There is no application nearer and dearer to my heart than MySQL. I’ve build applications on a lot of different platforms over the years, but pretty much all of them have used MySQL as the data store. That said, i don’t usually pay attention to what’s going on in the MySQL community. I use whatever version of MySQL is packaged for the server I’m using and make the best of it.
Even so, there’s a lot of activity in the MySQL world. It’s now fully owned by Oracle and at the same time the open source version is being forked all over the place. People are excited about non-relational databases and looking at them instead of MySQL. You can get the full rundown of the latest on all these fronts from Stephen O’Grady.
It’s important to remember, though, that all of this stuff is happening at the edge. I’m fairly tapped into the world of software development — I read the blogs, participate on Twitter, and keep up with the latest trends. But I use plain old MySQL 5.0. Most developers are the same. MySQL just works, and they don’t pay much attention to it beyond that. Even the people who are paying attention aren’t, for the most part, running into what they see as limitations with MySQL. The people who get most of the attention are bending MySQL in unusual ways, and doing unusual things in response. They’re interesting, but not representative.
In the meantime, most developers just need to understand more about how to design a database schema and how to determine which columns need indexes.