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#1 2022-08-21 09:18:38

arjayarana
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2022-06-27
Posts: 14
Website Mastodon

Textpattern & MariaDB

Hi all. I noticed a while back that Textpattern only officially supports MySQL, and not any of its variants, like MariaDB.

I run my TXP blog on MariaDB 10.6 without any problems. Even the upcoming Textpattern 4.9, which will increase its required minimum MySQL version to MySQL 5.5, will also run without any problems in MariaDB 10.6, I think.

From the MariaDB knowledge base about its compatibility with MySQL:

Until MariaDB 5.5, MariaDB versions functioned as a “drop-in replacement” for the equivalent MySQL version, with some limitations.

MariaDB 10.2, MariaDB 10.3, and MariaDB 10.4 function as limited drop-in replacements for MySQL 5.7, as far as InnoDB is concerned. However, the implementation differences continue to grow in each new MariaDB version.

Learning Textpattern, esp. on how to make themes using TXP tags, requires a significant investment of time. That is specially true for novice webmasters like me, who haven’t taken yet any formal HTML & CSS lessons. Even now I haven’t gone beyond hacking the default theme. But before I take the next step, I need to know if Textpattern has a future in my web host, which only supports MariaDB.

And so my question is, as MySQL and MariaDB continue to go their separate ways, will Textpattern continue to run in MariaDB? Here are the incompatibilities between the latest version of each.

Any upgrade of my “MySQL process” is up to me. I can probably run my blog on MariaDB 10.6 for many years without upgrading the database, but that is probably not a good move.

Last edited by arjayarana (2022-08-21 09:19:40)

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#2 2022-08-21 11:29:20

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,920
GitHub

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

arjayarana wrote #333816:

And so my question is, as MySQL and MariaDB continue to go their separate ways, will Textpattern continue to run in MariaDB?

At the present time, there is no proactive part of the development process that extends database vendor support to unsupported platforms. It’s a situation where the resources involved with doing that just aren’t available, and if we creep into territory where we do start doing that, then we also imply that unsupported vendors are cosying up into the supported list.

However…

Many people run Textpattern on MySQL alternatives, whether they are fully binary compatible (hi, Percona) or largely compatible (hola, MariaDB). There’s no guarantee that Textpattern will work on other vendors platforms, but there’s a balance: if MariaDB strays too far from compatibility, then the apps that use it may stop working…and the users will revolt…which means lost market share…which has knock-on effects.

Have a look at the Wordpress stats here: wordpress.org/about/stats/ – scroll to the “MySQL version” part, and switch to table view. Right now, the usage stats for Wordpress on MariaDB is roughly 10% (MariaDB versions all begin with 10.*), with the remaining 90% being legit MySQL or a compatible vendor with similar version numbers. There are people still running Wordpress on MySQL 5.5, which was end-of-life’d a while ago.

MariaDB as an organisation presumably have enough sense to not stay too far off the beaten path, so it’s not a stretch to say Textpattern will likely continue to work just fine…until it doesn’t, which may or may not happen.

Textpattern releases aren’t rapid. Hosting providers are generally small-c conservative in what they offer, and so any hint of stuff not working out will have a long lead time of needing to be fixed. If we know ahead of time that an upcoming Textpattern version needs a new minimum version of PHP or MySQL to run, we let folks know.

There is a table for known-good versions of MySQL derivatives that work with Textpattern, I’ll go and find it.

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#3 2022-08-21 12:58:24

arjayarana
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2022-06-27
Posts: 14
Website Mastodon

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

gaekwad wrote #333817:

Many people run Textpattern on MySQL alternatives, whether they are fully binary compatible (hi, Percona) or largely compatible (hola, MariaDB). There’s no guarantee that Textpattern will work on other vendors platforms, but there’s a balance: if MariaDB strays too far from compatibility, then the apps that use it may stop working…and the users will revolt…which means lost market share…which has knock-on effects.

Thanks for the reply. I will take a chance then with Textpattern and MariaDB. The important thing is, I’m not alone :)

Right now, the usage stats for Wordpress on MariaDB is roughly 10%

WordPress already officially supports MariaDB, together with MySQL, as seen in its requirements page.

Hosting providers are generally small-c conservative in what they offer, and so any hint of stuff not working out will have a long lead time of needing to be fixed.

My web host offers MariaDB 10.6 as its latest version, when there is already 10.8. In other software they are always at production-level, doing a quarterly update of software realm.

And so yes, maybe using MariaDB with Textpattern isn’t really a problem at all.

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#4 2022-08-21 13:42:52

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,751
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

An excellent question, arjayarana. To expand a tiny bit on what Pete said – and your note about WordPress offering official support – they only offer that support because someone has taken time to test it and has given it the thumbs up. Or if they find incompatibilities, they have tweaked the code to support both versions.

Part of the reason we only officially list MySQL is because of the way our queries are built under the hood. It’s very, how do I put this nicely… quaint.

Come the revolution and we have time/resources to dedicate to retooling the way we handle our queries, we’ll switch to PHPs official query-handling library, PDO. In theory, that then acts as a buffer between our code and the database vendor for the connection side of things.

As long as our queries are fully compatible with both versions, we’ll be able to officially support all the given database drivers. Notice that MariaDB is not listed. But other online sources, even as late as this year, say that since they’re both compatible, interaction is identical.

The good news is that our queries aren’t very esoteric. There’s only one area I know of that may cause problems switching to PDO, and that’s in our use of FIELD() ordering, which isn’t supported by some vendors (Maria is NOT one of those as it’s based on MySQL so it’s fine!). So we need to rework those areas with some clever library work to do the query in native code and manually reorder the rows using the requested sorting value(s).

Looking at the list of (in)compatibilities, there’s only one area of mild concern from Textpattern’s current standpoint: “SHOW CREATE TABLE will append DEFAULT NULL where no default is explicitly provided to nullable BLOB or TEXT fields in MariaDB”. That shouldn’t bother us too much because we, fairly recently, ensured our values were quoted and took defaults where applicable, for support with MySQL 8.

The fact that “Users created with MySQL’s SHA256 password algorithm cannot be used in MariaDB 10.8” is only of concern outside Textpattern’s realm, since we don’t create database users during setup.

In summary then, as Pete say, there’s no major issues as far as we’re concerned and Textpattern will likely continue to work just fine. The only reason we don’t officially stamp it with MariaDB compatibility is due to us not having official environments set up to test it. We all run MySQL derivatives (including Percona) so rely on user feedback during development cycles to tell us if anything goes sideways with other MySQL-compatible vendors, then we can investigate.

Hope that helps.


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#5 2022-08-21 21:17:55

arjayarana
Member
From: Philippines
Registered: 2022-06-27
Posts: 14
Website Mastodon

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

Bloke wrote #333820:

In summary then, as Pete say, there’s no major issues as far as we’re concerned and Textpattern will likely continue to work just fine. The only reason we don’t officially stamp it with MariaDB compatibility is due to us not having official environments set up to test it. We all run MySQL derivatives (including Percona) so rely on user feedback during development cycles to tell us if anything goes sideways with other MySQL-compatible vendors, then we can investigate.

Thanks. You both have put my mind at ease. I’ll do my own part then and report problems I encounter in using Textpattern with MariaDB — if any.

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#6 2022-08-21 22:28:09

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,751
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

Thank you. It’s very much appreciated.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#7 2022-08-21 23:33:48

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 2,719
Website

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

arjayarana wrote #333826:

Thanks. You both have put my mind at ease. I’ll do my own part then and report problems I encounter in using Textpattern with MariaDB — if any.

FWIW – I run a couple of Textpattern powered websites with MariaDB (10.3) without – to my knowledge – any problem. I would prefer the host to run MariaDB 10.6, current long-term support version, but that is out of my control.

PS. From experience, web host tend to be quite conservative when to comes to provided DB’s.

PS2. looking at the WP stats mentioned above, I am kind surprised at the rather huge number of MySQL 5.5 users.


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#8 2022-08-22 12:55:30

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,920
GitHub

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

phiw13 wrote #333831:

PS2. looking at the WP stats mentioned above, I am kind surprised at the rather huge number of MySQL 5.5 users.

^^ This.

I did wonder if there’s a fork that uses 5.5 as a version string (see above, re: MariaDB using 10.*) or whether half the Wordpresses (Wordpressii?) are legit running on a long-since EOL’d database. Given a lot of Wordpress site compromises are from core or plugin PHP code, perhaps the database just chugs along come what may. It’d give me sleepless nights running 5.5 on the web, but 🤷.

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#9 2022-08-22 12:58:24

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,920
GitHub

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

Aside: hats off to Automattic for the auto-update stuff in Wordpress, more than half of public Wordpressum (it’s a word, now) are now on version 6 – that’s quite a feat of engineering in the three months since v6 hit the streets.

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#10 2022-08-23 01:25:19

towndock
Member
From: Oriental, NC USA
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 328
Website

Re: Textpattern & MariaDB

I host about 20 sites using Textpattern, all using MariaDB (and have been for many years). It works.

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