Where was 5.1?

If you can remember back to mid ’05 when MySQL 5.0 was being released there was something missing. I have been thinking about writing about MySQL 5.0 being released too soon but I don’t think that was the case. Was 5.1 released too late? Maybe. Was something wrong with the 5.0 -> 5.1 schedule and feature set? Oh yeah.

Looking back at the change logs for 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1 I noticed something that I hadn’t though about before. I knew there was a difference in the release dates for 5.0->5.1 from 4.1->5.0 but I didn’t realize how drastic the difference was until I drew it out (on paper, sorry) today. Here is a summary of the major milestones from 4.1 Alpha to today:

  • Apr 03 – 4.1 Alpha
  • Dec 03 – 5.0 Alpha
  • Jul 04 – 4.1 Beta
  • Aug 04 – 4.1 Gamma
  • Oct 04 – 4.1 Release
  • Mar 05 – 5.0 Beta (Where is 5.1 Alpha?)
  • Sep 05 – 5.0 Gamma.
  • Nov 05 – 5.1 Alpha (Oh! Here it is!)

There is a 6 month period where 4.1 and 5.0 are simultaneously in alpha. 4.1 was in beta for 2 months and gamma for 2 months. 5.0 was in beta for 6 months and gamma for 1 month. 5.0 was in beta for 4 months longer than 4.1 but was in gamma for only a month. Does this mean that 5.0 was in beta too long or wasn’t in gamma for long enough. I think it was the latter and Jeremy seems to agree.

Why am I writing about this now? This post has been braincrack for quite a while. What brought it back to the surface is Kaj’s blog entry about MySQL Community/Enterprise, “This way, contributors don’t have to wait until the next major release for their improvements to get into use, and enterprise users can continue using 5.0 without seeing any destabilisation of the code base due to new functionality being introduced.” I think we have to wait because 5.1 wasn’t developed in parallel with 5.0 like 4.1 and 5.0 were. I can’t think of a valid reason for 5.1 not to follow the same pattern as 5.0.

I think the short gamma period for 5.0 was caused by Oracle’s acquisition of Innobase. 5.0 was in beta for 4 months longer than 4.1 and yet only in gamma for 1 month. It was released a few weeks after the announcement. On a side note, I’m happy that Oracle presented a few new features at the user conference showing that they aren’t going to kill innodb and are continuing development of it.

One Comment

  1. [...] think this is now rock solid proof that there were too many features packed into 5.0 and it was released too early. I hope there will be more major releases in the future with fewer features so these problems are [...]

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