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MariaDB Foundation’s Success at CloudFest Hackathon with Catalogs Feature

MariaDB Foundation Project at CloudFest Hackathon 2024

MariaDB’s Collaboration with IONOS: Driving Innovation through Community Feedback

My name is Andrew Hutchings and I am Chief Contributions Officer for the MariaDB Foundation. For over a year, IONOS sponsors the MariaDB Foundation and works closely with us to integrate MariaDB into their ecosystem. Hence, IONOS invited me to report about our contribution to the CloudFest Hackathon.

Working on Integrating MariaDB Catalogs with PHP Platforms

At the CloudFest Hackathon, I led the project „Integrating MariaDB Catalogs with PHP Platforms“ around MariaDB Catalogs. The intended goal of our project was to make it easier for PHP-based applications to administer Catalogs as they deploy sites. Creating a framework or library that can be used and integrated into things such as WordPress deployments.

Catalogs Pre-Alpha Version

The first day of the Hackathon was a challenge. Catalogs is in pre-alpha right now, and my team are the first people ever outside of MariaDB developers to use it. They used it in ways we hadn’t originally anticipated when designing it, and they broke it. But it is through failures such as this that we learn and can evolve. Several bugs were filed, and the observations gained by the usage of the feature has fed back into improving usability of the final version of the feature.

The Library Composer

Day two went a lot better and by the end of the Hackathon we had a library composer.  At this stage, it cannot do much more, but is a framework to add new API calls to manage more aspects of Catalogs. There are workarounds for issues found at the time, but these will be easy to remove once the Catalogs feature is ready for release.

MariaDB Catalog Feature Project CF Hackathon 20204
MariaDB Catalog Feature Project CF Hackathon 2024

In addition, the team used this library to create integrations for WordPress site deployments, so that when a site is created, a new catalog for it is created at the same time. They also created a WP-CLI integration, which adds additional commands to WP-CLI to manage Catalogs. Finally, they created a Laravel integration example so that you can include catalog management in your Laravel-based application.

Just as important to us at the MariaDB Foundation is the feedback we gained from the team as they explored and used Catalogs. This feedback will be used to improve the general usability of the feature, as well as making it even more stable once it is ready for release.

Award-Winning Hackathon Project

Not only did we succeed in producing these tools, but our team won the „Future of the Web“ award, given to the team with the most forward-thinking project.

Future of the Web Award Pin CF Hackathon 2024
Future of the Web Award Pin CF Hackathon 2024

It is through our users and external contributors that we learn and adapt. The Hackathon is an extremely valuable tool for us to not only create great tools around MariaDB, but for us to learn how we can make the usability of MariaDB itself even better going forward.

Engaging the Crowd: MariaDB Foundation’s Initiative at CloudFest

Following the Hackathon event, the excitement continued as CloudFest took place right after. At the CloudFest event itself, MariaDB Foundation and Plc. had a joint booth. We had the idea to have some metal puzzle toys to solve at the table, which drew a lot of attention and allowed us at the MariaDB Foundation to talk to lots of people whilst they were busy figuring them out. Solving these puzzles let people into a prize draw, for some Shargeek power banks, powerful enough to charge most laptops more than once! These prizes were sponsored by IONOS, and it is thanks to them that we had an incredible week at CloudFest.

We thank IONOS and our other partners for helping to make the Catalogs feature and providing the prizes for the CloudFest event.

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