Oracle gave the opening keynote and it went pretty much like I thought it would. Oracle said they will keep MySQL alive. They talked about the new 5.5 release. It was pretty much the same keynote Sun gave last year. Time will tell what Oracle does with MySQL.
The expo hall was sparse. Really sparse. There were a fraction of the booths compared to the past. I don't know why the vendors did not come. Maybe because they don't want to compete with Oracle/Sun? In the past you would see HP or Intel have a booth at the conference. But, with Oracle/Sun owning MySQL, why even try. Or maybe they are not allowed? I don't know. It was just sad.
I did stop by the Maatkit booth and was embarrassed to tell Baron (its creator) I was not already using it. I had heard people talk about it in the past, but never stopped to see what it does. It would have only saved me hours and hours of work over the last few years. Needless to say it is now being installed on our servers. If you use MySQL, just go install Maatkit now and start using it. Don't be like me. Don't wait for years, writing the same code over and over to do simple maintenance tasks.
Gearman had a good deal of coverage at the conference. There were three talks and a BoF. All were well attended. Some people seemed to have an AHA! moment where they saw how Gearman could help their architecture. I also got to sit down with the PECL/gearman maintainers and discuss the recent bug I found that is keeping me from using it.
I spoke about Memcached as did others. Again, there was a BoF. It was well attended and people had good questions about it. There seemed to be some FUD going around that memcached is somehow inefficient or not keeping up with technology. However, I have yet to see numbers or anything that proves any of this. They are just wild claims by people that have something to sell. Everyone wants to be the caching company since there is no "Memcached, Inc.". There is no company in charge. That is a good thing, IMO.
That brings me to my favorite topic for the conference, Drizzle. I wrote about Drizzle here on this blog when it was first announced. At the time MySQL looked like it was moving forward at a good pace. So, I had said that it would only replace MySQL in one part of our stack. However, after what, in my opinion, has been a lack of real change in MySQL, I think I may have changed my mind. Brian Aker echoed this sentiment in his keynote address about Drizzle. He talked about how MySQL AB and later Sun had stopped focusing on the things that made MySQL popular and started trying to be a cheap version of Oracle. That is my interpretation of what he said, not his words.
Why is Drizzle different? Like Memcached and Gearman, there is no "Drizzle, Inc.". It is an Open Source project that is supported by the community. It is being supported by companies like Rackspace who hired five developers to work on it. The code is kept on Launchpad and is completely open. Anyone can create a branch and work on the code. If your patches are good, they will be merged into the main branch. But, you can keep your own branch going if you want to. Unlike the other forks, Drizzle has started over in both the code and the community. I personally see it as the only way forward. It is not ready today, but my money is on Drizzle five or ten years from now.