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Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the they-must-not-activate-the-superweapon dept.

Databases 278

jamie sends in a blog post from MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius calling for help to "save MySQL from Oracle's clutches." While the US DoJ approved Oracle's purchase of Sun back in August, the European Commission has been less forthcoming. Widenius points out that Oracle has been using their customers to put pressure on the EC, and he questions Oracle's commitment to MySQL, saying their vague promises aren't good enough. He writes: "Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally binding manner): To keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license; Not to add closed source parts, modules or required tools; To not raise MySQL license or MySQL support prices; To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner; To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license; To develop MySQL as an Open Source project; To actively work with the community; Apply submitted patches in a timely manner; To not discriminate patches that make MySQL compete more with Oracle's other products; To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete even more with Oracle's main offering."

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278 comments

No they have not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423072)

And why would they.

Re:No they have not. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423810)

Oracle gutting MySQL would be a good thing. Then the idiots still using it will realize that using a real DB like PostgreSQL is better than the muddy licensed, half-baked, non-SQL-standard, ACID-violating POS that is MySQL.

Posted anon because I can't help but troll when MySQL is mentioned.

Re:No they have not. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424000)

I take it you hate PHP because there are a lot of lousy coders using it, too?

I'll agree that the licensing is muddy, but everything else you troll about is the result of using the tool wrong.

So fork the damn thing already! (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423086)

That's one of the reasons we have open source licenses. So we can fork if we have to.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423140)

so a guy who sold out is now worried about what he sold?

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423212)

so a guy who sold out is now worried about what he sold?

It's worse than that - Monty is a greedy self-centered pig. He sold it, then waited long enough so that he couldn't be sued (non-compete), then starts whining about how nobody else can be trusted with it.

If Oracle *doesn't* get it, I'm switching everything to a combination of PostgreSQL and NoSQL. I trust Oracle more than Monty any day. Oracle at least has a business case to not screw around - unlike Monty, who has already demonstrated his crappy ethics.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423310)

I'm switching everything to a combination of PostgreSQL and NoSQL.

Not willing to start a religious war here, but I always liked Postgres better than MySQL, for its features alone.

However, I don't like Oracle getting hold of MySQL. I have enough trouble with managers who blindly follow the Oracle gospel. Better not to have the same managers saying "OK, if you want a lightweight open source database then why don't you use MySQL?"

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423824)

Oracle for ultra-heavy. SQLite for ultra-light. PostgreSQL for everything in the middle.
Did I miss anything?

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423346)

Since Oracle is probably getting MySQL, I was thinking of a fork. With Oracle's licensing terms that I've heard about, I think a fork of an Oracle product should be called "SQLLikaPig"?

SQL is pronounced .in many old timer circles as "squeal".

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (5, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423614)

SQL is pronounced .in many old timer circles as "squeal"

Old-timers never pronounced it "squeal" or "sequel" - that's a give-away that you're either a newbie or you come from a Microsoft background. Real old-timers pronounce it "ess queue ell".

Just saying ...

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423734)

Not if you're old enough to remember IBM SEQUEL.
(I'm not, so I use [es kju el].)

Squeal? (1)

mgvrolijk (215830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423796)

A.k.a. Ese Culo (that assh*le) in Spanish. :)

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (0)

ryanrk (867641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423512)

CouchDB from apache!

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423756)

Firebird kicks the crap out of PostgreSQL. Firebird is like a combination of the performance of MySQL with the featureset of PostgreSQL.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424018)

OK but there's also the question of availability. Firebird is not readily available on most hosting plans. Postgres is getting there, most half-decent hosters will provide it. As for MySQL, it's everywhere. It's part of why it's so popular (and viceversa).

This isn't really about MySQL (3, Insightful)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423818)

This is all about the EU blocking Oracle's acquisition of Sun. They are trolling for testimonials about how the Sun acquisition would force people to buy Oracle DB, which is almost certainly would not:

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/ibu_index.php?storyid=832 [moneycontrol.com]

Look at Berkeley DB (on which OpenLDAP uttely depends.) It's now "Oracle Berkeley DB". I don't see any monkey business with that arrangement (although the OpenLDAP people are probably working on ditching BDB just as due diligence.)

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423142)

We can leave those bits behind.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423250)

I see what you did there.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423640)

I believe it is a reference to the infamous deleted scene from Episode 1 of Anakin doing The Safety Dance before he turned to the Dark Side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcOZ6xFxJqg [youtube.com]

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (2, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423244)

That is possible if I read this right. http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/php-bsd-me/the-mysql-license-8922 [toolbox.com]
It would leave any closed source licensed versions dependent on Oracle or force them to carefully separate out their code from mysql so they can use the forked version.

I would use Postgresql http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/MySQL_vs_PostgreSQL [wikivs.com] since it's standards compliant, feature full and is fast if properly configured.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (2, Informative)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423292)

Fork it and then name it MariaDB [askmonty.org] , specifically. Sun buys MySQL. Monty complains about Sun's treatment of MySQL. Monty leaves MySQL. Monty forks MySQL. Monty complains about Oracle. This isn't exactly a surprising development.

Re:So fork the damn thing already! (2, Interesting)

whrde (1120405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423652)

It's possible that open source licences can be revoked by the copyright/IP holder. Under anglo common law, a bare licence can be revoked, but a contractual licence can't be --- It all depends on whether you consider there to be a contract, supported by consideration (ie someone of value is exchanged for the licence). I personally believe there is consideration and so no one can revoke open source licences. But unlike the US courts, Australian courts don't seem to agree. (I wrote a dissertation on this problem: feel free to read it [willhardy.com.au] )

And what did Monty do? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423096)

Besides being a hippocrite, after he was paid, bolted for the door the first opportunity he got. If it was so important to him, he wouldn't have sold to Sun in the first place. Man up and stay with the company and product if you are so concerned.

Re:And what did Monty do? (4, Funny)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423492)

Besides being a hippocrite

Whoa, is that like being a big, fat hypocrite?

Re:And what did Monty do? (4, Funny)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423650)

No, a hippocrite is someone who uses one set of values to judge himself and another to judge hippopotami.

Re:And what did Monty do? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423678)

Besides being a hippocrite

Ah, the elusive horse-crite. I thought they were only a legend.

Re:And what did Monty do? (2, Interesting)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423766)

Why? After opensourcing solaris and java, Sun had a great record of being opensource friendly, and they had a LOT of incentives to improve MySQL and compete with Oracle. Sun also was a Big Company that could invest in MySQL more money than MySQL alone could even dream.

Oracle is a different story. They make a lot of their money from a bussines based in software licenses of their closed-source database. Opensource competence kills their bussiness model. They clearly don't have many incentives to make MySQL compete with Oracle - unless bankrupcy is a bussiness model. And MySQL CAN compete with Oracle long-term - look what a JokeOS Linux was some years ago, and how today it has eaten most of the Unix bussiness.

So why Monty is an hypocrite? It's Sun who has sold out, not Monty. The decisions where Monty was involved were to make mysql BETTER. How could he expect that Sun was going to die? Is he an hypocrite just because he wants to avoid the fall of mysql?

Greed... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423098)

So, now, being a very rich guy (1B is a lot of money), he wants to it back for free? That's fair... Right...

Re:Greed... (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423208)

He can always fork it (unless he's signed some sort of non-compete agreement). I don't really get the issue. Everyone knew Oracle was probably going to do evil, Oracle is one of the BIG evils, though it never gets sufficient attention around here, what with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

Re:Oracle (4, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423376)

I agree that Oracle's dominance and proprietary nature places it in a unique position to dictate terms to its customers. The problem is that Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology. Oracle 7, ca 1991, has a better overall implementation than the latest and greatest from IBM, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on. I mean MySQL is barely out of the 'toy' stage (special purpose applications excluded). In the intervening two decades Oracle has widened the gap. That means for a certain classes of OLTP applications, people tend to think you are suicidal if you recommend anything else.

The only way to minimize this problem is to bring (open source) databases closer to parity, even with where Oracle was twenty years ago. PostgreSQL is the only one that comes close in the open source world. MySQL started out with so many bizarre design decisions and gratuitous incompatibilities, that I wonder if it will *ever* come close, at least not without losing backward compatibility in a big way.

Re:Oracle (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423426)

Agreed. As a big ferinstance, MySQL just barely got two-way replication w/ 5.1, and even then you had to do some seriously weird hoodoo on it to make that happen (hint: it's not a listed feature)... this is a basic function of any full-on enterprise-level DB.

Now Postgres comes fairly close, but everyone else can't even touch it.

If Postgres ever got something resembling the ease and power of RAC, then Oracle would have something to worry about. Until then, they're in a position to dictate whatever terms they want to. (I would've put MS SQL Server as a contender, but clustering that into something resembling RAC is a friggin' nightmare to build and maintain, and I doubt that too many MCDBAs have quite wrapped their heads around using SQL Server on a Core (read: non-UI) install of Windows Server just yet.)

Re:Oracle (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423486)

Mod grandparent up. Parent is pretty much a perfect example of the propaganda that Oracle and its (pre)sales minions have attacked insecure and clueless C[IT]Os with for a generation.

This Oracle Tax, much like the Microsoft Tax, hurts the average consumer who has to pay inflated rates for financial services, insurance, etc. when these companies pass on the exorbitant costs of Oracle implementation and maintenance.

Having maintained large infrastructures of MySQL servers for real companies that make real dollars, I'm amazed that there are still CTOs who are insecure about telling the Oracle leeches on sales calls that they have opted to not pay the Oracle tax, and retain some of that money to invest in their business.

Re:Oracle (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423566)

If MySQL does what you need, at a pain level you can afford, then more power to you. It is certainly a lot more cost effective in those cases. I didn't say anything about ruling out MySQL for any and all possible applications.

Re:Oracle (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423722)

Every implementation involves pain. It's all a matter of how much it will cost you in dollars or sweat to ease that pain, and Oracle makes you pay dearly.

Statements like "Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology", "toy database" are meaningless and unquantifiable. You may be able to scare the CIO types with that kind of language, but /. is not a fan of FUD [wikipedia.org] tactics

Re:Oracle (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423782)

The problem is that Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology. Oracle 7, ca 1991, has a better overall implementation than the latest and greatest from IBM, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on.

That's a hell of a strong choice of words, particularly when you're on a site full of raging zealots like /. Could you explain exactly what features Oracle has that place it a full 20 years ahead of its nearest competitor?

Re:Oracle (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423840)

/. isn't full of 'raging zealots', I see that claimed quite often but I've seen no evidence to back it up, it's a myth ... there are a few, but most people here are fairly reasonable, certainly no more 'zealot-y' than any other online forum, and almost certainly less so. GP is probably a paid shill or works for Oracle. I do suspect there's a fair share of shills here, but they aren't zealots.

Re:Oracle (3, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423934)

I didn't say "features" (although there are those) but rather "better overall implementation".

For example, with Oracle you can add columns, drop columns, and modify columns while there are ongoing transactions against the table. Try that with DB2 sometime.

MySQL is worse:

In most cases, ALTER TABLE works by making a temporary copy of the original table. The alteration is performed on the copy, and then the original table is deleted and the new one is renamed

That is a trivial example. Generally speaking, however, Oracle gets significant new features with a high quality implementation about a decade before anyone else does. For example, during the 1990s the lack of MVCC and row level locking were serious problems with virtually every database except Oracle. Without them, you can't reliably run large or long running transactions without risking locking every other user out of the database, even if the transactions don't have any row level overlap.

There is no spoon (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423116)

It's strangely appropriate that Neo, when he went to see the Oracle to find out that he is The One, was also shown that the reality he was constantly presented with was simply a computer manipulation. This is why "there is no spoon" was such a critical piece of the Matrix puzzle. There may be no spoon, but there can still be a fork.

The Oracle told Neo that he wasn't The One, but the Oracle was lying and just telling him what he needed to hear. The One knows that there is a fork, even if the Oracle leads him astray.

Then there was a whole lot of crap about rogue agents in the system, but the whole movie was clearly an allegory about databases and the GPL.

Re:There is no spoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423166)

yes, and of course the name "Neo" is similar to "Theo" the lead on the OpenBSD project.
It's all clear now

Re:There is no spoon (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423204)

yes, and of course the name "Neo" is similar to "Theo" the lead on the OpenBSD project.

      Abd Theo actually means "God".... revelation!

Re:There is no spoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423498)

Far out. That some deep profound shit.

Re:There is no spoon (3, Funny)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423972)

It's strangely appropriate that Neo, when he went to see the Oracle to find out that he is The One, was also shown that the reality he was constantly presented with was simply a computer manipulation. This is why "there is no spoon" was such a critical piece of the Matrix puzzle. There may be no spoon, but there can still be a fork.

...

"Whoa."

Meh, use Firebird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423118)

Has more features, performs better, and has a more permissive license which allows embedding in non-GPL applications.

It's missing some stuff (like multiple indexing types) but I'm sure with a larger user base we could get those features done.

Re:Meh, use Firebird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423330)

How do you use an old web browser as a database?

Oh who cares... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423124)

Fork it and rename it. These guys are more interested in "their" brand than the actual code.

Re:Oh who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423246)

He sold the IP - so maybe they own some patents that could gum up the idea of forking?

Re:Oh who cares... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423360)

So people start using one of the literally dozens of mature, well proven alternatives.

Open source software can route around the damage. If he was so concerned with the future of humanity, he could have kept the IP rights, no?

This is about ego and nothing more.

Perhaps you shouldn't have sold out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423144)

Perhaps you shouldn't have sold out to Sun in the first place. Fork the damn thing and let's get on with business.

Re:Perhaps you shouldn't have sold out... (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423158)

NotTheirSQL. Ok , now fork it.

Re:Perhaps you shouldn't have sold out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423294)

OurSQL sounds better :P

Anonymouse Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423152)

If he thinks he should be able to call the shots........maybe he shouldn't have sold it.

Shoulda said it sooner! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423154)

Widenius tell us sooner?!?

Monty Needs to STFU (2, Insightful)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423164)

If he gave a shit about what happened to MySQL, he would not have sold it.

Instead, he made gobs of money and no longer has a say in what happens to the property except insofar as he is free to fork it.

Re:Monty Needs to STFU (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423604)

Was Monty the only owner of the company? Could he continue running the company? While it is easier to impose your views when you are in charge, who knows how long he could have kept the project together?

While he owned MySQL the only real thing he could control MySQL, at least with money he could invest his time and efforts that may be more productive than just controlling MySQL. At the very least he can still have an opinion and let everyone know what he thinks of the current the situation.

Of course your opinion, at least to you, appears to be superior because the only thing you said was he should not have an opinion any more...

Re:Monty Needs to STFU (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423912)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't he sell mysql to Sun way before there was even the slightest hint of an acquisition by Oracle? In fact, i don't think anybody even saw the Oracle-Sun deal coming.

Jeez what a whiner (3, Interesting)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423176)

Perhaps Monty SHOULDN'T HAVE SOLD the damn thing in the first place if he's so worried about these things happening, no? Besides, there is NOTHING in the world preventing him from forking it, naming it something else and continuing development. NOTHING.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423268)

Where is the Like button on Slashdot?

This is exactly what I was thinking.

If he wants absolute control, he shouldn't have cached the check.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423328)

> If he wants absolute control, he shouldn't have cached the check.

Well, I'm sure he can still flush the cached check even at this point, and just use the no-cache pragma in the future.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423622)

Well, I'm sure he can still flush the cached check even at this point, and just use the no-cache pragma in the future.

Do not tweak the mods' noses with your technical wit. It makes them surly. Especially the Apple fanbois.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423712)

This being MySQL he can probably figure out a way to both cash the cheque and return it due to dodgy transaction somewhere.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423288)

Wrong - There are really two version of MySQL. The open version and the closed version. Monty cannot fork the closed version.

Re:Jeez what a whiner (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423482)

Wrong. It's all the the same code. (Not counting readline in one vs libedit in the other.)

We (yes, I work for MySQL/Sun) do NOT maintain separate GPL and commercial codebases.

Oh, rly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423374)

> Perhaps Monty SHOULDN'T HAVE SOLD the damn thing in the first place if he's so worried about these things happening, no?

Maybe. I did my quote of shooting in the foot... so me might, too. But now is too late, and if he has awaken now, maybe understanding his creation was in jeopardy... what can he do? Solve the problem alone? That's not how free software works. He needs people -- and for that, he needs credibility. Having sold once, who wants to take chances a second time?

> Besides, there is NOTHING in the world preventing him from forking it, naming it something else and continuing development. NOTHING.

Ah, Oracle is such a fool, ain't it? If there's not a secret agreement, things like branding and communities are not created overnight.

BTW, IMO this is somewhat akin to what is happening to Gnome, but I guess M$ wants to spend less money and do a slower process -- so as to get everyone used to Gnome as an M$ technology.

It's not being sold, it's being assimilated...

Re:Oh, rly? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423742)

I ain't so sure about the Gnome/Microsoft situation. I am a Gnome user, and I love it (I made the switch from KDE 4 years ago), so, I am worried about it's future. I already checked out the new gnome-shell, from the technical point of view Gnome's future looks brilliant.

From another perspective, Ximian has been very respectful of the community, and I'm not particularly scared of Mono.

I think you are blowing it out of proportion.

*Exactly* why it is better to have a community (3, Interesting)

poet (8021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423222)

People in the Open Source community have been warning against this for years with MySQL. It is one of the key tenets in the PostgreSQL vs MySQL playbook. Use PostgreSQL because no single company controls the source. It can't be bought. MySQL dug its own destiny by tying its hand into the GPL AND (note the AND) being owned by a single entity.

Re:*Exactly* why it is better to have a community (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423410)

It is one of the key tenets in the PostgreSQL vs MySQL playbook.

And the other key tenet is that PostgreSQL is better than MySQL. Period. So while Monty may be concerned over what he still believes is his baby (though it's not), I'm not at all concerned about the future state of open source databases.

You guys are missing the point! (5, Insightful)

vladkrupin (44145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423970)

No single entity controls the source of mysql either. It's GPL. If you want to fork it, fork it. You guys are missing the point.

The point is Widenius wants to start a new company, and wants to work off of what mysql, the company (and thousands of volunteers who have contributed to the project) have created over the past N years. He does not care if it goes to Oracle, Microsoft, some made-up nonprofit-ish foundation, or dies. He could really care less about that. He wants to build a company that will make a proprietary product and will make him money.

The thorn in his side, however, is the fact that he can't take the code that was once released as GPL and use it in his proprietary software. He either has to open up his software (which he does not want to do), or else not be able to benefit from all those years worth of effort by mysql AB and others who have contributed to the project.

If the license was just about anything but GPL (apache, BSD, whatever), he could do just that. But he can't.

What, you really think it's all about evil Oracle taking over mysql, and it's not really the license that's a thorn in Wideniuses side? Read a more in-depth analysis by someone who understands the issue a _whole lot better_ than I or just about any of you folks do. Here: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091208104422384 [groklaw.net]

fork names (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423248)

How about calling the fork 'MySQL2: The Sequel'?

Who cares what the sell-out thinks? (4, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423258)

No one should take his opinion seriously because if he really cared then it wouldn't have sold it. Just fork the thing and forget Oracle.

Maybe he's hoping it would stay open source so he could pinch Oracle's improved code an basically have his mysql money and access to the myql code as it improves so he can plug it into his branch.

This really frustrates me... (4, Insightful)

jregel (39009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423354)

As others in this discussion have pointed out, if the concern about Oracle close-sourcing components of MySQL, then why not fork it now?

Also, beyond the large installed user base, is there anything particularly important about MySQL as a database that other open source databases cannot do?

But for me, the biggest frustration is that while there is all this concern about MySQL, the lack of direction is really damaging Sun who make excellent servers (SPARC and x64), software (Solaris 10/Open Solaris with ZFS, Dtrace, Containers etc. etc, OpenOffice, Glassfish, Virtualbox, Sun Cluster (free), QFS/SAMFS (cluster FS)) and many more interesting technologies).

IMHO, the existence of Sun is a positive thing for the open source community and MySQL is a small and largely unimportant part of Sun's inventory.

Re:This really frustrates me... (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423504)

Also, beyond the large installed user base, is there anything particularly important about MySQL as a database that other open source databases cannot do?

The strong brand?

Its SQL dialect isn't compatible with anything else (which is true for all SQL databases without any joint development history, of course). Oh, and the MySQL documentation is only available under a proprietary license which does not permit modification and redistribution.

Re:MySQL brand (1)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423660)

The MySQL brand name and the installed (commercial) user base are pretty much the only reasons for Oracle to acquire the MySQL database business at all. Both worth paying a considerable amount of money for.

No one needs their database server to be called "MySQL" if they don't like the path that Oracle takes with it though. And it would be easy enough to write new (and perhaps better) documentation for a fork.

first they'll change the name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423366)

HisSQL.

The case should be made to government (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423412)

In the U.S. and in Europe, there are regulatory bodies that need to be aware of this potentially serious problem. MySQL is a component of a huge and significant portion of the internet web sites today. What Oracle decides to do with MySQL could have huge and sweeping affect across the entire web economy.

In the interests of preventing any potential large-scale destabilization, MySQL should be forced to spin off into an independent entity prior to the acquisition of Sun. Not only are there competitive interests at play, but a significant component of the internet as well.

Re:The case should be made to government (2, Informative)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423514)

On the contrary, it is not a problem at all. MySQL can be forked and the people dependent on it can use the forked version indefinitely. The commercial users who want to stick with the evolution of "MyOracle" can pay for the privilege. Everyone is happy. The EC has no need to worry. A fork of MySQL could provide all the necessary competition, to say nothing of PostgreSQL.

Re:The case should be made to government (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423816)

A fork of MySQL could provide all the necessary competition, to say nothing of PostgreSQL.

It's not quite as bad as it was 5 years ago, but there are still a hell of a lot of F/OSS applications which only support MySQL and users who have neither the need nor the desire to tweak them to support PostgreSQL.

(Though FWIW, I stopped taking MySQL seriously when I figured out the product was designed with a downright cavalier attitude to data integrity)

Re:The case should be made to government (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423536)

Thanks to the license under which the current version of MySQL was released, it doesn't matter what Oracle does--existing installs will continue to run just as before, both physically and in licensing terms. All that Oracle can do by nuking MySQL is close off a development path that's already been replicated elsewhere--in MariaDB, forked by Widenius and the other founders, as well as several other forks.

MySQL Founders please stop whining (4, Insightful)

johnnnyboy (15145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423420)

Seriously, these MySQL founders have been whining ever since they sold out to Sun.
Please stop. If you're worried about MySQL why did you sell the rights in the first place?

there are other choices (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423470)

besides the obvous potential to fork mysql, there are other options out there such as postgresql.

Re:there are other choices (1)

formerly human (1699548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423982)

So if mysql becomes closed source or just really crummy, is it feasible to save xampp by turning it into xappp?

like a millionaire/walking on imported air... (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423474)

Much like the line in the song Maria by Blondie, Widenius is blowing hard about something he sold for lots of cash - and the same time he himself has forked MySQL into MariaDB (see what I did there? ;) so he has answered the problem in the way many of you have already suggested.
No point being down on Oracle btw, they may be a big freaking software company and on that basis alone deserve to be hated, but they did buy a product I am cursed to work with and they have made such improvements in access to knowledge and the software itself I cannot help think that they are not all bad (OK - I know, they ARE bad, but one can dream :)
What I don't think is that anyone will seriously form MySQL because most people cannot be bothered when there's Postgres (which we all want to be the winner in the mythic and yet totally uneomotional struggle between MySQL and Postgres - wierd, because the struggle between Ruby and Python is so much more emotional but so much less important ...)
Honestly though, as soon as we all dump RDBMS and go for lovely object based databases like Durus the happier I will be ...

Should he EXPECT oracle to make those promises? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423522)

I sure wouldn't... and it's a waste of effort to be worried about what somebody else is going to do unless one is actually in a position to influence their decisions.

Cant help myself... (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423528)

But i take anything Monty says these days with a heavy dosage of salt, especially if it happens to coincide with Microsofts current viewpoint.

http://www.codeplex.org/board-of-directors.aspx [codeplex.org]

Recommended reading is this from his blog:

http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/09/codeplex-foundation-why-is-microsoft.html [blogspot.com]

Doing a character assasination with those gems in mind would be redundant. Its obvious Microsoft is scared shit that Oracle will undercut it in the SMB market with MySQL and Oracles wast support structure. Call in the drones.

Background Info (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423558)

I encourage anyone who mistakes Monty for a friend of Open Source to do a little reading...

The case against the case against Oracle-MySQL [the451group.com]

MySQL and a tale of two biases [cnet.com]

Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL [groklaw.net]

How Many Times Can Monty Sell MySQL? [blogspot.com]

Would not be a loss (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423582)

MySQL is the Visual Basic of databases - clumsy and of poor quality, used most strongly by people who don't know any better. I would be delighted to see MySQL fail as a project and have its mindshare go to projects that are superior, like PostgreSQL. There are only two things I can think of that the world would miss - MySQLe (the embedded version, which competes with BDB-esque type uses - it's a really cool idea) and the solid Windows support (PostgreSQL added this about a year ago - I'm not sure how solid it is yet).

MySQL's wins tend to be based on good marketing for a bad product.

Re:Would not be a loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423608)

Yeah, but tell us... how do you really feel about MySQL?

Re:Would not be a loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423674)

MySQLe (the embedded version, which competes with BDB-esque type uses - it's a really cool idea)

Any thoughts on SQLite?

and the solid Windows support (PostgreSQL added this about a year ago - I'm not sure how solid it is yet).

Are you sure you're not thinking about the improvements in PostgreSQL 8.0? http://www.postgresql.org/docs/8.0/static/release-8-0.html That was nearly five years ago, although I don't use it on Windows myself so I don't know how well it works. There have of course been various Windows-related changes since then, though.

MySQL's wins tend to be based on good marketing for a bad product.

Indeed, if Oracle buying Sun increases the chance of MySQL dying, it's a good thing in my book.

Re:Would not be a loss (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423838)

PostgreSQL added this about a year ago - I'm not sure how solid it is yet

Not too bad, I understand. But then PostgreSQL doesn't tend to declare a feature as being done until such time as it is fairly solid.

Just switch... (1)

corecaptain (135407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423612)

I had moved some new work to postgres, after the sun+oracle announcement I migrated some older code to postgres.

I also weaned myself off of Netbeans.

I've been in this business too long to have any illusions that Oracle is going to fund competitors to its revenue earning products. Oracle
doesn't want you on MySQL- at the minimum they want you on Oracle XE.
 

Business as usual... (2, Insightful)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423618)

#40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

Is there a point? Oracle can't undo GNU. (1)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423644)

I don't mean to troll, I'm really hoping that someone can explain what the point of all this worry is. Can Oracle really make MySQL not be free? It's my understanding that they could start charing people to buy or license MySQL from them, but that they can't stop people from taking the MySQL source code that's already available, and using it for whatever they want, including selling it. No matter how Oracle changes the licensing terms, or how many proprietary extensions Oracle adds, anyone should be able to take one of the old, freely released versions of MySQL, and sell it for money without Oracle being able to stop them. Even if MySQL is a trademarked name, the new seller would just have to use a different name. I really don't understand what Widenius is talking about.

Monty? (1)

Device666 (901563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423648)

Monty from Monty Python?

MySQL was never truly open source (2, Informative)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423664)

As long as there was a company behind it, there was always potential that it could be bought. Switch to PostgreSQL. Nobody owns it.

Sellout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423738)

If he cared in the first place why did he sell it to Sun, he has no say he sold it. That's like me selling a car to someone and telling them they can't crash it. If I didn't want it crashed I shouldn't have sold it.

MySQL foundation (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423768)

Unless the EC is just hell-bent on obstructing US commerce then Oracle and Sun should just make an agreement to fork MySQL off into a foundation.

"provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL" (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423774)

What is reasonable and affordable for a small Swedish company certainly isn't for a big behemoth like Oracle. There are now many, many more layers to feed with the product. The time for this decision has passed.

the wrong spokesperson (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423836)

whether he's in the right or not, monty is the wrong spokesperson. he has obvious conflicts of interests and possible sentimental ties to mysql. that, and the hypocritical nature of his thoughts as so many others have pointed out.

he'd be better of keeping quiet. he's probably doing more harm than good for his cause.

Why Should Oracle Promise ANY of Those Things? (4, Interesting)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423926)

Just to make his life easier?

Welcome to the world of commercial open source...

Maybe you should have thought of that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30424022)

before selling your company to Sun. You thought Sun would stick around forever?

Why should Oracle have to offer a product that "competes with its main offering"?

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