MySQL Drizzle Project

by Todd Ogasawara

I vaguely remember hearing/reading something about the MySQL Drizzle project among the news emerging from OSCON last month. But, it didn't grab my attention enough at the time (I thought it was just something compete with SQLite), so I didn't follow up to read more about. However, while wandering through the aisle at the local Costco (part of my weekend rituals), I happened to be listening to the FLOSS Weekly podcast #35 which featured an interview with MySQL's Brian Akers and the topic was Drizzle.

The first thing I learned from the podcast is that Drizzle is NOT designed to compete with SQLite. What I did learn is that Drizzle is NOT a product. It sounds like it is more of a concept project that may result in some technologies that may be reintroduced back into MysQL. Drizzle itself is derived from MySQL code. However, its purpose is to strip out unnecessary features and legacy characteristics and to re-engineer the code to focus on web and cloud services. You could say it is taking MySQL back to its roots. I was happy to hear that the project is not attempting to be backward compatible with all the features of MySQL. For example, the current working versions only run on 64-bit systems. And, there is no build for Microsoft Windows yet.

I really hope Microsoft takes this same attitude and approach with a future version of Windows and re-imagine and re-engineer Windows down to basic, fast, secure components. They can provide a hypervisor layer to run legacy Windows applications on an as-needed basis. Many Mac users already do this using either Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion to not only run Windows XP or Vista but to remove their visual surround (using features called Coherence by Parallels and Unity by VMware) to only display the Windows application's window without the usual Microsoft Windows in the visual background. The Windows app, in effect, looks like it is part of Mac OS X. Bi-directional shared folders in the next version of VMware Fusion creates further application transparency by letting applications in either Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows (run by a hypervisor) access data files on either Windows's virtual hard drive or the Mac's physical drive.


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