Posts tagged ‘conference’

29 September, 2014

My PgConf.EU Schedule

by gorthx

Yep, I’m headed to Madrid! I’ll be reprising my Autovacuum talk from SCALE, and am really looking forward to meeting some new folks. I’ll be helping out at the conference in some capacity, so come say hello.

For reference, the conference schedule is here:

Other talks I plan to attend:

Performance Archaeology sounds pretty cool!

Joe Conway’s Who’s the Fairest of Them All, since I didn’t get to catch it at PgOpen.

Open Postgres Monitoring

I’m interested in hearing Devrim’s opinions about Pg filesystems. (And pgpool, but that’s a discussion for the pub. ;) )

Next, a case study from Dimitri, this one on backups. (This sounds like one of those talks that will have people muttering “oh crap!!” and running out of the room.)

Dmitri again, on pgloader, because I always have data loading needs.

I want to see all three sessions in the next time slot (Logical decoding, PostGIS, and authentication), so I’ll wait until the day of to make up my mind.

Hmm Bruce’s indexing talk, or Christophe’s on Data Corruption?

I hope I never have to join 1 million tables.

Locks unpicked, Analytical Postgres, and of course the Lightning Talks will finish out the day.

Unit testing with PgTAP

Disaster Planning and Recovery

Logical decoding for auditing

Replication of a single database? Sign me up!

Saturday I plan to do touristy things: check out the park, a museum or two, and hopefully a fabric shop, before my flight out. If anyone has any recs, I’d love to hear them.

15 September, 2014


by gorthx

Last weekend we held the biggest PDXPUGDay we’ve had in a while! 5 speakers + a few lightning talks added up to a fun lineup. About 1/3 of the ~50 attendees were in town for FOSS4G; I think the guy from New Zealand will be holding the “visitor farthest from PDXPUG” for a good long while. Some folks from SEAPUG daytripped down (hi!) and we made plans for PDXPUG to road trip up there, probably for next year’s LinuxFestNW.

My highlights:
HSTORE, XML, JSON, and JSONB – David Wheeler
– Pg’s XML features are pretty neat, but I still think XML needs to DIAF. Perhaps that’s just my previous experience speaking.
– We renamed the HSTORE containment operator (@>) to “ice cream cone operator”, courtesy Mark Wong.
– Operations on JSON are slower than on HSTORE. That’s interesting.
– The storage overhead for JSONB is higher than for regular JSON, because it doesn’t compress very well. Josh B took an audience vote on improving compression at the expense of slowing down operations, and it was pretty evenly split.
– As usual, David included benchmarks and gave good overviews of when to use which data type.

Snapshotted Data Versioning – Eric Hanson
Eric gave a talk about this at PDXPUG last year and was showing an updated version of what Aquameta’s up to. Eric’s philosophy is “make everything data, and then make a UI for it”.
– Implemented FUSE for Pg, bidirectional, so you can change your data by making updates directly in the database or by editing a text file on the filesystem. I believe this was described as “perverse” by a certain audience member.

Data Near Here – Veronika Megler

– Another update to a previous PDXPUG talk
– Scientists report that they spend up to 80% of their time just finding data relevant to their research. Not collecting – locating previously saved data. What a time sink.
– Parsers for each data format have to be custom coded.

Portal Update – Kristin Tufte
– Another example of pulling data from many different sources in many “unique” formats!
– Current research on pedestrian counts uses the crosswalk buttons as a potential method to count pedestrians.
– I’d like to get ahold of the traffic light data, to see if the light at 32nd and Powell really is the longest light in Portland, or if that’s just my imagination.

AWS Faceoff (Cloud Shootout!) – Josh Berkus
I don’t care too much about Postgres on AWS – if I’m going to go that route, I’ll buy my own hardware, TYVM.
– RDS has a limited number of extensions installed, and PL/R isn’t one of them.* They did just add pg_stat_statements, which is cool. The Amazon support people are taking requests, and are attentive to the community, according to Josh. (I don’t have enough experience with that to have an opinion.)
– performance on RDS just isn’t that great; Josh got 325 TPS read/write, and 1430 TPS read-only.
– Then there was the cost comparison; RDS and Heroku don’t look that great compared to hosting it yourself, but you’d need to factor in the cost of support staff there.

Thanks for a great event!

* I decided to see for myself what extensions were available. Mark warned me “don’t shed too many tears for what they don’t have”. To my surprise, many of my favorites are available – pgperl, plpgsql, postgis, and tablefunc! (SO EXCITE MUCH PIVOT)

Check what’s available on your instance with this command:
SHOW rds.extensions;

Note that “SELECT * FROM pg_available_extensions ORDER BY name;” will show you a bunch of stuff that’s not necessarily available on RDS. (Something I wish they’d fix.)

18 August, 2014

My PostgresOpen schedule

by gorthx

We had so many good submissions for Postgres Open this year, we had to make some very difficult choices. While I haven’t quite achieved Dan Langille’s (of PgCon fame) level of conference-running zen and rarely get to all the talks I’d like to see, here are my picks:

The PostGIS tutorials. I am really excited about this tutorial, and that Regina Obe and Leo Hsu will be at our conference!

Bruce Momjian and Vibhor Kumar’s NoSQL on ACID (plus pizza and root beer!) Most everyone knows who Bruce is, but you may not know Vibhor – I got to work with him at EDB, and he’s very kind and always had answers to my most obscure questions. This tutorial is free, but you have to register in advance. If you’re coming to the conf early, this is a great thing to do on your first evening.

Denish Patel gives great presentations, and I’m looking forward to learning about Pg on RDS from him.

Streaming replication was first introduced in 9.0. Simon Rigg’s Pg Replication Overview will bring you up to speed on the new developments since then.

You can read the 9.4 release notes or just go to Magnus Hagander’s talk.

I’m really interested in the tools that Gleb Arshinov used for his customer retention analysis use case.

Jonathan Katz’s data types tour has had rave reviews, and I’m glad he’s giving it again here.

Jeff Amiel’s Monolithic Query Syndrome talk looks educational and entertaining.

I can’t decide between Sehrope Sarkuni’s Audit logging talk and Gary Seiling’s discussion about immutable data. (Note: if you are new to Postgres and configuring its security features, I recommend pairing one of these with Sarah Conway’s introductory talk on Thursday.)

Full text search is a hot topic right now.

I will almost always choose a monitoring talk over any other topics, so Shaun Thomas’s collectd and graphite talk is on my list.

What’s the state of Row level Security in Postgres? Go to this talk by Stephen Frost and find out.

John Melesky is a fellow PDXPUGer and always bring interesting problems to the table. This time he’s talking about partitions.

It’s not too late to join us in Chicago!

11 September, 2011

My picks for PgOpen

by gorthx

Postgres Open is coming up this week! Here are the talks I want to check out:

I’m heading to Fast Read Scaling with repmgr first. While I’m not personally using replication at the moment, it never hurts to be prepared.

“How to migrate from Oracle to Postgres” has come up a lot lately at PDXPUG, so I’m interested in the “pinch of sarcasm” talk on Why You Should Not Move Away From Oracle.

I’ve heard Honey I Shrunk the Database is an excellent talk, and I’m curious to see how somebody else has solved the problem of creating appropriate test data.

In the immediately-after-lunch slot, I can’t decide between Billing System for a Telco and Identifying Slow Queries and Fixing Them.

…after that is my own logging talk, which I should probably attend, then a short break and I’ll finish out the day with PostgreSQL 9.1 Grand Tour.

Even though I could probably see Get Your Preferred Feature Developed in Portland, Wheeler is one of my favorite speakers. I’m going anyway.

I keep missing MVCC Unmasked, a mistake I don’t intend to repeat with Unlocking the Postgres Lock Manager.

Measuring Scalability and Performance with TCP looks intriguing.

Rob Treat always has good war stories, so Managing Databases in a DevOps Environment is next on the list.

I am super-excited about PL/R – I didn’t even know R was available as a procedural lang for Pg!

Last up, PostgreSQL at Urban Airship.

Other things I hope to squeeze in: an errand for my sister at Lyon & Healy, a stop at Fishman’s, and hopefully some kayaking and biking along the waterfront.

22 May, 2011

PgCon 2011 Wrap Up

by gorthx

I finally made it to a PgCon! I’ve been intending to go for a few years now, but have always had a scheduling conflict (like my birthday or some such nonsense.) This year the planets aligned, I had leave to attend, and my talk was accepted. In addition to speaking, I volunteered to work the registration desk, because it’s a great way to meet people*. I tend to stick to the West coast confs, so there were a lot of new faces here for me.

The conference location is wonderful: it’s an easy bus ride to & from the airport, there are nice hotels very close to the venue, and good eateries within a reasonable walking distance. I arrived in Ottawa a few days before the official conference, intending to take a day for some mountain biking. That didn’t quite work out as planned, but Dan Langille & I eventually made it over to Kanata Lakes for MTB-PgCon 2011, henceforth to be known as “The Great Bog Ride”.

Probably the most exciting announcement we heard last week: Postgres Open, a new conference that will be held in Chicago in September this year. I’m certainly hoping to attend!

The Royal Oak track was super-productive. I heard about per-user logging settings from Aaron Thul, but it turns out they don’t work quite like we expected. More on that in a later post.

Notes from scheduled talks I attended:
Day 1:
Josh Berkus 9.1 Mystery Tour. The two features I’m most excited about are Extensible ENUMs and triggers on VIEWs. Unlogged tables also sound interesting; you’d use them for high-volume tables that store ephemeral data, such as session ids and cookies, that maybe you don’t need to include in your data replication.

Stephen Frost – Review of Patch Reviewing. Stephen went over the review process and I am inspired to restart the PDXPUG Patch Review Parties as a recruitment strategy. (Now, to find the time to do so.)

Robert Haas – How to Get Your PostgreSQL Patch Accepted.
– run regression tests often (make check) so you catch problems early.
– don’t make superfluous changes. Sometimes stuff needs to be backpatched, and updating e.g. existing whitespace can make that process more difficult.
– Kevin Grittner recommends adding make check world, and something else I missed (can’t write fast enough!)

Tetsuo Sakata – NTT’s Case Report interesting stuff, but we can’t talk about it. ;) I am excited to try pg_bulkload and pg_statsinfo.

My talk on logging configuration and analysis went ok I suppose – I was told I went a bit fast, which is a problem I struggle with as a speaker. I talk about things that really excite me, and I tend to try to squeeze way too much information in. Next time I will find ways to enforce audience participation, which will slow me down a bit.

Last session of the day was the lightning talks. I learned about pgshark, which looks like a lot of fun to mess around with.

Day 2:
Jeff Davis – Range Types. Every time I go to one of his temporal datatype discussions, I understand a little bit more of it.

After that, I had to catch a plane. I wanted to hear about Bioinformatics in PostgreSQL, and I hope to get another chance to see that talk.

Thanks to the conference organizer & volunteers! See you next year!

*shameless volunteer plug: if there’s somebody you’re too shy to just walk up to, handing out registration packets is the perfect excuse to say “Oh hi! I like your work on [whatever].”

13 May, 2011

PDXPUG is hosting a PgDay in Portland*

by gorthx

Yep, we’re doing it again! One day of PostgreSQL-specific talks, conveniently located at the Oregon Convention Center the day before OSCON.

The short version: Sunday, July 24, 2011, Portland, Oregon. 5 or so sessions. After party at Gotham Tavern.

The long version:

Sign up for the sessions:

Submit your talk proposal: – the deadline is May 23, 10 days from now. Plenty of time for you procrastinators!

*Really, where else would we do it?

27 October, 2010

My picks for PgWest

by gorthx

I’m getting excited about next week’s PgWest! I’m having a hard time choosing which talks to attend, though – lots of good stuff happening in conflicting time slots!

Here’s my current list:
Tuesday a.m. tutorials:
Normalization workshop or GUCs.

Tuesday p.m. talks:
9.0 on Virtualized Environment
The Query Planner

Wednesday a.m. talks:
Mining Biological Data or Performance Pitfalls

Wednesday p.m. talks:
Streaming GIS [ note – Aurynn’s Postgresql and node.js talk is interesting – we had a preview of it last week at PDXPUG ]
SF’s Street Address Management System
Using the PostgreSQL System Catalogs or MVCC Unmasked (although I may need a stiff drink for that!)

Thursday a.m. talks:
Temporal Data Management. As I’ve mentioned before, Jeff Davis is always up to something interesting, and I have a particular project in mind for the temporal datatype.
I really can’t decide between Liberating Your Data From MySQL and pg_upgrade. I’m getting a lot of questions about porting data from MySQL to Pg, and it would be nice to have a good solution for that, but at the same time I’m really interested in hearing about pg_upgrade. Might require a coin toss.
Righting Your Writes
Pg 9, the Other Stuff
Deployment Best Practices

Hope to see you there!

19 October, 2009

PgWest: Sunday

by gorthx

We arrived at the conference site to find that the XML Data Warehousing had been canceled, so I spent that session in the Hackers’ Lounge attempting to continue work on pg_proctab, while getting kicked off the commie college wireless.

In Lists and Recursions and Trees, Oh My!, David Fetter gave us some example of old kludges to get row numbers out of Pg – “Not only is it slow, but it’s wrong” – but you may not notice that subtle wrongness in huge data sets.  This really illustrated the value of testing your data.

After lunch, I went to Josh Berkus’s 5 steps to PostgreSQL Performance Tuning.

He gave us some rules of thumb for figuring out how much RAM & CPU you need, but also recommends hiring a hardware geek to design your system for you – because vendors lie. :)  Try hardware out before you purchase it, or definitely test them within the warranty period.  And, here’s another use case for pg_proctab (other than my own amusement):  capacity planning.

Tip:  Don’t use autovacuum for data warehousing applications, or where you have large number of writes happening at once.  Manually vacuum those.

(An additional tip from me:  if you’re using linux, try increasing the default readahead buffer from 1024K to at least 1M for an ~80% performance improvement.  See our [in]famous file systems talk for the graphs to back this up.)

Thanks for another wonderful conference experience, PgPeeps!  See you again soon!

19 October, 2009

PGWest: Saturday

by gorthx

This past weekend was the 3rd annual PgWest.  The conference moved up to Seattle this year, and I think it was the biggest it’s ever been.  As usual, there were more interesting talks scheduled than I had time to attend.  (This is the 21st century;  where’s my time machine?)

For my first tech conferences a few years ago, I only went to sessions that were meaningful for my job.  I’ve since had a much better time (and learned more) by choosing which sessions I’ll attend based on the following criteria, in this order:
1) topic interestingness
2) speaker interestingess
3) relevance to my job duties

(See Tips #1 and #2 in Skud’s recent Ten tips for tech conference attendees post.)

So, right out of the gate at PgWest, I’m in a python talk* – Adrian K’s (of LinuxFestNW fame) discussion on Dabo.  Dabo’s a python desktop framework;  I program primarily in Perl, and I’ve never touched a desktop app.  Adrian’s example project was a management system for a plant nursery, which I *do* understand, so I had a point of reference into the material (the methods & options used to track plants made sense to me).  I really wanted to talk to him more about this app, but never caught up with him.  (The hallway track felt kind of rushed for me this time.)  I got a good idea for form validation – if user tries to enter a blank value where one is not allowed, they get a pop-up immediately and the original text (if there was any) is put back in the field, forcing the user to accept the original input or enter something new before they can proceed to the next field.  This is a step up from giving the user the error message after they’ve submitted the form.

Next we were on to JD’s keynote, featuring the usual heckling of and by the podium.

Then Mark’s & my talk about pg_proctab, which ended with some live demos & some audience participation, the way I like it.

A bunch of us went to lunch at Honeyhole Sandwiches, where I tried the “Texas Tease” – BBQ chicken.  The sandwich was excellent.  I *highly* recommend the fries.

Scott Bailey’s Temporal Data talk was *packed*.  He talked about the “period” datatype, featured in both his own (Chronos) and Jeff Davis’s PgTemporal project.  You can do unions & intersects on time periods.  I am thinking this would be a useful datatype for searching large tables of log entries.

Based on Scott’s talk, I decided to go to Jeff’s “Not Just UNIQUE” talk, because he would be discussing this in a little more detail.  This meant I missed the session on backup & recovery.  (See comment above about more material than I can fit in my schedule.)

I spent the last session partly in the hackers’ lounge, working on some pg_proctab wrapper scripts with Mark.

Then it was off to the EDB-sponsored after-party, where I caught up with Lloyd Albin, who spoke at PDXPUG about a year ago.  He brought me up-to-date on the work he’s done on the project, including a twitter feed to let clients know of updates, which I think is really cool.

*Which I was late to, because we were installing the snacks in the Hackers’ Lounge (thanks, Mark!)

13 October, 2009

My picks for PgWest

by gorthx

(I’ll be missing Friday’s tutorials.)

9am:  Jeff Davis:  PostgreSQL, Extensible to the Nth Degree.  Jeff’s talks usually melt my brain, and I like that.
10:15:  Conference Keynote.
11:30am:  Mark Wong: pg_proctab.  Turns out I’m giving this talk with Mark, even though my name’s not on the schedule.  I should probably show up.
1:45pm:  Scott Bailey:  Temporal Data or Magnus Hagander:  Secure PostgreSQL Deployment.  There will be a coin toss.
3:00pm:  Kevin Kempter:  Backup and Recovery.  There’s always something else to learn about this topic.
4:00pm:  Bill Karwin:  Practical Full-text Search.

9:00am:  Aaron Sheldon:  XML Data Warehousing.
10:15am:  David Fetter:  Lists and Recursion and Trees (Oh, My!)  I want to learn about Windowing functions, new with 8.4
11:15am:  Matt Smiley:  Basic Query Tuning Primer.  Another topic I could stand to learn more about.
1:30pm:  Tossup between David Wheeler:  pgTAP Unit Testing Best Practices and Josh Berkus:  5 Steps to PostgreSQL Performance.  I’ll probably go to Berkus’s talk because Wheeler is a sport about repeating his talks for PDXPUG.

Other fun stuff:

The Hacker lounge will be open for two days of geekery:  7:30 am – 4:30pm Saturday, and 9-4 on Sunday.
EnterpriseDB has stepped up to provide entertainment after the Saturday sessions.
I haven’t heard if there are Lightning Talks, but I have a couple of ideas for one.  You should too.

See you there!