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Book review: Instant InnoDB

Instant Innodb, by Matt Reid

This book does a good job of explaining the InnoDB internals. I have found particularly useful the section where it describe in detail all the server variables affecting InnoDB. Although these variables are also in the MySQL manual, some of them have never been explained to me as thoroughly as this book as done.

The title claims that it is a InnoDB reference. If is more than that, as the reference part id covered in three chapters. The rest of the book gives useful advice on maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

State of InnDB Online DDL in MySQL 5.6.9-RC (good news included)

5.6.9-RC is out, and I was curious to see how the online DDL has improved since my 5.6.8 review. I also owe James Day this review, since he came up with results inconsistent with my own.

We both agreed the dataset I was using was too small, but I got similar results even on larger scale. Then some time passed, and 5.6.9 was announced.

So for the 5.6.9 test I took one of my real tables on production. It is not extremely large: it's a ~ 300MB .ibd file, in the following format:

mysql> show create table tbl \G

  `id` bigint(20) …
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State of InnDB Online DDL in MySQL 5.6.8-RC

5.6.8-rc is out, and so I'm following up on InnoDB's online DDL new feature: the ability to SELECT, INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE a table even while an ALTER TABLE is executing on same table.

The brief summary

Not as advertised; many things can't be done.

The longer review

I'm using 5.6.8-rc 64bit binary distribution for Linux, installed via mysqlsandbox. My hardware is irrelevant, but the fact I'm testing on my laptop assists me in that ALTER TABLE operations take a while, so that I'm able to easily type commands in two terminals and have the time to watch them being executed. Query cache is disabled.

I'm using the sakila sample database, and in particular I'm working with the rental table. Here's the table definition:

CREATE TABLE `rental` (
  `rental_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, …
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A review of SQL Antipatterns by Bill Karwin

SQL Antipatterns, by Bill Karwin, Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2010. About 300 pages. Here’s a link to the publisher’s site.

I loved this book. (Disclosure: Bill is a colleague of mine.) This is the first book I’ve read from the Pragmatic Bookshelf, and if the rest are like this one, I want to read them. The quality of the writing is way above the average technical book. Techniques that feel gimmicky and forced in other books, such as fake stories to introduce each chapter, actually work here (because they’re real stories, not fake ones). Each topic is named in a memorable way and introduced very …

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A review of MySQL Replication by Russell Dyer

MySQL Replication by Russell Dyer, Silent Killdeer, 2010. About 180 pages.

This is a pocket-sized guide to setting up and managing MySQL replication. It is self-published and made via print-on-demand technology. Topics include how replication works, setting up replication, making backups, and administering replication after it’s working. There are several appendixes for replication-related functionality in the MySQL server and command-line tools.

This book doesn’t go into great depth, so don’t expect it to be a reference manual to replication internals or anything like that. It’s more of a how-to manual for beginners, walking through the basics of binary and relay logs, SQL and I/O …

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A review of PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance by Gregory Smith

PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance

PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance. By Gregory Smith, Packt 2010. About 420 pages. (Here’s a link to the publisher’s page for this book.)

I enjoyed this book a lot and recommend it to everyone who uses PostgreSQL or MySQL. MySQL users should benefit from understanding PostgreSQL. Beyond that, I learned a lot from this book that I can apply directly to MySQL. In particular, the book begins with a few chapters on hardware performance, benchmarking, and configuration. This material is database-agnostic and very well done. There is about 70 pages of it — it goes into a lot of details. It is more detailed than the similar material in my own book …

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Book review: MySQL 5.1 plugin development
MySQL 5.1 Plugin Development,
by Sergei Golubchik and Andrew Hutchings.
Packt Publishing, 2010.
Executive summary: Highly recommended. If you want to develop MySQL extensions, buy this book. It's a must, written by two expert professionals who probably know more than anyone else on this matter. The book is full of practical examples explained with the theoretical information necessary to make it stick.

This book fills a gap in the world of MySQL documentation. Although the MySQL docs are extensive and thorough, to the point that sometimes you wished that the writers were less verbose and stick more to the topic, when …
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Pentaho Kettle Solutions Overview

Dear Kettle friends,

As mentioned in my previous blog post, copies of our new book Pentaho Kettle Solutions are finally shipping.  Roland, Jos and myself worked really hard on it and, as you can probably imagine, we were really happy when we finally got the physical version of our book in our hands.

So let’s take a look at what’s in this book, what the concept behind it was and give you an overview of the content…

The concept

Given the fact that Maria’s book, called Pentaho Data Integration 3.2,

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MongoDB the Definitive Guide by Kristina Chodrow and Michael Dirolf

The kind folks at O'Reilly sent me a fantastic book about MongoDB. This was a great read since it’s suited for people who do Operations and Development and Performance tuning (me). I've been using Cassandra for quite some time now (months lol) and the thing that has irritated me about Cassandra is the documentation for it. Cassandra documentation sucks, its hard to speed up on the internals. This MongoDB book is written by the most active participants that are developing MongoDB and the knowledge shows. What I like is it starts out on how to quickly get it up, add/get/update data to the DB. Then progresses to more advance topics-that talk about GridFS and MongoDB drivers. Personally I would like to see more elaboration of this facet in terms of motivation of why do this, what the win is and how it fits into the "Fast by Default" mantra. Each step is organized perfectly, …

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Book review : SQL Antipatterns

SQL Antipatterns, by Bill Karwin
I remember that when I finished reading The Lord Of The Rings, I felt a pang of disappointment. "What? Already finished? What am I going to read now? What can give me the same pleasure and sense of accomplishment that these wonderful pages have given me?"
That's how I felt when I came to the last page of SQL Antipatterns. And, no, Bill Karwin doesn't tell imaginary tales from a fictitious world. This book is full of very real and very practical advice, but all the material is presented with such grace and verve that I could not put it down until the very end. I read it cover to cover in just a few hours, and I savored every page.

What is this Antipatterns, anyway? The title may deceive a casual bookshop browser into believing that it's about some philosophical database theory. Digging further, you realize …

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