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MySQL CEO Insists He's Not Supping With The Devil 197

Posted by Zonk
from the eye-of-the-beholder dept.
jg21 writes "In the continuing saga of the decision by MySQL previously discussed here on Slashdot to make a deal with SCO Group, the company's CEO Marten Mickos has now granted an interview in which he addresses the inevitable criticism that the deal has provoked in the F/OSS community. His main defense seems to be that other companies have ported to SCO too. He admits money too played a part." From the article: "We believe that porting a GPL version of MySQL for the SCO OpenServer platform gives thousands of users more options when it comes to choosing a database -- which is a good thing. The deal produces revenue for us and this allows us to hire more open source developers. We didn't make the decision lightly; we knew SCO was a sensitive subject with the free software and open source communities."
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MySQL CEO Insists He's Not Supping With The Devil

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  • Not So Free Software (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @03:43PM (#13853859)
    I wonder why this is an issue. If someone wants to port its own software on a new platform, who should argue against it?
    • by lewp (95638) *
      Nobody. But that hasn't stopped a zealot yet.
    • I wonder why this is an issue. If someone wants to port its own software on a new platform, who should argue against it?

      The company who develops that platform intends to destroy one of the other platforms you sell your sotfware for. That's why it's an issue.
    • by Arker (91948) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:13PM (#13853999) Homepage

      The only reason it's an issue is because web sites like this one are heavily infiltrated by astro-turfers that will try to make it an issue so their masters can then squeal about 'linux zealots.'

      MySQL made a deal, they got paid money to support a platform. That the client, in this case, happens to be the litigiousbastards [sco.com] was sure to raise a few eyebrows, and did, but not much more than that. Business is business. I hope Mårten made sure their check cleared before he let anyone put in any hours on that project... *shrug*

      • I'd rather see MySQL AB get their money than Boies and associates.
      • Sooooo... Mårten signed a CONTRACT. With SCO.
        I hope MySQLs "Prepaid Legal" is current!
      • The only reason it's an issue is because web sites like this one are heavily infiltrated by astro-turfers that will try to make it an issue so their masters can then squeal about 'linux zealots.'

        That's funny, because I actually know a few 'linux zealots' and some of them really do say things like that. Now it may be that there really are a few people paid/encouraged to come here and act up, but I think it's much more likely that actually, most of the people acting like that just are like that. It would cert
    • Right. Not as if running Free/Open SOurce on Microsoft platforms is that uncommon these days....

      This being said, I think that Mickos came across very well in this interview. He did exactly what the company should have done from the beginning which is to say indicate that this is just about bringing MySQl to more customers.

      My prior concerns had more to do with other public comments than with with the SCO partnership per se.
    • Because of the fact that if I use mysql at work, sco could sue my employer and my job would be on the line.

      Paranoid? Yes, but this is SCO and all the people they sued so far were Openserver customers switching to Linux. What was the deal anyway between mysql and sco? Did sco get some special IP sharing agreement? How do I know?

      • by einhverfr (238914) <chris.traversNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday October 22, 2005 @07:13PM (#13854747) Homepage Journal
        Paranoid? Yes, but this is SCO and all the people they sued so far were Openserver customers switching to Linux.

        My favorite claim they made was when they claimed that Daimler Crysler did not adequately provide a list of systems running their software, and that the response of "we haven't used your software in seven years" did not qualify as a list.

        Fortunately the judge was not amused by the level of creativity in this interpretation and promptly threw out most of the SCO v. DCC suit (she left the possibility that SCO could sue DCC for not responding in a timely fashion to their inquiry, but the rest was thrown out).
    • MySQL has run on OpenServer all along, even if MySQL AB officially stopped supporting it in 2003.

      The issue is that MySQL AB has now partnered with The SCO Group.

      Yes, they've tried to be as arm's-length about it as possible (and who wouldn't?), but MySQL AB didn't need to do this at all in order to support OpenServer or UnixWare users.

      My pet theory is that MySQL, blinded and distracted by the glitter of gold, have overreached themselves. Fine, if that's the case -- they made a bad decision. Nobody's perfect.
  • ... and just watch a million geek blogs get converted to SQLite [sqlite.org].
    • SQLite is meant to be embedded, and isn't really comparable to MySQL (consider, if you will, that SQLite doesn't actually include an GRANT or REVOKE statements [sqlite.org]).

      Apples and oranges.
      • Re:And sit back... (Score:2, Informative)

        by FST777 (913657)
        your posts parent was referring to webbased blogs. In those circumstances, sqlite performs VERY good. I fail to see why GRANT and REVOKE are necessary for those lightweight web-applications

        I recently build a webshop. I used MySQL for the main article databases and sqlite for the shopping carts and ordering information. This works very well and very fast, even on our slightly underpowered webserver.
  • Go PostgreSQL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GiorgioG (225675) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @03:45PM (#13853869) Homepage
    In the long-run I think Postgres will eat MySQL's lunch because now, there's a native Windows version *and* the whole dual licensing crap will make most small commercial software developers move away from MySQL (I know I won't be developing any applications (all non-PHP work) using MySQL)
    • True, you are not required to purchase a license to use with proprietary apps, but if you want to, say because your PHB asks you to, you can certainly purchase licenses from Command Prompt, Inc or EnterpriseDB, each of which offers a few useful value adds and are both very active contributing members of the community.
    • The Postgress Win32 installer needs work though - last time I looked it wrote things into system32. Next time I get a look I'll have to see if I can submit patches to fix that.
  • Stupidity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @03:47PM (#13853883) Homepage
    I think MySQL would be wise to shut up about the whole MySQL / SCO thing and hope it goes away. I can't understand why they keep talking about it, this can only hurt them.
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @03:49PM (#13853890) Homepage

    Yahoo handing in a demonstrator....

    Google agreeing to censor....

    And a massive amount of US companies doing extremely dodgy deals with disreputable regimes, you know like Dick Cheney meeting Saddam Hussein.

    So MySql (a relatively poor database before SapDB came in) have agreed to work with SCO to get a bit of cash. Not the most moral decisions but certainly against what those who dealt with Saddam Hussein or the Chinese Goverment its pretty small fry.
    • It's not, and that's why I'll probably continue using MySQL, google and Yahoo! (I live in the UK, so Cheney's not my problem). I'm used to using a MySQL\PHP\Apche development envionment, and it works. I'm not about to change over a petty dispute. However, that's not to say i won't change if there is a better development envionment out there. If there's somthing better that I can learn, pickup and go quickly I will, but only if it's better suited for the task.
    • by backslashdot (95548) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @05:02PM (#13854179)
      How do we know SCO won't turn around and claim that the code in MySQL is tainted??? This is EXACTLY what they did to IBM.

      It's in the SCO press release that the money is to be used to produce a COMMERCIAL version of the database.

      That's right looks like they duped the MySQL CEO who didnt read the contract before signing.

      http://ir.sco.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1720 [sco.com] 37 [sco.com]

      From the SCO press release:

      "The SCO Group, Inc. ("SCO") (Nasdaq: SCOX), a leading provider of UNIX(R) software technology for distributed, embedded and network-based systems, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with MySQL AB to jointly deliver a certified, commercial version of the popular MySQL database"
  • by fuzzy12345 (745891) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @03:51PM (#13853897)
    First, I've never been a fan of mySQL for the simple reason that I was a 'REAL' (ACID) database guy and felt that mySQL gave database a bad name. Nonetheless, it sure beat hell out of flat files and, just as PHP might be inferior to 'industrial' computer languages, if people (who otherwise wouldn't have gotten a database at all) used PHP+mySQL to create stuff that otherwise wouldn't have gotten built, kudos to them.

    Then came the debate as to whether mySQL was pure enough in Licensing. Once again, I didn't care, but thought "how can you criticize a man for giving you something for free?"

    Now comes the flap about what else this company does to pay the rent. They still allow free use of mySQL, there's still other alternatives if you don't like his terms, I'm still using more industrial/ACID solutions, and others are still throwing rocks at the mySQL people.

    The undisputably weird thing is that the good folks giving away mySQL are taking more abuse from the community than if they'd never given it away at all. How's that for incentive for everyone else???

    • So, SCO gives money to MySQL AB to "develop" mySQL on SCO's platform. This has already happened.

      Later, SCO pulls MySQL AB into court over "violations" and "disputes" over who owns what rights to what code and how that code can be distributed ... (see SCO's current case against IBM).

      Then it all comes down to the judge and the contracts. And MySQL AB having to cough up everything for YEARS for the discovery phase of the trial.

      So, an error in a contract ... or the wrong bit of code ending up in the wrong relea
    • How do we know SCO won't turn around and claim that the code in MySQL is tainted??? This is EXACTLY what they did to IBM.

      It's in the SCO press release that the money is to be used to produce a COMMERCIAL version of the database.

      That's right looks like they duped the MySQL CEO who didnt read the contract before signing.

      http://ir.sco.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1720 37 [sco.com]

      From the SCO press release:

      "The SCO Group, Inc. ("SCO") (Nasdaq: SCOX), a leading provider of UNIX(R) software technology for distributed,
  • I hope they got cash up front or else it could end up being a write off pretty soon!

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/08/ibm_drops_ sco_countersuit/ [theregister.co.uk]

    "While IBM continues to believe that SCO infringed IBM's valid patents, IBM agreed to withdraw its patent counterclaims to simplify and focus the issues in this case and to expedite their resolution. The little discovery that SCO has produced regarding IBM's patent claims makes clear that there is insufficient economic reason to pursue these claims. Since SCO
    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:09PM (#13853977) Journal
      If you had bothered to read the Groklaw interview almost 2 weeks ago
      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200510112 11450706 [groklaw.net]
      you would have found out that SCO paid mySQL.

      Money taken from SCO is less money for their FUD machine.

      It also gives people stuck on SCO a chance to migrate their stuff slowly to other platforms.

      1. Move existing services to mySQl on SCO platform
      2. replace SCO platform with *BSD or *Linux

      So how is that a bad thing again?

      • And if you had bothered to read and actually comprehend his comment, you would see that he never said otherwise. He was saying he hoped MySQL got their money from SCO up-front, or else the effort for porting the database could end up being a write-off. Which would explain why he posted a summary from an IBM filing talking about SCO running out of cash.

        I'm assuming he didn't use actual company names in his comment because he figured people on Slashdot had brains. He obviously hasn't been around here long :-
        • My points were two-fold:
          1. This is OLD news - almost 2 weeks old. So old, it doesn't qualify as "news" any more.
          2. Like most /.er, he didn't bother RTFA before posting - or he would have had the answer to his "I hope they got the cash up front" comment.
      • How do we know SCO won't turn around and claim that the code in MySQL is tainted??? This is EXACTLY what they did to IBM.

        It's in the SCO press release that the money is to be used to produce a COMMERCIAL version of the database.

        That's right looks like they duped the MySQL CEO who didnt read the contract before signing.

        http://ir.sco.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1720 [sco.com] 37 [sco.com]

        From the SCO press release:

        "The SCO Group, Inc. ("SCO") (Nasdaq: SCOX), a leading provider of UNIX(R) software technology for di
        • So what? MySQL has always had commercial versions. Big deal?

          Its not like you're going to use their commercial version that's been ported to run on OpenSewer and try to run it on Linux or *BSD - for that you'll use the appropriate version - either the GPL or commercial version.

          That you'd depend on a SCO press release to be 100% of the story is frightening - according to their press releases, they own unix (at least in some parallel universe).

          This is the sort of "kne-jerk reaction" that the folks at MySQL

  • Consider this: SCO and the OpenServer platform are dieing, so is this nothing more than a quick and easy cash grab for MySQL? Perhaps, but maybe there is more.

    There are at least a few people still locked into the OpenServer platform, but sometime in the future, they will have to migrate to Linux after the final nail has been driven into SCO. When they eventually do migrate to Linux, they will have to make some choices as to what database to migrate to as well. Will it be Oracle? Will it be PostgreSQL? We

    • by einhverfr (238914)
      SCO OpenServer ships with PostgreSQL, and one of the core commercial PostgreSQL spinoff companies (EnterpriseDB) entered into a similar partnership with SCO.

      Here is the thing. Even with this new round of partnerships, SCO today has fewer partners than at any time in their recent past. SCO needs these partners more than they need SCO. So I would not be at all surprised if SCO isn't offering some pretty compelling advantages to these would-be partners for providing them with some semblance of credibility.
    • There is nothing stopping any company currently running a SCO OS from also running a Linux OS and looking at migrating right now.

      There's no need to transition them with mySQL on SCO to get them to use mySQL on Linux.

      If anything, it would be easier to do 1 migration straight to a 100% Linux system than to make 2 migrations (one from old database to mySQL on SCO and the other from mySQL on SCO to mySQL on Linux).
  • Supping? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:07PM (#13853968) Homepage
    Supping? As in to take food and especially liquid food into the mouth a little at a time - Websters

    Okay...

  • mysql or postgres (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ajdlinux (913987) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:08PM (#13853969) Homepage Journal
    MySQL only became popular because it's faster than postgresql for less complex database work. Postgresql is a better database. I just wonder why SCO went for a deal with MySQL instead of just taking the BSD-licensed Postgres. (I would use postgres myself if my webhost and CMS supported it)

    Also, mySQL has a totally wrong view of the GPL: see this discussion on debian-legal [debian.org].


    -- Get free domain names [ezyrewards.com]
    • Why SCO made a deal with MySQL instead of Postgres? You answered your question in your own post:

      (I would use postgres myself if my webhost and CMS supported it)


      Industry support.
    • Probably because they looked at MySQL 5.0. It's no Postgres, but it's a big step in the right direction.

      On the other hand... MySQL is popular because it 'fits' the development approach many open source projects have embraced for a long time - power, flexibility and simplicity, even with its limitations.

      I hope MySQL can still be used the same way so everyone can have the best of both worlds. Sometimes you just need a storage engine for your blog or whatever, you know?

      • On the other hand... MySQL is popular because it 'fits' the development approach many open source projects have embraced for a long time - power, flexibility and simplicity, even with its limitations.

        MySQL hardly has the power or flexibility that PostgreSQL does. Even in 5.0. However....

        As for why MySQL is most commonly used. I have been a PostgreSQL user primarily since 6.5 and I switched because I recognized that for my business, the integrity of my data was something that MySQL could not guarantee (thi
    • by einhverfr (238914)
      I just wonder why SCO went for a deal with MySQL instead of just taking the BSD-licensed Postgres. (I would use postgres myself if my webhost and CMS supported it)

      You know OpenServer ships with PostgreSQL, right?

      And EnterpriseDB has a similar partnership with SCO for their PostgreSQL derivative, right?

      From SCO's perspective this is simple. They have lost partners left and right through the myriad of lawsuits. And they need partners to show some sence of legitimacy. So they are largely paying people for
    • MySQL took off back when Postgresql was really hard to install. Now no one complains about the postgresql install and MySQL's got some more ACID features now.

      And yeah, it co...

      Wait a second. This is completely offtopic. Mod parent down. Whatever. This has been hashed out so many times now.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:10PM (#13853983)
    Gaim has been ported to Windows for some time now, yet I haven't seen one diatribe against the Gaim developers. Shameful!

    Dolby Labs? They should have revoked Apple's right to use AAC the moment Fairplay came to exist. What a sham!

    And Cygwin? We should all boycott Red Hat for that deal with the devil. How dare they!

    Slashdot? They refuse to auto-detect Internet Explorer, and then serve up a blank page in those instances. How two-faced of them!

    • Gaim has been ported to Windows for some time now, yet I haven't seen one diatribe against the Gaim developers.

      Microsoft hasn't filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit claiming that all of linux is their property.

      There's a difference between dealing with the devil and dealing with a competitor. Microsoft isn't that great, but at least still tries to make money by selling product. SCO has shifted their focus as a company to suing people who use linux.

      See the difference?

      It's like the difference betwe
    • What does Dolby have to do with AAC?
  • Gosh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:13PM (#13853996) Journal
    They make it sound like porting mysql to openserver will require a very significant effort. Why would anyone pay for a supposedly unix-ish system that's so much unlike any other that most popular software can't be built on it without significant planning and reworking? I doubt that porting is really such a big deal as that, but still they deemed it worthy of press releases announcing their efforts and partnership.
  • Decisions... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Decameron81 (628548) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:14PM (#13854007)
    MySQL made a simple business decision... right or wrong is completely subjective here. Eventually they will pay by losing some customers, but appart from that I see no reason why they should be defending their decision.

    In other words, I don't think that my enemy's friends are my enemies.

    On top of that, has the author considered that our priorities may be completely irrelevant to someone else? It's not like we can all take care of everything... like destroying Sco, and saving the world, and curing cancer, and feeding the poor, etc, etc, etc. At some point we have to start ignoring some of these priorities.
  • Free as in Speech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by headLITE (171240) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @04:32PM (#13854071)
    Since when is giving free software to people running non-free operating systems a _bad_ thing? They're spreading Freedom-as-in-Speech to a world that lacks it. What could _not_ be good about that? They're giving freedom of choice to people that need it. They're infecting SCO users with OSS ideas. Why the fuck would someone who understands the whole OSS idea not like what MySQL is doing here?


    The key fact some OSS zealots miss is that SCO users only USE products from SCO, they ARE NOT ACTUALLY SCO. Granted, SCO pays MySQL. They're still not who's going to profit from the deal the most. The actual users are going to be. They may be forced to use SCO software. Occam's razor dictates they are because using it voluntarily is, at this time, indefinitely harder to explain.


    Please stop trying to keep those poor souls from switching to open source software.

    • WRONG! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @07:29PM (#13854854)
      MySQL AB is forming a business jpartnership with a company that is dedicated to destroying F/OSS.

      It is *not* just a simple porting - it is way beyond that.

      MySQL AB proudly displays on their website the news release about scox and mysqlab will be working together ect.
  • We didn't make the decision lightly; we knew SCO was a sensitive subject with the free software and open source communities.

    That sounds a lot like saying, "we knew it'd piss them off, but we did it anyway!"

    Look, I know I'm on the wrong side of this -- Slashdot groupthink is clearly forgiving of this, and I'm just not. But if ev1 had its feet held to the flame, I don't see why MySQL should walk away unscathed. Bottom line: it was a bad decision, and while most of the MySQL users won't care, some do, an

    • MySQL's attitude seems to be a little different from EV1's.

      EV1 directly funded The SCO Group and was explicitly supporting SCO's wild "Intellectual Property" claims - even to the extent of, afterwards, paying for advertisements in "Linux Journal" claiming to be "IP Compliant".

      MySQL, on the other hand, has not paid SCO anything and is at least claiming that they were more interested in supporting existing and new users of MySQL who happen to be on SCO's platform right now.

      Can't say that I'm actually happy

  • SCO: I hear that you're looking at migrating to another vendor, who is it? Microsoft, Red Hat...?
    SCO Customer: You're not gonna pull that "AutoZone" crap on me, are you?
    SCO: No, no, not at all. Hey, aren't you using MySQL for your applications?
    SCO Customer: Yes, but it's the GPL'ed version, not the one you licences from them.
    SCO: I think that's something for the courts to decide, after the loooong and expensive discovery process.
    SCO Customer: WHAT THE...?!?!
    MySQL: Hey! Why are you harrassing my end-us
  • But if Mickos ever did meet the Devil, he probably wouldn't need an interpreter.
  • I think it's time for Slashdot to get a new icon to replace the old Caldera one that is currently being used. The SCO Group isn't Caldera Systems, and hasn't been since 2002. It's time for a news site such as this to get with the times, and to display a more current logo.

    • I think the idea is to keep it clear that SCO is a failed Linux company that bought a dying UNIX for the purpose of fomenting lawsuits. SCO wants very much to be thought of as a legitimate UNIX company. Let's not permit that.
      • Like it or not, they do sell UNIX products. And like it or not, they are actually putting some work and money into it. I mean, take this story after all. It's about SCO trying to improve their products by including better support for MySQL. Now, you can throw in all the conspiracy theories that you want, or point out their hypocrisy with regards to using open source software. That doesn't change the fact that they do sell and work on UNIX products. That alone does make them a UNIX vendor.

        • They're still trying to glom onto the mantal of "Old SCO". They have tried to imply that Caldera == "Old SCO" to both the market and the courts. Flatly not true. This is not true irregardless of what they happen to sell in addition to their primary business of trying to steal Linux from it's rightful creators with lawyers.

          They don't want anybody to remember that they were Caldera. That effort is what we should not permit.
    • Unfortunately, IMHO, the goat.cx image the only one that would really work for SCO.
  • My guess is that MySQL AB is doing the same thing I would do if I were asked to do something for SCO:

    "Sure, I can help you, but I have a special fee structure for organizations/people like you..."

  • Commnunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seanasy (21730) on Saturday October 22, 2005 @10:51PM (#13855722)

    If you sell beer to the guy who keeps pissing in the well, the townspeople are going to get mad.

  • In my view, given the consequences of what could have been disasterous for the open source community if even half of the wild claims that McBride and CO we know as SCO claimed, MySQL's CEO has made a very bad decision.

    SCO should be made an example of, in fact. Long after SCO blows away in the wind, please avoid buying any products from any company McBride latches onto...like a leach that is.

    I do not see how this helps the MySQL community, but I do see how it could help SCO with McBride at the wheel to sell
  • The Ruby MySQL connector is licensed under the Ruby license - so, apparently (I think!!) there are no problems using the GPL version of MySQL with non-GPL licensed applications.

    The situation is different with Java: the MM.MySQL connector (up to 2002) was LGPL licensed, but is now version 3.x of the MySQL GPL licensed connector. This is a good reason to keep a copy of the older connector around!

    I *think* that the Python license is usable under either the GPL or the Python license.

    This is a real pain - I woul
  • friggin zealots! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scronline (829910)
    You know, had it been GAIM that was approached to port their software to SCO, very few people would get upset. While I'm NOT a fan of SCO, quite the opposite, actually, it shouldn't be a problem for a company to get paid to port their software to SCO. Isn't that part of the foundation of OSS? It's not like they are selling to SCO, they are making a port of the same software TO SCO.

    Until some of this rhetoric that the F/OSS community has goes away, it won't be taken seriously in many of the "larger" corpe
  • Surely there must be a simple, consistent way to determine whether someone has supped with the Devil or not. Maybe we could set up a webcam at the stakeburning so that internet experts could study it to determine whether the people involved were indeed supping with the Devil or not. After all, I can't remember whether getting burned alive means you were bad or good, but the experts out there surely know. And the internet can diagnose whether a person spun in their grave because they were bad or for some ot

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