Log Buffer #29: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Jan 26, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to Log Buffer, the weekly, human-edited overview of database blogs. I’m on my own again this week, but I hope to make some new Log Buffer friends soon.

Let’s begin with Colin Charles‘s blog, where he offers some background of the reception of MySQL AB’s introduction of its dual-distribution model, using a quote, “MySQL people are definitely 5000% more emo than PostgreSQL people.” as his keynote. He recaps the basic facts and rationales of the split model, with links. He also says, “Maybe we weren’t clear enough in our communication, and were clearly sorry.”

“…I want to take a chance to ask the MySQL employees to stop apologizing for being unclear. You were clear. It is not your fault some idiots jumped to conclusions and spread misinformation,” writes Xaprb, giving his view of the truth about MySQL Community and Enterprise. MySQL AB is being run-down, the author believes, by people who are not checking the facts, when all that’s really changed for community users is the frequency of binary build releases. A clear case of truthiness, it seems.

On Blogck Out, Peter Laursen concurs that MySQL AB is on the right footing, and kindly offers Webyog’s binary build of MySQL 5.0.33 on Windows.

Peter Zaitsev likewise weighs in on the MySQL Performance Blog: “For many users running old MySQL binary is not the problem, it is however the problem if you run into the bug, which may already be fixed in newer version but binary with bugfix is not yet available. I guess having bug fixes promptly available is one of the selling points of MySQL Enterprise.” He also has a binary build for 64-bit Linux, and a link to another.

Giuseppe Maxia, the Data Charmer, has his advice on building MySQL 5.1 from source tree on Mac OSX. (He also has some neat tricks for filling test tables quickly.)

Roland Bouman in turn offers his counsel on compiling MySQL from source on Linux.

Curt Monash of DBMS2’s blog points to a paper analyzing MySQL hosting on a grid. One observation: “Some people write really, really bad MySQL web applications.”

As if on queue, Farhan Mashraqi is standing by with an item noting that bad application design won’t get you anywhere with PostgreSQL or MySQL. “I am so sick and tired of engaging into flame wars comparing MySQL and PostgreSQL especially when people haven’t used both databases together. Both databases have their own strengths, however, if your application is not tuned for the underlying database, you are out of help.” The simple answer would be, don’t engage in them. Farhan has made a list of resources on the MySQL-vs.-Postgres slapfight, and asks for more.

Have your questions not been answered by any of the foregoing blogs? Why not just ask the CEO? According to Lenz Grimmer‘s blog, if you’re anywhere near Dublin, Ireland tomorrow, MÃ¥rten Mickos will meet with the local user group at the MySQL Ireland headquarters: “This is your chance to meet and talk with MÃ¥rten and other MySQLers. There will also be free food and drinks and most likely a tech talk about MySQL.”

Turning to PostgreSQL for a moment, Greg’s Postgres Stuff has a piece on doing printf and sprintf in SQL, or in Pl/Perl to be more precise. This is most useful for DBAs and others like me, who prefer the things they read to look pretty. It’s all about readability.

Kenneth Downs’s personal blog has an items on the advantages of triggers versus stored procedures: “…I will argue that triggers and table-level security is a far superior solution for a variety of reasons, and that the drawbacks of the stored procedure approach far outweigh its advantages.” The argument is clear and well made.

Howard Dizwell’s blog (which has finally found a reasonably reliable host) has the third part of his series on getting a job as a junior DBA, a kind of cheat-sheet with questions an interviewee might expect (not only from Howard but elsewhere too) and the answers he in turn expects.

David Aldridge, the Oracle Sponge, follows up with his reflections on being on either side of the interview desk. It’s interesting that the piece (and some of the comments) imply that the manner and substance of the interview give the prospective employee a chance to grade the employer too.

Maybe a question or two about the DST change and its impact on Oracle environments would be appropriate, as professional Oracle DBAs should be all over this issue as a matter of course. However, things go wrong, and we’re none of us perfect, so we are lucky to have bloggers like Mike Rothouse sharing what he knows on the matter, on Mike R.’s Blog.

%*@! There is no explicit cursing on this blog. However, on the Radio Free Tooting blog, Andrew Clarke says that in Oracle, explicit cursors are not quite dead. That they are no longer the way to go is a fashionable idea formerly endorsed by at least one guru, who “…uses it now in his presentations as a classic example of why we should never take a guru’s word for anything.” Andrew mentions a couple of cases in which they are needed, and asks if anyone else can think of others.

Finallly, on Databases, Infrastructure, and Security, Brian Kelley links to his review of Typhon III, a general vulnerability scanner for SQL Server.

Thanks for reading Log Buffer. See you in a week!

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