let me first introduce myself. I'm a 29 year old self employed software and web developer with a focus on database applications, living in the north of Austria in a region called "Waldviertel", best translated as "wood quarter".
In June this year, me and two friends and colleagues of mine, Natascha and Jürgen, started a project called "db4free.net". We rented a server, created a web application and set up a MySQL 5 database server, to give people MySQL 5 database accounts for free. Now, three months later, we are about to welcome our 1,000th user.
The reason for doing all this is that MySQL is a great OpenSource product that's simple to work with on one hand, but still very powerful on the other. It's available for all common platforms and for most (even commercial) cases you can use it for free. Only if an application using MySQL is being distributed with another licence than MySQL's own GPL, a commercial licence is required.
MySQL 5 which has just entered Release Candidate stage introduces a whole bunch of new features. Some people might say that they are nothing new - other database systems have implemented things like Stored Procedured, Functions, Views, Triggers a.s.o. a long time ago and MySQL has been far behind them. Of course, that's a fact I can't deny. But still, MySQL has remained the world's most popular database server - for a good reason. There's a strong community behind this product and you are never alone if you need assistance in solving a problem.
Now, what is this blog all about? OpenSource and being a part of an OpenSource product's community (somebody described a MySQL community member as "someone who does work on MySQL related things beyond the call of duty") is very much about giving. I have been working with MySQL a lot and I did a lot of testing with the new features of MySQL 5, mainly with stored procedures. My contribution shall be to share solutions to common problems that I have solved with MySQL (mostly MySQL 5) with other people. In this blog, you will find many useful examples that you can easily adopt to your own needs or simply use them to learn about MySQL's techniques.
Of course, this is not the only blog about this topic. There are two other great blogs related to MySQL 5 that I recommand you to visit: Andrew Gilfrin's blog and Roland Bouman's blog. Also take a look at Andrew's MySQLDevelopment.com site. At these sites, together with this one, you'll find a great starting point to dig into the depths of MySQL 5.
If you need even more information about MySQL 5, get the book Pro MySQL 5 from Michael Kruckenberg and Jay Pipes.