"I called in the Wizard on a Friday evening. It was almost six p.m. and I was afraid he had already left for the day. Instead, he answered at the first ring. Wizards never go home early. He recognized me and asked how he could help. I told him. He listed patiently, without asking silly questions in between, and finally said 'I think I could provide you with some useful tool. See you in half an hour' and hung up."
The Wizard is a fictitious character. He does not exist in the wild, although some laboratories in Outer China are collecting evidence about the theoretical possibility that he could be real. Any resemblance with any individual in the physical world is purely coincidental. Translated into plain English: if you think that the Wizard looks like somebody you know, especially if he or she is a pain in the neck, it is because you are unlucky. Wizards are grumbling fellows who call Perl or SQL their mother tongue and feel ill at ease while speaking English (or Italian, Hungarian, Flemish or whichever language they use d to speak before learning C++. They are usually kind and willing to please you, but they often manage to upset you while doing so. Wizards also enjoy gathering with others of their kind, since they find common people boring. However, if you put two wizards in the same room, you are likely to see some sparks after a while. That's why wizards are usually alone, and they like to be left as such.
I want to thank many people who made this article possible. All the programmers who created GNU, Linux, MySQL, StarOffice, perl, DBI, nedit (I am not the Wizard. I can't cope with vi!), and many utilities without which I would be most likely writing about embedded databases in C. (There is nothing wrong about embedding databases, and doing that in C is quite honorable, since I have done that for a while, but MySQL is a toy on a totally different scale). In a word, I am grateful to all the open source community, which has made profitable exchanging knowledge (not to mention the fun!).
You must have realized that I (or perhaps the Wizard) have taken for granted that you know the basics of MySQL, SQL, client server architecture, perl, the DBI, and maybe something else that I don't recall now. Don't be angry with me. Teaching the basics is a social duty, but sometimes it makes you feel good when you can exchange some unusual experience. You might be interested in a few links that offer the basics that I have so happily skipped: http://www.mysql.com/documentation One of the best manuals you can find about MySQL, the one written by the developers themselves. In addition, http://www.devshed.com offers many tutorials and articles for beginners (and intermediate and expert users as well). DBI can be learned online at http://www.symbolstone.org/technology/perl/DBI About Perl, I don't dare suggesting anything that could contravene the official policy that TIMTOWTDI (there is more than one way to do it). Larry Wall has written some thousand pages on this subject, with the conclusion that Perl's official policy is that there is no official policy. I would leave it at that.