FOSDEM 2020: Some memories and todos

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.

FOSDEM logo

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.

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Five Cities in India

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.

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Shanghai MariaDB Unconference Nov 2019

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.

Hosts and environment

Microsoft were our hosts, at their fabulous campus in the peaceful outskirts of Shanghai. “Where are all the Chinese?” was a common foreigner reaction;

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MariaDB Server University Program

The demand for DBAs, developers and software engineers knowledgeable in MariaDB Server is high. The supply isn’t.

This is something we plan to fix, with the MariaDB Server University Program, for which we are now inviting universities to participate in, and users of MariaDB Server to sponsor.

Discussions at Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Mind the Gap

Closing the gap between supply and demand is in the interest of several stakeholders:

Universities. Read more

Press Release: MariaDB Server University Program Launch

Indonesia to Lead World Wide University Database Education Initiative 

Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 6 Sep 2019: MariaDB Foundation and APTISI (the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions Indonesia) collaborate to launch the MariaDB Server University Programme, providing free education material for universities across Indonesia and worldwide. 

The need for database education in Indonesia

With millions of university level students in the IT sector alone, Indonesia needs a comprehensive education programme for databases, for database administrators, for developers of applications, and for developers of database technology. Open Source databases are ideal from an education perspective, providing professors and students with the technology and licenses needed, out of the box, without having to enter bureaucratic agreements. Read more

Board Meeting 1/2019

MariaDB Foundation has an upcoming board meeting soon. Let me grab the opportunity to publicly share more about the Foundation Board, who is on it, and what the board decided in the previous board meeting, Wed 17 Apr 2019.

We meet over Zoom, after first setting a date and a time. With board members from California in the West to Shenzhen in the East, finding a time of day is always painful. We usually end up with a Californian morning, US East coast mid day, European evening, and Chinese late night. Last meeting, everyone was present, which is great, but timing was an ordeal in particular for the Chinese board members, with a meeting that started at midnight. Read more

Redirecting Downloaders to Knowledge Base

At the end of the download process for MariaDB Server from downloads.mariadb.org, downloaders will from now on be redirected to a MariaDB Knowledge Base page with further information related to how to work with the MariaDB Server release just downloaded.

This is meant to be helpful for the downloader, both when getting started with MariaDB in general, and with that specific release in particular.

The decision to redirect downloaders to a site run by the MariaDB Corporation needs special care. The MariaDB Foundation board voted on the issue, with the board members who work for the MariaDB Corporation abstaining from the vote. Read more

On Contributions, Pride and Cockiness

At MariaDB Foundation, we are proud of MariaDB Server getting plenty of contributions. But we don’t want to get cocky, so here is an update about where we stand, and what we want to make happen.

First, we have shown our contribution pride in several places. On 15 February 2019, I tweeted

Repeating: On code contributions, #MariaDB beats #MySQL 1009 to 247: We have over a thousand (1009) closed pull requests on GitHub (and 179 open), MySQL has 247 closed (1 open).

In our Annual Report 2018, we spent several pages, talking about pull requests and patches, showing code contribution statistics. Read more