one thing started to become apparent to me: the MySQL Reference Manual was exactly what it claimed to be: a document better suited to referencing than teaching new users. I make very good use of it because I know MySQL, I know what it can do, and all I want is the right syntax for what I am trying to use it for.

I saw a need for a User Guide, something well suited to new users who were not experienced with MySQL and potentially with DBMSes in general. As a side project I started working on a chapter of what could eventually be a MySQL produced user guide, lacking the depth of the reference manual but more suitable for newer users. This first chapter was on Indexing and while I think it showed promise, I left MySQL AB shortly after completing it.

Fast forward to today, where I see a blog post by

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Unintentional Googlewhack Leads to MySQL Bug Report
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While doing a standard audit for a new client, I recommended a few changes to get better performance. Because I had several changes, I used the documentation at

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/server-system-variables.html

and found that innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit is a dynamic variable. I was surprised, because most operations dealing with file sizes and operations are not dynamic. But the client proceeded with:

set global innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 2;

and got:

ERROR 1193 (HY000): Unknown system variable 'innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit'

So I searched for others who may have had the same error, and ended up getting an unintentional googlewhack. Well,

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Navigating categories within my blog
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With 130 entries in the “MySQL” category and no MySQL-related subcategories, my blog had become impossible to search and navigate easily.

And thus I created a number of new categories for the MySQL entries within my blog. They’re listed in the left navigation bar, below the months, as well as below:

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Documentation: MySQL Server Version Reference
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Stefan Hinz, MySQL’s Docs Team Lead, just showed me the new restructured documentation overview page http://dev.mysql.com/doc/. The intention of the restructuring is to make it easier for you to find the information you need.


We’ve amended the MySQL Reference Manual section with a subsection labeled “Excerpts from the Reference Manual“, examples of which are a standalone Connectors book (covering all MySQL connectors and APIs) and guides for each individual MySQL Connector.

The key new document there is the “MySQL Server


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Release Criteria: Aligning official documentation with reality
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First of all: Thank you for your positive feedback on the MySQL 5.1 Errata Sheet!

While I never doubted that publishing the 5.1 Errata Sheet was the right thing to do, I had expected a more mixed feedback. It turned out the feedback was very grateful. So thank you for your encouragement

  • Kevin Burton for commenting in Jay’s blog

    “This was a big win guys. Good work.We were going to deploy 5.1.x in out or production slave configurations just to test the reliability but this give us a lot more confidence in this release.”

  • Baron

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MySQL Command Line Help
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I tend to use MySQL from the interactive command line shell quite a bit (SSH to your db server and type the command mysql to start). I noticed today that there is a pretty extensive built in help system in this command.

You can access it by typing help COMMAND, so for instance if you type help ALTER TABLE you get a quick reference for constructing an ALTER TABLE statement.

If you can't remember what command you want to use, then typing help contents is your friend. It will output:

For more information, type 'help item', where item is
one of the following categories:
Administration
Column Types
Data Definition
Data Manipulation
Functions
Geographic features
Transactions

So if your looking for that command that outputs all the columns in a table, but don't know what it's called, you

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Extending documentation formats and facilities using the Docbook base
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Back in July, we made an Eclipse documentation plug-in of the MySQL manuals available for users to download.

In truth, the Eclipse documentation format is actually just HTML; you have to combine the HTML with a plug-in manifest that details the documentation, version number etc so that the documentation is loaded and identified as a valid plug-in element when Eclipse is started.

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MySQL Connectors chapter rework completed
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Well, it’s been completed a few weeks now, but I’ve finally reworked the Connector/MXJ and Connector/J sections of the MySQL Reference Manual, which in turn means the Connectors chapter has been completed.

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Finding the right documentation
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One of the ongoing problems with documentation at MySQL is that it is getting ever larger.

Not only is the size of the docs increasing, but the formats and languages that we support is increasing too, and that is making it more and more difficult to effectively list them and make sure they are available.

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Connector/NET Revamp
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Earlier this week I released the revamped Connector/NET documentation. This is part of the wider Connectors chapter rework, which I’m currently finishing by doing the Connector/J and Connector/MXJ documentation.

Connector/NET provides a full ADO.NET compatible interface to MySQL and is compatible both the Windows .NET and Mono installations.

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How to contribute to the MySQL Docs
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We had a great question from a reader yesterday:

Is there a todo/nice-to-have list anywhere for MySQL documentation? Or perhaps a list of Devs who require documentation support? Or is all documentation a function of the core Documentation team?

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Manual translations
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Probably the most frequently asked question to the docs team at MySQL from the public is ?I want to translate the manual into [insert language]?. That language can be anything from one we already have, through to some comparatively obscure suggestions.

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Extending the documentation toolkit
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I noticed this piece from Johan Andersson on Writing NDBAPI programs?connecting to MySQL Cluster last week, which shows you how to use the NDBAPI?the programming interface to the MySQL Cluster system. By coincidence, we enabled the NDBAPI documentation today. It consists of two elements:

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Deep in the Docs
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This week, and specifically today, marks a minor milestone in my employment at MySQL?I?m finally a full time employee, no longer on probation. It has also been probably the busiest week since I started at MySQL, except for the week spent at the developers? conference in Sorrento.

Why so busy?

Because I?ve spent many hours deep in the build process that actually generates the documentation, partly to address some existing errors, but also to improve the documentation after some new content was added. In summary, the following major steps were made this week:

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Foreign languages and documentation
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At the developers conference this year, held in Sorrento, Italy, I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with some Italian MySQL users?some of whom had travelled from Rome to be with us that evening at a lovely traditional Italian restaurant just off one of the main squares.

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MySQL documentation update - week 24
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Documentation is a vital part of any application, proprietary or free software, as it is often the first way to communicate with users about the application or software and how it should be used. I also think it tends to be one of the areas most taken for granted; most users expect it to be there and often forget just how much effort goes into producing it.

Many users also complain about the documentation itself. Often this is because it?s been written by programmers and, as a rule, they really aren?t that great at writing documentation that is particularly human readable.

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Previous 30 Newer Entries Showing entries 31 to 60 of 61 Next 1 Older Entries

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