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Sun Microsystems Databases Programming Software

MySQL Reverses Decision On Closed Source 157

Posted by kdawson
from the good-on-them dept.
krow writes "I am very happy to be announcing that MySQL will be forgoing close sourcing portions of the MySQL Server. Kaj has the official statement in his blog. No portion of the server will be closed source including backup, encryption, or any storage engines we ship. To quote Kaj 'The encryption and compression backup features will be open source.' This is a change from what was previously posted here on Slashdot. I've posted some additional thoughts on my own blog concerning how we keep open source from becoming crippleware. Word has it that we will also have a panel at this year's OSCON discussing this topic. Contrary to the previous Slashdot discussion, this shows Sun's continued commitment to Open Source."
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MySQL Reverses Decision On Closed Source

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  • by ctdownunder (816383) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:43PM (#23317730)
    And we will all love ya bro'
    • by E-Lad (1262) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:42PM (#23318348) Homepage
      If you want it in Linux, I'd say that the onus is on the Linux community to change to a more permissive license.

      Everyone, including Sun, has the freedom to choose their own license. The Linux community, of all people, should respect that ideal. Unless, of course, you support having a Henry Ford mindset - "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."

      • by cdw38 (1001587) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @07:38PM (#23318838)
        Well said. Sun is not doing anything to try and keep OpenSolaris alive by locking up ZFS. Quite the contrary, BSD is picking up ZFS. Too many people want to sit around and cry about Sun "not allowing" ZFS to make its way into Linux, but at the end of the day its Linux that wants to force its terms upon everyone else.
        • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @10:00PM (#23319754) Journal

          Sun doesn't want the GPL anywhere near ZFS -- and for good reason. The GPL ought to be called the "Me Me Me PL". Let's say Sun did release ZFS under the GPL and it's adopted into Linux. Sun is shut out from any changes unless they release SunOS under the GPL as well. With the CDDL, anyone can use the code (without giving up rights to their own code) and Sun gets back any improvements (without affecting their other code). It's like the LGPL, but with much better granularity.

          We see this attitude a lot with BSD/GPL conflicts. When BSD code is relicensed as GPL, the original code is denied access to any changes. Think about that for a minute. "We want you to share your code. So we won't share our changes to your code with you." Free as in "free room and board at gitmo".

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Wiseman1024 (993899)
            Easy to fix: licence your original code under the licence that guarantees yours and everybody else's freedom. That is, the GPL.
            • by rtaylor (70602)
              I want freedom from having to understand and obey a multi-page license.

              GPL does not give me that freedom.
          • If Sun released ZFS under the GPL they could also release it as CDDL. They could release it as proprietary if they fucking want. The only thing releasing code under the GPL means is that they can no longer revoke the GPL from that codebase and any GPL code added to it. It wouldn't stop Sun from doing anything, except incorporating any additions to the GPL codebase into their pet CDDL or proprietary lines.
          • by debatem1 (1087307)
            I hear this a lot, and don't get it. Sun spends the better part of every day changing its mind on whether open source is the wave of the future or needs to be bludgeoned with giant rocks. Now its the Linux guys, without whom there would probably not be an open source movement to argue about, who are sticking it to the open source community? Get real. The CDDL contains almost exactly the same relicensing provisions as the GPL does except it contains an exemption for binaries, and if you're worried about code
      • no onus (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mkcmkc (197982) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @08:46PM (#23319280)
        I'd say there is no "onus". Linux has a license that the Linux developers like, and ZFS has a license that its owners like. If it happens that they are incompatible, that's okay. As long as no patents are involved, the Linux people are free to reimplement ZFS, and Sun is free to reimplement Linux. This is a good thing.

        As a practical matter, I suspect that virtually no one would switch OSes to use ZFS, but for some users this will be a good tradeoff.

        • Re:no onus (Score:5, Interesting)

          by E-Lad (1262) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @09:03PM (#23319368) Homepage
          You're absolutely correct. That's why I have to wonder about all the "$SOLARIS_FEATURE is not GPL'd" whining. Your good statement helps show that this is more-or-less sour grapes from a community (or a large subset of it) that thought they had it all, either politically or technically.

          I'm reminded of a rather large company in Redmond, Washington that carried on similarly throughout the 90's and early 00's, eventually being zapped in the ass for their hubris.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mkcmkc (197982)
            I think it's fair to ask whether Sun has an agenda in choosing one license when they could have chosen another. That's not the same as saying that they don't have the right to choose any license they like.

            Personally I don't really care. Solaris is about where Perforce is--they can still make money, but the leading edge has passed them by, probably forever. The thought of using an OS/distribution with which I couldn't install (say) callgrind in 90 seconds is just about unthinkable at this point.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by E-Lad (1262)
              One can also say, with some agreeable degree of accuracy, that RMS birthed the GPL and chose that for his code due to an agenda of his own. Is it a surprise to you that licenses are chosen and nix'd based on how in line they are with the choosing org's goals? That's an agenda dictating things. Everyone has one. The question is, is whether you are amicable towards that agenda, or not. But, yes, some people can be bafflingly dumb and pick a license out of thin air with no purpose or foresight behind why the
              • by mkcmkc (197982)
                Right. I know exactly what RMS's goal is--he's been completely consistent for decades. Sun, on the other hand, well, I'm not sure what they're up to...
        • Re:no onus (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @09:09PM (#23319424)
          Yea, but one of the strengths of open source is that you don't NEED to re-implement stuff all over the place. This however is a political license issue completely voiding one of the strengths of open source code.

          In this case with ZFS, GPL is causing problems. There are other operating systems using the ZFS code Sun released, the odd one out is Linux because of the GPL.
          • Re:no onus (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @10:00PM (#23319750) Homepage Journal
            That's because the GPL, for all the good it's done, is at the end of the day more of a political statement than a license.

            Yes, yes I know I'll get modded as flamebait for this, but the truth hurts. Don't get me wrong, I use tons of GPL software and have contributed to some as well. I'm just sick of the more fanatical among the OSS crowd acting like it's the only license fit to ever use under any circumstances. As others have noted in this discussion it's also held Linux back in a few areas.
            • Re:no onus (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mkcmkc (197982) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:43AM (#23320684)

              As others have noted in this discussion it's also held Linux back in a few areas.
              Well, the fact that I'm not willing to give away the fruits of my labor also "holds me back", but I don't look at it that way because I have goals other than just wanting as many people as possible to use my software. The same can be said for the GPL--it's goals are simply not the same as those of Open Source in general. I think you'd have to say that RMS has gone to great ends to make that clear.
            • Re:no onus (Score:5, Insightful)

              by BlueParrot (965239) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:59AM (#23321704)

              As others have noted in this discussion it's also held Linux back in a few areas.


              Ok, this is nonsense. There is a license incompatibility, yes, but it is because BOTH licenses make requirements the other does not fullfill, not just the GPL. In other words , the license of ZFS does not permit using it in Linux because the GPL does not fullfill the requirements of the CDDL. SIMULATENOUSLY the GPL does not permit combining Linux with ZFS because the CDDL does not fullfill the requirements of the GPL.

              There are a lot of trolls here who try to interpret this as the FSF the GPL being fanatic and Sun and the CDDL being more reasonable, the reality is that the the incompatibility arises from similar terms that exist in both licenses, namely that you cannot impose any further restrictions on derived works. Since the set of restrictions in two licenses differ they are incompatible. So basically, if you are going to consider this "a problem caused by teh GPL" then it is as much "a problem caused by the CDDL" and vice versa.

              Of course bashing the GPL on slashdot is a lot more fun, but the boring reality is that both Sun and Linus have picked a license of their choice, and they turned out to be incompatible. It is either the fault of both parties or neither. You can't have your cake and eat it.
              • I really wasn't bashing it. Like I've said I use and have worked on GPL software. It is what it is. There was no bashing in my post. Save your knee jerk reaction next time :-)
              • Yea i get that they both chose the license they wanted, which is fine, and yet here we are with open source code that can't actually be shared between open source projects. Ridiculous. I could be wrong here but this sort of situation is a symptom of overly restrictive licenses making demands they shouldn't be making.

                I don't actually care WHY they are incompatible, to me its all political crap getting in the way.
          • by debatem1 (1087307)
            Largely because the CDDL was designed to be incompatible with the GPL. When it looks like a GPL'd ZFS implementation is 95% complete, Sun will make noises about GPLing it, just like they do with Java. Until then, they will do everything they can to boost the competitiveness of Solaris relative to Linux. It's their right as a business and entirely contrary to the spirit of open source, which should give us some idea as to what the mood over at Sun HQ is at the moment.
            • It's not intentional, they went out of their way to craft a license that suited their needs and the CDDL accomplishes things the GPL can't do.

              For instance, it allows someone to statically link together CDDL code with anything else they want, even proprietary software, while still requiring modifications to that CDDL code to be released.

              • by debatem1 (1087307)
                The primary drafter of the CDDL (Danese Cooper) has repeatedly stated either that it was "specifically designed to be GPL incompatible" or was "not compatible with the GPL by design". It seems clear to me that Sun regards Linux as a competitor and, while willing to abuse buzzwords, is not ready to embrace open source. Maybe you see things differently (heck, maybe even Sun does now), but at least at that time there is very little doubt that Sun was quite hostile to community driven software in general and Li
                • Yea except other open source OS are using the CDDL code Sun released....

                  The odd one out is Linux because of the GPLs restrictions in a few areas.

                  Sure the engineers might have wanted it incompatible with the GPL but to me it appears to be incompatible with good reason and allows more flexibility.
                  • by debatem1 (1087307)
                    Let's not kid each other. There's another argument going on here, and we might as well stop dancing around it: the BSD-GPL argument, played out with the CDDL as a proxy warrior against the perceived injustices of the most popular open source license in the world.
                    You come at it from one side: you see BSD as truly free, and choose to call the relative paucity of protection offered by the BSD license 'freedom'. There's merit in that argument and I won't denigrate it except to say that you get what you ask for
                    • Yea, the problem with that BSD vs GPL view of things, is that the CDDL mixes some of both licenses capabilities.

                      CDDL code is copyleft, you modify and release it, you release your source. On the other hand it can be linked with any code you want to link it with, unlike the GPL, even if it is statically linked together with proprietary code.

                      Thats probably a big reason sun went with it, they needed to support code mixing especially somewhere like the kernel with drivers, but still wanted the code to remain in
                    • by debatem1 (1087307)
                      if you believe the person who wrote it, the CDDL was designed *to be GPL incompatible*. It isn't the other way around, and it wasn't their intention to make some big statement about how awesome software freedom is. They intended to screw another open source project out of open code, and for exactly the same reasons that I presume both of us condemn some GPL zealots for refusing to dual license code derived from BSD projects, I condemn Sun for its brazen abuse of the community-driven model.
        • by makomk (752139)
          The thing is, there are patents involved - Sun has them, and they don't hand out patent licenses to GPLed software. (Not to mention the NetApp patents, which are what caused the last person to try and create a similar filesystem for Linux to give up.) Actually, IIRC the patents Sun are using to sue NetApp are fairly nasty - they affect far more than direct clones of ZFS/WAFL.
          • I agree that if there are patents involved, that changes everything. To the degree that Sun is using patents against Free Software, the situation is no longer benign, and I'd consider them evil.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by waferhead (557795)
      It occurred to me driving into work that this might happen after all...

      Novell still (almost certainly) owns the SysV code.

      Sun bought a liscence from SCO (that is probably invalid)so Sun could release OpenSolaris.

      Novells ball...

      Novell could easily wave it off with a stipulation that say... ZFS would become GPL or std BSD...

      Sun would have the choice of killing OpenSolaris, or marginalizing it via GPLing the only parts of it that gives it any advantage over Linux.
      • by njcoder (657816) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @08:50PM (#23319300)
        ZFS doesn't have anything to do with SYSVR4.

        Novell said they have no interest in pursuing Unix copyrights.

        Novell is trying to get their 95% portion of the license Sun paid to SCO. By saying the agreement between Sun and SCO was part of the APA between Novell and SCO they are affirming the deal between Sun and SCO. Sun actually helped write SYSVR4 with AT&T before Novell bought it. According to Schwartz, Sun paid AT&T about $100million for rights that basically gave them ownership. What was purchased from SCO were mainly device drivers since SCO's UnixWare had the best x86 support.

        What is Novell's position going to be to the public? "We're an open source company but we're going to sue a company for releasing open source?" Nothing good can come to Novell if they challenge Sun.
        • by waferhead (557795)
          I'm NOT saying ZFS has anything to do with the old Unix code... directly.

          But legally, it doesn't look like Sun bought anything in from SCO in reality that legally enabled the release of Opensolaris.

          Novell has leverage, if they choose to flex it or not is up to them.

          I'm proposing GPL'ing ZFS as a possible bone for the dog, so to speak.
          • by njcoder (657816)
            You should read my response above to the previous reply.

            In addition let me add some history of SYSVR4 which explains why suing Sun over SYSVR4 is so funny.

            In 1988 I believe, AT&T and Sun got together to work on SYSVR4. SunOS was primarily based on BSD at the time and a lot of BSD bits went into SYSVR4. Bill Joy, a founder of Sun was also a leading developer of BSD. AT&T and Sun handed off the rights to a seperate entity, Unix Laboratories, to handle licensing so that others can implement it. Sun
    • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @03:58AM (#23321414)
      Honestly, I hope Sun doesn't change the ZFS licence, because in another couple of years I expect we [zumastor.org] will have been able to achieve pretty much everything ZFS does without having to roll it all into one jinormous all singing+dancing filesystem that ate the OS. In other words, we think we can do snapshots, flexible raid, allocate from pools etc, efficiently without violating layers. And actually, we were replicating before the ZFS guys and, um, the ZFS algorithm bears a striking resemblance to ours, which we published a few months before they showed up with a prototype. Hmm. Anyway, even if ZFS does go non-evil it certainly won't mean we will stop, because we still do things they don't do like run underneath _any_ filesystem so you can stick with what you know or what works for you. But it would definitely remove some of the incentive for further developing our stuff. Smartest think Sun could do to tell the truth, but personally I think they won't do it, and one day Mr. Schwartz will wake up and find ZFS irrelevant because Ext4 + ddsnap outperforms it plus has millions more installs and ten times as many developers to widen the gap. We shall see.
      • by njcoder (657816)

        Honestly, I hope Sun doesn't change the ZFS licence, because in another couple of years I expect we [zumastor.org] will have been able to achieve pretty much everything ZFS does without having to roll it all into one jinormous all singing+dancing filesystem that ate the OS.
        Good, hopefully the ZFS guys will read this and hold off their development for the next 2 years until you catch up.
        • Good, hopefully the ZFS guys will read this and hold off their development for the next 2 years until you catch up.
          I hope they develop like crazy, but I also kind of hope they continue their de facto Linux embargo, it just makes it more fun and interesting over here to recover the functionality. Maybe do it better. Certainly do it a more Linuxy way, after all you get to keep using your tried and true Ext3 filesystem and still have the latest sexy features.
  • Good for Sun (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by trybywrench (584843)
    Good for them.

    Sun has been in the back of my mind a lot lately. I like their Sunfire servers and will be needing a decent 2U server in about 6 months. Maybe i'll buy one from them.

    Wow good PR works ;)
  • by Mark Atwood (19301) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:49PM (#23317792) Homepage
    The MySQL software that was originally proposed to be closed source are portions of the online backup drivers. Each such driver has to be written in close cooperation with the developers of each storage engine. Well...

    InnoDB already has an online backup tool, and even if/when they revise their tool to use this new API, it's still going to be theirs, open or closed, not the property of the MySQL Group.

    Online backup of the engines for CSV, Blackhole, and Memcached doesn't even make sense. Archive already has a publicly available open source online backup tool.

    Online backup makes sense for Maria, I don't see MontyW writing crippleware into his work.

    How about MyISAM? I think that work is already done, but, the horse is already out of the barn, in that the online backup drivers for it are already publically available..

    Looking even closer, the part that was going to be closed was not even the entire online backup driver set, but just compression and encryption. Any halfway competent developer would be able to hook in the necessary calls to azio, zlib, and openssl, and replicate the work.

    So this is a big tempest over something that doesn't matter, and couldnt have happened anyway.

    Plus, best practices for backup dont even use or want online backup. The Right Way to backup a real production MySQL instances is via filesystem snapshot, using something like LVM or ZFS.

    As a small aside, the Slashdot headline of the original article was not entirely accurate. It wasn't the Sun executives who decided this. It was the MySQL executives. What that means, especially in light of the keynote speeches given by CEO Jonathan Schwartz and VP Rich Green, is interesting, and remains to be publically seen.
    • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:58PM (#23317874)

      As a small aside, the Slashdot headline of the original article was not entirely accurate.

      Actually, that headline and this headline are completely inaccurate, because both mentioned a decision where none had been made.

      MySQL had not decided to use a closed source license. They were considering many different licenses, including a closed source license -- but also including the GPL and other open source licenses. No decision had been made. This announcement is the first actual decision on the subject.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        No decision had been made. This announcement is the first actual decision on the subject.
        Baloney. The former CEO of MySQL even posted otherwise right here on slashdot:

        The business decision on this was made by MySQL AB (by me as the then CEO)... [slashdot.org]

        The decision was made and then was reversed.
        • by njcoder (657816) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @08:11PM (#23319060)

          No decision had been made. This announcement is the first actual decision on the subject.
          Baloney. The former CEO of MySQL even posted otherwise right here on slashdot:

          The business decision on this was made by MySQL AB (by me as the then CEO)... [slashdot.org]

          The decision was made and then was reversed.
          Read your own link:

          Additionally we will develop high-end add-ons (such as encryption, native storage engine-specific drivers) that we will deliver to customers in the MySQL Enterprise product only. We have not yet decided under what licence we will release those add-ons (GPL, some other FOSS licence, and/or commercial)
        • by Rary (566291)

          No decision had been made. This announcement is the first actual decision on the subject.
          Baloney. The former CEO of MySQL even posted otherwise right here on slashdot... The decision was made and then was reversed.

          I read Marten's post when the story originally came up. Apparently you didn't. He clearly states that no decision had yet been made. Nothing has been reversed.

          Follow your own link.

    • by Alex Belits (437) * on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:08PM (#23320184) Homepage

      Plus, best practices for backup dont even use or want online backup. The Right Way to backup a real production MySQL instances is via filesystem snapshot, using something like LVM or ZFS.
      (owl goes here)

      Databases backups over filesystem snapshots? With the assumption that all database commits are automatically filesystems commits, and there is no buffering between those layers? And with no incremental backups through transaction logs?
      • by Yenya (12004)
        Well, backups over FS (block device, in fact) snapshot sound reasonable to me. After all, database has to be prepared to be in consistent state in case of a filesystem crash.

        You may miss few commits just before the snapshot has been created, but in case the database does buffering, you will miss them anyway when/if machine crashes.

        The point is that FS snapshot should give you a backup of the database in a consistent state, which is sufficient for most uses.
        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          You may miss few commits just before the snapshot has been created, but in case the database does buffering, you will miss them anyway when/if machine crashes.

          Or you can miss a rollback because you don't know if you had an incomplete transaction in progress -- they don't all stay in memory.

          On the other hand, a backup with transaction log can be made MORE reliable than a filesystem snapshot because it is specifically optimized for this purpose -- state can be reliably recovered even if filesystem is few steps behind, as long as log is committed after filesystem became unwritable (easily achieved by sending it to another host)

          • by Yenya (12004)
            I think there is no way to miss a rollback. Rollback is simply a transaction without commit.
            So when you create a FS snapshot with a transaction still in progress, then you will see partial transaction in the log, and maybe rows modified by a transaction which is not explicitly marked as commited, so when you restore from this backup and start the database engine, it will correctly detect it as an unfinished transaction and will not use its data.

            The backup with transaction log _cannot_ be made more reliable
  • by Rary (566291)

    This isn't much of a change. They hadn't made up their mind regarding what license would be used for the new backup utilities. They just hadn't ruled out proprietary licensing. Now they have.

    It wasn't much of a story before, and it's only slightly more of a story now.

  • Good day for all (Score:5, Informative)

    by Uncle Focker (1277658) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:50PM (#23317808)
    Good. I'm glad that Sun was able to convince the MySQL staff to not close source any of the codebase. And yes, as was pointed out in the other thread, Sun wasn't the one pushing the close source move they were actually trying to convince them to go the opposite.
    • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:57PM (#23317858)

      I'm glad that Sun was able to convince the MySQL staff to not close source any of the codebase.
      Totally! Don't you hate it when you buy a company and they won't do what you tell them?
      Good thing Sun was able to convince Sun to stick to Sun's official policy.
      • Re:Good day for all (Score:5, Informative)

        by Uncle Focker (1277658) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:03PM (#23317934)
        MySQL was considering the close sourcing of the enterprise stuff before they were acquired by Sun. After being acquired Sun was pushing that they don't go with the close source route as was confirmed in the previous thread. http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=525246&cid=23098626 [slashdot.org]

        The business decision on this was made by MySQL AB (by me as the then CEO) prior to the acquisition by Sun, so this has nothing to do with Sun. On the contrary, Sun is more likely to influence this decision the other way.
        Troll harder next time.
  • by Edgewize (262271) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:51PM (#23317816)
    "Company forced to give up revenue stream due to open-source fanatics who refuse to acknowledge any boundary between open-source MySQL server APIs and closed-source enterprise utilities which call those APIs"

    Despite the outcome, this is not a victory for the open-source movement. The original Slashdot story was inflammatory and designed to mislead, and now it has had the desired effect.
    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:12PM (#23318026)
      What?

      So you not only believe:
      1. Sun (a corporation) makes decisions not based on what will bring in the most revenue, but based on what "fanatics" want;
      You also apparently believe:
      2. The Slashdot crowd has the ability to shape corporate policies to their whims.

      I think a reality check is in order.

      Sun/MySQL were considering a variety of licenses (including closed source ones). To the extent that comments made on Slashdot (and other online sources) made sense, they were probably taken into account. However, the final decision was undoubtedly what they thought would maximize profits. Yes, maintaining community good-will is probably part of their strategy, since it gives them free advertising (evangelism, etc.) and some free development (patch submissions, etc.).

      Frankly I don't see how this isn't a victory for both open-source and MySQL. The community gets open-source code, MySQL gets development and exposure. Win-win.
    • by hxnwix (652290)

      Company forced to give up revenue stream due to open-source fanatics
      Right; just as the openness of the Linux kernel denies Redhat revenue?

      Despite the outcome, this is not a victory for the open-source movement.
      The MySQL eco-system remains that much more open. I'm sorry this bothers you, but it's hardly a defeat for OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by njcoder (657816)

      "Company forced to give up revenue stream due to open-source fanatics who refuse to acknowledge any boundary between open-source MySQL server APIs and closed-source enterprise utilities which call those APIs"

      Despite the outcome, this is not a victory for the open-source movement. The original Slashdot story was inflammatory and designed to mislead, and now it has had the desired effect.

      MySQL AB needed to generate revenue directly from MySQL as that was pretty much their only product. They were looking for an IPO before Sun bought them so they needed to increase revenues.

      Being part of Sun, MySQL doesn't have the same pressure to generate revenues directly from MySQL. Sun/Schwartz's plan is to drive revenue in Sun's other lines from MySQL. Hardware sales, support, etc.

    • by this great guy (922511) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @09:50PM (#23319696)

      "Company forced to give up revenue stream due to open-source fanatics [...]"

      Actually Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has explained numerous times in his blog that opensourcing your products increases your revenue stream in the long term. I invite you to read in particular this 2-day old post [sun.com] where he answers the FAQ "Why don't you just stop giving your software away?" and gives precisely the example of MySQL.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)
        "....opensourcing your products increases your revenue stream in the long term."

        In some cases. Here, the hope was that they'll buy a license and support package. If they don't, no revenue.

        Further, I'd argue that basing a business on support fees and licenses means that it's against your best interests to ever create a powerful easy-to-use product that DOESN'T need support. If you want income, then complexity and bugs are your friends.
        • You don't see far enough. There is more than licenses and support fees. Schwartz explained in other posts that giving away software increases the opportunity for Sun to sell more of other stuff: give your customer an open source database and they will buy more SAN storage, servers, networking equipment, etc !

          • by njcoder (657816)

            You don't see far enough.
            That's what happens when you stand on the shoulders of midgets.
          • by shmlco (594907)
            Again, that applies only in some cases. IBM is doing the same thing, using OSS and then selling hardware and consulting services.

            And as you said, it "increases the opportunity for Sun to sell more of other stuff". No guarantees. He thinks it will generate move revenue than it consumes. Maybe. Only time will tell.

            But that still assumes, like the give-music-away-and-sell-the-t-shirts model, that you have SOMETHING else to sell. What happens when someone spends a year writing a program and that's ALL he has to
        • I'd argue that basing a business on support fees and licenses means that it's against your best interests to ever create a powerful easy-to-use product that DOESN'T need support. If you want income, then complexity and bugs are your friends.

          That's just another variation on the information-hording paradigm of proprietary software.
          It ignores the network effect. If your stuff is easy to use, then it becomes widespread. If it is hard to use, hardly anyone will be interested. It's like having 50% of a $1M market or 10% of a $1B market.

          • by shmlco (594907)
            MySQL is a perfect example, in that it's free and extremely easy to get started with. It also maintains a running list of hundreds of bugs, and can be extremely complex to setup clustering or several kinds of replication environments.

            So to continue the thread around your thought, it only has to be easy enough to suck people in and build a dependency on it. While at the same time not being so complex or unstable that people give up on it and go elsewhere (PostgreSQL).

            Just in case you're interested, Lyris is
    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      "Company forced to give up revenue stream due to open-source fanatics who refuse to acknowledge...
      Just throw a chair into Yahoo HQ parking lot, Steve.
  • "Contrary to the previous Slashdot discussion, this shows Sun's continued commitment to Open Source."


    Sad enough this shows how Sun still have a hard time deciding what they want to, or more importantly should do, and if they should just dip their toes a little or go all in.

    I do understand peoples critisism for it but it's their property and they are free to do whatever they want with it.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      You may want to read the comments of at least one of the stories on this posted to the Slashdot. Sun was never the one pushing for closed source anything. This was always a nonsense story in the first place.
      • by aliquis (678370)
        Oh, I see, and yes, I just read the Slashdot stories without RTFA. I was like "it's their product and I can understand how Sun would want to be able to have a more premium package which cost money." so I didn't bothered. I don't like this "omg everything has to be free"-attitude from pirates and OSS-evengalists alike. I do like free software, and I am a pirate, but I won't try to force that onto someone else :)
  • by njcoder (657816) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:06PM (#23317964)
    When it was announced that MySQL would be releasing some features in MySQL Enterprise and not in the community edition the original Slashdot headline was "Sun to close MySQL" or something similar.

    Then Mickos (former CEO of MySQL AB and SVP of Sun Database group) comes here and says that it was MySQL's plan to do this before the acquisition by Sun and that it was in fact Sun who wanted them to release everything to the community. And if Sun had their way it would.

    So now that Sun convinces Mickos to change his strategy the headline is "MySQL Reverses Decision On Closed Source"

    HAHAHAHAHA
    • by krow (129804) * <brian&tangent,org> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:14PM (#23318058) Homepage Journal
      Hi!

      If anyone in the know had written the original article I doubt they would have put "Sun" in the title. It was pretty much a MySQL decision all along. The original article was not completely wrong, but it certainly was wrong on the Sun part.

      Cheers,
            -Brian
      • by Apotsy (84148)
        The problem is, you mention Sun when the outcome is "bad", but fail to mention them when it's "good". Biased much?
        • by krow (129804) *
          Hi!

          I believe that I did mention Sun in the post, and I did so in a positive way. So I do not understand your comment.

          Cheers,
                -Brian
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      When it was announced that MySQL would be releasing some features in MySQL Enterprise and not in the community edition the original Slashdot headline was "Sun to close MySQL" or something similar.

      Then Mickos (former CEO of MySQL AB and SVP of Sun Database group) comes here and says that it was MySQL's plan to do this before the acquisition by Sun and that it was in fact Sun who wanted them to release everything to the community. And if Sun had their way it would.

      So now that Sun convinces Mickos to change hi
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by njcoder (657816)
        You may have said something that makes sense. All I keep thinking is I'm hungry.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @06:15PM (#23318078)
    Just because you release one product as open source doesn't mean that you have to release all you works or future versions under the same license. Just as long as you don't mislead anyone about old and new license terms and do not try to harass developers [jroller.com] who have forked off your old version and are possibly duplicating your closed source extensions.
    • by krow (129804) *
      Hi!

      I would completely agree with you on this point. I added the link to my "crippleware" blog entry for this reason. While I believe it is best for the server to be open source, there is nothing stopping anyone from writing closed source extensions to their open source projects. As long as licenses are obeyed and a company acts in an even handed manner I believe that they will avoid creating crippleware.

      Cheers,
            -Brian
  • This has all the hallmarks of a classic PR maneuver - Sun wants to figure out how they can extract more $$ from the high end users of MySQL. They need to find out how the market will react if they start selling closed source MySQL extensions without committing themselves if it goes horribly wrong. So they sprinkle some unsubtantiated vague rumours around and look for the reaction. The reaction was: PostgreSQL. So now they can kill the whole idea with minimal losses and try their next plan for how to

    • by njcoder (657816)

      This has all the hallmarks of a classic PR maneuver - Sun wants to figure out how they can extract more $$ from the high end users of MySQL. They need to find out how the market will react if they start selling closed source MySQL extensions without committing themselves if it goes horribly wrong. So they sprinkle some unsubtantiated vague rumours around and look for the reaction. The reaction was: PostgreSQL. So now they can kill the whole idea with minimal losses and try their next plan for how to "monetize" MySQL some more without pissing off their entire user base and killing the golden goose.

      I don't believe for a second that things like this are an accident. These folks are far too smooth to just accidently let this kind of thing drop and run for a week.

      I doubt that. When MySQL AB was a separate company and interested in an IPO, they had to find ways to boost their revenues.

      While MySQL makes money on support and some of the "Enterprise" tools, their main source of revenue is from companies like Cisco that want to buy a non-GPL license to MySQL to embed it in one of their products. Since MySQL AB offered MySQL in dual licenses, it gives companies that want to include it in their projects, and possibly extend or modify it the ability to keep their chang

  • Whichever side you're on in this never ending battle between the choice of open source or closed source I find it most interesting that sun is "committed" to open source. How come? The acquire MySQL, try to make parts of it closed source and ... then because of market forces decide not to do it. Then in some weird market propaganda they are suddenly committed to open source.

    Ha, good one.

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