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Why Oracle Can't Easily Kill PostgreSQL

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the it-will-rise-from-the-dead-to-feast-upon-the-living dept.

Databases 279

ruphus13 writes "Claiming that 'PostgreSQL is a FOSS alternative to MySQL and hence Oracle should be allowed to pursue MySQL' is a specious argument, according to Monty Widenius. He fears that Oracle, or someone else, can easily squash PostgreSQL by just 'buying out' the top 20 developers. The Postgre community has fired back, calling that claim ridiculous. According to the article, 'PostgreSQL as a project is pretty healthy, and shows how vulnerable projects like MySQL are to the winds of change. PostgreSQL could die tomorrow, if a huge group of its contributors dropped out for one reason or another and the remainder of the community didn't take up the slack. But that's exceedingly unlikely. The existing model for PostgreSQL development ensures that no single entity can control it, it can't be purchased, and if someone decides to fork the project, the odds are that the remaining community would be strong enough to continue without a serious glitch.'"

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Firebird (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707078)

And if postgresql fails there is still firebird, and all the other open source database that kick ass but are less known than mysql and postgresql.

Re:Firebird (4, Informative)

gmack (197796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707438)

You forgot SQLite. It's small and good enough for most of what MySQL gets used for: simple web forms, stat counters etc.

SQLite is for local storage (4, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707904)

It's not a multiuser database.

A web site is a classic multiuser scenario for an RDBMS; you have to have concurrency issues completely nailed down (ideally with row level locking and ACID).

It's also MySQL's sweet spot.

Re:Firebird (3, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707862)

He's just pushing a straw-man argument, having unwisely made it for MySQL, and after embaressingly being caught twisting RMS's words (see groklaw, http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100108114314405 [groklaw.net] ).

I fear he's strictly in this for himself and his friends, a certain well-know monopolist with a "Codeplex" Foundation...

Bother! I wanted this to be over months ago, so I could get more consulting from Sun's (Now Oracle's) customers.

--dave

Monty's just a greedy troll ... (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708032)

can easily squash PostgreSQL by just 'buying out' the top 20 developers

... like Sun quashed MySQL when Monty "sold out" ... oh, wait, it's still around ...

what a troll [trolltalk.com] - and that was lying about what Stallman said [groklaw.net]

Can we get him put on some terr'rist list or something?

Re:Firebird (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30708000)

Yep, I don't know why people forget about it.

It has lots of features like pg and has a free license like pg but is better performing like MySQL and easier to embed than even MySQL. Firebird beats all the others.

Widenius please move on... (5, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707082)

You got your money and now you want MySQL (or at least the spotlight) back.

By your argument, PostgreSQL is fragile because the top 20 developers could be bought out by Oracle. If you think that's a buyout target that can be easily squashed, just think what a SQL DB with only one copyright owner can be? Oh wait, that was MySQL and we already know what you did....

Re:Widenius please move on... (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707526)

PostgreSQL is fragile because the top 20 developers could be bought out by Oracle

His argument is "I was bought, therefore anybody else can be bought".

If Oracle is willing to buy 20 developers at $1 billion each, then he may be right.

Re:Widenius please move on... (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707590)

Well, it was $1bn for the company, not just $1bn for Monty. $1bn for Postgres would be $50m for the 20 developers. Still quite a lot. Of course, there is a big problem here. Because Postgres would still be BSD licensed, there's nothing stopping these developers from giving $1m of this to pay for someone else to work full time on the project...

Re:Widenius please move on... (2, Insightful)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707622)

His argument is "I was bought, therefore anybody else can be bought".

If Oracle is willing to buy 20 developers at $1 billion each, then he may be right.

That would only lead to 20 million developers starting to learn the PostgreSQL code base, hoping to get a billion dollars as well. Developers can be replaced (not easily, but they can be).

Sun bought MySQL (and Oracle Sun) for the control, via the assigned copyright, of the sourcecode, and of the support structure. MySQL the company has always done everything it can to keep control over the MySQL product, making the GPL license just a part of a distribution model. A lot needs to be rebuild in organizing the development process, in building a support structure, etc, to make one of the forks a relevant choice commercially. It's not impossible, but the advantages MySQL the company had over competitors in this are what made it worth $1 billion. The developers are a part of this, but far from the whole picture.

Re:Widenius please move on... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707784)

People using MySQL under the GPL are mostly O.k., they just have to figure out how they are going to patch bugs and such, and then they have time to decide if the ongoing development of the GPL version is going to work for them.

People using it under a proprietary license are really worried that Oracle isn't going to play ball. I'm sure many of them are looking at alternatives, and comparing the costs of transitioning to the problems of ongoing uncertainty about the attitude of the owner of the codebase.

Open offer to Oracle (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707826)

For $1 billion I'll become a PostgreSQL developer and then agree to stop developing for it.

Re:Widenius please move on... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707530)

...PostgreSQL is fragile because the top 20 developers could be bought out by Oracle...

Sort of like how Monty's been trying to buy all the top MySQL devs away from Sun...

I hope Oracle tries (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707572)

If the top 20 developers are bought out for a good chunk of money, that will be a huge incentive for at least another 20000 developers to try to get the same amount... by developing PostgreSQL further. I hope Oracle does it. The development of PSQL will skyrocket overnight. BTW, MySQL is being forked too, but PSQL has a better license. MySQL is junk, always has been...

My 2 cents on this non-story

Re:Widenius please move on... (2, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707594)

I agree, In my opinion the guy is a jackass. I'm half tempted to quit using MySQL myself purely because it originated from him.

Re:Widenius please move on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707946)

I stopped using MySQL years ago because of his attitude (continually putting off subselects, foreign keys, etc.)

Re:Widenius please move on... (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707936)

I think his statement is sort of Freudian admission that Oracle already did the same to MySQL (acting via Sun as proxy)

someone is trying to sell this idea to Oracle. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707092)

someone is trying to sell this idea to Oracle. It is as simple as that.

Err... (4, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707096)

While buying out the top 20 developers (and I find it unlikely they could in the first place) wouldn't necessarily kill PostgreSQL, it would hamper development until the next 20 developers get up to speed with the code. Imagine what would happen if Microsoft were to buy out the top 20 Linux kernel developers - Linux wouldn't be dead, but it certainly would be stagnant for a while. There's also the real possibility of major changes, since the next group of developers would have a different way of doing things and different goals for the project.

Re:Err... (3, Insightful)

jbwiv (266761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707166)

Um....there's over 70 committers to PostgreSQL. And even the top 20 work for a wide range of companies. Buying them out would be virtually impossible. PostgreSQL is an open source database done right, both technically and politically. You MySQL apologists simply refuse to acknowledge that you hitched your wagon to the wrong horse, even when your horse may be put down soon.

Re:Err... (5, Insightful)

dfetter (2035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707282)

If somebody were willing to come up with a billion dollars in cash, they could buy the top 100 people in the PostgreSQL project, and that would cramp it severely for a couple of years.

That said, Monty took VC money, which is basically legalized loan sharking. Taking VC money results, in the overwhelming majority of cases, in the complete screwing of the borrower. Monty was one of the lucky few who managed to get a fortune out of that situation, which makes his whining utterly unseemly.

Signature trolling (-1, Offtopic)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707624)

Gun ownership is a Natural Right, and an absolute necessity without which government tyranny is impossible to avoid. Natural Rights don't come from a historical piece of paper no living person has signed, as brilliant as that piece of paper might have been at the time when it was written, Natural Rights is an economic concept, no different than the laws of physics or mathematics. Unless human nature suddenly changes, power will continue to corrupt, and checks and balances on absolute government power will remain a necessity and a duty of every freedom-loving individual on this planet (and beyond)!

Re:Signature trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707696)

-1, Offtopic

-1, Wrong

STFU

Re:Signature trolling (-1, Offtopic)

Joreallean (969424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707750)

Wow and when have gun totting militias been left alone when they attempt to flex those freedoms? No guns escalate situations they don't solve them. If push comes to shove and the government derails to the extent that your guns are necessary to stop it then we are in serious trouble. If the military industrial complex decides they want to side with the government then you're screwed and you having a gun is only going to get you killed. In addition isn't it the same people who support guns rights who turned around and absolutely decimated any sense of privacy or hope of privacy in this country? Not to mention not start one war, but two wars simultaneously and for what? It has nothing to do with your rights to carry weapons. It was revenge and money. I'm sorry, but the honest truth is that your guns will not prevent a tyrannical government when you turn around and put tyrants in the position of controlling the government in the name of protecting our rights.

Re:Signature trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707850)

Yes - by all means, we should just cow down to tyranny. That's what everyone's done in the past and it worked out well. There's no such thing as a successful revolt in history. Also - gun rights are directly linked to foreign policy.

Thanks for clearing those things up for us.

Re:Signature trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707958)

Ha, it even says "trolling" in the subject and slashtards are so goddamn stupid they bite on it anyway.

Re:Err... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707308)

Um....there's over 70 committers to PostgreSQL. And even the top 20 work for a wide range of companies. Buying them out would be virtually impossible.

And the whole concept seems to assume that there's a fixed pool of people. I'm guessing that if any of those companies lost their PostgreSQL guy, they'd be looking to hire another one and if it's anything like most open source software there's plenty unpaid or poorly paid people who'd love to take the position. Or with 10% unemployment, there would be soon enough if people knew they lacked developers. For that matter, I think it'd be hard to bury MySQL if just the entire community gathered on one fork and not a dozen.

Re:Err... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707436)

Sun spent $1bn on MySQL. Spending the same amount of money on PostgreSQL would involve paying the top 20 developers $50m each not to work on PostgreSQL anymore (or to work on a proprietary fork of it). If I were offered that much not to work on a particular open source project, then I'd consider it quite seriously. For one thing I could pay someone else to work on the project full time while I did other things...

The argument doesn't really make sense, because Oracle is vulnerable to the same tactic. What would happen if IBM offered even $1m to each of Oracle's top database programmers to quit? Would Oracle be able to survive? They'd have to hire a completely new team, but they'd probably manage it. The same is true of PostgreSQL (and other big hippyware projects). Most of the people who work on it are employed by companies which benefit from the project existing. If they all quit then these companies would hire other people to replace them. You'd see a little drop in productivity, but nothing permanent.

Stop quoting Monty (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707098)

Please stop quoting Monty in slashdot stories, you're giving him a bigger platform for his comments than he deserves. He sold MySQL to Sun and then left Sun. That should be the end of the story. Now he's making sounds like a regular cry baby. Someone please tell him to get some balls and grow up.

Re:Stop quoting Monty (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707632)

This guy speaks the truth. Please, no more stories about the cry baby.

Wrong (1, Informative)

microbox (704317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707758)

He sold MySQL to Sun and then left Sun.

That is factually inaccurate. He was informed that the sale had taken place once it was done. The mistake Monty made was to sell MySQL to shareholders years ago. It probably wasn't a mistake either, although there should have been a clause in the shareholder agreement about the resale of MySQL.

Re:Wrong (1)

Ebbesen (166619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708140)

Exactly how many shareholders/VCs would be interested in buying stock in a company, if there's a clause that prohibit them from selling to the highest bidder whenever they see fit?

Let me say this as a developer, contributor, (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707102)

webmaster, publisher, community leader, administrator.

if anything 'bad' happens to mysql, heads will roll.

Re:Let me say this as a developer, contributor, (5, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707184)

if anything 'bad' happens to mysql, heads will roll.

Probably yours...

Widenius is only using scare tactics to try to get MySQL back after enjoying the profits from selling it in the first place.

His constant whining will morph into a cautionary tale about using open source programs in a production environment.

Phrases like "You don't get fired for buying from Oracle, Microsoft, or IBM" will return to the IT workplace and all the work open source developers did to enter the workplace will be set back several years.

Re:Let me say this as a developer, contributor, (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707226)

Heads need not roll. Anyone with a large exposure to mysql should be at least getting a sense of how painful it would be to migrate to postgresql, and ideally have been doing some of this research for at least the past year when it was clear mysql was headed for trouble.

But even in the worst case, mysql would turn into a type of legacy application, with support and bug fixes provided by 3rd parties. This would be not nearly as bad as the suffering of companies back in the day dealing with legacy systems where they can't even figure out who might even know where the original source is, let alone someone to fix or enhance something for you.

Re:Let me say this as a developer, contributor, (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707578)

That is a very good point indeed. mysql was the cat's meow in the internet's early days; everybody was doing a web portal and mysql is fast as hell with simple lookups. Just the ticket. Now even databases that were supposed to stay simple are morphing into who knows what. mysql's engine still can't even do transactions and they own nobody whose plugin can. Even if they're not a target they'll always be weak in their market no matter how popular they are. Postgresql (for example) has always kicked mysql's butt in real database work, and now that it has pretty much closed the speed gap in the simple things there's no need to chase mysql anymore. They're after bigger game: Full SQL compliance and Oracle. And there's other OS DBs out there doing fabulous work as well.

Personally, mysql served me well back in the day but I've moved on to new tools for new needs. Unless thay can actually own a modern engine rather than begging one I think mysql should remain as it is; sort of a bug in the amber of simpler times.

It would do fine (4, Interesting)

vanilla_face (1369183) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707106)

Postgres has a diverse group of contributors so it will be absolutely nothing like Oracle acquiring MySQL. Sure it would be temporarily damaging to the project if Oracle did go out and buy the leading contributors but I can't imagine that Oracle would get away with such predatory actions. FTR I believe that Oracle genuinely wants to use MySQL as s competitor to SQL Server in the bottom of the market.

Re:It would do fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707808)

You are joking. If Oracle wants to survive it has to put Oracle on every device, not MySQL or PostgreSQL, that's what MS is doing with the different flavors of SQL Server,not Access or FoxPro. With the following Nehalem MP processors Windows 2K8R2 will be face to face with UNIX, and the position of SQL Server in the big market will be very different than is today with the poor Itanium.

Postgresql probably more vulnerable to patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707124)

attacks. Oracle has got to have enough in their patent portfolio to scare off
commercial PostgreSQL users.

I doubt that oracle will do that (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707974)

If so, I suspect that the psql team will nullify a number of those patents with prior art. Long before Oracle 9/10's move into OO, Postgres was there.

Also, once Oracle creates that kind of ill will, how fast will MS move MS-SQL to Linux/Unix? It would happen within 3 months. They would KILL to have all those OSS coders switch DBs.

Finally, Oracle will not go after Postgres with patents. Right now, postgres has many similarities to Oracle. As such, it is increasingly being used for lower end work, and then projects move to Oracle. Basically, Oracle sees it as a feeder project. Personally, I would stick with Postgres for all bu the top demand projects.

Re:I doubt that oracle will do that (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708146)

Also, once Oracle creates that kind of ill will, how fast will MS move MS-SQL to Linux/Unix? It would happen within 3 months. They would KILL to have all those OSS coders switch DBs.

I have my doubts about that, because it would also make it easier for MS-SQL users to switch to Linux.
My impression of Microsoft is that they really want to keep their customers on the combination of Windows/MS Office/SQL Server. Anything that makes it easier to "unbundle" those is probably seen as a threat by MS.

Why trust Sun? (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707136)

This is precisely why people were concerned about letting ANY single company own it.

Any company can be bought out.

If a product can't be effectively forked, it's not completely open source.

If a GPL fork of MySQL isn't good enough, then whose fault is that? And what does that mean for other dual-licensed GPL+Proprietary products?

Re:Why trust Sun? (2, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707310)

Any company can be bought out..

No, not really. As pointed out one of those 'top 20' works at NTT. Lets compare revenues.

NTT: $106.289 billion (2009)
Oracle: $ 23.252 billion (2009)

I think the buying out would go the other way.

Re:Why trust Sun? (1)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707348)

But Oracle would not need to buy out companies, just key people.

Oracle could just offer that one NTT employee, say, a "consulting" position at Oracle, for, oh, 50x his current salary. There would be some tiny little clause in his contract stating something along the lines of "you shall remain 50 yards from any computer that contains the source code for the postgresql database"

I'm not suggesting that Oracle can or should do this (see my other comment) but that the comparison between NTT and Oracle is not meaningful.

Re:Why trust Sun? (3, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707662)

At which point NTT would promptly hire/promote someone else into the same position with the same level of resources necessary to be effective. For example, in addition to committer Itagaki Takahiro, they also have some major work on replication [postgresql.org] being led by Masao Fujii. The point of having a big company like NTT involved is that you can't just make their need for PostgreSQL to be successful go away so easily. There's not just "that one NTT employee"--he's one of a whole team there doing PostgreSQL related work.

And Monty Widenius knows about being bought! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707140)

no text necessary!

Not even Oracle is evil enough to try this (5, Insightful)

atomic777 (860023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707142)

While he is technically correct that Oracle could just bribe the key developers to abandon pgsql, this would likely backfire.

First, it assumes that the pgsql developers of importance can be bought. Our world is decadent, but not everyone has a price tag

Second, seems Monty has been dealing with mysql code for too long. The pgsql code base (at least the parts I've seen) is significantly more pleasant to work with than MySQL's, and the sheer number of projects building off of it, commercial or OSS (due to BSD licence) are a testament to how accessible it is. Even if all of the current developers were to be bribed and stopped working on postgresql, there would be a significant incentive for other parties to step in and pick up the slack, given that postgresql has a sizable user base, and especially since it is now widely seen as the heir-apparent to mysql as the open-source rdbms of choice for your run-of-the-mill applications.

Add on top of that the bad press from a failed attempt to use such questionable tactics, and I think not even Oracle is greedy or dumb enough to try anything.

Re:Not even Oracle is evil enough to try this (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707280)

I agree. Hell, even PostgreSQL’s documentation is literally fun to read. It’s clean, it’s complete, it’s concise. Other projects should learn from them.

Re:Not even Oracle is evil enough to try this (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707838)

I agree. Hell, even PostgreSQL’s documentation is literally fun to read. It’s clean, it’s complete, it’s concise. Other projects should learn from them.

Contrast this with the sad fact that most (all?) the MySQL forks lack almost all documentation because MySQL AB never received the documentation under a free license.

Re:Not even Oracle is evil enough to try this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707474)

> First, it assumes that the pgsql developers of importance can be bought.

No, first it assumes that Oracle has an interest in aquiring or stopping postgresql at all.

A billion bucks... (4, Funny)

RicardoGCE (1173519) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707186)

...sure makes some people whiny.

Please... Monty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707210)

Monty: Please go away.

Please name names (3, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707220)

I would like to have a list of serious companies using PostgreSQL for serious stuff...and what stuff it is PostgreSQL is doing. In my world, all you hear is "...MySQL...MySQL...", even in cases where the back-end is being handled by PostgreSQL.

Our three major DBs have about 13.4 million records combined, with enormous amounts of data about clients. PostgreSQL has never failed us. I work in the insurance business.

Re:Please name names (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707252)

The GNAA [www.gnaa.us] has a PostgreSQL database with over 6 billion records.

I believe Santa also keeps the naughty and nice lists as PostgreSQL tables.

Re:Please name names (5, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707344)

I would like to have a list of serious companies using PostgreSQL for serious stuff

PostgreSQL Featured Users [postgresql.org] ; Quotes [postgresql.org] has additional detail about the scope of some of those. Most people are probably familiar with names like Skype and Cisco on there, but less well known companies like NTT [google.com] are huge too--and they even sponsor a good chunk of PostgreSQL development [postgresql.org] because it's so heavily used there.

And those are just the public record. Because of its BSD license, PostgreSQL also gets used in plenty of places that don't talk about what they're doing with it. For example, I've worked with financial companies that are cutting loose Oracle for PostgreSQL whenever feasible, and with some US defense companies that use PostGIS [wikipedia.org] for geographic databases. (looks out window) I may have already said too much.

Re:Please name names (3, Informative)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707828)

For them as don't RTFL, the Featured Users include IMDB.com, SourceForge, Safeway, and Skype.

Re:Please name names (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707396)

Not a serious company but thought I'd note that OpenStreetmap (http://openstreetmap.org) uses PostgreSQL to store data for their Mapnik rendering engine and PostGIS to query it. They're rendering user-contributed map data for the entire world, so that's a fairly serious operation.

Re:Please name names (4, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707404)

It'll be difficult to say who's using it because they download it, try it, run it.. all quietly without fuss. No-one at PostgreSQL website can say who's using the downloads because there's no licensing or even a 'email to get your registration' type stuff going on.

I can tell you that 3 large UK emergency service centres (the 911 callcentres) use PostgreSQL for handling the incoming 999 calls. Its been used for some time now and we've not had a major failure (I don't think we've had a single failure of any type come to that).

Taking calls for the emergency services is as serious as you can get. It's even more serious if you're the one who wants an ambulance!

Re:Please name names (4, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707932)

It'll be difficult to say who's using it because they download it, try it, run it.. all quietly without fuss. No-one at PostgreSQL website can say who's using the downloads because there's no licensing or even a 'email to get your registration' type stuff going on.

We started with yum -y install postgresql-server and now, hundreds of busy clients later and a few updates later, Postgresql is still going stronger than ever...

And seriously, Postgres is the overachieving underdog of the database world. It has it all - replication, data integrity, legendarily stunning stability, MVCC, foreign keys, triggers, PLPGSQL, subselects, indexes, query scheduling, parameterized statements, DDBC, metatables, cross-database joins... I could go on, and on, and on. It holds up very nicely when Its security
model is excellent. Its organizational model is stable. It holds up well under very demanding loads and just basically doesn't crash. (In a decade of using it every single business day, I've NEVER HAD an instance of Postgres corrupt running on a RedHat/CentOS server) It costs nothing, it's available by default on any RedHat install CD, and most other distros.

If Oracle is scared, they should be scared of PostgreSQL, and if you're looking to database something, you should strongly consider Postgres!

Mexico City vehicle database (1)

mapuche (41699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707702)

Back in 1998 we developed a system to manage the vehicle and drivers license database for Mexico City, all done with Perl, TK and PostgreSQL. We faced the problem with the 2GB limit size of tables, can't remember the solution.

Re:Please name names (2, Informative)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707782)

I'm working for a major European bank; we use PostgresSQL for most of our data aggregation and analysis. I'm really a long term MySQL user, but haven't found any problems doing the same stuff with a different database

Re:Please name names (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707870)

PostgreSQL users tend to shut up and get on with it quietly and efficiently.

MySQL users tend to indulge in all sorts of public willy-waving.

Much like the databases they use, in fact.

Re:Please name names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707960)

PostgreSQL is used by the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, DAE (Department of Atomic Energy), ISRO amongst other government departments in India. They just do not like to talk about it, and each of these organizations has enough budget to fork from the current code base (in case PostgreSQL is 'posioned' by Oracle), hire developers and continue development.

Mysql people need to stop bitching about PostgreSQL because there beloved DB is getting eviscrated. PostgreSQL always adhered to standards, has rock solid reliability and with the latest releases is as fast as MySQL. If you are so "concerned" about Oracle, quit whining, migrate to PostgreSQL and join the development teams to make it even better.

A theif thinks all other people are also theifs, that is the best that can be said about MySQL people.

Sour grapes? (0, Flamebait)

rasherbuyer (225625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707244)

because PostgreSQL kicks MySQL's ass in everything except market share whichever way you look at it

Re:Sour grapes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707314)

Nope... one major thing PostgreSQL sucks at is replication. You have to buy a commercial add on to get a decent implementation.

Re:Sour grapes? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707560)

Nope... one major thing PostgreSQL sucks at is replication. You have to buy a commercial add on to get a decent implementation.

I would rather pay for replication then transactions.

Re:Sour grapes? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707712)

Nope... one major thing PostgreSQL sucks at is replication. You have to buy a commercial add on to get a decent implementation.

I would rather pay for replication then transactions.

Ah, quick... witty... and about 7 years out of date [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sour grapes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30708100)

the exact point being that innodb isn't gpl, and was actually bought by oracle independently
of the deal with sun
 

Because it's open source and they can't control it (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707256)

DUH!

Some people don't do it for the money. You can't buy them. Ever.

For me it's like that: I have a goal that I see as the point of my existence. Big money does not help that goal. So no money in the world can change my goal. And nothing can stop me from pursuing it. Because that would be the end of existence. If I don't want to chew bubble gum, not even a million will change that. (One guy tried that on me, but with $1000 on the table. Just to chew one strip of gum. I said no, and I'm proud of it. It drove him and his tiny mind crazy that evening. :)
If money can trump your principles, you've got no principles but are a lying bastard. (Yes I know that this goes completely against the “official” US philosophy. But we don’ have to agree, have we? :)

Re:Because it's open source and they can't control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707450)

For me it's like that: I have a goal that I see as the point of my existence. Big money does not help that goal. So no money in the world can change my goal. And nothing can stop me from pursuing it. Because that would be the end of existence.

But they could buy you a prostitute.

Re:Because it's open source and they can't control (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707528)

"One guy tried that on me, but with $1000 on the table. Just to chew one strip of gum. I said no, and I'm proud of it."

You shouldn't be - you could have given that $1000 to a charity and simply not chewed gum of your own accord again. I'm all for principles, but far from being high minded and laudable that was plain selfish and retarded.

Re:Because it's open source and they can't control (0, Offtopic)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707534)

Do you mean to say that you do not chew gum on principle?

And you claim that passing over $1,000 for this 'principle' was a good idea?

Really?

Re:Because it's open source and they can't control (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707734)

If not chewing gum is one of your principles, you've got some issues.

Re:Because it's open source and they can't control (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708138)

He'll just have to kick ass instead.

Some people don't do money for the money (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707874)

Some people don't do it for the money. You can't buy them. Ever.

I don't know. I mean, I know what you're talking about: I've turned down a well-paying job with equity that would have set me up pretty good because I felt there was something more important than the money.

But here's the thing: at a certain level, once people offer you enough money (the mark starts somewhere around a million bucks) they're not just offering you money anymore, they're offering you freedom to do whatever you'd like to with your time. If the top 20 Postgres devs would rather do nothing else than work on Postgres, then you're right, this wouldn't happen. But if enough of them have other interests, then it's entirely possible someone could buy their non-participation -- with the ability to spend all the time they like on something else.

There's another angle (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707332)

Even if all the pgsql developers quit today and nobody came in to continue, it would still be a better product than mysql will ever be.

Yeah....right... (0)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707562)

...and I'd be the the fallen madonna with the big boobies.

Obviously, there is one thing Oracle did (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707362)

They released free version XE for the department/small business server. If nothing else, that demonstrates the power of PostgreSQL to give the consumer a break in the marketplace. Up there with Apache and OO.org as one of the premiere open source display projects. I hope that excellence keeps them committed.

Re:Obviously, there is one thing Oracle did (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707570)

Not apples to apples: Oracle XE has severe limitations that affects scalability/usability: Max 4GB of data, max 1 CPU, max 1GB of RAM usage, only 1 running instance etc. etc.

More important to a corporate user is that XE is unsupported, closed source software whereas PostgresQL has corporate support and is open source. "Free" as in no cost is not the big issue here.

Sod Off Monty (3, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707370)

I'm getting fed up to the back teeth with this guy. He must have got himself into some mental issues he can't get out of. He had a dual licensed database server in MySQL that brought in good money and had a side-effect of making it the standard database as the web expanded, which he then sold to Sun for a very tidy sum and he still now expects to be able to control MySQL's future?

Before Sun bought MySQL Sun was heavily involved with Postgres (still is in many ways) and they could have quite easily tried to take that project over as opposed to buying MySQL. They didn't, and they would have found that very difficult because there are a lot of different interests in Postgres now.

It is not a ridiculous claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707400)

The sad truth is that most FOSS projects rely on one, or a handful of key people. If those people leave or are bought out - or more subtly, influenced - the project could be killed or undergo a significant change of direction. There is no guarantee that others will step in with sufficient knowledge or expertise to take their place.

Postgesql languished for years before it was picked up again. There is nothing to suggest that couldn't happen again if the top developers were bought out. Very few people aren't susceptible to a nice pay check, especially when it is paid to them for what they are doing already.

The BSD license allows the wholesale privatisation of all software development produced under its writ. That is what it was originally intended for, to privatise government funded software produced by educational institutions.

The BSD licence is only 'more free' in the double speak sense that you are free to restrict the freedom of others to access your additional code. No unlike the greater democracy of Hitler's Germany where the people were even free to vote away their democratic rights - which they promptly did.

Re:It is not a ridiculous claim (2, Insightful)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707682)

The slave morality of MySQL freeloaders is mind-boggling here! People who choose to devote their time and talent to developing free software are not your slaves! They have rights too, including the right to do what's in their own personal interest. Free / open source software is a natural consequence of free market competition, not government force!

BSD is the most restrictive license a freedom-loving person should ever want to use. GPL is even more dependent on government force than proprietary software is [freestateproject.org] , but usually doesn't come close to it in terms of quality or convenience.

Re:It is not a ridiculous claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707716)

There is no "double speak" in the BSD license. You must be a Linux sapper shill airdropped from the hovering bazaar. That or you just don't understand the language. Linux people like to confuse the distinction between "open" and "free" all the time because it suits their current politics and their social ur-agenda. The various GPL licenses (which one is the cool one this week?) enforce openness. The BSD license allows freedom; even the freedom to do things that tick others off. That's the real world buddy boy. People sometimes piss you off because they're free entities too. It actually makes the big blue room a more interesting place.

Finally, nobody is forcing the BSD license on anyone so it is impossible for someone to "restrict the freedom of others to access your additional code." (Emphasis mine.) Your addition of the hitler tag is not germane here and is beneath contempt. Nice work.

Re:It is not a ridiculous claim (2, Interesting)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707798)

PostgreSQL languished from 1993-1996. Then the developers who looked at the code decided it was best to rewrite everything from scratch. This slowdown in development is why MySQL became more popular in the late 1990's. Plus, it was the database used in almost PHP book published. PostgreSQL in the late 1990's through early 2000's had a very solid codebase but very little work had been done on it from a performance perspective. Work throughout the 2000's has improved the performance tremendously and now the core team is focusing on bring replication to it natively.

Re:It is not a ridiculous claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707988)

Godwins law, bsd vs. gpl trolling, and open source vs. closed source trolling all in one post? I'm impressed.

Join! (4, Funny)

Goglu (774689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707488)

Maybe, just to ensure that this can't happen, he should join the PostgreSQL project and become a top contributor...

EnterpriseDB (2, Informative)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707548)

EnterpriseDB is a company that offers commercial support for PostgresQL. They have salaried people on staff that contribute to the project, much like IBM, RedHat etc. contribute to the Linux kernel. So I would say Monty's scenario is about as likely as Linux going away by Microsoft or Apple paying off the to 20 kernel developers. Some people just don't get how open source works.

Huh Huh (1)

BUTT-H34D (840273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707580)

He said WIDE ANUS. Huh huh. Heh heh. And MOUNT. Heh heh.

PostgreSQL: a better (O)RDBMS w/ a better license (1)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707588)

And Monty Widenius is trying so hard to win the "communist software troll of the decade" award even Richard M. Stalinman would blush!

What he's advocating is government tyranny against millions of Sun's and Oracle's shareholders, employees, customers, and other stakeholders, not to mention the European tax-victims who'll end up paying for a socialist software industry once they entirely succeed in destroying free market enterprise on that economically and demographically shrinking continent!

Those people have a right to manage their property however they see fit - they are not the serfs of their government overlords, nor are they the slaves of MySQL freeloaders. Life doesn't owe anyone a free ride! Free / open source software should come about as the natural result of market competition, not government force!

(More about libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist software philosophy here.) [freestateproject.org]

Monty Needs To STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707698)

Monty. You seriously need to take your money you made from us and just Shut The Fuck Up.

The strategic effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707742)

I wouldn't exactly feel discouraged to contribute to PostgreSQL if I know that Oracle kept paying the top 20 developers, especially if I knew that they payed enough to keep me away forever.

All 20 ? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707792)

according to Monty Widenius. He fears that Oracle, or someone else, can easily squash PostgreSQL by just 'buying out' the top 20 developers

Or in MySQL's case, just one ... right, Monty ?

Postgres is not Free! Don't be scammed! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30707800)

This is a thinly disguised advertisement for Postgres and Slashdot should not have posted it.
PostgreSQL is NOT FREE OPEN SOURCE. The developers REFUSE to use the GPL and instead have a special license of their own which is incompatible with the GPL.
Don't be fooled! MySQL is the only Free Open Source database and must be protected from corporate plunder at all costs!

Stallman also challenges Widenius (4, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707866)

Richard Stallman has clarified that he believes the GPL is necessary and sufficient protection for MySQL, [groklaw.net] in direct contradiction to Widenius' call that the license should be changed and copyrights rest in some entity other than Oracle.

Stallman: One thing that makes no sense at all is the idea of changing the license of MySQL to something non-copyleft. That would eliminate the possibility of selling exceptions, but allow all sorts of proprietary modified versions. Wherever MySQL should go, it isn't there.

Eben Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center [softwarefreedom.org] defend the GPL even more strongly:

"The GPL was designed specifically to ensure the permanent freedom of software, and the ability of everyone to improve and share their improvements to the program, no matter who acquires the copyrights to the code," Moglen said of the argument he presented to the Commission. "The whole point of GPL as a copyright license is to deal with every contingency that could result in hobbling or destroying the freedom of code shared under it. The drafters of GPL versions 2 and 3 considered scenarios very similar to the ones that the Commission is concerned about now. The design of the license, and the experience we have had using it, show that it can be counted upon to operate as intended in situations like this one."

Programs released under the GPL, including Linux, Samba, and the GNU Compiler Collection, have continually proven to be resistant to anti-competitive conduct in the marketplace. "GPL’d programs competing effectively against offerings of the richest and most powerful monopoly in the history of information technology have resisted the efforts of the monopolist to find a chink in its armor," Moglen writes.

I had the privilege... (5, Insightful)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30707930)

of speaking with Monty on freenode's mysql channel, when he responded to my suggestion that he needed a helmet and a big cup of STFU. I asked him about forking and MariaDB, and he had pretty much the same response as in the blog linked above. The way he talked about open source, though, it was like he thought it was impossible for a large open-source project to succeed without a strong leader. He expressed little trust in the community, and no faith that an abandoned project could be picked up again. When I asked him about developers scratching itches, and solutions drawing users and more developers, he didn't seem to think it was a feasible solution. He kept defending his posts about Oracle as being about "for the users," and his motivation being to maintain choices.

I think the problem is less about Monty wailing about Oracle's calumny, and more about Monty's view of how FOSS works. He seems to think it needs heroes, and that the rest of us plebes need someone to follow before we can get anything useful done. I'll agree with him that projects need leadership, but like comments above have said, there's a difference between project leadership and making yourself indispensable. If Monty was indispensable when he left MySQL, then he was the one that killed it, not Sun, and not Oracle.

Re:I had the privilege... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708042)

I note that you say privilege, not pleasure.

Monty needs that cup.

differences (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708020)

Postgresql has a more robust, decentralized community of ISVs and developers than did MysqlAB. The BSD license contributes to this loose federation of collective developers because no one company runs the show.

Furthermore, the folks in #postgresql on irc.freenode.net are superb. David Fetter [planetpostgresql.org] is the man!

Monty: Biased and not open for reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30708030)

Ever since this Monty thing started a lot of people started to bash all of his efforts with a mere comment "You sold out and now you want the glory back". I for one think thats a pretty lame comment which is probably only fed with envy. Note that I'm stating that it would be untrue or anything; just unfair since its the most obvious and easiest comment to make.

I've been spammed by Monty last year when he started his "Save MySQL" rampage and the one thing I consider highly dubious are the reactions he seemingly gets to his efforts. Note how almost any comment on his blog is positive about the way things are going and how people welcome to see him put some effort into all this? Only one reaction shows a small sign of certain doubts but thats it.

Well, I think that is something you can take into account. When I got his e-mail on my company e-mail address (which I've used to respond to a MySQL mailinglist years ago) I looked over the website, read his blog and then wrote a comment that I didn't agree with the way he handled his action, that I didn't like to be spammed in the way he did and quite frankly that it sounded odd coming from someone who set the whole thing into motion in the first place.

Not talking about money, fame and fortune here mind you. If he wanted some kind of security or insurance for the future of MySQL he should have included that right into the negotiations when he sold MySQL to Sun. Something in the likes of "In case of bankruptcy or take over the rights go back to the original owner", I don't know.. Point being: he should have thought about all this before he sold out to Sun.

So IMO this whole action of his only shows us how utterly narrow minded and clueless he is. Do we really want someone like that to re-gain control over how MySQL is going ?

This isn't about money or fame or envy. Its a question about (lack of) integrity, insights, honesty and some simple common sense. I think you'll find those qualifications lacking with Monty, and thats the only thing I'll hold against him. Not "he sold out". Who cares? Can you honestly say you wouldn't have done so? I don't.. The only thing I can say is that I'd have done it differently.

So... Can we now please move on and simply ignore whatever else is coming out of Monty's mouth?

What Monty should do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30708086)

Monty can cry all he wants about Mysql, he is never getting back control of it. He should sponsor a fork of Postgre, which has a BSD license and would let him resell or modify it to his liking. He could even make another dual source license I'm guessing. He could probably start this tomorrow if he wished, it seems the real problem for him would be gaining the trust of open source developers after the Mysql situation.

What I don't understand is... (1)

pngwen (72492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30708134)

...why this is such an issue. I know that MySQL is distributed (at least to some) under the terms of the GPL. I have received it only under GPL2, and never under their proprietary license.

The GPL has been applied to the MySQL code, and it cannot under any circumstances be removed. Sure Oracle could absorb whatever code they wanted into any proprietary product, but I still have GPL code, we all still have the original.

Development could continue in the community, we can still enjoy the benefit of the MySQL database with or without oracle's blessing. In short, this a non-issue because we will always have the database code as it is now.

The fact that Monty is a prick and a sellout makes no difference either. PostgreSQL won't be sold out, and even if it was, we would still have the GPL'd versions to fork from. That's what the GPL is supposed to do. It is there to protect us from the Monty Wideniuses of the world!

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