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Is MySQL's Community Eating the Company? 223

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-yer-drizzle-on dept.
mjasay writes "Craigslist's Jeremy Zawodny reviews the progress of MySQL as a project, and discovers that through third-party forks and enhancements like Drizzle and OurDelta 'you can get a "better" MySQL than the one Sun/MySQL gives you today. For free.' Is this a good thing? On one hand it demonstrates the strong community around MySQL, but on the other, it could make it harder for Sun to fund core development on MySQL by diverting potential revenue from the core database project. Is this the fate of successful open-source companies? To become so successful as a community that they can't eke out a return as a company? If so, could anyone blame MySQL/Sun for creating its own proprietary fork in order to afford further core development?"
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Is MySQL's Community Eating the Company?

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  • Monty has been blogging some about the need to be a more inclusive project. Its one thing to be open source, but to be an open source community project thats still owned by a company takes real effort on the part of the company. Perhaps this would encourage some of these enhancements to be rolled into the main branch.

    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:27AM (#26120711) Journal

      An important question is not whether the Open Source community is eating some of SUN's cake, but whether the cake itself (and thus SUN's total amount of cake) is larger because of the community. I don't have any figures but this is at least a considerable possibility. After all you have something technically superior like PostgreSQL *ahem* ;) but MySQL has far greater popularity which I think it would have been held back from without the surrounding community and their efforts.

      Half of a big cake or all of a small one. SUN bet on the former, I think.
  • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:28AM (#26120151)

    For paying that much money for a company that gives its core product away for free!? MySQL made a bit of money through support contracts, but now they have a lot more zeros to account for when they pay the bills.

    This isn't MySQL's fault. If someone wanted to pay me 3million for my piece of crap car, I would sell it for half that, so they thought they were getting a bargain, but how could Sun justify paying that much?

    • by Anthony_Cargile (1336739) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:50AM (#26120371) Homepage
      Nevermind Sun's recent layoffs. I'm just waiting for them to start asking for a bailout (since we're on the topic of cars here).

      As far as Sun's proprietary MySQL goes, I'm sure it will be just as popular in comparison to the open MySQL as their StarOffice is to OpenOffice, another community product eating away at the company. The only distro I'm aware of that comes stock with StarOffice is Solaris, which is losing whatever popularity it had to OpenSolaris, another community-driven product quickly gaining popularity.

      I'm lost as far as a solution to this goes, but Sun needs to do something before this gets out of hand and they start losing their company.
    • by jcnnghm (538570) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:13AM (#26120601)

      how could Sun justify paying that much?

      About 38% of Sun's income, ~$5.26 billion, is derived from services. If MySQL represents just $100M of that $5.26B, the purchase price was probably fair, given that their support sector generally operates quite profitably.

    • by nlawalker (804108)

      If someone wanted to pay me 3million for my piece of crap car, I would sell it for half that

      If someone wanted to pay me 3 million for my car, I'd let them.

    • by perlchild (582235)

      I think it's more of a case of failing to predict a tragedy of the commons. Just because all these others can take from the source and use it, most of the forks are built on the idea of "my way" and don't see a connect with MySQL's enterprise effort, which was Sun's gambit in this case. They felt their enterprise effort automatically added value because they had the original code, developers, trademarks. And there are a lot of third party plugins and storage engines out there. All requiring enterprise m

  • SunSQL (Score:5, Funny)

    by azior (1302509) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:28AM (#26120159)

    Maybe Sun should rename their fork of MySQL to SunSQL Solaris Edition JDK

    I'm ready to use PostgreSQL now

    • Maybe Sun should rename their fork of MySQL to SunSQL Solaris Edition JDK

      Don't forget the two version numbers for the same product.

  • Welcome to GPL/OSS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:29AM (#26120167)

    This is always the case when you release open source. Someone else can offer support cheaper than you. Someone else can make modifications that people want. Someone else can even fork it and choke you out if they're doing whatever gets more attention than what you are doing. The good news (for them) is that you provided them a getting-started point with all your work so they didn't have to put all that time (and money, since time is money) into getting it off the ground. This is the way GPL/OSS is *supposed* to work. You have to keep investing more time and money while pushing and driving your costs to zero or you'll get snaked by just about anyone else who has the motivation to do so.

    • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:46AM (#26120325)
      So what does that mean to costs like .. umm .. I don't know ... "salary"???
      • by Dare nMc (468959) on Monday December 15, 2008 @12:30PM (#26121449)

        So what does that mean to costs like .. umm .. I don't know ... "salary"???

        that's the question. Those whose job was to re-invent the wheel, and re-write from scratch a new application to compete with a existing one, their pay should be driven to 0.
        Those who's job is to use whats out their to be as productive as possible should be way more productive, thus more valuable, and thus their pay can be much higher, while still making their parent company more profitable.
        So the computing, support, and customization jobs in general, pay should expand. The create stuff from scratch jobs should go away. Does that result in fewer jobs, probably not, but a slower growth of jobs.

    • by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:56AM (#26120439)

      The good news (for them) is that you provided them a getting-started point with all your work so they didn't have to put all that time (and money, since time is money) into getting it off the ground.

      SUN didn't do any work creating MySQL. It purchased it. It was already open source and MySQL wouldn't be worth a dime without all the improvements made by the community. SUN knew what it was purchasing. Major companies want support from a company they trust. There is value in that. And SUN can always roll the communities code into its version. Without cost I might add. So what's the beef?

      • by zotz (3951)

        "And SUN can always roll the communities code into its version. Without cost I might add. So what's the beef?"

        Didn't they have some dual license play at some point that would have prevented this?

        all the best,

        drew

      • by schmiddy (599730) on Monday December 15, 2008 @01:29PM (#26122315) Homepage Journal

        And SUN can always roll the communities code into its version. Without cost I might add. So what's the beef?

        Not quite. SUN *could* snap up patches from the community that are floating around under the GPL -- but then SUN wouldn't own copyrights to all the code in MySQL (the individual authors whose code they snapped up would retain copyright over the snippets they had written).

        This is why SUN's Contributor Agreement [mysql.com] explicity states that the contributor must assign copyrights to SUN (you hereby assign to us joint ownership...). SUN wants to retain copyright (or at least joint licensing) to the entirety of the MySQL codebase so that they can sell closed source forks to companies wishing to release a product with MySQL embedded, without having to GPL their whole product, or any part thereof. IANAL.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Not really. Frequently there is a great deal of expertise which is fairly specialized. For example Sun is way ahead of any other company (not government or University) in terms of their SSH servers and codes. While they give it away no one has the right combination of deep math and complex software to do what they do.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:33AM (#26120209) Journal

    If it's all OSS, then why isn't MySQL picking up the best 3rd party pieces and rolling them back into the official distribution?

    • Maybe it's a problem of knowing about/qualifying those "best 3rd party pieces" to start with.

      MySQL didn't seem to have a problem with this before. Well, before Sun took over, that is.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Not Invented Here [wikipedia.org].

      It's not as trite as it sounds. Why would the best developers prioritise other peoples' patches over their own? And if you're not the best developer, what are you doing guarding the gates?

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:22AM (#26120673) Homepage Journal

      If it's all OSS, then why isn't MySQL picking up the best 3rd party pieces and rolling them back into the official distribution?

      Because they wouldn't be able to include those parts in the proprietary version?

    • Because then they're responsible for that code. Drizzle is a great idea, but as soon as a company wants to use something beyond the basic features (which they almost always do), they're going to need something better. I hadn't heard of the other project, but my guess is that they aren't as stable as the regular MySQL server because they incorporate from many different areas.

      Every line of code adds the possibility of a bug, and when you don't write that code yourself it's a lot easier to overlook somethi
  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot@davejenkins. c o m> on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:36AM (#26120229) Homepage
    The questions asked in the summary show a fundamental misunderstanding of successful business models in Open Source software: the idea that a fork from some 3rd party is "taking away" funds from the "parent" sponsoring company only goes to show that someone is trying to hold on to their licences/exclusivity/prom dress too much.

    Sun should welcome such improvements into their dev cycle. If such forks are superior, then they should eventually find their way back into the parent model. The successful business models around OSS rely on the services/consulting/support that sit around and on top of the actual OSS code. Red Hat, IBM, HP, and others all understand this. Sun, unfortunately, still has the MySQL model wrong IMHO.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      I hope it's not a trend, but this is one of MANY articles recently trying to discredit Open Source models as destructing to the corporate bottom line. It is in part destructive... to those companies that like to rest on their laurels and not improve, learn from and/or advance their software using the free code that was given to them.

      • by neomunk (913773) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:17AM (#26120631)

        I think it's Taco's way of passive-aggressive intellectual baiting. He wants us to get pissed about the idea and shoot it down thoroughly.

        At least that's what I -HOPE- is going on.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bytal (594494)

      RedHat and MySQL are in a completely different line of business, and I don't mean OS vs database.

      RedHat provides a product that is better and often more functional then the alternatives (Windows, Solaris) but still requires a large amount of maintenance. Large, non-technical corporations are very likely to both use RedHat Linux for functionality and to prefer "official" hand-holding for peace of mind.

      MySQL is favored by either small, startup level firms or tech firms with high skill levels. The first

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26120259) Journal

    "If so, could anyone blame MySQL/Sun for creating its own proprietary fork in order to afford further core development?"

    Wait - what good would it do for MySQL/Sun to create it's own fork if, by the poster's own declaration, community supported forks are *already* better?

    I think, maybe, part of the problem is companies (not just Sun/MySQL, but other companies I've seen this with too) not really treating open source projects *as* open source. They release the software under GPL, or whatever free license, but because they want to maintain 'copyright purity' (that is, the code they distribute is 100% owned by them, because that is the only thing that will allow them to potentially make the codebase proprietary for selling 'enhanced' versions; if they accepted other contributors' code under the GPL, they would then have to accept the code to be GPL forever, for all versions), so they won't/can't integrate other contributors' code into the main distribution (unless they can work out some seperate licensing agreement with the third-party developer).

    Whenever you have a situation like that, as a company, you are giving other developers the benefit of Free Software while *denying* it from your own customers (well, sorta, until they stop being your customers and start using the other forks), and yourselves.

    I don't know what the 'best' business model is for open source companies, but if you really want to leverage open source/free software, you have to give up on directly charging for 'enhanced' versions of the software, because the only way to play that game is to force this situation where you cannot benefit from the enhancements of the community. If you are successful, like MySQL, then eventually the community grows to the point where the community's developer resources are greater than your own as the company, and you find yourself in a situation where you can't really keep up with the community.

    • by zotz (3951)

      "if they accepted other contributors' code under the GPL, they would then have to accept the code to be GPL forever, for all versions), so they won't/can't integrate other contributors' code into the main distribution (unless they can work out some seperate licensing agreement with the third-party developer)."

      You know, I think a big player might get away with something like this:

      Outside developers send in code under the gpl plus with a license that allows locked up non-gpl licensing so long as the company o

  • I hail the MySQL community for a good job.

    Now it is time to fork VirtualBox into community driven project. It is getting more and more crippled Since Sun eated the Innotek.

    • by jopsen (885607)
      IMO good things have happened to VirtualBox since Sun bought it... I agree that Sun keeping a proprietary version is suboptimal, but nevertheless Sun have done many great things...
      - And I'd hate to see them go away...
  • by duffbeer703 (177751) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:43AM (#26120295)

    MySQL seems to be a project with alot of mindshare that doesn't execute well.

    With commercial software, you're screwed when the vendor decides to do stupid things. With OSS, you have options besides moving to a new platform or living with the vendor's stupid decisions.

    At the end of the day, this is good for everyone, and is an example of why OSS is good for society.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:44AM (#26120299) Homepage

    One of the keys to a successful open-source project is to take the improvements being made in forks and bring them back into the main project. One of the reasons forks are created is that users have a need that's not being met by the project. If you bring their solutions back into the mainline project, the fork will tend to die because it's no longer needed.

    This is, BTW, one of the reasons to use a GPL-like license. If you do, you're guaranteed that you can bring improvements from forks back into your mainline codebase. If you go with a license that allows you to create a fork with things that aren't available to others, it simultaneously allows others to create forks that aren't available to you. Then you end up in Sun's situation with no way to resolve it except by creating the same improvements yourself. And there's more of your competitors than there are of you, which means they will win this particular race to create improvements. If you go with a license that forces improvements to be available to you but not anybody else, many people who might have created an improvement you could use will simply not contribute to your project. It's a perception issue: GPL-like terms lead contributors to think in terms of their contributions helping everybody and you just happen to be one of that "everybody", while "owner gets everything, everybody else gets what the owner gives them" terms tend to lead contributors to think you want them to work solely for your benefit without you giving them anything in return. That turns a lot of people off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jd (1658)
      Using Linux as an example, most of the "mega patchsets" could be considered forks from the vanilla kernel but end up testing the component patches extensively, allowing for a better choice of what goes mainstream. In other words, the "forks" have accelerated Linux kernel development. The distro-specific patches - well, not too sure about those, but more than a few have also made it mainstream - again likely for the same reason. Better testing by more people. (This is not to fault the Linux development model
  • I don't really believe software that's 'good enough' doesn't need support at all, but I do think it's realistic to assume that the better software gets the less people will be asking for help.

    You can always make improvements, but you can only squeeze so much blood out of a stone. Should a single project really need to always and forever need more and more money spent on development? Architecture will keep changing, standards will improve (hopefully), but eventually any real improvements will be more for nov

    • by shaitand (626655)

      'I don't really believe software that's 'good enough' doesn't need support at all, but I do think it's realistic to assume that the better software gets the less people will be asking for help.'

      The great thing about support contracts is that you get paid whether they are utilized or not. The 'asking for help' you refer to only adds to the cost of providing the support. Every corporate entity using the software will have a support contract because the data that product is moving is worth millions and they ne

  • Bad article. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:49AM (#26120363)
    Lots of wrong things in this article.

    OurDelta isn't a fork of MySQL. It's builds for the regular MySQL with optionally some third party patches.

    Drizzle isn't a fork of MySQL. It's a complete restart and reengeneering of the database core of MySQL and will likely become a base for the future releases of Sun's MySQL and other database products. Drizzle is to MySQL like MinWin is to Windows, though maybe bad analogy, MinWin is just as porly understood by most people.

    Sun doesn't have a propriatary fork of MySQL. Former MySQL AB wanted to put some proprietary services and applications on top of the existing open-source product, but the community reacted and since Sun never approved of this direction, those plans were immediately dropped.
    • Re:Bad article (Score:4, Informative)

      by krow (129804) * <brian&tangent,org> on Monday December 15, 2008 @12:06PM (#26121151) Homepage Journal

      Hi!

      We typically call Drizzle [launchpad.net] a fork, since we do have a common ancestor at this point (though it is doubtful you could apply a patch between the two). We are pretty up front about this though. Drizzle is supported by Sun which the article does not mention, though we are different in that we have patches that have to date come in from 30+ companies.

      OurSQL is more of a distribution then anything else. Their tree is a collection of patches they apply at each release.

      Cheers,
            -Brian

    • Drizzle isn't a fork of MySQL. It's a complete restart and reengeneering of the database core of MySQL and will likely become a base for the future releases of Sun's MySQL and other database products.

      So is it a fork or a from-scratch rewrite? It appears to pass the ducktest for 'fork' from what I'm reading.

  • In a word, 'yes' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StringBlade (557322) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:50AM (#26120381) Journal

    Sun/MySQL can and should be blamed if they are failing the community that made MySQL so popular and strong.

    Sun has a bad reputation for having very closed open source projects such as OpenOffice. The project is managed much more like a proprietary venture than an open source project and community input is minimized or ignored altogether.

    I can't feel sorry for Sun when they drop buku bucks on MySQL and then complain that others are taking their revenue away from them doing what the OSS community does best - improve the software on their own.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      Sun/MySQL can and should be blamed if they are failing the community that made MySQL so popular and strong.

      Up front: I think MySQL sucks. Having said that, how dare you blame them for "failing" in any way, having given the community the product in the first place? They released it as Free Software from the beginning. Anything they do after that is just icing on the cake. You can wish that they did things differently, but they don't owe jack to "the community" other than obeying the license on any code that comes back their way.

      Well, other than quit lying by saying that you have to buy a commercial license if

      • by StringBlade (557322) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:44AM (#26120861) Journal

        I referred to MySQL as Sun/MySQL because the company by the same name as the project is now owned by Sun. As such, I'm really accusing Sun of failing the community.

        It's näive to think that Sun would have purchased MySQL if it weren't for its community base of users and developers and indeed, MySQL would not have been much of anything without said same user and developer base. So to suggest that "the community" is owed nothing for their efforts (developing, testing, debugging, suggesting improvements, etc) is also näive.

        MySQL is as popular as it is because of its environment as well as its code base. If you take away either component it will fail, and Sun doesn't seem to get that by taking away the community participation it's killing the project/product it just bought.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          So to suggest that "the community" is owed nothing for their efforts (developing, testing, debugging, suggesting improvements, etc) is also näive.

          I'm not sure how the community is owed anything. They have what they are guaranteed: code and a license that allows them to take it (almost) wherever they want. Seems like payment in full to me. The accounts are balanced and everyone can split right now - although it would probably be mutually beneficial if everyone continued to play nice (especially Sun).

          • Correct. I meant to suggest that by forking the project Sun would be doing a disservice to themselves and to the community, but the community would likely continue on their own version and Sun would have simply wasted their time and money.

            I did not mean that the community deserves more than they're getting right now, merely that they are "owed" what they have and to try to deny that would be biting the hand that feeds.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:07AM (#26120555) Homepage

    People need incentives to buy products, and open source software doesn't give people that incentive outside of the enterprise realm where paid support is a big money maker. Let's get closer to regular users here. What incentive do home users have to buy StarOffice when OpenOffice is more than good enough? How about pay anything for WordPress when it's free and easily installed by CPanel? I can't see any, aside from altruism, and only economically-clueless nerds tend to put much stock in altruism as a source of revenue (this also explains why so many think that bands will still sell large amounts of recorded music, even though most of it can be downloaded for free on a P2P network).

    In the case of MySQL, a big part of their problem is that Sun isn't dumping a lot of R&D money into them to make MySQL 6 really competitive on an enterprise level with PostgreSQL. A pure open source approach isn't going to allow Sun to make good money on their R&D investment, but if they were to dramatically improve MySQL and provide high quality tools at reasonable prices, that sort of hybrid approach would work. Companies that want to make their core software open source are going to have to make compelling products that interact with them if they want to be able to sell more than consulting and support services.

    Open source advocates need to be realistic. If you do work outside of the enterprise realm, chances are you will end up doing it for free and never seeing a dime from it unless your users are feeling overly generous. That's just because most users outside of the enterprise realm have no incentive to buy anything you might be selling related to your open source product.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      People need incentives to buy products, and open source software doesn't give people that incentive outside of the enterprise realm where paid support is a big money maker. Let's get closer to regular users here. What incentive do home users have to buy StarOffice when OpenOffice is more than good enough?

      I never thought of StarOffice being directed towards the "regular user" market. It seems to be very much an enterprise application. Having said that, there is very attractive licensing for individuals. I couldn't say whether it is all that attractive over Openoffice.org. But then, I've never ever paid for an office suite out of my own pocket.

      How about pay anything for WordPress when it's free and easily installed by CPanel?

      Normal users use CPanel? Once again, we're in to a completely different category of users. Most "normal users" are going to go for the hosted option. Anyone host

  • Yes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:28AM (#26120721) Homepage Journal
    I've been in contact with a dozen companies that all use the community version of MySQL. Without paying any support because none is needed when you have a semi-competent DBA around. If MySQL wasn't there, then it would have been PostgreSQL instead. If there was no MySQL, PostgreSQL nor any other high quality free RDBMS, they would have to use a commercial system instead. There are thousands of companies out there in the same situation and I don't think that MySQL has gained as much money as the commercial vendors has lost thanks to MySQL:s freeness.
    • Seriously. What is the business case where one may justify using MySQL and paying for it?

      Whenever the issue of MySQL vs other RDBMS is raised on Slashdot, its niche is typically defined as cheap hosting and other low-budget solutions where reliability and data consistency are simply not as important. Nothing wrong with that, but isn't it precisely the segment that's not going to pay so long as they can get the same for free? Support - I doubt many people actually care much about that, especially for MySQL.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raddan (519638)
      If Sun were smart, they would take advantage of the many places where the use of MySQL could be enhanced by Sun's other products, e.g., Solaris/OpenSolaris or ZFS, and use MySQL as a carrot to lure people into the Sun ecosystem. Once that happens, it is much easier to get someone to consider buying a support contract. This is essentially how CentOS worked for us wrt RHEL.

      Your point is a good one because we do have competent DBAs here, and Sun's addons don't add much value for us. But entire systems ar
  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:33AM (#26120777) Homepage Journal
    thats what ibm and others are doing, and its working well. sell your customers COMPLETE solutions. do not put stuff out separately.

    think it like this - imagine you are going to offer a webserver solution. hey, the database server development is already handled by the open source community, cutting many of your development, bugfix, testing costs.

    AND you will sell support. no, really. no business can go to an open source forum, post their problem and wait for a useful answer in a busy workday. they will want to have someone to call and get support fast. AND that will be the company who sold the solution to them. charge reasonably for support.

    do NOT try to go into the ancient 'hey we did something, we are gonna sell it and make money'. in our days and times, support, service are constant revenue streams. whilst you buy a server every few years. which you would want to bank on ?
  • by fruey (563914) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:54AM (#26120995) Homepage Journal

    Much of the article & threads here seem to be supposition, and niche arguments. MySQL has the mindshare because, back when RedHat was all the rage on production servers, MySQL + Apache was just an RPM away, and LAMP started to really kick in (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). PHP has big mindshare too, and the MySQL functions *are* the DB functions for a lot of coders out there.

    So even if you fork, add third party patches, or whatever... the fact is that the basic MySQL dominates the low to mid range server DB market in Open Source, and that's that. Of course there are better alternatives available, but hiring staff that know those alternatives isn't as easy.

    So I reckon Sun won't be affected too much, their product does what most people need already. Those who need something else can pay Oracle, MS or work with PostgreSQL, which kinda got to the party late. Yes, it is more powerful. But it's LAMP and not LAPP, and the tutorials for PHP/MySQL outnumber PHP/Postgres by a large factor.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dedazo (737510)

      the fact is that the basic MySQL dominates the low to mid range server DB market in Open Source

      A market which has little to no profit attached to it, and is dominated mostly by way of inertia.

      If there was a profit to turn there (other than mindshare), MySQL wouldn't have been so intent to compete in the enterprise space along with Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL and DB2/x86. They'd be happy with the enormous profits they get from hosting providers and the like.

      • by fruey (563914)

        Dominating a market (like the low to mid range) means you'll catch the occasional upgrade to "enterprise". But you are indeed right. That wasn't the point I was making so much as the mindshare they have means that, relative to the argument in the article, forks don't really make a difference in the overall scheme of things.

        PostgreSQL's site certainly seems to have stronger arguments on competing in the "enterprise" space (read stuff that isn't particularly web based IMHO) from a functionality / stability PO

  • ... that successful open source companies direct their efforts primarily at support, not software as such. If Sun is ignoring this, its doing it to its own detriment.
  • A better solution is for Sun to repackage the improved MySQL bits from Drizzle, OurDelta, Perconaand and charge for support and upgrades ..

  • > ...discovers that through third-party forks and enhancements like Drizzle and OurDelta 'you can get a "better" MySQL than the one Sun/MySQL gives you today. For free.'

    Is anyone at all surprised? Remember Sparcworks, the official, surprisingly expensive compiler for Solaris with really annoying license requirements that your management made you buy, that immediately became shelfware in favor of the free and far superior GCC if you hoped to do anything approaching ANSI C development? As soon as I had

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LizardKing (5245)

      Remember Sparcworks, the official, surprisingly expensive compiler for Solaris with really annoying license requirements that your management made you buy, that immediately became shelfware in favor of the free and far superior GCC if you hoped to do anything approaching ANSI C development?

      You mean the Sun compiler that is ANSI compliant and produces better (smaller, faster) code than GCC? And what's "annoying" about the license? At my last firm we developed trading software for Solaris, and none of our c

  • Also have a look at that blog post, by a Sun employee, on the SUn blog :

    http://blogs.sun.com/mrbenchmark/entry/scaling_mysql_on_a_256 [sun.com]

    The comments are insightful.

  • Fortune 500 (and smaller) companies are going to want support. Support is a stream of revenue, paid every year. For traditional software supports is normally 25% of sales cost per year. For Free software it appears to be 20% of the cost of comparable commercial product per year.

    Also big companies don't want bleeding edge software, so the latest that the community has put out is not as interesting to them. The problem is that Sun paid a lot for MySQL. Of course I think they did that for defense against

  • First thing,

    I am a hardware guy by inclination and training. I had some programming experience, but never enjoyed it.

    I also tend to look more at the business side of things sometimes. I am the Chairman of my Company's ESOP committee. We are 100% employee owned. We are not an IT company. I am the only IT person.

    I have always had a hard time believing in the business model of the Open Source community. As an IT person and a software customer, I can appreciate the ability to view and modify t
    • by Xtifr (1323)

      I have always had a hard time believing in the business model of the Open Source community.

      Actually, sounds more like you have a hard time understanding it. What it sounds like you're disbelieving is some sort of straw man you've invented.

      as a business person, I have a hard time picturing a long term model where open source is a product I can make money off of.

      Um, yeah, that's because OSS is something you make money with, not "off of". You can make money of off hardware or services, but software is increasingly becoming a tool for providing services rather than a product in itself.

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