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Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands 278

jamie sends in a blog post from MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius calling for help to "save MySQL from Oracle's clutches." While the US DoJ approved Oracle's purchase of Sun back in August, the European Commission has been less forthcoming. Widenius points out that Oracle has been using their customers to put pressure on the EC, and he questions Oracle's commitment to MySQL, saying their vague promises aren't good enough. He writes: "Oracle has NOT promised (as far as I know and certainly not in a legally binding manner): To keep (all of) MySQL under an open source license; Not to add closed source parts, modules or required tools; To not raise MySQL license or MySQL support prices; To release new MySQL versions in a regular and timely manner; To continue with dual licensing and always provide affordable commercial licenses to MySQL to those who needs them (to storage vendors and application vendors) or provide MySQL under a more permissive license; To develop MySQL as an Open Source project; To actively work with the community; Apply submitted patches in a timely manner; To not discriminate patches that make MySQL compete more with Oracle's other products; To ensure that MySQL is improved also in manners that make it compete even more with Oracle's main offering."
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Widenius Warns Against MySQL Falling Into Oracle's Hands

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  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:22PM (#30423086) Journal

    That's one of the reasons we have open source licenses. So we can fork if we have to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:24PM (#30423096)

    Besides being a hippocrite, after he was paid, bolted for the door the first opportunity he got. If it was so important to him, he wouldn't have sold to Sun in the first place. Man up and stay with the company and product if you are so concerned.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:29PM (#30423140)

    so a guy who sold out is now worried about what he sold?

  • by smack.addict ( 116174 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:31PM (#30423164)

    If he gave a shit about what happened to MySQL, he would not have sold it.

    Instead, he made gobs of money and no longer has a say in what happens to the property except insofar as he is free to fork it.

  • Re:Greed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:38PM (#30423208) Journal

    He can always fork it (unless he's signed some sort of non-compete agreement). I don't really get the issue. Everyone knew Oracle was probably going to do evil, Oracle is one of the BIG evils, though it never gets sufficient attention around here, what with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

  • by jregel ( 39009 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:00PM (#30423354) Homepage

    As others in this discussion have pointed out, if the concern about Oracle close-sourcing components of MySQL, then why not fork it now?

    Also, beyond the large installed user base, is there anything particularly important about MySQL as a database that other open source databases cannot do?

    But for me, the biggest frustration is that while there is all this concern about MySQL, the lack of direction is really damaging Sun who make excellent servers (SPARC and x64), software (Solaris 10/Open Solaris with ZFS, Dtrace, Containers etc. etc, OpenOffice, Glassfish, Virtualbox, Sun Cluster (free), QFS/SAMFS (cluster FS)) and many more interesting technologies).

    IMHO, the existence of Sun is a positive thing for the open source community and MySQL is a small and largely unimportant part of Sun's inventory.

  • by johnnnyboy ( 15145 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:12PM (#30423420) Homepage

    Seriously, these MySQL founders have been whining ever since they sold out to Sun.
    Please stop. If you're worried about MySQL why did you sell the rights in the first place?

  • by Plekto ( 1018050 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @01:43PM (#30423618)

    #40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

  • by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:11PM (#30423818) Homepage

    This is all about the EU blocking Oracle's acquisition of Sun. They are trolling for testimonials about how the Sun acquisition would force people to buy Oracle DB, which is almost certainly would not: []

    Look at Berkeley DB (on which OpenLDAP uttely depends.) It's now "Oracle Berkeley DB". I don't see any monkey business with that arrangement (although the OpenLDAP people are probably working on ditching BDB just as due diligence.)

  • by vladkrupin ( 44145 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:36PM (#30423970) Homepage

    No single entity controls the source of mysql either. It's GPL. If you want to fork it, fork it. You guys are missing the point.

    The point is Widenius wants to start a new company, and wants to work off of what mysql, the company (and thousands of volunteers who have contributed to the project) have created over the past N years. He does not care if it goes to Oracle, Microsoft, some made-up nonprofit-ish foundation, or dies. He could really care less about that. He wants to build a company that will make a proprietary product and will make him money.

    The thorn in his side, however, is the fact that he can't take the code that was once released as GPL and use it in his proprietary software. He either has to open up his software (which he does not want to do), or else not be able to benefit from all those years worth of effort by mysql AB and others who have contributed to the project.

    If the license was just about anything but GPL (apache, BSD, whatever), he could do just that. But he can't.

    What, you really think it's all about evil Oracle taking over mysql, and it's not really the license that's a thorn in Wideniuses side? Read a more in-depth analysis by someone who understands the issue a _whole lot better_ than I or just about any of you folks do. Here: []

  • by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @03:22PM (#30424256)

    but everything else you troll about is the result of using the tool wrong

    This is correct; using MySQL despite the availability of a clearly superior open source competitor is definitely using the tool wrong.

  • Re:Oracle (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @04:24PM (#30424706)

    There's all kinds of people posting to Slashdot (raging zealots, nonraging zealots, raging nonzealots, and even some perfectly reasonable, smart people), but a good rule of thumb for any Internet forum is: if you are, or ever have, accused another poster of being a paid shill, and actually think this is a remotely plausible explanation for people saying things you disagree with, then you are almost certainly a raging zealot.

  • Re:Oracle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rgigger ( 637061 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @06:24PM (#30425704)

    That is a great comparison, and contrary to some of the responses, being able to do alter table statements on an in use production system is vital to any serious database solution. It doesn't say anything about Oracle vs. Postgres though as Postgres has been able to do this for a very long time.

    I'm not just trying to be contrary here, I would really like to know. What does Oracle have that puts it (20 years?) ahead of Postgres (other than RAC, there were very informative posts above about that).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2009 @08:30PM (#30426494)

    MySQL's wins tend to be based on good marketing for a bad product.

    What marketing have they done, really? I thought what made it popular was its easy integration with PHP, its easy accessibility ( it didn't have all those pesky data integrity features that keeps newbies out of real databases ), the explosion of the web and web applications, and its ease of administration ( no pre-2000 tech boom ISP would want to hire a real DBA to administrate their PostgreSQL for $10.99/mo. webhosting ) .

    If there was no MySQL, it would be SQLite or something at that more primitive level, not PostgreSQL.

    No you are correct. People that call MySQL success on marketing (what marketing lol) are the same cave dwellers that yearn for the day of dumb terminals and VI so their job security is in place. Accessibility is what made MySQL so huge. Most people using MySQL for small projects or websites dont need an Oracle type of DB for their project. Dont you think there is a reason the mighty Oracle wanted to buy MySQL in the first place? The hubris around Oracle or the arguments as to why PostreSQL isnt as popular as MySQL remind me of the people who to this day still argue over DEC Unix. Let me repeat this to those numbnuts...Its not just marketing...its accessibility.

  • Then why does he have to lie? []

    Why does he want to have the EU retroactively invalidate the GPL grant-back?

    We would like to draw attention to the fact that some major concerns about the effects of the proposed transaction could be somewhat alleviated by requiring that all versions of MySQL source code previously released under the GPLv2 license (whether in a General Availability, Release Candidate, Beta, Alpha release, or as public bazaar or bitkeeper revision control trees) must be released under a more liberal open source license that is usable also by the OEM users and would also create an opportuity for other service vendors to compete with offerings comparable to MySQL Enterprise. A good candidate is the Apache Software License.

    We believe this could be a FOSS-specific approach to addressing the ownership of some of the key assets involved, as an alternative to conventional conditions imposed on such transactions.

    Section 5.5 of the supplementary document discusses this possible measure.

    In other words, he wants to be able to use and distribute GPL'd code without having to distribute the changes. Greedy pig indeed.

    Or this:

    The "copyleft/infection" principle of the GPL license represents a particular obstacle not only to revenue generation by the fork vendor but also to the overall adoption and market penetration of MySQL, MySQL forks and MySQL storage engines....

    Under such open source licenses as the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license and the Apache license, proprietary derivatives are legal. The only obligation might be attribution.

    Where else have we heard about the GPL being an infection?

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle