Getting emo over binaries?

Kathy Sierra’s closing keynote at linux.conf.au 2007 was a rather interesting one. I took away a lot from it, and while I might not be giving a summary of my thoughts here, one of her slides had a quote about a fake book she co-authored, that made me chuckle a little.

“So does this mean Ruby programmers are more emo than, say, Perl programmers?

MySQL people are definitely 5000% more emo than PostgreSQL people.”

Some will recognize that from a comment made in her blog post, Announcing The Emo Programmer book. But I took another parallel to the statement, because in the past few weeks, the MySQL community have been taking the recent Enterprise/Community announcements in a rather unwelcoming way.

MySQL are not getting rid of binaries in the Community release, as Kaj has stated. Maybe we weren’t clear enough in our communication, and we’re clearly sorry. I think Kaj’s initial announcement was clear, but maybe a tabular form might be easier to understand? Keep in mind that odd numbers equate to Community releases, and even numbers equate to Enterprise releases.

5.0.27 – Community Binary & Source
5.0.28 – Enterprise Binary & Source
5.0.30 – Enterprise Binary & Source
5.0.32 – Enterprise Binary & Source
5.0.33 – Community Source (sync’ed to Enterprise 5.0.32)

So while we’re not attaching a timeframe to our releases, the above might make it easier to visualize, that the next time we release a Community edition, it will contain both binaries and source. In an ideal world, you’ll see a Community release after 2 Enterprise releases (i.e. on the 3rd release), one of which will be a source release, and the other which will be a source and binary release.

This is not a roadmap, but if we see the Community Server sources show up in January, I don’t see why we won’t see the Community Server sources & binaries showing up in March. June might see another source release, while September shows up a source & binary release. And so on…

So, if you see a binary once every six months, how is that rarely released? We’re not expecting Windows users to compile away.

In fact, the reasoning behind more frequent source releases, is to help those distributing MySQL. These are the Linux, *BSD, OS X, and other distributions that many people get their MySQL fix from. We want to make sure that with varying distribution freeze dates for releases (most good ones, ala Fedora, Ubuntu, etc. work on a six-month cycle), a new source tarball is available, and that the distributions themselves can publish it. We’re saving the infliction of pain of using BitKeeper, and taking random changesets.

Back to the question of Windows users. This is a time for Windows distributors to step up. XAMPP might be a good alternative for the learning crowd (with an easy to use installer for Apache, MySQL and PHP), and if others think we should work more closely with the project, by all means, leave a comment here or write me some email.

For those still concerned, I’d like to point out to Kaj’s Community Server recap. Don’t misunderstand point #4, as that is clearly in the Enterprise context, and its something we like to use in MySQL talks to talk about differentiation. If you’ve ever been to an overview talk, there are even clever icons that basically spell out that Enterprise customers like to spend money to save time, while Community folk enjoy spending time to save money.

To cap this all off, yes, MySQL are still providing binaries. Yes, we’ll see one Community source release, and one Community source+binary release. This will follow on with just a Community source release, and yet another Community source+binary release. Repeat, rinse.

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  • http://www.mysqlperformanceblog.com Peter Zaitsev

    Colin,

    Binary every 6 months is rare because there used to be binary every month (check manual for 5.0 release dates before community/enterprise split)

    Binary every 6 months is rare because of amount of bugs often fixed withing this time frame.

    It _might_ be good for you. In fact I have some servers running binaries which is a year or more old but if you run into the bug which was fixed just after new community binary was released what will you do ? Wait for 6 months for next binary release to happen.

    Nope you’d need to find a way to get stuff complied.

    This is my point. Anyway “rare” and “frequent” are not absolute categories and I can call something rare and you can call it frequent and neither of us is wrong or right.

  • Martin

    How do MySQL AB manage to be more “emo” than PostgreSQL Global Development Group? I am Nordic and I like to support Nordic companies, but MySQL has been against everything I belive in as a person. MySQL AB have been lying and misleading for years.

    PostgreSQL has never been about marketing. It has only been about doing what they belive in and what they think would be the right thing. The developers of PostgreSQL has always been open about their shortcomings and their goals.

    The focus of PostgreSQL has been quality and standards. What do they do when someone gave them something half finished or nonstandard? They will have a look, but drop it if it doesn’t follow the standards.

    MySQL was working hard to sell their core idea: The world do not need data integrity.

    I am a strong beliver in the GPL and the LGPL, but I choose honesty and integrity of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group over the lying and empty talk from the MySQL marketing department.

    Is MySQL improving? I truly belive so. The changes of the releases don’t change much. Their growing commit to quality and standard do change a lot. MySQL used to be at the same level as Microsoft, but they have improved.

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