Monday, January 23, 2023

Planet for the MySQL Community Graduating from Beta

In May 2020, I published a Planet for the MySQL Community Pluto Beta.  I was satisfied with the result and was considering it done, but I did not invest the time to promote it to release (a non-beta site was running for a few months without being advertised).  I finally came to it, and today I am happy to deprecate the beta and announce the release of Planet for the MySQL Community.  In this post, I recall what led to the creation of this new blog aggregator, I list recent changes, and I mention where I would like things to go in the future.  But before continuing to read this post, if you are using the beta, please update your bookmarks :

Also, if you are using Planet for the MySQL Community, could you follow Planet for the MySQL Community / @PlanetMysqlComT on Twitter.  This allows me to know my users and to gauge the interest for this work.

Why yet another blog aggregator for the MySQL Ecosystem

For some time, there were complains about Planet MySQL (the other blog aggregator for the MySQL Community maintained by Oracle; I am not linking to it, I do not think you should use it).  These complains were about censorship and lack of clarity on what is filtered from the aggregator.

As this aggregator is maintained by Oracle, they chose to not promoting competitor products, which in some ways is understandable.  But the way this is enforced is by filtering all post mentioning a competitor.  So writing "MySQL is better than <insert competitor name>" causes a post to not be aggregated.  Also, mentioning that a tool is supporting MySQL and <insert competitor name> also causes a post to not be aggregated.

The latest aberration of the Planet MySQL aggregation policy is the censorship of the following posts, clearly of interest for MySQL users (I have to be careful editing the title and linking to the first to avoid this post to be censored) :

Because a MySQL competitor is mentioned in these posts, they are not shown on Planet MySQL.  It is even more ironic that the Community Dinner is happening at the end of the second day of the Pre-FOSDEM MySQL Day, an even organized by Oracle.

You can read more about the inception and history of Planet for the MySQL Community in my previous posts and in other posts:

Changes since the beta

Not many, some wording, and the Powered by AWS image is gone (initially, I was using some AWS credits to host the website, not anymore, and for more than a year).  All the changes can be found in a GitHub pull request : Graduation from beta.

Not a change in the aggregator itself, but for a few weeks, I have been using to filter feeds that had too much non-MySQL related content.  I could build this in the aggregator by hacking index.html.erb and atom.xml.erb, but I did not find / take the time to do this.  If someone wants to take a shot at this, I would consider a pull request.  Ideally, before starting to work on this, it would be a good idea to sync with me : you can find how to contact me at the end of the post.  If you want to know more about this filtering, you can check the filtering pull request which includes the feed filtering documentation.

Future work

If not already done, I will soon change the homepage of the beta to advertise the new release site.  A few weeks later, I will tear down the beta and replace its two main pages (index.html and atom.xml) with  HTTP redirections to the release site (first temporary redirects, then permanent).

I do not want Planet for the MySQL Community to only depend on me.  To achieve that, I welcome suggestions, pull requests, etc.  I am also looking for sysadmin-type help for merging pull requests, adding new feeds, and troubleshooting the website / aggregator, especially when I am unavailable.  If you want to get involved, contact me via one of the channels listed at the end of the post.

Also, I am looking for ways to make the aggregator financially independent from my wallet.  For now, I am covering fees myself (hosting fees, domain name registrations, and others like subscription to  This is manageable now, but if I am hit by a bus, I would like things to survive me.  I thought about crowdfunding like Patreon, Flattr, Tipee (Wikipedia article only available in French) and others.  I chose Buy Me a Coffee and created two accounts : Planet for the MySQL Community and Jean-François Gagné.  The first one is to finance the costs of the aggregator and has membership enabled.  The second is only open to coffees / tips for blogging and speaking about MySQL.  Also, if you think I deserve a coffee for building Planet for the MySQL Community, you can use the second account (I will only use the revenues from the first to pay fees incurred for running the aggregator).  For now, I consider this an experiment, I will see how things develop and I am open to suggestions and feedback about the best way to finance Planet for the MySQL Community.  You can find how to contact me below.

Thanks for your interest in Planet for the MySQL Community, and as a reminder if not already done, please follow Planet for the MySQL Community& / @PlanetMysqlComT on Twitter.

To contact me about this post or other MySQL related matters, you can find me on the MySQL Community Slack : I am @jfgagne there, you can send me a direct message or use the channel #mysqlcommunity_org to discuss in public about Planet for the MySQL Community.  If you do not like Slack, you can contact me on Twitter : I am @jfg956 there, you can talk to me in public or sent me a direct message, and to discuss about Planet for the MySQL Community, you can use @PlanetMysqlComT in public or direct messages.  For specific issues about Planet for the MySQL Community, you can also create a GitHub Issue in the planet repository.  You can also contact me on LinkedIn or Facebook (note that I do not usually accept connection or friend requests from people I do not know, but I reply to InMail or to Messager Chats, and I consider connection requests with a good note attached).  Finally, you can sent me an email, at jfg DOT mysql AT gmail DOT com or at planet AT oursqlcommunity DOT org.

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