PostgreSQL Summit Day 1

Well, managed to get through my first day of the [ summit]; here’s the quick rundown: A few of us bypassed the continental breakfast and grabbed some real food at the Reyerson before heading over. The first talk was Bruce’s keynote, which gave a bit of history of how postgresql got from berkely to the internet, including a few humorous emails from way back when. Light and fun and a nice way to kick off the conference. After that I swung into [ Korry Douglas’] talk on the plpgsql debugger. The basic idea was a add-on/contrib style program the hooks into the back-end to allow you to debug plpgsql functions; setting breakpoints and stepping through functions, which variable information displayed as you go. The architecture was pretty neat, allowing for a 3rd party API interface so that tools like phpPgAdmin could make use of the debugger. The way it integrated with the backend was good too, involving a serious of hooks that tied into the function language code. This means that implementation in PostgreSQL is extremely compact (about 10 lines of code), allowing for simplicity as well as minimal impact on performance when not in use. This also means that these hooks can be put to other uses, for example a function tracer and profiler, both of which Korry had already put together. This is one of the projects being worked on by EnterpriseDB and should be made available soon. While it might not all be there for 8.2, Tom thought the hooks stood a good chance of getting in, which means all of the other tools could be put to use as 3rd party components to 8.2 after release. Next up I went to the lightening talks session. There was a lot of good information in there… highlights included too presentations by [ Skype] about horizontal scaling of PostgreSQL and custom replication. Skype is a great example of what you cn do if you have innovative programmers and the power and flexibility that only PostgreSQL can give you. Hiroshi gave a pointer to his work on an snmp agent, which is [ currently up on pgfoundry]. Devrim also gave a quick run-through of his replication / gfs / failover system, something I haven’t fully gotten around, but it looks spiffy. It ended on David’s odd talk about object - relational mapping… I didn’t quite see where he was going with it (he ran out of time) but my guess it it would have ended with an endorsement of [ Active Record and Ruby on Rails]. After that the web team (+ alvarro and thomas hallgren) went out and we grabbed some Thai food. I got mine “are you sure?” hot… it was hot, but not too hot. When we got back I swung into the Introduction to Hacking talk. The best part was probably that I got to introuce myself to Gavin Sherry. Given the number of times I have pestered him about relocating me to Australia, it was nice to actually meet the guy [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]] The talk itself was excellent too… Gavin and Niel have an uncanny presentation style, finishing each others sentences at time it flowed so well. If you’re a company that wants to customize PostgreSQL to build your business, hiring these two guys to come and talk to your development team would be a huge bonus. Unfortunatly I had to bail out before the end in order to attend the Advocacy meeting, but what I saw was great, and those whom I talked to afterward we’re pretty jazzed. The advocacy talk consisted of the folks at [ JPUG] and postgresqfr giving a run-down of what they have been up to. Japan is really got it all together, it fantastic to see thier success, though I little frustrating that we haven’t been able to duplicate that success in the U.S. Josh as gave a run-down of the current things happening with the [ SPI group] (vote for Rob!) and then presented his idea for a unified donor section of the website. He and I have talked about this before and I think on the whole it is pretty solid, but we did get some solid feedback, hopefully we can move on that soon. Well… time for the contributors dinners… I’ll update this post later with links for those interested. otherwise will blog more tommorrow barring anything crazy happening tonight. [updated] dinner ran a bit long, but I’ve updated with links… more tomorrow.