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Mickos Urges EU To Approve Oracle's MySQL Takeover 67

mjasay writes "Former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos has written to EU Commissioner of Competition Neelie Kroes to urge speedy approval of Oracle's proposed purchase of Sun, including the open-source MySQL database. The EU has been worried that Oracle's acquisition of Sun could end up hurting competition by dampening or killing MySQL's momentum. But in his letter, Mickos separates MySQL-the-community from MySQL-the-company, arguing that Oracle's takeover cannot hurt the MySQL community: 'Those two meanings of the term "MySQL" stand in a close, mutually beneficial interaction with each other. But, most importantly, this interaction is voluntary and cannot be directly controlled by the vendor.' In a follow-up interview with CNET, Mickos indicated that he has no financial interest in the matter, but instead argues he 'couldn't live with the fact that [he's] not taking action,' and is 'motivated now by trying to help the employees still at MySQL and Sun, and by an urge to bring rational discussion to the matter.'"
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Mickos Urges EU To Approve Oracle's MySQL Takeover

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  • Alternatives (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 10, 2009 @01:08PM (#29704411)
    if they mess MySql up(even more that is), people can just move to Postgre, Firebird, Couchdb, Drizzle, etc.. There's anything but a shortage of open-source databases.
  • by ZipK ( 1051658 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @01:19PM (#29704473)
    Even the threat of Oracle owning MySQL is motivating commercial users to look more closely at the BSD-licensed PostgreSQL. If the sale goes forward, it may the biggest boost yet to the PostgreSQL community.
  • Re:Fork it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jadavis ( 473492 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @02:06PM (#29704783)

    It's not that easy to kill an open source project.

    It takes a long time to put together a real community; it doesn't happen overnight. However, dismantling one can happen overnight, and that may be what has taken place already.

    There is a promising amount of development, excitement, and support behind some of the forks like Drizzle and MariaDB. But losing a development team and then trying to reassemble it somewhere else is going to be a serious setback, and it will fracture the community.

    When the forks start to diverge there will be even more problems. Application developers will pick fork X, and then people will start asking in the mailing lists "I am having a problem and I am using fork Y". Whether or not the difference between X and Y is causing the problem is not important -- what's important is that it will take effort for the application developers to figure it out.

    The "open source can't be killed" idea is great in theory, but in practice it takes more than a license. It takes a real community effort, and requires real leadership, full-time people, a consistent message, and they have to be able to deliver a product, not a stream of patches. These challenges are all magnified for a database system, where it's hard to find those critical few developers that you can rely on, and the need for quantized releases is greater (to avoid the pain of data migration).

    All that being said: I think MySQL can pull itself together. But it takes a lot of work, and the thinking that "open source can't be killed" is a sure-fire way to make sure the necessary work is not done, and that will lead to the death of the project.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @04:13PM (#29705733) Homepage Journal
    Once upon a time, MySQL supported the use of Berkeley DB [] as one of its back end storage engines. Then Oracle acquired Sleepycat Software, the makers of Berkeley DB (which was, and still is, open source). MySQL didn't like the idea of Oracle controlling their back end, so they phased out its support [].

    Now it doesn't matter anymore. Oracle is going to own MySQL and Berkeley DB. In my opinion, Berkeley DB is the finest storage engine on the planet. Either with a relational/schema layer on top of it (like MySQL), or all by itself (in which case it's simple key/value pairs), it is insanely reliable and its performance is excellent. I can't say enough good things about it. So how about it, Oracle? Can we get these two great pieces of software together again?

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