I’m really looking forward to Percona Live this year. I will be there, along with Kyle Redinger, my co-founder at VividCortex. I feel that this year the conference has come full circle. 2007 was my first year at the conference, and it was amazing. This year is tremendously exciting for me because it feels like we’re back on the 2007 trajectory.
Those were the golden days. Things were a little sad in 2010 and 2011 as the MySQL community tried to figure out the new landscape and O’Reilly decided to stop running the event, but then in 2012 we all said “we’re back!” with the exception of Oracle, who instead arranged MySQL Connect, as part of Oracle Open World. I don’t think that was a huge success. I don’t know if that’s why Oracle has decided to participate in this year’s Percona MySQL conference, but frankly it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re there. Oracle is a vital part of the MySQL community and if we didn’t have them it would be a huge loss.
I think I already said this in a previous blog post, but the schedule is freaking amazing. I have never seen a conference — any conference — with such a high-quality session schedule. To get this many concentrated high-quality sessions you usually have to attend a mega-conference with dozens of sessions at a time, most of them fluff.
I also have to give Percona a huge thank-you for seeing this through. I was involved — but only slightly — in the 2012 conference, and I can tell you that no outsider can possibly understand the amount of time, money, and work involved. I heard some people say things like “oh yeah, I’ve organized a big event, I know what’s required” followed by descriptions of “cost” and “difficulty” that made me laugh. The conference Percona is organizing is unimaginably more expensive and difficult. If you want to say thank-you, I know they will be glad to hear it. The committee will also. And let’s give credit to the sponsors, too. It’s a ton of effort and expense for all of them.
Are you going to be there? If not, what the heck is wrong with you? Seriously. If you are involved with MySQL at all, if you use it, if your company uses it — you need to be there. If you haven’t been in 2007, 2008, or 2012, there’s no way you can understand what you’re missing. You need to take my word and show up. Percona is making it ridiculously cheap — I don’t know if they’re even making money at the price they’re charging. The value of that week in Santa Clara is hard to calculate. Just go.
High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition has been selling very well. It’s translated into many languages. O’Reilly sends me a hard-copy of the translations, and I have a whole section on my bookshelf dedicated to them. It’s really satisfying to look at it.
Today I’m happy to announce that we’re moving forward with a new batch of translations. Demand has been so strong that we want to make the book accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Plus, I get a fat check every time O’Reilly sells the translation rights.
The new languages will include Australian, l337 (“Leet”), Jive, Ebonics, Elmer Fudd, Blissymbols, and Esperanto. Here’s a sample before-and-after paragraph:
Isolating the Column
We commonly see queries that defeat indexes or prevent MySQL from using the available indexes. MySQL generally can’t use indexes on columns unless the columns are isolated in the query. “Isolating” the column means it should not be part of an expression or be inside a function in the query.
Here’s the same passage, translated to Australian:
˙ʎɹǝnb ǝɥʇ uı uoıʇɔunɟ ɐ ǝpısuı ǝq ɹo uoıssǝɹdxǝ uɐ ɟo ʇɹɐd ǝq ʇou plnoɥs ʇı suɐǝɯ uɯnloɔ ǝɥʇ ”ƃuıʇɐlosI“ ˙ʎɹǝnb ǝɥʇ uı pǝʇɐlosı ǝɹɐ suɯnloɔ ǝɥʇ ssǝlun suɯnloɔ uo sǝxǝpuı ǝsn ʇ’uɐɔ ʎllɐɹǝuǝƃ ˥QSʎW ˙sǝxǝpuı ǝlqɐlıɐʌɐ ǝɥʇ ƃuısn ɯoɹɟ ˥QSʎW ʇuǝʌǝɹd ɹo sǝxǝpuı ʇɐǝɟǝp ʇɐɥʇ sǝıɹǝnb ǝǝs ʎluoɯɯoɔ ǝM
uɯnloƆ ǝɥʇ ƃuıʇɐlosI
And here’s the sample in Jive:
Them Columns Cut a Lemon fo Isolatin’
Ain’t nothin but a thang bout them messin’ up my old lady’s indexes cain’t be runnin’ upside down yo’ head. Slap my fro. MySQL can’t dig it with lay no indexes on dem less’n you gets ‘em say I won say I pray I get the same ol’ same ol’. Yo SQL, MySQL, all them SQL. What it is, Mama, what it is. Knock yoself a pro slick, get ‘em spreshuns ain’t be togetha. Use yo’ gray mattah! True dat, git it out wid de functions. Come on got to be! Sheeeeeeeh.
There may be some rough edges, of course. This is only an early draft.
In addition, we are translating the technical examples and code samples into additional computer languages, including popular ones like LOLCATS, ALGOL (sorry, not the latest release — that will come soon), and even obscure languages like Node.JS and Commodore 64. We’re also extending the book with compatibility plugins — sort of “skins” or “personalities” if you will — that will let you apply all the knowledge in the book to irrelevant, obscure database servers like Oracle, PostgreSQL (a.k.a. “Postgre”), Riak, and FAT32.
Your feedback and suggestions are welcome. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help make your High Performance MySQL experience more enjoyable. Or, if you prefer: Slide your jib, brother sky, don’t be sayin’ no off-time jive, lay it on, you dig? Mash me a fin.
I’ve been trying out Republic Wireless, a startup that offers very inexpensive wireless service: $19 for unlimited talk, text, and data. In a nutshell: they resell Sprint’s network, and you agree to connect to wifi as much as possible; they use the Internet instead of the cell network when you’re on wifi. I thought for $19/month it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. After several months, my experience has been that it isn’t worth using at all, no matter how cheap it is.
I don’t want to dwell on the problems at great length, but here are some of the issues I’ve had.
- The phone is junk. It’s a super-low-quality Motorola Defy XT, which is basically hardware and software (Android) from 3 years ago. It has flaky behavior such as turning off the screen when I try to use the keypad during a call, for example, when I try to press the 7 key to delete a message from voicemail. It also does bizarre things like rotating the screen from landscape to portrait repeatedly and unpredictably when I’m in the middle of trying to use it. It’s a really poor experience in every way; my 3-year-old Droid 2 was much better.
- Sprint’s network is awful. Just awful. Voice quality is terrible. I haven’t been able to actually have a call for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It disconnects or goes into some kind of zombie state where the call still seems to be connected but nobody can hear anything — or only one person’s voice gets through. The phone is literally unusable as a telephone.
- Connecting to wifi doesn’t work. I connect to wifi, I have a strong signal, and their VOIP software uses the cell network instead. It’s incredibly buggy. VOIP calls are better than over-the-air calls, but not much.
- Something is wrong with number routing. I’ve gotten calls from people who were dialing completely different numbers (same area code, but different last 7 digits.) When these people apologized and hung up, then tried calling the number they were trying to reach, they’d get me again. This never happened on Verizon.
- Customer service isn’t merely bad, it’s actually nonexistent. They just use a community forum, and they don’t even answer threads on the forum. See, for example, my thread asking them to make voicemail passwords optional, after they removed passwords from everyone’s voicemail (which is a serious and well-demonstrated privacy/security blunder).
- Text messages stopped working several weeks ago, with basically no notification except for a relatively hidden post in some area of the community forums. Last I looked, there’s no update on whether they’re even trying to fix this.
I’m sure there is more, but that should be enough for now. The summary is that the phone is almost completely unusable for voice calls, completely unusable for text, and practically unusable for anything I’d like to do that requires data (e.g. typing an email) because of the hardware’s flakiness. It’s little more than a small, poorly behaved Android tablet that I paid $250 for.
My wife and I switched from our previous price-gouging phone network at the same time, and both of us have had all the same issues. So this isn’t “just me.” There’s a sample size of at least 2.