Machine Learning straight through SQL

Machine learning is one area that cannot succeed without data. Traditionally, machine learning frameworks read it from CSV files or similar data sources. This brings an interesting set of challenges because in most cases the data is stored in databases, not simple raw files. It takes time and effort to move data from one format to another. Additionally, one needs to write some code (usually python) to prepare the data just like the ML framework expects it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw during the MariaDB Server Fest that MindsDB, an automatic machine learning system, presented their integration with MariaDB.

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Server Fest Conclusions

The MariaDB Server Fest 2020 is now over! Time for some spontaneous, initial reflections.

The MariaDB Server Fest 

To recap, MariaDB Server Fest

  • was a virtual conference
  • spread out over three days in September 2020
  • taking place first in Paris, then in New York, and last in Singapore / Beijing (three days in each location)

The Fest was a first for MariaDB Foundation

The Server Fest was a first in many ways, for MariaDB Foundation:

  • The first time we addressed the users of MariaDB Server – not the developers of MariaDB Server
  • The first time we went virtual – so far, we have always met face to face
  • The first time we did a conference with Call for Papers and an approval process – earlier, we had what we called unconferences, with a very spontaneous agenda

A roaring success

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • over 10.000 unique video views on YouTube alone
  • over 2.000 simultaneous viewers on Bilibili.com
  • 35 talks by 30 presenters
  • twelve live streams, each with six hours of talks 

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ColumnStore Native Part of MariaDB 10.5

On Wednesday 24 June 2020, MariaDB Server 10.5 was released GA. While there are several cool new features included, this first 10.5 blog is about the groundbreaking new component, ColumnStore.

The big picture

ColumnStore brings data warehousing to the world of MariaDB Server. It’s a columnar storage engine (Wikipedia: Column-oriented DBMS), enabling what is often called HTAP (Wikipedia: Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing). The Columnar data type stores data by columns, not by rows, enabling quick analytical reporting over huge data volumes.

The news

The ColumnStore engine is part of MariaDB Server 10.5.

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Congratulations, MySQL, 25 years today!

Time flies!

It certainly doesn’t feel like 25 years ago that Monty released MySQL. At that time, I thought it was a bit redundant of Monty to create Yet Another Database, the world was full of them already. But MySQL turned out to become the database for Internet, growing hand-in-hand with PHP (and Perl and Python). 

When MySQL was created 1995, Monty’s oldest daughter My was six years old. When the first MariaDB was released 2009, My’s little sister Maria was one year younger, five years old.

The oldest mysql.com site I found: 5 July 1998

One innovation over the other databases was the license model.

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Planet MariaDB underwent liberal facelift

Planet MariaDB has been reworked from scratch, getting a new instance with the same look and feel as the rest of mariadb.org.

Three news items, related to that: One bad, one neutral, one good. I’m saving the good one for last, as I hope you will like it.

Bad news: The old Planet had five different RSS feeds, we now have only one. We maintain the format changes only on one RSS feed, which means that some of you will have to update your RSS feed to https://mariadb.org/planet-feed.xml (also listed on Planet MariaDB). That said, we are working on further redirects;

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A different kind of tech conference

Last Wednesday, I received an unexpected text: “Would you like to do some volunteering work? It involves speaking online to some kids for one hour about IT”. It was a classmate from high school.

MariaDB Foundation employees work remotely. Sure, we all meet together in one place a number of times a year so we don’t forget each other’s faces, but in 99% of our logged time, we are distributed around the globe. We are also not required to have a strict working schedule and this offers us the opportunity to say yes easily to these sort of events.

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Join the Solstice Run Sat 20 June 2020

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

We want to inspire non-runners to run

As initiators, we want to inspire others to start running.

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