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Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-must-not-activate-the-superweapon dept.
jamie sends in a blog post from MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius calling for help to "save MySQL from Oracle's clutches." While the US DoJ approved Oracle's purchase of Sun back in August, the European Commission has been less forthcoming. Widenius points out that Oracle has been using their customers to put pressure on the EC, and he questions Oracle's commitment to MySQL, saying their vague promises aren't good enough. He writes: "Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally binding manner): To keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license; Not to add closed source parts, modules or required tools; To not raise MySQL license or MySQL support prices; To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner; To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license; To develop MySQL as an Open Source project; To actively work with the community; Apply submitted patches in a timely manner; To not discriminate patches that make MySQL compete more with Oracle's other products; To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete even more with Oracle's main offering."
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Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands

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  • by wiredog (43288) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:22PM (#30423086) Journal

    That's one of the reasons we have open source licenses. So we can fork if we have to.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      so a guy who sold out is now worried about what he sold?

      • so a guy who sold out is now worried about what he sold?

        It's worse than that - Monty is a greedy self-centered pig. He sold it, then waited long enough so that he couldn't be sued (non-compete), then starts whining about how nobody else can be trusted with it.

        If Oracle *doesn't* get it, I'm switching everything to a combination of PostgreSQL and NoSQL. I trust Oracle more than Monty any day. Oracle at least has a business case to not screw around - unlike Monty, who has already demonstrated his crappy ethics.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mangu (126918)

          I'm switching everything to a combination of PostgreSQL and NoSQL.

          Not willing to start a religious war here, but I always liked Postgres better than MySQL, for its features alone.

          However, I don't like Oracle getting hold of MySQL. I have enough trouble with managers who blindly follow the Oracle gospel. Better not to have the same managers saying "OK, if you want a lightweight open source database then why don't you use MySQL?"

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by NoYob (1630681)
          Since Oracle is probably getting MySQL, I was thinking of a fork. With Oracle's licensing terms that I've heard about, I think a fork of an Oracle product should be called "SQLLikaPig"?

          SQL is pronounced .in many old timer circles as "squeal".

          • SQL is pronounced .in many old timer circles as "squeal"

            Old-timers never pronounced it "squeal" or "sequel" - that's a give-away that you're either a newbie or you come from a Microsoft background. Real old-timers pronounce it "ess queue ell".

            Just saying ...

            • Old-timers never pronounced it "squeal" or "sequel"

              It's a big world you know. Myself and co-workers (at a large ERP company) have called it "SQL", "Sequel", "Squeal", "Slow query language" and a few other names, starting in the late 80's and early 90's.
            • by CAIMLAS (41445)

              Yeah, I think it depends on which camp you come from. Most people under, say, 30, who are not UNIX/Linux centric/are from the predominantly Windows camp/marketing-savvy, will say "sequel". Those who cut their teeth with Open Source/online sources of information for SQL refer to it as "SQL".

              I've had interviews where I pronounced Microsoft's version "SQL server" and got a blank look from the (technical) interviewer. That's a bit embarassing, both for me (didn't call it the proper marketing name) and for him (

            • Mod -1 wrong (Score:3, Informative)

              by metamatic (202216)

              First came QUEL [wikipedia.org]. The followup developed at IBM was jokingly called SEQUEL. It was changed to SEQL and then SQL for trademark reasons. See Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

              So it was originally called "sequel". Pronouncing it as S-Q-L came later.

        • by wsanders (114993) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:11PM (#30423818) Homepage

          This is all about the EU blocking Oracle's acquisition of Sun. They are trolling for testimonials about how the Sun acquisition would force people to buy Oracle DB, which is almost certainly would not:

          http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/ibu_index.php?storyid=832 [moneycontrol.com]

          Look at Berkeley DB (on which OpenLDAP uttely depends.) It's now "Oracle Berkeley DB". I don't see any monkey business with that arrangement (although the OpenLDAP people are probably working on ditching BDB just as due diligence.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Vexorian (959249)
          What's worse is that he is attempting to make the EU commision require forcing oracle to change the license from the GPL [groklaw.net] I guess this will become typical of codeplex foundation members...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mrmeval (662166)

      That is possible if I read this right. http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/php-bsd-me/the-mysql-license-8922 [toolbox.com]
      It would leave any closed source licensed versions dependent on Oracle or force them to carefully separate out their code from mysql so they can use the forked version.

      I would use Postgresql http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/MySQL_vs_PostgreSQL [wikivs.com] since it's standards compliant, feature full and is fast if properly configured.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Toze (1668155)
      Fork it and then name it MariaDB [askmonty.org], specifically. Sun buys MySQL. Monty complains about Sun's treatment of MySQL. Monty leaves MySQL. Monty forks MySQL. Monty complains about Oracle. This isn't exactly a surprising development.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by whrde (1120405)
      It's possible that open source licences can be revoked by the copyright/IP holder. Under anglo common law, a bare licence can be revoked, but a contractual licence can't be --- It all depends on whether you consider there to be a contract, supported by consideration (ie someone of value is exchanged for the licence). I personally believe there is consideration and so no one can revoke open source licences. But unlike the US courts, Australian courts don't seem to agree. (I wrote a dissertation on this pr
      • But the OS license allowed further licensing. That could easily make an irrevocable license. That is A licenses B which licenses C, then A revokes the license of B, but B lets C continue on with its license.
    • by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witness.yahoo@com> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @11:47PM (#30427742) Homepage Journal

      That's one of the reasons we have open source licenses. So we can fork if we have to.

      He did already - it's called MariaDB. He just doesn't like the fact that his fork has to be GPL only - he can't integrate any commercial code like he did when he owned MySQL AB. I don't think I can put it any better here than I did at Groklaw (see this comment [groklaw.net]. Basically:

      • Monty made MySQL; licensed it under a dual license (GPL + MySQL Commercial License)
      • dual license structure worked well for MySQL AB - prevented commercial competitors, fostered community around GPL version
      • Monty sold MySQL AB to Sun for $1B without changing the license. No compliants; he worked for Sun.
      • Sun seems to be under the gun and going to get sold off - Monty quits, tries to fork MySQL as MariaDB. Wants to build a new "MySQL AB" under another name; but the dual license prevents it.
      • See opportunity to force Sun to change the license so he can keep his money from the sale, while still getting all the code, possibly also the commercial code, and redo MySQL AB
      • Monty's looking to do a "rinse-repeat".

      Monty just doesn't like the hand that he dealt himself - one he had every opportunity to change while he owned MySQL AB, probably even would have been able to influence while he was a Sun Employee too; but never complained (that we know of while he was at Sun) and never did (when he had the chance himself - he could of done it as part of the sale to Sun).

      Yeah - he could just setup a services-oriented company around MySQL; but he doesn't want that - he wants his MySQL back, as well as the money he took from Sun. It's all about his wallet; nothing else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:24PM (#30423096)

    Besides being a hippocrite, after he was paid, bolted for the door the first opportunity he got. If it was so important to him, he wouldn't have sold to Sun in the first place. Man up and stay with the company and product if you are so concerned.

  • Greed... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:24PM (#30423098)

    So, now, being a very rich guy (1B is a lot of money), he wants to it back for free? That's fair... Right...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      He can always fork it (unless he's signed some sort of non-compete agreement). I don't really get the issue. Everyone knew Oracle was probably going to do evil, Oracle is one of the BIG evils, though it never gets sufficient attention around here, what with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

      • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Interesting)

        by butlerm (3112) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:04PM (#30423376)

        I agree that Oracle's dominance and proprietary nature places it in a unique position to dictate terms to its customers. The problem is that Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology. Oracle 7, ca 1991, has a better overall implementation than the latest and greatest from IBM, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on. I mean MySQL is barely out of the 'toy' stage (special purpose applications excluded). In the intervening two decades Oracle has widened the gap. That means for a certain classes of OLTP applications, people tend to think you are suicidal if you recommend anything else.

        The only way to minimize this problem is to bring (open source) databases closer to parity, even with where Oracle was twenty years ago. PostgreSQL is the only one that comes close in the open source world. MySQL started out with so many bizarre design decisions and gratuitous incompatibilities, that I wonder if it will *ever* come close, at least not without losing backward compatibility in a big way.

        • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:12PM (#30423426) Journal

          Agreed. As a big ferinstance, MySQL just barely got two-way replication w/ 5.1, and even then you had to do some seriously weird hoodoo on it to make that happen (hint: it's not a listed feature)... this is a basic function of any full-on enterprise-level DB.

          Now Postgres comes fairly close, but everyone else can't even touch it.

          If Postgres ever got something resembling the ease and power of RAC, then Oracle would have something to worry about. Until then, they're in a position to dictate whatever terms they want to. (I would've put MS SQL Server as a contender, but clustering that into something resembling RAC is a friggin' nightmare to build and maintain, and I doubt that too many MCDBAs have quite wrapped their heads around using SQL Server on a Core (read: non-UI) install of Windows Server just yet.)

          • I got MySQL 4 to do two-way replication in about 20 minutes, but nice try. Also, speed tests done around 2000 showed MySQL and Oracle neck and neck for large server loads.
          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Just curious, since I'm not a DB guy and rarely get to work on servers, why exactly would you WANT to run a non UI version of Winserver? I mean I could understand it way back when where literally every byte of memory counted and sparing a single cycle on a UI could be a bad thing, but today we have so much power, and in the server space even the low end boxes are frankly super powerful, that I just don't really see much of a point.

            I mean sure, I can see stripping out WMP and those other pieces that frankl

        • by jimicus (737525)

          The problem is that Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology. Oracle 7, ca 1991, has a better overall implementation than the latest and greatest from IBM, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on.

          That's a hell of a strong choice of words, particularly when you're on a site full of raging zealots like /. Could you explain exactly what features Oracle has that place it a full 20 years ahead of its nearest competitor?

          • by BeanThere (28381)

            /. isn't full of 'raging zealots', I see that claimed quite often but I've seen no evidence to back it up, it's a myth ... there are a few, but most people here are fairly reasonable, certainly no more 'zealot-y' than any other online forum, and almost certainly less so. GP is probably a paid shill or works for Oracle. I do suspect there's a fair share of shills here, but they aren't zealots.

            • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Informative)

              by butlerm (3112) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @03:29PM (#30424312)

              I don't work for Oracle, and I would like to see other databases to get into the same league inf every material respect. Take Oracle RAC (formerly Oracle Parallel Server) for example, Oracle's shared everything database clustering technology. There are no open source equivalents. MS SQL, PostgreSQL, and MySQL don't have anything like it. Apparently IBM DB2 does, but only in the mainframe editions.

              There are often things that can be done to work around these limitations (replication works in some cases, for example), it is just a question of cost effectiveness. There is no reason to buy Oracle just because it is "Oracle". Only if it does what you need better than the alternatives. For many businesses that is the case. Oracle doesn't dominate the business because of FUD. It dominates due to true technical superiority. A business would be positively stupid to pay a large premium for a database that doesn't have any real superiority to much less expensive (if not free) alternatives. That is one of the reasons why it would be great if the alternatives caught up. Transparent clustering for PostgreSQL would be outstanding.

              I *can* use PostgreSQL to do everything I could with Oracle 7 back in the early 90s. That is saying something (MySQL doesn't come close). A lot of people don't need much of what Oracle has added since then. If that is the case, there is a great case to be made for using something else. It is certainly a lot less expensive.

          • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Interesting)

            by butlerm (3112) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:30PM (#30423934)

            I didn't say "features" (although there are those) but rather "better overall implementation".

            For example, with Oracle you can add columns, drop columns, and modify columns while there are ongoing transactions against the table. Try that with DB2 sometime.

            MySQL is worse:

            In most cases, ALTER TABLE works by making a temporary copy of the original table. The alteration is performed on the copy, and then the original table is deleted and the new one is renamed

            That is a trivial example. Generally speaking, however, Oracle gets significant new features with a high quality implementation about a decade before anyone else does. For example, during the 1990s the lack of MVCC and row level locking were serious problems with virtually every database except Oracle. Without them, you can't reliably run large or long running transactions without risking locking every other user out of the database, even if the transactions don't have any row level overlap.

            • Wow, how badly did you screw the pootch in the planing stages if you are changing the columns of a live DB?
              • by butlerm (3112) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @05:10PM (#30425096)

                Online upgrades. Suppose you have a service that needs to be available on a 24 x 7 basis. Is there any reason to shut everything down just because the upgrade script needs to add a new column, drop an old one, or increase the precision or maximum length of an existing one?

                We do software as a service, for example, and generally speaking, we don't take our site down *ever*, certainly not for application software updates. Logged in users stay logged in and continue their work without noticing.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Simetrical (1047518)

                  Online upgrades. Suppose you have a service that needs to be available on a 24 x 7 basis. Is there any reason to shut everything down just because the upgrade script needs to add a new column, drop an old one, or increase the precision or maximum length of an existing one?

                  We do software as a service, for example, and generally speaking, we don't take our site down *ever*, certainly not for application software updates. Logged in users stay logged in and continue their work without noticing.

                  The same is true for any serious MySQL site. Just with MySQL, you have to go to the hassle of take out slave, apply change, let slave catch up, repeat for all other slaves, promote some slave to master, apply change to old master to get everything working. This works for changing columns' type/adding columns/removing columns/etc. because MySQL normally uses statement-based replication, not row-based. It can be fiddly, but it works fine. Wikipedia has no downtime for database changes, or any planned down

            • by daveime (1253762)

              Hmm interesting ...

              Query 1 = SELECT somecolumn FROM table
              Query 2 = DROP somecolumn FROM table

              Query 2 returns first with "ok"
              Query 1 returns with "fucked if I know, column ain't there no more" ?

              How is this useful ?

              • No one is suggesting dropping a column that is still in use. The software upgrade that makes the old column obsolete must usually complete first.

                All transactions dependent on the old column must also complete (the wait for this is automatic). Then, either all sessions or all software state that depend on the previous column must go away, OR some form of (updatable) views be used to allow them to continue without early termination (using a column alias or derived column).

                Once that happens, it is very conve

          • by Almahtar (991773)
            Probably not, no.
        • by bytesex (112972)

          Add to that that, even if Oracle's pricing model is ridiculous, they never lie about what you're going to get (and you can always get a rebate here and there), and that documentation (even down to their data formats) is ubiquitous and omni-present. Open source newbs tend to yak on Oracle (as they do on postgres) because they won't accept that managing data in large quantities is not something you can learn in an afternoon. Which, in turn, is actually an argument for managing data using btrees and hashes,

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:27PM (#30423116)

    It's strangely appropriate that Neo, when he went to see the Oracle to find out that he is The One, was also shown that the reality he was constantly presented with was simply a computer manipulation. This is why "there is no spoon" was such a critical piece of the Matrix puzzle. There may be no spoon, but there can still be a fork.

    The Oracle told Neo that he wasn't The One, but the Oracle was lying and just telling him what he needed to hear. The One knows that there is a fork, even if the Oracle leads him astray.

    Then there was a whole lot of crap about rogue agents in the system, but the whole movie was clearly an allegory about databases and the GPL.

    • by Z34107 (925136) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:37PM (#30423972)

      It's strangely appropriate that Neo, when he went to see the Oracle to find out that he is The One, was also shown that the reality he was constantly presented with was simply a computer manipulation. This is why "there is no spoon" was such a critical piece of the Matrix puzzle. There may be no spoon, but there can still be a fork.

      ...

      "Whoa."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:30PM (#30423154)

    Widenius tell us sooner?!?

  • If he gave a shit about what happened to MySQL, he would not have sold it.

    Instead, he made gobs of money and no longer has a say in what happens to the property except insofar as he is free to fork it.

    • by Herkum01 (592704)

      Was Monty the only owner of the company? Could he continue running the company? While it is easier to impose your views when you are in charge, who knows how long he could have kept the project together?

      While he owned MySQL the only real thing he could control MySQL, at least with money he could invest his time and efforts that may be more productive than just controlling MySQL. At the very least he can still have an opinion and let everyone know what he thinks of the current the situation.

      Of course your

    • by yanyan (302849)

      Correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't he sell mysql to Sun way before there was even the slightest hint of an acquisition by Oracle? In fact, i don't think anybody even saw the Oracle-Sun deal coming.

  • Jeez what a whiner (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:32PM (#30423176)
    Perhaps Monty SHOULDN'T HAVE SOLD the damn thing in the first place if he's so worried about these things happening, no? Besides, there is NOTHING in the world preventing him from forking it, naming it something else and continuing development. NOTHING.
  • by poet (8021) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:40PM (#30423222) Homepage

    People in the Open Source community have been warning against this for years with MySQL. It is one of the key tenets in the PostgreSQL vs MySQL playbook. Use PostgreSQL because no single company controls the source. It can't be bought. MySQL dug its own destiny by tying its hand into the GPL AND (note the AND) being owned by a single entity.

    • by vladkrupin (44145) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:36PM (#30423970) Homepage

      No single entity controls the source of mysql either. It's GPL. If you want to fork it, fork it. You guys are missing the point.

      The point is Widenius wants to start a new company, and wants to work off of what mysql, the company (and thousands of volunteers who have contributed to the project) have created over the past N years. He does not care if it goes to Oracle, Microsoft, some made-up nonprofit-ish foundation, or dies. He could really care less about that. He wants to build a company that will make a proprietary product and will make him money.

      The thorn in his side, however, is the fact that he can't take the code that was once released as GPL and use it in his proprietary software. He either has to open up his software (which he does not want to do), or else not be able to benefit from all those years worth of effort by mysql AB and others who have contributed to the project.

      If the license was just about anything but GPL (apache, BSD, whatever), he could do just that. But he can't.

      What, you really think it's all about evil Oracle taking over mysql, and it's not really the license that's a thorn in Wideniuses side? Read a more in-depth analysis by someone who understands the issue a _whole lot better_ than I or just about any of you folks do. Here: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091208104422384 [groklaw.net]

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dclozier (1002772)

        I wish the parent could be modded higher - Widenius is a hypocrite and does not give a rat's ass about MySQL. He simply wants it under a closed source friendly license so he can build another business around everyone else's hard work that is in MySQL. Widenius has complained that the GPL prevents other companies from competing. This simply isn't true. PJ at Groklaw sheds the light on this rather well.

  • fork names (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How about calling the fork 'MySQL2: The Sequel'?
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:46PM (#30423258) Homepage
    No one should take his opinion seriously because if he really cared then it wouldn't have sold it. Just fork the thing and forget Oracle.

    Maybe he's hoping it would stay open source so he could pinch Oracle's improved code an basically have his mysql money and access to the myql code as it improves so he can plug it into his branch.
  • by jregel (39009) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:00PM (#30423354) Homepage

    As others in this discussion have pointed out, if the concern about Oracle close-sourcing components of MySQL, then why not fork it now?

    Also, beyond the large installed user base, is there anything particularly important about MySQL as a database that other open source databases cannot do?

    But for me, the biggest frustration is that while there is all this concern about MySQL, the lack of direction is really damaging Sun who make excellent servers (SPARC and x64), software (Solaris 10/Open Solaris with ZFS, Dtrace, Containers etc. etc, OpenOffice, Glassfish, Virtualbox, Sun Cluster (free), QFS/SAMFS (cluster FS)) and many more interesting technologies).

    IMHO, the existence of Sun is a positive thing for the open source community and MySQL is a small and largely unimportant part of Sun's inventory.

    • Also, beyond the large installed user base, is there anything particularly important about MySQL as a database that other open source databases cannot do?

      The strong brand?

      Its SQL dialect isn't compatible with anything else (which is true for all SQL databases without any joint development history, of course). Oh, and the MySQL documentation is only available under a proprietary license which does not permit modification and redistribution.

      • The MySQL brand name and the installed (commercial) user base are pretty much the only reasons for Oracle to acquire the MySQL database business at all. Both worth paying a considerable amount of money for.

        No one needs their database server to be called "MySQL" if they don't like the path that Oracle takes with it though. And it would be easy enough to write new (and perhaps better) documentation for a fork.

    • The problem with a fork is that it would eventually kill MySQL.

      If Oracle ends up owning MySQL and MySQL doesn't visibly fork, Oracle will be under pressure to keep MySQL semi-affordable and at least pretend they want it to be viable.

      Remember... right now, there are two ways to license MySQL:

      * You can distribute it with another application that is itself GPL'ed

      * You can purchase a non-free license and distribute it with your non-GPL'ed application

      The license to distribute MySQL as part of a turnkey non-GPL'e

  • In the U.S. and in Europe, there are regulatory bodies that need to be aware of this potentially serious problem. MySQL is a component of a huge and significant portion of the internet web sites today. What Oracle decides to do with MySQL could have huge and sweeping affect across the entire web economy.

    In the interests of preventing any potential large-scale destabilization, MySQL should be forced to spin off into an independent entity prior to the acquisition of Sun. Not only are there competitive inte

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by butlerm (3112)

      On the contrary, it is not a problem at all. MySQL can be forked and the people dependent on it can use the forked version indefinitely. The commercial users who want to stick with the evolution of "MyOracle" can pay for the privilege. Everyone is happy. The EC has no need to worry. A fork of MySQL could provide all the necessary competition, to say nothing of PostgreSQL.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jimicus (737525)

        A fork of MySQL could provide all the necessary competition, to say nothing of PostgreSQL.

        It's not quite as bad as it was 5 years ago, but there are still a hell of a lot of F/OSS applications which only support MySQL and users who have neither the need nor the desire to tweak them to support PostgreSQL.

        (Though FWIW, I stopped taking MySQL seriously when I figured out the product was designed with a downright cavalier attitude to data integrity)

    • by jjohnson (62583)

      Thanks to the license under which the current version of MySQL was released, it doesn't matter what Oracle does--existing installs will continue to run just as before, both physically and in licensing terms. All that Oracle can do by nuking MySQL is close off a development path that's already been replicated elsewhere--in MariaDB, forked by Widenius and the other founders, as well as several other forks.

  • by johnnnyboy (15145) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:12PM (#30423420) Homepage

    Seriously, these MySQL founders have been whining ever since they sold out to Sun.
    Please stop. If you're worried about MySQL why did you sell the rights in the first place?

  • besides the obvous potential to fork mysql, there are other options out there such as postgresql.

  • Much like the line in the song Maria by Blondie, Widenius is blowing hard about something he sold for lots of cash - and the same time he himself has forked MySQL into MariaDB (see what I did there? ;) so he has answered the problem in the way many of you have already suggested.
    No point being down on Oracle btw, they may be a big freaking software company and on that basis alone deserve to be hated, but they did buy a product I am cursed to work with and they have made such improvements in access to knowled

  • I sure wouldn't... and it's a waste of effort to be worried about what somebody else is going to do unless one is actually in a position to influence their decisions.
  • Background Info (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I encourage anyone who mistakes Monty for a friend of Open Source to do a little reading...

    The case against the case against Oracle-MySQL [the451group.com]

    MySQL and a tale of two biases [cnet.com]

    Monty Program AB's Suggestion to EU Commission to Get Rid of the GPL on MySQL [groklaw.net]

    How Many Times Can Monty Sell MySQL? [blogspot.com]

  • Would not be a loss (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Improv (2467)

    MySQL is the Visual Basic of databases - clumsy and of poor quality, used most strongly by people who don't know any better. I would be delighted to see MySQL fail as a project and have its mindshare go to projects that are superior, like PostgreSQL. There are only two things I can think of that the world would miss - MySQLe (the embedded version, which competes with BDB-esque type uses - it's a really cool idea) and the solid Windows support (PostgreSQL added this about a year ago - I'm not sure how solid

    • by jimicus (737525)

      PostgreSQL added this about a year ago - I'm not sure how solid it is yet

      Not too bad, I understand. But then PostgreSQL doesn't tend to declare a feature as being done until such time as it is fairly solid.

  • by Plekto (1018050) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:43PM (#30423618)

    #40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

  • Monty from Monty Python?
  • by jocknerd (29758) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:51PM (#30423664)

    As long as there was a company behind it, there was always potential that it could be bought. Switch to PostgreSQL. Nobody owns it.

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      Open Source has nothing to do with who is behind it. Open Source is a binary thing; either the source code is open or it isn't. MySQL is GPL'd, and so it meets the definition.

  • Unless the EC is just hell-bent on obstructing US commerce then Oracle and Sun should just make an agreement to fork MySQL off into a foundation.

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      Sun doesn't give a damn about MySQL. They can't make any real money off of it. They're buying Sun for a song, so the $1 Billion price tag for MySQL is meaningless; that's essentially sunk costs that Sun had to eat prior to Oracle coming onboard. Larry Ellison wants Sun's SPARC and Solaris technologies, as well as the input on Java development. And I'm actually excited about that, because I got tired of Sun pissing away their greatest assets. I think Ellison might revitalize the Sun enterprise the way Steve

      • by davecb (6526) *
        I rather suspect Larry's hoping to eat Microsoft SQL's lunch, which explains why he would buy InnoDB and them put a team on improving it's performance. Sun *always* like to compete with MS, which in part explains their performance work on MySQL proper...

        --dave

  • What is reasonable and affordable for a small Swedish company certainly isn't for a big behemoth like Oracle. There are now many, many more layers to feed with the product. The time for this decision has passed.
  • whether he's in the right or not, monty is the wrong spokesperson. he has obvious conflicts of interests and possible sentimental ties to mysql. that, and the hypocritical nature of his thoughts as so many others have pointed out.

    he'd be better of keeping quiet. he's probably doing more harm than good for his cause.

  • by SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:29PM (#30423926)

    Just to make his life easier?

    Welcome to the world of commercial open source...

    • Did Oracle rape and murder a young girl in 1990? I'm not saying it did, but it's been curiously silent on the matter. And if it doesn't plan to do so in the future, why hasn't it promised not to?

  • In the comments on his own damn blog (linked in the TFA), Monty let it slip that he isn't worried about Oracle making MySQL closed source (they CAN'T, or well they can, but anyone can fork and make his own version right now). He is worried about the lucrative business agreements between MySQL AB and business customers willing to pay for a customized version if MySQL for their business use. In other words, he wants a piece of that pie (which he would never get should MySQL AB end up in Oracle's hands). What
  • Widenius responded to comments on this blog post:

    To Andrés Monroy-Hernández (and everyone else that has asked about forking).

    You can fork the GPL code, but not the business around it. This means that a lot of the current users (who brings money to the table) can never use the fork. In addition you can't fork the manual, trademark which makes it very hard for the fork to get to be known and survive. In practice, it's not that hard to slowly kill an infrastructure GPL project like MySQL. I have de

    • by abulafia (7826)

      This is so wrong I don't even know where to start.

      Monty is not beloved - anyone who has been paying attention should be aware that lots of people have lots of problems with him. He isn't an open source hero, but a rather self-serving whiner who has had to have it both ways for a long time.

      With the Oracle thing, he's now wrapping himself in the flag of community to argue against the GPL in order to make it easier for him to attempt to take back mindshare on the very product he "sold" to Sun to become wealthy

  • by Get Behind the Mule (61986) on Monday December 14, 2009 @08:55AM (#30429938)

    Oracle has announced a statement today making commitments concerning MySQL that may (or may not) address some of these concerns -- of both Widenius and the EU.

    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Oracle-Corporation-NASDAQ-ORCL-1090000.html [marketwire.com]

    These include:

    * Continued Availability of Storage Engine APIs
    * Commitment to enhance MySQL in the future under the GPL
    * Support not mandatory
    * Increase spending on MySQL research and development
    * Continuing to maintain the MySQL Reference Manual
    * Preserve Customer Choice for Support

    And some other things about preserving the conditions of licenses currently held by storage vendors.

    Healthy skepticism is of course always a good idea. On first reading, I can't tell how binding these commitments are (the statement says "Oracle hereby publicly commits to the following", and that's about it), and it doesn't exactly make Widenius' commitment to the timeliness of new releases and patches, except for the commitment to increase spending, which Oracle presumably would like to have result in new revenue.

    But Oracle is evidently trying to address the EU's concerns in an effort to get the deal approved, and the EU might get them to make these commitments binding. The EU's initial reaction appears to be positive:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4SRxTHKHzTA&pos=7 [bloomberg.com]

    The European Commission said Oracle’s proposal addresses concerns about the acquisition of Sun’s MySQL database product, signaling the EU will approve the acquisition next month. European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement that she’s “optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome.”

    “Neelie Kroes has switched on the green traffic light,” Charles van Sasse van Ysselt, a competition lawyer at NautaDutilh in Brussels, said in a telephone interview today. “She is optimistic and this is a step in the right direction.”

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