Percona steps in to save MySQL conference
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 18 August 2011

The news that Percona is running a MySQL conference in 2012 hasn't been entirely well received with a number of commentators still not sure if Percona are heroes or villains.

Prior to the takeover of MySQL by Oracle, a yearly MySQL conference was held in April at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley. The conference was jointly organised by MySQL, AB, and O’Reilly, with O’Reilly dealing with the conference administration and MySQL and AB sorting out the content. When Oracle took over MySQL, they dropped out as the conference's main sponsor. For 2011 EnterpriseDB acted as sponsor, but then said it was no longer going to be sponsor, leaving O'Reilly without a backer.

While O’Reilly has been in talks with potential sponsors including SkySQL, MariaDB, Percona and even Oracle, no company has been willing to sign up, so the April conference was looking very much in jeopardy.

Step forward Percona to arrange a vamped-up version of Percona Live, to run in April 2012 in Santa Clara. The conference, Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo, will, according to Percona’s MySQL and InnoDB performance and scalability blog, be:

“a MySQL-focused conference with Percona’s name in the title, not a Percona-focused conference”.

The blog announcement says that Percona’s goal with the conference is:

“to ensure the vitally important combination of business and community continues to have a place to meet and exchange ideas, showcase products, learn and teach.”

Well-known bloggers on MySQL seem unconvinced whether this is really the conference being saved. Kaj Arno of SkySQL is unsure whether the conference represents unity or division; AB's Monty Widenius, founder and original developer of MySQL says he’s perplexed, confused and disappointed. On the other hand, Henrik Ingo (Hingo) writing on the OpenLife blog points out that there’s plenty of precedent for background strife with MySQL conferences, asking:

“Do you remember that the whole reason Percona got into the conference business lies with a MySQL conference controversy? It was when the MySQL/Sun community team, that is Giuseppe and Kaj - executing orders from Mårten of course - published a MySQL conference program without a single Percona talk.”

The positive point is that the MySQL conference continues, even if it is in a somewhat different guise. No-one could accuse the MySQL people of not being passionate about their subject.


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