Last week Percona announced plans to sponsor the Percona MySQL Conference in Santa Clara in April 2012. It is meant to replace the O'Reilly conferences of previous years. The announcement led to some reasonable questions, for example from Giuseppe Maxia. These and other online posts initiated a thoughtful exchange of views about the pros and cons of Percona's conference announcement by various members of the MySQL community.
Not everyone agrees with what Percona is doing. However, you have to give Peter, Baron, and others at Percona credit for taking the risk to organize a replacement conference. It's a big financial commitment to rent space in Santa Clara. The conference will be a huge amount of work, much of it quite thankless. Even so I imagine it might be tempting for some people to try to organize an anti-conference just to spite Percona, much as Percona did at the MySQL Conference in 2009. This would be a mistake.
Here is a better suggestion. Why not put the energy into organizing a Fall 2012 MySQL Community Conference in Europe? Make it somewhere pleasant like Barcelona or Verona and everybody will want to go. Two solid conferences in different locations at opposite ends of the calendar would benefit the MySQL community at all levels and make it possible for more people to attend. For those of you who want to grow the community, it's time to stand up and be counted. Let's get another conference off the ground.
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