Posts Tagged ‘wiki’

Book: Julian Assange – The Unauthorised Autobiography

I was in the library getting my usual feed of newspapers & magazines when I spotted a book that I totally wanted to read – Julian Assange the Unathorised Autobiography. I kind of forgot why I didn’t buy it upon release (read Julian Assange’s statement which tells why this is really an unauthorised autobiography).

It was a wholly interesting read that I can highly recommend. Some points that I would like to take note of:

  • Reminding me of 1984 by George Orwell: “he who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future.”
  • Theodore Roosevelt: “Behind the ostensible government sits an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship.”
  • “Authoritarian powers knows ow to strengthen itself through conspiracy.” – Julian Assange
  • What were the unfakeable metrics in modern journalism? They were sales, hits, take-up and exclusivity. 
  • I see that WikiLeaks published Michaela Wrong’s book about Kenya that was banned in the country as a PDF (It’s our turn to eat). Turns out that the author didn’t like this. This is something I myself have long thought about as the list of banned books in Malaysia is amazingly long.
  • Its nice to see that he talks about the Malaysian Hack In The Box Conference (which he attended). It’s nice that he mentions he met Anwar Ibrahim too.
  • Another George Orwell gem: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
  • Disclosure is not merely an action; it is a way of life. To my mind it carries both sense and sensibility: you are what you know, and no state has the right to make you less than you are. Many modern states forget that they were founded on the principles of the Enlightenment, that knowledge is a guarantor of liberty, and that no state has the right to dispence justice as if it were merely a favour of power. Justice, in fact, rightly upheld, is a check on power, and we can only look after the people by making sure that politics never controls information absolutely.
  • Information sets us free. And it does so by allowing us to question the actions of those who would sooner we had no means to question them, no right to reply.

eulogy for mysql forge

When the mysql librarian closed, I didn’t think too much about it; it was a feature I probably never used. However this month brings the end of the mysql forge. The MySQL Forge was something I worked on while I was at MySQL so I am a little sad to see it go. 

Now for a little bit of a history lesson. We wanted some kind of “forge” back in 2005, because sourceforge was all the rage then (today, you can’t even find mariadb or mongodb listed there). We didn’t want to pay the exorbitant fees associated with sourceforge, so we investigated gforge. After studying it carefully, it would only allow us to use postgresql and changing the database structure for a rapidly developing piece of code wasn’t going to work for us; and we loved eating our own dogfood (mysql).

This meant writing our own code, and thus was born the mysql forge. We requisitioned two machines (forge1, forge2) of which I cannot remember the configuration of now. The only component we didn’t write was the wiki (we used mediawiki). What did we write? The interface to worklog (which looks like it stopped being synced in august 2011), a place to share tools & code (some 288 snippets, UDFs, scripts, etc.), and a project list (which is what the forge provided – over 400 projects that have relation to working with mysql). And the wiki had a chunk of documentation (over 600 pages). 

We launched the forge sometime in april 2006, probably at the mysql users conference 2006. Apparently since then the wiki alone has had 11,236,211 page views. We hacked the wiki quite a bit, and upgrades were always a little bit of hell, but things like single sign on, SpamBlacklist, etc. had to work. 

It seems like the new community resource is just that: community resources. There doesn’t seem to be a link to the new worklog, so its difficult for the community to comment on future worklog entries. The wiki is now hosted at oracle wiki’s, and it doesn’t look like all the content made it. For example I don’t see documentation for the random query generator anywhere… And what about all the code snippets even if the project list has gone?

All in, it was great to work on code with jay pipes, lenz grimmer, dups, and the feature driver giuseppe maxia. One regret was never having opensourced the code behind the forge.

Goodbye MySQL Forge. You served the community well for over five years.