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MySQL's Response to Oracle's Moves 194

Posted by Hemos
from the the-changing-world dept.
mAriuZ writes "I've recently written two articles on this topic for Database Journal, the earlier, written after the InnoDB purchase, entitled Oracle's purchase of InnoDB, their release of Oracle Express, and the effect on MySQL, and the most recent, just after the Sleepycat purchase, entitled Pressure on MySQL increases as Oracle purchases Sleepycat, with more to come. Since I only do a monthly column for Database Journal, and things change quite quickly, I thought I'd post a few more thoughts on the topic."
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MySQL's Response to Oracle's Moves

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:41AM (#14761166)
    Posted as AC to avoid karma whoring...

    Does Oracle Understand What It's Buying?

    Bruce Perens

    Oracle's eaten the only two companies that make transactional database back-ends for MySQL: InnoDB last year, and now Sleepycat Software. The purchases send a message that MySQL won't achieve high-end database features without being beholden to Oracle. But the message is hollow.

    When the InnoDB purchase was announced, I asked MySQL CEO Mårten Mickos: you're going to write your own transactional back-end now, aren't you? Mickos is loath to announce that, but it's a no-brainer. The database back-ends in question handle file storage and low-level query operations, don't understand SQL, and are plug-ins - ready to be unplugged and replaced by some new transactional design by MySQL.

    What will Oracle have gained once MySQL announces a new transactional back-end? Sleepycat: an excellent, simple, SQL-less embedded database that's been a successful cottage industry for a decade, and InnoDB, which I suppose might produce a back-end for Oracle's own database. And not a bit of discomfort for MySQL.

    But MySQL has an alternative to rolling their own back-end: they can continue to use the InnoDB and Sleepycat products under their Open Source licenses, which are valid forever and for anyone, instead of the commercial licenses that MySQL currently has for these products. Because MySQL is a server, physically separate from its client applications, the GPL and its restrictions won't be a consideration for MySQL's customers.

    MySQL could slap Oracle in the face by going with the GPL strategy: they wouldn't have to negotiate with Oracle, they could use InnoDB and Sleepycat in perpetuity, and they wouldn't have to pay Oracle a cent. I'd be tempted to take such poetic vengeance. But Oracle, which has tried to buy MySQL before, could trump the GPL strategy by increasing what it offers for MySQL enough to make that purchase go through. CEO Mickos won't dabble at vengeance and will keep looking at offers that - if nothing else - increase the evidence for valuation of his company. But MySQL probably won't merge - they see too large a market, and intend to have it for themselves.

    Even an outright purchase of MySQL by Oracle would not prevent anyone from using MySQL's server in a commercial application, without charge. That's possible today if you use an unofficial (and non-GPL) client library to communicate with MySQL. Other companies in the Open Source community would happily provide training and support for MySQL, while an independent Open Source project would evolve to maintain the program.

    You can't really buy an Open Source project. The GPL was designed to make it possible for any Open Source participant to circumvent any other party who gets in the way. Other Open Source licenses are similar. Larry Ellison can buy business and influence over an Open Source project, but if he tries to have absolute control, Open Source developers will code elsewhere, replace whatever Larry holds close, and create new businesses.

    JBoss, the Open Source J2EE company said to be a $400 Million Oracle acquisition, hardly owns its market today. Commercial Java projects, even those using Open Source code, may develop on JBoss but predominantly deploy on proprietary software from IBM or BEA. Years ago a large contingent of JBoss developers split off into what is now Apache Geronimo project, an eminently viable competitor to JBoss.

    If Oracle is true to their history of eating their own ecosystem, they might now use JBoss to go after BEA. BEA moved this week to beef up their own presence in the Open Source community by releasing some previously proprietary work as Open Source. Why? they'll be using Open Source to go after Oracle. Open Source developers smile as proprietary software companies fight each other by collaborating more.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      What if Oracle really do "get it"?

      That they understand the point of Open Source and their objective is to improve the standing of these applications by improving support / consulting / training etc (which is where they also plan to make money).
      • InnoDB is not a stand-alone product, so your analysis would not apply to them, I guess.

        That leaves us with Sleepycat. To accept your thesis, I would have to accept that Oracle wants to diversify into cottage-industry embedded databases that represent 1/1000 of the market they are used to. This still seems a bit of a stretch.

        Thanks

        Bruce

    • by Karzz1 (306015) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:02PM (#14761293) Homepage
      "The purchases send a message that MySQL won't achieve high-end database features without being beholden to Oracle."

      "Even an outright purchase of MySQL by Oracle would not prevent anyone from using MySQL's server in a commercial application, without charge."

      "You can't really buy an Open Source project. "


      It seems to me that what Oracle is doing is not to try and take over or squash MySQL but rather to buy some more time. InnoDB is already OSS and I had thought Sleepycat was as well. MySQL has already been released under the GPL; no changing that retroactively. Even if Oracle had bought MySQL, the whole thing appears to be an attempt by Oracle to buy time while the new development team learns the innards of MySQL and/or codes a new transaction engine.

      MySQL, with or without MySQL AB, will continue to exist and continue to be developed. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they declined the offer, but I don't think Oracle was looking to buy MySQL per se. They were just looking to buy time to keep the heat off.

      Just my 2cents.

      • According to the article, Oracle is also looking at Zend, the makers of PHP...PHP has been used very widely in the implentation of MySQL-based solutions. Granted, PhP isn't the only available option, but all these aquisitions could make for some headaches for a large number of users.

        Bear in mind, that Oracle is also planning the release of a low-end product, Oracle Express, presumably to compete with the likes of MySQL and Postgres. I don't think I would ever use or recommend it, because at its core is the
      • by ameoba (173803) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:20PM (#14761897)
        You have to keep in mind that MySQL isn't making money off techies that Get It, they're making money off of Suits. Suits don't want to make long-term commitments to software with a shaky or uncertain future. The fact that these purchases are raising doubts as to MySQL's future is already enough to make Suits (who are already skeptical of OSS) nervous & less likely to send their business to MySQL.
        • by Karzz1 (306015) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:35PM (#14762019) Homepage
          "The fact that these purchases are raising doubts as to MySQL's future..."

          I don't believe that to be the case. In fact, if anything, I have to agree with Bruce Perens who states "(MySQL)CEO Mickos won't dabble at vengeance and will keep looking at offers that - if nothing else - increase the evidence for valuation of his company.".

          It seems to me that if the "premier" database vendor (Oracle) in the market is looking to buy up a "lesser" database, it implies that the target database is (perceived to be) a threat in some way to the larger vendor; implying that the "lesser" is in fact not lesser. This suggests that MySQL *is* a solid database ready for the enterprise. Not to mention, the GPL version of MySQL is not going anywhere, regardless of what happens to MySQL AB. Its development cycle may be slowed for a bit if MySQL were bought out, but MySQL is too important of an application to too many companies with the budget/talent to let die. Someone will be developing MySQL for the foreseeable future.
          • Just because Oracle is looking to purchase MySQL doesn't mean that the product is "enterprise-ready": it just means that Oracle is aware of the market share that could be gleaned by moving MySQL users into its empire. Don't confuse market savvy with technical proficiency; I could cite a list of acquisitions by large companies of companies with inferior product lines, just to capture an additional market segment -- and some of these purchases were made by Oracle itself.
        • The ironical thing about this is that the future of OSS software is actually *more* secure than anything the closed-source industry could create. MYSQL AB may be sold, and even the MYSQL trademark can be sold. However, MYSQL the database cannot be destroyed by Oracle(except by submarining software patent holders). The loss of the MYSQL trademark to Oracle means only that any fork must have a new name(maybe OURSQL?).

          Can the same be said of Oracle? If Oracle falls apart tomorrow due to some massive accounting
          • You have a typo.
            Can the same be said of Oracle? If Oracle falls apart tomorrow due to some massive accounting fraud being publicized, where does that leave all the current Oracle users?

            You ment to say:

            Can the same be said of Oracle? If Oracle falls apart tomorrow due to ANOTHER massive accounting fraud being publicized, where does that leave all the current Oracle users?



            JACEM
          • MySQL development is the result of a _handful_ of clued up people, if you lose those key developers they are not easily replaced. The same is true for most technically challenging OSS projects. It's worth remembering that MySQL doesn't really accept too much community GPL input in order to protect their commercial dual licensing arrangements, so there is not already the committed developer base ready to take over the project. It's quite probable that the project would stall terminally if MySQL were some
        • "The fact that these purchases are raising doubts as to MySQL's future is already enough to make Suits (who are already skeptical of OSS) nervous & less likely to send their business to MySQL."

          It's easy to spin it the other way. MySQL's future is now guaranteed. They can go with the cheap version now and the Oracle supported version later.
    • > When the InnoDB purchase was announced, I asked MySQL CEO Mårten Mickos: you're going to write your own transactional back-end now,
      > aren't you? Mickos is loath to announce that, but it's a no-brainer. The database back-ends in question handle file storage and
      > low-level query operations, don't understand SQL, and are plug-ins - ready to be unplugged and replaced by some new transactional design by MySQL.

      There's a reason he's loath to do this - it will require revenue to be spent on hiring p
      • There's a reason he's loath to do this - it will require revenue to be spent on hiring people who know how to pull this off.

        Yes, but as you can see from the article, he did this anyway. My remaining question is: is this the first hire? I would expect MySQL to have had people working on a new backend for half a year now.

        Great, so the backend would be even further removed from the rest of their database.

        Actually, there would be no technical changes, only a licensing change. The MySQL server is already sep

      • Unfortunately, powerful databases are large and complex beasts, and take years to get right. As much as I can understand why folks would flee from Larry, I think he'd be quite pleased if the mysql team were to go off and spend another five years recreating it.

        Being an old fart I remember when MySQL first came out one of its selling features was that it was very small and lightweight. The developer lost some of the powerfull features that the big boys had but that was okay because MySQL was a little DB t
        • Mysql license is $300 per client.

          If you have more than 15 users using your database Oracle is cheaper :P
        • The cost of a commercial use license for MySQL is $0 - the GPL license applies to commercial use.

          There is a cost for commercial redistribution outside your own company if the software relying on it is not open source. If it is GPL or one of the other open source licenses MySQL accepts, the cost of that redistribution license is $0 but you might as well talk to MySQL sales to see if you can come up with some other deal which is mutually beneficial.

          Being a non-profit doesn't affect licensing, unless MySQL

        • > I can't even find what the the license cost for MySQL I have vague recollections of something about $250.00 for a commercial
          > license free for non profit. On the web site there is a $595.00 survice contract, but no mention of a commercial use license.

          MySQL Network Basic is $600/server/year: https://shop.mysql.com/ [mysql.com]
          You *may* not have to pay anything however. But that depends on GPL/LGPL licensing complexities, and you will probably need a lawyer to know for sure (MySQL AB recommends just buying a
    • Of course I submitted this piece to Slashdot days ago, only to see it rejected. But the editors don't seem to want to look at original work :-) Only when someone else chews over it does it become worthy for Slashdot. Com'on guys.
  • NewSQL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ExE122 (954104) * on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:44AM (#14761186) Homepage Journal
    I really like this move of bringing Jim Starkey aboard. I've heard his name before, and I think he will really point MySQL's new engine in the right direction.

    From the interview, I see that he is a big fan of Java. I've only worked with a slightly older version of MySQL but I feel that Java support is where MySQL is lagging behind Oracle. While MySQL works with a JDBC connection, an Oracle database seems to return faster results and more functional result sets. And I don't know too much about how well MySQL stores java code, but I know the newer versions of Oracle have really added some neat functionality with that.

    I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where MySQL is headed and I'm glad they're standing up to Oracle's monopolizing.
    • Re:NewSQL (Score:5, Informative)

      by ceeam (39911) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:23PM (#14761441)
      Just to add my 2 info-cents... Jim Starkey is basically the father of Interbase/FirebirdSQL DB (over 20 years ago). Borland did not do very well in marketing it but Interbase was truly revolutionary in many ways - superb transactions handling, no locks, any locks, until they are absolutely needed etc... And InnoDB copied many ideas from there, for example (if you try and benchmarks some scenarios between FB and MySQL/InnoDB the results are very, very similar). And BTW, the word "blob" is invented by Jim Starkey too.

      Now I wonder what impact Jim Starkey joining MySQL will have on FB development?
      • "Now I wonder what impact Jim Starkey joining MySQL will have on FB development?"

        He says he will be available to answer questions but there is no doubt it's going to have a huge impact. Lucky for firebird project vulcan is pretty much done and the merging of the 3.0 and vulcan codebases has begun.

        Firebird 3 is going to be a hell of a database server.
    • Re:NewSQL (Score:4, Informative)

      by beru777 (324951) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:42PM (#14761587)
      The thing is, they also have bought the product Jim Starkey has been working on for most of his time during the last 6 years. Netfrastructure [netfrastructure.com] is a revolutionary development platform for the web, integrating a database engine, a Java virtual machine, a full text search engine, and an HTML templating engine all into a single product.
    • Re:NewSQL (Score:4, Insightful)

      by natophonic (103088) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:49PM (#14761658)
      While MySQL works with a JDBC connection, an Oracle database seems to return faster results and more functional result sets. And I don't know too much about how well MySQL stores java code, but I know the newer versions of Oracle have really added some neat functionality with that.
      Actually the reason MySQL sucks is because it doesn't integrate well with AJAX.
      [/snark]

      Aside from the low, low price, what gave MySQL the intial jump on Oracle and other 'mature' RDBMS is that it was much faster for simple things. This because it didn't include the kitchen sink of 10 years of "bright ideas" to synergize the enterprise with scalable robustness. You can include in this set of bright ideas, things like transactions (which many complex database applications really can't do without), and things like running a JVM within the database. No one has ever been able to coherently explain to me why it would be a good idea to do the latter (save as some workaround to a convoluted/broken legacy database they don't have the option of fixing).

      Sometimes all you need is "SELECT ... FROM ... WHERE ..." Hopefully MySQL doesn't lose sight of that. From the looks of it, they'd do better to work on securing a backend storage engine that Ellison can't buy out from under them, than to keep adding feature bulletpoints to glossy four-color datasheets.
      • Re:NewSQL (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BigZee (769371)
        Running java inside a database is the same reason you'd run any processing within the database - speed. I've seen many examples of developers, happily producing application code that runs a simple database query and then manipulates that data within the client. They are then surprised when performance is dreadful. When they try to tune their database query they find that there is nothing wrong with it. What is a problem though is that they are transfering data, piecemeal back and forth. What they could hav
      • > This because it didn't include the kitchen sink of 10 years of "bright ideas" to synergize the enterprise with scalable robustness.
        > You can include in this set of bright ideas, things like transactions (which many complex database applications really can't
        > do without), and things like running a JVM within the database. No one has ever been able to coherently explain to me why it would
        > be a good idea to do the latter (save as some workaround to a convoluted/broken legacy database they don't
  • Let's hope the best (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rock-n-Rolf (79046)
    I'm looking forward to see MySQL come up with a real good open source transactional engine. MySQL has done a very good job in my point of view for the community, and besides that employes a fair amout of people. Getting a good engine as response to Oracles maneuver would be great.
    My company uses the commercial version of MySQL in projects here and then, and I'd like to see it on more critical projects as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#14761205)
    I know a bunch of people who work at Oracle and they all agree: Oracle is 100% focused internally on SAP. Other theories may be interesting intellectual exercises, but Oracle is trying to kill MySQL because SAP wanted to use MySQL as an option for their systems to prevent customers from buying an Oracle database.

    Oracle and SAP are in the middle of a nuclear exchange here, and Oracle in particular doesn't care one bit how much money it costs them or what collateral damage in the open source space is inflicted. Their PR people may say otherwise, but its not a big secret there.

    • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      Oracle is trying to kill MySQL because SAP wanted to use MySQL as an option for their systems to prevent customers from buying an Oracle database.

      This is a typical kneejerk reaction, and I keep hearing it, but it doesn't make any sense to me. Oracle isn't stupid. Oracle knows that:

      • Oracle can't "kill" MySQL so long as it's open source.
      • It would be a waste of time, money, and energy to kill MySQL when PostgreSQL, Ingres, and Firebird all still exist.
      • There will always be customers who want to use open so
      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Informative)

        by PhilipPeake (711883)
        You don't seem to get it.

        SAP customers mostly won't use free, unsupported software. They are betting their existence on the SAP products and all their ancilliary supporting infrastructure (such as the database) working. They want guarantees.

        They could get those guarantees from "MySQL the company", but not from "MySQL as dowloaded from the net".

        Oracle now basically control the backend that SAP relies upon, and Oracle can manipulate various aspects of both DBs to make their own SAP cometitive products lo

        • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by kcbrown (7426)

          The references to PostGreSQL and Ingress are really red herrings - as far as I know SAP has never suggested that they might be suitable backends for SAP, and its unlikely that they will do any work in that direction as Oracle could pull the rug out from under them again in the same way.

          Uh, no. PostgreSQL isn't owned by any company. Because of that, Oracle can't do the same thing to it that it did to MySQL. That makes it an excellent possible backend for SAP, if SAP needed such a thing.

          Furthermo

        • They could get those guarantees from "MySQL the company", but not from "MySQL as dowloaded from the net".

          Couldn't they also get those guarantees from MySQL support, the third party company with a solid reputation (assuming such an animal exists)?

    • But SAP already had their own database [sapdb.org] which they later open-sourced and then MySQL started to use. Why abondon that DB?
  • As a MySQL shop... (Score:5, Informative)

    by localman (111171) on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:47AM (#14761206) Homepage
    These moves have concerned me. We use InnoDB and have purchased hotbackup licenses for all our machines. Last year when we switched to IBM Power servers running Linux, we were able to talk to Heikki and Pekka directly and have them compile special versions for us (until then they never had a Power/Linux version). I doubt that such service would be common for long under Oracle.

    I guess MySQL can just keep on with the latest GPL version and fork it if needed to keep things going. But one of the key Enterprise features of InnoDB is the hotbackup, which allows you to create a clean snapshot of the entire database without taking it down. This is pretty much a required piece of software and it is not GPL. As I mentioned we already own a perpetual non-server bound license, so hopefully Oracle will honor that. But that's the piece MySQL should worry about, and attempt to recreate. We would not have been able to stick with MySQL without that software.

    Cheers.
    • by shirai (42309) * on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#14761366) Homepage
      You can do the equivalent of a hot backup without any special software by replicating your database to another server. When you need the backup, you stop the replication and make a backup of the copy. After you reconnect the replication, the replication server will catch up again.

      This is documented in the excellent book "High Performance MySQL" by O'Reilly. One of the authors is a database guru at Yahoo.

      We were using MS SQL and, while I was interested in open source databases, did not have the confidence to use an open source database until reading this book. I know many will point me to PostgreSQL too, but the tools and the references for MySQL were better.
      • but the tools and the references for MySQL were better.

        Is this generally considered to be true?

        There appear to be more 3rd party books about MySQL than PostgreSQL, but I suspect that's largely because the official documentation for PostgreSQL is so good to begin with.
      • Thanks for the input, replication is an important part of any large MySQL installation. We already run four replicated servers, and one is indeed used for backup as you describe. But what happens when replication breaks? This happens to us a few times a year for various reasons. When that happens the slaves go out of sync and it is often impossible to get things back to normal.

        The only way to get replication back up cleanly is with a fresh copy of the master from after the event that caused replication
    • The problem with InnoDB Hot Backup for enterprise use is that it adds lots of load to the server it's backing up and that's not so good for a mission-critical server. IMO it's usually better to back up from a slave instead, so the main server isn't affected.

      That's not to say that InnoDB Hot Backup isn't useful - it certainly is in various situations. But it's not something I'd normally choose to use if I already had mission-critical systems with the three servers such systems really need for utmost availab
      • The problem with InnoDB Hot Backup for enterprise use is that it adds lots of load to the server it's backing up and that's not so good for a mission-critical server. IMO it's usually better to back up from a slave instead, so the main server isn't affected.

        My understanding of databases may be somewhat limited, but can't you just do the following without additional tools?

        1. set up spare DB and push redo logs from the primary DB to it.
        2. When it's time for a backup, pause the redo log stuff and let the curre
      • All true. FYI, we do our backups off a replicated server. And we don't use hotbackup for that, we just stop replication, take the backup, then bring replication back up. Quick clean backup.

        The thing we use InnoDB for is to start a new replicated server if something goes wrong with replication. The fact that something can go wrong with replication on a regular basis is probably a deficiency in MySQL. In practice it happens a few times per year for us. When that happens, hotbackup seems to be the only w
    • by arivanov (12034) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:15PM (#14761378) Homepage
      Exactly.

      This has been the part which pisses me off most about InnoDB. You cannot back it up online and the MySQL backup facilities introduced with 4.x are completely b0rken for it. At least in the GPL version. As a result I have had to write backup facilities of my own for the InnoDB databases we use (RT for once requires InnoDB)

      Whatever MySQL will use and write it expect that it will not deliberately remove the backup facility to sell it as a special non-GPL addon. While MySQL has been known to withold some features from the GPL versions it has never shipped deliberate crippleware (and database without backup facilities is crippleware).

      So as far as InnoDB is concerned - good buy and good riddance.

      BerkleyDB is a different matter. It is heavily used as an embedded database. MySQL is only a minor use for it. In fact it has replaced Oracle as the dabatase of choice for telecommunications projects like high-end switches, network equipment, etc. Most of these used to have an Oracle backend 7 years ago. Not any more. Nowdays it is BDB turf. While there are replacements for it very few of them are as fully featured as BDB 3.x and higher.
      • Well, I can understand your frustration, but I don't want to bash InnoDB. I think InnoDB is the best table handler for MySQL, and the fact that it offers a hotbackup at all is great, and at a very reasonable price. So I can't get behind the "good riddance" sentiment. I just hope that the Oracle buyout doesn't end up killing off InnoDB and hotbackup.

        Cheers.
    • Using mysqldump [mysql.com] in a single transaction, with:

      mysqldump --single-transaction

      Allows you to take a clean snapshot of the entire database without taking it down. We've been using this for quite a while now (a couple of years I think). You need to use 4.0.2 or later.

      • Allows you to take a clean snapshot of the entire database without taking it down.

        How's that affect the undo segment on a busy database?

      • Interesting. I wonder how the performance hit of running that on compares to running hotbackup. Our DB is about 200GB and takes about 5 hours for hotbackup without notable performance degradation.

        Also, hotbackup is "smart" enough to lock the couple of MyISAM tables we still use (for fulltext indexing) and so it really does provide a consistent snapshot. --single-transaction doesn't seem to do that.

        Still, I'll keep this in mind and try it out. Thanks for the tip!

        Cheers.
  • GPL prevents this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slackaddict (950042) <rmorganNO@SPAMopenaddict.com> on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:50AM (#14761219) Homepage Journal
    Like Bruce Perens said, "you can't really buy an Open Source project." The developers can take their code, fork it, and keep working on it under another project name, if they want.

    Oracle's latest "purchases" of these Open Source projects will not threaten MySQL at all. You can't apply for-profit, closed source takeover pressure to OSS code. The GPL prevents exactly this by keeping the source freely available and open.

    • by xtracto (837672)
      Sure but, how many of the *real* applications (OpenOffice, mySQL, Eclipse, etc) would fail misserably if the corporations that are throwing money at them to develop them will fail when they stopped?

      Do not confuse yourself, all the OpenSource applications that are worth something are product of some kind of closed source (for profit) application whose corporation saw more value in it as PR stunt than as software product.

      Yeah, burn my freaking karma, I do not care, I slashdot does not accept thoughts outside
      • by Dan Ost (415913)
        I agree that there are lots of open source apps that support your claim, but the apps I use more than any others, vim, gcc, make, etc, are counterexamples. Linux itself, while it certainly has corporate support, would continue if all current corporate suport disappeared.
      • Do not confuse yourself, all the OpenSource applications that are worth something are product of some kind of closed source (for profit) application whose corporation saw more value in it as PR stunt than as software product.

        Well then:
        KDE
        Gnome
        KOffice
        GCC
        X.org/Xwindoes/XFree86
        Perl
        Apache
        Bash
        Diff/RCS/CVS
        Mail/Sendmail (and all that followed)

        I could go on
        • For a moment, I was going to look the web for references to answer to your post but, I am feeling very apathic and lazy.

          It will be enough to say that, a lot of the software you mentioned was product of some people working at some University (meaning it was at least partially FUNDED by the tax payers). As an example, with gnome, was concieved by Miguel de Icaza while he was working in UNAM, which is a public University in Mexico. A lot of work was done there.

          Then, there is KDE (and Koffice), which is based o
          • I don't see how taxpayer funded research at a university qualifies for:

            1) product of some kind of closed source
            2) (for profit) application
            3) whose corporation saw more value in it as PR stunt than as software product

            Consider your point refuted. This new point that most open source developers are not aristocrats and thus need some sort of job is pretty obvious. It is also far weaker than the original claim.
      • "Sure but, how many of the *real* applications (OpenOffice, mySQL, Eclipse, etc) would fail misserably if the corporations that are throwing money at them to develop them will fail when they stopped?"

        Two words and a symbol for you.

        interbase -> firebird.

        Any more questions?
      • Do not confuse yourself, all the OpenSource applications that are worth something are product of some kind of closed source (for profit) application whose corporation saw more value in it as PR stunt than as software product.

        "All" is a strong word. Sure, there is Eclipse. Which many people use to develop C and C++, typically using Stallman's baby gcc. There is MySQL, but who is MySQL's biggest free competitor? The equally open Postgress, born as a research project. Out curiousity, where is the corpo

    • by Eivind Eklund (5161) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#14761455) Journal
      Ha ha ha ha. MySQL is an open source RELEASE - it is not an open source COMMUNITY. Effectively everybody that can hack MySQL work for MySQL AB, and the development process is run inside MySQL AB - it isn't set up to run as a community process. So, the transition would take a lot of time - and losing maybe two years of forward progress on this would most likely kill MySQL, market-wise.

      Eivind.

      • You're wrong - just because MySQL *could* be delayed doesn't mean that it will. Besides, how many production servers are constantly updating to the latest and greatest version of each software package that comes out. You have some machines out there that have years of uptime running the same software that the machine was installed with, plus the occasional security patch.

      • So, the transition would take a lot of time - and losing maybe two years of forward progress on this would most likely kill MySQL, market-wise.

        Part of the reason MySQL succeeded in the first place is that for huge numbers of small or mid-level users, databases are a solved problem. Sure, faster is better, but any modern database is Good Enough. MySQL lagged in significant functionality befind Postgres for years, but MySQL was Good Enough (and happened to be easier to set up that Postgres) so people depl

    • "Oracle's latest 'purchases' of these Open Source projects will not threaten MySQL at all. You can't apply for-profit, closed source takeover pressure to OSS code. The GPL prevents exactly this by keeping the source freely available and open."

      No true, Oracle can rescend the license. The GPL is a license given by the copyright owner that allows you to use the intellectual property. That license can be rescended and all future versions of that software are closed. If you are not already working on a fork of t
      • Re:GPL prevents this (Score:3, Informative)

        by slackaddict (950042)
        It doesn't matter if Oracle rescends the license for all future versions because the current versions will be protected and can be forked. MySQL will continue to go forward in a new form and a new name, but it will be the same project. You won't be able to kill it.
      • The copyright holder can change the licence at any time, yes, but it does not (and cannot) apply to existing releases. As long as one person has a copy of the source licenced under the GPL, it's still free.

        GPL is not public domain, and the copyright holder should be able to control his own product and say "any further use of this property is denied."

        Again, the copyright holder can say "as of version x.y.z I'm changing the licence", but it does not and cannot apply to previous versions. Further, if they've a
  • by Jamesday (794888) on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:53AM (#14761237)
    Jim Starkey said that he'd been working on a new engine for the last six years but couldn't integrate it fully with Firebird because of architectual problems. MySQL has an architecture designed to accept pluggable storage engines, so MySQL might end up with what he thinks is the next great performance improvement after Firebird.
    • I don't understand why MySQL doesn't just aquire one of the existing closed-source database backend companies and do the integration work. Seems like [shameless plug] Unify [unify.com]'s DataServer [unify.com] product [/shameless plug] might make a good choice. Another possibility is Birdstep [birdstep.com]'s RDM [birdstep.com].

      Unify's product has a detachable SQL engine and Birdstep doesn't even have an SQL engine.

  • In regards to MySQL being more and more competitive in the geospatial area, there was an announcement last week about OGR and GDAL compatilibity for MySQL [hobu.biz]. With geospatial getting everywhere (you know; RFID, Google Earth, GPS, ...), this is great news for MySQL.
    • It would have been even better if MySQL got it earlier (like PostgreSQL did from the start). It's a shame that MySQL started getting cool (and necessary!) features only now when the market pressure on its company increased. Prior to this, it was practically stagnating.
  • The pressure is ALL on Oracle. The reason why they're doing all this is because they're scared. The vast majority of companies out there running Oracle really are beginning to realise that they DO NOT need to spend anywhere near the amount they do on Oracle. They've heard of Postgres and especially MySQL, and MySQL are sufficiently cheap enough where companies get the right support they need without Postgres being any sort of threat - just a good old fashioned competitor.

    Oracle have overinflated revenues
    • by cruachan (113813) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:48PM (#14761650)
      Oracle have overinflated revenues and profits based on crap software, and they've been doing it for years.

      Oh dear, looks like we have a MySQL weenie here. Oracle my well be pumping their revenue stream for every dollar they can get, and like IBM their salesmen used to be notorious for turning up for meetings without a price list (it's depends Sir :-). But crap software? Hardly. Oracle plummeled MySQL into the dust in quality before MySQL even existed. Oracle has had transactions and atomicity since version 6 in the early 1990s, a full and elegent procedural SQL language since around that time, SQL that supports concepts such as subselects and everything else needed so a dba could support a mission-critical company database and sleep easy at night.

      Oh, and did I mention the support? When I was a dba I knew I could ring support up, at any time of the day or night, and I would get an answer to a question and a fix/work-around for any problem. Truly impressive.

      MySQL has it's place and it's useful for many things - although generally as a database it's still pretty crap. Postgres is much much better and is now a serious alternative to Oracle, SQL Server and DB2. But to dismiss Oracle as crap frankly just says in large flashing letters that you've never used a real database for a serious application.
    • Oracle and MySQL are the two DBs with which I've worked extensively as a development administrator. From a very high-level/general standpoint, my basic comment is this: When I've used Oracle, my life has been complicated; when MySQL, I don't even have to think about the data.

      The power of Oracle for certain applications cannot be denied, but as has been pointed-out, more people are realizing every day they have no need for that kind of horsepower. As a former colleague of mine was fond of pointing-out, it's
    • Oracle, crap software? For the last 20+ years (including right now) Oracle has been way ahead of everyone in RDMS technology. Postgres is implementing features from Oracle 7/8. They aren't anywhere near Oracle 10. I suggest you take a look at what Oracle does before making silly comments like this.
  • I know Slashdot users like to bash MySQL, so I will try not to put out any bait.

    MySQL and all its components -- including innoDB and BerkeleyDB, which is the Sleepycat product -- are available under Open Source licences {GPL for InnoDB and BSD-like for BDB}. And they will continue to be available under those licences for as long as copyright subsists in any of the code; after which they become Public Domain.

    Just because the makers have been bought out, does not mean that there is any threat to the Ope
    • > Just because the makers have been bought out, does not mean that there is any threat to the Open Source nature of the code. Quite the reverse,
      > in fact. If Oracle are trying to make the proprietary fork of MySQL more compatible with their own proprietary database, then they must
      > be aware that there is no way they can prevent the open source fork also becoming compatible with their proprietary product.

      Right. However, the best option for them is to simply sit on the products. Don't do anything -
  • I don't think Oracle wants to play in the Open Source field as the article suggests. They will probably try to kill/hurt the competitors and get as much customers from them as possible. Maybe Oracle will offer a free version of the software (InnoDB / BerkelyDB / PHP / JBoss), but I don't think they will do it like Sun with OpenOffice. Or IBM with Eclipse / Linux. Oracle doesn't need to do it, because they have the market share already (unlike Sun and IBM). Oracle just wants to keep the market share, and ke
  • by Raenex (947668)
    The title leaves you looking for MySql's response to the recent Oracle purchases. Can you find it in the first link? Nope, not a single, concrete action from MySql is mentioned, just lots of speculation/analysis. How about the second link? Nope, just more analysis. How about the *third* link, entitled "more thoughts"? Yes, finally! That should have been the first link given in the article, and really the only link he needed to give, since the first two articles are mentioned in the third.
  • by rsavela (597141) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:00PM (#14763583) Homepage
    I don't think that Oracle is really anti-Open Source. They have released a ton of stuff, most importantly to me: o Big memory pages for the Linux Kernel (helps with TLB misses for shared memory) o OCFS 2, a very good clustered filesystem. o Firewire code o Async I/O linux support Oracle was probably the first major database to run on Linux (version 7 worked, version 8.0 was supported). That was almost 10 years ago. Sun used to be the bread-and butter platform for Oracle. Linux has basically replaced it. Oracle already owns the database market. Most SAP sites already use Oracle as the database. The reality is, no matter how good their database is, they won't make any more money from it. Feature-wise, Oracle is more than 10 years ahead of MySQL. These are features I use all the time, every day. Oracle Fin Apps is the only place their business can grow. While it isn't a great product, neither is SAP R/3. These are big bits of software. Fin Apps 11iR10.2 is about 50GB of install media. (That is a lot of code). With Oracle's acquisition of Peoplesoft and JD Edwards, SAP is really the only competetion.
    • Sun used to be the bread-and butter platform for Oracle. Linux has basically replaced it

      This is why Oracle chose to be "pro" open source in the first place. They knew if they could get their product running on Linux, they would have an easier time selling software licenses. Those $50k-$100k Sun enterprise purchase reqs were killing them. Once the economy started to bubble, their $50k-$100k licensing fees were getting lost in the shuffle. Ta Da! Linux servers are far less expensive, making the bundle

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