After my last post on MariaDB, I installed it and played around with it. It really is a project that was forked from MySQL some time ago since MySQL is increasingly becoming closed source. There is another fork of MySQL called Drizzle, which claims that they have made the database faster by removing chunks from the code that were not relevant to web related queries.
The reason I was very excited about MariaDB is that it claims to be a hybrid of RDBMS and noSQL philosophies. However, their stable version (5.5 as of this post) lacks proper support for noSQL queries. It supports noSQL through something people at MariaDB call “dynamic columns”. The dynamic columns work as intended if you use numeric keys for your column names. However, if you use alphabetical keys, you can have just one column. If you try to add multiple keys, it will error out. If you try to add more keys using an update statement, it will replace the key you had before.
All hope is not lost, though. They do have a version (10.0.1 as of this post) which worked properly in my tests but it is in alpha stage and it will be some time before it becomes stable. If you are not looking for a noSQL solution the latest stable version is still great. It has percona’s proprietary engine (Xtradb) which is a better implementation of InnoDB, a better MyISAM engine, etc.