Blog

PDXPGDay 2014

I had the honor of being asked to give the introduction at PDXPGDay 2014 this past Saturday. I didn't speak very long but it was great to see a lot of the old stomping ground. It had been quite some time since I had been in the group of Wheeler, Roth, Wong, Berkus and a few others.

The conference was really a mini-conference but it was great. It was held in the exact same room that PostgreSQL Conference West was held all the way back in 2007. It is hard to believe that was so long ago. I will say it was absolutely awesome that PDX still has the exact same vibe and presentation! (Read: I got to wear ...

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apt.postgresql.org... a wonderful if flawed apt repository

The site apt.postgresql.org is a great resource for those who live in the Debian derived world. It keeps up to date with the latest postgresql packages and has a whole team dedicated to creating these packages. Of course, this is the Open Source world so not everyone agrees 100% with the way things are done in this project. As I noted here, there are some issues.

These issues are not to detract from otherwise excellent work but a note to those who use the repository to look for further problems. I also have a video displaying specifically what the issues are, here.

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Kicking the Donkey of PostgreSQL Replication

This is the title of a talk I am developing for the matured PostgreSQL Conference: PGConf NYC 2014 . Formerly a PgDay, this is now a full blown conference extending two days with three tracks. From all reports it is set to be the largest PostgreSQL Conference ever in the United States, surpassing even the old West and East series (which no conference in the U.S. has done to date). It is truly exciting times for our community.

This talk will be a departure from my standby talks of PostgreSQL Performance and Choosing the right hardware. Katz asked me, "to bring your full East Coast from the West Coast personality.". I plan on doing so. So cinch up the boot ...

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PgConf.eu is over, it was a blast but I am curious about the future

First let me say that I attended pgConf.eu like I attend every conference (that I am not running). I show up for a few hours on the first day, then I come back and attend my talk. I don't take travel lightly and as much as I bromance my fellow elephant bretheren, I want to explore the sights and this was freaking Ireland people.

I had an odd feeling for the time I was there. The community was in full force, there was at least 240 people there and that was great. It was the commerce side, the sponsor side, the **money** side that was lacking. EnterpriseDB, Cybertec and 2ndQuadrant were there with booths but I wonder if ...

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Just back from NYCPug August, on to more talks

In August I spoke at NYCPUG on Dumb Simple PostgreSQL Performance. The talk was well accepted and there was about 60 people in attendance. I have always enjoyed my trips to NYC but this is the first time I have taken a leisurely look at the city. I found myself enjoying a water front walk from 42nd, through the Highline, to Battery Park, all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and over to Brooklyn to a great pub for dinner. What I enjoyed most about the walk outside of the 10 miles was the community that was present. I think it is easy to get jaded by "midtown" and all that is the tourist in that area. The hustle and ...

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Compiling and installing OpenSRF 2.2 on Centos 5.9

We do quite a bit of work for King County Library systems. The library system has 45 branches and runs the Open Source Evergreen ILS. One of the very smart things that the Evergreen project decided was that their database of choice would be PostgreSQL. One of the things that the Evergreen project is not good at is supporting LTS releases of Linux and therefore certain things can be a chore. For example, by default OpenSRF 2.2 which is the current stable OpenSRF release can not be installed via RPM or compiled from source by default on CentOS 5.9.

When discussing with the community about CentOS, the response was the classic responses of, "just upgrade", "move to Fedora ...

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Calling Bullsh*t in Open Source communities

We are all human. We all lose our temper. We all have our moments of, "I really wish I could take that back". Of course not if you are not Linus Torvalds. Now everyone knows that Linus has a temper, that he is a foul mouth, lacks certain social graces and is generally one of the, if not the most important developers to surface in the last 20 years. Does that mean he gets to be a jerk? In his mind, yes.

In some ways I agree with Linus. If you are a donkey butt and you don't pay attention to your community and follow its guidelines, then just leave. We don't have time for you anyway. We ...

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postgres_fdw for 9.2

We have backported the postgres_fdw to 9.2. It is read only of course as the infrastructure for writes is not in 9.2 but it is usable. Enjoy it!

  • Postgres-FDW
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    The steaming pile that is Precise with kernel 3.2

    I don't know if it is a mainline kernel problem but I can tell you that on Ubuntu Precise, Linux kernel 3.2 is a disaster for PostgreSQL. I am not even going to go into a huge rant about it. I am just posting the numbers. See for yourself. There should be a public service announcement about it.

    before upgrade to 3.9

    08:35:01 AM     CPU     %user     %nice   %system   %iowait    %steal     %idle
    08:45:01 AM     all     30.91      0.00      5.66     40.05      0.00     23.38
    08:55:02 AM     all     29.32      0.00      5.10     39.66      0.00     25.92
    09:05:02 AM     all     31.71      0.00      6 ...

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    Returning multiple results without a round trip

    My blog on changes to the wire protocol [1] prompted this question from a reader:

    "Would it be necessary to modify the wire protocol to support multiple query/result-set combinations per server round-trip? That is, to be able to send a hundred different queries (each with a different number and type of columns in the result set) and receive a hundred different results all in a single network round-trip? That is a feature supported by some other databases that can have an order-of-magnitude effect on the performance of high-latency installations (satellite, etc.)."

    I did a little research into this and it seems that we can already do this, sort of. See the following:

    postgres=# select 1; select 'two'; select 'three ...

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    Modifying the backend protocol for 9.4/10.0.

    A recent discussion on the lists about potentially incompatible changes to 9.4/10.0 of PostgreSQL the idea of things we wanted to do to the wire protocol in upcoming releases.

    The wire protocol is the language spoken between a client and the server of postgresql. The majority of programming languages out there do not implement their own version of the protocol instead opting to bind to the C library libpq. There are notable exceptions, specifically C# and Java both of which implement native versions of the wire protocol for their respective languages.

    The current wire protcol is v4 and was developed for 7.4 of PostgreSQL. That was released in 2003. I think we can safely say there ...

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    Considering PITRtools 1.4

    We quietly released PITRTool 1.3 last week. This version has been in development for a long time and over the past 6 months became a priority to complete. There is one known minor issue that may or may not be fixed as it doesn't affect production usage in a meaningful way. Release 1.3 contiues to support all the way back to 8.2 with warm standby but we also now support streaming replication and hot standby.

    With 1.4 we will be making some changes, quite a few of them in fact. Over the years replication and and log shipping has matured in PostgreSQL. We want to take advantage of that maturity. With that here are some ...

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    Remembering to check the docs: Autovacuum

    I was on a call very late last night with a good customer. Well, it was very early. They were having some performance problems and we were talking through how to resolve them before the EST wake up. It is late, we are all tired and of course there are too many people on the call.

    So what is the problem? The problem is they weren't running Autovacuum. Now many of my brethren would say, "HERESY!" but in reality there are good reasons not to run Autovacuum (although I would say not Autoanalyze). Autovacuum is unpredictable, and can cause performance problems. 99% of the time you should run Autovacuum but there is a 1% reason to consider other alternatives ...

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    GNU and the FSF should be split up

    The FSF should be broken up.

    Yes, I really did just write that. I believe the the FSF no longer fulfills its mission. Wait, let's back up a step. I can feel the torches started to be covered in pitch and the frankenstein cry of, "kill the heretic" starting to rumble through the old streets of the Free Software country. I am not here to say that the FSF is useless or that it doesn't have purpose. I am not here to say that Richard Stallman shouldn't continue on his political mission to save the world from the use of rightfully produced and licensed closed source software.

    What I am saying is that the FSF and GNU ...

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    In considerations of closed source development

    Open Source development has a lot going for it, as Bruce Momjian readily points out in a recent blog [1]. However, I believe he missed some key points that are positive for closed source development. Bruce asserts that with Open Source development the developers are the face of the software. That is true but certainly isn't always a good thing. There is a reason that the majority of software development, revenue generation, and software developer employment is closed source (and no it isn't because management and marketing are trying to keep the developer down).

    It is simple. Most of us Open Source developers aren't generally good with average people. We are good with our "breed" of people ...

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    Cool and Sexy: Open Source PostgreSQL enterprise contenders

    As with any healthy project, there will be offshoots and people will take the source, fork it and try to create something new, better, different or just.... How that person feels it should be. This is a good thing, it leads to new ideas, new communities and sometimes truly interesting pieces of software.

    Postgres-XC has been around for a while, it is primarily developed by NTT and EnterpriseDB. It has a small community but a dedicated engineering/hacker backing. Postgres-XC is interesting because it keeps reasonably up to date with the latest Postgres (1.0 is set to be based on 9.1 of PostgreSQL) but provides a shared nothing clustering architecture. This type of infrastructure is one of the ...

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    PgNext: Cancelled

    It is with regret that I announce that PgNext is cancelled. I am not sure what is next for the PostgreSQL Conference series. The reasons are long and myriad and I will not bore you with them. However I will present the following video:


    If you can't see the video, here is the video link.

    That video represents why I would put on the conferences. They were fun. We had a good time.

    If you are looking for other Postgres conferences there are the following:

    Personally, I would suggest staying local and attending or help organize a local PUG day for PostgreSQL. PUG days are the best in small conferences. You are meeting with many ...

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    Remembering our roots

    Once upon a time, JD was a assistant manager for Block Buster video. This was a very long time ago and before a 23 month employment stint at Powells Books. It was at Powells that the world of computers was actually introduced to me as a viable employment option. While there I designed a special order database in DBase IV, was introduced to University Ingres, went through Book Buyer training, became a Novell Netware Administrator, and began a side business selling pre-built computers and parts. I also pretended to go to college and generally just had zero clue about life. I still don't have much of a clue about life.

    Why does this matter? It doesn't really. I ...

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    PgNext (PostgreSQL Conference) CFP is still open

    As a reminder, the CFP for PgNext is still open. We are in Denver this year, let's make it rock! This year we are keeping it simple and getting back to roots. The conference is about community, networking with professionals, learning and in general having a good time. Who can't have a good time in Denver?

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    URI connection strings, PgNext CFP and other generalities (FKlocks)

    Our team has been hard at work on several things. One is the URI patch for libpq which was just committed and sponsored by Heroku (Thanks Heroku). This is a novel patch that brings standard URI connection handling to libpq and any client/driver that decides to implement the functionality. You can see the patch here.

    We are still actively working on PgNext: The Next PostgreSQL Conference. The folks on the organizing team have been an invaluable resource at helping us determine the direction of the conference. We have also been receiving a lot of emails thanking us for the selection of Denver as the location, many of them from new attendees. If you haven't submitted a talk yet ...

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    What's next for Postgresql conference?

    West is wrapped up. It was smaller. We split the attendees between Postgres Open and Surge. It was a good conference. We received a lot of positive feedback and I was even able to be nice (stop laughing, just ask others :P) to people for the conference.

    We were able to fund two features for PostgreSQL, both of which will hopefully hit for 9.2. The first is work to be done by Greg Smith with pg_stat_statement. The other was fully funded by Heroku which is standardized URI support for libpq and psql. It is my hope that we will continue to use PostgreSQL Conference to actively fund features.

    That said, there are changes in the wind. First, PostgreSQL Conference ...

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    PgWest 2011: Only a week away

    PgWest is only a week a way folks, let's get those registrations in!

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    PgWest 2011: The Schedule is out!

    This year we have a diverse range of topics on PostgreSQL. Of course we have all the standard topics on backups, performance, mvcc but we also have some very interesting presentations coming from VMWare, Fusion-IO and Translattice.

  • You can find the schedule here.
  • Registration is open and is available here.
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    PgWest 2011: Trainings filling up fast

    As we all know, PgWest is in San Jose this year in just under 3 weeks. The trainings are filling up fast and you will want to get your registrations in. We have great trainings on:

  • Performance
  • High Availability
  • Administration
  • Ruby on Rails (with PostgreSQL focus)
  • Normalization
  • DRBD

    These are filling up fast, so you will want to get your registration in.

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    PgWest 2011: Initial list of talks is up

    We have another stellar year of content at PostgreSQL Conference West. The first round of talks has been reviewed and they are now published. There are some more talks on the way so stay tuned for the second round. We have also opened early registration, although we don't have the training options up yet. Take a look and watch for more official announcement style stuff soon.

    Of note, Jim Mlodgenski maintainer of Stado (a proper, stable fork of GridSQL) will be teaching a Practical PostgreSQL Administration course. This is a full day course. Jim has graciously agreed to allow his percentage of the training revenue to be used for the feature development community initiative.

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