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MySQL 5.1.3-alpha has been released.

MySQL 5.1.3, a new version of the popular Open Source Database Management System, has been released. The Community Edition is now available in source and binary form for a number of platforms from our download pages and mirror sites.

Note that not all mirror sites may be up to date at this point in time - if you can't find this version on some mirror, please try again later or choose another download site.

This is the first public alpha release of the current MySQL 5.1 development branch, providing an insight to upcoming features. While some of these are still under heavy development, this release includes the following new features and changes (in comparison to the current MySQL 5.0 production release):

  • Partitioning, which allows distributing portions of individual tables across a filesystem, according to rules which can be set when the table is created. In effect, different portions of a table are stored as separate tables in different locations - but from the user point-of-view, the partitioned table is still a single table.
  • MySQL 5.1 will add support for a very flexible plugin API, that will allow the loading and unloading of various components at runtime, without restarting the server. While the work on this is not finished yet, Pluggable Full-Text parsers are a first step in this direction. This allows the user to implement his own input filter on the indexed text, enabling full-text search capability on arbitrary data like PDF files or other document formats. A pre-parser full-text plugin performs the actual parsing and extraction of the text and hands it over to the builtin MySQL full-text search.
  • The Instance Manager (IM) now has some additional functionality:
    • SHOW LOG FILES - provides a listing of all log files used by the instance
    • SHOW LOG {ERROR | SLOW | GENERAL} size - retrieves a part of the specified log file
    • SET instance_name.option_name=option_value - sets an option to the specified value and writes it to the config file
  • Two new aggregate functions STDDEV_POP and STDDEV_SAMP for computing the population and sample standard deviation of expressions.
  • The performance of boolean full-text searches (using the "+" Operator) has been improved.
  • VARCHAR fields used in MySQL Cluster tables are now variable-sized ; that is, they now only allocate as much space as required to store the data. Previously, a VARCHAR(n) field allocated n+2 bytes (aligned to 4 bytes), regardless if the actual inserted value required that much space. (In other words, a VARCHAR column always required the same, fixed amount of storage as a CHAR column of the same size.)
  • Added the "table_definition_cache" system variable. If you use a large number of tables, you can create a large table definition cache to speed up opening of tables. The table definition cache takes less space and does not use file descriptors, unlike the normal table cache.
  • The "table_cache" system variable was renamed to "table_open_cache". Any scripts that refer to "table_cache" should be updated to use the new name.

NOTE: This alpha release, as any other pre-production release, should not be installed on "production" level systems or systems with critical data. It is good practice to back up your data before installing any new version of software. Although MySQL has done its best to ensure a high level of quality, protect your data by making a backup as you would for any other software alpha release.)

You are welcome to send your feedback and bug reports about these new features via MySQL public bug tracking system.