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MySQL's Creator On Why the Future Belongs To MariaDB 208

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-big-thing dept.
angry tapir writes "When Oracle purchased Sun, many in the open source community were bleak about the future of MySQL. According to MySQL co-creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, these fears have been proven by Oracle's attitude to MySQL and its community. In the wake of the Sun takeover, Monty forked MySQL to create MariaDB, which has picked up momentum (being included by default in Fedora, Open SUSE and, most recently, Slackware). I recently interviewed Monty about what he learned from the MySQL experience and the current state of MariaDB."
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MySQL's Creator On Why the Future Belongs To MariaDB

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  • In other words (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:23AM (#43301687)

    Oracle is now behaving like Monty's old company MySQL AB, trying to force volume users to pay to play. Remember MySQL AB's rigid enforcement of the GPL, with a dual licensing option? I wonder if MariaDB is subject to the same type of licensing games.

  • Re:Why "Maria" DB? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjwt (161428) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:36AM (#43301751)

    I was thinking why not name it OurSQL

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:39AM (#43301775) Homepage
    I would like to know what specifically Oracle is doing so badly. I've been watching MySQL for a while as we use it at work, and it seems that a lot of advancements have been made in MySQL since the Oracle takeover. They've released 5.5 and 5.6. They haven't let it stagnate. They've released a ton of new features. They still have the free version easily available on their website. It seems like their prices have gone up if you want the supported version, but there are other providers out there.
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:44AM (#43301813)

    The part he left unsaid was "MariaDB is the future because that's where I will make my money".

    Except that he put a lot of effort and money into organizing a team of developers for the last four years. Just compare what's going on in Oracle's land vs this fork.

    It's another case of OpenOffice vs LibreOffice.

  • by Xest (935314) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:12AM (#43302057)

    Yeah, I wouldn't use MySQL regardless for anything serious, but I've still played around with it and used it for prototype projects, and frankly the .NET connector and GUI management tools have made far more progress under Oracle than they were making beforehand.

    That's not to defend Oracle either of course, but I think it's unfair to say Oracle has let MySQL stagnate, they haven't, and that's not a reason to ditch MySQL. The fact Oracle are scum and that MySQL is still crap regardless are better reasons to ditch MySQL, but certainly not lack of progress.

  • Re:Why "Maria" DB? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:13AM (#43302063)

    al-Qaeda already means "the base"
    wiki:
    Experts debate whether or not the al-Qaeda attacks were blowback from the American CIA's "Operation Cyclone" program to help the Afghan mujahideen. Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001, has written that al-Qaeda and Bin Laden were "a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies", and that "Al-Qaida, literally 'the database', was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians."[278]

  • Re:Me, too! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:28AM (#43302171)

    Having worked with many different SQL Databases. MySQL, Microsoft SQL, DB2, Informix.... I have found that PostgreSQL is actually a really damn good Database system. Its fast powerful and very configurable. Sure the other guys will have some advantages over PostgreSQL, but I found PostgreSQL has the advantages where I find it counts for my use, for heavy processing, not just storing and retrieving data.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:30AM (#43302187)

    Oracle didn't release patches to fix undisclosed security problems and forced Debian to release a new version of MySQL. Oracle don't work well with distribution package maintainers. Do they expect distributions to release a new vanilla MySQL package every time Oracle says they have fixed some undisclosed problems?

    Due to the non-disclosure of security patch information from Oracle, we are forced to ship an upstream version update of MySQL 5.1. There are several known incompatible changes, which are listed in...

    http://www.debian.org/security/2012/dsa-2429

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:12AM (#43302549)

    MariaDB is based on MySQL and tries really hard to maintain binary compatibility with most of MySQL.

    Postgres, while an excellent database, has some differences and thus it might take a bit of extra code for people to adapt to it.

    You're right, though, any properly coded application will have abstracted the data layer so that you can easily port to another database if it's required.

  • Re:Me, too! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:34AM (#43302799) Homepage Journal

    Can I point existing code at Postgres rather than MySQL and have it work?

    If not, that's kind of a problem.

  • by Excelcia (906188) <kfitzner@excelcia.ca> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:01AM (#43303091) Homepage Journal

    The only thing Oracle is doing wrong is thinking that no one could be bold enough to try and sell the same product twice.

    It's a gutsy move. It really is. Sell MySQL to Sun. Claim Sun's purchaser is doing __________ (fill in the blank with whatever evil nasty thing you like) with it. But that's ok, MariaDB will save you from that. Distributions flood to it to get away from the nasty big evil corporation, and suddenly Monty has legally taken back control of what he sold for a cool billion dollars.

    The best part about it, is if Oracle says anything about it, then it just looks like they are trying to trash talk the little guy who is just trying to do the right thing for
    the community.

    And before you think of flaming the idea, remember, Monty is very much the businessman. He almost invented using the GPL as a weapon. He stopped releasing any connector or client licensed as LGPL so he could claim that even using MySQL as a back-end for something else required the entire front-end to be GPLed too - either that or pay him for a commercial license.

    The next company to buy something from Monty better get an iron clad agreement never to fork it.

  • Re:Me, too! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:11PM (#43304395) Homepage

    What happened was this: Mysql and Postgres got to the point of a usable release at about the same time. Mysql was very slightly easier for someone with a very limited skill set to set up, and was arguably slightly faster, so it quickly became the preference among the crowd that swarmed into "tech" thinking that throwing together some HTML pages was serious programming. This same crowd was also very attracted to PHP because it seemed really simple by comparison to Perl or C for making web pages a bit dynamic. By 2000 or so, it was entrenched as the "LAMP stack", and shared hosting providers were offering Mysql and PHP support as standard (well, sort of standard, with different PHP options available, different versions, etc).

    After the .com implosion in 2001, you had all sorts of people billing themselves as programmers, but only being familiar with PHP and Mysql. Many of them are now working as independent website contractors and the like, and this same crowd is also responsible for writing most of the CMS's out there, which in turn means that they use the Mysql/PHP platform that they know, rather than learn Postgres or Python or Ruby or Java. And that means that Postgres support for CMS's is more often than not an afterthought.

  • Re:Because it is. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @05:35PM (#43307005)

    If you look at the development of MySQL over the years its been a long waiting game of features that should be prevalent in any proper DBMS system but the lead developers openly admit they were not database guys when they started out so it's not really any wonder that the product was lacking from the very beginning and still shows its weakness today.

    People are thinking about MySQL and Postgres incorrectly. Someone explained the situation in the following way that made things much clearer for me:

    Postgres is a (relational) database. MySQL is a datastore/backend for you web app. Postgres could be used for web apps or for actual database use cases. MySQL should properly be used only for the former.

    MySQL (except perhaps in recent years) was/is not an actual database. It may look like a database, but it is not (or was not, until recently).

    If you only have one set of code (e.g., your web app) accessing your MySQL instance, then as long as your code is relatively clean, it's not a problem. Once you have multiple sets of code, and need proper server-side enforcement of schemas, then Postgres is the one that does this properly. MySQL can finally do this in recent releases if you jump through enough hoops of different settings, but by default it does not do this, and so is not a proper database.

    It is people thinking that MySQL is a "proper" database when it was/is not (e.g., ACID, enforcing schemas by default) the reason the debate arises. MySQL is a great backend for web sites—but that does not make it a general purpose database. It makes it a generic datastore.

    MySQL can be made to act like a RDMS, but most people don't change the setting to use it that way. Postgres on the other hand come set up that way out of the box and you have jump through hoops to force it to NOT act like RDMS.

    So feel free to use MySQL to solve whatever problems you have, but please don't call it a database unless you're running it without at least the following settings in the my.cnf:

    default-storage-engine = innodb
    sql-mode= \
    "STRICT_TRANS_TABLES,NO_ZERO_IN_DATE,NO_ZERO_DATE,ERROR_FOR_DIVISION_BY_ZERO,NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER"

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

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