Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Biggest MySQL related news in the last 24 hours

For me, the biggest news in the last 24 hours so far has been:

  1. SkySQL merges with Monty Program, developers of MariaDB. This of course affects me directly and leads to a change in affiliation in a few months.
  2. TokuDB goes opensource. I think this is really big news. Beyond just the fact that it can now be a storage engine in the main MariaDB tree, I love the work they’re doing to extend it to be an engine for MongoDB as well.
  3. Continuent Tungsten Replicator is now 100% opensource. Now you can extract data in real-time from Oracle, so think of this as Golden Gate without a price. I like this move.
  4. Wikipedia adopts MariaDB. Again, this is important and its also important that we have the MariaDB Foundation in place.

I expect a lot more interesting news to happen in the next 24-hours, so lets see if I wake up at 4am to postulate tomorrow.

Crowdsourced Wikipedia & Google results

In times of “war”, Wikipedia can be used to sway Google results. Read: In Lahad Datu conflict, Google bombs & Wiki-wars. That’s pretty much what I tweeted yesterday. Just check out the revision history for Sabah.

Wikipedia tells an interesting tale. Even since 2005, you can see from the Talk page, that there have been Sulu sultanate claims. All in, just look at the traffic stats to the page and you see a marked increase in people wanting to know about Sabah.

The page is now semi-protected till March 14, but I doubt the standoff will be over by then, so expect Wikipedia editors to be paying close attention to this page. As for Google, there are benefits to getting the latest information from Wikipedia, but you’re also vulnerable when non-neutral points of view get displayed (thus making many people claim that Google was hacked!).

I checked DuckDuckGo and it seems that they use a much older cache of Wikipedia so was not affected by these Wikipedia changes.

A few great weeks for MariaDB

I think MariaDB has had a great few weeks recently and the timeline of these events are important.

  1. 27 November 2012 – WiredTree Adds MariaDB for Faster MySQL Database Performance (well worth reading their motivations to switch)
  2. 29 November 2012 – Monty Program & SkySQL release the MariaDB Client Library for C & Java
  3. 4 December 2012 – MariaDB Foundation is announced, see ZDNet coverage.
  4. mid-December 2012 – Wikimedia Foundation starts migrating Wikipedia to MariaDB, not for any other reason besides the fact that the Foundation was announced (more ZDNet coverage).

Now, there have been rumors that the client libraries are just rip-offs or relicensed. They are not. They’ve been in works for customers for several years now (yes, Monty Program does need to pay the bills), and there are many a feature difference. This will be addressed next week to ensure that people know what they’re getting.

There have also been rumors that the foundation was announced with regards to the connectors. Wrong again. Connectors were announced first, foundation came later (see timeline above). You don’t do these things in a span of one week, the talk for the foundation has been going on for months. I should know, as alongside Monty & Rasmus, I’ve been somewhat involved.

I agree that we need better communications (remember to like us on facebook, follow us on twitter @mariadb), and we’re working on it. Its also that time of year when people love to take vacations (I am one of them). All that said, watch closely as that’s the official channel for all things MariaDB.

2012 has been a great year for MariaDB in general, as the project grows, we get more coverage (see news reports), unparalleled downloads thanks to our 5.5-series being released, and our expanding product lines. I can forsee 2013 being even more exciting. Thank you all for an amazing 2012.

Happy new year and here’s to a great 2013!

Wikipedia available in print via PediaPress

Book vendorOver a year ago, I found out about Wikitravel Press from Jani Patokallio, at BarCampKL 2009. I was pretty excited since it was based on the open content Wikitravel, it was printed on demand, and it was updated on a regular basis. Imagine getting accurate travel guides when you were going somewhere (as opposed to a dated Lonely Planet guidebook)?

When I was young, I used to pore through a set of encyclopaedias from Grolier, that my late grandfather had purchased sometime in the ’60’s. These were wrongly disposed off, during a move, and the last time I encountered a traditional encyclopaedia, was a few months ago, albeit a digital version. For me, Wikipedia won.

Naturally, I’m excited to see that you can now get Wikipedia entries, printed in book-form now. PediaPress now offers custom books to all users. Check out the book creator on Wikipedia.

It got me thinking. Would we eventually see textbooks being printed out from Wikipedia? I took a look at some of the pre-prepared books, and found one for College Mathematics: Algebra. Its over 400 pages of dense mathematical content; about the typical size of a math textbook. Coursework preparation will be more open, and quality will be crowd-sourced.

More interesting for me, and other developers using MediaWiki? The tools for creating your own press are available at the PediaPress Open Source Repository. Therein lies a Python library for parsing the MediaWiki articles (mwlib), another library for writing the PDF documents from MediaWiki articles (mwlib.rl), and a bunch of extensions to collect MediaWiki articles and output them to PDF, XML, or even OpenDocument format (ODF).

What does that mean? If you’re using MediaWiki to create documentation, you can quite likely create a printed manual pretty darn easily. No mucking around with writing documentation in DocBook XML… you can use the friendly MediaWiki markup and syntax.

On Wikipedia and traditional Britannica

I was searching for information about an animal that is common in South-East Asia, and for once, Google not only had the Wikipedia link, but also the Encyclopaedia Britannica link. I thought I’d amuse myself and click it, considering I used to read dead-tree encyclopaedia’s from the 60’s.

chevrotain (mammal) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

I can understand the need to monetise content, and to be fair, paying USD$69.95/year is cheap as chips (since you save $1,325.05 off the print version it seems!), but I think I learned more from the Wikipedia article, than I did the one at Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Do you feel the same way? Wikipedia is going through a fundraising drive, and I think it would be wise to make a donation.

What Wikipedia looks like when their database goes away

This wiki has a problem

An unknown error connecting to MySQL on Oh dear me… It came back up within 2 minutes though from the time I got the screenshot.