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Oracle Responds To MySQL Purchase Concerns

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the we-cool-man-we-cool dept.

Businesses 156

Luke has no name writes "Yesterday we discussed MySQL founder Monty Widenius's objections to the acquisition of MySQL by Oracle. Today, Oracle released a statement to address some of these issues. Among their commitments, Oracle says they intend to continue releasing MySQL under the GPL, allow vendors to produce 'any-license' third-party engines, maintain the Reference Manual, invest millions into the product, and create a 'customer advisory board.' The pledges are still not enough for some, however."

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Makes sense (5, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434442)

If you think about it makes sense for Oracle to continue developing MySQL, since this is like Nissan and Infiniti where the customer is provided with a high-end product and a low-end product. Oracle gets to offer service for both, recognising that not everyone wants to have to deal with the Oracle database product, either due to cost or needs. At the same time for customers growing past what MySQL is good at, Oracle can then offer them an upgrade path to their premium product.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434512)

If you think Nissan is a low-end product I'd like to know what you think about Ford and Chrysler.

Re:Makes sense (5, Insightful)

herring0 (1286926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434574)

Along the same line as the high-end/low-end thing Oracle does have a 'low-end' Oracle database (Oracle XE) but it's never really gotten any kind of following or use that I have seen. So I could definitely understand their interest in providing an entry-level system with their name attached.

I've not understood the complaints about sharing the market space. Anyone running full-blown Oracle database systems will be well and truly beyond MySQL. Aside from that, try and get some PHB to understand that MySQL is in any way comparable to Oracle.

On the plus side- if Oracle can actually provide an easy to use path to migrate from MySQL to Oracle or to provide some kind of abstraction layer that would let you use MySQL-backed applications with Oracle I would cheer them to no end.

And as for the founder's (and the founder's buddy referenced in the article) concerns about the future of the product then he shouldn't have sold the damn thing. So sorry, you sold your rights to it. Fork it and start over if you really care that much.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434786)

"Anyone running full-blown Oracle database systems will be well and truly beyond MySQL"

Like Google?

Re:Makes sense (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434926)

You've heard of LAMP: Linux/Apache/MySQL/Perl-php-etc.
Now there's Linux/Apache/Oracle/Perl-php-etc.

Nah, I don't think so. This analogy of Oracle for The Big Stuff and MySQL for The Little Stuff is for the birds. MySQL launched a lot of great apps and platforms that Oracle couldn't touch because of their price and perception of being Big Stuff. There's every reason to believe that they'll continue to let MySQL evolve, and perhaps use that evolution to improve their own stuff-- and their ability to get developers to gravitate towards Oracle products rather than MySQL.

Re:Makes sense (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435670)

For some reason, corporations seem to think there are two ways to go with free software. Either they see it as a way to shove advertisements down your throat, or they see it being a "lite" version, where "lite" means anything valuable in it is limited or crippled. I'm not sure how you can stuff adverts into a database management system, so it looks like their only option as a corporation is to artifically limit the maximum number of records, or do something else utterly stupid, to make sure everybody knows this is the "lite" version.

Re:Makes sense (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435792)

TeaseWare is what they call it. It's like shareware-crippled versioning but designed to give you a 'taste'.

I don't think MySQL goes that route at all, though. MySQL is embarrassingly successful to Oracle, and they could use it for pride as well as magnetism.

My hope: it humbles and teaches them.

Re:Makes sense (2, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436016)

If Oracle wanted to get really tricky, they'd re-license MySQL under GPL3 (or whatever version beyond that that prohibits ASP-based proprietary applications). Stallman would probably be thrilled, but your average commercial LAMP site, not so much. There are many ways for Oracle to turn ownership of MySQL to their advantage without either shutting it down or making it 'non-free'.

That's probably good for the MySQL developers Oracle is likely to employ. For the rest of us, there's still PostgreSQL...

Re:Makes sense (1)

herring0 (1286926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30437304)

Don't get me wrong. We are primarily an Oracle shop, but we've got several instances on MySQL running (mostly LAMPs and WAMPs) and even an MSSQL Server (much to the chagrin of our "Oracle is great" boss.)

I believe that there is a good tool for a job and will use whatever is the most suitable within a given set of parameters.

My greatest hope would be to make MySQL and Oracle more interoperable so that we could reduce our adminsitrative overheard. At this point I've got MSSQL instances that replicate application data to our Oracle warehouse and it would be nice to have a consistent back-end for our wikis and other 'forward-facing' apps.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435044)

Totally different kind of applications than what enterprises need Oracle for. Google serves data and logs (appends) activities. High volume transaction processing with lot's of concurrent access - locks, contention, etc. - or (informationally) complex data warehouses are not well addressed by MySQL especially when the volumes of interrelated data get very large.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435646)

Can you give us any insight on how Google is using MySQL?

I was under the impression that they've invented their own distributed file system for their storage needs.

Re:Makes sense (3, Interesting)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435050)

And as for the founder's (and the founder's buddy referenced in the article) concerns about the future of the product then he shouldn't have sold the damn thing. So sorry, you sold your rights to it. Fork it and start over if you really care that much.

This is an interesting point. It IS open source and can be forked. How much work in improving the DB occurs within Sun (and soon Oracle) presently? Aside from ignoring new features which are introduced to the open source version, how much damage will ignoring the code base really cause?

I would assume (possibly dangerous) that most MySQL users are savvy enough to use a different flavor of the MySQL code base if the one they're currently on gets stale. I don't see Oracle introducing iterative improvements for MySQL and certainly little or nothing which will be under an open license. I CAN see them layering other features on top which don't become a part of the code base. Not sure why they would pursue such a path unless they want to poke at SQL Server some...

Re:Makes sense (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436466)

In addition to that, it's already what one of their major DB competitors, Microsoft is doing. SQL Express is fine for a lot of apps (admittedly not as many as MySQL), and Microsoft's free "give them a taste" product before you upgrade to SQL Server.

Re:Makes sense (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434620)

Not really seeing it... I mean, they already have (fairly) low-end versions of Oracle already out there (starting with "Express"), which are basically stripped versions of the high-end products.

What would they gain from replacing those with a product based on a fairly incompatible and radically different codebase? You're supposed to up-sell customers, which MySQL likely won't do very well.

Not to mention Berkeley DB (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434824)

http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/berkeley-db/index.html [oracle.com]

I'm confused too.

Unless Oracle Express is different enough from their main code base that it would be less trouble to ditch Express and just let the OSS crowd continue to maintain MySQL.

Plus Express is still harder to install than MySQL, and a usable version of MySQL "ships" with every Linux (and BSD?) distro.

Re:Makes sense (1)

headLITE (171240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434846)

The problem why XE hasn't gained any measurable following is its CPU and DB size restrictions. Effectively you are allowed to use Oracle XE for applications where MySQL, or probably flat files, are sufficient and/or more efficient.

Re:Makes sense (4, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435240)

It's not just like Nissan/Infity. Expensive cars cost more to build. The marginal cost for software is damn near zero. Oracle could easily go after the low-end market by offering a crippled version of the Oracle database. The only reason they have to buy MySQL is to kill it as a competitor because it is cutting into their sales. They certainly aren't going to incorporate any MySQL technology into their bread-and-butter product line.

Re:Makes sense (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435808)

The only reason they have to buy MySQL is to kill it as a competitor because it is cutting into their sales. They certainly aren't going to incorporate any MySQL technology into their bread-and-butter product line.

The only reason they have to buy MySQL is that it is part and parcel of the Sun purchase. And they haven't gone around like Monty Widenius and his buddy, who are demanding that the EU violate the Bern Convention on Copyrights by invalidating the GPL on all versions of MySQL ever released [trolltalk.com] .

They certainly aren't going to incorporate any MySQL technology into their bread-and-butter product line.

Ever thought that's probably because the codebases are incompatible, and not for any nefarious reasons?

Monty Widenius wants to use MySQL code without having to distribute his modifications, because that's the only way his new business (Monty Program AB) can survive - by keeping the modifications closed. This is why he wants the EU to change the licensing - not just going forward, but retroactively. Totally illegal under international treaty, btw, but spoiled brat Monty doesn't care. He wants what he wants, and damn the GPL.

Re:Makes sense (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30437388)

The only reason they have to buy MySQL is that it is part and parcel of the Sun purchase.

Yes, that was the appearance at the start. By now it seems that if MySQL was just something tagging along for the ride with the Sun purchase, Oracle would have offered to spin it off as soon as the EC sounded like it was going to do anything but a cursory rubber stamping of the deal. With the way Ellison is behaving it's looking more like the rest of Sun is the disposable tag along and that MySQL was the meat of the deal all along. And if MySQL actually was the main target of the acquisition, then I can't see that sitting well with the future development of MySQL in directions that would compete with Oracles more central products.

Monty Widenius wants to use MySQL code without having to distribute his modifications

Well, it's business, the eternal struggle of evil versus evil, and sometimes it's hard to say which side is evil and which side is evil. And considering nobody even cares about war crimes or the convention against torture any more, things being illegal under a treaty only seems to apply to low-mid income citizens, not to corporations or governments.

Still, your point is valid, and Widenius desires are not something that the EC should care about. So while I think the EC should require that Oracle divest MySQL for the acquisition to be approved, I see no reason why any other public or private owner of MySQL should be affected in such a way unless they had other specific competitive issues.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436194)

Cost to build doesn't really matter. What does matter is perceived value. If it costs more to build than customers are willing to pay for, then you are screwed. If it costs less to build than customers are willing to pay for, then you have a winner.

Oracle might have their XE product, but what they really want is customers. It is better to have customers paying for something than have a product that is simply not selling, even if it is a small amount. Don't underestimate the number of companies willing to pony up for a service contract, just so they can reassure their investors/shareholders.

Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (3, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434470)

The original founders of MySQL are using the merger talks in the EU along with SAP and Microsoft to harm competition. The founders goal is to have the code licensed under the BSD so they can take the code they develop private. Monty and Florian have NEVER been friends of the GPL. Don't believe a word they say.

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (2)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434734)

Could you provide a source to support your claims?

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434826)

Study the history. It's obvious.

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (4, Informative)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434956)

groklaw [groklaw.net] quotes from his submission to the EC, pointing out things that he had specifically denied previous to this disclosure.

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (3, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30437062)

That is nothing new. The problem is that Monty now found himself on the other side of fence and he is faced with the same choice as MySQL AB customers were in past: get a free GPLed MySQL fork or buy a license for a commercial MySQL variant.

GPL played the evil trick that you can't link commercial applications against libmysql*. IOW, to develop proprietary closed-source MySQL based product, you have to buy a license for the commercial fork of MySQL. And that is to my understanding the matter of his objection. And it is a rather valid objection, since Oracle now has a way to kill completely (not only Monty but) whole commercial infrastructure surrounding MySQL .

On one side I'm sadistically happy that Monty himself got the taste of it. On another side I also recognize that building something like MySQL completely open source might have been impossible and some revenue stream is much required. (Even much touted PostgreSQL, thanks to BSD license, has quite a number of proprietary applications around it.)

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434854)

They used GPL not because they like FREE software but because they could throw in some FUD to sell commercial licenses (with allegedly more features).

Re:Monty and Florian want MySQL to be BSD licensed (4, Insightful)

mcoon (648300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434936)

Well, you could always switch to PostgreSQL. Once the switch is made, you never have to look back.

Fork? (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434474)

Would it not be a good idea to fork MySQL at this point? rather than relying on Oracle who pledge (which is not legally binding) to continue supporting MySQL and giving it away for free. Even though there is no compelling reason for them to unless they plan to assimilate it into their outrageously priced commercial database packages

Big companies like Oracle are just not to be trusted, any embracing they do must be seen as simply the first step to extending and extinguishing. It would be completely naive to think otherwise

Re:Fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434530)

I think it is simpler than what you describe: if it makes money we keep it, and if it does not make money we let it go.

Re:Fork? (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434564)

There are a number of MySQL forks, one of which is being operated by Monty's company, under the GPL. They don't seem to need BSD for that.

Re:Fork? (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434792)

They do need it released under MIT, BSD or Apache if they want to sell it for a billion dollars again.

I loved MySQL because it was a great example of how to make money with open source.

Re:Fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434892)

I loved MySQL because it was a great example of how to make money with open source.

Except MySQL funded itself by selling licenses and support for a version of MySQL released under a proprietary license. And they were barely making a few 10s of millions a year. The only thing that actually made a decent amount of money was Monty Wideanus tricking Sun's retarded executives, who though that open sourcing everything was going to fix all their financial problems, into paying 1 billion dollars for the trademark and copyrights.

Re:Fork? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436228)

Yes, I think corporations are going to figure this out eventually and stop buying open source projects.

I think the business viability of open source is still not proven.

Re:Fork? (4, Interesting)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434596)

Anyone can fork at anytime. The problem for Monty is that his fork would have to stay in the GPL. He isn't concerned that Oracle will stop maintaining MySQL or stop releasing it under the GPL. It's not Oracle that wants to close the source on MySQL, that's what Monty wants to do for himself. The problem is, he already sold the copyright and now only has access to the GPLed version.

Re:Fork? (2, Funny)

middlemen (765373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435396)

The problem is, he already sold the copyright and now only has access to the GPLed version.

So, basically Monty screwed himself in the deal! Haha! He should now change his name to Monty Wide-Anus.

Re:Fork? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435672)

Personally, I wouldn't mind being screwed for a billion dollars.

Re:Fork? (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434600)

How about waiting to see what happens, then forking if needed? There really is no reason to fork ahead of time, all it will accomplish is fragmenting the userbase and cause tension in the community.

Honestly I'm getting tired of all of this "OMG Oracle bought MySQL, the sky is falling!!!" nonsense. If the sky does start to fall, then fork. Otherwise just stop, it's getting annoying.

Re:Fork? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434942)

If the sky does start to fall, then fork.

So we will fork in 2012 then ?

Re:Fork? (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435148)

They pledge to spend upwards of 24 million a year on developing and improving mysql for the next three years.

What fork is going to be able to out pace the oracle version with all that money, which ought to mean developer hours, lavished upon it?

The press release says they will continue releasing GPL community editions in lockstep with enterprise editions.

Fork it when they stop pouring money and developer hours from the best database company out there into the project.

MySQL might get better under oracle, and if it doesn't all, pick and choose from the GPL codebase, right?

Re:Fork? (2, Interesting)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435246)

You may or may not trust Larry and Co. and that of course is your right.

But I gotta say, I don't see ANYTHING in MySQL worth folding into the Oracle Database.

When it comes to pure DB power I have yet to see anything that even comes close to Oracle.

Yes Oracle is not cheap but let me give you a little story on that.

I hade a particularly nasty problem a couple of years back and the client I was working was fully licensed and thus had support, so I picked up the phone and opened an incident and was on with an engineer within about 5 minutes.

As we were working the problem she let me know it was time for her to go home and that she would be taking a few moments to brief the next engineer before handing me off. Now this was around 7pm Pacific time and she was in Colorado. She handed me off to another tech in Hawaii or someplace like that and we continued working the problem. As we worked the problem I was curious and asked how long they would stay on the line? This tech said, well as long as you are willing to be on site we will just keep transferring you as the time zones and shifts change around the world.

When you have a mission critical DB that is the kind of support you want, you don't want to post to a forum, you don't want to send an e-mail, you want someone on the phone, now, that knows what the hell they are doing. So yes Oracle costs a few bucks, but when you really look at the price you pay -v- the service you get and the incredibly stable and incredibly powerful DB you get, it is really not that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

Not Enough (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434486)

The pledges are still not enough for some"

Yeah, because some people hate anything bigger than the mom/pop store down the street.

I would love to see some sort of Social Contract for big companies, where they sign the dotted line to assure us of their "word".

Monty's ethical problem (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434492)

Monty has been paid somewhere north of 100 Million dollars in the MySQL purchase by Sun. Now, having been paid, Monty wants MySQL back for his business - without returning the money. And Monty has no problem with FUD-ing the GPL to get what he wants, even if the GPL provided half of the business method (dual-licensing) that made him rich.

Now, having been paid, I would think that an ethical position for Monty would be to allow MySQL's new owners to have what they paid for.

We can all use MySQL with no problem whatsoever under the GPL. With proprietary clients and Free clients, with no problem. An application across the network interface from the server, speaking a published and standard protocol, is not a derivative work. The GPL wouldn't apply to such an application. There is a GPL-ed client library that has to be replaced with a non-GPL version, but that version has existed for a decade.

Monty is free to do his business with the GPL version if he wishes. But it seems he wants to have his cake and eat it.

Bruce

Re:Monty's ethical problem (1, Offtopic)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434814)

But it seems he wants to have his cake and eat it.

Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it. That's generally the point, after all.

What you meant to write is: he wants to eat his cake and have it too.

Re:Monty's ethical problem (2, Informative)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435428)

But it seems he wants to have his cake and eat it.

What you meant to write is: he wants to eat his cake and have it too.

No... Bruce wrote the idiom correctly [wikipedia.org] .

Under the GPL, whats the problem? (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435156)

Under the GPL you can sell your product. as long as you transfer all the rights with it under the GPL.

If MySQL was not under the GPL at the time shame on Monty, if MySQL was under the GPL, then the joke is on Sun for paying so much for a copy of MySQL. And Oracle has all the rights of any other user of MySQL under the GPL.

Given that Oracle says they intend to continue releasing MySQL under the GPL. Grab a copy While you can. And you can maintain your version. I do not believe the GPL part of what ever product Oracle produces can take away the rights of others to the sources. and the GPL rights.

Its this basic protection that the GPL was written in the first place.

Re:Under the GPL, whats the problem? (2, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435238)

If MySQL was not under the GPL at the time shame on Monty,

It was, but the copyright holder is free to offer the code under other licenses. Monty's complaint is now that he sold the copyrights, he can no longer offer the code under other license terms. It was a fairly lucrative business for him, but he sold that business for a lot of money, and now he wants to have it given back to him for free. (Free as in beer, not speech.)

Your arguments apply just fine to the rest of us. Oracle owning the GPL'd MySQL is no threat to anyone except Monty's greed.

Re:Under the GPL, whats the problem? (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435248)

It sounds as if you could be a little confused about this. MySQL owned the complete copyright to the MySQL server. So, they could commercially license it as well as provide it under the GPL. Most GPL projects do not have this capability, because no one entity owns the entire copyright and the aggregate of all copyright holders do not work together to dual-license.

So, Sun bought the rights to commercially license MySQL, and to enforce the GPL on those who do not have commercial licenses. Now Oracle will have that.

Re:Under the GPL, whats the problem? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436070)

The question is, did Sun actually buy it to sell commercial licenses, or as a way to push an integrated hardware stack? Server, Operating system, Java, Office suite, Database and support - all open-source, and all from one vendor. It would make for a compelling argument, and Apple has shown that you can make a profit on hardware and increase your market share if you have all the software components lined up.

Re:Under the GPL, whats the problem? (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30437458)

In addition, Sun got MySQL's sales channel too. I've heard speculation that one thing Sun was hoping to learn from them was how to sell open-source software to people. Sun would love to have a better idea how to keep the free OpenSolaris going while still making money selling Solaris, but it's not so clear that they know how to do that well. That's something MySQL has done fairly well--the commercial versions are just different enough that people buy them, while still getting plenty of new users flowing in through the free stuff. Insights into that area are not as useful to Oracle though.

Re:Monty's ethical problem (2, Interesting)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435212)

I agree, but it's not just an ethical position, but a pragmatic one also, if he expects to sell much software in the future or have any influence on MySQL's current direction.

It seems he is refusing to take responsibility for his own actions.

Re:Monty's ethical problem (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435936)

It seems he is refusing to take responsibility for his own actions.

How strange. ;)

Pledges not enough for some... (3, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434494)

no kidding. If you are unreasonable enough or you have absolutely no trust in Oracle, nothing will get rid of your concerns.

The source code being under the GPL currently so you could fork it if needed (what the GPL was intended for in the first place) isn't enough for some people.

Re:Pledges not enough for some... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434706)

--
Except for ending slavery, the Nazis, communism, & securing American independence, war has never solved anything.

Slavery still exists, neo-Nazis abound, communism never existed, and America is so dependant on third-world resources that it has had to invade dozens of times.

Re:Pledges not enough for some... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435568)

Ok, off-topic but...

Slavery doesn't exist in America & Nazis don't exist in any meaningful way. I'm not pro-war. I'm just anti-pacifism.

And communism existed.

Re:Pledges not enough for some... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436400)

more OT, but Libya didn't abandon their weapon program because Barack Obama gave a speech. They abandoned it because the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why bother with MySQL? (4, Informative)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434554)

I know I'm going to be modded down for this but why bother with MySQL at all? There are other better free databases out there. MySQL is still not even ANSI 92 compliant yet.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434622)

Because 99.99% of the web hosting companies offer LAMP setups?

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434802)

Because 99.99% of the web hosting companies offer LAMP setups?

Yup. Like it or not, MySQL is the default generic database that's available almost everywhere.

Pretty much any web host out there offers MySQL databases. Sure, they might very well offer other databases as well... But it'll vary some from one host to another. The one you can pretty much count on being supported anywhere is MySQL.

So the assorted blog/CMS software gets written to interface with MySQL. Again, very often various packages will talk to other databases... But they almost all support MySQL.

So, that's what gets used.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434858)

Ah, so it's a vendor lockin situation :)

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434896)

In this case I think it's more about laziness than vendor lockin. ;)

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (2, Interesting)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435132)

Exactly correct, in my opinion. A number of LAMP set-ups diverge from the M in LAMP because they offer Postgresql (LAPP?) as an alternative to MySQL and I'm sure most of the admins speed right on by the psql option simply because they aren't familiar with it option, which is a shame really as I think psql is the superior one.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434974)

And about 90% of all CMS's Forums, and goodness knows what else use MySQL as their primary database. Those that do allow you to use other databases treat them as second class citizens.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (1)

ELitwin (1631305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435864)

MySQL is an inferior product but since everybody else is using it, we shouldn't look at alternatives. I guess this explains how Microsoft got where they are.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436222)

Seriously, how many don't also offer Postgres?

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (2, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434714)

Because it works with so much software. Next to that, ANSI 92 isn't important. It makes sense that Open Source could trump an Open Standard.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435194)

Who gives a shit? Everyone uses MySQL.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435304)

Good part of the power of a database(/programming language/operating system/etc) is the people behind it, the community, the ecosystem, the odds of finding someone that knows it already, and how widely deployed and tested is. And if over that it works, better yet.

Re:Why bother with MySQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435614)

Well, it's popular and it's not quite standard so a lot of that software that supports it can't just drop-in another database like Postgresql or Firebird.

As someone that sort of turned away around 4.x when I got hurt by the lack of features, what does "MySQL" even mean anymore? You get some features with some backends and not with others, there are multiple companies that have owned different parts with different sorts of licensing limitations or restrictions, when you use it on a web host it's not uncommon for it to be an older version. It just seems like this sort of nebulous brand that includes all things database and yet the common incarnations don't. Some times you have to pay, some times it free, some times it's free unless you make money (is it still that way?) Seems to me that if Monty wants to write a new database, he's more than proven that he has the skillset to do it, the only thing of concern here is the brand "MySQL" and I simply cannot imagine why Oracle would even consider parting with that.

Seems there are a lot of community lessons to be learned. There must be hundreds of ORMs and different database abstraction layers out there but all the free and popular content systems only run on MySQL. A good database won't make your product good but a crappy database can make your product really shitty.

well (1, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434614)

larry ellison may be an asshole, but at least he's not a mighty wide anus. Maybe monty should offer to buy back mysql if it's that important to him?

Re:well (1)

dikdik (1696426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434720)

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:well (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434822)

Because he can't go private with it. The only code he has access to is under the GPL, having sold the copyright, which prevents him from taking it closed source.

Re:well (1)

dikdik (1696426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434832)

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:well (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436224)

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.

Do you know, I'm nearly sure I read something very similar only a couple of days ago [slashdot.org] .

Except it wasn't you saying it.

This leaves to my mind a few possibilities:

  • You're one person with two (or more) logins.
  • You copied and pasted this from somewhere else.
  • You are using some sort of advanced telepathy which allows you to say the exact same thing down to the letter.

Do you mind if I ask which it is?

Why Not Reserve Judgment? (4, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434630)

It appears that Oracle has now made some public promises with regard to MySQL so couldn't we return the favor and give them some time and see how it goes before allowing the GPL "true believers" tar and feather them? If any company that touches a GPL product gets burnt, no matter what their intentions, then doesn't that ultimately hurt rather than help the cause of free software?

Re:Why Not Reserve Judgment? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434710)

I don't think it's really GPL partisans here, but rather people around Monty worried about the non-GPL, commercial-licensing angle. Note that in the article linked under "still not enough for some", one of the main complaints they keep harping on is that Sun only agreed to guarantee existing commercial licenses for 5 years. That has nothing to do with the GPL version.

I suspect the kvetching has more to do with business and profit than with free software, because I don't really see any pro-free-software complaints there.

Re:Why Not Reserve Judgment? (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434794)

Yes. Having seen Eben Moglen speak in favor of Oracle, if someone thinks the GPL partisans are the problem they aren't reading more than the headlines.

Re:Why Not Reserve Judgment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434764)

I think it's a touch more complicated. Part of MySQL's allure is that it is actively developed, there are different groups developing different technologies that can be plugged in to it for different reasons, it gives you a lot of options. If some of those other developers jump ship because they're worried about Oracle's integrity then that can have an immediate impact on MySQL's overall appearance of health.

Microsoft has made some pledges for .Net users and for projects like Mono and the community is by and large still highly skeptical. Novell is hated and they do tons of opensource. I see no reason at all while Oracle and Sun will be loved and embraced. Regardless of what they do. People will be skeptical for a long time. If you're a small company, and you do MySQL technology, that skepticism would scare the hell out of me.

Re:Why Not Reserve Judgment? (1)

F452 (97091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434782)

I posted a link below to GPL true believer Eben Moglen's opinion about this takeover -- it may surprise you. :-)

Re:Why Not Reserve Judgment? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434994)

Can you read!

GPL supporters support Oracle purchasing MySQL for the very reason that the GPL protects MySQL. Oracle cannot take back the code. Oracle cannot prevent people from using MySQL. Oracle cannot prevent MySQL from forking.

However, the founders of MySQL do not like the GPL and wish to wall off the code from MySQL.

Oracle is not the problem, it's the anti-GPL crowed that is the problem.

This isn't really about MySQL (2, Interesting)

dikdik (1696426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434658)

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.)

MySQL is under Duel license - all contributions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434686)

As MySQL is Dual License, remember Oracle now owns everything contributed to MySQL and can do whatever they want with the code, including incorporated the code into any proprietary Oracle product. They can even create a pure proprietary fork of the project, extend it, and say they leave the open source version out there, but you must have the proprietary version for support. Now they can extend the proprietary version...

Re:MySQL is under Duel license - all contributions (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434756)

MySQL didn't take that many "public" contributions as far as I'm aware. They weren't really community developed, instead they hired the good developers out of the community. If you have a large body of code in there, with relicensing privileges or copyright ownership in Oracle's hands, and you've not been paid to develop it, I'd like to hear from you.

Re:MySQL is under Duel license - all contributions (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435418)

MySQL is a proprietary database in open source clothing.

Re:MySQL is under Duel license - all contributions (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435736)

Which to me is a beautiful thing. Honestly, the copyright structure used for MySQL was/is brilliant and allows for this "sale". Really sucks if Oracle were to decide to smash the company, but even then the GPL version is out there. I'm surprised he isn't watching from the sidelines with great interest. If he hadn't done this, he could have claimed a victory regardless of the direction Oracle took.

Re:MySQL is under Duel license - all contributions (3, Funny)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435474)

Duel license? When there is a conflict in git/svn/cvs during a merge, shoot the other developer.

I like it.

Eben Moglen's Blog Post (2, Interesting)

F452 (97091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434700)

The SFLC's Eben Moglen is okay with Oracle taking on MySQL:

http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/cases/oracle-sun/ec-hearing-and-after.html?seemore=y [columbia.edu]

Among other interesting analysis:

"In fact, I think they're wrong. I don't think the GPL is a bad economic fit for MySQL. I believe that Oracle sees clearly the nature of its business interests. It knows that MySQL is much, much more valuable to it alive than dead. In fact, Oracle has almost as much reason to improve MySQL as it has to improve its flagship product. For a small firm, like MySQL AB, dual-licensing revenue was the only efficient revenue source with which to develop the product. But for Oracle, service revenue is much more significant than dual-licensing royalties. As all parties who have spoken about the merger agree, regardless of which side they are on, enterprises that use Oracle are very likely to use MySQL also, because MySQL is the world leader in number of installs. Which means that companies that pay Oracle to service Oracle are very likely to pay Oracle to service MySQL as well, if Oracle is not only servicing MySQL but acting as primary funder and participant in a flourishing MySQL ecology. Even if Oracle were only willing to invest in MySQL the extent of its ability to increase the MySQL service business, Oracle would be the best thing that ever ichappened to MySQL. In fact, Oracle has an immense incentive to invest far more in MySQL than the extent of its increased winnings in the MySQL service market. MySQL driven technologically and economically by Oracle will be a price-zero full-GPL missile aimed at Microsoft SQL Server. "

oracle would be stupid not to say those things (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434718)

Of course oracle would say anything to get a hold of Mysql no matter how much they are trying to say it is a completely different solution. Then in a year they can say something along the lines that "business conditions have changed" and kill it.

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434808)

How can they "kill" code that is licensed under the GPL?

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (2, Informative)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435020)

Oracle cannot kill MySQL. The code has been released via the GPL license. This means anyone can fork MySQL and continue to develop it!

Why are people so stupid!

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435510)

Oracle cannot kill MySQL. The code has been released via the GPL license. This means anyone can fork MySQL and continue to develop it! Why are people so stupid!

I'm sure you're aware of this, but forking is not a feature of the GPL. You could just as easily have put: "The code is open source. This means anyone can fork MySQL and continue to develop it!" But I'm sure that's what your implication was.

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435540)

MySQL Enterprise licensees will probably jump ship to another database ASAP if they kill development/support.

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30437470)

not under the MySQL name and if it forks a dozen ways or even drives a percentage of those people to oracle they would call it a win.

Re:oracle would be stupid not to say those things (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435310)

Was Mysql even a factor in them purcashing sun?

if sun paid 1 billion for mysql and oracle paid 7 billion for sun, it is 1/7th of the deal right?

If 1/7th of the deal is holding up the rest of it, they'll do whatever they can to get the other 6/7ths through, including dumping money into an open source project.

They didn't really buy Sun for Mysql right, solaris, java, the sun servers and processors have got to have had way more appeal for Oracle, which already has the best database, than an already GPL'd project.

If they wanted to start an oracle version of mysql and lavish money upon it, they could have done that without buying sun!

And When Microsoft Purchased Bungie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30434768)

... we were all assured that Halo and Halo 2 would be simultaneous releases for Mac, PC, and Xbox.

It's under the GPL (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30434800)

Whenever there's a question about the GPL or GPL-licensed software, the standard argument is "if you don't like the direction it's going, you can take the code and maintain it yourself". Why is MySQL any different? Is it because the owner is a corporation rather than an individual? Frankly, if you believe in the GPL it shouldn't matter who (or what) owns a particular piece of software.

If, on the other hand, you want to say "MySQL is different because it's used everywhere, so we need additional guarantees from the owner" - remember that the next time someone complains about some small SourceForge project and you're about to put forward that "if you don't like the direction the project is going..." strawman.

The GPL is supposedly all about freedom (and Freedom). That applies equally to the small developer and the giant corporation, whether you like it or not.

True, But MySQL also have a proprietary license... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435350)

Oracle can thus make Proprietary addons and extensions to MySQL that are NOT GPL and undermine the project at any time they please.
Notice that Oracle owning the full right for the Proprietary License can at any given time fork the project and make a priprietary version of MySQL that no longer is under GPL. All code ever provided to MySQL will from now belong to Oracle. True you may fork the GPL version, but Oracle can do with MySQL as Apple did with FreeBSD - make a locked down version, incorporate any current GPL code from MySQL into Oracle while keeping the code porprietary and so on. They can even keep all of the code this way after selling of MySQL to someone else!

Re:True, But MySQL also have a proprietary license (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436310)

but Oracle can do with MySQL as Apple did with FreeBSD - make a locked down version,

Apple released the Darwin source code as open source - you can still download it directly from Apple [apple.com]

The source for Darwin 8.4 (the underpinning for OSX 10.4) is sitting there if you want to play with it. It's not "locked down". What they DON'T offer is the user interface, etc., but you can always run the window manager of your choice - it IS a modified BSD.

It can be usefule to run both Oracle and MySQL (1)

marhar (66825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435230)

Consider this scenario:

  • your website shopping cart uses Oracle because it hooks into Oracle Financials.
  • your cluster of web servers get their data from replicated MySQL instances, because you can scale this up easily and with minimal cost.
  • You replicate your inventory numbers from Oracle to the MySQL instances.

This is in fact a typical use case for Golden Gate, which has just been acquired by Oracle.

http://www.goldengate.com/ [goldengate.com]

Fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435734)

Fork the forking forkers!

One word for those concerned about Oracle & My (1)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435892)

Fork.
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