Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elance Cites Surging Demand for MySQL Experts

Elance Cites Surging Demand for MySQL Experts is an interesting article for several reasons. For many years advocating Open Source products was seen in many circles of management as akin to promotion of some sort of social anarchy. But now they see the cost savings, the performance gains, and the flexibility that a product like MySQL can provide.

Check out the jobs Elance has for MySQL talent.

DFW MySQL Users!

Monday night at seven will be the next meeting of North Texas MySQL Meetup. This meeting will not be MySQL-centric but will discuss creating Facebooks apps and using the MySQL Quiz as an example. The address is suite 700, 16000 Dallas Tollway. Please RSVP at the website so we we know to keep an eye out stragglers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Open Source Events in the DFW Area

February 2009 has been a very busy time for presentations on Open Source Software in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. Yahoo's Tommy Falgout presented at the recent DallasPHP.Org meeting on Scaling MySQL. You can find his presentation at and I highly recommend their meetings as an excellent.

Next up is the Dallas OpenSolaris/Dallas Sun Users Group(DSUG)and they are offering the ultimate geek-bait! Free Pizza!

Meetings Held the Third Thursday of Every Month
Next Session: Thurs Feb 19th (6:30PM Pizza, 7:00PM Program)
Topic: Open Source Roundtable - share your Open Source experiences with the group
Speaker: Jim McGuinness will kick off the discussion with updates on MySQL, Glassfish and Openoffice
Location: Dallas Sun Office, Mansion Conference Room
16000 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 700

Register here:

Sponsor - Wisemen Consultants

And on the first Monday in March, the North Texas MySQL Meetup will cover 'Creating Facebook Apps' ( and all are welcome.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Facebook app creation: A look at the MySQL Quiz. part II

To those of you having a hard time finding the MySQLQuiz, please give the folks at Facebook a little more time to get it into their search. Sorry, I should have submitted a few days before the previous post to make sure that the MySQL Quiz was easy to find.

In the previous post, a very simple Facebook application was shown.

The next part of the MySQL Quiz application was to randomly pick unique questions from the database of quiz questions.

The first step was to get the number of questions in a rapidly expanding database. I will keep the PHP fairly simple :

$result = mysql_query("SELECT count(*) FROM fb.quiz");

$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);

$randomMax = $row[0];

Next was creating an array to hold the randomly picked, unique id numbers. The quiz uses $nbrQuestions (currently five) questions.

$randomNbrs = array();

$randomCounter = 0;

while ($randomCounter < $NbrQuestions) {

$newRandom = rand(1,$randomMax);

if (!in_array($newRandom,$randomNbrs)) {





Displaying the the questions from the unique id number should be routine stuff and is omitted. The rest of the app was fairly straight forward PHP.

There is a lot of good stuff in the Facebook documentation and I hope to be able to dive in further.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Facebook app creation: A look at the MySQL Quiz. part I

The Facebook juggernaut is an interesting environment for application developers. It is well documented for the most part and supports all the popular development languages. So I created a quick app to help promote MySQL certification and gave it the name MySQLQuiz.

The first step in app development is at the bottom of every Facebook page. That is where you will find the 'Developers' link. The documentation here is very good and you will be be able to quickly obtain the application's API Key and the applications 'secret'. Each app is going to have unique values for these.

The examples I will give are in PHP and using the supplied PHP library. I was able to get all this running on a test server.

The bare bones was

require_once 'facebook.php';
$appapikey = "yourappapikeyhere";
$appsecret = "yourappsecrethere";
$facebook = new Facebook($appapikey, $appsecret);
$user_id = $facebook->require_login();

echo "Hello world!";


So after I got the bare minimum out of the way, I started going deeper into the documentation. Facebook has their own markup language FBML (think of it like pre-coded libraries for some interesting tools). These tags start with <fb: provide a lot of functionality for very little coding. You will see on the MySQLQuiz application a series of tabs that link to various MySQL pages.
<fb:tab-item href='' title='MySQL Certification' selected='true' />
<fb:tab-item href='' title='Sample Certification Questions' />
<tb:tab-item href='' title='MySQL Classes' />

The above is probably enough to make a few of you go investigate Facebook app programming. My next post will include some more on the MySQLQuiz (how to randomly pick unique items from a database) and how the answers appear on the MySQLquiz.

And you can find the MySQLQuiz on Facebook by under the `Just For Fun` Applications