MariaDB 5.1 on the home stretch
MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius has presented a release candidate for the MariaDB fork of MySQL. MariaDB 5.1 is reportedly compatible with MySQL 5.1, which was released in November 2008, and has been extended to include a number of patches and new features. The added features have been available for some time, said Widenius. Therefore, the developer thinks that this release candidate will prove "very stable". According to the MySQL founder, a final release should be available in the near future.
MariaDB is based on the transactional Maria storage engine, which replaces MySQL's MyISAM storage engine. Instead of the InnoDB storage engine, it uses Percona's XtraDB variant of InnoDB. The developer of the forks hopes that this will give access to the InnoDB performance of the forthcoming MySQL 5.4. Also included are the PrimeBase XT (PBXT) and FederatedX storage engines. FederatedX is based on Sun's discontinued Federated storage engine. The storage engines allow tables in other databases to be used as if they were MySQL tables. However, the project's development progress appears to be quite slow.
Further changes were adapted from the code base of MySQL 6.0, for instance the "pool of threads" feature designed to provide assistance for multiple database connections or a high number of short-lived queries. MariaDB 5.1.41 RC is available to download as a compiled version for 32 and 64-bit Linux as well as a source code package.
Widenius had announced the development of the fork at the end of February last year, shortly after leaving MySQL maintainer Sun, who has developed MySQL since January 2008. At the same time, the developer founded Monty Program AB, a new company to market the fork. According to Widenius, the next version, MariaDB 5.2, will contain additional patches that haven't yet been integrated into an official version of MySQL.