- MySQL Performance Blog: Give me 8 hours, and I’ll help you build a better application. Three simple things you should to to make your applications more robust.
- Andrew Sullivan: The Rotten Core. As Alasdair Gray said, “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.”
- Foreign Policy: Think Again: Africa’s Crisis. Things aren’t as bad in Africa as you think. This is a short article that sheds lights on a lot of popular misconceptions.
- Amateur Gourmet: Dinner at El Bulli. The closest I’ll ever come to eating there, except perhaps when I watched Decoding Ferran Adria.
- Business Week: Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?. An argument that job creation has stalled due to a lack of basic research.
- Financial Times: The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil. Absolutely brilliant feature on an Iraqi petroleum geologist who emigrated to Norway in 1968 to get proper health care for his daughter and walked into the opportunity of a lifetime.
- Salon: The Learjet repo man. Just an entertaining article.
- Dahlia Lithwick: Guantanamo is the least of America’s prison problem. “The United States, with 5 percent of the world’s population, houses nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.”
- Marginal Revolution: Why U.S. health care policy is especially egalitarian. Guaranteed to undermine at least one thing you believe to be true.
- crontab2english. Stop trying to wrap your brain around cron configuration.
- McClatchy: Why’d Obama switch on detainee photos? Maliki went ballistic. Make of this what you will.
- MySQL Performance Blog: A rule of thumb for choosing column order in indexes. Helpful.
- Ruby Best Practices: Reading Ruby’s Standard Library for Fun and Profit. Solid article on reading code.
- WoW Insider: Beware of Blood Elves selling mounts. A complex phishing and identity theft scam in World of Warcraft. They used to say that all Web innovations begin on porn sites. I think you can look to World of Warcraft to see tomorrow’s fraud today.
- Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Introducing Page Speed. Google’s version of YSlow.
- O’Reilly Radar: TOSBack: EFF’s Much-Needed Terms of Service Tracker. Tracking changes to the terms of service from popular sites.
- Elder Game: Yes, the MMO Industry Really is That Bad. Cautionary tale on working in the MMO industry.
- Monica Youn: Why Sonia Sotomayor was talking about race in the first place. Useful context for the "wise Latina" speech.
- YouTube: R.E.M. 10/10/82 The Pier, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Old footage someone dug up. For more information on the Village Subway, see this excellent post from Goodnight, Raleigh.
- High Performance Web Sites: Using Iframes Sparingly. The performance of iframes is really bad.
- O’Reilly Radar: Google Squared is an Exponential Improvement in Search. Particularly interesting in light of the recent release of Wolfram Alpha.
Why is MySQL more popular than PostgreSQL? The fact that it is more popular is indisputable — take a look at MySQL’s market share page. My experience with PostgreSQL is very limited and my strongest impression was that the command line client has a weird interface, beyond that, I know little. PostgreSQL advocates are pretty convinced of its superiority over MySQL on every level.
PostgreSQL was released in its current form in January 1997. MySQL was initially released in May 1995, but the first version that saw really wide adoption — version 3.23 — came out in January 2001. I’ve always used MySQL but I never made an affirmative decision to choose it over PostgreSQL. Is there a reason why MySQL is more popular other than the power law reasons? What gave it the initial edge in adoption?
Update (5/21): This post is also being discussed at Hacker News. Check out the discussion there as well.
MySQL is near and dear to my heart — I use it for just about every project I work on. And like many people, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun leads me to worry about MySQL’s future. However, I’m not sure that the new MySQL fork from Percona and Monty Program Ab will lead us to the promised land.
What scares me most is that the new database will not support InnoDB. That makes sense, because InnoDB was already an Oracle property even before the Sun acquisition, but moving away from it will be scary for many users. Time to figure out whether Primebase XT is ready for prime time, I suppose.
Update (May 20): MariaDB will support InnoDB. See the comments.
You have to appreciate the honesty of MySQL’s Michael Widenius:
Don’t expect that all critical bugs that you may have encountered in 5.0 to be fixed in 5.1. Even if we have fixed a big majority of the bugs from 5.0 some really critical ones still haven’t been addressed.
I’m wondering what the quickest route is from the results of a SELECT statement in the MySQL command line client to a CSV file that can easily be imported into Excel. Using INTO OUTFILE is an option but only if you have the proper privileges and have access to the filesystem on the server. It won’t select into a file on the system where the client is running. (This seems like a huge oversight to me.)
There are also GUIs (like phpMyAdmin) that provide this functionality, but lots of systems administrators avoid it because of security holes.
Usually, I just whip up a Perl script to query the database and dump the results to CSV, but I’m wondering if there isn’t an easier way.
By the way, in researching this blog post, I noticed that it’s really easy to set your MySQL prompt to something much more useful than the default. For more, see the mysql client documentation. For now I’m going with
mysql -H -e "select * from whatever" > outfile.html dumps the results of a query in HTML format, which can easily be loaded into Excel. (Thanks, Erik.)
- Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty? Darned interesting article on the impact mobile phones have on society. It’s a feature on Jan Chipchase, a researcher at Nokia who publishes an incredible blog that I’ve subscribed to for awhile.
- Position Is Everything. Yet another site documenting browser CSS limitations.
- Daring Fireball: The Unsatisfying State of Twitter Web Clients for the iPhone. Useful for anyone who’s developing Web sites that target the iPhone.
- Stephen O’Grady: The State of MySQL. I wonder what percentage of MySQL users don’t know the first thing about MySQL? To them, it’s just something they install to make WordPress, MediaWiki, or PHPbb work.
- Waxy.org: Milliways: Infocom’s Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Some insider gave Andy Baio access to a hard drive containing Infocom’s unreleased games, along with lots of other archived information from the company before its fall. Wonderful stuff.
- Washington Post: Memo: Laws Didn’t Apply to Interrogators. The White House has finally released the John Yoo memo that dismantled the rule of law to Congress.
- Philadelphia Daily News: NFL Films is taking shots. It’s sad but not surprising that NFL Films is falling out of favor with the NFL. This is one of those decisions that everyone will look back on a decade from now and marvel at its stupidity.
- Making Light: The photograph that terrorized London. Did I ever tell you about the time that I thought that it would be a good idea to take pictures of the border crossing facility between China and Hong Kong?
- FP Passport: Saudi father shoots daughter after catching her on Facebook. So sad and pointless.
- The Register: Get your German interior minister’s fingerprint here. I couldn’t agree more that if we’re going to collect biometric information on everyone, we should start with the people who propose these laws.
- Andrew Leonard: Paulson’s bogus plan to regulate the markets.
- Wired Compiler: Watch Your Database Threads. Cool tool for monitoring MySQL performance.
- Wired Compiler: Microsoft’s Office Doc Format Wins ISO Approval. Ask Andrew Shebanow why making this format the standard is a bad idea.
- Jessamyn West’s new blog template is hilarious.
- Datawocky: More data usually beats better algorithms. He’s giving away the keys to the castle here.