Anu's dream job is becoming a Database Engineer at Wikipedia. He knows that he needs to master MariaDB to have any reasonable hope of achieving this goal. Please answer the following questions for Anu. Note: Anu prefers the term "Free Software" to "open-source".

  1. What is MariaDB?
  2. What is the history of MariaDB?
  3. Is MariaDB Free Software?
  4. What are the best MariaDB use cases?
  5. Show and fully explain several examples of MariaDB commands as they would be run on a modern GNU/Linux computer system.

Certainly, I can provide information on MariaDB that would be beneficial for Anu.

What is MariaDB?

MariaDB is a community-developed, commercially supported fork of the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS), which is intended to remain free under the GNU GPL. It is designed to be highly compatible with MySQL, meaning that it follows the same schemas and data structures as MySQL, so that it can be used as a drop-in replacement. It offers a variety of storage engines, including ones with advanced features that are only available in the enterprise edition of MySQL.

What is the history of MariaDB?

MariaDB was created by the original developers of MySQL after concerns over the acquisition of MySQL AB by Oracle. Michael "Monty" Widenius, the founder of MySQL, spearheaded the development of MariaDB in 2009. The intent was to ensure that a version of MySQL would remain free software, and to provide an alternative for users who were uncertain about Oracle's stewardship of MySQL.

Is MariaDB Free Software?

Yes, MariaDB is Free Software. It is released under the GNU General Public License version 2, which is a free software license that guarantees the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. MariaDB's commitment to this principle is in line with Anu's preference for free software over open-source terminology, which can sometimes refer to slightly different licensing models or philosophies.

What are the best MariaDB use cases?

  1. Web applications: It's commonly used as a database for web applications, particularly those running on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/Perl/Python) stack.
  2. Data warehousing: Due to its high performance for read operations, MariaDB is well-suited for data warehousing and analytics.
  3. E-commerce: Online retailers use MariaDB to store product catalogs, customer information, and transaction data.
  4. Logging applications: It can efficiently handle a high number of writes, which makes it suitable for logging applications.
  5. Content Management Systems (CMS): Many popular CMS platforms use MariaDB/MySQL for storing website content and user data.
  6. Cloud applications: Its scalability and compatibility with cloud environments make it a good choice for cloud-based applications.

MariaDB Commands

Below are examples of some basic MariaDB commands that Anu can use on a modern GNU/Linux system:

  1. Installation of MariaDB:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install mariadb-server
  2. Starting the MariaDB service:

    sudo systemctl start mariadb
  3. Securing the MariaDB installation (this will prompt for setting up the root password and other settings):

    sudo mysql_secure_installation
  4. Logging in to MariaDB:

    mysql -u root -p
  5. Creating a new database:

    CREATE DATABASE wiki_database;
  6. Creating a new user and granting privileges:

    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wiki_database.* TO 'wiki_user'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
  7. Showing databases:

  8. Selecting a database to use:

    USE wiki_database;
  9. Creating a table:

    CREATE TABLE articles ( id INT AUTO_INCREMENT, title VARCHAR(200), content TEXT, published_at DATETIME, PRIMARY KEY (id) );
  10. Inserting data into a table:

    INSERT INTO articles (title, content, published_at) VALUES ('Free Software', 'Content about free software...', NOW());
  11. Retrieving data:

    SELECT * FROM articles;
  12. Updating data:

    UPDATE articles SET title = 'Free Software Philosophy' WHERE id = 1;
  13. Deleting data:

    DELETE FROM articles WHERE id = 1;

Each of these commands is issued in a terminal on a GNU/Linux system. When working with the actual database, after logging in, Anu will be running commands within the MariaDB shell (after step 4).

For Anu, mastering these basic commands is just the start. Aspiring to be a database engineer, especially for a service like Wikipedia, will involve in-depth knowledge of database design, performance optimization, query analysis, replication, backups, and understanding the underlying storage engines such as InnoDB or Aria, among other things. It would also be prudent for Anu to familiarize himself with other technologies used in conjunction with MariaDB in a modern web stack.