MariaDB Server MiniFest Wed 9 Dec 2020

New MariaDB releases come with regular intervals. Releasing a new version is a balance between new functionality and bugfixes on one side, and stability on the other. How do we get optimum quality for the releases? And what exactly is quality, from the point of view of DBAs and developers that use MariaDB Server?

That’s the setting of our MariaDB Server MiniFest in two weeks.

New MariaDB Releases: The DBA & Developer Experience 

This MiniFest is called “mini” for three key reasons:

  1. It has just one topic
  2. It is much shorter, less than half a day
  3. It happens just in one time zone

But it still builds on the pillars of success from our MariaDB Server Fest in Sep 2020:

  1. It features expert speakers on MariaDB Server
  2. It has pre-recording, subtitles, and follow-up discussions
  3. It is interactive, with the speakers “cloned” on Zulip chat

The special sauce

The special sauce for this MiniFest is

  1. Internal presenters explain the logic of release policies
  2. External presenters give the candid user perspective
  3. The desired outcome: improved processes and quality

The conference format

The internal (provider) presentations have a 10+10 minute format.

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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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Fest Content: 35 videos by 30 presenters

So you heard about the interesting presentations at the MariaDB Server Fest, but didn’t have time to watch them when we were live? Or you have so far seen only a couple of the presentations, but would like some hints at which other presentations are worthy of taking a look at? 

That’s the purpose of this blog entry: to help you pick and choose, suggesting what could be interesting for you. All the Server Fest presentations are available on YouTube, with subtitles and Q&A sessions!

Four tips

A first tip: Most presentations have a short five-minute Q&A session.

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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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Beijing and Singapore MariaDB Server Fests

MariaDB Server Fest is coming to Asia Pacific! Beijing and Singapore are the two symbols for the timezones, much like Paris for the Server Fest in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and New York for the Server Fest in the Americas.

The reason we have two different symbols for the same time zone is that we want to adapt to the different Internet landscape in China.

Singapore is like Paris and New York

For Singapore, things look like they do in Paris and New York.

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Server Fest Presenter List

The MariaDB Server Fest next month has approved quite a number of exciting presentations. The presenters are now busy filming their presentations, which will be aired three times – Monday to Wednesday 14-16 September 2020 in the Paris timezone (for EMEA), Tuesday to Thursday 15-17 September 2020 in the New York timezone (for the Americas), and Friday to Sunday 18-20 September 2020 in the Beijing timezone (for APAC).

Interactivity through cloning

Through logic (not magic), we have cloned the presenters. As the presentation is aired in the form of video, slides and voice, the presenter is fully concentrating on following what you, the attendee, ask in the chat room.

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Register for the MariaDB Server Fest

The MariaDB Server Fest is approaching fast and registration is now open. We’ve been busy fine tuning things according to the input we got during the Call for Attendance, as well as selecting the final talks.

We have an excellent series of sessions lined up. Whether you’re interested in best practices, migration, new features, use cases, or the latest on hardware innovations and MariaDB, there’ll be something for you when it kicks off on 14 September.

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MariaDB Server Fest CfP extended until Wed 15 July 2020

Thank you for the many submissions to our Call for Papers, and to your insightful replies to our Call for Attendees.

Based on the CfA replies and other feedback given to us, we could draw a few conclusions.

Attendees: Three-day event

First, we will spread out the event from a two-day event to a three-day event, for the attendees. We received several comments around preferences for shorter days, giving time for “normal” work. Rather three short days, than two long ones. That made perfect sense to us. We already changed a couple of convetions when moving from a physical event to a virtual;

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