Lightning talk @west

align="right"Selena tricked me into doing a Lightning Talk here at west today. We almost missed it because lunch dragged out (oops), but we made it just in time. My talk was titled "Creating a debian compatible random number generator in 5 simple slides", and just to make JD happy I have to post the final summary slide here. There needs to be one from each conference... Currently in Jeff Davies talk about streaming queries, I'll probably write up a more complete summary of the conference later on. Should pay attention now...

Npgsql 1.0

Good news today - Npgsql 1.0 final has been released. It's been a long wait, but the 0.x and beta versions have certainly been very stable. But I'm looking forward to upgrading my systems to 1.0 soon. Great job Francisco and his helpers.

OpenSource Days - roundup

I got back from OpenSource Days in Copenhagen yesterday, after two and a half fairly intense days. As usual (while up until last year the conference was named LinuxForum, it's still the same conference) the conference itself was great. Lots of very good talks to listen to, and very nice arrangements for us speakers. And a whole lot of interesting people to talk to.

It was the first time I've been both manning a "commericial booth" (for Redpill Linpro) and been a speaker/participant at the same time. I think it worked reasonably well - though my booth colleagues might think differently due to my absence from the booth particularly on the Saturday. In my talk, I specifically tried to avoid mixing in our company services (unlike some other speakers, who shall remain nameless..), because I was there to talk about PostgreSQL. I think that also worked out fairly well.

My own talk went pretty well - got some interesting discussion going afterwards, along with a couple of suggestions for making it better next time. It's nice with an audience that's involved enough to come with those. There are no speaker eval forms at the conference, but I got the impression it was fairly well received.

As a result of the talk, which had a section about how to use pgcrypto to build a secure authentication system, several people asked me what can be done about getting pgcrypto out of contrib, to make it "safer" to use this in a production application. Given the number of people who mentioned it, it's pretty clear to me that we need to do something about this.

Speaking of things that were mentioned a lot - several people asked me during the conference about the state of the CTE-patch for PostgreSQL 8.4. Unfortunately I couldn't say much more than "probably" at the time. Since then, Tom Lane has committed the patch. So for those of you who asked then, and don't follow the list - the answer has now changed from "probably" to "yes".

Obviously, I listened to Jan's keynote talk about Slony. While i did not learn anything new about Slony, Jan did a very good job of explaining some of the more advanced things Slony is capable of doing, which is the reason it's fairly complex to configure. Good talk!

I'd also like to second what Troels writes in his blog - Jan did a good job of not hiding the weaknesses with Slony. Which is something that non-open(source) vendors have a tendency not to be. (And I'll venture as far as to say that there were certainly other speakers at this conference who were not so forthcoming - hopefully myself excluded, but I'll leave it to others to judge that)

I'll certainly be back next year!

The worlds smallest Slony cluster?

We recently updated on of our Slony clusters. I think it at least used to qualify as one of the worlds smallest ones:

  • Two nodes (obvious minimum)
  • one database (that's a given)
  • with one table
  • with one column
  • with one row

Now, we recently doubled the size of this cluster. It now has a whopping two columns in the table. The second column being updated by a trigger, so it's still only one column updated by the end user (well, application). But it's two columns to be replicated!

So what does this prove? Really, not much, but at least: Slony certainly scales "downward" just fine. It feels like a bit overhead to set it up for something like this, but it works just fine. Even in a small database, triggers can be very useful - regardless of what the documentation of a certain other database used to say before... And even in a trivial case like this, statement based replication simply does not work reliably*. You need something that's data based - something that the same other database is actually recognizing now and will be including the next version...

October - a month of conferences

Sorry, Devrim. And others. It's been a long time since my last blog post - can't really come up with a reasonable excuse, so I'll just come up with a post instead.

Anyway, on to the actual post. Unlike some people who have said that autumn is a "downtime" period for conferences, I've managed to fill October almost solidly with conferences of PostgreSQL interest. Here's a quick rundown:

Open Source Days, Copenhagen, Denmark : October 3-4. This is the old Linuxforum conference that has been reborn under a new name, and moved from winter to autumn. Always a great conference, and I really enjoy going. I'll be doing a talk on PostgreSQL, and my company will also be well represented in the exhibitors area.

PostgreSQL Conference West, Portland, Oregon, USA : October 10-12. The next in the "JD series" of community conferences in the US. They always draw a lot of PostgreSQL talent, so I'm really looking forward to this one. This time around it will also be including a code sprint - let's see how that will work out. I'll be doing my talk on fulltext search (for search.postgresql.org), and I think JD has some further plans as well.

pgDay.EU/pgDay.IT, Prato, Italy : October 17-18. This is the European PostgreSQL conference this year. Everybody interested in PostgreSQL in Europe really should consider going! There's a whole bunch of very interesting talks lined up both in English and Italian. I'll be doing a keynote together with Dave Page, and I'm generally fairly involved in the organization.

FSCONS, Gothemburg, Sweden : October 24-26. Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit, second year around. Last year I was there just as a visitor, this year I'll be doing a PostgreSQL talk. Arranged by FSF Europe, CC and Wikimedia it seems to be drawing a lot of interesting free software people from around Scandinavia (and elsewhere in Europe as well).

If you're going to be around any of these places, be sure to go to the conferences! And if you're at the conferences, look me up for a chat (or a beer :-P)

It'll be a busy month (there's actual work to be done in between the conferences as well), but I expect it to be lots of fun!

Welcome PostgreSQL Europe

So, it's now official. Graciously folded into Selenas lightning talk, we have now announced that the legal forming of PostgreSQL Europe has finally come through. All the government bureaucracy is now finally done, and we are a registered european non-profit.

What this means in reality is that we now have a lot of actual work to do, and can no longer hide behind this fact. Until then, let's get working on the wiki or just fill our mailinglist with good ideas!

pgCon day 3

align="right" vspace="10" hspace="10"I'm not going to go into any talk specifics, but just say that day 3 was the first day of regular talks, and it had a lot of very good talks. After that, we had the EnterpriseDB dinner party, which was also very good. They clearly won the dinner-party race over Yahoo! - no contest!

I've uploaded pictures from this day as well as the dinner party. They're all in the [ gallery]. Most of the pictures are tagged with names - but I'd love to have some help going through the ones that aren't and fill in the proper names, since I don't know everybody. Feel free to help out by just sending me an email with names that are in pictures which aren't categorized.

The picture attached to this post is one I received from Bruce's boss based on one of my photos. No further comments needed I think.

Right now in Peters talk about our project management and release processes. I actually agree with most of them, which is a good sign - we think at least almost the same on how things are.

pgCon day 2

[HTML_REMOVED] So I didn't get around to posting the first day. And the second day I actually left the post in drafts and forgot to publish it, only remembering now on the morning of the third day. Ah, well, here's a slightly updated one... [HTML_REMOVED]

Yesterday was the developer meeting day for those of us who were involved in that, and a tutorial days for those who weren't. The developer meeting was basically a meetup between around 25 of the most active PostgreSQL developers, talking about. Well. Developer stuff. I'd say it was a big success. While we obviously didn't end up committing a bunch of things, several big things were discussed in person (and during the breaks), but most importantly we once again got a chance for some face-to-face time with our fellow developers - which I think is worth a lot. It helped a lot that almost everybody who's done a lot lately was there. Not quite everybody, but closer than I thought. The brain-trust in that room yesterday was quite amazing...

After that, it was a Yahoo! party in the evening, which supposedly had food and drinks. I only ever saw the drinks from that part and had to buy my own food (along with a couple of others), but hey, free drinks is not something I'm going to complain about. I forgot the cable to my camera, but as soon as I find one I'll try to get some pictures up... Oh, the occassion? They now do huge databases based on PostgreSQL.

Time to head off to breakfast in half an hour now, and then on to the keynote. I hope to sneak an announcement in there, so I guess I have to get there a tiny bit early.

PGcon first photos!

align="right"

As usual, I forgot my USB cable. As is becoming usual, Selena came to my rescue and lent me hers so I got the pictures up. The first set is up on my [ gallery] with some tagging and stuff.

More photos to come as the conference proceeds. But for now, I obviously have to post the one of Steven falling asleep at the table long before midnight... Kinda ruins his attempt to build a reputation, I think... But it's hard work being at a PostgreSQL conference - imagine how it was for those of us working at the developer meeting, Steven!

A new MySQL gotcha

At least it's new for me, and it's not on the list. Bugged a colleague of mine today, and we were both very surprised for a while until we figured it out. Ok, it's not very complex, but the deal was that:

SELECT CAST(1 as CHAR)

works, but

SELECT CAST (1 as CHAR)

does not (syntax error!)

Now, CAST is already horribly limited in MySQL (who came up with the idea that you shouldn't be able to cast to all available types if it's reasonable to do the conversion?! Like from int to text...), but this is just too much. Since when does whitespace before a parenthesis matter in SQL?! Sheesh...

Yet another reason to prefer PostgreSQL...

Conferences

I speak at and organize conferences around Open Source in general and PostgreSQL in particular.

Upcoming

FOSDEM+PGDay 2019
Feb 1-3, 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Nordic PGDay 2019
Mar 19, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark

Past

PGConf.Asia 2018
Dec 10-12, 2018
Tokyo, Japan
DC PostgreSQL Users Group
Nov 14, 2018
Washington DC, USA
New York City PostgreSQL User Group
Nov 13, 2018
New York City, NY, USA
Driving IT 2018
Nov 2, 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
PGConf.EU 2018
Oct 23-26, 2018
Lisbon, Portugal
More past conferences