New year, new job.
I’m pleased to announce that I started a new job on January 2 at Tembo, a
fully-managed PostgreSQL developer platform. Tembo blogged the news, too.
I first heard from Tembo CTO Samay Sharma last summer, when he inquired about
the status of PGXN, the PostgreSQL Extension Network, which I built in
2010–11. Tembo bundles extensions into Postgres stacks, which let developers
quickly spin up Postgres clusters with tools and features optimized for specific
use cases and workloads. The company therefore needs to provide a wide variety
of easy-to-install and well-documented extensions to power those use cases.
Could PGXN play a role?
I’ve tended to PGXN’s maintenance for the last fourteen years, and thanks in no
small part to hosting provided by depesz. As of today’s stats it distributes
376 extensions on behalf of 419 developers. PGXN has been a moderate success,
but Samay asked how we could collaborate to build on its precedent to improve
the extensions ecosystem overall.
It quickly became apparent that we share a vision for what that ecosystem could
- Establishing the canonical Postgres community index of extensions, something
PGXN has yet to achieve
- Improving metadata standards to enable new patterns, such as automated binary
- Working with the Postgres community to establish documentation standards
that encourage developers to provide comprehensive extension docs
- Designing and building developer tools that empower more developers to
build, test, distribute, and maintain extensions
Over the the past decade I’ve have many ideas and discussion on these topics,
but seldom had the bandwidth to work on them. In the last couple years I’ve
enabled TLS and improved the site display, increased password security, and
added a notification queue with hooks that post to both Twitter (RIP @pgxn)
and Mastodon (@firstname.lastname@example.org). Otherwise, aside from keeping the site
going, periodically improving new accounts, and eyeing the latest releases, I’ve
had little bandwidth for PGXN or the broader extension ecosystem.
Now, thanks to the vision and strategy of Samay and Tembo CEO Ry Walker, I
will focus on these projects full time. The Tembo team have already helped me
enumerate the extension ecosystem jobs to be done and the tools required to do
them. This week I’ll submit it to collaborators from across the Postgres
community to fill in the missing parts, make adjustments and
improvements, and work up a project plan.
The work also entails determining the degree to which PGXN and other extension
registries (e.g., dbdev, trunk, pgxman, pgpm (WIP), etc.) will play a
role or provide inspiration, what bits should be adopted, rewritten, or
discarded. Our goal is to build the foundations for a community-owned
extensions ecosystem that people care about and will happily adopt and
I’m thrilled to return to this problem space, re-up my participation in the
PostgreSQL community, and work with great people to build out the extensions
ecosystem for future.
Want to help out or just follow along? Join the #extensions channel on the
Postgres Slack. See you there.