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Five Questions With Michael Widenius 71

volume4 writes "With two MySQL execs leaving Sun in the last week, the internet is buzzing about what is going on at Sun, what is the future of MySQL and what lies ahead for Michael Widenius. Over at Open Source Release Feed, Widenius spoke candidly regarding his split from Sun, the future of MySQL, Monty Program AB, and the open source ecosystem in general."
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Five Questions With Michael Widenius

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  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Monday February 09, 2009 @04:21PM (#26789133) Journal

    Whether the speculation on reasons for the two leaving is right or not, there is one thing that can be said: MySQL had enough going for it that Sun paid a tidy sum to get it. Whatever they did to cause the 'break up' it was not a good thing.

    Car Analogy: If you buy a racing team; expensive cars, mechanics, drivers... and two star drivers walk out... well, lets just say winner's circle is probably not in your short term future, and the cost of business operations just doubled.

  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Monday February 09, 2009 @04:49PM (#26789545) Homepage Journal

    My question to him would be "Why? Why send so many naive and misled followers back to Microsoft Access level technology and choices when we should have taken those lessons and moved forward?" MySQL, like PHP, is one of those mistake technologies that thrived despite itself, and when you go to the root of it you find someone saying "I knew nothing about the technology, but just started building from scratch, re-making the mistakes every other product made 20 years earlier".

  • by musicmaker ( 30469 ) on Monday February 09, 2009 @05:47PM (#26790445) Homepage

    Two words: Explain Plan
    Three More: Share nothing cluster
    A date: '00-00-0000 00:00'
    Two More: Silent truncation
    One acronym: MVCC
    Result: Nobody in their right mind uses MySQL.

    LAMP has it's place, it's at the bottom of a trash heap. Ever tried to write business objects in PHP? What about dependency injection? Database abstraction? (let's face it PDO is a joke). Hell even prepared statements are a pain in PHP/MySQL (only exist in mysqli, and the implementation is horrible). AOP? You can't even do connection pooling for goodness sake because they turned it off in mysqli, and you need your head read if you are using the regular mysql libraries where the solution to injection attacks is to escape quotes and pray. Do you know how long it takes PHP to parse 80,000 lines of libraries every time a script runs because there is no persistence between requests, so PHP has to parse everything over for each request.

    MySQL where foreign keys are silently ignored if you forgot to set your table engine to InnoDB. Where aggregates don't work right, where self referencing updates don't work, so you have to write a program to do what other RDBMSes can do in a single statement. Where your table names are case sensitive, but your text matches aren't.
    Where you don't have sequences to generate globally unique ids, where bit fields work like a boolean half the time and char half the time. Where mysqldump locks half your database and doesn't get everything by default which you find out too late because you didn't know any better.

    Apache where the recommended default for MaxClients is 256, which anybody with a clue knows is insane for dynamic websites, but most sysadmins put in anyway. PHP that hasn't been bothered to update itself to work with a threaded Apache that has been around for a decade.

    I could go on for ages and ages on this stuff. I mean there are SO many issues with LAMP, it's a minefield. LAMP fails when you need it most, when traffic starts getting heavy.


    you could use a system that separates components into libraries and interfaces, allows you to modularize, allows database independence, makes testing easy, has static typing so the compiler can catch 80% of problems before they ever get executed. Has AOP, has IOC that isn't insane and is used by more enterprise shops that anything else.

  • by sarkeizen ( 106737 ) on Monday February 09, 2009 @09:37PM (#26792995) Journal

    There's lots of comment that could be made about that diatribe too.

    First off I'd say that some of this criticism is "Well it doesn't have *buzzword*" mixed with a few statements you are likely not in a position to argue along with a number of things you got wrong enough to betray some ignorance of the subject you are criticizing and at least one instance of "Well the default config doesn't suit what I'm doing". The fact that you have to reach all the way down to that makes me question the "I could go on for ages" bit.

    Considering that you appear to have completely stupid amounts of emotion invested in your particular choice of tools I won't really bother arguing them all.

    One that you mention twice is database abstraction. Personally I'd call DA a double-edged sword. Sure PDO doesn't achieve the level of abstraction that lots of frameworks do (but one might argue that it's not a framework so...) but at least if I hire someone who writes PHP I know they can write a simple join in SQL. I've met huge numbers of people - from professional developers to university students - so mentally locked into a platform that they couldn't do this.

    As an aside one thing I will say about the developers I tend to hire is that they have to show proficiency in writing code in a few different languages and perhaps some aptitude in writing code in a language they've never seen before. One thing I find this cuts down on is the amount of time they spend complaining about language X lacking feature-they-love Y which tends to get in the way of doing actual development.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"