When you are looking for a workstation or new desktop there are a seemingly infinite number of potential solutions available. So where do you start? Well if you are after a powerful AMD based computer then you might want to take a look at the Sun Ultra 20 M2, a workstation based around AMD Opteron 1200 dual-core CPU, and available at a surprisingly reasonable price.
One of the unique elements of MySQL is the ability to use a different storage engine to store your data. You can even mix and match storage engines within the same database.
Back in July, we made an Eclipse documentation plug-in of the MySQL manuals available for users to download.
In truth, the Eclipse documentation format is actually just HTML; you have to combine the HTML with a plug-in manifest that details the documentation, version number etc so that the documentation is loaded and identified as a valid plug-in element when Eclipse is started.
Well, it's been completed a few weeks now, but I've finally reworked the Connector/MXJ and Connector/J sections of the MySQL Reference Manual, which in turn means the Connectors chapter has been completed.
One of the ongoing problems with documentation at MySQL is that it is getting ever larger.
Not only is the size of the docs increasing, but the formats and languages that we support is increasing too, and that is making it more and more difficult to effectively list them and make sure they are available.
Earlier this week I released the revamped Connector/NET documentation. This is part of the wider Connectors chapter rework, which I'm currently finishing by doing the Connector/J and Connector/MXJ documentation.
Connector/NET provides a full ADO.NET compatible interface to MySQL and is compatible both the Windows .NET and Mono installations.
We had a great question from a reader yesterday:
Is there a todo/nice-to-have list anywhere for MySQL documentation? Or perhaps a list of Devs who require documentation support? Or is all documentation a function of the core Documentation team?
Probably the most frequently asked question to the docs team at MySQL from the public is “I want to translate the manual into [insert language]”. That language can be anything from one we already have, through to some comparatively obscure suggestions.
The issue of open source languages and the availability of development tools is a thought process I was having the other day. One of the key tools in the GNU space is the GNU C compiler. Up until its availability on Unix (long before the Linux kernel came on the scene), developing on Unix was limited to whatever tools were made available by the Unix vendor.
I noticed this piece from Johan Andersson on Writing NDBAPI programs—connecting to MySQL Cluster last week, which shows you how to use the NDBAPI—the programming interface to the MySQL Cluster system. By coincidence, we enabled the NDBAPI documentation today. It consists of two elements:
We were discussing documentation formats today within the team, and I have to admit that personally I don’t have a preferred format. I find I use the HTML (online) formats often when I'm looking for something specific, and the PDF when I want to read something in more detail. As I spend most of my day in emacs when programming, I use either HTML or the Info format.
This week, and specifically today, marks a minor milestone in my employment at MySQL—I’m finally a full time employee, no longer on probation. It has also been probably the busiest week since I started at MySQL, except for the week spent at the developers’ conference in Sorrento.
Why so busy?
Because I’ve spent many hours deep in the build process that actually generates the documentation, partly to address some existing errors, but also to improve the documentation after some new content was added. In summary, the following major steps were made this week:
I've been programming in Perl for years - over ten now in fact - and I've written numerous books and articles on Perl and Perl programming. I've also worked with Python and written books and articles on Python programming, including a guide to migrating Perl applications to the Python language. For a while I really saw Python as an alternative to Perl, but after so many years and experience with Perl and what was possible with the language it is difficult to move on from the 'Perl comfort zone'.
At the developers conference this year, held in Sorrento, Italy, I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with some Italian MySQL users—some of whom had travelled from Rome to be with us that evening at a lovely traditional Italian restaurant just off one of the main squares.
Documentation is a vital part of any application, proprietary or free software, as it is often the first way to communicate with users about the application or software and how it should be used. I also think it tends to be one of the areas most taken for granted; most users expect it to be there and often forget just how much effort goes into producing it.
Many users also complain about the documentation itself. Often this is because it’s been written by programmers and, as a rule, they really aren’t that great at writing documentation that is particularly human readable.
Sendmail has a terrible reputation for security. While the latest releases are very good, past releases have been less than secure and that is where the reputation has come from.
Alternatives, like Postfix and qmail are proving to be much more popular, and have better history on security. All of this has led to Sendmail being removed from NetBSD (that's a digg link, used because some of the comments are worth reading).
As I mentioned here, I’m a member of the documentation team at MySQL, a job I started back in April. I’ve just completed a major tranche of documentation, and thought it would be interesting to let you guys know exactly what happens in a typical day for a member of the documentation team.
This story, Why technical writers aren’t using FOSS, appeared in on Newsforge in April, and I have to take issue with some of the assumptions.
First of all, I am technical writer, and I do use FOSS—in fact, I’m a technical writer that documents FOSS technology using FOSS tools.
Ryan Cartwright was quick to comment that Lenovo have since denied that any such announcement was made. Others around the blogosphere have commented that the retraction could be due to the negative response received by Lenovo when the original story broke, but honestly, I should have seen it for the fake that it was.
Many of the MySQL team use IBM computers by preference to do their developing on; and I know that, for some, a lot of the reason was the support for Linux.
Now Lenovo owns IBM's hardware business, but it seems they are dropping support for Linux (that's a Slashdot link, because, as always, the comments are as interesting as the story).