Thank you, 2020

At MariaDB Foundation, we have many reasons to be thankful towards all of those who have helped us during 2020.

A few sample contributions

We have recently expressed our gratitude towards contributors in our ecosystem, in 2020. Daniel Black explicitly thanked Tencent for their contributions, and Vicentiu Ciorbaru for the ARM related contributions.

On the same note, Intel has given us access to hardware and software to enable builds using Intel compilers, but more on that once we can release these new builds.

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ARM improvements in 2020

2020 has seen quite a few developments with the ARM architecture. For MariaDB things are no different. First we have expanded our testing infrastructure to cover more Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, RedHat) on ARM and we are now building packages for all of them. The next MariaDB release will include additional binary tarballs for ARM distributions, in addition to the already existing RPM and DEB packages.

All this could not be accomplished without the help of Huawei, who have donated several ARM builders to our effort. We strongly believe that only by testing on as many different platforms as possible, with as many different compilers as possible we can guarantee MariaDB’s performance and stability.

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Thanks Tencent!

In the name of the MariaDB Foundation, I would like to thank Tencent for their significant contributions to the MariaDB Server in 2020. The permission to, and encouragement of, Tencent staff to contribute towards MariaDB shows a superior and practical understanding of the value proposition of open source in delivering value to everyone at the same time as reducing software maintenance costs.

About Tencent’s DB Kernel Team

Tencent has a cloud native database kernel R&D team, focusing on database kernel optimisation and architecture evolution. The team is experienced (over ten years of database R&D experience) and serves hundreds of thousands of enterprise users.

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Release Policy MiniFest Over

Done! Our first MariaDB Server MiniFest is over. A smaller version of our MariaDB Server Fest format, the first MiniFest was about the MariaDB Server Release Policy.

Where to find the recordings

Should you have missed the party, we have recorded the 3:18:45 hours of Best Bits for you, available directly on https://mariadb.org/minifest2020/. The sessions are also available individually, as linked below.

Presentations by MariaDB

We started off by three presentations by MariaDB:

  1. On Building MariaDB, by Daniel Bartholomew (MariaDB Corporation), with a follow-up interview by Vicentiu Ciorbaru and Vlad Bogolin (both MariaDB Foundation)
  2. On Merging MariaDB (exact title: Ensuring Build Quality in MariaDB) by Oleksandr “Sanja” Byelkin (MariaDB Corporation), with a follow-up interview by Vicentiu Ciorbaru
  3. On Security by Sergei Golubchik (MariaDB Corporation and Foundation), with a follow-up interview by Ian Gilfillan (MariaDB Foundation)

The User View

We continued with three presentations by users:

  1. From a Linux Distribution perspective, by Otto Kekäläinen of Debian, with a follow-up interview by Daniel Black (MariaDB Foundation)
  2. From a Microsoft perspective, by Sunil Kamath of MSFT, as interviewed by Kaj Arnö (MariaDB Foundation)
  3. From a Fintech perspective, by Kamalakannan Annathurai of DBS Bank (one of Asia’s biggest banks, in Singapore), as interviewed by Kaj Arnö (MariaDB Foundation)

The concluding Panel

For the concluding Panel on the MariaDB Release Policy, we had asked all speakers and interviewers to be present, which proved challenging – given timezones spanning from Canberra over Singapore across EMEA to the Americas.

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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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Making MariaDB understand MySQL JSON

Good news for MySQL users wishing to upgrade to MariaDB: MariaDB 10.5.7 onwards understands formerly-incompatible MySQL JSON fields! This blog entry explains how to install and use them.

Introducing MYSQL_JSON plugin

Starting from MariaDB 10.5.7 (commit f6549e), it is possible to upgrade from MySQL 5.7 tables containing JSON by loading the MYSQL_JSON data type plugin.

MariaDB and MySQL JSON formats are not the same. In MySQL, the JSON type is a native type, while in MariaDB JSON is just an alias for LONGTEXT. What this means in practice is that data in JSON format are not compatible with each other.

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MariaDB & Ecosystem Fragmentation

We hear you, Kristian Köhntopp! Thank you  for taking the time to articulate what many others are probably thinking.

For those of you to whom this sounds cryptic, let me share how I interpreted Kristian Köhntopp’s blog MySQL: Ecosystem fragmentation (https://blog.koehntopp.info/2020/10/28/
mysql-ecosystem-fragmentation.html
), published last week:

Kristian noted that the question “Which version of MySQL do you run on?” for a long time hasn’t been merely answered by a simple version number, since there are reasons to perceive MariaDB and Aurora to be “variations to the same theme”. 

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