Joshua D. Drake Blog Posts

The Chairs (myself, Jim Mlodgenski, and Amanda Nystrom) have recently decided to bring some visibility to charities that are close to our hearts. They are listed below:

  • Joshua Drake: Navajo Water Project. The Navajo nation is approximately the size of West Virginia and has a population of over 150,000 people (300k in the tribe). Anywhere from 15% - 40% of the residents do not have access to running water. The Navajo Water Project aims to bring clean water to each person and family through support from those that donate. 
  • Jim Mlodgenski: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The hospital is one of the premier research hospitals for cancer and other life threatening illnesses for some of our most vulnerable people. Approximately one in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday. Through donations, St. Jude’s provides treatment to those with cancer, and is actively dedicating resources to the research and cure for cancer. 
  • Amanda Nystrom: ASPCA. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCS) was the first humane society to be established in North America, with the goal of providing kind and respectful treatment to animals under the law. Unlike humans, cases of animal abuse aren’t compiled but studies have shown a correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse. The ASPCA prevents animal homelessness and actively rescues animals from dangerous and/or cruel situations.

Upcoming Webinars

With the Coronavirus causing the conference market to dry up for 2020, we at Postgres Conference have pivoted to ensure that we continue to provide quality Postgres content to the world of People, Postgres, Data. We have been performing multiple webinars per month. Here is the current schedule and you can register (free) here:

 

  • May 21, 11am PT: A Deep Dive into PostgreSQL Indexing
  • June 2, 10AM PT: How to Move Data from Oracle to Postgres in Near-Real Time
  • June 9, 11am PT: Community vs. Enterprise Open Source – Which is Right for Your Business?
  • June 10, 11am PT: Bring Compression to Postgres at Zero Cost of Performance
  • June 16, 11AM PT: Mostly mistaken and ignored PostgreSQL parameters while optimizing a PostgreSQL database
  • June 30, 11am PT: Deeper Understanding of PostgreSQL Execution Plan: At plan time and run time
  • July 15, 10AM PT: Working with JSON Data in PostgreSQL vs. MongoDB
  • June 17, 11am PT: Postgres vs. MongoDB for real-time machine learning on wind turbine data

Articles from the community

Coronavirus Resources:

Joshua D. Drake     May 19, 2020

 
 

As part of the countdown to PostgresConf US 2018, learn more about the engaging content and our Diamond and Platinum sponsors for this year in our Sponsor Spotlight Series.

Jacque Istok, is the Head of Data for Pivotal, one of our Diamond Sponsors for PostgresConf US 2018. Pivotal is hosting the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf US 2018, with lots of great Greenplum and Postgres-related content. Read what Jacque has to say bout Greenplum and Postgres, as well as why to attend the Greenplum Summit: 

Greenplum is an Open Source variant of Postgres; what benefits do you bring to the table over vanilla Postgres?

Postgres is a powerful ORDBMS, but as your data scales, the only way to keep up is to buy bigger and bigger machines to run on. It suffers from the same problems that all SMP databases do: you can only get as big as the machine you’re running on.

With Greenplum you can put a subset of your data on a Postgres database on one reasonably-sized machine, and another subset on a second machine, and so on. All of your users and applications can then query one of these Postgres databases as if all the data was in a single location - making your data scale limitless. Greenplum manages the distribution, data shuffling, and querying of all of your data across a magically sharded implementation of Postgres databases.

Greenplum has its own community; what do you hope to achieve by joining the Postgres community and PostgresConf?

The Postgres community represents some of the most passionate and knowledgeable creators, developers, and users of database technology of our time. We believe that the combination of Postgres and Greenplum becomes the software equivalent of what Oracle Exadata purported to be: an all-purpose database that can do both transactional and analytical workloads across multi-structured data. Simply put, the Greenplum community is looking to join with the Postgres community to further the understanding and adoption of these technologies.

Do you have plans for cross pollination of technologies with the two open source projects?

Greenplum forked from Postgres over 10 years, circa Postgres 8.2. Greenplum 5.0 is based off of Postgres 8.3, with our next major release slated for Postgres 9.4 (current open source Greenplum is compatible with 9.0 as of this writing).

Likewise, we have Postgres committers working at Pivotal looking for opportunities to improve the Postgres code specifically for analytics. We are also ensuring that other projects related to Greenplum, like Apache MADLib, continue to be compatible with Postgres.

What challenges do you see working with the Postgres community as an open source fork?

The Postgres community is a long-running and very passionate group, and we want to be both collaborative and respectful in how we continue to grow our participation. We see the products as having synergies which complement each other very well, with some use cases that best fit Postgres, and others that best fit Greenplum. The use of either benefits the other as they both further adoption.

What would you tell a user who has a choice between Postgres and Greenplum about when they should use which system?

Postgres is a great ORDBMS that will scale to the performance of a single server. For analytical needs, being restricted to a small number of terabytes does not allow for the type of exploration that most organizations need. Because Greenplum is a Postgres compatible database, you can start out using Postgres and either convert to Greenplum underneath or leverage Greenplum alongside your Postgres systems (making data ETL a ton easier). This then makes the choice of which product to use for your particular use case clearer and clearer.

What is the number one barrier you see to contributing to the Postgres community?

The number one barrier we will have to contributing is not seeing the corresponding adoption of our technologies. We feel very strongly that both the transparency and removal of vendor lock-in make our open source commitment the only choice for users. I’m here to implore the community to embrace our technology with zeal and help us continue to drive more and more Postgres adoption in the world.

What is the best thing about working with the Postgres community?

Because Greenplum is based on Postgres, we get to interact with this vast community of talent. We are also able to more seamlessly interact with ecosystem products that already work with Postgres, making the adoption of Greenplum that much easier.

Tell us why you believe people should attend PostgresConf 2018 in April.

PostgresConf is going to be awesome - with both Pivotal and Amazon headlining as Diamond sponsors - as well as the quality of speakers and their content. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

We’re thrilled to organize the first annual Greenplum Summit at PostgresConf. Greenplum co-founder, Scott Yara, will give a keynote on April 18th relating to how data tells the story at the organizations that we help enable (#DataTellsTheStory), and his journey from SMP to MPP. Greenplum Summit on April 19th will be a full day packed with with great use case sessions and tech talks for novices and experts alike.

Check out the full schedule for PostgresConf US 2018, and buy your tickets soon!



Joshua D. Drake     March 26, 2018     pivotal Greenplum postgresql postgres

PostgresConf Beijing 2019

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Last week was PostgresConf Beijing 2019. This event was an exercise in people understanding what it truly takes to run a conference. It was a standalone event unlike PostgresOpen China in 2018 which always takes a lot more work. We had generous sponsor support with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, IBM, Pivotal, Inspur, HighGo, Credativ, and Command Prompt.

The overarching theme of the conference was of course People, Postgres, Data and we had many (translated) conversations about how Postgres can be the center of your Data Universe and how the ecosystem thrives with not only PostgreSQL but also technology such as TimescaleDB and Yugabyte. All of which are Open Source and enable People to use Postgres to manage their Data. In 2020, the plan is to have PostgresConf China in October or November. The timing will allow for a more moderate climate as well as have more time to generate international content.

English As A Second Language

As we continue to work with English-as-a-second-language communities we continue to find opportunities for them to grow and contribute. Of course the most common (and possibly difficult) opportunity is that in order to contribute code to PostgreSQL.Org, you must speak English. This is not an unreasonable requirement as English is the language of Computer Science.

A common piece of feedback we received was not that English was the consideration but the “level” of English proficiency was high. Unfortunately, verbosity is not always productive and it is certainly counterproductive when the vocabulary doesn’t take into account the non-native speaker. It would be a boost to productivity if we as a community tried to be succinct and as uncomplicated as reasonable in our communication. To put this another way and from a far more qualified source than us:

“Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

-- Mark Twain

Contribution Opportunities

While encouraging the Chinese community to contribute we continued to look for the low barrier of entry tasks. The obvious opportunity is translation of various project documentation. That is not the only prospect as PostgreSQL has fantastic extensibility and suggestions of developing new extensions. Contributing directly to PostgreSQL code has a high barrier of entry between English as a second language and overall overhead in building comprehensive knowledge of the core code. Extensions in contrast generally require needing to understand narrow areas of code to build a feature that is user-need specific. We are still exploring these opportunities but one option would be to invite extension authors to work with regional communities for translation or feature work.

Software You Weren’t Aware Of

Oleg from PostgresPro and PGConf.Russia was present and we were able to have some great conversations about the work they are doing, most of which can be found on Github. Although there is a lot of great software in that repository, the one that grabbed my eye as immediately useful was Zson. Zson is an extension that allows native compression of JSON/JSONB documents, greatly reducing disk space usage and increasing query speed of documents.

Please Replace IRC and Slack

Further conversations were had on how we can build a modern collaboration community that is internationally inviting, supports all languages, and is built on Open Source technologies. Initially it seems that Mattermost is a good contender but after further research it seems that we should also consider Matrix.org. The idea has barriers as the Chinese are partial to WeChat and the Professional U.S. community has left IRC for Slack, whereas other communities such as Brazil and Russia have settled on Telegram. We have a community member based working group determining next steps.

You may say that I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

-- John Lennon

Looking Forward

As People, Postgres, Data and PostgresConf continues to move forward we are looking forward to building on existing initiatives and events. We have PostgresConf Philly next week, PostgresConf Silicon Valley in September, and our next International event in October with PostgresConf South Africa. We are also continuing to work on our Inclusivity, Equit,y and Diversity initiative and launching Digital Events! This doesn’t include the growing number of meetups joining the idea of People, Postgres, Data including NYC Postgres, Silicon Valley Postgres, Philly Postgres, Seattle Postgres, and Montreal Postgres!

Quote of the week

“Those pig ears are really good.” -- Michael Meskes, Credativ and Postgresql.org committer.

Joshua D. Drake     July 11, 2019     #postgres #postgresconf

People, Postgres, Data,

Due to the health risks and travel restrictions created by the Coronavirus we unfortunately have to cancel Postgres Conference 2020 which was to be held at the Marriott Marquis on March 23rd, 2020 thru March 27th, 2020.

We want to thank all of our attendees, partners and volunteers for all the hard work we all put in to try and pull this event off. Sadly, the stars were not aligned this year. We now focus our efforts on Postgres Conference Silicon Valley 2020 and our Digital Events

Thank you all for your patience and support,

Postgres Conference Chairs

Joshua D. Drake     March 12, 2020