Jim Starkey joined MySQL about 2 1/2 years ago when MySQL acquired his startup company, Netfrastructure. Jim has a long history in the database industry having created several major databases over the years and we wanted him to take the core engine of Netfrastructure and integrate it into MySQL. This became the Falcon project, which is now in Beta as part of MySQL 6.0 and is targeted at web applications and designed to exploit modern multi-core multi-processor systems. I expect we'll see more updates to Falcon in the coming months as part of the 6.0 release process. The next release will be 6.0.5 (in the next week or so) which will include many Falcon bug fixes, performance improvements as well as new backup capabilities.
Jim has always been a classic entrepreneur at heart. He's been a great technologist and architect for Falcon but I think he prefers coding something new to dealing with meetings. So, while it's a disappointment that Jim has decided to leave MySQL, it's not a complete surprise. Over the past year two years, we've built an entire team around Falcon and Jim's been able to step back from some of the day to day grind and let others shine. Ann Harrison, who was also part of Netfrastructure is continuing in her role and we've got quite a bit of home grown talent as well as new engineers from Sun helping out on Falcon. I'm sure Jim will continue to be active in the MySQL community and provide his insight and guidance when we need it. And maybe we can save some really hard bugs for Jim to fix.
If Jim's past is any predictor of his future efforts, I'm sure he'll have some exciting new technology coming out at some point. It's been great to work with him and we wish Jim all the best in his new project.
In the meantime, I remain excited about Falcon as well as the many storage engines that keep popping up, ranging from our oldest and most mature storage engine InnoDB that keeps innovating, to the latest version of PBXT as well as specialized engines for data warehousing like Infobright and Kickfire.