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Oracle Boss Says OSS Needs Big Business

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the unhealthy-releationship dept.

157

Rob writes "Oracle Corp's CEO, Larry Ellison, has maintained that open source projects are only successful when major technology corporations get involved and doubted that open source will have a major impact on the software areas in which the company operates. Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld Tokyo Ellison also confirmed that the company had inquired about acquiring open source database vendor MySQL AB and denied that Oracle's recent open source acquisitions were designed to harm its rival."

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157 comments

"Mission critical" (4, Insightful)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842211)

From the article:
There are huge gaps in open source, it will be a long time before open source becomes popular for what we call mission critical database applications.
I think "mission critical" is supposed to evoke Walmart-sized behemoths, or perhaps the stock market. But isn't "mission critical" just anything that a particular business can't live without? Because indi [getindi.com] is running on lots of open source [blogs.com] , and it's pretty "mission critical" for our small company...

Re:"Mission critical" (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842228)

Damn right! My 30-person company considers the mysql databases that power its product to be mission critical. Without them we wouldn't have a product, and without a product we wouldn't have a business. Doesn't get any more mission critical than that.

Re:"Mission critical" (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842327)

On the other hand, a single mega corp like GM, dying from the head downward though it may be, probably represents a market of roughly equal magnitude to all the 30- person businesses in the country.

Of course, the very idea that Open Source "needs" big companies like Oracle is absurd by definition. Open Source needs programmers. Period. By extension, those programmers of course need to be paid in coin of one nature or another, and of course have to feed themselves. But this doesn't necessarily imply an Oracle or IBM jumping on the bandwagon. If linux were to shrivel away as a server operating system, and be kept alive by hobbyists, the genes are still there, in source form.

However, what Ellison's saying has some truth within the context of his perspective. In that perspective, 30- person companies are little better than ants. Open Source "needs" big companies to accrete the features and services that huge companies demand. You can debate dictionary definitions, but in usage, "enterprise" is understood as "big enterprise" by people who use the term. "Mission Critical" means critical to flow of substantial revenues. The rougly 5-10 million dollar annual revenue of the kind of company you're talking about doesn't qualify as "substantial" in these terms: it's not much larger than a typical CEO annual bonus; some CEOs get more.

Re:"Mission critical" (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842361)

Open Source needs programmers. Period.

The best products represent a collaboration between programmers, designers, artists, usability experts, documentors, and experts in the target market. Open Source needs a lot more than programmers to acheive that.

i.e. Open Source needs talented people of all walks. Period.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842495)

Sure. All I'm saying is that "needs" depends on who you are talking about doing the needing.

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842714)

Who said anything about a product? You're still stuck talking about it as if it's a business venture. Everyone else is talking about software.

I'm sorry, but Linux doesn't stop working if there aren't any graphic designers around, and no amount of "periods" will change that.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

DJDutcher (823189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842611)

On the other hand, a single mega corp like GM... probably represents a market of roughly equal magnitude to all the 30- person businesses in the country.

This comment struck me as a big exaggeration. I believe small companies are a larger share of GDP than you think. Doing a quick google search didn't find me the perfect stats to back this up, but I found this comment [doc.gov] from former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant D. Aldonas:

Our 25 million-plus small companies form the backbone of our economy. They create three of every four new jobs, generate more than half of the nation's gross domestic product, and account for nearly 97 percent of all U.S. exporters.

Re:"Mission critical" (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842654)

On the other hand, a single mega corp like GM, dying from the head downward though it may be, probably represents a market of roughly equal magnitude to all the 30- person businesses in the country.

True, but in this day in age it's also important to keep in mind where the next GM-sized companies are likely to come from. Startups are a lot more likely to use FOSS tools like linux, mysql, etc. to get their ideas off the ground than they are to spend many thousands of dollars up front on licenses from Oracle, Microsoft, Sun, etc. Eventually the successful start-up might start migrating to Oracle, etc. once they reach a point that justifies such a move, and the Oracles of the world need to recognize that this is a roadmap that smaller companies are likely to follow. True it may take some time, but that's where their future customers are likely to come from.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842789)

On the other hand, a single mega corp like GM, dying from the head downward though it may be, probably represents a market of roughly equal magnitude to all the 30- person businesses in the country.

What's the statistic, 60% of the GDP comes from small businesses? The strength of the American economy is in small companies with less than 20 employees. Oracle can't make much money off these guys though because they don't *need* the massive scalablility (or pricetag) of Oracle. Small companies just aren't Oracle's market, so of course they don't care about them.

Small is relative (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843023)

The SBA uses different measures for different business foci. In farming, you must have less than 0.5 million annual revenues. However, typical dollar figures for SBA criteria as small are in the 5-25 million annual revenue range: e.g., if you are construction contractor, you're "small" if you make less than $17 million per year. That probably implies probably several hundred employees.

For manufacturing, generally the number of employees are used. "Small" in manufacturing is in no case less than 500 employees, and some industries such as telecom equipment you can qualify as "small" with 1500 employees or even more.

I'm guessing that a typical 30 person company probably has revenues in the five million range; possibly twice that. While in computer software this would probably qualify as small, looked at in the overall context of business, it is beyond small -- it is tiny. Where the SBA sets the dividing line between small and large by employees, it never is less than 500 employees and is often more than several times that. 750 - 1000 employees is a typical dividing point. At this point I'd be guessing the revenues would be in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars annually, given the need to pay manufacturing wages, depreciation on capital investments, and material costs.

In any case, I'm making some rough Zipfian assumptions here, which are probably slightly exaggerated. Nonetheless, it is also true that the volume of a single individual sale to a GM can easily equivalent to dozens, hundreds, even thousands of sales to companies in the 20 employee range. And because it is all or nothing, will likely draw even more attention than its relative weight suggests.

The strength of the American economy is in small companies with less than 20 employees.

This is true because that's where the entrepreneurial energy is most free. However, the exit strategy for these guys is usually to sell to a huge company, rather than to become a huge company. At least for the smart ones. It works better because creative people have more freedom in small companies.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

ImdatS (958642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842854)

On the other hand, a single mega corp like GM [...] represents a market of roughly equal magnitude to all the 30- person businesses in the country.

At least in Germany, the so called Mittelstand (SMEs) represent around 82% of the GDP (source, in de_DE: http://www.uv-vorpommern.de/info.html [uv-vorpommern.de] )

I assume it is about the same in the USA - give or take 5-10%.

Even if we talk only about the 30-person business, I doubt that GM is directly responsible for as much GDP as all the up-to-30-person companies in the US. Of course, then again, GM has so many suppliers, ...

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

iBod (534920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842261)

Totally agree.

Many smaller companies and online traders consider OSS like Apache, PHP, MySQL and so on to be 'mission critical' in every sense of the word.

Of course, Larry E. probably can't get his mind down to that level: "Oh! You mean the little people?"

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842637)

True... Until that mission critical system fails.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842639)

Oh come on, Larry knows quite a bit about the little people. Who do you think he has clean his mega-speed yacht?

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842287)

True, but in some cases critical has a different meaning.
The major part of all the annecdotal evidence people will be posting today will apply to relatively small companies mening there is not that much money to be lost.
(which most of the time people will lose their jobs which would be very badf for these people personally).

In some cases when the mission critical application in a business like that fails it turns out they "get away with it" meanign it's wasn't that critical.

There also will be a lot of people claiming to have real world knowledge and stating that Open Source is just as good, if not better, but there is a liability issue here and a commitment from vendors to their customers/partners to make things work.

And then of course people will be yelling "google" which pretty much shows they do not understand business.

Ah well it's going to be an amusing comments section with comments from all these people with nu clue ;-)

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842594)

"The major part of all the anecdotal evidence people will be posting today will apply to relatively small companies meaning there is not that much money to be lost.(which most of the time people will lose their jobs which would be very bad for these people personally)."

Small to medium businesses employ far more people across the US than all the $MEGA-CORPs combined (statistics can be found at the US Small Business Administration).

Combined, the small businesses have a far greater impact than "just a few losing their jobs".

I read TFA and I still don't think that OSS needs $MEGA-CORP more than $MEGA-CORP needs OSS. This can be seen by large companies like IBM and Novell joining the fray. However, if IBM and Novell were to get out of OSS today it would have little to no impact on the software development. Welcome to the OSS world!

B.

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842621)

the side note of poeple losing their job was not meant as "just" losing their job, but to show there is a financial ans a personal/social side to this.

On teh other hand I can assure you that the majority of the small to medium companies that employ all these people a minor part uses open source for their "business critical" applications if this is applicable at all...

You may have RTFA which does not mean you understand what's being said here. So, thank you for making my point (and making my day).

Re:"Mission critical" (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842319)

Even if it did mean behemoths, it's still wrong. The .org TLD runs on PostgreSQL [slashdot.org] , for example. Incidentally, it used to run on Oracle, and they switched to PostgreSQL - perhaps that explains why the FUD about open-source databases is flowing thick and fast from Oracle.

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842354)

I work for the Federal Government and we use Linux and other F/OSS software (including Postgres) for mission critical production work. We also use several commercial software packages (including a commercial X server for Windows to access the Linux servers). However, we do not use Oracle.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842662)

Saying that the government do not use Oracle is downright incorrect.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

Anonymous MadCoe (613739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842689)

Heh

The guy claims to work for the federal Govt. and he posts on SLashdot he doesn't use Oracle. Well then it must be true, the federal govt. does not use oracle ;-)

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842715)

Let me be more specific. *MY* division does not use Oracle. We do, however, use DB2 on a mainframe. I never meant to imply that no one in the Federal Government does not use Oracle.

Re:"Mission critical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842838)

AHA!
So here it comes, in the first post you don't mention this, you only mention Postgres...

Hmm pushing some agenda here? This tactic also makes me doubt your claim that you work in the Federal Government.

Re:"Mission critical" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842429)

Please don't mod parent up. Look at his post history. All he's doing is plugging his software.

Re:"Mission critical" (1)

anothy (83176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842851)

But isn't "mission critical" just anything that a particular business can't live without?
basically, no.

the term is so horribly over-used and misused that it's impossible to draw anything resembling a reliable definition from usage, but take a look at the comparative impact of systems or components. i used to work for a financial services company that provided systems and services to stock trading companies. at the time, this company cleared over half of all trades on the NASDAQ, and small portion of NYSE trades as well. the ITS managers, as well as the entire corporate management, knew exactly how much money, measured in millions of dollars per second, would be lost to our collective customers if our systems went down. that's mission-critical. downtime was simply not an option.
by way of contrast, i currently work for a company who's primary business is providing roaming clearing services to mobile operators. we clear several billion dollars a year, have something like 90% of CDMA operators as our customers and something like 20% of all GSM operators as our customers. averaged flow is on the order of a million dollars an hour. that's still a truck load of money, but the business flow is very different - much more batched. if every computer we have is inoperable for a week, our customers will surely be quite angry, and we'd probably lose a few over it, but neither we nor they will get sued over it.

still, it's more complicated than that, really. my current company might not have mission-critical systems, as defined above, but we certainly have mission-critical data - data on customers businesses and traffic that their competitors (often also our customers) would pay dearly for. doing inappropriate things with that data (like giving it to inappropriate people) would get lots of people in lots of trouble.

as it is, though, the term's really more of a marketing buzzword. it doesn't really have a meaning beyond "something the speaker or listener thinks is really important". but it used to, and it was something at least roughly approximated by the above.

In other news, (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842229)

the CEO of General Mills has declared that breakfast is only successful when big business gets involved, the Maverick playing cards company has concluded that games of chance are only successful when big business gets involved, and the Louisville Slugger company have announced that bludgeoning people with baseball bats is only a success when big business gets involved.

Re:In other news, (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842301)

Louisville Slugger company have announced that bludgeoning people with baseball bats is only a success when big business gets involved.

I hope they consider Joe Pesci "big business."

Re:In other news, (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842403)

I just hope they don't consider him funny.

Gaim? (4, Insightful)

hotspotbloc (767418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842233)

IFAIK Gaim doesn't have a corporate sponsor but is an extremely successful OSS project. Corporate sponsorship is a great thing but not a requirement for a great project.

Re:Gaim? (2, Insightful)

Bradmont (513167) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842247)

And how about Debian?

Re:Gaim? (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842276)

Where would Debian be without IBM (and other companies) supporting Linux kernel development?

Re:Gaim? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842400)

If we're going to go down that route, where would GAIM be without MSN,ICQ/AIM, and all the other important chat networks. Probably sitting on the outside of obscurity with Jabber.

Re:Gaim? (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842519)

where would GAIM be without MSN,ICQ/AIM, and all the other important chat networks

Err, if MSN, AIM and others didn't exist, don't you think Gaim would sort of lose its purpose?

Besides, you're totally missing my point here. What I'm trying to say is (and what Larry Ellison also seems to be trying to say is), there's no such thing as a free lunch. Even Open Source projects cost something. And while it is possible to support smaller projects (like Gaim or Debian) by means of donations only, it's hardly possible when things get big.

Of course it's also the other way around: big businesses -- Microsoft, perhaps, excluded -- need Open Source. But that's already a completely different story.

Re:Gaim? (4, Funny)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842771)

Where would Debian be without IBM (and other companies) supporting Linux kernel development?
Exactly the same place. IBM's contributions haven't made it into Debian yet...

(Joke! I'm joking!)

Re:Gaim? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842952)

Do you mean IBM's contributions of SCOX's preciousssss IP? <grin>

ducks

Re:Gaim? (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842383)

You could argue that Google sponsors Gaim because they employ one of the developers to help with Google Talk I think. I would assume that some of the work on Google Talk would Trickle down into Gaim, especially with the voice/video support that is on it's way (into Gaim).

Re:Gaim? (2, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842588)

Gaim is not really a good example because its namesake and main functionality (gAIM), piggybacks on the AOL Instant Messanger server network. I do agree that Jabber functionality embedded in Gaim could be a good example, however, for the majority of users using Gaim, Jabber isn't a priority.

A better example could be Apache and the Apache Foundation (but they get a lot of money from people), and the absolute best example I can think of are Seamonkey and Firefox from Mozilla. None of these products are directly sponsored, though they do get money from bigger organizations to recoup costs of things like bandwidth, though BitTorrent could be used to significantly offset a lot of that (which is another good example).

So what have we learned? Corporate sponsorship happens because people need money to get things done. Most organizations don't care where the money is coming from, just that they're getting it. And I think at the heart of things, that's what Larry Ellison is trying to say.

Nice link title (1, Funny)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842244)

In the blurb, it reads: ...and denied that Oracle's recent open source acquisitions were designed to harm its rival, whereas the link (also in the Related Links bar) to the article itself reads Oracle's recent open source acquisitions were designed to harm its rival. Nice editorializing, mate.

Bazza...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842374)

Is that you?

Maybe I'm missing it, but... (4, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842248)

open source projects are only successful when major technology corporations get involved

Show me the big buisness involvement with qmail. sendmail? how about bind? Does ISC count as a "major technology corporation" now?

I suppose you could also require a definition of successful. Buisness definition of success is money. My definition of success is how many people use it. IRC. Big buisness has generally steered right clear of it. Probably about a million people using it. Is IRC successful? Cause thats one of my open source projects.

What about RFC791. That could be seen as "open source". BSD's socket layer? Definitely open source. Definitely successful, Microsoft used it. I wouldnt say any big buisness made it successful. I would say it was successful beforehand, and big buisness used that success to further its own goals.

Re:Maybe I'm missing it, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842419)

I would consider universities to be big business. And things like gaim and irc and such aren't essential to most businesses in my opinion, but the masses like them. Though When large quantities of people like something or want something, a fraction of them will work to make it better, the larger the quantity, the more people that will consider to work on it. Its more of a self fullfilling property. Big business has lots of people and even a small number from them working on something can be more people than a dozen people having fun coding a project.

Ellison Indiscipline (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842254)

Ellison also cast doubt on the potential for open source software to pose a radical threat to the proprietary software market. "I don't think open source will replace traditional software. I think open source will in some areas replace traditional software," he said.

I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat...

Listen to what Larry says. (2, Insightful)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842257)

After all, he is never wrong [vnunet.com] ;-)

Seriously however - story summary is "Big business says others need big business." Not really surprising is it.

Lastly, he doesn't even get cause & effect right:
"Open source becomes successful when major industrial corporations invest heavily in that open source product,"
Should read:
"Major industrial corporations invest heavily in Open source when that open source product becomes successful"
Larry - stick to what you're good at - Amusing Bill Gates quotes [thinkexist.com]

nonsense (4, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842270)


I think Larry's pushing an agenda here. Linux and Apache were both tremendously successful long before the big corporations got involved. They got involved _because_ the Open Source products were successful.

If MySql hadn't established a market niche that's now threatening Oracle, would Larry have looked at buying it? How did he make it successful?

What about standard staples of Java development such as Ant, JUnit, even things like Struts? Sure, most corporations use them. But they're successful because they're written well, they add great value, they're available, and they were all of those things without IBM or Oracle or Microsoft buying them, promoting them, offering to support them, etc.

I think Larry's wrong. Surprisingly often people do just sit at home and write world-class software, and sometimes that does become successful. Open Source definitely doesn't need corporate sponsorship; the two can go together very nicely.

Absolutes... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842646)

I think Larry's pushing an agenda here. Linux and Apache were both tremendously successful long before the big corporations got involved. They got involved _because_ the Open Source products were successful.

If MySql hadn't established a market niche that's now threatening Oracle, would Larry have looked at buying it? How did he make it successful?


Let's keep things in perspective here, MySql is a nice product but in terms of features, stability etc. it is a toy compared to Oracle Database. People rant on endlessly about speed but when it comes to the feature set, stability and reliability it leaves MySql standing which is not surprising since they occupy totally different market segments MySql is low end while Oracle Database is a high end product. The reason why Oracle looked at acquirirng it probably has more to do with them needing a good low end solution than them being threatened by it.

What about standard staples of Java development such as Ant, JUnit, even things like Struts? Sure, most corporations use them. But they're successful because they're written well, they add great value, they're available, and they were all of those things without IBM or Oracle or Microsoft buying them, promoting them, offering to support them, etc.

I think Larry's wrong. Surprisingly often people do just sit at home and write world-class software, and sometimes that does become successful. Open Source definitely doesn't need corporate sponsorship; the two can go together very nicely.


OSS pojects all on their own can produce quality software and they are not reliant on corporations but OSS pojects can and indeed have also benefitted immensly from corporate involvement. Another thing is that OSS projects have more than once formed the jumping-off point for sucessful commercial ventures which is good since it can provide small startup companies with a jumping-off point, or shortcut, into markets dominated by a few corporate giants. Oracle (not exactly a small company but a good example) for example uses Apache in it's Oracle Application Server but improved it significantly by replacing some modules and replacing others. Whether Larry is right depends on what context he was speaking in. Does OSS software need corporate sponsorship to suceed in general? NO I dont think so. Does OSS software need corporate sponsorship or repackaging/improvement to succeed in the enterprise where high availability and world class support are a must? YES, because when your revenue generating systems are suffering kernel panicks or some other difficult to solve problems you want to get an expert engineer on-site and fix the problem post haste and not spend a week rifling through Internet forums and HowTo docs.

No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Linu (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842272)

The article says Oracle [oracle.com.] compares its US$15G/yr revenue to MySQL [mysql.com.] 's US$30M/yr. But as Paul Graham [paulgraham.com.] says, it is OK to shrink a US$30G/yr industry to US$30M/yr, if your absolute share of the new US$30M is bigger than the one on US$30G was. Or in other words, MySQL will laugh to the bank on growing from US$30M, while Oracle will strive to keep their US$15G.

Also, IBM [ibm.com.] , Oracle and Intel [intel.com.] did not make Linux [linux.com.] . Richard Stallman [stallman.org.] created GNU [gnu.org.] , Linus used GNU and complemented it with Linux, and now IBM, Oracle and Intel help Linus with Linux and RMS with GNU.

I wonder how long will IBM and Oracle continue think they can sell proprietary servers on free platforms, without facing significant competition from free servers too. And how long Intel think they can sell proprietary machines to run free software without facing competition from free (think 'open') hardware? Now they are winning, IBM and Oracle using GNU/Linux to face competition from Microsoft, and Intel to crush proprietary RISC (think they ignoring OpenFirmware); but how long before we are running PostgreSQL [postgresql.org.] (or better yet, Rel [dbappbuilder.sf.net] ) on some OpenCores system booting with OpenFirmware or something the like? Not on the short term, for sure, but eventually maybe it is inevitable, unless DRM forces us into a police state.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842336)

$15G ?

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (2, Informative)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842415)

I suspect the original was referring to "Megadollars" and "Gigadollars", or million and billion for the rest of us.

Personally, when I see $15G, I think 15 Grand, but that doesn't make sense in this context.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842511)

I suspect the original was referring to "Megadollars" and "Gigadollars"

Touché.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842373)

I just don't see free hardware happening. I just don't think the economics support it. Software you can build and maintain for low costs. You just need people to donate their time. Hardware is a much different story. Someone has to pay for the silicon, the clean rooms, the R&D, etc.

People may give away software to have you buy hardware or services. And people may give you hardware if you buy software or services. But, at the end of the day, somebody is going to pay something.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (0, Offtopic)

GoCanes (953477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842503)

Free hardware? I'll take a Porsche!

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842534)

I just don't see free hardware happening. I just don't think the economics support it.

That is why I said free as in open. I don't mean free of cost, but open designs such as OpenCores'; free as in freedom.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842453)

but how long before we are running PostgreSQL (or better yet, Rel)
Postgres has changed interface languages before. Switching to a Tutorial D style syntax could happen if there was sufficient demand for it.

Re:No clue on relevance of revenues or who made Li (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842578)

Postgres has changed interface languages before. Switching to a Tutorial D style syntax could happen if there was sufficient demand for it.

Some years ago I floated the idea, but there wasn't much interest in it if memory serves me. But the hackers' talk at the time flew over my head, so I might be mistaken.

Do remember that, when PostGres became PostgreSQL, it had to shed QUEL, because SQL isn't relational. It might be easier to start from scratch (Rel?), or from the last version of PostGres. Please note the current product is called PostgreSQL; PostGres was the version that used QUEL, with no SQL corruption yet.

Oracle was slowler than MySql for me (1)

soldack (48581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842275)

I used to work at an internet advertising company. We would track ads and keep a database of what was setup and clicked on,etc. We supported several databases including MySql, Oracle, and SqlServer. We defaulted to MySql unless the customer had a database installed already they wanted to use. The only reason we moved to Oracle was when folks hit a 2 GB limit on a table (and file) size that MySql on 32-bit X86 linux had back then (not sure if it does now). Things got soooo much slower. Scripts that were designed to make reports over night in an hour or so couldn't finish before folks came in the next day.

Also they seem to not be able to get their clustering to scale beyond a few servers without high end interconnects like InfiniBand. Even with IB, they needed a whole new protocol, Reliable Datagram Sockets, which SilverStorm made for them. I also used to work at SilverStorm. Oracle also wanted to invent a user mode RDMA based storage driver (user SCSI Remote DMA Protocol) because they seemed to feel that going through the kernel was a major bottleneck for storage.

It is interesting to see the need for all this new technology just to catch up in performance.
-Ack

Re:Oracle was slowler than MySql for me (1)

Ledis (720981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842589)

Perhaps Oracle is more about data integrity and concurrency instead of being the fastest possible "file writer", which seems to be the idea of a RDBMS for too many developers. And it requires experience and knowledge to get Oracle running full speed.

Re:Oracle was slowler than MySql for me (1)

soldack (48581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842911)

Sure, I agree that MySql does lack these things and they can contribute to performance but what some aspects of data integrity can be handled by using proper storage. Perhaps Oracle should make some of these things optional so that the speed vs. safety tradeoff can be in the user's hands? Perhaps they are comfortable with their RAID array with UPS backup and nightly tape backups.

From my point of view, a system should not require extensive tuning to run well in typical environments. I can't stand the idea that having lots of tunable settings makes something good. Does Oracle support some sort of auto tuning run where it figures out the best parameters given your system? It seems like it should be able to observe some sample usage and adjust things as needed? How about SQL optimization? It seems like bad software design if you need more expensive folks to make it work well vs the competition and that appears to be true for Oracle. Oracle DBAs cost more then others and it still often doesn't perform as well.

By the way, back at my internet ad company, we used oracle dbas to make sure our Oracle SQL was fast. Using oracle specific tricks helped quite a bit but not enough to catch up.

The company sold their software to lots of pretty large web sites. Often the same systems that hosted ads handled other main issues. Very few had a problem with the integrity issues of MySql even when we told them about it.
-Ack

Re:Oracle was slowler than MySql for me (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842628)

And Solaris can be slower than Linux. Here's why: lack of data safeguards. Remember LiveJournal's big outage after a power spike trashed their DB? Do you like the fact that Linux enables controller-side caching by default, never mind that a power hit while your data is in that cache means bye-bye data? These are examples where speed is gained at the cost of reliability.

If we're talking about mission critical applications, whether you're a 30 person company or GE, you have to have data reliability. Can MySQL and Linux achieve these? Certainly, but guess what, suddenly you're not going faster than Oracle or Solaris any longer.

All of which is really irrelevant to Larry's claims. Personally I think he's full of it. Perl is another example of a wildly successful OSS project before there was "big" business support for it. It all depends on your definition of success, and I'm sure that in Larry's definition, he's right. But his definition is increasingly irrelevant.

Re:Oracle was slowler than MySql for me (1)

soldack (48581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843018)

re: Controller side caching
If a system takes a power hit, your data could get lost in several places.
Computer RAM: This can especially occur if you are going throug a file system and get stuck in the file system cache.
Hardware RAID Cache: This can be in the FC/SCSI/SAS/SATA controller although from my experience the big systems put the RAID in with the storage. See the big beasts from EMC, NetApp, etc.
Disk Cache: Each hard disk has its own write cache

So on a massive power failure, you need UPS accross the board to let things make it to disk. Any component noted above will lose data on power failure if you don't have power backup.

On a massive power spike, any of these systems will lose data or get corrupted. Heck RAM itself will can read incorrectly on power spikes.

Now certainly Oracle may do things with their DB to insure the integrity of data and it probably does these things better then MySql. On the other hand some folks are comfortable with restoring from tape. Database snapshot systems can help aleviate the problem.

So I will take integrity of MySql vs Oracle as an argument by how do you argure Solaris vs. Linux? If Linux is so bad why does Oracle support it and event advertise for it? Companies like IBM, Unisys, and SGI all seem to think Linux can handle mission critical systems on the high end. Many of the top super computers in the world use linux. On the embedded side linux is doing quite well in mission critical components. WindRiver is supporting linux now despite having VxWorks.

If Oracle is running on linux or solaris on the same hardware, there isn't really much difference in integrity. At that point oracle is writing pretty much straight to disk so it comes down to Oracle, computer hardware, and storage hardware. The OS doesn't make much of a difference.

Ignorant comments (3, Informative)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842288)

"Red Hat didn't make Linux: IBM made Linux, Intel made Linux, Oracle made Linux," according to Ellison.

"We have many more developers on Linux than Red Hat," he added, pointing out that the Redwood Shores, California-based company Oracle Cluster File System to enable Linux to scale across enterprise clusters


Man, those are some ignorant ass comments. Oracle is a much bigger company than red hat. It's more interesting to see the percentage of their developers focused on open source. I can pretty much guarantee it's red hat. Red hat needs open source to survive. It's the basis of their whole business model.

Second of all, those three companies did NOT make Linux. IBM has been a very good general purpose contributor, and to a lesser extent Intel. However, Oracle is NOT in that bunch. Oracle's contributions are minor compared to the other two and can be mostly traced back to enhancements that directly benefit their commercial products. Not saying their contributions aren't appreciated, but they are by no means the same league as Intel and IBM. And really, he just spouted out a couple of his butt buddies. There are a lot of small companies that make a particular product based on linux (such as backup solutions) that make extremely important contributions. The only surviving iSCSI implementation on Linux came from a small company making a linux based backup solution. Intel in fact contributed iSCSI code that is now largely depreciated. Open source does need a commercial counterpart, however it's not the 500 pound gorillas that make open source unique. It's the small companies that need it to survive. I can't say the same or Oracle.

Open Source Success (2, Insightful)

Ping the Penguin (620723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842289)

So Larry hasn't heard of Apache or Samba then...

I think that pleny of people would consider these somewhat successful projects mission critical.

I also don't recall any big companies helping them but I can think of one trying to kill them...

Gotta love Larry Ellison (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842291)

I mean, even aside from saying +5 Funny things all the time, he constantly bashes Gates.

Larry, we need on on Slashdot. You'd love it. Jump on in -- the water's fine.

"There's this idea that because it's open source people who work in Radio Shack develop the software for free, it's just not true."

Although I didn't know that he didn't like Radio Shack. I like Radio Shack. Hmm. Maybe it just wouldn't work out.

who leads who? (5, Insightful)

Virtex (2914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842298)

Larry Ellison, has maintained that open source projects are only successful when major technology corporations get involved

That's funny. It seems to me that major technology corporations usually get involved in open source projects only after they become successful.

Re:who leads who? (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842539)

You like how it works? If your program didn't take the whole world by storm, Big Business laughs at you and says you're "nothing but a basement hippy hacker". If your program *did* take the world by storm, Big Business pounces on it and says "it was our idea the whole time!"

In other news (3, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842302)

William the Bastard of Normandy says "Democracy will never work. Cooperating groups of smallholders never get anywhere until large feudal landlords take over."

Capitalism: the replacement of elected government by government by unelected multinational corporations in the name of freedom.

Quantitiy not quality (1)

Hausenwulf (956554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842309)

The reason big business is significant to open source software is that it can bring additional resources to a project. More hands and eyes produce more results. It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter where those resources come from.

Forking and Replacement Code (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842334)

I see a lot of changes in the licenses of these projects to help them adjust to the new found home. I see a lot of the code being taken at the pre-oracle assimilation point and splitting off into new code under the old licenses when possible, and total replacements being coded when it is not. Or maybe I am just paranoid, I certainly cannot read the future, but I don't believe it was all done just to help support open source. I am hoping they bought them just so they would not have to adhere to the licenses themselves, ie where they could use the technology freely in their own code. Only time will tell.

This could be trouble (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842359)

If this guy is right (and I'm not suggesting he is or is not), OSS may have a bumpy road ahead. The OSS community on balance is at best vaguely unreceptive to "big business," and on a typical day around here, openly hateful and hostile against it. I don't see "big business" feeling especially compelled to embrace the pseudosocialists that populate OSS communities. We, on balance, hate everything that has to do with successful private enterprise, especially when those enterprises feel threatened and begin to abuse their resources. We hate big oil. We hate Wal*Mart. We hate big pharma. We hate Microsoft. We hate anybody that expects us to pay for CDs or DVDs. Name a successful international business model. We hate it, sometimes with good cause, just as often with no cause but social inertia.

We have one thing going for us. Businesses hate their IT departments. They hate having CIOs, they hate the multimillion dollar budgets just to keep some aging technology around that upper management privately believes is completely unnecessary. They ran their business computer systems in 1995 with 8 guys, now they need 200. They hate IT. And if we can come along and say, "this'll do the job for 9% cheaper," you just might get "big business" to sign on.

OT: pseudo-socialist rant (3, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842710)

We hate it, sometimes with good cause, just as often with no cause but social inertia.

Generally, the dislike of big business is not due to "pseudo-socialism," but for the other factors you mention: the abuse that accompanies "success." We hate oil because they gouge the customer, hire thugs to shoot up villages in Africa, and abuse their position as gatekeepers to the world's energy.

We hate Wal*Mart because their full-time workers don't make enough at their full-time job to live off, even if they shop at Wal*Mart. We hate Microsoft because they used their dominant market position to shut out competitors in the late 80s, early 90s, and are generally the Budwieser of software. We hate big pharmaceuticals because they research impotence cures, and not things like AIDS cures (they leave that to the universities, but they'll be the first to patent any real results).

In every case, the company is using their superior position (usually government-protected monopoly; or in the case of Microsoft, a "natural" monopoly the abuse of which the government ignores) to destroy perceived competition, rather than competing on their merits. They do anything to maximize profit; and that generally means screwing the citizens of the world (often not even their customers).

The easiest definition of "evil" is fucking over someone for your own gain. Big companies often do that as a first recourse, rather than a last resort. Enron's manipulation of the energy market cost California billions of dollars. Enron is a shining example of corporate success, if only they didn't get caught. Hell, even getting caught hardly did anything. The people most responsible are still walking free, enjoying their riches.

As long as corporations can fuck over people for their own good, there is no free market. It's not like a candy store; we can't just open up next door and compete with Exxon. The market is regulated more by big business than by big government, to the point where government is in the pocket of big business.

I can think of no giant international business that didn't get where it is by intentionally fucking over lots and lots of people. I'm sure there are some. I certainly don't despise all big business; just the ones I know are evil.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Re:OT: pseudo-socialist rant (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842994)

You can hate big business as much as you want, but the problem with saying that they're big and nasty and bad is that they're still private (or public) property. As soon as you start asking the government to regulate private property, then you either have to accept those same limitations on business of ALL sizes to be fair, or you pick some arbitary point at which business needs more regulation, and you start sliding down the slippery slope, AND you take away incentive to grow.

A Test For Ellisons Claim (1)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842369)

I propose a test, to see if Ellison is correct:

Big business can stop sponsoring and writing open source code, and then we'll see if it goes away before they do.

It won't. Big business needs OSS to reduce costs far more than OSS needs them.

This little speech is all part of a coordinated corporate assault on MySQL, with the intended audience being PHBs, not IT staff.

Re:A Test For Ellisons Claim (3, Insightful)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842442)

...or you can look iat it another way. Big business can stop using open source code. All large corporations running Linux suddenly stop.

Development would slow for Linux and any other open source project is it was not allowed to be used in big business.

I see it more as a combination of the two. Large corporations deal with folks like IBM and Oracle. When their consultants go in, if they are able to push OSS then OSS will be touted as more and more of a success story while IBM and Oracle sit back and reap the benefits of having support contracts, development contracts and implementation contracts.

The interface of OSS and business... (1)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842390)

The interface of OSS and business is going to be a turbulent intersection for some time to come. It's like a guy and girl who are dating and attracted to each other for various reasons but both want the other one to change before getting married. How OSS has changed big business has been a big topic of discussion, but how business affects OSS is a topic that has not been widely researched or discussed. I take a shot at it in a research piece here: Business Factors in OSS Database Companies http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=13823 [osnews.com]

It doesn't always help... (1)

macserv (701681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842406)

Apple's use of KHTML, for example, hasn't done much at all to boost the popularity of that framework. I guess it depends on how many ways the technology can be used. Unless you're building something that renders web pages, KHTML isn't very useful to you, and there may be a more compelling alternative at the moment. MySQL, on the other hand, is indispensable.

Re:It doesn't always help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842540)

Actually, I think that FireFox was the result of Apple going with KHTML...

It's true. (2, Insightful)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842409)

If Linux is going to make headway into the desktop market it will need help from big business. The X.org version of the X protocol server has maybe 10 active developers working on it and maybe 20-30 semi-active developers. How is this going to be competitive? Also we need some big corps to push on graphics vendors like Nvidia and ATI to take Linux seriously. Even though ati/nvidia driver support is getting better it's only according to their limitied resources allocated towards Linux devel.

Re:It's true. (1)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842649)

If Linux is going to make headway into the desktop market

See, we're begging a question, here. Who says Linux *wanted* to conquer the world? I use Linux and love it; many others do, too. I never demanded that everybody else love it, too. Our only objection is when we're actively undermined by Big Business.

Five years ago when the 9-to-5ers never heard of Linux was a good time. We had less spotlight on us, less distractions. Now everybody talks about Linux like it, itself, was a "Big Business". Expect, whoa, time out here, who is Linux's CEO? Where is Linux's board of shareholders? Who does it belong to? See, it "belongs" to you and I as much as anybody else. It's not only a different kind of business model; it's not a business model at all. We came to destroy the throne, not push the reigning dictator out of it and replace him.

Linux is Go, and as long as John Q. Public keeps thinking about it in terms of Chess, it's gonna keep getting it wrong.

fuc4? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842423)

Note To Larry Ellison: (2, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842426)

Since every Oracle product/patch I have used has required intensive research of user forums (because your customer support site Metalink sucks balls) to get it to work properly, what exactly is the difference between your product and and open-source product other than the fact that you make your customers pay ridiculous sums for the privilege of debugging your software?

P.S. You're an asshole Larry.

Signed,

An Oracle Customer

OSS Needs Big Business? (1)

MartinG (52587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842431)

OSS began with no support from big business and would have carried on fine without it. It's growth and adoption has no doubt been helped by big business support, but to say it needs big business is just not true.

Previously you might say OSS needed big business because a significant part of the business market would not use OSS without that support, but they are slowly comong to realise that they can use OSS perfectly well without it.

Oracle are merely aligning themselves a bit more with OSS now in preparation for the death of their existing business model.

It's not that OSS Needs Big Business, it's that Big Business needs OSS.

--
Martin.

He's right; for the time being (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842452)

Oracle is a big expensive high power database application. It exists in a market that open source database applications can't touch, yet. Most small businesses won't use Oracle. They will use Access if anything. They may be willing to move to an open source equivalent. (It may no longer be MySQL depending on what happens.) So, open source is no immediate threat to Oracle.

Open source is a disruptive technology though. Open source databases will get better and better. They will eventually start eating Oracle's lunch. Oracle will retreat up-market. RIP Oracle. It will take a while though.

Their other alternative is to keep on buying/hiring everyone who creates a credible open source database. The problem is that there are lots of people who hate Oracle. They won't be bought/hired.

How long do I think the process will take? Judging by other industries, less than fifty years. :-)

vim (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842491)



Just sayin'.

Of course if big business would get involved and internationalize it a bit, and by that I mean replace the 50,000 places that all go something like

if(char == '.' || char == '!' || char == '?') {sentenceEnd = true;} ...with proper character classes that are defined in one place and aren't limited to ASCII, then I would be very grateful.

Well meaning, somewhat true, mostly bu11$h!t (3, Interesting)

bshensky (110723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842510)

I've been doing Oracle since V5 and Linux since Red Hat 4.5. My take:

From the perspective of Open Source, Larry's like that "successful" uncle at your family picnic. He brings lots of toys to play with, the kids love him, is largely generous to a fault during his visit. But ask him how he made his riches, and he's liable to try to suck you into his pyramid scheme, and that's the last thing you want to hear at your family gathering.

Most of you would think it would be just fine if he stopped showing up at the family shindigs, but deep down, you'd all miss him, even if only a little bit.

Oracle wouldn't engage Open Source if there wasn't something for Oracle to gain from it. Let me tell you, Oracle App Server would be far more an abomination than it is today had they not built the latest version around Apache, for example. Their "grid" marketspeak is built firmly on the proliferation of free OS on cheap hardware, so they've already tied their future to (and bet it on) the success of Linux, and they're damned if they're wrong.

Ultimately, I think Larry and Oracle have taken on a relatively healthy, pragmatic relationship with Open Source. There's plenty of banter about how Oracle's assisted Red Hat, helped Zend get off the ground, and all that, but it's sometimes difficult to actually quantify what they have infused back into the OSS realm. I wish I'd see more Oracle-backed projects on SourceForge, for example.

In the same breath, I'm just a bit disturbed about their shenanigans with MySQL. WTF? I tend to believe they're trying to leverage the MySQL *technology* into their software offerings, and at the same time make themselves the clear target for migration when companies grow, rather than obliterate the MySQL product itself. Obliterating MySQL would amount to biting the hand that feeds Oracle - the backlash would be fierce and paralysing. Instead, I could easily see a Oracle-branded read-only data warehouse *cache* bolted onto its App Server product that's "Powered By InnoDB". Get it?

Larry should just shut up and find a better way for the Rasums Lerdorfs and Bob Youngs of the world to get heard. We get it, Larry - you're successful. Now shut up and eat a hot dog.

Larry "Looser" Ellison (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842514)

What a looser. Linux was gaining popularity before Oracle ran on it. Yes,
a lot of open source projects have benefited by corporate investment, but
they were there and gaining popularity before corporate investment. Big
corporations benefit from open source, by adding resources, they have
benefitted even more.

Just because they give money, doesn't mean that they run the party. What's
the difference between god and Larry Ellison? God doesn't think he's Larry
Ellison.

Re:Larry "Loser" Ellison? (0, Offtopic)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842544)

Better check the spelling on "loser", bucko!

Re:Larry "Looser" Ellison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842726)

> What a looser.

What exactly do you think makes him not tight? Why would you consider being not tight an insult? What are you trying to say?

You missed the point... Mr. Ellis (1)

Zphbeeblbrox (816582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842532)

Larry, I think you kind of missed the point. Open Source Doesn't need Big Business. Small business needs Open Source. Or more accurately Businesses trying to compete in a market ruled by qasi-monopolies need open source. When a business contributes to Open Source it may help the project succeed, but the help goes both ways.

The current success of Open Source is just a natural product of a Free Market reacting to an existing Monopoly. Companies needed a way to compete. OSS gave them one way to do just that. Open Source by it's very nature doesn't "need" anyone. It's just one more tool that companies trying to stay ahead of Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and others can use to keep their heads above water. The real key here is that it is working. Maybe not as fast as some think it is. Or in the way that some would like it to, but it is working. And in the process it's changing the Software Market forever.

Oracle might see OpenSource as a thread (1)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842569)

Oracle so far isn't known as participating in OpenSource very much and it seems the free databases might finally become a thread to their business. So I don't consider their statement very objective.

O. Wyss

It's A Good Thing (1)

bubba_ry (574102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842597)

Look, big corporations are taking a closer look at OSS and are realizing that it can be an important resource instead of dismissing it wholesale. If they're willing to take on the work and provide funding, more's the better. The product gets more exposure and use.

If those companies that buy up OSS companies ever close the source, well, that's what forks are for. Either way, the OSS community wins. I do believe in the altruistic nature of OSS, but (surprise) some folks would love to turn a buck from the work they put into OSS. Look at Marty over at Sourcefire; he's doing well and the community still has a tool that is hugely beneficial.

Much as many folks in the OSS community don't like proprietary code (for many reasons), the OSS community should not operate to the exclusion of big business. It is possible for the two to cohabitate.

Re:It's A Good Thing (1)

Lord Duran (834815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842953)

How many forks were of the same quality as the original product?

It all depends on what "successful" means. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842630)

If you define "successful" as meaning "involves big corporations and a lot of money", then Larry's words are absolutely true. It's only when you start using different definitions of "success" that that tautology breaks down.

Big business can help... (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842634)

with resources, not quality.
Quality of software is 100% dependent on the quality of the development team, with the following caveats:
1) Management: good developers + bad management = fouled software
2) Finances: good developers - necessary resources = fouled software
3) Business sense: good developers - "in touch with reality" = good developers out of touch with reality
4) Personnell issues: good developers + huge egos that get in the way = bad developers

Here is where big business can have an effect
1) If it add unnecessary management or red tape, it will hurt the quality of the software
2) If it adds $$ to the project, it will help the quality of the software
3) If it adds competent business infrastructure, it will help the quality and marketibility of the software
4) No change, unless developers are replaced

So... assuming an OSS project has a good development team, big business can help by providing resources, including resources for development, and resources for business needs. It doesn have the potential of swallowing up the project and making it crap. Again, as usual, it all comes down to the people involved.


not really sure what my point is now

Ellison - Devil Incarnate (3, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842691)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. People may fear, loathe or just distrust Bill Gates and his lust for monopolistic dominance, but compared to Ellison, he's a pussycat. Ellison IS the antichrist. I've witnessed a few of his speeches firsthand, and been at a cocktail party where he was present. I've never seen anyone who seems so entirely driven by hatred. He has a strange aura of evil around him. I feel grateful that Microsoft is largely controlled by bumbling geeks like Gates and baboons like Ballmer. If Ellison was in their position we'd be paying his company to wipe our ass by now.

He doesn't like OSS for one simple reason. It's not his. He doesn't own it, control it, or make money from it (although arguably his products sometimes rely on it).

I'd let my children go to for a fun day at the park with Bill. I wouldn't let them in the same room as Larry.

Sorry -now I've got that off my chest, feel free to resume the conversation.

Re:Ellison - Devil Incarnate (2, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842903)

Thing is, I trust Ellison. I trust him to be the ruthless scheming greedy SOB he is. Gates is trying to make him love you every other minute. He tries to trick you into thinking his product is good. He makes excuses for his shortcomings. How often do you hear anything like this from Ellison. His product dominates the high end database market and from what most people say is excellent. He doesn't waffle around issues or change his mind 40 times a day.

He may be pure evil, but he's honest passionate evil. Not slimy, nerdy, snake oil salesman evil and I can respect that.

Larry is a knob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842753)

Um, Apache? Knob...

Larry Ellison - Iraqi Information Minister (2, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842845)

There are no MySQL's within a 150 miles of Silicon Valley! We will drive the infidel open source hoardes into the sea! MySQL tables will become bloated with corrupt data and their data bits will rot in the desert. Their administrators will wail and lose their jobs as they and their children beg in the street for scraps of data. Our glorious Oracle army will rise up and smite the invader!

Of course Larry would spill this rhetoric (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842876)

This couldn't possibly have to do with them trying to buy up MySQL and Zend, along with their acquisition of JBoss, Sleepycat (who own the two transactional engines behind MySQL: BDB and InnoBase), and others that skip my mind at the moment. No, can't be that...

Sure Larry would say this, because he wants to justify his purchased by drumming up some inertia behind their acquisitions.

OSS needs big business? (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842910)

OSS needs big business to be successful? Oh, then I guess that Linux thing can't have become a huge success, then. And Apache, that can't have been successful as a Web server. And Sendmail couldn't be a very successful MTA. What? All of those are successful? How odd. :)

I think the "open-source needs big business" is wishful thinking on the part of big business. They depend heavily on open-source software for critical things, and to admit that it could be successful without them would invalidate too many of the assumptions their world's based on.

Oracle and JBoss (1)

idleprocess (606281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843004)

From the article:

"Every open source product that has become tremendously successful became successful because of huge dollar investments from commercial IT operations like IBM and Oracle and Intel and others."

So Oracle's attempted purchase of JBoss was to make JBoss succeed? Nah, JBoss has been pulling corporations, big and small away from Oracle's middleware stack and they're not happy about it. OSS can succeed, without the Oracle's and IBM's of the world.

He just got mixed up! (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843024)

Larry said "projects are only successful when major technology corporations get involved"

He meant to say "Only WHEN projects are successful do major technology corporations get involved"

(I guess we should thank the FEW corporations who are the exception to this rule, IBM with eclipse, Sun with Open Office)
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