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June 29th, 2007


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05:54 pm - My top 5 MySQL wishes
There has been a trend in the blogs for top5 MySQL wishes.
Many people, including Ronald Bradford, Alan Kasindorf, Jim Winstead, Jonathon Coombes, Jeremy Cole, Jay Pipes, Antony Curtis, Stewart Smith coined in.

Here're my 5:

1. Remove excessive fuss. OK, we know what needs to be done, just give us time to get things in order. Anything related to MySQL gets huge visibility, and we tend to overestimate the importance of "opinion of community". If you have a cool new feature for the server or a cool new wish, let it cook for a while. If you have or want to write a patch, first get in touch with developers, discuss things on internals@ or commits@, then post your patch on the Forge and see if it takes off. Be sure it'll get in if it's a really good idea. But not next week. Perhaps in a year or two. Want your code to be accepted faster? Write a good fix for a bug. We have 1100 of them. Still want it in faster? Fix a crash.

2. Open the development process. This is the other side of the previous wish. It takes a year or two to introduce a new engineer into all the existing conventions. So an external engineer just can't write a good patch for the server. Besides, we mostly in need of contributions that improve and simplify the existing code base, not add new code. But it is increasingly hard to change the existing code -- implicit dependencies, no good tests, almost non-existent unit test coverage. This is a barrier for penetration, and it's a catch, catch-22.

3. Get to a normal release schedule. Have XXX.1, XXX.2, XXX.3 releases once or twice a year. There is a lot in this wish that makes it very hard to satisfy -- planning, compatibility, healthy life cycle, high quality support. But we do need to shift the load of patches pushed to the period when a version is in alpha, not when it's in GA, and we do need to release more often.

4. Establish productive relationship with the majority of users. Something tells me that visibility does not equate to quality of input, and we get most of our input from early adopters, not from the large majority. We need this for the next wish:

5. Find a way to do incompatible changes with minimal pain for users. If we don't deprecate the 'cool non-standard features most needed now' that were added during brave times of 3.23 and 4.0, the software is a dead fish.
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