Whats the SQL?

It’s a funny thing about mainstream media, they rant on about how they add value by fact checking, and then don’t actually do it; this leads to people like Alan Patrick being handed the wrong end of the stick:

Open Source getting goosed – whats the SQL? – broadstuff

Officials at Sun Microsystems Inc., which acquired MySQL in February, confirmed that new online backup capabilities now under development will be offered only to MySQL Enterprise customers — not to the much larger number of users of the free MySQL Community edition. […deletia…]

In other words, so long and thanks for all the long free hours, guys, but its our toy now………. I bet that makes all those contrbutors over the years want to really get up and help tomorrow morning.

…and because he gets his news via Computerworld’s filtering of the cesspit that is Slashdot, of course you’re gonna get given shit.

You could, also, go back to Slashdot and read what Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL and now SVP at Sun, has to say about the matter:

Thanks for all the comments on this. We are listening attentively. Let me clarify some facts:

* The business decision on this was made by MySQL AB (by me as the then CEO) prior to the acquisition by Sun, so this has nothing to do with Sun. On the contrary, Sun is more likely to influence this decision the other way.

* It is not a quesiton of close sourcing any existing code, nor anything in the core server. Everything we have released under GPL continues to be under GPL, and the core server will always be under GPL (or some other FOSS licence).

* We will introduce backup functionality for all users (Community and Enterprise) under GPL in version 6.0.

* Additionally we will develop high-end add-ons (such as encryption, native storage engine-specific drivers) that we will deliver to customers in the MySQL Enterprise product only. We have not yet decided under what licence we will release those add-ons (GPL, some other FOSS licence, and/or commercial).

* At all times, because the main backup functionality goes into the core server under GPL, anyone can of course use the api and build their own add-ons or other modifications.

Those are the facts on this. The interesting topic is of course the one of the business model and what the best business model for FOSS software is. I hope to cover that in a separate posting.

In all of this, you have our undivided continued commitment to providing a fantastic and complete MySQL server under GPL for anyone to download and use. If we for whatever reason would not do that, we would risk losing users to other open source databases or risk seeing a fork of our own product. This is the power of open source.

Make sense?

Marten
previously CEO of MySQL, now SVP at Sun

As one of the commenters to that puts it, “When was last time Bill Gates [Ed: Or Ballmer?] posted a reply on slashdot?”

ps: for those who speak of jumping from MySQL to Postgres because of Sun, please check out this and this which might provide interesting context…

4 Replies to “Whats the SQL?”

  1. @ Alec – actually, I read the Slashdot commentary in depth, not just Computerworld’s report. Me trust a tech journalist – no ways!

    There is clearly a fuss going on in the O/S MySQL community about this, and – in my opinion, granted, but I am not alone on this one methinks – the root cause is because the economics of the “real market” are starting to intrude into the O/S world. This changes the game theory, as initially O/S was primarily a voluntary economy with non financial payoffs.

    And, I do think your argument – based essentially on the view that “The Sun SVP said so, plus Slashdot is a cesspit” is a tad positional, no?

    In fact, if you read the “cesspit’s” comments after that statement there are quite a lot of reasoned and interesting thoughts re forking, different business models, “TheirSQL” vs “MySQL” etc.

    And thats the point I made re Postgres – it was not literal, but to illustrate the bigger point, ie if an OS community gets upset with something like MySQL’s future path, they are perfectly capable of shifting direction, and mllions of small users.

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  4. There seems to be a group of people who seen to wilfully confuse the open source model as synonymous with pro-bono work by volunteers. I keep seeing this on sites like Broadstuff and the Register.

    Why do they think that all the major open source licences allow commercialisation? Why do they think the open source community welcomes corporate contributions from the likes of Red Hat and IBM? Have they ever read what the FSF or OSI have to say on the subject?

    Incidentally, contributors could hardly complain if MySQL did close the source of new versions – they signed copyright assignments that allow that. It would be no different, in principle, from Microsoft, and others, using BSD licensed code in proprietary software.

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