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Databases Open Source Oracle Sun Microsystems

Is MySQL Slowly Turning Closed Source? 336 336

mpol writes "Sergei from MariaDB speculated on some changes within MySQL 5.5.27. It seems new testcases aren't included with MySQL any more, which leaves developers depending on it in the cold. 'Does this mean that test cases are no longer open source? Oracle did not reply to my question. But indeed, there is evidence that this guess is true. For example, this commit mail shows that new test cases, indeed, go in this "internal" directory, which is not included in the MySQL source distribution.' On a similar note, updates for the version history on Launchpad are not being updated anymore. What is Oracle's plan here? And is alienating the developer community just not seen as a problem at Oracle?"
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Is MySQL Slowly Turning Closed Source?

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  • by Sesostris III (730910) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @02:48AM (#41034029)
    For me, the one advantage MySQL (and MariaDB, and even Apache Derby!) have over PostgreSQL is that there are versions that can be run stand-alone "out of the box" as a non-root user. PostgreSQL (AFAIK) needs to be installed, and needs to be installed as root (and you need to create a postgres user, etc.).

    OK for production, you need to install things properly (as root), but for development / learning / tinkering the ability to run various instances stand-alone is a huge plus.

    (Of course, if there is the facility to run PostgeSQL out-of-the-box and stand-alone, please feel free to correct me!)
  • by slack_justyb (862874) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @03:12AM (#41034109)
    Additionally, postgresql implements more of SQL99 than most others out there.

    "Real" BOOLEAN support, CTE using WITH (which MySQL is actually the only real enterprise DB that doesn't offer this), support for FETCH cursors, HOLD cursors, one of the best implementations of date math (maybe only DB2 does this better), blows MySQL out of the water hands down on window functions (seriously MySQL, no SQL OVER support? REALLY?!), also (I know this may seem trivial) but MySQL doesn't even implement SQL OVERLAY.

    In many ways postgresql brings a LOT of modern SQL to the table that it makes MySQL seem hokey, if not downright convoluted. I cannot speak for Oracle's 11g, but I've found postgresql just as capable at doing whatever it is I need to get done as I can in DB2, MS-SQL is just it's own beast altogether. However, MySQL lacks so much functionality that you constantly have to revert to procedures to get anything done.

    Now I will say to MySQL's credit, that it is one of the easiest DBs to admin for and they support a good subset of SQL2003, but it's not enough, it leaves a lot to want for. I know a lot of people have invested a lot into MySQL, but the lack of a lot of modern functions that a lot of other DBs enjoy out of the box, makes using MySQL a chore to write for. Thank goodness it's easy to scale and admin, because if it didn't have that going for it, then we'd have LAPP stacks. However, this is just another pot shot for MySQL. Slowly closing source code, no test scripts, dodgy support for some of the most useful (IMHO) features of standard SQL. I don't want to diss anyone who works on the project, they have done a mighty nice job, but there are more and more negatives building up, that the scales are starting to tip in opposition to MySQL. No disrespect, but we're at that point that people on the fence are really going to look hard at the competition.

    Finally, and totally off topic. IBM YOU SUCK! Seriously, you can't make a freaking function to create a CSV list from a set of rows?! I have to cast the result set to XML and then work backwards from there? Everyone else has one! I wouldn't curse you if I wasn't forced to use your product. There, glad I got to air that out.
  • by suy (1908306) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:02AM (#41034243) Homepage

    I don't have the technical skills to judge the merits of MySQL vs PostgreSQL, but I can't tell you one thing: MySQL is like PHP, it might have lots of critics, but is the more widely used, supported, and developed database/programming language for web applications. All popular CMSs are written in PHP (Drupal, Joomla, MediaWiki, WordPress...), and many of them have MySQL first in the list. WordPress is almost MySQL specific. They have a PostgreSQL plugin, but works rewriting queries on the fly, and they recognize is expected to be slower, and not work for all plugins [wordpress.org].

    I've always wanted to have the excuse to try a different programming language/framework for web applications, and even a different database server, but I never had the excuse because you always feel second class if you go with them. I use my own hosting, but for cheap virtual hosts PHP and MySQL is almost a de facto standard. And if you pick some web application almost always MySQL is the best or only choice.

    I know some day I'll be proved wrong, and this comment will be outdated, but I don't feel this is the time yet. And let me insist, I'm not claiming is due to technical merits (nor denying it), but I feel this is the way it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:05AM (#41034253)

    For those that may not know. The lead developer's son's first name is My. Maria (from MariaDB fame) being a daughter's name.

    So I think you have to go with LarrySQL.

  • by lindi (634828) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @04:20AM (#41034303)

    MySQL documentation was not open source when Sun was in charge either so doing the same with testcases is not very surprising (debian bug 335219).

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @05:56AM (#41034639)

    Personally I prefer Postgresql to MySQL. While Postgresql looks more 'plain vanilla' I actually find it more straightforward to get easy things done

    I've used both and am inclined to agree with you. Unfortunately, they are sufficiently different to make migrating existing projects a pain. Also, MySQL is commonly available in commercial web-hosting services, which makes it the safest bet for data-driven websites. I'd also agree that PostgreSQL isn't quite as falling-off-a-log simple to get started with as MySQL (which is the usual consequence of a more sophisticated system),

    It used to be 'horses for courses': The MySQL of a few versions ago really hit the sweet spot for website backends, in which "reads" are far more common than "writes", and most updates simply consisted of adding a new record to a table. In that case, you can live without transactions, referential integrity checking, functions etc. and enjoy the resulting performance. That's what started the "myth" that MySQL was faster than PostgreSQL (of course it was - it was doing less!).

    The later versions of MySQL seem like putting traction control and power steering on a bicycle. Perhaps someone should (or maybe has) fork "classic" MySQL as the ideal tool for data-driven websites, and leave the grown-up stuff to PostgreSQL? Or, maybe sqlite is the way to go for that.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @07:37AM (#41034985) Homepage

    Let's just say it's more convenient to paint pictures with certain colors we all understand.

    That said, I agree and have experienced F/OSS projects screwing me over. GNOME screwed the whole community in a huge assrape manner. And GiMP played a small part in the whole thing.

    It is clear to most tech people when a manager or above makes a decision where it comes from. When it's "no one got fired for going Microsoft" or similar, you have to realize they just don't know what they are buying. When they say something like "I want all MySQL replaced with Oracle because it's more professional" (which really happened to me) I have to just roll my eyes.

  • by epine (68316) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @07:57AM (#41035071)

    Postgres support is typically volunteer-maintained by one person

    This would double overnight if MySQL were declared pariah non grata, which is precisely the negotiation taking place in this kind of discussion thread.

    Speaking of PNG, you do recall the Unisys GIF debacle? When MySQL dies, may its tombstone read G.I.F.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 18, 2012 @10:17AM (#41035897)

    This entire thread shows quite plainly how the open source community doesn't provide any help or assistance until they are insulted about the quality and usability of their software.

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