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Some Love For Ishmael

29 April 2013 #

Back in the days of fire fighting and database optimizing at Flickr, when I could debate the merits of different MVCC options comfortably, I built a little tool called Ishmael to help us make sense of mk-query-digest data more easily (apparently, the project has been moved to the “Percona Toolit” and renamed pt-query-digest). Tim Denike made some improvements during his remaining time at Flickr after I had left, and then Asher Feldman took the project with him to The Wikimedia Foundation. Eventually, he sent in a large enough pull request that I simply did not have the capacity to test it - I, after all, have not used MySQL in anger in ages. So I did the natural thing and made Asher a collaborator on the repo.

This past week, during a moment of vanity, I noticed that there were quite a few more stars on the repo than there had been. I wondered what might have caused it, and shrugged. Then on Sunday the DevOps Weekly email provided the answer: Asher had written a post about MariaDB on Wikimedia’s blog, in which he mentions their use of Ishmael in comparing performance between old and new database versions. It is a good read for anyone interested in database migrations and upgrades, especially “doing it live!”

Everyone, look, this is my “proud open source moment” face.