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Percona Live 2013, MySQL, Continuent and an ever-healthy Ecosystem

I’m sitting here in the lounge at SFO thinking back on the last week, the majority of which has been spent meeting my new workmates and attending the Percona MySQL conference.

For me it has been as much of a family reunion as it has been about seeing the wonderful things going on in MySQL.

Having joined Continuent last month after an ‘absence’ in NoSQL land of almost 2.5 years, joining the MySQL community again just felt like coming home after a long absence. And that’s no bad thing. On a very personal level it was great to see so many of my old friends, many of whom were not only pleased to see me, but pleased to see me working back in the MySQL fold. Evidently many people think this is where I belong.

What was great to see is that the MySQL community is alive and well. Percona may be the drivers behind the annual MySQL conference that we have come to know, but …

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Ten years of MySQL developer conference


Making a MySQL slave with ZERO downtime


Joining Continuent

I’ve just completed my first month here at Continuent, strangely back into the MySQL ecosystem which I have been working in for some time before I joined CouchOne, and then Couchbase, two and half years ago. Making the move back to MySQL is both an experience, and somehow, comfortable…

Continuent produce technology that makes for easier replication between MySQL servers and, more importantly, more flexible solutions when you need to scale out by providing connector and management functionality for your MySQL cluster. That means that you can easily backup, add slaves, and create complex replication scenarios such as multi-master, and even multiple-site, multiple-master topologies. This functionality is split over two products, Continuent Tungsten, which is the cluster management product, and the open source Tungsten Replicator, which provides the basic replication functionality.

Those who know me well will know that I am no fan …

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Playing matchmaker for job seekers and recruiters

One of the most rewarding things you can do is help someone get a great job or hire a great person for the position they need to fill. I have traveled a lot, written books, done a bunch of consulting, and spoken widely on MySQL, other databases, open source, and so forth. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people, some I’d call good friends, and many of them are leading large organizations. I think this is both a privilege and a serious responsibility.

It’s a privilege because I can ask some of these people for help or introductions or advice sometimes. It’s a responsibility because I need to be ready to do something for them, too. In many cases it’s a pay-it-forward kind of readiness.

Many, many people contact me looking for people to hire. I keep a list. When someone tells me they are on the job market, I try to match them with openings I’m aware of, if any are appropriate. (Many fewer people tell me they’re looking for …

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Seeing things from the user’s point of view

I was discussing how to avoid surprising users and someone pointed out that what seems intuitive and rational to one person is often complete insanity for others. The mental gap between a developer and a user can often be a chasm far too wide to cross. Of all the bug reports I’ve filed against MySQL, here is my all-time favorite:

select * from t where a >= 1.0order by a;

Does not cause an error. I believe it should, because there should be a whitespace before ORDER BY.

Similar syntax errors such as “select 1e0from dual” were also accepted as valid SQL. Much soul-searching later, the official reply from MySQL’s development team:

The server behaves properly here:
- “1″ alone can not be an identifier, because it’s followed by a “.”
- therefore, the lexer parses “1″ as the beginning of a …

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Can we afford big data, or do we need smart data?

With the Big Data craze that’s sweeping the world of technology right now, I often ask myself whether we’re deficit-spending, so to speak, with our data consumption habits. I’ve seen repeated examples of being unwilling to get rid of data, even though it’s unused and nobody can think of a future use for it. At the same time, much Big Data processing I’ve seen is brute-force and costly: hitting a not-very-valuable nut with a giant, expensive sledgehammer. I think the combination of these two problems represents a giant opportunity, and I’m going to call the solution Smart Data for lack of a better word.

What’s the problem, in 25 words or less? I think it’s that we’re collecting a lot of data simply because we can. Not because we know of any good use for it, but just because it’s there.

What is the real cost of all of this data? I think we all know we’re well behind the curve in making use of it. A huge …

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In place replacement / upgrade – Redhat and Centos


Geo Coding on the Cheap

Almost every business process or decision includes a WHERE!

Like IP addresses encode the destination of a domain name, with a geographic information system (GIS) you can encode and analyze the location data allowing you to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends.

Weather Decision Technologies

Show embedded map in full-screen mode

The world of GIS is confusing. Here is my understanding of how the peaces go together and how you can get started.

We describe locations on the earth in terms of Latitude and Longitude.  LatLng(35.22248, -97.44135).  There’s a third, Altitude.  GIS describes more then LatLng “point data”, it can also describe …

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Install PostGIS 9.2 on RedHat 6.2

First you need to be able to resolve a few dependencies so you’ll need the epel repository.

$ wget

Now you can add the PostgreSQL repository to your system. Use the pgdg-centos92 package for CentOS and the pgdg-redhat92 package for Redhat.

$ wget
$ wget

NOTE: Redhat User’s only - I found Redhat repositories (6 and epel) do supply gdal-1.7 but it is compiled to be used with the UNIX ‘libodbc’ package that are not provided.  (I have no idea why.)  Because of this you will need to download the gdal-1.8 CentOS file.   This does not apply to CentOS user’s because the correct package is supplied.  (Go figure.)

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