Log Buffer #114: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

This is the 114th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

I am sorry to say that this log buffer was supposed to be edited by Dave Edwards, but he’s suffering from severe and long-lasting tooth pain and until his root canal is done he’s KO’d by a killer combo of painkillers and the pain that the painkillers can’t kill. I’ve been there myself, twice, and here’s a tip Dave. It hurts until the dentist takes out the needle. Then the pain goes away while he digs. The pain comes back that night. The next morning it’s worse than ever, unbelievably, writhingly bad. But later that afternoon, blisssssssssssss. :-) Good luck man.

This Log Buffer has been generated in a completely automated way with the help of the incredibly awesome AideRSS.

To give you an idea of just how awesome it is, I was able to load up Dave’s complete OPML file of all the blogs he monitors for Log Buffer. And AideRSS applied it’s magical PostRank algorithm which scores blog posts based on how many comments, del.icio.us bookmarks, blog links from other blogs, etc. that it received, along with some more secret sauce they don’t publicly tell us about (kind of like Google with their Pagerank equivalent). The number to the left of each headline represents the linked item’s AideRSS PostRank.

It did a great job of automatically selecting the best posts from the last week.

To give you an idea of AideRSS’s helpfulness, here are a couple useful feeds I suggest you subscribe to:

1. PlanetMySQL, but only with posts that rank “Best”
2. OraNA.info, again only the posts that rank “Best”. Note that there is a bug in Eddie’s feed that makes it impossible to use all possible information on the ranking.
3. SQLBlogs.com processed by AideRSS to show only the best posts.

While I have no idea how AideRSS plans to make moolah, I think we can agree that is some kind of awesome if you’re like me and can’t afford to miss a big story, but can’t afford the time you would need to read it all. Many thanks to Andrew Baldwin and although that’s the AideRSS about page there there’s a good pic of Andrew on that page. I first met Andrew at MySQLConf 2008 this spring and he’s a great guy and a great advocate for this service.

With no further ado or free advertising for AideRSS, here’s this week’s fully automated Log Buffer. We do not plan a fully automated Log Buffer to become routine but depending on the feedback we might adopt this approach whenever we have a last minute cancellation due to illness or what have you. So your feedback would definitely be appreciated, thanks.

10.0 – Random selection, with a bias ..

Say you want to randomly select your employee of the month, but not so randomly, better, you’ d like to give your best employees a bigger chance to be selected based on their rating. This is just an example, you could be randomly displaying ads from your customers, but giving an higher chance to be displayed to […]

5.6 – The performance effects of new patches

Wed, Sep 10, 2008 1:21 AM
We are going to show the effects of the new patches applied to Percona HighPerf release. As you see from the following graphs, there is significant difference to normal version when the data bigger than buffer pool (right graph shows CPU usage) The workload emulates TPC-C and has a same characteristic to DBT-2 (it is not […]

5.2 – Proprietary, open source systems management get closer

Tue, Sep 9, 2008 11:39 PM
CA and IBM, two of the so-called Big Four in systems management software, announced this week a federated configuration management database (CMDB) system for interoperability of their software. Something like this coming from two of Big Four (BMC, CA, HP and IBM) wouldn’t normally hold much meaning for open source players such as GroundWork, Hyperic […]

8.0 – USB Gadgets – USB bear and food

Tue, Sep 9, 2008 4:38 PM
Now that USB flash drives are cheap and common producers clearly need to get creative to compete. Here are a couple great ideas for storage with a more personal touch: Stuff this cuddly USB bear with 1GB of photos, music or documents. I have to admit this is the first blue fortune cookie I’ve ever seen, […]

3.4 – The typography of Myrtle Beach

Tue, Sep 9, 2008 4:03 PM
Myrtle Beach is a wonderful place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to set type there.

10.0 – Announcing Sudo for Windows

Tue, Sep 9, 2008 2:55 PM
If you’ve used a Unix much, I’m sure you’re familiar with sudo , a command-line utility that lets you run things as the superuser. Not only it is very handy, but it is the basis for one of the better XKCD strips . Sudo is one of those things I find myself wishing for in Windows, especially given the new(ish) UAC features in Vista/Windows 2008. There are lots of times when I just want to run something as administrator, dammit. …

5.3 – Should alias names be preceded by AS? – Part 2

Tue, Sep 9, 2008 2:10 PM
In the Part 1 , I expressed my opinion on having the alias names preceded by the keyword AS Adding to the examples given at the link, consider this example too SELECT 10number , 10.number , 10 number , 10 [number] , 10[number] , 10 as number It gives Read More……( read more )

6.0 – Hubert Lubaczewski: Waiting for 8.4 – ordered data loading in pg_dump

Mon, Sep 8, 2008 6:55 PM
Great (and admittedly long overdue) patch by Tom Lane: Make pg_dump –data-only try to order the table dumps so that foreign keys’ referenced tables are dumped before the referencing tables. This avoids failures when the data is loaded with the FK constraints already active. If no such ordering is possible because of circular or self-referential constraints, print a NOTICE […]

3.0 – The layered messaging marketing model as applied to Netezza

Mon, Sep 8, 2008 6:51 AM
I just put up a post claiming that enterprise IT marketing arguments commonly boil down to one of two layered messaging templates. Let’ s test how that claim applies to one of the most innovative technology companies of this decade: Netezza. Netezza data warehouse appliances (proof-today stack) All the benefits of business intelligence and data mining, […]

5.1 – Mac OS A2DP and FreePulse Logitech Headphones

Mon, Sep 8, 2008 6:12 AM
Apple is slowly fixing the many issues with it’ s A2DP driver. In 10.4 the driver would kernel panic as often as it would work. In 10.5 it’ s functional but only with a special trick to get it to change the audio channel correctly. Simply turning on the headphones and clicking Use Headphones on the dialog […]

6.0 – Did You Know: Can Query Tuning Become Unnecessary?

Mon, Sep 8, 2008 1:49 AM
I wrote a commentary for the SQL Server Magazine e-newsletter last week, and was expecting a to get a bit more feedback than I did.So I’m hoping my blog readers can help out. I was commenting on a message that one of my business partners had sent out wondering about the changes that new higher speed storage technology might bring. Please read the whole commentary here (It’s not that long.) Basically, the comment is that new storage technology is appearing …

6.7 – Inspecting calculation dependencies with MDX Studio

Sun, Sep 7, 2008 11:52 PM
MDX Studio is a universal tool for developing, debugging and analyzing MDX. With 0.4.6 release , there is a new feature in MDX Studio which allows to inspect and analyze dependencies between different calculations. Dependencies are automatically calculated whenever Parse Tree is built, and can be accessed in the dedicated tab. The picture below shows some dependencies from the MDX Script of Adventure Works sample cube (click on image for larger picture). Of course, such a picture could be overwhelming, …

5.9 – Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) – now with source code!

Sun, Sep 7, 2008 5:12 PM
Microsoft just shipped the MEF sources on codeplex . It s fantastic to see the BradA s team getting this stuff into people s hands out-of-band with the big trains – very very nice. Also cool is the fact that the source is there – I love this comment from Tuple.cs: // NOTE : this is a TEMPORARY and a very minimalistic implementation of Tuple 2, // as defined in https://devdiv/sites/docs/NetFX4/CLR/Specs/Base Class Libraries/Tuple Spec.docx // We will remove this after …

6.0 – Leo Hsu and Regina Obe: CTEs and Windowing Functions in 8.4

Sun, Sep 7, 2008 5:06 AM
As we mentioned in a previous article, RECURSIVE queries, often referred to in SQL ANSI specs and by DB2 and SQL Server as Common Table Expressions (CTE) will make it into the 8.4 release and can already be found in the dev source. Technically CTE is a superset and RECURSIVE queries are a subclass of CTE. Looks like basic windowing functionality will make it in 8.4 as well. A summary of where your favorite patches are at can be found …

10.0 – Oslo

Sun, Sep 7, 2008 12:33 AM
As PDC ramps up, I find myself meeting lots of new people, many of whom have no idea what I do for a living (I work on the Oslo project btw). I decided to take a few minutes to write this post so I can stop giving the what is Oslo talk one person at a time. Here s the deal. We re building Oslo to simplify the process of developing, deploying, and managing software. Our goal is to reduce …

5.6 – Hubert Lubaczewski: Waiting for 8.4 – \ef in psql

Sat, Sep 6, 2008 7:45 PM
Today, Tom Lane committed patch, written by Abhijit Menon-Sen, which adds interesting feature to psql. Namely – it simplifies changing definition of functions. Commit message pretty much explains everything: Implement a psql command “\ef” to edit the definition of a function. In support of that, create a backend function pg_get_functiondef(). The psql command is functional but maybe a bit […]

6.3 – SANs vs. DAS in MPP data warehousing

Sat, Sep 6, 2008 5:45 AM
Generally speaking: SANs (Storage Area Networks) are pulling ahead of DAS (Direct Attached Storage. Much of the growth in storage is due to data warehousing. MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) is pulling ahead of SMP (Symmetric MultiProcessing) for high-end data warehousing. MPP architectures are commonly shared-nothing. Shared-nothing entails DAS. But if you think about it, those facts don’ t exactly add up. The […]

9.4 – Can Dell and Vodafone play leapfrog with Linux?

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 11:15 PM
The technology and buzz keep on coming in the netbook space, which consists of lower-cost, smaller-size notebook computers (many of them Linux-based) that are as much like a smartphone as they are like a PC. One of the most exciting developments this week was Dell’ s introduction of its first line of netbooks to come with […]

7.9 – New patches, new builds

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 10:32 PM
We made new patches, improved previous and want to announce new builds for 5.0.62, 5.0.67 and 5.1.26 versions. One of biggest changes we separated releases of 5.0 into two branches. First, just “-percona” release is more stable and contains only stable and proven on many installation patches. Second is “-percona-highperf” release, which contains experimental patches that […]

5.1 – A new book on APEX coming out…

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 5:51 PM
There is a new APEX book coming out soon – I wrote a foreword for it. There has been some discussion of it on asktom – and I thought I’d publish the foreword here: I consider myself a pragmatic person one that uses the right tools for a job, one that employs the most straightforward and easy way to accomplish a task. To that end, I’ ve been a great supporter and fan of Oracle’ s Application Express (APEX) from …

4.2 – ORA-1555 after switchover to standby

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 3:32 PM
This week started with diagnosing an interesting situation that didn’ t seem to be talked about much (maybe because it is a relatively old problem explanation in a minute), so I thought I’ d share the experience for everyone’ s benefit. The situation involves a ( gasp ) database on Linux 32-bit RHEL 4. The database is in flashback mode and […]

5.1 – Has MySQL founder and CTO resigned from Sun?

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 2:23 PM
Valleywag reports that Monty Widenius has quit Sun. The Pythian Group reckons its true. Kaj Arno’ s non-denial denial would appear to confirm it despite his protestations otherwise. Technically there is no resignation letter. However, I spoke to Monty yesterday, and yes, resignation is an option he considers, writes Kaj before expanding on some of the reasons […]

10.0 – Firebird 2.1.1 for Ubuntu released

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 12:42 PM
The Firebird 2.1.1 packages are now in ppa for Ubuntu Dapper, Gutsy , Feisty , Hardy and Intrepid Ibex The guide for installing is located in the ubuntu wiki It’ s an recommended update if you are still using firebird 2.1.0

5.6 – Fun with GO

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 10:58 AM
In this blog post , I explained different uses of GO command Here is a Fun when you use GO as object name CREATE PROCEDURE GO ( @I INT ) AS SELECT @I AS number Well. The procedure is created and let us try to execute GO 2 What we see is Command ( s ) Read More……( read more )

10.0 – Dividing the data warehousing work among MPP nodes

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 8:48 AM
I talk with lots of vendors of MPP data warehouse DBMS. I’ ve now heard enough different approaches to MPP architecture that I think it might be interesting to contrast some of the alternatives. The base-case MPP DBMS architecture is one in which there are two kinds of nodes: A boss node, whose jobs include: Receiving and parsing […]

8.0 – Classification of BI solutions

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 7:54 AM
This post is part of a Methodology discussion – other posts will follows. I will be happy to get your feedback! One interesting question is “How do you measure the complexity of a BI solution?” If we need to decide whether a specific technique is suitable for a solution or not, it is very important to be able to classify that solution. We want to define a classification of solutions based on their size and complexity. It is clear that …

10.0 – Methodologies to build BI Solutions

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 7:47 AM
In the last years I spent most of my time working on BI solutions based on the SQL Server platform. I had experiences with other architectures but I mostly used Kimball’s methodology to design relational databases feeding SSAS cubes. However, Kimball only describes the relational side of a BI solution and gives you a basic model (the star schema) that is the pillar of all the SSAS projects I made. The Kimball’s model is product-agnostic and leveraging the modeling capabilities …

10.0 – The world of SOA Governance according to Oracle – Introducing the Enterprise Repository

Fri, Sep 5, 2008 6:33 AM
Without solid governance, a successful application of SOA seems out of the question. That much has become clear in recent months, perhaps years. And it struck me that most of what we are saying about SOA Governance and management of (the life cycle of) services and service related artefacts, really applies to all software components […]

6.0 – David Fetter: PostgreSQL Weekly News – September 07 2008

Mon, Sep 8, 2008 4:17 AM
PostgreSQL Weekly News – September 07 2008 8.4 CVS Snapshot RPMs are ready for testing. https://people.planetpostgresql.org/devrim/index.php?/archives/121-Testers-8.4-snapshot-RPMs-are-available.html September CommitFest has begun! Interesting inew tems being reviewed include: column-level permissions, hash indexing, windowing functions, in-place upgrade and others. http: wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/CommitFest ? :2008-09 What you can do: http: wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/Reviewing_a_Patch We also desperately need patch reviewers! Are you good with C code? Are you familiar with PostgreSQL? Do you want to advance your Postgres hacking skills and achieve fortune, fame and glory? Become a …


Want to talk with an expert? Schedule a call with our team to get the conversation started.

About the Author

As Pythian’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul leads this center of excellence for expert, outsourced technical services for companies whose systems are directly tied to revenue growth and business success. His passion and foresight for using data and technology to drive business success has helped Pythian become a high-growth global company with over 400 employees and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Paul, who started his career as a data scientist, founded Pythian when he was 25 years old. In addition to driving the business, Paul is a vocal proponent of diversity in the workplace, human rights, and economic empowerment. He supports his commitment through Pythian’s hiring and retention practices, his role as board member for the Basic Income Canada Network, and as a supporter of women in technology.

5 Comments. Leave new

Sorry, I do not like the new “completely automated” system at all. There is no grouping by DBMS, or even an indication of which one each story is talking about it. There is no personalized summary, just a grab of the first part of the story. Having real people write real summaries is what makes Log Buffer worth reading. If I just wanted a computer-generated list of articles, I’d use one of the many services out there.


Glad we could help out Paul! Thanks for the kudos!



Thanks, Mike,
I completely agree with you.
The question is not whether we should do this every week. We are not doing this every week.
The question is whether this is better than Log Buffer #111, the last time we had a last minute cancellation of the editor.

I think it might be, but then again I could be wrong. Can you comment on this matter?

To be completely explicit and clear: Log Buffer is Human-Edited. However, in order to exist, it relies on two pieces to work very well:
1) We need contributors. This can be you, it goes on your blog and generates tons of traffic. Help if you can. When you are not available, Dave does this too. I would rather this be rare, but it’s about one third or more of all posts.
2) Dave feeds the contributor most of the feeds. I fund this activity.

This breaks down whenever the contributor must bow out at the last minute, and whenever Dave is sick, or on vacation. Not ideal.

So, while I fully agree we don’t want any kind of automated log buffer as a matter of routine, what do we do when there’s a contributor cancellation or when Dave can’t do it? Do we do this kind of automated filtering of the most prominent posts? Or do we do like we did in #111?

Your input solicited!



Paul — I like the random selection of articles, and if the title or description doesn’t give away the database, then you probably want to read it! I don’t skip over the log buffer parts that don’t apply to the databases I use, and I actually prefer when log buffers are grouped by category such as “sql query optimization” as opposed to by database.

The point of log buffer, for me, is to learn and grow your database knowledge about all the databases out there :)

Log Buffer #115: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs
September 19, 2008 11:45 am

[…] must thank Paul for taking over at last minute for LB#14 last week, when, as he put it, “ . . . a killer combo of painkillers and […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *