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pgCon day 2

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...

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.

PostgreSQL Conference East - day 2

So I'm here at PostgreSQL Conference East in College Park, MD. Didn't have time to do any blogging yesterday, so someone managed to blog about it before me... JD somehow managed to make me one of the semi-official camera-in-your-face people (photographer, if that wasn't painfully clear), so I've also been running around getting a bunch of pictures so far. They'll be up on my galleries later when I've managed to look through them a bit to remove the most crappy ones - and I'll try to get them onto the shared photo stream as well.

So far, the conference has been very good. Most talks I've been to are really high quality and interesting stuff, and the organization has worked very well (except possibly for Bruce sending Denis off to the wrong end of campus, but he made it in time for dinner so things ended up fine).

Starting at the day before yesterday, there was a "small evening event" with food and drinks at Chevys. There were quite a number of people there for being a "small" event... But it was all good and fun. JD managed to convince the staff at the place that it was David Fetters birthday, so he got both singing, icecream (I think it was) and a sombrero... During the panel today it was confirmed that his actual birthday is sometime in october, so it apparantly wasn't even close. alt="Josh Drake keynote" align="right" hspace="2" vspace="4" /Yesterday started with Josh Drake's keynote about the state of the community. I followed that up with a talk about PostgreSQL from Java, which was a good set of information for a total Java newbie (that's me!) Last talk before lunch was "Inside the PostgreSQL Buffer Cache" by Greg Smith. A very useful talk about measuring and tuning this very central part of PostgreSQL. I expected it to be interesting, but I'm also taking away some very direct hints on what to look at and how to interpret it that I didn't really expect.

After lunch I started with Greg Sabino Mullanes talk about the different replication options available for PostgreSQL, which also got some pretty good discussion going. Followed that up with "logic and databases", which I'll admit I spent about half of in an interesting discussion i the hallway instead. But I'm sure it was good. Finished off the day with "Postmodern PostgreSQL application development". That turned out to be mainly about ORM in Python, which honestly didn't really interest me, but I did take away some good tips about python/qt which I will obviously have to look into a bit in the future. And it did create a bit of interesting discussion with David on the way back to the hotel later. alt="EDB sponsored dinner" title="There is a story behind this situation. But that will remain between those present..." align="left" vspace="4" /After stopping by the hotel to drop off some things, it was off to the EnterpriseDB sponsored dinner and drinks party at Jasper's. Good food, decent drinks (c'mon, this is still america, you have to actually search harder to find a place with good beer options), and some good discussion with both new and "old" people. Oh, and David Fetter had a birthday again so the staff got to sing for him...

So far today we started with the panel discussion which was decent, I'd say. It could've been better, but it could also have been a lot worse. So no complaints in general. After that, we did a proper group photo (it will be available on the website as usual later, with names on it). Right now I'm in "Portable Scale-out Benchmarking for PostgreSQL" with Robert Hodges. Did a quick stop in the XML talk, but since I'm not really interested in that stuff right now, I moved on.

Good times at FOSDEM

It's now the morning of the second day of FOSDEM, and my third day in Brussels. Right now, we have a talk from Gabriele Bartolini about the Italian PUG. Yesterday was packed with several good talks from a lot of different people, and a really packed booth. I've never seen a pg booth that had this many people or this much stuff (flyers, folders, t-shirts, mugs, those lovely elephants, pins, etc etc). Lots of visitors, and lots of interesting questions.

Outside the conference, I arrived on thursday evening, and was picked up at the airport by Susanne (thanks a bunch!). Met up with Bruce and Luke Momjian at the hotel, and went to dinner with a couple of MySQL guys (one which happened to be Susannes boyfriend, which I guess explains some of the connection there..). On friday we did some touristing around Brussels, and I took the chance to do some pg work while Bruce fell asleep more or less in the middle of a sentence - I guess we blame jetlag... Susanne was off to pick up Stefan at the airport, but since he gave her his departure time instead of arrival time, the day ended up being a bit delayed...

For the evening, we met up with a whole lot of other people (Dave, Greg, Heikki, Simon, Gevik, David, and several more) for our own beer event since the experience from previous years says that the big FOSDEM one is just too crowded. Had dinner at the same place.... Food and drink was good, but it was a bit of a boring atmosphere. On the other hand, the company was good and the discussions interesting...

Second day had us setting up our two tables in the booth in the morning, stacking it with all our nice merchandise. We sold a lot of things during the whole day, and pretty much ran out of the cool plush elephants. Most of the time the booth was packed with both PostgreSQL people manning it and visitors interested in talking to the PostgreSQL people, reading through our flyers, or buying our stuff.

In the afternoon, the talks in the devroom started. David Fetter was off with the keynote which was good, but some of it was lost because he never got the projector working properly from his laptop. This was followed up by an interesting talk by Stefan on the PostgreSQL infrastructure (ok, I knew most of that, but it was still good!). Simon gave a talk on some of the new performance features in 8.3, and he really could've used much more time to go through more of them - there are just so many things to talk about in that area. Bruce finished off the days pg talks by a repeat of his "Decade of PostgreSQL" talk that he did in Toronto - always a good talk.

In the evening we filed out to a restaurant fairly close to the hotel - the biggest problem was finding one that actually had space for all of us. We ended up at an Italian place that actually also served some Belgian specialties. Some people went home from that, and the rest of us ended up having some beers and chatting about PostgreSQL, The World and Everything.

Now off to focus on todays talks. And get ready for my own, which is later on during the day.

FOSDEM day 2 not over yet. There are still things to go. But I've finished off my two talks (one on "win32 development in a unix project" (no, there was no code at all in this) and one on "building" (very little code in this one). I think they went reasonably well, we'll see what others say when I check around some more...

Not quite as many people came to our booth today, at least not the time I was there, but there were still a lot of people. We had more talks instead, so I'd still classify the day as a big success.

Gabriele kicked off in the morning with an interesting talk, that unfortunately didn't have as many visitors as it deserved, because it was early in the morning (9AM).

Bruce had a talk about the PostgreSQL future, which probably wasn't what people expected. I think most people were expecting a roadmap for 8.4, which isn't at all what we received - but it was still a good talk.

Susanne did her encoding talk and a talk on how people can contribute to the PostgreSQL community. Unfortunately, I missed both of those. David also had a talk about DBI-link that I also missed - some people had to man the booth, and since there was no scheduled time for lunch some talks simply had to be skipped.

Simon has had one talk, focusing on enterprise features that he will be working on to get into the next version(s) of PostgreSQL, and he just started his second talk which is on the topic of high availability. He also arranged a short "roundtable discussion" with the BSD folks on what they could do in the OS to help PostgreSQL. Nothing concrete from such a short meeting of course, but hopefully it laid some foundation for more work in the future.

We had an auction for one of the big elephants, which really didn't end up where we expected it - because we had only a single bidder. Probably the timing could've been a lot better since there were talks going on - we need to think about that one next time.

In about half an hour it's time for the vote for the first board of directors for the new PostgreSQL Europe organization. Going to be interesting to see how that works out, and of course what the end result of it is.

pgDay is over

After two days of great talks, pgday is over. The event also contained a lot of community networking, which to me was more valuable than the talks themselves. But that's mostly because I knew most of the people giving talks in English and what they had to say, and I didn't understand the ones in Italian. The translation wasn't good enough for me in most of the cases really, but I could tell the talks were interesting for those who fully understood them.

Today was sightseeing day in Florence with Dave, Simon, Greg, Josh, David, Andreas, Stefan and Susanne (and of course our hosts Gabriele and Andrea - and anybody else I forgot about). After a couple of days in there, we also ran into Ishikawa. A bit too hot for my taste really, but an interesting day. Florence is a nice city, and it mixes well with PostgreSQL conversations.

After dinner, we almost missed the train home. Actually, the train was replaced with a bus, which we almost missed. But it all worked out in the end, and now we're all (well, that's me, David, Josh, Stefan and Andreas) in David Fetters room cheering him and Ads on while they are writing up the PostgreSQL weekly news.

Pictures from this day and the previous ones are available on other peoples blogs, for example Andreas.

On a closing note, Stefan just informed me that the benchmarks previously referred to are now posted.

And finally, a great big thanks to the people organizing this great event, and all the volunteers helping out with it. I'm impressed with the result! When I leave tomorrow, I'm certainly very happy having been here!

Another day at pgday

So now the second day of pgday has started. Yesterday continued in the same way it started, with several more good talks. Andreas did a good talk on community relations. In the late afternoon Susanne showed up to do a talk on locales and encoding - that's another name checked off the list of PostgreSQL community people to meet.

After the conference itself, it was off to a restaurant for proper Italian pizza. In what appears to be standard Italian ways, the restaurant hadn't actually opened when we arrived, so we had to walk around the city for a while before they'd let us in and serve us food. But once we got there, it was all good.

The day finished at the PLUG bar (I can't stop being impressed that the usergroup actually has their own bar! If that's not a good driver for membership, I don't know what is..) This time they even had a band with live music!

Got back home around 2, did the mandatory email checks, and off to bed. Actually made it in time for JoshB's keynote today. For those of us well inside the development process right now much of it wasn't news, since it was focused on what's coming up in 8.3. However, one interesting part was that Sun and EnterpriseDB actually published commercial benchmarks on PostgreSQL! They should be going up on the website sometime early next week (that's Sun's website, but I'm sure there will be links from the news section on ours), but the exec summary is that PostgreSQL is very fast and very cheap (same speed, 1/3 the cost as Commercial Vendor One). Which we already knew, of course, but it certainly helps the PHBs to have nice graphs and official numbers. So kudos to Sun and EnterpriseDB for getting that done!

pgday is under way

I arrived in Prato, Italy, yesterday and even got picked up at the airport. We then went to Monash University where the conference would be. After some time waiting to help out we (me, Josh Berkus and David Fetter) gave up on that and went for a walk around town instead. Picked up Andreas (ads) and Stefan at the hotel. Several hours later we met the Italian guys again for dinner and drinks, and it seems they somehow got things sorted without us because they were ready to go. We also picked up the guys from Dalibo (France) at the same time. Finally, after we'd all had our food and drinks, the edb guys from the UK (Dave, Simon, Greg) arrived and we just had to go out for another couple of beers...

Anyway. Today the actual pgday has started (it's actually two days, regardless of what the name implies). Talks are actually translated in realtime, which works reasonably well but not perfect (as always). The amount of merchandise they have is impressive - t-shirts, notepads, pens, more t-shirts, pins etc. And Andreas brought mugs and those cool plush elephants he's been blogging about, so they're really well set. And they have an impressive amount of volunteers, so things are going very smoothly. Even the wireless network works today...

There's a big crowd here, so from what I can tell this is so far a big success. There's of course a large amount of Italian people here, but there's also a lot of people from abroad - as far as the US and Japan, and a good number from all around Europe. Let's hope the rest is as good as the start!

Oh, and if you're not here, there's live audio streaming available!

pgcon midtime report

So it's been a couple of days since I arrived for pgcon in Ottawa, so it's obviously time to blog. At least Devrim keeps telling me to...

Trip in was not too bad, though 4 hours at Heathrow airport is not exactly fun. Got here Monday evening, tried to coordinate with the EnterpriseDB UK team who arrived an hour or so after me. After much problems (ahem, phones that don't work abroad and such - hello Dave), we did manage to hook up and had a dinner and some beers in the evening. Plus, of course, PostgreSQL chatting!

Tuesday was mostly spent walking around the city and playing tourist along with Dave. Simon and Heikki hadn't done their homework properly, so they had to update talks and finish off patches. In the afternoon we headed over to the Royal Oak pub where the registration was, and spent the rest of the day chatting with the other pg people who had arrived.

Since I didn't go to any tutorials, the conference itself started for me on Wednesday, with Bruces keynote. Somehow I managed to get mentioned in that one again, I just don't know how that keeps happening... An interesting look back at some of the things that brought us to where we are now, and a good way to kick off the conference.

Next talk for me was PostgreSQL-IE, which is a system for doing context based image search in PostgreSQL, and looks really really interesting. Currently used in the medical field by them, but it seems like it could be used for several other things as well with fairly small changes.

After that, Robert Treat did a good overview on partitioning. I haven't really looked into the partitioning stuff as much as I've wanted, so this was a really good way to get started on that.

After lunch, I went to a presentation on migrating from SQL Server (primarily) to PostgreSQL. But I'll have to admit I spent a lot of that time working on my own slides, so I can't really comment on the talk.

Denis gave a talk on why the EnterpriseDB team picked PostgreSQL as the foundation for building the EnterpriseDB product and company. Most if the reasons were the ones you'd already have guessed, but he brought some nice details about the decision process.

Getting to the last actual talk, there was that weird PostgreSQL-on-Windows guy giving his talk. I think it was fairly well received, even though Dave had to point out I forgot to say that he had actually fixed the installer so that it'll work on Windows Vista out of the box on 8.3. Oops, sorry about that Dave! We'll see what the eval forms tell me for a more objective view on how well it went.

The final part on the actual conference was the BOF. The discussion we had first turned out into pretty much a repeat of things that were already said on the mailinglists, so I'm not sure it was very productive. We did end it up with a keysigning event, which worked better.

After that it was off to the EnterpriseDB sponsored drinks and dinner party. We got there hours after the other guys (who skipped the BOFs), but we got there before the food was served, so the damage wasn't that big. Food and beer and good discussions were had. When the place closed we moved on to the bar that's in the hotel where the EDB guys stayed for another beer, but we didn't end up staying there very long.

Just in for the start of the last day now, also worrying about the fact that my airline for my trip home have gone on strike, so I have no way to get home right now. But I'm sure it'll work out some way, so I'll just focus on the conference for now.

pgcon, pgday and blogging

I just got booked for going to pgday in Prato, Italy. Looks like it's going to be a great gathering of the European people in the PostgreSQL community. Really looking forward to meeting those from the EU group that I haven't already had a chance to meet. I haven't decided if I'm going to submit a talk yet though, but it seems I have a few more weeks to decide.

Closer in time, we're rapidly coming up on pgcon next week. I really need to polish my slides soon. But I guess that's what long flights are for after all... Between these two events, there isn't that much of the PostgreSQL community that I won't get to meet over the next couple of months. Great times ahead!

Oh, and what has happened to The post-rate has really dropped drastically (and yes, I realize I'm definitely part to blame for this). There are as usual interesting exceptions, but it seems the number of posts have gone down. People, get back to blogging interesting stuff!

Linuxforum roundup

So I'm back home from Linuxforum in Copenhagen. As usual, a very good conference, with many interesting talks. And we were well isolated from the riots that took place in parts of the city - barely noticed them. If you have a chance to go next year, you definitely should! It's not even expensive...

Noticeably absent from the whole thing, both talk and booth-wise, was MySQL. I have no idea why. Nice to see that Ingres had a talk, now that they're open sourced - and a very interesting one regarding open vs closed source in enterprise environments.

My talk was Saturday afternoon, and went pretty well I think. The room was more or less full - which was a good thing given that it meant a lot of people were interested, and a bad thing because there was pretty much zero ventilation in the room. My chairman almost fell asleep, but at least I didn't notice anybody else doing so.

The questions aside from the actual talk were mostly the usual one. One interesting thing to notice is that both me and the Ingres guy got a question about CONNECT BY. And neither of our databases have it (yet). It's possible they were from the same guy though - I didn't get a look at him during the Ingres talk.

Anyway, a big thanks to the coord team for having me over again this year - I had a great experience! And thanks to the other speakers with whom I spent a lot of time. Hope to see you all again next year!


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



PGConf.DEV 2024
May 28-31, 2024
Vancouver, Canada
PGDay Chicago 2024
Apr 26, 2024
Chicago, USA
SCaLE 2024
Mar 14-17, 2024
Pasadena, USA
Nordic PGDay 2024
Mar 12, 2024
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