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Oracle May 'Fork Itself' With MySQL Moves 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowly-and-surly dept.
New submitter packetrat writes "Ars Technica analyzes the recent commercial additions by Oracle to MySQL Enterprise and the additional unrest it's added to the community. Oracle may be throwing itself out of the community as it pushes more customers to look at fully open-source alternatives."
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Oracle May 'Fork Itself' With MySQL Moves

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  • The part about pushing people to consider alternatives seems to be founded on very thin ice - the alternatives do not actually offer you the functionality you woudl have to pay for in case of using "Oracle" MySQL, and also, if you use Oracle MySQL to get the for pay features and support, you would select teh system you run it on based on what is supported - just the same as you do with any database you pay support for.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:37AM (#37525232)

      What kind of functionality do you want that PostgreSQL can't provide?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:42AM (#37525264)

        Job security: corrupted MyISAM/InnoDB, senseless tuning, corrupted replication all ensure lasting employment.

      • A pronounceable name
      • by laffer1 (701823)

        For basic functionality Postgres and MySQL have equivalent functionality. Postgres is starting to catch up with replication and I suspect it will be better than MySQL's. However, it wouldn't kill the Postgres guys to add a few things to make it easier for MySQL users to migrate. The *gres types are very anal about standards and I'd agree that MySQL has done some user friendly but craptastic things to their SQL dialect. Why not make a standard package of mysql wrappers written as procedures or something

        • In most database systems the join order matters, especially if you use ansi style syntax. This is a known way to improve query performance. Order the joins to so that you limit as much as possible the number of rows returned early on; and as simply as possible using highly selective queries where the columns involved in the join has either unique or a high percentage of unique values (>90%). Then place the more complex/less selective joins (i.e. on columns with less unique values) or any necessary subque
          • This is a known way to improve query performance. Order the joins to so that you limit as much as possible the number of rows returned early on; and as simply as possible using highly selective queries where the columns involved in the join has either unique or a high percentage of unique values (>90%).

            Isn't that the job of the RDBMS query planner/optimizer? It knows a lot more about the actual number of rows in each table than the developer did when he wrote the queries. I'm sure there are reasons, this is not a sarcastic question (and I'm no db expert), but I would like to know :)

            • by Sxooter (29722)

              PostgreSQL will reorder joins as it pleases to make more efficient joins. Note that outer joins can be reordered because changing their order changes the meaning of the joins.

          • by FromFrom (698207)
            In most database systems (e.g. SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, PostgreSQL) the query gets optimized by the system. There might be ways to get more control but normally that shouldn't be necessary.
            • If there are lot of tables being joined the optimizer might not always do what you want it to do. Indexes can be ignored if there isn't a high enough degree of selectivity in the column(s) they are on. etc. In the former case, at least some databases will (or have in the past... e.g. Postgres) start grouping join statements and then amalgamating the groups in order not to have the optimizer be a limiting step in the process. In the latter, if an index isn't used there likely won't be statistics on the colum
        • by fatphil (181876)
          Do you know of a good reference for how to keep as close to the intersection of MySQL and PostgreSQL? I currently use MySQL (using the perl DBI wrappers) for everything but have no loyalty to it, it just does the job. The idea of being able to just switch out the back end with minimum coding effort is appealing.
        • by Sxooter (29722)

          QUOTE: The worst part was differences with dates and the pickyness of postgres with joins

          Urgh. The ANSI standard very clearly states that if you mix implicit and explicit joins, the explicit joins go first. So, this query:

          select * from a,b join c on (a.id=c.id)

          won't work in any compliant database, because a.id doesn't exist yet when joining b to c. And guess what happened in MySQL v5.1? That type of join started throwing an error just like pgsql does.

      • by kabloom (755503)

        You probably want support for applications that were developed against MySQL alone, and only work in MySQL's dialect of SQL. Not all DB apps are DBMS agnostic.

    • by dintech (998802) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:44AM (#37525278)

      No, Oracle. Another example of where you're not listening to the community. We told you to go "fuck" yourself.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      1) Forks such as MariaDB and Percona already offer more functionality than MySQL.
      2) If you're worried about that sort of thing, you can buy an excellent support package or contracting agreement from Percona.

      In fact these days I'm not even sure why anyone would use Oracle MySQL instead of MariaDB or Percona.
      • Other day, same /. topic, same answer to silly people that thinks Oracle owns it all. I was about to write more or less what you wrote, thanks for doing so. If you have moderator points, please mod parent up!!!
    • by morgauxo (974071)
      Pretty much everywhere I have worked uses MySQL. Nowhere that I have worked pays for it or uses any pay-for features. Most use the free and open source phpMyAdmin as an interface although my current workplace uses Navicat. Maybe they/we are missing out on some good stuff but it certainly is practical to go without.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Yea, and you could probably use SQLite in its place. The point is that the OSS version is a very primitive system. If you want it to do something other than function as a network accessible collection of spreadsheet pages that speaks SQL, then you need to pay for it.

        • by Synn (6288)

          This is completely bullshit. I've designed MySQL clusters that, in the initial rollout, needed to be able to handle 200k inserts per second and then be able to scale up from there. And we did it on EC2 for 1k a month worth of systems.

          MySQL is an extremely powerful tool.

        • by JordanL (886154)
          Why do tech-minded people always seem to need to create obtuse and obviously false exaggerations for the purpose of conveying their point? Use your words and say what you mean.

          Posts like this don't make you look clever, they make you look like a caricature.

          There are plenty of ways to administer the free version of MySQL to get very good performance and options. Just because you have not been able to do that does not mean it cannot be done.

          I think the point that was being made, however, was that if
      • by sgt scrub (869860)

        Nowhere that I have worked pays for it

        Which is how it ended up in Sun's hands, which is how it ended up in Oracle's hands. If it is doing a great job for the company and your saving thousands of dollars not having to buy MsSQL or DB2 etc... why not toss the developer a couple dollars per copy? I mean $30 per machine to keep something alive is a damn good deal.

        • by lgarner (694957)
          MySQL licensing has always been a whole lot more than a "couple dollars" per host. And MySQL AB never had an option to pay what you feel like.
  • Nonsense. (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:20AM (#37525112) Journal
    It's OurSQL now, freetards.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Is anybody even slightly surprised. Oracle is a company which prides itself on gouging enterprise customers for huge amounts of money. The CEO owns one of the worlds largest yachts, etc., etc.

      Me? This doesn't even warrant an eyebrow raise.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Also notice how quickly they sued Google after acquiring Sun.

        That and how they tried to shred the old sun website which would probably establish promissory estoppel.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Right, because no one else has a copy (wayback machine) and no lawyer would think to call them out for destroying evidence and force them to pull out a backup for proof.

          • Right, because no one else has a copy (wayback machine) and no lawyer would think to call them out for destroying evidence and force them to pull out a backup for proof.

            You are operating under the (probably false) pretense that they are not ignorant, illogical beings used to making problems of various types disappear through the liberal application of money and power.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:26AM (#37525140) Journal

    ...that happens with everything Oracle touches. MySQL users will switch to MariaDB just as OO.org users switched to LibreOffice.

    • I wonder how long it'll be before they start screwing with VirtualBox...
      • I'm surprised there's been no talk of a VirtualBox fork yet. But yeah I'm sure it won't be long now...

      • They already did. It was minor -- moving the 'closed' extensions into a plugin rather than having two separate versions -- and not a big deal in itself, except I haven't been able to make USB work right ever since...

        • USB in guests still works fine for me (well maybe "fine" is too strong of a word... let's just say it didn't seem to get any worse when they switched to the plugin architecture). I run a Ubuntu 10.04 host with Windows and Linux guests of various flavors, so YMMV if your setup is different.

          The minor weirdness I've noticed is that the Open Source binaries which are available on their site (without the plugin) have no remote console capability, even though the OSE version available on most Linux distros has a

          • by duguk (589689)

            USB in guests still works fine for me (well maybe "fine" is too strong of a word... let's just say it didn't seem to get any worse when they switched to the plugin architecture). I run a Ubuntu 10.04 host with Windows and Linux guests of various flavors, so YMMV if your setup is different.

            The minor weirdness I've noticed is that the Open Source binaries which are available on their site (without the plugin) have no remote console capability, even though the OSE version available on most Linux distros has a built-in VNC console server. So they effectively still have two separate versions...

            I've been using the binary version (via Gentoo) of VirtualBox, and it "supports" Terminal Services for connecting to the console. Never works of course.

            Are you implying that the compiled version has VNC instead? If so, I'll start recompiling right now - I don't see why they chose Terminal Services for connecting to one instance...

            • My understanding is the Terminal Services (a.k.a. RDP) support is part of the proprietary plugin; the version most distros have in their repositories has VNC support enabled. AFAIK it is a compile time switch in the OSE version.

              Try typing VBoxHeadless --help and see if any VNC options are listed.

              I have one system (at home) that is running the OSE version from the Ubuntu VirtualBox PPA, and it definitely supports VNC.

              • by duguk (589689)

                My understanding is the Terminal Services (a.k.a. RDP) support is part of the proprietary plugin; the version most distros have in their repositories has VNC support enabled. AFAIK it is a compile time switch in the OSE version.

                Try typing VBoxHeadless --help and see if any VNC options are listed.

                I have one system (at home) that is running the OSE version from the Ubuntu VirtualBox PPA, and it definitely supports VNC.

                Brilliant! Thanks for the tip, will give it a go.

              • by duguk (589689)

                My understanding is the Terminal Services (a.k.a. RDP) support is part of the proprietary plugin; the version most distros have in their repositories has VNC support enabled. AFAIK it is a compile time switch in the OSE version.

                Try typing VBoxHeadless --help and see if any VNC options are listed.

                I have one system (at home) that is running the OSE version from the Ubuntu VirtualBox PPA, and it definitely supports VNC.

                You're absolutely right - app-emulation/virtualbox has support for VNC, app-emulation/virtualbox-bin has RDP.

                I had no idea VBox supported VNC. Thanks again, that'll save me a few headaches!

    • ...just as every single Hudson user is switching to Jenkins

      The only users Oracle is keeping are, the Windows 98 users, the users that refuse to upgrade to anything.

      • People still use Windows 98 these days!? 8-(

        • We have a system here which runs HVAC software. We just "upgraded" the system from Win95 to Win98 SE after the old hardware died. We bought an old refurbished HP Evo d510 and used Win98 SE as that's all we had access to and all we could get drivers for. The software will not run in Windows 2000 or XP, nor will it run under Win98 in a VM due to a hardware dongle on the parallel port (the software installs, but never communicates with the HVAC system itself).

          The system has been "scheduled for replacement"

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        ...just as every single Hudson user is switching to Jenkins

        Really? Both of them!

    • by DaveHowe (51510)

      MariaDB is not much if any better - Ok, I can see his original point - he shared the source to MySQL so that he could get the benefits of community bugfixing, but retained the commercial rights so that he could sell commercial usage licences and still make money.

      I can also see how, when offered a buttload of money by SUN, he could get up front and in one lump sum what he might make in years of normal trading - and SUN, having no db solution of its own to compete, was as good a new owner as any.

      However, with

    • by Nivag064 (904744)
      Well I think you are right, that a lot of users will migrate to MariaDB.

      However, a small but significant minority will migrate to PostgreSQL. Especially where data integrity and robustness in the face of power failure is important - or where there are lots of concurrent users and/or complicated queries required.

      Note that Postgres 9.0 had replication built in to the core, 9.1 had true serialisation, and 9.2 will be able use just indexes to satisfy some queries. There are a lot of other major functiona
      • Well yeah PostgreSQL is better for serious database work, but MySQL is mostly used for the tiny database backends to websites, and is already overpowered for that task. Anyone who was using MySQL for anything more complicated/demanding than a website backend should have switched to PostgreSQL anyways.

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:28AM (#37525158)

    ...and any other OS without package management

    Most Linux distros will simply just point the mysql packages to mariadb (or whatever fork), and end-users will not have to do (or know) anything

    Upgrade, continue as usual, and wonder why the windows people are jumping up & down...

    • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:38AM (#37525238) Journal
      Just out of curiosity, I did upgrade to MariaDB about a week ago, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy the transition went.
    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:39AM (#37525252)

      Nice to see someone try to push the "Windows" angle...

      In all truth, this doesn't affect anyone at all - MySQL is GPLed so, according to RMS, it should already be protected from Big Bad Oracle... Is Oracle really required to move MySQL forward? If not, then why the complaints - and if so, then does the fact that it is GPLed really mean anything at all?

      In reality, Oracle has been bound by its merger with Sun to actually offer more assurances than Sun was ever required to offer - 4 years of support. What did Sun offer? Nothing.

      Technically, MySQL should be in a better position after the Oracle merger...

      • by Ynot_82 (1023749)

        You've missed the point of my post, but never mind

        MySQL is safe because it's GPLed, allowing the code can be forked, hence MariaDB et al

        • No, infact I didn't miss it at all - but you seem to have missed mine.

          If MySQL is GPLed, and can be forked, then why the interest in what Oracle does to the trunk?

          • by Synn (6288)

            No, infact I didn't miss it at all - but you seem to have missed mine.

            If MySQL is GPLed, and can be forked, then why the interest in what Oracle does to the trunk?

            The interest is that it looks like the trunk is a dead end. This gives more press to MariaDB and could eventually mean distros drop MySQL going forward in favor of it.

          • by F.Ultra (1673484)
            Because they employ a significant amount of the people usually developing MySQL and getting the community to grow from what-ever-level-it-might-be might take a while?
        • by fuzzytv (2108482)

          That's not true. MySQL always had dual licensing - GPL and MySQL License. MySQL always held all the rights to the source code. This is basically the reason why MySQL never formed a truly open developer community, as that would make this 'license drop' impossible (or much more difficult). Now Oracle owns MySQL, thus all the rights.

          They may drop GPL licensing any time they want (OK, there were some promises to EU) and provide further versions only under their own license. Will that happen tomorrow? I don't th

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            That doesn't change anything what so ever.

            If they drop GPL tomorrow, you don't lose anything. You still have the source from today. You just won't have the source from tomorrow or days in the future.

            You aren't going to lose anything if they change license schemes, you simply won't continue to get a free ride FROM ORACLE, you'll have to get it elsewhere.

            • by fuzzytv (2108482)

              Sure you do lose lot of things. What about bugfixes, for example?

              Yes, you can use the sources from the GPL-times, the businesses really don't want to do that on their own. And forking a project successfully really is not that simple as it loks like. There are forks of MySQL, and maybe one of them will be a success in the future (I'd be glad to see that), but which one? And what are the guarantees?

      • Is Oracle really required to move MySQL forward? If not, then why the complaints - and if so, then does the fact that it is GPLed really mean anything at all?

        It means that anyone can fork it and continue to move it forward.

      • by Jonner (189691)

        Nice to see someone try to push the "Windows" angle...

        In all truth, this doesn't affect anyone at all - MySQL is GPLed so, according to RMS, it should already be protected from Big Bad Oracle... Is Oracle really required to move MySQL forward? If not, then why the complaints - and if so, then does the fact that it is GPLed really mean anything at all?

        In reality, Oracle has been bound by its merger with Sun to actually offer more assurances than Sun was ever required to offer - 4 years of support. What did Sun offer? Nothing.

        Technically, MySQL should be in a better position after the Oracle merger...

        TFA mentions several features which are apparently not released under the GPL (it uses the term "commercial" which can be assumed to mean "proprietary").

    • by Raenex (947668)

      Most Linux distros will simply just point the mysql packages to mariadb (or whatever fork), and end-users will not have to do (or know) anything

      I don't see this happening. MySQL is still open source and available, even if the extensions are not, so it will continue to be distributed by open source distributions. The name is also trademarked, so pointing to mariadb or otherwise when the user goes to install MySQL is a trademark violation.

  • by drolli (522659) on Tuesday September 27, 2011 @08:39AM (#37525240) Journal

    Oracle offers some added value if you need it. If you are stuck on mysql for some reason and you project outgrew what the free verions handles, it may be reasonable to pay some money for well defined support of new features.

    If you don't need it (and that applies to me and most people here), then just happily use the free version. If you are not convinced the support for the new features is worth the money, then don't buy it.

    So, yes, oracle may have forked it. They are neither the first company to do something like this (see ghostscript) nor will they be the last. History shows that usually the commercial "value-added" distribution may be marginal in the installed base, but if the company plays the cards right its customers and the company can profit from the commercial version.

    • by esocid (946821)

      Oracle offers some added value if you need it. If you are stuck on mysql for some reason and you project outgrew what the free verions handles, it may be reasonable to pay some money for well defined support of new features.

      So how often does your company deal with government mandated use of MySQL standards? Does Oracle charge you based on how much memory you use, and how much traffic you get? Talk to someone who has to deal with their asinine practices, then you'll start to understand why people are getting so pissed at Oracle. Their either get a kick out of pissing off their end users, or they just don't give a shit since people have to use them.

    • by owlstead (636356)

      There is one thing that is a bit worrying in this regard: many times this kind of commercial addons are very useful. What happens if you want to introduce the same functionality using OSS? Will you get sued, ousted of the community or similar? They've done the same thing with the Java VM, and I am seriously wondering if the additions would not have come to the OSS variant if they weren't included.

  • Is that it will go fork itself...

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

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