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Locating the Real MySQL 335

Posted by kdawson
from the place-your-bets dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a blog post, Patrick Galbraith, an ex-core engineer on the MySQL Server team, raises the question: "What is the official branch of MySQL?" With Monty Widenius having left Sun and forked off MySQL for MariaDB, and Brian Aker running the Drizzle fork inside of Sun, where is the official MySQL tree? Sun may own the trademark, but it looks like there is doubt as to whether they are still the maintainers of the actual codebase after their $1B acquisition of the code a year ago. Smugmug's Don MacAskhill, who is the keynote at the upcoming MySQL Conference, has commented that he is now using the Percona version of MySQL, and is no longer relying on Sun's."
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Locating the Real MySQL

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  • PostgreSQL (Score:5, Informative)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:00PM (#27395883)

    http://www.postgresql.org/ [postgresql.org]

    Just saying.

    • Re:PostgreSQL (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:08PM (#27395977) Journal

      Hey, maybe people have a reason to use MySQL - a product that only supports that db, or developers who aren't particularly familiar with what relational databases are supposed to be like.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by VGPowerlord (621254)

        Hey, maybe people have a reason to use MySQL - a product that only supports that db, or developers who aren't particularly familiar with what relational databases are supposed to be like.

        I don't know why this is marked as Funny... there are far too many programs or even webapps (PHP ones in particular) that only work with MySQL.

        • by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday March 30, 2009 @10:27PM (#27397511) Homepage Journal

          I don't know why this is marked as Funny... there are far too many programs or even webapps (PHP ones in particular) that only work with MySQL.

          The problem is that the Funny mod can't differentiate between when someone is laughing with you or at you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Amen. PHP/MySQL has been a defacto standard for how long now? I mean, it just works. And if there is a problem, it's well-documented. So ubiquitous, well-documented and free... Why would I choose use anything else?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          ubiquitous, well-documented and free... Why would I choose use anything else

          Because it's of higher quality?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DiegoBravo (324012)

          > Why would I choose use anything else? ... Because a lot of people thinks that foreign key constraints are the best and most important way (after primary keys) to secure the consistency of the application's data.

          Of course, that people probably never wrote a dozen of lines of code, so they never realized that the programmer has one thousand of more powerful ways to corrupt all the application data (sadly, databases are not immune to code bugs despite any imaginative constraints.)

          BTW, that same people nev

          • I don't miss built-in foreign keys as much as I miss composite keys. I usually enforce quasi-constraints similar to foreign keys in code and it can get annoying at times and I can see where a nice, rigid constraint in the query would come in handy. I see where you're coming from.
        • Re:PostgreSQL (Score:5, Insightful)

          by coryking (104614) * on Monday March 30, 2009 @10:07PM (#27397375) Homepage Journal

          And if there is a problem, it's well-documented.

          Good luck finding it. MySQL has horrible documentation [mysql.com]. The whole structure of it is a mess.

          Plus, when you say "and if there is a problem, it is documented". Yeah, that is great, but most of the "well-documented" problems are long-standing bugs for insanely stupid shit.

          It does make me laugh though, because honestly, I agree that mysql is well documented. Every random question [google.com] I google for usually has a hit. And funny enough, the top listing is usually a page here [mysql.com]--failing that, at least on the first page of results [google.com].

          Why would I choose use anything else?

          Because you know better.

    • Re:PostgreSQL (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:10PM (#27395999) Homepage Journal

      It really is a very good database. I just hope more projects start using it. And that more hosting companies will as well.
      I am pretty sure that that MySQL still has better client slave replication "Like Slashdot uses" than Postgres. But I could be wrong.

    • Enough already! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wee (17189) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:11PM (#27396019)
      And now pretend that you are, like many thousands of other people, hosted in a place that doesn't offer it. Or run software which can't talk to it. Or have staff who aren't trained in its use or upkeep. Or... a hundred other things.

      Enough with the knee-jerk elitism. MySQL is just fine for quite a lot of tasks, and the article isn't about the religious battle between DB packages.

      -B
      • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Informative)

        by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity&yahoo,com> on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:20PM (#27396111) Homepage

        It's not a religious battle, it's about using the best tool for the job. MySQL may be very easy to setup, but just fyi, PostgreSQL is a snap to set up now on Windows or Linux.

        Looking for reasons to use PostgreSQL?
        Much better index support.
        Kerberos or LDAP access controls.
        Better native Unicode support.

        If you're hog-tied to MySQL because of your software, well so be it. But if you have a choice, the winner should be fairly obvious.

        • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by einhverfr (238914) <chris@travers.gmail@com> on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:38PM (#27396279) Homepage Journal

          Actually the subject is how your data is supposed to be used.

          MySQL users see the database as a program persistance layer. I am not sure WHY they are using something that pretends to be a relational database, but they are. It is the single-app approach (one app, one database).

          The PostgreSQL crowd sees data and application as being separate issues. The data in theory should be able to be managed in any of a hundred different applications, all hitting the same database, without causing the nightmares in QA that this sort of thing creates in MySQL.

          So is the program what is important? Or is the data there to be used by many programs?

          MySQL works OK for one-app databases and many people think that is all that is needed. It breaks down outside that area, however.

          • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by coryking (104614) * on Monday March 30, 2009 @10:12PM (#27397409) Homepage Journal

            The RMDBS crowd sees data and application as being separate issues.

            You forgot to broaden your scope. Otherwise, you are correct.

            Your database is almost literally your company. It should reflect your way of doing business--any moderately skilled developer should be able to walk into an orginization they know nothing about and using only the database schema, infer pretty much what the company does, and how it does it.

            You can always fix flawed software design, but it is almost impossible to fix a flawed database design. Do your database wrong, the growth of your company will be hindered. Do it right, and your company will flourish. No joke.

          • "MySQL works OK for one-app databases and many people think that is all that is needed. It breaks down outside that area, however."

            You know something is wrong when a discussion of MySQL is dominated by comments about PostgreSQL.
            • by Skater (41976) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:04AM (#27400227) Homepage Journal

              You know something is wrong when a discussion of MySQL is dominated by comments about PostgreSQL.

              Or you're on Slashdot. My guess: when the editors see the MySQL article in the queue, they think, "We haven't had a MySQL/PostgreSQL flamewar in a while. Let's post this!"

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by h4rm0ny (722443)

                It's not that much of a flame war. At the time of posting, most of the comments I see in favour of PostgreSQL are saying that MySQL is fine but for one reason or another they prefer PostgreSQL. And that's actually my position too. I enjoy designing databases and that is true on any system. I've done some of my best work on MySQL - it's fine for me. But for a few reasons (which I wont repeat again), I find PostgreSQL more impressive. Others may prefer MySQL and that's fine. If a preference is based only on
      • by mlwmohawk (801821)

        Enough with the knee-jerk elitism.

        Gee, I remember a time when "Elite" was considered a good thing by educated people.

        If I have open heart surgery, I wan an "Elite" doctor.

        If I fly on a plane, I want an elite pilot.

        If I setup a database, I want an elite database.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by reiisi (1211052)

          Well, we discovered that "elite" is mostly hubris.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mlwmohawk (801821)

            Well, we discovered that "elite" is mostly hubris.

            I have a problem with the anti-intellectualism in the U.S.A. and it is reflected by this notion that, somehow, elite or an "Elite," is a bad thing.

            Everyone has the ability to be elite. It takes time, study, passion, and work. You master a discipline, you attain a substantial amount of knowledge and ability.

            Instead of that hard work and ability being recognized, people who do not choose to work, simply dismiss it as "Elitism."

            In the software community, softwa

        • Re:Enough already! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday March 30, 2009 @08:36PM (#27396755)

          An "Elite" is a person or group that have superlative skills an ability, and are granted enhanced social status on account of this, to wit "I'm good at what I do therefore I should lead/be popular/be recognized." This is probably tolerable.

          "Elitism" is a dysfunction where a person or group uses enhanced social status to asserts superlative skill and ability in order to justify their social status and to exclude others. "I'm popular/leading/recognized therefore I am good at what I do therefore I should lead/be popular/be recognized and there ain't no way those dirty punks over there are as good as us, after all they aren't as popular."

      • And now pretend that you are, like many thousands of other people, hosted in a place that doesn't offer it.

        Well, if it's anything big, it's probably a virtual server, so you can install anything you like on it. Event pgsql.

        Enough with the knee-jerk elitism.

        So wanting a DB that takes things like referential integrity and error reporting seriously is elitist? Bite me.

        • by adamchou (993073)

          So wanting a DB that takes things like referential integrity and error reporting seriously is elitist?

          no, but degrading everyone else that has no interest in using it is. and by the way, how exactly does innodb not take things like referential integrity and error reporting seriously?

          • Re:Enough already! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by coryking (104614) * on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @01:16AM (#27398543) Homepage Journal

            but degrading everyone else that has no interest in using it is.

            It isn't degrading. When you clean up enough messes left by people who have no business touching a database, it gets fustrating. Especially when things like this are said:

            how exactly does innodb not take things like referential integrity and error reporting seriously?

            Because InnoDB is only half of MySQL. InnoDB doesn't do fulltext search. If you want fulltext, you gotta go MyISAM. Guess what happens to your cute, cozy referential integrity when half your tables are InnoDB and half are MyISAM? Bye bye! And error reporting? What error reporting? The part where it doesn't tell you "bye bye referential integrity!" and rolls back half your transaction and commits the other half? Or did you mean the part where it automatically adds default values to fields you set not null*? Or were you talking about the part where it thinks invalid dates are valid and doesn't throw an error? Or are those examples only good for Fortune 10(tm) enterprises and not some piddly organization like yours.

            No sir, nobody who is a developer that takes their profession seriously would make a claim that MySQL takes anything seriously. They've cleaned up enough MySQL messes, thank you.

            [rant]*one of my biggest pet peeves of MySQL... when I say CREATE TABLE(varchar(255) blah NOT NULL) please do not add your own 'DEFAULT ""' to the end--it is considered by some to be rather rude! I can spot MySQL schema's a mile away by this single trait. Anything NOT NULL almost always has a bullshit default value. Got a NOT NULL int--it will have a DEFAULT 0! Got a NOT NULL date, "DEFAULT 0000-00-00", which isn't even a valid date! How is that for taking your data seriously?[/rant]

  • by Matchstick (94940) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:00PM (#27395885)

    The MariaDB link should be http://askmonty.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page [askmonty.org]

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:03PM (#27395929) Homepage

    This calls into question whether it's viable to sell a business based on open-source software.

    What did Sun buy exactly? Sales and support?

    • I was under the impression they got the trademark AND the copyrights, meaning they can release a closed source version.

      Don't MySQL developers assign their copyrights to Sun?

    • by syousef (465911) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:11PM (#27396021) Journal

      What did Sun buy exactly? Sales and support?

      A bridge!

      Hello Mr Sun CEO, I have a bridge here to sell you! Best deal you'll ever make. Pinky swear.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This calls into question whether it's viable to sell a business based on open-source software.

      I was under the impression that MySQL operated with a full-featured, proprietary, licensed, commercial version getting immediate upgrades and support, plus a less-featured open source version with releases of code (ported?) from the full-featured branch that ran some months behind the for-pay version.

      If that's right, I'd say Sun bought the whole shebang, including the code and customer bases for the licensed deluxe

      • by ximenes (10) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:45PM (#27396331)

        For the database server itself, there is no difference between MySQL Community Edition and MySQL Enterprise Edition besides the release schedule. The community edition (aka the regular one everyone uses) has been pared down to 4 releases a year, which are cherry picked from the enterprise releases.

        However, the source is completely available for the enterprise releases, and you are able to compile and install them yourself. This is what Percona is doing, for instance (plus some other patches).

        With that said, MySQL has other software that comes along with the enterprise edition that is not open sourced to my knowledge. A query analyzer, monitoring, and other goodies. Personally I prefer to find their equivalents in the open source world, but I'm sure some people buy and use these packages.

      • Oh, yes. The Copyright!

        With that, Sun can:
        - License the code (non-exclusively) to customers under OTHER licenses than the open source license under which it was released.
        - Sue others for infringement when THEY use it in ways not included in the open source license.
        - Make derived works that they don't release under the open source license.

        These are all things that Sun can now do and no others can (presuming Sun continues MySQL's tradition of keeping the main codebase clean of outsid

    • by tsalmark (1265778) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:19PM (#27396099) Homepage
      For $1B I'd say it's plenty viable to sell an open source business. Buying one on the other hand may be open to debate.
      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        Okay.... what he said.

        Anyway, I guess Sun's history is plagued with poor business decisions so this MySQL disaster shouldn't surprise anyone.

    • What Sun bought -- (Score:5, Insightful)

      by reiisi (1211052) on Monday March 30, 2009 @08:12PM (#27396595) Homepage

      I think what Sun was trying to buy was a little more respect from the open source community.

      (At least, that's what I would prefer to think. There is a distinct possibility that that purchase price was heavily subsidized by a certain large company who is quite aware that the best way to kill a technical project is to feed it huge amounts of money.)

      Yeah, they went way too far overboard, of course, to actually get that respect.

      But, "'e's not dead yet."

      Setting aside the brainless rumors of Sun being bought, if I found myself in charge of making the purchase meaningful, I'd be looking at spinning MySQL back out into an independent company and bringing back as many of the guys who built it as they can. Add a couple of developers with other, non-MySQL, database experience to the team, of course, but give control back to the original developers.

      Also, don't ask the original developers to give up their independent products.

      The MySQL project needed fresh ideas, and this could be one way to bring fresh ideas in. It'd take a long time to get real return on what they invested, but it would be better than blowing away the whole investment.

      Anyway, even if the main branch dies, there will likely be some useful development from the forks.

      • Setting aside the brainless rumors of Sun being bought
        Why would you call them brainless, do you honestly think there is nothing to them?
  • by syousef (465911) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:09PM (#27395981) Journal

    I don't have any idea what the politics behind all this is, nor do I have enough interest to look it up, but it seems to me that if a company pays $1B for code, then it forks left and right and they're left with nothing but yet another version, that's not going to exactly be a good advertisement for investing in open source. While this outcome is much better than a closed source application being killed off, it still would have been much better if differences could have been worked out and Sun had something for their money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jvillain (546827)

      Actually the message it sends is you can not take control just by buying out one piece of the open source world. For the record Sun is going through the same thing with Open Office. Sun really doesn't understand open source.

      The official branch is where ever the big distros decide to pull from.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by turbidostato (878842)

        "The official branch is where ever the big distros decide to pull from."

        May I offer a rewrite?
        The official branch is where ever the knowledgeable gurus decide to push into.

    • I disagree. Investing in open source is all about time, not money. When you start a business selling support for open source, you expect that the developers you attract won't be in it for the money, although they'll certainly take it. When you buy the company, it's not the traditional acquisition, it's one where you buy the opportunity to take control of a few parts of the project. If you fuck with what the employees love about the project, then they'll leave and either fork or create a new one.

      What Sun
  • Allow to say: (Score:5, Informative)

    by drolli (522659) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:10PM (#27396003) Journal

    While i am *not sure* of the details, i am pretty sure that SUNs lawyers did not forget to make very definite regulations for maintainers leaving, forking of etc. As far as i undrstood, sun bought the code *and* the rights. As many people dont understand GPLed code still has an owner. Independent of that mysql may still be a trademark.

    So the standard (GPL) way is to rename the project and add the staement that you modified it which *somehow* makes it different from the "official" branch (to define that, that is the branch which does not carry the notice that it was modified and which is published under the prior, maybe (tm)ed, name).

    • by countach (534280)

      If its GPL then even the non-owners of the code have most of the important rights. I suppose they could have asked employees to sign non-compete clauses, but that would seem pretty silly for a GPL product. Besides which, why would employees of MySQL want to agree to what SUN's lawyers want, unless they were getting paid off for it?

  • by altek (119814) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:11PM (#27396031) Homepage

    please stand up?

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:15PM (#27396061)

    ...whatever is at www.mysql.com. Look, I'm not trying to be flippant, but when I'm trying to sell the boss on FOSS solutions, I need to send him a link to a site that will give him the warm-fuzzies that demonstrates that a. the tech is solid (typically mention Wikipedia for that one) and b. it's not some fly-by-night operation that will suddenly up and disappear.

    I'm not trying to put the other projects down, and I can appreciate why they exist, but this is the exact reason I'm always being laughed out of meetings where they decide to buy an Oracle license, or a Microsoft OS, those guys have the message down (i.e. marketing).

    I'm trying to be the in-house cheerleader for what can be done in the free/open-source communities and mixed messages just don't fly to a boss who barely skims the executive summary of whatever glossy lands on his desk any given day.

    • The pages that come up for "mysql.com" are what I consider to be the "official" version of MySQL.

      I didn't even realize the other pages were out there until this article was posted and I started reading the comments.

      Not that it matters much -- I'm an http://www.postgresql.org/ [postgresql.org] fan myself.

    • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity&yahoo,com> on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:27PM (#27396171) Homepage

      As someone who has extensive hands-on use of Oracle eBusiness, I can say it's a steaming turd with some authority. Having a vertical CRM/order management/invoicing/everything stack is an easy sell to managers, but what they don't realize is it requires significant effort to align it with your business model.

      In short, Oracle is designed to sell and it does work, but only well if you're prepared to spend a fortune implementing it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Ah, but those steaming turds are just the ticket for a consultant looking to warm his hands.

        I'm a consultant, and I love steaming turds!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rubycodez (864176)

          turds work for the big iron companies too. Like IBM's enterprise solution for anything: sell the client a bunch of overcomplicated rube goldberg contraptions that require a ton of customization and services, big turds for the money sewer.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            big turds for the money sewer.

            And that's why, as a consultant, I'm always "flush" with cash!

      • There are a lot of "Oracle required" situations that can be serviced by http://www.enterprisedb.com/ [enterprisedb.com]

        They provide an implementation of PL/SQL for PostgreSQL with commercial support.

        • The parent post was referring to Oracle applications, the ERP software they sell that competes with SAP, not the database.
      • As someone who has extensive hands-on use of Oracle eBusiness, I can say it's a steaming turd with some authority

        Curious if you have specifics. I've worked both ends of the spectrum (completely integrated and best of breed for all apps with interfaces), I definately prefer the integrated approach. What you gain with best of breed you quickly lose in complexity of interfaces, loss of functionality because data from one app's model can't be easily represented in the other app's model and loss of a compre
        • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity&yahoo,com> on Monday March 30, 2009 @10:58PM (#27397695) Homepage

          For starters, the database schema is extremely complicated, much more so than is necessary for most companies. The web interface to eBusiness isn't too bad, although even on big iron it is still pretty slow for a lot of filter and search operations.

          The web-launched Java interface takes a LOT of resources per instance; it's very slow on a typical desktop computer. The java interface is MDI, whereas separate windows would be quite a lot easier for users to use. It's also single threaded, meaning one blocking MDI child window blocks the entire eBusiness instance. Clicking the List of Values[...] object is scriptable and in some situations isn't very intuitive. In some cases it will not check the associated field or entered text first, meaning it performs a wildcard search. If done in a field that is populated with hundreds of thousands of records, this can block your eBusiness for 10 or 20 minutes. There is no "break" either, you let it run or you kill it and lose whatever didn't have saved in other MDI children windows.

          This is just a short list. There are a lot of reasons Oracle eBusiness is a huge frustration for users and developers.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      I would not recommend trying to sell your boss on a FOSS solution that was bought out by a commercial company who is running it into the ground. There's other projects out there (Ex: PostgreSQL) that are better sells.

    • by mcrbids (148650)

      I'm not trying to put the other projects down, and I can appreciate why they exist, but this is the exact reason I'm always being laughed out of meetings where they decide to buy an Oracle license, or a Microsoft OS, those guys have the message down (i.e. marketing).

      You are being laughed out of meetings? Sounds to me like YOU need marketing experience, as well. How are you presenting your OSS solutions? More importantly, if you are in an environment where you are laughed out of meetings, WHY are you present

    • by the_womble (580291) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @05:08AM (#27399657) Homepage Journal

      a. the tech is solid (typically mention Wikipedia for that one)

      So do you edit the Wikipedia page just before you tell your boss look at it?

  • The moment I saw the headline, I immediately thought of three smart-ass tags... then I looked down and all three were taken. At least I can still tag it something obvious like 'story'
  • by gothamboy (699451) on Monday March 30, 2009 @07:56PM (#27396413)
    So, then it looks like Sun acquired nothing. The real IP has walked out the door.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by greg1104 (461138)

      There's been plenty of speculation that Sun was interested more in MySQL from the sales side of things than from the technology one. MySQL had figured out how to sell open-source solutions to people for money successfully, something Sun would like to do more of. The high-profile engineers can jump to other projects on a whim, that doesn't necessarily mean they've lost what they wanted out of the purchase.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2009 @08:00PM (#27396457)

    What, haven't you people heard of Access??

    • by againjj (1132651)
      Access to what? Above they talked about the difference in access to MySQL and access to PostgreSQL....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheSync (5291)

      What, haven't you people heard of Access??

      Have you heard of FileMaker Pro??

  • Am not ready to entrust my data to a talking, masked, styrofoam cup [wikia.com]!
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday March 30, 2009 @09:32PM (#27397199)
    MySQL resides with Sun. Period. End of discussion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sfraggle (212671)

      Yeah, the article really answers its own question. Sun own the MySQL trademark, therefore they own "MySQL". There may be other forks, but they are not "MySQL". The end.

  • At the moment, the top listing is www.mysql.com [mysql.com] - Duh.

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