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Is MySQL Planning a Change of Tune?

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the license-switcheroo dept.

Databases 403

Iggy writes "After reading the article on 'The MySQL License Question' by Timothy R. Butler at Open for Business I just have to wonder, is this company's wording on the MySQL site indicating the company is backing away from Free Software, specifically, the GPL? Great reading and certainly thought provoking."

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No, they're just confused by the legalese (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986666)

Like a lot of us are. Their interpretation is a bit off and I'm sure they'll correct it.

Re:No, they're just confused by the legalese (5, Insightful)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986672)

I disagree. I think that they're using legalese to try and mask that they're moving away from true F/OSS. It's been happening for a while now.

Nigger PLEASE!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986692)

Yo jus' plain ol' lyin' aint ya?

Re:No, they're just confused by the legalese (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986822)

Use PostgreSQL. It's not as slow and gay, but it works, too.

Nothing for homosexual Gnetoo lusers, though.

Re:No, they're just confused by the legalese (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986917)

Gentoo is graet, just graet.

I even complied my first kernal!!!

First Useful Post (3, Insightful)

HappyPerson (525201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986671)

Consistency in licensing is important, whatever they choose I hope they stick with it.

Re:First Useful Post (5, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986681)

Consistency in a database is important too, whatever they choose I'll stick with Postgresql.

Brings to mind a question.... (2, Interesting)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986782)

Someone help me out, i've poked about in the GPL and *think* i understand what it means, but what happens when:

a package is released GPL style, then the devs decide that's not exactly what they wanted and decide to change the license....er, what happens then? Are the old versions still under GPL? Is the new code, regardless of the newly chosen license still bound to the GPL since it's based on the older code? What about re-writing all the code new - that wouldn't be covered, but how close is too close to the old code?

This article just made me wonder a few things, someone help me (others) out here.

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986796)

If they release under the GPL, that code stays under GPL forever. Anyone who has gotten a copy has all the rights and responsibilities to the code as laid out in the GPL.

If no one has gotten a copy of it yet, then they can re-license the code however they want and no one would be the wiser.

This is why the GPL is so good. It gives the authors the Freedom to choose whichever license fits their mindset. If they don't want to use the GPL, the authors are Free to choose any other license they like. The GPL has no restrictions on that!

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (5, Informative)

offpath3 (604739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986860)

If no one has gotten a copy of it yet, then they can re-license the code however they want and no one would be the wiser.

This is actually an unfortunate misconception about the GPL. By releasing code under the GPL, you are by no means giving up your ownership over the copyright under that code. As the owner of the copyright, you're welcome to do anything you want with it, including licensing it under any other license you see fit, and MySQL does just this. They offer MySQL under two separate licenses, one GPL, one not, and you can pick which one you want to use.

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986883)

I'm not sure what I've misconceived here.

A project released under the GPL stays under the GPL. No retroactive licensing may be applied to the code. This does not prevent me (the author/copyright owner) from re-licensing the code under any other license that I deem useful.

In the situation that I released under GPL and then took the code back immediately before anyone had a chance to gain access to it, my GPL'ing of the code is essentially moot. It would be as if I had never released the code under the GPL.

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (1)

offpath3 (604739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986910)

Sorry, I must have misunderstood what you were saying. I believe we are in agreement, then. =)

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (2, Insightful)

offpath3 (604739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986828)

Once they've released code under the GPL, it is always under the GPL. But, because they are the original copyright holders, they may also release it under any other licenses as they see fit (and in this case, MySQL does just that). They could also make a newer version using the old code and not release it under the GPL, since again, they are they copyright holder.

Where this gets dicey, though, is if MySQL contains any code which is owned by someone else. For example, if I make an improvement to MySQL, and they incorporate it into a newer version, they could not release it under any license other than the GPL without my approval, unless they were to remove my code. Strange quirks like this are one of the reasons why the FSF asks people to give the copyright of code over to them rather than to have all of the individual programmers retain copyright.

Email the FSF (3, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986840)

Maybe you should email the FSF [mailto] . They're the gurus on all legalese GPL.

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (5, Interesting)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986851)

I'll give you my reading, because the other followup didn't catch all your questions:

You are welcome to license your new versions or the same version under licenses other than the GPL, because the GPL is non-exclusive. You can re-license the original code to yourself, if you feel like getting that far into it, under any license you like. What you cannot do is revoke the GPL rights on copies already distributed. This parallel licensing, where projects are released under the GPL and then sublicensed to private entities under non free licenses in exchange for bling is probably ( imho ) the best way to make money on a free software project.

Anyone else have a better grasp of the issues?

YLFI

Re:Brings to mind a question.... (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986935)

I'll give you my reading, because the other followup didn't catch all your questions:
Thanks, because right now Open for Business' server should be renamed Closed for Business (slashdotted).

Re:First Useful Post (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986872)

Me too!

I'm going to snag the sourcecode right now. but probably will use the fork that is created the very second they pull that trick.

That's the great part about the GPL, they can try and take their ball and go home, but as long as I have a snapshot of how the ball is made, I can make a LumpySQL that will seamlessly replace theirs and continue along happily.

I dont care what they do, they cant take mySQL away from me.

Strange really.... (3, Insightful)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986673)

This has been in the offing for sometime now, why would anyone chose MySQL over PostgreSQL if they had to pay for it? It may be faster but it does little more than can be done with a flat text file and Perl. Suicide.

Re:Strange really.... (2, Insightful)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986691)

Those were more or less my first thoughts as well.

If the F/OSS world loses MySQL, and there isn't a satisfactory fork of the GPLed version, why wouldn't we all switch over to the superior power of PostgreSQL?

Re:Strange really.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986726)

why wouldn't we all switch over to the superior power of PostgreSQL?

1) lack of consistent SQL support (getting better)

2) lack of atomic commits (still??)

3) exponential degradation of performance with simultaneous accesses

4) multi-threading issues on multi-proc/distributed systems

5) no graphical interface (necessary to "visualize" the table formats)

6) no Dylan/Eiffel/Smalltalk/etc. support

7) ???

8) Profit? ;-)

Re:Strange really.... (3, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986750)

Ah yes... you ask the question that can only be answered in a way that must be marked as Flamebait...

Because, unlike MySQL, PostgreSQL is a real RDBMS. It didn't kludge things into the main system like the InnoDB/MySQL fiasco. It supports a MUCH, MUCH more powerful, rich subset of SQL. It does, basically, what a RDBMS should do, whereas MySQL only does as much as it needs to get by.

Interestingly, this gave MySQL a niche in the small/medium website market. People who couldn't justify the complexity of earlier builds of Postgres jumped on MySQL because - although it makes the hard things impossible - it makes the most common tasks in a dynamic environment manageable for even the most clueless n00b. As people graduated to a more detailed understanding of things, MySQL offered them the power they needed to grow.

Unfortunately, eventually you will outgrow MySQL and hit the things where MySQL fails miserably at. Then, you need a "real" RDBMS. Alas, most folks using MySQL didn't need to do that, so they're used to the bizarre quirks of MySQL (18 nestings of SELECT anyone?) and struggle with PostgreSQL and other "real" RDBMSs as a result.

That's why.

Re:Strange really.... (1, Insightful)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986790)

Because there are a whole lot of stubborn idiots out there who think that MySQL is the be-all and end-all of databases and refuse to learn anything else. Fanboy mentality instead of solid engineering practices.

Re:Strange really.... (4, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986835)

It's not that I "refuse" to learn anything else. It's that 3 years ago when I started my project I needed replication THEN. I needed a windows port THEN. I needed TCL bindings THEN. And I'm not going to re-write 250,000 lines of code because someone tells me my perfectly working system is inferior.

And you guys are yelling awful loud to have anything meaninful to say.

Re:Strange really.... (2, Insightful)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986704)

So how long before you give me a MySQL equivalent Perl script? Right. People would choose MySQL for speed and ease of administration (not hard to "administrate" a flat text file over a RDB), like always.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986813)

Why do you feel that PostgreSQL is more difficult to administer than MySQL? To use properly perhaps, but administration? There are differences, but no aditional complexity is involved.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986906)

When mentioning "ease" of administration, this includes but is not limited to the potential complexities that can occur or be deliberately configured.

Examples: the necessary steps to modify or backup SPs; debugging and repair of of SPs that are damaged/disabled.

Simplistically speaking, for every administration tool, there is at least 1 potential problem that the tool is used to correct. How many more tools are going to be included with MySQL when SPs are introduced?

Short answer, I prefer to use and teach ppl to use MySQL because it's harder to screw up and easy to fix when it's screwed up. I think SPs are a Bad Thing(tm) too. (the /. crowd loves em tho)

Re:Strange really.... (2, Interesting)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986712)

did Xfree/X.org teach (or even remind) them nothing?

fools! those who do not learn from history.... etc.

Re:Strange really.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986858)

As far as I know, the X.Org split was mostly influenced by a desire to get away from feature stagnation and politics in the Xfree community, not just licensing.

Re:Strange really.... (2, Informative)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986769)

flatfile and perl equal to mysql?!?!? I don't think so. However, mysql vs. postgresql is getting more interesting by the day. Fortunately since I use perl's DBI interface I don't have to change much in my programs to switch to postgresql if I need to jump ship. ;-)

Re:Strange really.... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986786)

As one of those sickos: yes I would actually pay money to use MySQL. In high-volume web transactions speed is everything, and you trust your backend to do nothing.

I get around most of mySQL's "limitations" in TCL.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986831)

I get around most of mySQL's "limitations" in TCL.
Really? Please tell me how to implement atomic transactions and stored procedures in TCL. Please tell me how you reliably guard against SQL injection attacks using TCL.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986915)

Please tell me how to implement atomic transactions and stored procedures in TCL.

It's called object oriented programming. Nothing in the code talks directly to the database, everyone passes through an abassador class. The ambassador class handles caching, deadlock avoidance, and locking. Yes Virginia, in a multi-threaded environment there is more than one stratagy for these things.

Stored procedures are a bad toy.

Please tell me how you reliably guard against SQL injection attacks using TCL.

SQL injection attacks? What, do you pass queries directly through a web form? Now that is silly.

Our application suite implements access control lists that lock objects down to the record. You don't issue a "SELECT..." statement in SQL, you perform the RecordLoad method in the container. You don't issue "UPDATE.." or "INSERT..." statements, you call the RecordSave or RecordWrite method.

You can perform queries. But the filter regexps for funny business before the command is run.

Re:Strange really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986859)

Have you considered SQLite? A considerable number of MySQL web sites that require a high ratio of selects to updates without referential integrity would scream on a efficient SQLite database.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986882)

As one of those sickos: yes I would actually pay money to use MySQL. In high-volume web transactions speed is everything, and you trust your backend to do nothing.

With a moderately complex data set (ie, pretty much anything you'll do other than a "hello world" database), MySQL has little benefit over Postgres speed-wise. The only reason you trust your backend to do nothing is because MySQL's backend cannot be trusted to do anything!


get around most of mySQL's "limitations" in TCL.

Others have asked how you do atomic transactions, stored procedures, and sql injection protection. I'll just say ... hahahahaha! (/me waits for replies like, "Stored procedures are pointless, and any DBA worth his salt would know that there's never any reason to use them!" or, "I can do transactions in my middle-tier code," so I can laugh again)

Re:Strange really.... (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986957)

Laugh bucko.

I'll just keep getting paid to do what I do.

And I'll also cheerfully explain over a few drinks about the fact that when your application's cheif function is to syncronize data between several backends (not to mention SMTP, flat files, and XML), you really can't rely on any one vendor's parlor tricks.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986886)

You mention 'transactions', isn't MySQL still a little flakey there? Also you use the word 'trust' in regard to a RDB renowned for losing data. Curiouser and curiouser. I'm not anti MySQL it's just not the thing to use when one values ones, data as you claim to.

Re:Strange really.... (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986832)

It may be faster but it does little more than can be done with a flat text file and Perl. Suicide

Oh really? I'd like to see someone run a major MMORPG off of a flat text file and Perl. Mythic's "Dark Age of Camelot" uses MySQL on Linux for its database.

Please stop (1, Offtopic)

ylikone (589264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986688)

developing all your php apps for use with mysql... lets start seeing more postgresql projects.

Re:Please stop (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986747)

We'll start seeing more PostGre projects when more webhosts start offering it with their services. But we won't see that until there's more demand for it. Etc, etc.

Plus the fact that for 98% of all websites, either option is equally acceptable, are really going to inhibit development of PostGre vs MySQL.

Re:Please stop (1)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986783)

Like the other guy said - I'll develop specifically for postgre, when everybody has it instead of MySQL.

On the other hand, we could all use PEAR. Which will happen when everybody has PEAR.

Re:Please stop (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986930)

Put that in your beta player and smoke it....all you suckers who jumped on the VCR bandwagon.

As soon as I get rid of all of my mp3's, gif files and any other established standard that I am so sinfully using -- I will look to recode thousand of lines of sql statements and php code to use postgres.

In other words, if it's broke then replace it. If it's not broke than keep using it.

Re:Please stop (4, Insightful)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986965)

i'd rather everyone stop coding strictly towards one database api, and use abstracted interfaces like PEAR, ado.net, jdbc, odbc, etc.

PostgreSQL (4, Insightful)

thammoud (193905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986698)

People will switch to PostgreSQL faster than the MySQL folks can type GPL back into the license. They will be crazy.

Forking? (5, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986716)

Couldn't anyone create their own fork from the last GPL'd source?

Re:Forking? (0)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986731)

Probably not. MySQL is most probably patented in the US.

Re:Forking? (2, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986794)

patented as in how? and what difference would it make then, to keep using the older version, or keep it under gpl and make everyone pay to them 'for the patent'?

really, I'd like to know.

Re:Forking? (1)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986808)

If you let someone use something under a license which cannot be revoked (e.g., GPL) then you cannot turn around and sue them for either patent or copyright infringment. They may or may not have a valid, enforceable patent to anything in the MySQL code, but that's not going to stop anyone forking the project under the terms of the GPL.

Re:PostgreSQL (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986845)

There's only one thing that I like about MySQL... SAP-DB. - er, MaxDB, and even that's sufficiently different from MySQL database to avoid the whole PHP/FanBoy mess. However, Postgresql is "good enough" for 90% of apps. Oracle is certainly good enough for the remaining 10%.

I reckon that now that MySQL is dealing with one of the big boys (SAP) they think they're the shiznit. They think they have the PHP and web server-side arena sewn up, so now they're trying to assert themselves in the larger market.

Roughly put, they're setting themselves up for a fall. MySQL database might be owned by a company, but it was tested and supported by the wider community. If MySQL starts screwing with their supporters they'll lose them to Postgresql, Firebird, or whatever. Much of the software using MySQL is opensource, and it can be ported to another database just as soon as the need is there.

Re:PostgreSQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986949)

'course PostgreSQL isn't GPL'd either.

No doubt this will get modded down... (-1, Troll)

Black.Shuck (704538) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986699)

...but this is the first /. article I've seen where the first comment didn't fit the "OMG 1ST POAST!!11" template.

But then, I haven't been here long. I'm sure it's a regular occurence. :)

Re:No doubt this will get modded down... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986722)

Shut up dipshit.

Re:No doubt this will get modded down... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986795)

Well, I hope you learned some valuable lessons today, asshat.

Nothing new here. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986705)

You've always been able to buy a commercial MySQL license for a commercial app. Personally, I'd be using PostgreSQL for any serious database work in any case (assuming Oracle or other commercial database isn't a requirement) -- it's much closer to what I'd expect from a database than MySQL.

Nothing to be concerned about here, folks. Move along. Move along.

Re:Nothing new here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986936)

The problem isn't that they are selling a commercial license, it's that they are implying that you need to buy one under circumstances when the GPL is perfectly suitable. It's license FUD.

We will just fork it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986713)

If they change the license, can't we just fork from the last GPL release?

Who the hell is we? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986764)

Exactly who will fork this, who is this mythical we?

The code is so huge that only the core developers have much of a clue of what is going on. Apart from those few people, there are not many who will be able to get up to speed and take the project in a new direction.

Re:Who the hell is we? (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986777)

yeah but it'll be fully commentend and documented right? </naive>

Re:Who the hell is we? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986892)

you know nothing about programming I see...

The Blender community that bought the sourcecode to Blender was able to get exactly ONE developer that knew anything about it and they turned blender into a product that surpasses anything that NAN could have hoped that Blender could have become.

programmers with an itch and are pissed off by stupid corperate tricks can outprogram the highest paid code jockeys on this planet easily.

that's just one example, there are more out there I just can not think of them right now.

Re:We will just fork it (5, Funny)

VirexEye (572399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986788)

The classic "farewell and fork you!"

Well... (5, Insightful)

joseph schmo (223532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986718)


I can't get to the article (/.), but assuming this is not FUD:

With all the "Postgres is so awesome" stuff I keep reading (well okay, mostly on here), if MySQL backs away from open source, it could be the beginning of the end for them with "the geeks" (ie. us).

I'm not that familiar with Postgres, but I just checked and their website says:

The above is the BSD license, the classic open-source license. It has no restrictions on how the source code may be used. We like it and have no intention of changing it.

Sounds good to me!

Re:Well... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986842)

With all the "Postgres is so awesome" stuff I keep reading (well okay, mostly on here), if MySQL backs away from open source, it could be the beginning of the end for them with "the geeks" (ie. us).

The only thing I can say to that: About damned time! MySQL is "teh suck" compared to PostgreSQL and all of the other full-featured databases out there. It's only in such widespread use because a) it was GPLed, and b) because of that, many people started using it even though there were and are better databases with better licenses.

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

SlowMovingTarget (550823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986869)

Well... I did read the article, and it sounded to me that some web page author got overly enthusiastic about when people ought to buy a license for MySQL. Reading anything more into it would seem to be sensationalism to drive people to the clipping (IMHO).

MYSQL will lose if they stop being Open Source! (0, Redundant)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986719)

MYSQL is my preffered lightweight database, but if they stop being open source, POSTGRESQL will immediately take it's place.

Good for them... (5, Interesting)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986721)

If a prorietary software vendor wants to package MySQL with their product I'm glad MySQL AG is getting a few bucks out of it.

It doesn't seem to negatively affect the free software developers.

I've always liked the idea that you could release a product under a Free license but keep the option to sell versions to companies as well.

I realize that this doesn't answer the question of whether the GPL itself allows this kind of dual license but it seems to me that TrollTech does something similar and that has never bothered me either.

Re:Good for them... (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986811)

See, here's the problem. MySQL AG seems to have reinterpreted the GPL to mean that any use of their software means that your software should be open source. Run a small website with the MySQL database? If all the source to that site is not GPLed, you're in violation. That's despite the fact that your site should be a clear and separate product from MySQL.

MySQL has made sure to cement their interpretation in two ways:

1. They "purchased" the LGPL JDBC driver and relicensed it as GPL. This ensures that physical linking will occur with their software (and thus the warning in the article about "circumventing" the drivers).

2. They keep their own variation of SQL (with the #$^@ing backticks) so that software must be designed for use with MySQL. While some of us use config files on a per driver basis, many software developers have fallen for the bait and tied their software to MySQL. Doing so invalidates certain GPL clauses that may allow you to get around the "linking" issue.

Re:Good for them... (2, Informative)

flupps (193729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986875)

They keep their own variation of SQL (with the #$^@ing backticks) so that software must be designed for use with MySQL.

You can still use the doublequote if you run with

--sql-mode="ANSI_QUOTES"

Re:Good for them... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986928)

You can still use the doublequote if you run with

--sql-mode="ANSI_QUOTES"


Note that the above is an option to pass to the SERVER. It does diddly-butkis to help tool vendors. In fact, it only serves to make tools incompatible if it's turned on. A better solution would be to either switch over to ANSI support (the way it should have been in the first place), or allow the setting to be flicked on at the connection level.

Re:Good for them... (1)

bareminimum (456719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986890)

>Run a small website with the MySQL database? If all >the source to that site is not GPLed, you're in >violation. That's despite the fact that your site >should be a clear and separate product from MySQL.

Not if you don't redistribute your website's code.. Or am I on crack?

Re:Good for them... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986825)

I realize that this doesn't answer the question of whether the GPL itself allows this kind of dual license

Hasn't hurt Ghostscript [artifex.com] that I'm aware of.

Whether the GPL allows dual licensing? (1)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986850)

The copyright holder for a given work (piece of code, whatever) can license it according to whatever terms they'd like. If they release a copy of the work under the GPL, then that copy can be used according to the terms of that license. Meanwhile, if they wake up with a humorous streak and license it BSD-style with the added requirement that to use the code you must paint your nose purple, that's fine, too.

Think of releasing a work under a license as analogous to attaching a tarball to an email message. The recipient (licensee) has a copy of the work and whatever permissions you granted. You still have the tarball and can send it to another recipient and grant that recipient different permissions. (Of course, once you start getting into exclusive licenses, et al, you're out of the scope of this post.)

It's MySQL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986739)

not YourSQL.

If they wanted you to own it, they would have named it that way.

Re:It's MySQL (4, Interesting)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986759)


You just named the fork.

Great! (3, Insightful)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986761)

PostgreSQL gets another boost! :)

Seriously, if you haven't used PostgreSQL, consider it for your next project. I use both, but have ended up using PostgreSQL a lot more. It's a much more serious database, and really isn't any more difficult to setup and manage than mySQL.

8.0's introduction of point-in-time-recovery is going to be a huge boost to enterprise applications of PG!

Re:Great! (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986977)

I'm sure not all SQL's are created (entirely) equal, but as someone who's just getting started with databases (via MySQL) is there any reaosn I should be considering PostgreSQL over MySQL? I keep reading that Postgre is "better" and "more serious" than MySQL, but in what ways? I figured the differences between the SQL's were mostly internal...

I don't care. (-1, Troll)

Cinquero (174242) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986768)

PostgreSQL is better anyway *g*.

Look at the features of their upcoming 8.0.0 release [postgresql.org] .

"Distribute Interally" (1)

nutznboltz (473437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986779)

This is a gray area I think. If you are distributing, then people are getting your software. At what point does a distribution system cross the line from interal to beyond? Seems that it is a slipery placeto be since leaks could happen very easily, especially with larger companies and corporations. Could you defend you position that you did not want to distribute a program by branding the souce code and binaries with warning like "FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT DISTRIBUTE"?

Re:"Distribute Interally" (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986797)

Could you defend you position that you did not want to distribute a program by branding the souce code and binaries with warning like "FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT DISTRIBUTE"?

You've obviously never worked on a classified project.

I guess this would make it... (5, Funny)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986781)

TheirSQL

*snicker snicker*

Re:I guess this would make it... (2, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986864)

or maybe : OurSQL BelongToUs Edition

Re:I guess this would make it... (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986951)

AllYourSQLAreBelongToUs

No great loss (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986787)

There are others to take its place, that will never have such license issues ( like berkeleyDB, or postgresSQL )

License of MySQL (2, Insightful)

shawn_f (620177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986789)

Well, if MySQL decides they need to change the license, then fine...I am sure they will loose some users, but it will not be their downfall. Perhaps they could something like http://www.bb4.net/ [bb4.net] has done, where they have a fairly functional free, version, which is still open source, and a "professional" version which has some additional features and support. Really not a bad idea...

MySQL is a great product, as well as Postgres, but a change in licensing for MySQL will not be as bad as it may sound...

Postgres will rrule then (2, Informative)

SQLz (564901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986792)

Changing the license at this point will hurt mySQL bad. Postgres has some big backers now and is already more feature rich than mySQL. Take it form me, I was a mySQL addict and then my boss introducted me to Postgres. I look at mySQL as a kids toy now.

I can't wait till 8.0 when I can start writing my stored procedures in Java. W00t.

It's all about $ (1)

kennycoder (788223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986793)

Let's see.. lot's of us make money using their DB... mostly "free" non enterprise versions. They are not getting anything with this, so they are trying to make some profit, changing their "interpretation" of GPL.

Error in Logic? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986799)

Wait, wait.

MySQL is licensed with a "dual licensing scheme":

1. If your product talks to MySQL, you must release it as GPL.
2. If you don't want to GPL your product, pay MySQL $450.

So... according to the GPL, can't I fork the GPL version of MySQL, not change a thing, and allow companies to use "HerSQL" for free, keeping "HerSQL" as GPL?

Further, don't a lot of web applications that are not GPL interface with MySQL? Doesn't this violate their license?

Re:Error in Logic? (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986871)

So... according to the GPL, can't I fork the GPL version of MySQL, not change a thing, and allow companies to use "HerSQL" for free, keeping "HerSQL" as GPL?

Yep.

Further, don't a lot of web applications that are not GPL interface with MySQL? Doesn't this violate their license?

It's in the gray area. A bit closer to the "okay" side than, say, Java's dynamic binding (which is another 'can we combine GPL and nonGPL code). That's what the guy is talking about in the article about developers should abide by the GPL and not try to find loopholes.

Devs move to Postgre (2, Insightful)

RWaye (778934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986803)

Now, I am not sure if this is true, but since MySQL is GPLed, doesn't that mean that they have some freelance programmers that contribute to the project? If they leave the GPL, that may encourage a devolper move to Postgre, helping it become a better DB.

MySQL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986805)

Everyone keeps trashing mysql in favour of postgres and other dbms systems.

While I agree they are in many ways superiour, mysql still has a huge userbase, and is more than capable enough for most users. It is also very easy to administer thanks to all the nice tools and frontends.

It is not an enterprise capable system, but then it wasnt designed to be.

Dont forget, /. itself runs on mysql.

Read the article folks (5, Insightful)

ttfkam (37064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986807)

It went on and on about how much they like the GPL over all other licenses. I'm no MySQL fan, but for fuck's sake...

That said, this statement made me chuckle a bit:
The main point he made to us is that his company believes "strongly in Open Source." The company has actually tried to increase the freedoms provided by the GPL, Urlocker asserted, with the "MySQL FOSS exception" that allows some Open Source Initiative approved licenses, that are incompatible with the GPL, to still make use of the GPL licensed version of MySQL.
Let me get this straight. Because it allows linking with PHP and Apache -- two systems which incidentally are fundamental to MySQL's continued success -- this is proof of their love of free software and freedom? Call me cynical, but it sounds more like proof of their love of avoiding irrelevance.

Can you imagine?

MySQL AB: We are pure GPL!
Developer1: Isn't the GPL incompatible with the Apache/BSD style of license?
Developer2: According to the FSF it is.
Developer 1: Aren't the Apache web server and PHP under Apache/BSD styles of license?
Developer 2: PHP used to be GPL, but yeah, now they're both like that.
Developer 1: So if I sell a complete package with all three, I'm legally in trouble?
Developer 2: Looks like it.
Developer 1: Well, I guess I'll install PostgreSQL then.
MySQL AB: MySQL FOSS exception!
Developers 1 and 2: Wow! What nice guys. They're really sticking their neck out for us on that one. Thanks!

Re:Read the article folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986925)

Developer3: what kind of dipshit would try and package some FOSS as their own?? are you trying to make your program look better than it is???

Sell your App, and give the customer the other software if they do not have it already.

only a asshat tries to sell FOSS that they did not write to begin with to a customer.

quit being a lazy ass and sell your app and give away the others if the customer does not have it already.

Don't be such sheep (5, Insightful)

fishdan (569872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986817)

I'm not saying that MySQL is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but Open For Business [ofb.biz] makes their living off of commenting on FREE software, which MySQL is not, nor has every really claimed to be. They sell advertising. They have a financial incentive to claim that

the sky is falling

MySQL is going to screw everyone.

Just because one person's twist on that interview says that MySQL is about to turn evil, doesn;t mean it's true. Read the article, not just the /. headline

I actually think that the article is very fair, but it's considerably more in depth than most people who only read the /. headlines will know.

Article text (currently /.ed) (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986819)

Interviews
The MySQL License Question
By Timothy R. Butler
Editor-in-Chief, Open for Business
August 13, 2004, 11:15:53 EDT

MySQL AB's namesake database is a package that many would list among the crown jewels of Free Software. The Swedish company's database has been deployed over five million times by the company's own count. Yet, some, quite legitimately wondered if certain wording on the MySQL site might indicate the company is backing away from Free Software, and, more specifically, the GNU General Public License. We wanted to know if this was an actual concern or simply a misunderstanding, so OfB contacted MySQL AB to find out more information.

The whole question arose from the text MySQL AB publishes on its web site concerning why one would need to purchase a commercial license for its software. "When your application is not licensed under either the GPL-compatible Free Software License as defined by the Free Software Foundation or approved by OSI, and you intend to distribute MySQL software (be that externally to customers or internally within your organization), you must first obtain a commercial license to the MySQL product," the site explains. At press time, the remark concerning internal distribution had been removed after the commercial licensing page was revised based on user feedback, MySQL AB told OfB.

At first glance, this might not catch anyone's attention, but after considering it, it becomes apparent that this sounds like stricter requirements than those laid down by the General Public License. For example, the Free Software Foundation's documentation on the General Public License, which they wrote, explains that "[y]ou are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them." The document then continues, "This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization." If this is the case, a company desiring to keep its code private would not need to purchase a commercial license as the MySQL site indicates.

The information on MySQL's commercial license page also seems to be a bit far reaching when it suggests that one's program must be licensed under the GPL or another Free Software license if MySQL is distributed with the product. A good analogy here is that it is legal for a proprietary web browser to communicate with a GPL licensed web server, and vise versa -- the programs are communicating to each other, but not actually combining code together. In the same way, it is theoretically possible to communicate with the MySQL server either using a third party Free Software tool that allows linking to proprietary packages, such as one licensed under the LGPL or BSD licenses or by developing a proprietary program that can communicate with MySQL through networking protocols. In plain English, this means there are ways that one could have a proprietary program communicate with a GPL licensed program without violating the GNU General Public License. Furthermore, simply distributing a proprietary product and GPL licensed product together is called "mere aggregation," something explicitly permitted by the GPL.

One developer from a small consulting firm who requested anonymity explained his concerns about the issue and how it had led the company he works for to have all of its clients purchase MySQL licenses out of fear of litigation. "MySQL AB has bent the intentions of the gpl to say that any proprietary application I write that causes my customer to have to install a copy of MySQL, whether or not it uses the MySQL client libraries, must be licensed under [the GPL]."

We wanted to know if this assertion was correct or if MySQL's site was simply a bit confusing on the point of when licensing is required, so we contacted them. Zack Urlocker, MySQL's vice president of marketing, agreed to answer our questions on the matter.

The big question we wanted to know was if MySQL was adding restrictions to the GPL or if the terms on the site were simply a broad overview that represents suggestions that in no way alter the permissions given by the license. Urlocker confirmed to us that MySQL did not consider the page to be an addition to the GPL, but rather information for those attempting to understand -- in simple terms -- why they might need a MySQL commercial license. He noted that it doesn't even begin to attempt to cover all possible scenarios, just the ones the company believed to be the most common. Does that mean that MySQL accepts the Free Software Foundation's positions on what the GPL permits? Urlocker said this was the case, telling OfB that "we tell people to talk to the guys at the FSF," if they have questions about the terms of the license.

On the other hand, while Urlocker said the company is not adding restrictions on to the GPL, he felt that attempting to, as he put it, "circumvent" the GPL by communicating with the database using a third-party tool and TCP/IP or another protocol was a gray area and while perhaps following the letter, it was not following the spirit of the General Public License. He remarked that it ignores the "spirit of [MySQL's] 'Quid Pro Quo' philosophy," and that developers should "abide by the GPL license, not seek loopholes to exploit it."

The documentation on the General Public License from the Free Software Foundation, the creator of the license, is silent on the issue of whether software communicating with a GPL licensed program via standard protocols must be under a compatible license. Bradley Kuhn, executive director of the FSF, told us that "[the] FSF maintains that deciding what types of activity are prohibited by the GPL is extremely context-dependent." He continued by asserting "since GPL relies completely on copyright law, whether or not something is a derivative work depends on what is said in the copyright law and surrounding case law, not any particular thing the GPL tself says."

Kuhn declined to comment on the case of MySQL and its licensing. "We have no specific comment on how MySQL AB structures their marketing literature."

Some sources we talked to suggested that unixODBC could be used to connect a proprietary program with the GPL licensed MySQL, since unixODBC is licensed under the LGPL. Nick Gorham, of the unixODBC project, responded, "Its certainly my intention that commercial apps can use unixODBC, that's why the driver manager and support libs are released under the LGPL." On the other hand, he also noted, "I would say that if the [MySQL] driver is used for a commercial purpose, then the presence of other code [unixODBC] won't change the fact the driver is being used commercially," he told us.

Urlocker pointed out that "it is never wrong to buy a commercial license," noting that "we like being able to continue releasing new versions" of MySQL, and that the commercial licenses are what generates the revenue that MySQL AB uses to pay its development team to continue developing the MySQL database.

Emphasizing the company's commitment to the GPL, he stressed that MySQL thinks "the GPL is the best license there is" and that MySQL AB works "closely with the Free Software Foundation." On the flip side, Urlocker said the company would consider a different license in the future, if a better one became available. "The GPL is not a perfect license ... but it is the best that is available."

Concerning the fear of litigation suggested by the consultant mentioned earlier, Urlocker said, "We are never going to be the license police." While the company has no desire to legitimize uses it sees as going against the philosophy of the license, he emphatically denied that MySQL had any interest in spending time suing users over what it sees as gray areas.

"[MySQL] is always open to feedback from our users on ways to better serve them whether it's a licensing issue or a product feature, documentation, support, etc.," Urlocker told us.

The main point he made to us is that his company believes "strongly in Open Source." The company has actually tried to increase the freedoms provided by the GPL, Urlocker asserted, with the "MySQL FOSS exception" that allows some Open Source Initiative approved licenses, that are incompatible with the GPL, to still make use of the GPL licensed version of MySQL.

New Offerings on the Horizon
Speaking of the new releases made possible by MySQL's dual licensing business model, Urlocker pointed out that MySQL 4.1 is presently in beta and "should be released for production" within four to five weeks. According to information provided by the company, the new release will feature OpenGIS geographical data support and the ability to send multiple SQL statements via a C language MySQL API call and receive the results back at once, among other additions and enhancements.

MySQL 5.0, the first major update to the product since the MySQL 4.0 "production" release was announced in early 2003, is presently in the alpha stage of development. "New stored procedures and views" are among the features that this upcoming release will include. Some other interesting features may also make it into the code before the release, but Urlocker said that his company prefers to "under promise and over deliver."

Urlocker also pointed out with excitement the changes he sees in the Free Software and Open Source sector. "You use to have to be a pioneer [to use Open Source]," he told us, but he believes that is no longer true. He noted, for example, that there are now over a hundred different products that come with MySQL, and third party support is growing, with such notable additions as Quest Software's preview release of the TOAD for MySQL development environment and upcoming support in Embarcadero Technologies' cross-platform and cross-database administration tool, DBArtisan.

He also pointed to the introduction of premier support by MySQL. Urlocker said that this was intended to provide services such as a technical onsite account manager, for organizations requiring advanced, commercial level support from MySQL AB. "As Open Source becomes more popular, corporate managers are looking for these types of things," he told OfB.

Due to the company's quick expansion and the growth of the Free Software sector, Urlocker also told us his company is presently seeking to fill quite a few job positions in the United States and abroad. Those interested in available positions can find out more on the MySQL web site.

MySQL has always been "a gray area" to me. (1)

rolling_bits (754633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986827)

Because of its licensing issues... I never quite understood it. But right now, I have no doubt, or your program is GPL, or you should buy a f---ing license, no matter what OS you use. I'm happy though that I'm investing some time on Firebird, which has much better licensing, and I expect to use PostgreSQL as well...

Is MySQL SCOing its users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986921)

That's terrible...

Free software (5, Informative)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986836)

The article states that this doesn't effect free software at all. Only commerical software that links to MySQL requires a licence, as it always has been.

Recent Changes to Client License (4, Insightful)

Unknown Relic (544714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986843)

Let's not forget about the recent changes of the MySQL client to use the GPL instead of the LGPL, since such a change hardly suggests that they're looking to dump the GPL. This change was widely publicised, as it caused issues (which have now been resolved) with other non-GPL open source applications which previously shipped with the client software - PHP being the prime example.

On the other hand, I do think MySQL really wants to push their commercial license as they "recommend" it for everyone who use MySQL in a commercial environment, even though their dual licensing scheme only requires the purchase of a license if you plan to be distributing MySQL itself. It'll be interesting to see how this all unfolds, but I don't think the GPL version of MySQL is going to go anywhere, at least not for non-commercial users. While commercial users may face stronger "recommendations" to purchase licenses, I don't see any actual changes to the license requiring a license for commercial use without distribution. Doing this would shut out millions of entry level hosting providers, and it wouldn't be long until MySQL's massive market share fell to alternatives such as Postgres or SQLite.

Re:Recent Changes to Client License (5, Insightful)

rhaas (804642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986908)

I think the change from the LGPL to the GPL was designed precisely for the purpose of forcing more people to purchase commericial licenses. Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, under the LPGL, you can link your (propriety) code against their libraries without having to distribute your source code. Under the GPL, this is not the case - linking is not "mere aggregation" and you now have to distribute the source, cough up $$$, or stop upgrading MySQL. If they were distributing the code ONLY under xGPL, the change would clearly be an endorsement of F/OSS, but because of the dual license, it seems more like an attempt to restrict what users can do with their software.

slashdotted... article text: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9986856)

MySQL AB's namesake database is a package that many would list among the crown jewels of Free Software. The Swedish company's database has been deployed over five million times by the company's own count. Yet, some, quite legitimately wondered if certain wording on the MySQL site might indicate the company is backing away from Free Software, and, more specifically, the GNU General Public License. We wanted to know if this was an actual concern or simply a misunderstanding, so OfB contacted MySQL AB to find out more information.

The whole question arose from the text MySQL AB publishes on its web site concerning why one would need to purchase a commercial license for its software. "When your application is not licensed under either the GPL-compatible Free Software License as defined by the Free Software Foundation or approved by OSI, and you intend to distribute MySQL software (be that externally to customers or internally within your organization), you must first obtain a commercial license to the MySQL product," the site explains. At press time, the remark concerning internal distribution had been removed after the commercial licensing page was revised based on user feedback, MySQL AB told OfB.

At first glance, this might not catch anyone's attention, but after considering it, it becomes apparent that this sounds like stricter requirements than those laid down by the General Public License. For example, the Free Software Foundation's documentation on the General Public License, which they wrote, explains that "[y]ou are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them." The document then continues, "This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization." If this is the case, a company desiring to keep its code private would not need to purchase a commercial license as the MySQL site indicates.

The information on MySQL's commercial license page also seems to be a bit far reaching when it suggests that one's program must be licensed under the GPL or another Free Software license if MySQL is distributed with the product. A good analogy here is that it is legal for a proprietary web browser to communicate with a GPL licensed web server, and vise versa -- the programs are communicating to each other, but not actually combining code together. In the same way, it is theoretically possible to communicate with the MySQL server either using a third party Free Software tool that allows linking to proprietary packages, such as one licensed under the LGPL or BSD licenses or by developing a proprietary program that can communicate with MySQL through networking protocols. In plain English, this means there are ways that one could have a proprietary program communicate with a GPL licensed program without violating the GNU General Public License. Furthermore, simply distributing a proprietary product and GPL licensed product together is called "mere aggregation," something explicitly permitted by the GPL.

One developer from a small consulting firm who requested anonymity explained his concerns about the issue and how it had led the company he works for to have all of its clients purchase MySQL licenses out of fear of litigation. "MySQL AB has bent the intentions of the gpl to say that any proprietary application I write that causes my customer to have to install a copy of MySQL, whether or not it uses the MySQL client libraries, must be licensed under [the GPL]."

We wanted to know if this assertion was correct or if MySQL's site was simply a bit confusing on the point of when licensing is required, so we contacted them. Zack Urlocker, MySQL's vice president of marketing, agreed to answer our questions on the matter.

The big question we wanted to know was if MySQL was adding restrictions to the GPL or if the terms on the site were simply a broad overview that represents suggestions that in no way alter the permissions given by the license. Urlocker confirmed to us that MySQL did not consider the page to be an addition to the GPL, but rather information for those attempting to understand -- in simple terms -- why they might need a MySQL commercial license. He noted that it doesn't even begin to attempt to cover all possible scenarios, just the ones the company believed to be the most common. Does that mean that MySQL accepts the Free Software Foundation's positions on what the GPL permits? Urlocker said this was the case, telling OfB that "we tell people to talk to the guys at the FSF," if they have questions about the terms of the license.

On the other hand, while Urlocker said the company is not adding restrictions on to the GPL, he felt that attempting to, as he put it, "circumvent" the GPL by communicating with the database using a third-party tool and TCP/IP or another protocol was a gray area and while perhaps following the letter, it was not following the spirit of the General Public License. He remarked that it ignores the "spirit of [MySQL's] 'Quid Pro Quo' philosophy," and that developers should "abide by the GPL license, not seek loopholes to exploit it."

The documentation on the General Public License from the Free Software Foundation, the creator of the license, is silent on the issue of whether software communicating with a GPL licensed program via standard protocols must be under a compatible license. Bradley Kuhn, executive director of the FSF, told us that "[the] FSF maintains that deciding what types of activity are prohibited by the GPL is extremely context-dependent." He continued by asserting "since GPL relies completely on copyright law, whether or not something is a derivative work depends on what is said in the copyright law and surrounding case law, not any particular thing the GPL tself says."

Kuhn declined to comment on the case of MySQL and its licensing. "We have no specific comment on how MySQL AB structures their marketing literature."

Some sources we talked to suggested that unixODBC could be used to connect a proprietary program with the GPL licensed MySQL, since unixODBC is licensed under the LGPL. Nick Gorham, of the unixODBC project, responded, "Its certainly my intention that commercial apps can use unixODBC, that's why the driver manager and support libs are released under the LGPL." On the other hand, he also noted, "I would say that if the [MySQL] driver is used for a commercial purpose, then the presence of other code [unixODBC] won't change the fact the driver is being used commercially," he told us.

Urlocker pointed out that "it is never wrong to buy a commercial license," noting that "we like being able to continue releasing new versions" of MySQL, and that the commercial licenses are what generates the revenue that MySQL AB uses to pay its development team to continue developing the MySQL database.

Emphasizing the company's commitment to the GPL, he stressed that MySQL thinks "the GPL is the best license there is" and that MySQL AB works "closely with the Free Software Foundation." On the flip side, Urlocker said the company would consider a different license in the future, if a better one became available. "The GPL is not a perfect license ... but it is the best that is available."

Concerning the fear of litigation suggested by the consultant mentioned earlier, Urlocker said, "We are never going to be the license police." While the company has no desire to legitimize uses it sees as going against the philosophy of the license, he emphatically denied that MySQL had any interest in spending time suing users over what it sees as gray areas.

"[MySQL] is always open to feedback from our users on ways to better serve them whether it's a licensing issue or a product feature, documentation, support, etc.," Urlocker told us.

The main point he made to us is that his company believes "strongly in Open Source." The company has actually tried to increase the freedoms provided by the GPL, Urlocker asserted, with the "MySQL FOSS exception" that allows some Open Source Initiative approved licenses, that are incompatible with the GPL, to still make use of the GPL licensed version of MySQL.

New Offerings on the Horizon
Speaking of the new releases made possible by MySQL's dual licensing business model, Urlocker pointed out that MySQL 4.1 is presently in beta and "should be released for production" within four to five weeks. According to information provided by the company, the new release will feature OpenGIS geographical data support and the ability to send multiple SQL statements via a C language MySQL API call and receive the results back at once, among other additions and enhancements.

MySQL 5.0, the first major update to the product since the MySQL 4.0 "production" release was announced in early 2003, is presently in the alpha stage of development. "New stored procedures and views" are among the features that this upcoming release will include. Some other interesting features may also make it into the code before the release, but Urlocker said that his company prefers to "under promise and over deliver."

Urlocker also pointed out with excitement the changes he sees in the Free Software and Open Source sector. "You use to have to be a pioneer [to use Open Source]," he told us, but he believes that is no longer true. He noted, for example, that there are now over a hundred different products that come with MySQL, and third party support is growing, with such notable additions as Quest Software's preview release of the TOAD for MySQL development environment and upcoming support in Embarcadero Technologies' cross-platform and cross-database administration tool, DBArtisan.

He also pointed to the introduction of premier support by MySQL. Urlocker said that this was intended to provide services such as a technical onsite account manager, for organizations requiring advanced, commercial level support from MySQL AB. "As Open Source becomes more popular, corporate managers are looking for these types of things," he told OfB.

Due to the company's quick expansion and the growth of the Free Software sector, Urlocker also told us his company is presently seeking to fill quite a few job positions in the United States and abroad. Those interested in available positions can find out more on the MySQL web site.

all the better (2, Insightful)

ryane67 (768994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986920)

ill be happy if they change the license away from the GPL and it happens to run their marketshare to nothing.

Honestly I never understood what people saw in mySQL other than the FREE aspect, and if that was the only thing they were looking for Postgres, Oracle (for personal use), and MSDE (MS sql server free ver) are all much better tools for the same price.

One more reason to use standard interfaces (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 10 years ago | (#9986944)

On my last project, I used OBCD specifically so I could use one DBMS today and I or my in-house customers could replace it with another one later with minimal effort.

There are other ways of doing the same task, such as using wrapper functions for your DB calls.

This approach isn't appropriate for every project, but before you start coding, you should ask yourself "will this ever be used on another DBMS, what can I do now to save myself work later, and what will it cost me in terms of schedule, functionality, performance, etc."
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