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Will Falcon fly?

 | June 22, 2008 |  Posted In: Events and Announcements


Why one may wonder, it’s just Swedish beer (State of Doplhin, MySQL UC 2006).
One week ago Jim Starkey sent message so he will not work for MySQL anymore and starting new project. While that’s fully Jim Starkey’s personal decision, I expected some comments about Falcon future development from MySQL / Sun side. Jim was not just ordinary developer, but lead of project and main architect of Falcon and his leaving may change a lot. For now MySQL’s calm seems stunned or indifferent to Falcon’s destiny.
Falcon has being developed for about 2.5 years, and despite it named “beta” stage, it sill crashes in our quite simple benchmarks, so it’s very optimistic “beta”. That’s why I wonder if this project will be ever finished, especially when main architect left it.

Vadim Tkachenko

Vadim Tkachenko co-founded Percona in 2006 and serves as its Chief Technology Officer. Vadim leads Percona Labs, which focuses on technology research and performance evaluations of Percona’s and third-party products. Percona Labs designs no-gimmick tests of hardware, filesystems, storage engines, and databases that surpass the standard performance and functionality scenario benchmarks. Vadim’s expertise in LAMP performance and multi-threaded programming help optimize MySQL and InnoDB internals to take full advantage of modern hardware. Oracle Corporation and its predecessors have incorporated Vadim’s source code patches into the mainstream MySQL and InnoDB products. He also co-authored the book High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, and Replication 3rd Edition.


  • I’m really surprised his contract with MySQL/Sun allows him to found a direct competitor using an idea he admits he thought up while he was employed with them.

  • Jeremy,

    Right, But I am not sure if I can refer to Zack Urlocker’s post as official Sun / MySQL position or as just Zack’s personal opinion.

  • Falcon has always been a lost cause. It never did what it was pitched as doing, and the code is a mess. Do you see a single regression test for any of that code? I sure don’t. It will never be stable, and Maria is already way ahead of it and improving quickly.

  • Besides NDB, do any storage engines have regression tests that run directly against their code? It might require mocking. It could provide a faster way to stress the handler interface.

  • Don’t know if Falcon is a lost cause but certainly MySQL’s strategy about storage engine is unclear.

    Why developing Maria if Falcon is in the works?
    Why endorsing InnoDB if you are building Falcon and getting out of Oracle’s shadow?
    Why developing so many engines in house if the focus is on letting the community build it’s own engines?

    I have another question …

    Why the focus is on engines instead of stability and scalability of the existent? And why no plans for improving sql synthax? Firebird and PostgreSQL are there or almost there with hierarchical queries, window functions, java stored procs, debuggers for stored procs …

  • Honestly, there are still 2 of Jim’s direct employees plus Ann Harrison who are staying on.

    I respect Jim a lot, however it’s very possible that taking Jim off the project will get it out of beta sooner. Jim is a great ideas man, but my guess is the structure (or lack thereof) within MySQL made it difficult for him to work there.

  • Sun will bring MySQL to its knees. I want to switch to PostgreSQL because I can’t see MySQL downfall with the unclear policy of Sun!

  • I think MySQL really lost some pace, there are exciting things coming up inside the community (new storage engines and tools) but the server itself it’s just a mess now. There are many, many versions floating around so far, Falcon isn’t getting ready, Maria just seems to be a pimped MyISAM so far no real competition to InnoDB. MySQL 5.1 still isn’t out, bugs don’t get fixed, there are some features that are removed and so on. I have never checked on Falcon myself, but it seems to be stalling a bit with some nasty bugs. The only things I see involving so far is the business and MySQL cluster, the core Product itself is stalling at best. The Sun acquisition wasn’t a bad move I think, the only problem is that it really slowed development down another bit (I don’t really have insight into MySQL, I read about some people leaving and well there are always some difficulties when 2 companies merge).

    Some exciting things in the future will be in my opinion the Kickfire appliance and Primebase XT.

  • Nils, what do you mean MySQL 5.1 isn’t out yet?

    Hell, I’ve been using MySQL 6 for almost a year now (without any problems, mind you).
    5.1 is VERY old and dead!

    It’s like saying PHP 4 isn’t out yet.

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