Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sorry but I have to comment

The wires are ablaze with news that some Los Angeles members of the Boy Scouts of America can earn the "Respect Copyrights" patch.  Apparently this patch is a product of teamwork between the BSA and the MPAA and involves such activities as learning about P2P file sharing systems, attend a movie and sit through all the credits and later list all the people that might be hurt by stealing the movie, along with several other requirements.  There has been a steady stream of negative comments about this story including one along the lines of "the MPAA is recruiting the BSA to do it's dirty work".

First, this story is not an attack on the BSA and so I will not dwell on my many years of service in the BSA except to say that I have been an assistance ScoutMaster and currently serve as ScoutMaster and know the BSA to be the finest club for young men on the planet.

Second, I want to say that I agree with the stories I've read that make the case that the requirements of the patch leave out several key areas including fair use, public domain items, as well as legal use of P2P file sharing system.  Apparently one of the requirements of the patch involves encouraging friends to run some "Parent File Scan" on the home computer.  While I know very little about this software, it apparently lists all the file sharing tools that are on a computer along with media available to these tools whether legally obtained or not.  This amounts to asking the kids to spy on their parents or siblings and is completely wrong and cannot be defended.

My main reason for commenting is that I find this whole scenario reflecting a certain prevailing feeling that any form of DRM is wrong and should not be allowed.  I agree that current DRM forms fail completely and violate fair use in a number of ways but that does not change the fact that an artist who works hard to create an album or movie has a right to protect that content and expect a return on their investment.  What's unbelievable is that people are honestly outraged that we are teaching our children that taking something that doesn't belong to them is wrong.  Ripping a CD or movie that you don't own is absolutely no different than walking into a Wal-Mart and pocketing a CD off the rack.  We would never allow our children to do this and yet we scream and yell when the RIAA and MPAA try to stop the same thing.

Moreover, how many people do you know that buy a CD , rip the music to a computer in the house, and then download that music to one or more portable music devices.  At some point, the music might be playing on the home computer and in all of the portables at the same time which is a clear violation.  And yet so many never even consider that.

I have as much dislike for the RIAA and MPAA as the next man and it does seem like this patch is slanted more to the goals of the MPAA and less to actual teaching of all aspects of file sharing.  Nevertheless, being outraged that some Scouts are out there teaching each other that it's wrong to steal is just stupid.

Friday, October 20, 2006

MySQL Connector/Net 1.0.8 RC has been released


MySQL Connector/Net 1.0.8 RC has been released.  MySQL Connector/Net is an all-managed ADO.Net provider for MySQL.  While this release is suitable for any version of MySQL, it is strongly encouraged that this release not be used on any production data. 

We are making this release available as an RC because there were significant changes made to the provider beyond just simple bug fixes.  Due to this, we felt it prudent to ask for feedback from the community before declaring the provider safe for production use.  We plan to release the next version (1.0.9) as GA within the next 2-3 weeks incorporating any feedback we get from the community.

It is now available in source and binary form from the Connector/Net download pages at and mirror sites (note that not all mirror sites may be up to date at this point of time - if you can't find this version on some mirror, please try again later or choose another download site.)

This release includes many bug fixes along with the following enhancements/changes:

  • Implemented a stored procedure cache.  By default, the connector caches the metadata for the last 25 procedures that are seen.  You can change the number of procedures that are cached by using the 'procedure cache=<size>' connection string setting.  You can disable the procedure cache by setting a zero size. 
  • Executing stored procedure now no longer requires the user to have a select privileges on the mysql.proc table.
  • Shared memory connections now work as expected.
  • Queries containing a large number of parameters now run many times faster than before.  As an example of the performance gains seen, an internal testing app that needed more than 30 minutes to execute using 1.0.7 now completes in less than 8 seconds.
  • We are no longer providing binaries compiled with .NET 1.0.  We are doing this for a couple of reasons.  First, we believe the majority of our users are using .NET 1.1 or 2.0.  Also, removing .NET 1.0 binaries reduces the number of frameworks we have to test thereby reducing the time it takes to verify releases.  If 1.0 is needed by a sufficiently large number of users, we are willing to re-evaluate this decision.
  • The ICSharpCode ZipLib is no longer used by the connector and is no longer being distributed with it.

The installer for this release installs the assembly into the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) without giving you an option to not do this.  In the GA release (1.0.9), the installer will include an option to not register the provider in the GAC. 

Also, the installer attempts to install both 1.1 and 2.0 binaries into the respective GAC.  If you do not have both frameworks installed, the installer will give an error.  This will be fixed in the final product but for now you can work around this by doing a custom install and choosing the version of the driver for the framework you want to install.

Thank you for checking out this release of Connector/Net. 

Sunday, October 8, 2006

First impressions of Vista RC2 x64

Very, very fast.  It seems quite a bit faster than any of the RC1 builds.  They've fixed the 8237 SATA driver so my sound and mouse no longer skip during disk activity.  It still is not perfect since firing up Media Center for the first time caused some skipping and popping of Pandora playback but it cleared up quickly and so far has not returned.

Install was a bit unstable.  It blue screened during install giving some error related to "Drive Power State".  I had upgraded the firmware on my LiteOn DVD-RW drive just the day before so it might have something to do with that.  The install wasn't trashed however.  I just restarted the machine and it restarted the install stage it was in.  No sweat.

So far, all my apps are working flawlessly and are just flying.  Aero seems a bit faster than with 5600 or 5728 but is still sluggish for me as my Experience Index is 2.0 caused mainly by my aging video card. 

It's clear that this build includes quite a few optimizations that did not exist in previous builds.  I question the wisdom in introducing the optimizations in what is said to be the last public release before RTM but it's clear that Vista is shaping up to be a fine replacement for XP.  It's true that Microsoft ripped out alot of the cornerstone features of Vista but what they left is a good foundation for followup work.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

MySQL Tools for Visual Studio 1.0.1 beta has been released.

Today we have released MySQL Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 1.0.1 beta -- a downloadable plug-in for Visual Studio 2005 that allows Windows developers to quickly build MySQL data-driven applications with Visual Studio. With this plug-in, developers will be able to create, modify and manage MySQL database objects with an easy-to-use interface from within the Visual Studio IDE. This product is delivered as a package compatible with Visual Studio

2005 and delivers the following features:

  • DDEX (Data Designer Extensibility) compatibility
  • Ability to work with MySQL objects (tables, views, stored procedures, etc) from within Server Explorer

It is critical that this release only be used with Connector/Net 5.0.1. After installing Connector/Net 5.0.1, you will need to make a small change in your machine.config file. This file should be located at %win%\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v2.0.50727\CONFIG\machine.config (%win% should be the location of your Windows folder). Near the bottom of the file you will see a line like this:

<add name="MySQL Data Provider" invariant="MySql.Data.MySqlClient"
        description=".Net Framework Data Provider for MySQL" 
        type="MySql.Data.MySqlClient.MySqlClientFactory, MySql.Data"/>

It needs to be changed to be like this:

<add name="MySQL Data Provider" invariant="MySql.Data.MySqlClient"
        description=".Net Framework Data Provider for MySQL"
        type="MySql.Data.MySqlClient.MySqlClientFactory, MySql.Data,
        Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=c5687fc88969c44d"/>

Note that this change is only necessary due to a small bug in the installer for Connector/Net 5.0.1 that will be corrected for 5.0.2.

Several bugs have been fixed since the first release of these tools, and we have added preliminary support for MySQL 4.1. There are a number of known problems with the support for MySQL 4.1 that will be addressed before the GA release.

We are planning on including tighter integration with Visual Studio's DataSet Designer in the 1.1 GA release. This will include the ability for users to create typed datasets that they can reference from within their code. This is a very important feature for us and one we are working hard to provide.

MySQL Tools for Visual Studio binaries are currently available under a no-charge license. We plan to release the source code and are currently determining what license the source code will be placed under. The plug-in can be downloaded from

Thank you for your time and effort in checking out this product. Please don't hesitate to use the following resources for posting your bug reports, questions, or concerns.

Bugs:  (use the Connector/Net category)

Thank you!
Reggie Burnett

Monday, October 2, 2006

Does anyone read the Constitution anymore?

It now appears that our fearless leaders are pushing through legislation that will make it easier than ever to remove your freedom from you.  Mr. Bush is wanting the ability to jail anyone he wants for as long as we wants without charging them.  This is in addition to several other points in this new legislation that are all allegedly designed to help win the war on terror.  This is terrible legislation and nothing good can come from it.  However, my point is the hypocrisy of the left.  They will have no trouble declaring that everyone has a right to universal healthcare, a right to an education, and a right to a home.  We as American citizens have none of these rights.   While government run universal healthcare would be a deathblow to this country, privately run universal healthcare would be a welcome privilege.  So, too, is an education or a home.  You have several rights as outlined by the Constitution.  Freedom to assemble, freedom to practice religion, freedom to protest, freedom to own a gun, along with many others.

While the left is rightfully fearful of this new legislation, we should all be reminded that the left among us will cheerfully rewrite the constitution as well.  Don't let them get away with it either.  Know the documents that founded this country.  It's your right!

MySQL Connector/Net 5.0.1 has been released.

MySQL Connector/Net 5.0.1 Beta has been released. MySQL Connector/Net is an all-managed ADO.Net provider for MySQL. While this release is suitable for any version of MySQL, it is strongly encouraged that this release not be used on any production data. This release is feature complete with the exception of DTC support in System.Transactions.

It is now available in source and binary form from the Connector/Net download pages at and mirror sites (note that not all mirror sites may be up to date at this point of time - if you can't find this version on some mirror, please try again later or choose another download site.)

Highlights in this release:

Support for ADO.Net 2.0 interfaces and subclasses
(this release now includes foreign key support)

Re-architected to improve speed and flexibility

The internals of the provider have been improved to allow column values to be retrieved without boxing in many cases. Also, the internal changes have enabled the future inclusion of embedded and client library support.

Implemented Usage Advisor
The Usage Advisor first appeared in Connector/J. We have now implemented that feature in Connector/Net. Enabling it causes the provider to check both your queries and how you read the results and report to you if it thinks you are using the provider in an inefficient manner. It checks such things as using a query without an index, not reading all the columns or rows from a resultset, etc.

Implemented asynchronous query methods
The MySqlCommand object now supports asynchronous queries. This is implemented using the BeginExecuteNonQuery and EndExecuteNonQuery methods. BeginExecuteReader and EndExecuteReader are now included.

Implemented stored procedure metadata caching
We now cache the metadata that is retrieved during stored procedure and stored function execution. This cache data is used for subsequent executions of that stored routine.

Added PerfMon hooks
This release includes PerfMon hooks to monitor stored procedure cache hits and misses. We are looking at adding additional hooks in the first beta release.

Removed use of SharpZipLib library
We have replaced use of the SharpZipLib library with the deflate support available with .NET 2.0.

Support for embedded server and client library has been removed
For those of you that have seen my presentations on 5.0, we decided to remove these features to help get 5.0 out the door more quickly. These features will reappear in a later version of the product.

The installer for this release installs the assembly into the GAC and registers the provider with machine.config. Because of this, you need to run the installer as a member of the administrators role. There is also a bug known in this release that applications using this build of the connector, when run on Vista, require administrator mode. We are looking into this issue for the next release.