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Databases Businesses Sun Microsystems

MySQL Cofounder Says Oracle Should Sell Database To a Neutral 3d Party 207

alphadogg writes "Oracle should resolve antitrust concerns over its acquisition of Sun Microsystems by selling open-source database MySQL to a suitable third party, its cofounder and creator Michael 'Monty' Widenius said in a blog post on Monday. Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun is currently being held up by an investigation by the European Commission. The Commission's main concern seems to be MySQL, which was acquired by Sun in January 2008 for $1 billion. A takeover by the world's leading proprietary database company of the world's leading open source database company compels the regulator to closely examine the effects on the European market, according to remarks made by Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes last month. The key objective by Widenius is to find a home outside Oracle for MySQL, where the database can be developed and compete with existing products, including Oracle's, according to Florian Mueller, a former MySQL shareholder who is currently working with Monty Program AB on this matter." Richard Stallman agrees.
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MySQL Cofounder Says Oracle Should Sell Database To a Neutral 3d Party

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  • by e2d2 ( 115622 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:33PM (#29809973)

    I'll take "Things you should have thought about before selling to Sun" for 1000 Alex

  • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:33PM (#29809977)

    MySQL is open source. Why is there a big argument about who controls it? If whoever is controlling it goes in a direction that people don't like, don't you just fork it? If people really are worried about the future of MySQL, shouldn't there already be a fork?

  • by ReallyEvilCanine ( 991886 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:46PM (#29810245) Homepage
    If it was that important to Widenius then why did he sell his company instead of holding onto it? And Stallman giving business advice to anyone is like a vegetarian giving tips on how to slow-barbecue whale liver.

    Is mySQL open source? If not, it doesn't matter that Larry owns it. If it is, it can fork. End of discussion.

  • by asdf7890 ( 1518587 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:48PM (#29810283)

    Or move over to another F/OSS database. Postgres has outdone mysql for "enterprise" features for many years (anyone else remember mysql people telling you that transactions were something that should be handled outside the database?) with the exception of replication support, and sqlite reportedly outperforms it in its traditional market (few writes but many selects over simple but potentially large structures). There are other options out there. A fork would face the same problem these other options have: mysql, the "official" version where-ever that lives these days, has a large amount of market inertia.

    (I'm not trying to grind an anti-mysql axe here, though I do prefer the other options myself depending on circumstances, just pointing out that a fork would only be any good to the market if enough people use it and getting that elusive "enough people" market share might not be easy)

  • by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:49PM (#29810305)

    In theory that might be a good idea. However, in practice, forks only have two realistic outcomes. Either they're just plain ignored--as is the case with present MySQL forks, or they divide and segregate the user base. The consequences of the later could potentially prove the undoing of the project. Relying upon products with an unstable and uncertain future make management types nervous...

  • by capt.Hij ( 318203 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:50PM (#29810317) Homepage Journal

    There is more to the project than just the source. First, some of the people are still working for Sun/Oracle. Their expertise is kind of important, and it is not so easy to just pick up the source and start making changes.

    The other issue is the documentation. That is not so free. The mysql documentation is considerable and is a tremendous resource. Back in the day, it was the deciding reason that I went with mysql. If I went on purely technical requirements alone I would have likely chosen a different platform.

  • by mckinnsb ( 984522 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @01:14PM (#29810719)
    I would also suspect that there is a great deal of concern over the fact that many web hosting providers offer MySQL as the included database for a cheap, base-level, non-configurable package. Turnover of mindshare in that market seems to be extremely slow -I've noticed the cheaper packages tend to be sold to the technophobic. Many hosting providers will be inclined to stick with MySQL and MySQL support contracts with Oracle. This is part of what Oracle purchased, to be honest, but the EU has the right to examine if this is fair play.
  • by srw ( 38421 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @01:20PM (#29810815) Homepage

    So, that's why Mambo has such a huge mindshare in the CMS world?

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @01:59PM (#29811501) Homepage Journal

    I honestly do not understand why some people persist in pimping postgres.

    Well, a lot of us are happy with the idea of a database that, you know, works. That doesn't silently discard data. That doesn't make you choose between performance and ACID. That doesn't pull crap like insisting that the wire protocol is licensed under the GPL. That sort of stuff.

    I remember 10 years ago, postgres was a ghost project -- no updates/maintenance. the entire fucking world adopted mysql except for the postgres-obsessed.

    Good point. Guess I'll roll back my desktop to E16 on Slink to comply with your state-of-a-decade-ago fetish.

  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @03:02PM (#29812593)

    One of their purposes, not the only purpose. Oracle also wanted to get their grubby mitts on Java.

    Actually... with SPARC; Solaris; Java; Oracle 11g; and Oracle Weblogic Suite 11g, Oracle can now control their entire App Server from top to bottom.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @03:40PM (#29813111)

    So ... basically, you're 10 years out of touch with reality, that is what you are saying, yes?

    Linux is statistically irrelevant compared to Windows on the planet, yet I'm sure you'll rave about how awesome it is and how its better than everything else.

    Fanboys suck, and you sir, are a fanboy. Not even a fanboy with accurate information.

    While the 'entire fucking world' was adopting MySQL, PostgreSQL surpassed MySQLs sad little feature set and became a DB server with real enterprise level features.

    PostgreSQL IS an Oracle competitor. MySQL isn't.

    To Oracle, MySQL is a bit like Access is to MS SQL server, they may both be database engines, but they aren't anywhere close to teh same class of product and they certainly don't serve the same purpose to anyone with half a clue.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @03:50PM (#29813225)

    What actions are those? Make small fortune selling it to someone then bitching about what they did with it?

    In cause you didn't notice while you were writing it just now, that ideal neutral third party did EXACTLY what he's complaining about.

    There is no neutral third party in business, the idea is silly in and of itself. Software is a tool and owning the code is an asset, both of which will be used to make the most money possible, ESPECIALLY in a public traded company where making the share holders money IS the priority, by law.

    If he really didn't expect something like this to happen eventually, he's simply retarded and should be hospitalized.

    We know thats not the case, so we must assume he's just a whiney little bitch.

  • by mr_da3m0n ( 887821 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @04:07PM (#29813505) Homepage

    But 3dfx cards where slow and crappy. They died and nVidia picked up what was left after nVidia and ATI killed them. nVidia has for many years produced the best 3d drivers available for Linux even though they where closed source they where free as beer. Not perfect but nVidia was supporting Linux before it was cool.

    Your flawed view of history offends me.

  • by stanleypane ( 729903 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @04:24PM (#29813769)
    You're sort of arguing my point for me and trying to disagree at the same time.

    I think the *person* that lets that kind of stuff happen is to blame -- not the tool. It sounds like an awful lot of people here are bashing Filemaker because it isn't being used for it's intended purpose. I'm merely making the point that it's the idiot trying to use a hammer to bust up pavement when a jackhammer is more suited to the job.

    If you're letting your superiors get away with driving the choice behind inferior tools for a given job, well... can you really blame the tool? Maybe the person in charge of development isn't making their case properly or management is way out of line. But I don't think the tool is to blame in those scenarios.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @04:56PM (#29814371)

    the "fork" is mysql with myisam and maria storage engines - what will you do with non transactional database server? the maria is not even crash safe and it might venture into transactional world in 2099.

    with regards to contracts - any company that purchase sun will inherit all sun's contracts and will have to honour them - so any current contract holder have no reason to fear.

  • by davecb ( 6526 ) * <> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @05:34PM (#29815019) Homepage Journal

    There isn't a real arguement at all: it's recently come out that a/the objector to MySQL going to Oracle was Microsoft. I strongly suspect it's a put-up job, astroturfing the EC to hurt a competitor.

    --dave (who want the deal to complete so he can get more capacity planning gigs) c-b

I've got a bad feeling about this.