Friday, January 2, 2015

Hack MySQL has been retired

After 10 years HackMySQL.com has been retired. The tools are archived at github.com/daniel-nichter/hackmysql.com

I began writing MySQL tools in 2004 because at the time there were none except for mysqldumpslow. I was a Unix sysadmin in a large datacenter, so I worked on many different servers and MySQL instances. Tools for any sufficiently complex system are a necessity. Imagine a car mechanic trying to work without basic tools like an oil filter wrench, torque wrench, or belt tensioner. That's what work with MySQL was like in 2004. Certainly, many people made their own tools, but I think I was the first to develop, document, and publish general-purpose MySQL tools. If I wasn't the first then it's a tie with Baron Schwartz, creator of Maatkit. In 2008 he hired me at Percona where we worked together until 2012. (I still work at Percona.) We transformed and greatly expanded Maatkit into Percona Toolkit which is now arguably the world's most popular and widely-used toolkit for MySQL. Consequently, the Hack MySQL tools have been superseded by Percona Toolkit for many years.

In addition to tools,  I blogged and wrote technical papers. Here's the first riveting blog post:


Later I'll post the technical articles somewhere because they're mostly still valid.

Although several people offered to host HackMySQL.com and/or maintain the site (thank you for the offers), I think it's time to move forward. I work more than ever with MySQL but less hands-on. There are far better, more extensive, and more update-to-date MySQL resources (and people) today, like the MySQL Performance Blog (MPB) and Planet MySQL.

Last year after Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo I wrote a post on MBP (Percona Live 2014 behind; MySQL ahead) and its conclusion resonates with the decision to retire Hack MySQL:
In summary, for me Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo 2014 highlighted how MySQL has become one castle in the kingdom whereas 10 years ago it was an outpost on the frontier.  People no longer ask “is MySQL fast and reliable?” Instead they ask, “how can we manage 100 MySQL instances and a handful of other technologies with 2 full-time DBAs?”  The MySQL industry will continue to add features and improve performance, but we have shifted from doing that in the service of making a stable product to making a manageable product.
Hack MySQL was frontier work, solving problems in the early days of MySQL. That's what "Hack" in its name signifies: hacking through problems, hacking together solutions, etc. Today hacking is rarely required because there are myriad books, blog posts, white papers, tutorials, conferences, and experts to solve nearly every problem. Granted we face new challenges concerning MySQL manageability, and that's precisely what I work on today at Percona, but it's not why Hack MySQL was found. Frontier work is its own undoing, for its success transforms the frontier into a different place where frontier work it no longer needed.