My favourite running track is full! Full of newbie runners, young and old. Mostly running alone, sometimes in pairs – but all following social distancing.
Social distancing can be coupled with emotional closeness. That’s at least what Sauli Niinistö propagates, the President of Finland. In line with these two phenomena – emotional closeness between isolated colleagues, and the boom of running as a source of energy during lockdown – we are launching the Solstice Run.
As initiators, we want to inspire others to start running.
Congratulations, MariaDB Corporation, on releasing SkySQL, a DBaaS offering for MariaDB Server! This is a big step for MariaDB Corporation, and we in the MariaDB Foundation hope it’s going to be a success for you and for MariaDB Server.
We welcome SkySQL as a further contributor to the adoption of MariaDB Server, and look forward to it driving in new categories of users.
To find out more, check out https://mariadb.com/skysql/.
Time to renew downloads.mariadb.org! We are embarking on a long project. A large part of our user base mainly interacts with us through downloading new versions. Renewing MariaDB Downloads is the biggest-impact project of all of 2020, for that part of our user base.
Projects like this often get launched when external and internal impulses coincide. Our users have asked for a more consistent, simpler user experience. Advanced users would like a programmatic interface (a.k.a. REST API) for part of the functionality. And the current codebase needs refactoring attention, as it has served past its best-before date.
On Monday, I sent out an email to the staff of MariaDB Foundation. In the hope that my thinking is also applicable for someone else, here’s a slightly edited excerpt:
For an unknown amount of time, we will live under exceptional circumstances. Yet, there will be life both during and after the Corona pandemic. With this email, I want to share my view on how Corona affects our organisation, on how we sustain life during Corona and on how we best prepare for life after Corona.
When facing adverse times, I fall back on thoughts and values I have read and contemplated.
MariaDB Foundation faces an unusual world, just like anyone else in these Corona times. Or perhaps, not quite. Here are some ideas for how to cope with a world inhibiting travel and social contact as we know it, from someone who has worked from home for 20 years, with colleagues also working from home.
First, stay upbeat. Humans are social animals, and we live off interactions with others. But Corona just dictates what type of social interactions we can have. It doesn’t inhibit social contact.
Second, stay connected.
FOSDEM gives energy. FOSDEM gives ideas. FOSDEM opens up opportunities, FOSDEM allows you to connect with old friends and colleagues. Hence, no big surprise that MariaDB Foundation attended FOSDEM, in order to promote Open Source and to get ourselves closer to the community.
Starting from a pre-FOSDEM dinner with Member of the European Parliament Nils Torvalds, over Open Source Diva Danese Cooper’s keynote about “Open Source is Art”, to the MySQL, MariaDB and Friends Devroom and Sunday’s MariaDB Day, concluding with OpenForum Europe’s meeting on Monday, my previous weekend was packed with encounters, discussions, and ideas around Open Source.
A trip to Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai taught MariaDB Foundation the importance of India. Government and Fintech lead the pack. India has a huge supply of highly educated IT specialists, and their decision power in selecting tools (including databases) is growing. India is moving from a body-shop for Europe and the US towards becoming a hotbed for startups, and for database training and adoption, India has a near-perfect language landscape for the MariaDB Foundation University Program.
In our quest to promote development of MariaDB Server, what we have come to call Unconferences form a key part. These developer meetings have traditionally been organised twice a year, and 2019 is no exception. After the North American Unconference in New York in February, Asia Pacific was in turn with Shanghai in November. And, no, we have not forgotten Europe; expect an EMEA Unconference next year.
Microsoft were our hosts, at their fabulous campus in the peaceful outskirts of Shanghai. “Where are all the Chinese?” was a common foreigner reaction;