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MySQL Falcon Storage Engine Open Sourced

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the stooping-to-conquer dept.

Databases 235

An anonymous reader writes "The code for the Falcon Storage Engine for MySQL has been released as open source. Jim Starkey, known as the father of Interbase, is behind its creation; previously he was involved with the Firebird SQL database project. Falcon looks to be the long-awaited open source storage engine that may become the primary choice for MySQL, and along the way offer some innovation and performance improvements over current alternatives." This is an alpha release for Windows (32-bit) and Linux (32- and 64-bit) only, and is available only in a specially forked release of MySQL 5.1.

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235 comments

DB is down... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435498)

I'd post the FIRS POST, but the db is down...

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435504)

A cool open source project name. I've been waiting.

Overheard a few days earlier (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435516)

"This Falcon Storage Engine better be released as Falcon open source, or I'm gonna be Falcon pissed."

Please explain (2, Interesting)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435526)

I'm a developer, but I've never used MySQL.

Isn't MySQL already open source? If so, how does the Falcon storage engine differ from the "regular" storage engine that comes with MySQL?

Re:Please explain (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435592)

It doesn't suck.

Re:Please explain (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435616)

MySQL itself is Open Source. But that only gives you a few storage Engines. The specific storage engines have different licenses. It is perfectly possible to have commercial storage engine for MySQL.

MySQL has no "native" way to store or obtain data - everything goes through plugins, some of which ship with MySQL some don't.

MyISAM - the most common and fastest. But no transactions, no ACID, etc. Good for many read-only or non critical tables.
InnoDB - licensed from InnoSoft (now oracle). GPL for non commercial, extra dollars for commercial. Transactions, ACID, but a bit slow. .... other storage engines also exist

Re:Please explain (2, Informative)

Entrope (68843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436108)

This is probably a FAQ, and wandering off-topic, but exactly how the cheese do you have "GPL for non commercial, extra dollars for commercial" and expect it to work? Even InnoDB's licenses page implies that the limitation is "GPL, extra dollars for non-copyleft".

Re:Please explain (3, Insightful)

rongage (237813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436446)

This is easy and one of the tenants of so-called dual licensing setups...

Basically, if you don't want to pay to use the software, you are bound to the terms of the GPL. If you don't want to be bound to the terms of the GPL, you gotta pay.

Re:Please explain (2, Informative)

Entrope (68843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436490)

I mentioned a valid dual-licensing offer in my post. The original post said that the GPL version came with a restriction on commercial use, which would be contrary to the terms of the GPL as they are generally understood. Thanks for reading the details before you reply!

Re:Please explain (1)

stg (43177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437080)

He probably did read the details. Some people automatically think that because something is GPL you can't have commercial use, just because then who'd pay you when they could get it for free?

In many situations (you sell a product that uses MySql, for example) it just makes more sense to buy a license instead of abiding by the GPL.

However, there are a few (obvious) situations where you can use GPL software for profit:
1) Server-side use - no need to provide source code.
2) Contractors who are required to give away the source to their client anyway.
3) Companies that sell support to the code.
4) You sell the hardware, not the software.

Please explain Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437276)

"However, there are a few (obvious) situations where you can use GPL software for profit:
1) Server-side use - no need to provide source code."

Until GPLv3

"4) You sell the hardware, not the software."

Hello, Tivo!

Re:Please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436126)

InnoDB - licensed from InnoSoft (now oracle). GPL for non commercial, extra dollars for commercial. Transactions, ACID, but a bit slow. .... other storage engines also exist

Also note, InnoDB => no full-text indexes. It's really annoying to have the sort of dilemma of picking one or the other, full-text indexes or integrity.

(someone PLEASE scream at me if they've actually gotten InnoDB full-text).

Work Around (1)

Phil John (576633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17438062)

There is of course a work-around. Having a search table that is MyISAM and has fulltext enabled.

Better yet, use something that's been built from the gound-up to search: Apache Lucene (which has even been ported to PHP).

Using Lucene will give you much better weighted results than the MySQL FullText, plus it has a natural language query parser so people can use the kind of search queries they are used to using in google etc.

Please explain Blobs. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436840)

"MyISAM - the most common and fastest. But no transactions, no ACID, etc. Good for many read-only or non critical tables.
InnoDB - licensed from InnoSoft (now oracle). GPL for non commercial, extra dollars for commercial. Transactions, ACID, but a bit slow. .... other storage engines also exist"

Unfortunately none of them handle binary blobs very well. e.g. video, audio, pictures, etc. Text is what they're optimized for.

Re:Please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435618)

RTFA?

Re:Please explain (5, Informative)

SirThomas (6833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435634)

Stolen directly from the mysql website:

Falcon has been specially developed for systems that are able to support larger memory architectures and multi-threaded or multi-core CPU environments. Most 64-bit architectures are ideal platforms for the Falcon engine, where there is a larger available memory space and 2-, 4- or 8-core CPUs available. It can also be deployed within a standard 32-bit environment.

The Falcon storage engine is designed to work within high-traffic transactional applications. It supports a number of key features that make this possible:

        * True Multi Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) enables records and tables to be updated without the overhead associated with row-level locking mechanisms. The MVCC implementation virtually eliminates the need to lock tables or rows during the update process.
        * Flexible locking, including flexible locking levels and smart deadlock detection keep data protected and transactions and operations flowing at full speed.
        * Optimized for modern CPUs and environments to support multiple threads allowing multiple transactions and fast transaction handling.
        * Transaction-safe (fully ACID-compliant) and able to handle multiple concurrent transactions.
        * Serial Log provides high performance and recovery capabilities without sacrificing performance.
        * Advanced B-Tree indexes.
        * Data compression stores the information on disk in a compressed format, compressing and decompressing data on the fly. The result is in smaller and more efficient physical data sizes.
        * Intelligent disk management automatically manages disk file size, extensions and space reclamation.
        * Data and index caching provides quick access to data without the requirement to load index data from disk.
        * Implicit savepoints ensure data integrity during transactions.

VACUUM? (2, Interesting)

dskoll (99328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436164)

So if Falcon uses MVCC, does it require something like PostgreSQL's VACUUM? Or does it have some other way to detect and remove dead tuples?

Also, has anyone looked at making PostgreSQL a storage plugin for MySQL? :-)

Re:VACUUM? (2, Informative)

GroovinWithMrBloe (832127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436544)

Seeing as it has its base in Interbase, I would be running away as quick as possible. Interbase/Firebird(?) has a SWEEP process (read: Vacuum), however it was far more sluggish than Postgres. Also, the MVCC has a transaction count limit on Interbase where you hit ~2 billion transactions you MUST do a backup/restore -- a simple sweep won't cut it. I was working with a database that eventually required bi-monthly restores and each restore took over 12 hours. I also always found it funny that Interbase's row version was stored as a signed int (hence 2 billion version), rather than an unsigned int (giving 4 billion versions). When we moved to Postgres, on the same hardware, the backup went from over 12 hours to under 50 minutes. This is also due in part to the better tweaking capabilities available in postgres. Interbase is designed to be an easy to use/setup database system, which works fine for small cases, but when you start dealing with tens of millions of transactions per day, it becomes more work than it is worth. So if Falcon is anywhere like Interbase/Firebird, I'd be keeping well clear of it.

Re:VACUUM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17438028)

From my understanding it doesn't have interbase underpinnings, other than the author. Many of the limitations in interbase are there from the early realases when those limitations were way big, but are so involved in the internal architecture of the product that they have remained. Since this is a new system, I assume they have learned from the past and have immidiate generation merge sweeps ala innodb or similar.

Re:Please explain (0, Troll)

slightcrazed (973882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435636)

"I'm a developer, but I've never used MySQL." Nice to meet you. I'm a mechanic who's never used a wrench. My brother, the surgeon who's never used a scalple will be by shortly.

Re:Please explain (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435724)

He means he was produced in an Oracle farm, and never saw the light of day. //Not that Oracle isn't good, its just can be too much for the job when the job is something under a 10 million dollar budget.

Re:Please explain (2, Informative)

namityadav (989838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435910)

Are you serious? Do you think that MySql for a developer is equivalent to wrench for a mechanic? What about people who develop device drivers? What about people who write the kernel? I can go on and on for fields that have just no need / use for MySql or any other database. Not everybody in this world is doing *exactly* what you are doing.

Re:Please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436014)

He's just a tool.

Re:Please explain (0, Flamebait)

slightcrazed (973882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436032)

To say one is a developer within this thread implies that you are an app developer who is familiar with database interaction within an application. To be in that line of work and not have at least a basic understanding of one of the major players (and yes, I consider MySQL a major player in the DB sector) is a farce at best, and an admittance of stupidity at worst. My comment may have been tongue in cheek, but the point was still valid.

Re:Please explain (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436570)

"Are you serious? Do you think that MySql for a developer is equivalent to wrench for a mechanic? What about people who develop device drivers? What about people who write the kernel? I can go on and on for fields that have just no need / use for MySql or any other database. Not everybody in this world is doing *exactly* what you are doing."

Not to mention not everybody has to use his Db of choice.

Re:Please explain (2, Insightful)

OverDrive33 (468610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436644)

MySql for a developer is equivalent to wrench for a mechanic? What about people who develop device drivers? What about people who write the kernel?
I was unaware that mechanics only had one wrench to work with.

Re:Please explain (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435638)

mysql is avaliable via the gpl. however, there are different backends that you can use within mysql. the default current one is kinda lame. there is another one that is legally owned by someone not mysql (oracle now, I think). in theory this falcon engine is super awesome, free (as in tinkle), and isn't encumbered with ownership issues.

Re:Please explain (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435640)

MySQL can use many different storage engines, some open, some not. Having another Open engine is just a good thing to have.

Multiple different storage engines.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435774)

MySQL seems to get a different "storage engine" about every other week nowadays... with various assortments of different legal baggage to carry around for each different storage engine deployed.

This scatterbrainedness, and ridiculous inconsistency of MySQL has blown its credibility to smithereens... rendering the entire product to not be able to be taken seriously anymore. Nobody I know trusts it enough to develop any serious app around it anymore. It's now become only an academic curiosity, which is a disappointing tragedy considering so many folks once upon a time had a lot of faith in it as a powerful and nimble lightweight database. Now we have no idea where the fluck it's heading anymore.

Re:Multiple different storage engines.... (1)

crayz (1056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435868)

So you posit that people are no longer using MySQL?

FOSS Developers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436732)

So you posit that people are no longer using MySQL?

Many FOSS database application developers, like myself and about a dozen of my colleagues, have ceased using MySQL as our primary database platform for our projects over the past year or so... precisely because of this black cloud of uncertainty with MySQL. I've personally moved to Postgres myself, even though it was a pain to learn a new database to the degree of familiarity I had with MySQL, and rewrite a significant portion of my handy library of database code snippets I re-use most frequently.

Re:Multiple different storage engines.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435928)

It sounds like you don't have a clue. MyISAM is the default storage engine and it has been like that for years. And there are several serious sites using MySQL like Slashdot for example.
SQ

LOLOLOLOLOLOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436210)

Slashdot is a "serious" site? This place is on its deathbed. Digg has murdered /. Now they're desperately trying to emulate Digg's bookmark feature. It's a futile attempt. No site other than incestuous NewsForge has added this pathetic copycat [slashdot.org].

Re:Multiple different storage engines.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436012)

MySQL is yesterday's news. It's as dead as *BSD. Postgres ftw.

Re:Multiple different storage engines.... (1)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437014)

Ironically PostGreSQL has a bsd license so it's destined to die, not for me though, I prefer a unix like bsd system instead of a minix like windows os.
Just like I prefer a "free for whatever" license instead of a "free as long as its free" license.
The way I prefer Python over Perl or Java. All are personal choices, I'll never say what somebody else must do, only what you could do and I do judge people on their choices.
Just as I'm judged on my choices.

Re:Please explain (3, Informative)

AslanTheMentat (896280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435656)

This is a real quick, detailess explanation, but explanation nonetheless... Essentially there are several options for "storage engine", each with its own set of features... The vanilla engine w/ MySQL is MyISAM, which among other things doesn't support transactions. In lieu of these shortcomings there is also the InnoDB engine, which does do transactions, etc.

The Falcon engine is from a renowned database developer, and as such has all sorts of neat features [mysql.org].

Re:Please explain (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436398)

Apparently, MySQL is a mish-mash of all kinds of different code. Heck, even the part that handles esoteric stuff such as stored procedures (note tongue in cheek) is part of some external module. I can't imagine that having multiple layers of API's is a good thing, considering how critical databases can be. Personally, I want my database to be consistent, and thoroughly tested, but the best being when the whole thing is designed to work together. Call me crazy, but it certainly does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that stuff as critical as my database's file system is tacked on as an afterthought. (No, I don't use MySQL, primarily for these reasons).

Re:Please explain (1)

clark0r (925569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436512)

last time i checked, this [google.com] company used MySQL in their products.

Re:Please explain (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436640)

Where do they use it? I'd use MySQL for something like a contact list, or something like this. Do they use it for anything mission critical? I kinda' doubt it.

Please explain part 2 (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435574)

Actually, a good question would be : What is the difference between Mysql and Mysql falcon?

Re:Please explain part 2 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435852)

Actually, a good question would be : What is the difference between Mysql and Mysql falcon?

Mysql maximizes rich channels and empowers cross-platform convergence letting you drive mission-critical niches whereas Falcon utilizes scalable initiatives by scaling end-to-end networks for reintermediate granular platforms (win32 and linux 32/64).

Re:Please explain part 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437610)

Damn, you just blew up my 'buzzword compliance' meter!

Re:Please explain part 2 (-1, Offtopic)

TBone (5692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435862)

Knock Knock.

Who's There?

Falcon.

Falcon Who?

Now we're Falcon with Oracle!

New Microsoft Sql Server (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435594)

New Microsoft Sql Server coming soon to a store near you. Cant wait for M$ to secretly add this to their SQL server and call it innovation.

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (1, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436556)

New Microsoft Sql Server coming soon to a store near you. Cant wait for M$ to secretly add this to their SQL server and call it innovation.

Laugh all you want, but MS is one of the leaders in the database world with SQL Server for Windows, and have been for a while now. SQLS is by a long, long shot the best software product Microsoft has ever released, IMHO, and keep doing, right to the latest version. It works great.

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437516)

Laugh all you want, but MS is one of the leaders in the database world with SQL Server for Windows, and have been for a while now. SQLS is by a long, long shot the best software product Microsoft has ever released, IMHO, and keep doing, right to the latest version. It works great.

You've got to be kidding. I used SQL Server 2003 a year ago on a game server, and it was horrible. Just to name a few things:
1. Near-incomprehensible administration panel. The fact that they gave it a fancy name ("Enterprise Manager" or something like that) didn't help. The usability of it absolutely sucks.
2. Bad documentation. All I want is to automatically make database backups every night at 3 AM and upload it to a remote server in encrypted form. With Linux, MySQL and SSH, I can write such a script in 30 minutes. With Windows 2003 and MS SQL Server, I spent 1 to 2 weeks. The documentation told me that it's important to have a backup plan, and that every business should have a backup plan, and more of that nonsense, but nowhere did it mention HOW to actually make a backup! Only after days of searching did I finally find the command to make a backup, but I couldn't find any commandline tools like mysqldump! Eventually I found out that something can be done with the SQL server scheduler (I think it was called MS SQL Agent). I spent more than a week trying to figure out how their scheduler works and writing non-graphical tools to upload the backup to a remote server.
3. Bad, bad performance. While the game server was running (which used 100% CPU; the game server software sucks but that's another story), the SQL Query Analyzer's performance dropped to near zero. It took 2 minutes to execute a simple "SELECT * FROM foo WHERE bar = 2". One day I wrote a tool in Perl (using DBI and ODBC) to automate some database actions. And guess what? Running the same select statement in the Perl tool was almost instantaneous! I have no idea what SQL Query Analyzer is doing to make the query literally 100 times slower.
4. One day I noticed that the server ran out of disk space. It turned out that the database transaction log (not the database itself!) grew to 120 GB! The database itself was only about 100 MB. The documentation told me everything that I don't want to know, but it didn't tell me how to clear the transaction log. I spent 2 days searching Google on how to clear the transaction log, but I didn't find anything useful. Eventually I managed to clear it anyway by playing with the Enterprise Manager for an entire day. I don't remember how I did it, but it was absolutely non-intuitive.
5. It runs on Windows. It's hard to automate things. It doesn't have a good shell like Unix. Yes I know Cygwin exist, but scripts cannot run in the background and always need to have a DOS window. Yes there are tools to hide the DOS window but I don't want to add yet more bandaids to the fact that Windows's shell absolutely sucks. I ended up having to write nearly everything, while on Unix nearly everything is already there.

I'm sure someone will tell me that points 1 and 2 say I'm an incompetent database administrator. Well, this isn't a multi-million dollar business and I don't want to waste money on a database administrator which costs me more than $1000 per month! I just want to run the damn game server! I'm competent in SQL. On Linux I don't need a database administrator to maintain a database of this size, so why should I with Windows?

Seriously, this is not a troll. Yes I know I sound frustrated, but that's because I am. This is my own experience with Win2003 and MS SQL Server. This, together with other Windows quirks which I will not mention in this post, have convinced me that maintaining a Windows is an absolute nightmare.

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437628)

Let me guess, Aegis?

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (4, Insightful)

Thundersnatch (671481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437130)

Microsoft SQL Server has had almost all of these features since its first release in the early 90s. MVCC was just introduced in Microsoft SQL Server 2005. There is no row-level compression in SQL Server (or Oracle, or DB2, or PostGreSQL... which is probably a *good thing* from a performance perspective).

This is a nice step forward for MySQL, but for the most part it is just a means for catching up to the other commercial DBs and PostgreSQL. ACID compliance, granular locking, MVCC, and multithreading are *not* differentiating features in the database world.

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437446)

Umm, Postgres has had automatic row-level compression (automatic compression of TOASTed) values for some time now.

Re:New Microsoft Sql Server (2, Insightful)

sonofagunn (659927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437524)

Actually, compression can improve performance. Often disk I/O can slow you down more than the extra CPU work to compress/decompress. I have written some flat-file processing code at my work and it runs much faster reading from and writing to zipped text files instead of uncompressed text files. The space savings are just a bonus.

MySQL's counter-attack to Oracle's advances (5, Informative)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435596)

I've been very excited since I first heard about this new storage engine adapted from Netfrastructure. Not only does it give MySQL a transactional storage engine that is not controlled by a hostile company, but the engine appears to be designed from the bottom up to support web traffic. Jim gave a great talk at the Boston MySQL meetup that you can watch here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1929002440 950908895 [google.com]

InnoDB (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435620)

What does Falcon do that the InnoDB engine doesn't currently do? The description seems rather vague.

Re:InnoDB (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435708)

What does Falcon do that the InnoDB engine doesn't currently do?

Get developed by a company that doesn't hate MySQL, for starters.

Re:InnoDB (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435732)

The development of this new engine does not depend on Oracle [oracle.com].

Re:InnoDB (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437740)

InnoDB is licensed under the GPL. InnoDB is no more dependent on Oracle then Linux is on Red Hat. MySQL could if need be develop InnoDB themselves.

Re:InnoDB (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437784)

I'm aware of that.
The problem when they take the whole team who maintains the project is that, in practice, is not exactly easy to simply fork.

Re:InnoDB (2, Insightful)

namityadav (989838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435954)

Like others said already .. First of all, Falcon allows MySQL to not be as dependent on InnoDB as it is right now. When Oracle got hold of InnoDB, people had serious doubts about MySQL's future. For a solution like MySQL, it's always good to have competing (Even if similar) engines for it's own survival / growth.

Re:InnoDB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436088)

It protects MySQL from Larry Ellison.

Yes!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435654)

Big Fucking Deal!!

You stupid fucktards and your Open Source!

Give me a Goddamn Break!!!

Open Source is for Retards!!!! It's garbage!!!! GNU is shit!!!! Fuck you!!!!

I refuse to use Open Source!!!! It's shite...don't listen to these fucktards!

Okay, I'm stupid. What is a storage engine? (0)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435726)

I mean, I've been using MySQL for years without a "storage engine" so what does this offer me that I don't have now?

Re:Okay, I'm stupid. What is a storage engine? (2, Informative)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435788)

Ugh, no you haven't. The storage engine is how MySQL stores the actual data on disk. There are different formats, each have their own benefits, issues and work arounds. Think of MySQL as a SQL interpreter talking to different storage engines on the back. The default is MyISAM, but InnoDB and ISAM are others.

Re:Okay, I'm stupid. What is a storage engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435814)

I mean, I've been using MySQL for years without a "storage engine" so what does this offer me that I don't have now?


What do you use MySQL for, if you haven't used storage engine? I bet you're just confused and don't know what you're talking about.

Re:Okay, I'm stupid. What is a storage engine? (0, Troll)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435966)

You know, I really hate to say this, but:

Spoken like a true MySQL developer.

Eh. MySQL user, actually. (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436568)

Unless you think using drupal makes me a sql developer.

Re:Eh. MySQL user, actually. (4, Interesting)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436726)

Nah, I'm just giving you a hard time. I've worked with a couple of people who have only ever worked on MySQL, and they tend to not know some pretty essential things for a DBA like ACID compliance and such.

It's just a function of how easy MySQL is to set up. It's trivial to set up, but a lot of the default decisions are generally bad for an SQL database, and the documentation -- while good -- never encourages you to go beyond the defaults.

It's like hearing someone say they can design websites, and then finding out they mean with FrontPage.

Drupal is one example of something that works great with MySQL. I can argue about MySQL's faults over and over, but at the end of the day it's easy to use and it's good enough for most people. CMS systems and forums are where MySQL really shines.

Noobs and Access, oh my! (2, Funny)

louzerr (97449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437790)

I've ended up having to support and/or migrate several Access databases designed by end users ...

These guys who've set up MySQL are gurus by all comparisons ... ;)

GODDAMN IT... YOU'RE A JAVA MONKEY, AREN'T YOU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436340)

Be warned: Java causes irreversible brain damage.

Sweet... but one of those long-term things :-( (1)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435794)

I just setup a phpBB site that uses MySQL and I'm always keeping an eye on storage space and performance now. I don't suppose my host will upgrade MySQL any time soon, but this is still cool news...

Re:Sweet... but one of those long-term things :-( (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436148)

Since the article and the product's website all state that this is an ALPHA, you likely will be quite happy that your host will not upgrade any time soon.

Why not PostgreSQL? (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435824)

OK, although I don't agree with it, I know that a lot of people use MySQL because it's the most common database supported by web hosts. Isn't it almost as likely for a hosting company to have PostgreSQL, though, as to upgrade to a bleeding-edge version of MySQL when this is finally readied for public consumption? Will this new backend give any extra functionality that PostgreSQL doesn't offer?

Re:Why not PostgreSQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436440)

Perhaps MySQL compatibility?

MySQL is a lot like Windows. It's adequate, just a little substandard, not entirely compatible with everything-else, is prone to giving you the occasional headache, and it's absolutely everywhere. You'd think it was kudzu or something.

It might have potential... (1)

puppetman (131489) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435838)


for smaller databases, but limiting the tablespace to a single file per database/schema doesn't sound very flexible, and won't allow DBAs to maximize their disk throughput.

I am guessing that this is more of a MyISAM replacement than an InnoDB replacement, so it's not really a shot across Oracle's bow (as some comments make it sound like).

Re:It might have potential... (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17435908)

MyISAM will probably still have its uses in read-intensive applications where simplicity is most important even after Falcon is released officially, as will InnoDB and MySQL cluster have their uses. This is the benefit of MySQL's pluggable architecture -- you can choose the right tool for the job.

Re:It might have potential... (2, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436614)

for smaller databases, but limiting the tablespace to a single file per database/schema doesn't sound very flexible, and won't allow DBAs to maximize their disk throughput.

That isn't necessarily the case. Recently it has become popular to aggregate spindles into single stripe/mirror volumes with large stripe widths. This spreads I/O operations uniformly across disks. All disks contribute their IOPS capacity to all operations. Large stripe widths attempt to leverage high sequential IO bandwidth.

Oracle calls this policy SAME; Stripe and Mirror Everything. Their Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is an implementation of SAME, and it is recommended for use with both OLTP and OLAP applications.

If I had to make a MySQL Falcon instance fast I would build a large stripe/mirror volume for the (single) tablespace file. The point is that isolating high load tables on separate spindles isn't necessarily the best policy, according to current thinking. Of course there are other reasons for isolating parts of a database, but you only mentioned throughput.

MySQL versus PostgreSQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17435900)

is evidence that easier trumps better when it comes to the early adoption curve, something I wish the PGSQL folks had understood (or rather cared about). PGSQL should have thrashed MySQL long ago. If you wait long enough, competing projects will gain parity and the game is over.

Re:MySQL versus PostgreSQL (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436114)

I wouldn't rush to call it pairity yet. It may be that Falcon brings MySQL into to paritiy with Postgres but we'll probably have to wait and see. My gut feeling is that Falcon may not be as mature as the storage engine used by Postgres, and may not be for some time.

Re:MySQL versus PostgreSQL (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436286)

is evidence that easier trumps better when it comes to the early adoption curve, something I wish the PGSQL folks had understood (or rather cared about).

But in something as mission-critical as a database, of all things, reliability trumps everything. I don't think they could have developed PostgreSQL any other way and still supported its primary goal of safety.

PGSQL should have thrashed MySQL long ago. If you wait long enough, competing projects will gain parity and the game is over.

What gave you the (wrong) impression that PostgreSQL folks have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs? Version 8.2 just came out within the month and includes several performance boosts that make it fly on our production systems.

Re:MySQL versus PostgreSQL (2, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436774)

But in something as mission-critical as a database, of all things, reliability trumps everything.

That depends on the database.

Re:MySQL versus PostgreSQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17437060)

I meant it mostly as flame-bait. I wouldn't use anything other that PostgreSQL and the technology in the recent releases is awesome. I still find it a PITA to administer. The GUI/Web front ends are shite IMHO. Documentation is way better than in the past.

I had to drop MySQL (2, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436232)

I was forced to learn Postgres because I wanted to do a SELECT * FROM foo WHERE bar NOT IN ( SELECT x FROM y WHERE z > 4 ) type query - basically a negative subselect. I couldn't do (or couldn't work out how to) use table JOINs to perform the same thing, and at the time, MySQL didn't do it.

I'm so thankful. Postgres is so much better. And the table JOIns I did have ran so much faster in PG. s/mysql_/pg_/g *.php

Re:I had to drop MySQL (1)

The Barking Dog (599515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436428)

You must've had an ancient version of MySQL. Versions > 4.0 or 4.1 (can't remember which) support subqueries, and I know I've done negative subselects like that.

Oh, please (3, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436392)

Falcon looks to be the long-awaited open source storage engine that may become the primary choice for MySQL, and along the way offer some innovation and performance improvements over current alternatives.

Come on. Give me PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] any day. After fiddling with MySQL at work for a few custom developments (both versions 4 and 5.0.2) i'm ready for anything else. Gave PSGSQL a shot at home and it runs very nice, with lots of advanced features. Anyone with real-world deploying feedback to share?

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436700)

Despite the fact that you've been marked "Flamebait," we use it here in a real-world deployment, but we use it as an application backend for a limited set of simultaneous users (although we've managed to cram image data into it and have it work ok).

The biggest problem I ran into with 7.4.x was its optimizer sometimes made funny guesses, especially w.r.t. queries involving VIEWs. Other than that, all the support for the "relational" part of RDBMS was a breath of fresh air compared to MySQL.

Re:Oh, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436870)

Gave PSGSQL a shot

Took one look at that and thought that Sony was releasing a database to run on the PS3

PSGSQL - PlayStation (R) Gooder-than-your (TM) Structured Query Language !!

i see a naming conflict on the horizon... (1)

capsteve (4595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17436660)

when i first read falcon storage engine, i initially thought of a storage software called falconstor [falconstor.com]. falconstor is more in the data backup/archive/recovery market, often used as a disk-to-disk-to-tape solution, or sometimes as a virtual tape device, but i imagine that often times a name that's close but different is almost always considered "too close" and forces a name change by somebody... let's see how this gets resolved. who knows, maybe the other falcon store [falconstudios.com](NSFW) might be the winner...

It's only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17436844)

before falcon goes the way of innodb. mysql had better develop it's *own* engine; that's the least it owes to the millions of users who built its reputation, whose data is still liable for ransom as long as mysql keeps using engines it doesn't 'own'.

Platforms for Falcon (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17437918)

The summary does not mention that the alpha only supports x86 platforms... ie, on Linux, it may be compiled for 80486 and better 32 bit IA32 compatible microprocessors, and Intel EM32T compatible 64bit microprocessors such as the AMD's Athlon 64 family and of course the newer non-Itaniam 64bit Intel microprocessors.
Support for other families of microprocessors, such as PowerPC and Sparc will come later.
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