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GNU is Not Unix

The Open Sourcing of Oracle 134

Thanks to Simone for pointing out this article by Andy Duncan regarding Oracle and its relationship to Open Source. The article starts out with background, and the metaphor to the Italian Renaissance is a bit odd, but I do think that this is a path Oracle is looking to walk down - what do you all think?
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The Open Sourcing of Oracle

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Jesus man, "All your base" is SOOOOOOOO last month!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So, when the makers of the Matrix decided to name the woman who convinces Neo of his destiny the Oracle, where they making a sly ironic jab at Larry Ellison's profit mongering clsoed source software company, or where they jsut ignorant of the rapacios predatory nature of the company that's more suited to Agent Smith than a kindly black woman?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wooing us with Sample Chapters [oreilly.com], O'Reilly once again uses "embrace and extend" tactics to maintain market domination in tech publishing.

    The gamble seems to be that no matter how FREE software becomes, programmers will NEVER be able to write clear documentation. We'll always need O'Reilly to turn GeekSpeak and man pages into meaningful sentences.

    Have you paid your O'Reilly Tax today?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok, let's get this straight. Oracle and MySQL are not in the same class of product.
    MySQL is a glorified desktop database. It is not truly relational, it lacks some very important and basic features
    that databases need for high end business use (transactions, triggers, and stored procedures spring to mind).
    It's good for displaying web page content and not much else.
    Oracle, despite its complexity and expense, is a robust, full featured database.
    It does a lot that mySQL doesn't do and probably won't ever do.
    Postgresql is a much closer contender for the space that Oracle fills in a business
    (i.e., databases for something other than flat web content display, etc.).
    You would be a big moron to replace Oracle with mysql for your inventory tracking system, for an order database,
    really for anything that involves anything except spitting out data with occasional, single user updates.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's just that silly. I shit you not

    It isn't that simple (or silly). I worked a company that shipped a product on MS-SQL after literally getting a payoff from Microsoft.

    Turns out that the IT customerbase is very sensitive to the DB platform you choose. If they are on Oracle, they will only buy Oracle-based products. If they are a total Microsoft shop, they will only choose MS-SQL-based products. Part of the reasoning is licencing of course, but a huge part is the operational impact of a new platform. The company found the door slamming on the salesmen at larger companies purely because we were running on a non-politically correct DB.

    Your product is on Oracle. That means you've got 0 resistance from Fortune 1000 companies that generally have standardized on Oracle and have the DBAs and servers set up already. Put it on Postgres or Interbase or Sybase or Microsoft, and then you'll have to fight your customer all the way to get your box into their datacenter. Maybe your bosses don't have this insight, but they'll find out.
  • I don't get it, what Open Source product has been SO successful that it dominates everything?


    Simple: BIND.


    The closest is Apache, but while it is on a lot of servers, it isn't as well represented in the top traffic sites. Apache is the closest to leading its field of any package


    Nope. Apache has something like 62% market share. Bind has a virtual monopoly.

  • Your product is on Oracle. That means you've got 0 resistance from Fortune 1000 companies that generally have standardized on Oracle and have the DBAs and servers set up already.

    They would not have to purchase, set up, or support the database regardless of what it was. The database is integrated into the solution. If we were selling a product that worked with databases, your agrument would make perfect sense - in fact it would make the most sense to use odbc or jdbc or at least provide adapters for several databases.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:16AM (#280096) Homepage
    I agree with you until the last sentence. Oracle will never be Free software, nor even free software. But it surely is a giant heap of rotting dung. The reason they can charge so much for it is that they have convinced people who have money to burn that they need it. This, not coincidentally, is the exact same reason Microsoft sells products to people who subsequently swear at them for a year and then budget even more for licenses the next. The ability to convince stupid people that they need something is the real license to print money.

    At the small silicon valley company where I work, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, we (well, the bigwigs, of course, I'm not this brain-damaged) have decided to base our offerings at least initially on oracle rather than one of the myriad Free and non-Free alternatives simply because the thinking is that customers would think it odd if we used anything else. Never mind that other databases cost less and perform better, and the the database is in our case invisible to the customer. It's just that silly. I shit you not.

  • If you run a large system (Sun Enterprise 4500, 6500, or 10000), thousands of which exist in pretty much most major businesses, Oracle *will* run rings around PostgreSQL in terms of

    - performance
    - reliability
    - managability (distributed)
    - maintainance
    - parallelism

    If you need proof, you need to graduate college.
  • uses TeraData from NCR, last i checked
  • 10%?

    By what measure?

    The Fortune 500 are much less than 1% of the business world. In terms of economic power, however...
  • yes, that is what i mean, and i probably could not have explained it better. cheers.
  • the point of the above is that while 10% of the business world requires the power of beefy Sun boxes & Oracle, these guys also constitute a sizable portion of revenue.

    let's not forget that
    a) Oracle is the #2 software company in the world in revenues
    b) Sun makes as much revenue as Microsoft.

    So.... it's not about propaganda, it's about hard, tangible numbers of what people use. Of course, you'll just say that "they've been duped into buying crap", but they people doing the purchasing probably know better than that. Hey, we use Linux, because we know its great for many tasks. Generally most places I consult for don't use MySQL or PostgreSQL (though I think we have a small intranet system somewhere using OpenBase and one that might be in Postgres...)
  • And I can PROMISE you that neither of the above solutions can possibly handle several thousand queries per second on a table with over 100k rows.

    The above products, while not shabby themselves, are simply not in the same league. They are different solutions for different problems. Compare a Solaris box to an S/390 IBM mainframe. Different tools for different work.
  • One line of the entire book makes the statement. The story was regarding a review of the book. 8)
  • And magically, I got modded down with at least 4 trolls.. 8( I'm thinking that the moderators where having fun today..
  • PHP works like out of the box with MySQL and PostgresSQL. With Oracle and Informix, there some work to do before you get it to run.

    If one is paying the massive amounts of money for Oracle, then they are either

    a) buying a system that relies on Oracle as being there for the backend
    b) Planning on using some more development tools than PHP - possibly writing things as stored procedures in the database
    c) know enough of what the hell they are doing that it doesn't matter.

    Having something like PHP working with it is probably the least of their worries - that is until after they get it all installed and find the app they bought doesn't provide everything and need to develop some more stuff for it.

    I run a large Oracle database and two smaller ones. The big one is used by a student records package (Banner). All the interaction is done via Oracle Forms or stored PL/SQL procedures. There are a few scripts here and there written in Perl for automating some things.

    One of the small databases is used by Remedy helpdesk software, and the other is used for any web applications people want to develop (normally with ASP/ODBC).

  • Oh yes it is:

    I predict that the Oracle database server itself will be open source within ten years
  • It's a fair question. There is obviously some competion from MySQL and PostgreSQ since the people using them are not paying CAL's (Client Access Licenses) to Oracle. What Oracle can charge for is where their code gives value over MySQL and PostgreSQL. Now, the databases do not live in an isolated world. Integration with other software is important and we see a lot of that in OSS. PHP works like out of the box with MySQL and PostgresSQL. With Oracle and Informix, there some work to do before you get it to run. Zope, python and mysql, I haven't tried but I guess it's a nobrainer.
    If this integration in OSS continues, products like Oracle and Informix will find it harder to provide added value since integration with other products will eat in to that and the OSS competition will seem even stronger.
    So, the difference between OSS:ing and simply adapting pricing to competion is to get into the OSS integration framework. If developers start to think equaly about PHP+MySQL as PHP+Oracle, more people will knock on Oracle door to ask how to solve various database related problems. This is allready a large revenue stream for Oracle (I guess) and the question companies like Oracle have to answer is wheather to climb onto the chimney of what _may_ be a sinking boat or redefine their business into service and consulting and try to make a living out of that.

    Just a thought

    /jarek
  • Well, the fact that programmers cannot write clear documentation is hardly O'Reilly's fault.

    And I don't see that O'Reilly has a monopoly on technical books.

    Some people will NEVER understand that some things are actually worth paying for.

  • Oracle will provide you and your system with 24/7/365 support from highly trained individuals, for the "ridiculous" price you pay for it. Again, it's all a matter of how much your downtime costs you. If you're Ebay, Amazon, etc, downtime costs big bucks. It makes sense to have that level of support available for their business. If you're a weblog, downtime costs you very little, comparitively speaking. Paying for Oracle in that situation doesn't make a lot of sense. PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc. don't cost a lot up front, but if your business model depends on multiple transactions per second, aren't necessarily the best choice on the odd chance that things screw up.
  • I have not heard of SAP DB. Thanks for the post, I will check it out!
    --
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • If you need proof, you need to graduate college. Why don't you fuck off. I was coding when you were still sucking on your mom's tit.
    --
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • by Johann ( 4817 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @08:52AM (#280112) Homepage
    If you want cheap web transactions fine, but I am talking about true DB apps where you need row-level locking, rollback, transactions, etc

    Pardon me for spoiling your FUD, but:

    • PostgreSQL does [postgresql.org] supports these features.
    • Interbase supports [borland.com] them too.

    Maybe you should try using these databases before discounting them. Just because MySQL does not have transactions or row-level locking does not mean other 'free' RDBMS do not. As far as your claim that 'you tried'. What, exactly, did you try? Maybe the 'experts' you hired were stupid or incompetent. Maybe your architecture is inefficient. Maybe a hundred other things caused these problems and you incorrectly thought it was the fault of the database.
    --
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."

  • Ahem. Let me put it this way. If Oracle open sources their database, they will probably do it while watching flying pigs dodging upward-falling bricks above the blue-moonlit icescape of Hell. During which period, federal taxes will drop to $0, the Israelis and Palestinians will shake hands and make nice, and the Pope will convert to Buddhism.

    Oracle makes their money from a simple value proposition: "No matter what the load you need to handle, no matter how much clustering and fancy data synching you want, provided you hire a good DBA we can get you 24/7 uptime, 356 days a year, with perfect data integrity. If you have a problem, they will know how to fix it or work around it. For which, we expect you will be willing to pay through the nose, or other bodily orifice of your choice."

    That ain't going away anytime soon.
    --
  • The book is about using OSS with Oracle, and not Oracle becoming OSS.
    From the page: "In Oracle & Open Source, we concentrate on: Where to get today's open source base technologies and application tools; how to install them; how to connect them to Oracle; and how to modify them, should you wish to do so, to suit your own requirements"

    In fact they "didn't try to address the future of open source, particularly in terms of its relationship to commercial software"

    But I guess you cant expect the /. editors to check up on the facts can you. And after all you are only here for pro Linux/OSS and anti MS bias aren't you ...

  • > Why the hell are you posting articles like this? As far as I can see it's just a blatent advert for their book. You've
    > even put "not any time soon" in the intro.

    I found this article interesting not for the insights it allegedly provides for Oracle's relationship to Open Source, but for how Tim O'Reilly apparently is trying to sell the suits on Open Source.

    O'Reilly appears to be attempting to act an ambassador between the hacker community, & the suits. Look how he involved himself in the Amazon 1-click contraversy, on one hand decrying the abuse of the patent system, while on the other providing Jeff Bezos a face-saving way out of this mess. Likewise, he has hired Larry Wall, who maintains the Perl programming language, as a full-time person.

    It would appear that the subtext of this article is that O'Reilly is attempting to persuade Ellison to play nicely with Open Source, to act like a Renaissance prince & patronise Open Source. And if Ellison fails to get from this suggestion the ego strokes needed to make this work, then at least the idea is planted like a seed in the minds of other software moguls.

    And if this seed falls on fallow ground? Worst case is that O'Reilly gets to write an ``I told you so" article when these proprietary companies slip into Chapter 11.

    Geoff
  • Considering that an enterprise relational DB is "boring" work compared to an OS, I don't think that either MySQL or PostgreSQL will ever grow as quickly as either Linux or Apache have. Making a full relational database which passes the ACID test is a non-trivial task, and while PostGreSQL of the two free RDBMS's has made the most progress towards this goal, I don't think it's capable of handling the terabyte-sized datasets that Oracle routinely does, and it will be a long time before anyone even thinks of even trying to do it. Why do you suppose there are only two serious contenders for a Free Software enterprise RDBMS (and up until recently, one of them didn't even fit that description entirely!)? An RDBMS is not as sexy as an OS or a desktop environment, not the sort of thing that would capture the imagination of the hackerly community. Finally, an industrial strength RDBMS like Oracle doesn't fill the needs of the hackerly community, but those of the business community. A site like slashdot certainly needs an RDBMS, but it doesn't manage terabytes of data, and neither will it be a major catastrophe if the database fails because either A, C, I, or D was not followed (it may cause inconvenience at the very most, but probably nobody is going to die or lose money as a result). Frankly, I think Larry Ellison is safe for the moment. Nothing that the Free Software World has to offer can really match Oracle at the moment. The same cannot be said of Bill Gates, though.

  • by Requiem ( 12551 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @06:57PM (#280117) Journal
    There is a reason Oracle can charge per/cpu licensing. It ain't because it sucks kids.

    I should hope not. Pedophilia is absolutely loathsome, and...

    Oh wait. You forgot a comma.

  • So? Just because support is where they make their money, doesn't mean that their going to make the source available to their competitors.
  • Anyone read the article?
    It remains to be seen how much further Oracle will go, and how quickly. However (and I've already prepared my will in case of God's heavenly thunderbolt), I predict that the Oracle database server itself will be open source within ten years. (If it isn't, it will no longer exist!)
    Ten years is a long time, long enough that this prediction is almost certainly correct.

    As it stands, the postgresql project has been advancing very rapidly, and is getting extrememly close to beating Oracle in functionality. If Oracle doesn't react to this in the next few years, they're going to start taking serious hits in revenue.

    Unfortunately, going open source is only *one* way they can react. Rather than going "open" they might go "free", that is, gratis. Using the db binary as a loss leader for other products (including support) wouldn't be the siliest thing they could do, and it would help to stay ahead of the *really* free competition for some time.

    The Great Bridge benchmarks, Postgresql beat Oracle on speed slightly (Bruce Momjian confirms this in this interview: http://lwn.net/2001/features/Momjian/ [lwn.net]).

    Version 7.1 has just been released, with the big news being the addition of outer-joins. I understand that replication is one of the next targets (and given the speed that these guys have been working at, I would expect it to be in the next rev).

    From The postgresql site (http://www.postgresql.org [postgresql.org]):

    Key New Features and Capabilities of Version 7.1 Include:

    • Write-ahead Log (WAL) increases data integrity and processing speed. To maintain database consistency in case of an operating system crash, previous releases of PostgreSQL have forced all all data modifications to disk before each transaction commit. With WAL, only one log file must be flushed to disk, greatly improving performance. (Tech note: can eliminate use of -F in to disable disk flushes)
    • TOAST (The Oversized-Attribute Storage Technique) Past releases had compiled-in row length limit typically between 8Kb & 32Kb. This restriction made storage of long text fields difficult, cumbersome and slow. TOAST enables rows of any length while maintaing the high performance PostgreSQL users have come to expect.
    • SQL92 Outer Joins are now supported. (Tech note: eliminates the UNION/NOT IN workaround)
    • 64-bit C Language Function Manager support The previous C function manager did not handle support 64-bit CPU's (e.g. Alpha, Sun, Itanium). (Tech note: This change should not impact existing custom functions developed for past versions, but performance will be improved through rewriting to use the new call interface.)
    • Complex Queries that are better, stronger and faster Many complex queries were unsupported in previous releases. With v7.1 combinations of views, aggregates, UNION, LIMIT, cursors, subqueries, and inherited tables are enabled. Inherited tables are now accessed by default, and subqueries in FROM are now supported.
  • Other than being an advertisement for some book, it looks like he's says that companies like MS and Oracle won't be historically reknown in the long run. Maybe he's right about that (although he didn't explain his reasoning), but it doesn't follow that Oracle should do it. Sometimes when someone's name survives on the lips of people centuries later, it has just as much to do with their failure as their success.


    ---
  • Neither.

    "Oracle, n:

    2. a. A person considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions."

    From dictionary.com [dictionary.com]


    Cheers,

    Tim
  • In fact, I think there is only one way that history will give its due to Larry and Bill: These corporate giants must see the open source light, and they must blend the closed commercial world and the open intellectual world into an enlightened business solution that will last into the twenty-second century. The book and article are not about Oracle going OSS, as seen from this quote, it is about how Oracle strives to work with OSS. It is a good article and the sample first chapter tends to make me think I might pick it up when I have the time.The truth is Oracle (unlike Microsoft) has a good shot at running the money side of their business without change and still work with OSS. If they really want to do things up right, they might want to invest some heavy chunks of money into OSS which directly relates AND indirectly relates to their business. Stuff like what they have done with RedHat is only the tip of the iceburge with pockets as deep as Oracles.P.S. I agree with a previous poster, the moderators goofed in modding the initial post up so high when it is evident that the person did not read the article or the sample chapter.
  • You read it as Hemos asking about the open sourcing of oracle. I as well, do not read it as such. The analogy of the Ren. falls apart when you consider that the artists were known for their artistic skill. They were funded to produce pretty much whatever they wanted. That model does not fit coding. Even if it did, that design implies payment prior to product which would really be interesting today.Hemos can speak for himself, but I did not read his post as an invitation to discuss open sourcing oracle, especially in the light of the article and book being discussed.Besides, your language and tone in both posts are not oriented towards discussion. Sorry you are having a bad day.
  • I'm dying to see this movie.

    Hollywood are you listening?

  • Windows 2000 simply didn't take billions to write. It's about as complex as other modern OSes, multi-million dollar projects, sure, but no more.

    However, Microsoft has made billions from it (and NT 4.0 before it).

    They do this at a moderately low unit cost, why? Because once the development costs have been paid, they simply dump bits onto a $.10 disk and throw a cardboard box around it. The hologram is probably the most expensive thing in the package.

    Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and IBM have all written (and bought, etc) OSes, of varrying complexity. Microsoft's isn't better than all of those, and it didn't cost significantly less. So why did they make money? They burned a few million copies more.

    Wealth nowadays isn't necessarily from physical objects. Not to say it's not real and valid, but there is a difference between making ten physical items and making one piece of IP and running off nine copies.
  • The more I use Postgresql and Oracle the more I like the former and hate the latter. I don't use Oracle much usually, but I had cause to write some Oracle apps the other day and it took all of a couple of hours to find two major bugs in Oracle. And Oracle sure is a lot harder to use and administrate than Postgresql.

    That said, I'm sure there would exist apps where Oracle is more scalable, and Oracle probably has some 24x7 backup and support features that would be needed for some apps. But Oracle is not all its cracked up to be by any means.
  • The way i see it is the same relation as apple has with opensource. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if Oracle opensourced some parts of their software.

    There's one key thing that Oracle has over pg and mysql, it performs VERY well. Not in one particular tiny thing, like mysql and its quickness on simple lookups. In the grander sense, it performs better.

    Apple has that same thing, it does what it does REALLY well. It provides probably the easiest to use interface, and to some, the most asthetically pleasing interfaces. The hardware isnt' something to ignore either. But by opensourcing their non-key feature: a bsd operating system, which already existed before, but is customized to hell.

    Will oracle do the same, and take in some opensource code to make part of their db? Maybe not, but pulling an apple stunt, giving away its code, darwin, just brings us closer to an opensource/closed source relationship we can all tolerate, if not endorce.

    Btw, yes, darwin was originally freebsd, but a lot of work was done to make it something else, but apple has to take credit to improving on it in the ways that it did.

    ---
  • Mod parent up. Very funny.

    --
  • Agreed. I mean, the very idea that Python, Perl, PHP, and TCL of all things had anything to do with Sun's stance on Java is just ridiculous. TCL?!? Python, Perl, and PHP don't really compete in the same space as Java, but TCL is just really stretching things. Of course, they do have a book on TCL programming to sell...

    It was just an attempt to plug their books. The arguments were very weak. I mean, with all the Oracle developers out there, open sourcing their database products would just be a road to having their support sales gutted by a crop of instant competitors pushing their own erstwhile products. Oracle isn't that stupid.
  • And please don't bring up MySQL or postgreSQL (you haven't so far, and I am grateful). If you want cheap web transactions fine, but I am talking about true DB apps where you need row-level locking, rollback, transactions, etc.. all the things That the above mentioned RDBMS's have.

    PostgreSQL has all these things.

  • For most of our systems, PostgreSQL is adequate. The lack of Left and Right joins makes me want to shoot myself occaisionally,

    Time to upgrade.

  • Ok i'll buy that. If you need massive scalibility then you ought to go with oracle. But that's only 10% of the businesses in the world. For everybody else in this world postgres or interbase will do just fine and won't cost a dime. Interbase is especially attractive for the windows crowd because it's got lots of great GUI tools.
  • I agree with everything you said except for one thing. It won't take years. Great Bridge, nusphere, borland, SAP etc are already providing serious support for open source databases. Postgres has gone through two MAJOR revisions in under a year during which time it gathered an astonishing number of enterprise features including a few which oracle does not offer.
    My guess is that in two years nobody will be able to charge for databases. MS-SQL server is being squeezed from the bottom by open source and from the top by oracle and IBM. I predict that pretty soon they'll pull an IE and give theing away in order to cut the air supply of oracle. Oracle will have to drastically cut their prices or open source it just to spite MS.
  • "In an entirely unrelated point, notice that the same guy then sings the praises of Oracle for involving itself with free software, while they keep their DB entirely proprietary and shackled with the sort of licensing MS would be roundly denounced for."

    What's wrong with that. You judge companies the same way you judge people. If somebody is a decent guy and but has a bad habit (maybe he smokes) you don't go around bitching about the smoking. If another person is an evil bastard who likes to beat up on everybody then you may mention the fact that along with being an evil basted he also smokes.

    MS is an admitted enemy of open source. Oracle wants to be friends and is trying to get to know them better. Of course you would critisize people who call you communist, un american and hippies and would prefer to hang out with people who think you might be OK to go to the movies with.
  • I don't disagree with you. Of course the 10% provides more revenue. But for the 90% of the businesses in the world who have less then a few hundred employees postgres or interbase is great. In the mac world you have openbase or frontbase both of which are quite capable and cheap. For most businesses SQL server is overkill and a waste of money. they would be just fine with an open source product and they could always upgrade later on if they need to.

  • Hemos wrote:

    <i>Thanks to Simone for pointing out this article by Andy Duncan regarding Oracle and its relationship to Open Source. The article starts out with background, and the metaphor to the Italian Renaissance is a bit odd, but I do think that this is a path Oracle is looking to walk down - what do you all think? </i>
    <BR><BR>
    Now, "this" clearly refers to the article, not to anything else. So, yes, you are rude for insulting tcharron, and wrong for not reading Hemos's blurb.
  • It's 2:00am and your database is corrupt. If you go back to tape you will loose a half day of transactions. You then realize that the free database that you just bet your business on, doesn't have any real 24X7 support. Have a nice day. Hope that your free tape backup solution works just as well... Everything looks great until the sh*t hits the fan...

    Wrong: http://www.greatbridge.com/product/support.php
  • -performance

    Oh? http://apachetoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-0 8-14-008-01-PR-MR-SW

    If you need proof, you need to graduate college.

    You mean, if I don't believe your corporate propaganda, I must be ignorant? Well, I guess that's what Mark Twain meant by "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

    Hm, or maybe you're just not *allowed* to give proof, because Oracle refuses to allow companies to publish benchmarks of their software?
  • by superid ( 46543 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:18AM (#280140) Homepage
    As a reader and occasional contributer to MySQL and PostgreSQL related newsgroups and as the owner of FreeSQL.org [freesql.org] I am constantly amazed at the influx of extremely new database users. This is a good thing. Vast numbers of posts are questions about the most fundamental SQL statements and the clear misunderstanding of key concepts like joins, and normalization. I think the OSS goal overall (not just regarding Oracle) should be to help reduce the barriers of entry to database users not just potential future DBA's.

    SuperID
    Free Database Hosting [freesql.org]

  • People keep forgetting that the database is only one half of what Oracle does.

    The other half is Oracle's suite of enterprise standard software, Oracle Applications, which is a huge and unmaintainable pile of spaghetti code that runs against Oracle8. If Oracle would ever opensource the Apps, nobody would even try and download this stuff, much less compile and run it. It's just not worth the trouble.

  • He says that he's worked in Oracle, so he has some insight.... I really have to question that.

    He only worked as an external, in the UK data center - that very far removed from the real
    strategy and planning at Oracle. I worked for Oracle for 6 years, including working in their
    HQ in Redwood Shores - and I can tell you, if you're not in the HQ, then you might as well
    be working for a different company.

    Really, this is just his personal belief, with no real basis. Not that I'm saying that one day
    Oracle won't go open source, but there's no evidence for it at the moment.

    My personal observations are that Oracle has moved on from focusing solely on the rdbms side
    of things for their revenue, and they're putting more resource into building the applications side
    of the business. Back in the early 90's, Larry saying (at least internally) that the database was
    their main focus, and that their applications were only a side show. Recently, Larry has been
    publically pushing Oracle's applications, focusing more of the company on sell apps.

    So, I'd say that Oracle is making the core database less important, revenue wise, these days,
    and maybe they could open source it in the long run, but I don't seem them changing anything for
    many years to come.
  • Why the hell are you posting articles like this? As far as I can see it's just a blatent advert for their book. You've even put "not any time soon" in the intro.

    Please let us know when it is some time soon, until then, post something more interesting.
  • You could run a web-site with perl and flat files if you wanted to. I think you'll find that Oracles target market are doing things a bit more heavy-duty than just running a website. As far as I remember MySQL hasn't even got ACID capability.
  • Normally I hate these comparisons, but seriously: try a recent version of PostgreSQL (7.0 or 7.1). I work at a company with a heck of a lot of Oracle experience and was pleasantly surprised by the feature set and performance of PostgreSQL.

    It supports triggers, transactions, procedural languages and what not. And it is far easier to set up and maintain than Oracle 8.1.7 on a Linux platform.

    Of course, right tool for the job. Oracle still wins when it comes to enterprise features as clustering, data integrity and advanced security.

    But for how long?

    Don't discount open source databases because you've evaluated them a while ago. Check again, 'cause you'll be amazed at the progress being made. Which in some cases means going for the free alternative and spending some of the dough you've saved on extra hardware.

    Cya,
    bBob

    --

  • Try it with a few casts.
    GCC being strict.

    long k[]={0,178}; char*p=(char*)&k[1]; main(){while(p---(char*)k) putchar(72+((k[1]>>(p-(char*)k)*2)& 3|(!((p-(char*)k)&1)<<2) ));}

    G.

  • You mean, if I don't believe your corporate propaganda, I must be ignorant?

    That's not what he meant. I interpreted that statement as: if you need proof, stop playing with toy systems and try rolling out a large, real-world, distributed, scalable (insert as many other features as your application needs) production database, one which your business depends on otherwise you go out of business, using your favourite open source DMBS and a high-end commercial one like Oracle and see which one does the job adequately.

    Of course, you may have to wait for a hardware failure, but that's okay, it'll happen within six months or so.

  • Where is the benefit for oracle to OSS? It uses free tools to draw in casual developers, who then become Oracle DBA's. But why would they throw away years of engineering just to give it all away? That's ridiculous.

    What was the benefit to Jim Barksdale to give away Communicator? Why would he throw away years of engineering for free? Netscape was a very profitable company too.. at the beginning.

    Here's the point: it just doesn't matter what Larry Ellison wants-- it's what he'll be forced to do. Mr. Barksdale discovered that people became unwilling to pay for his browser when an equivalent or better product could be had for free (IE3+). As MySQL (and especially PostgreSQL) mature, people will begin asking the same questions of Oracle v. OSS alternatives as they already are now with Windows NT v. Linux, Solaris v. Linux, Apache v. IIS, Apache v. iPlanet, Windows NT v. Samba, Perl/PHP v. ASP, etc.

  • The Reverand writes: "Honestly, the best DB's out their are Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL and DB2. None of these are cheap, sybase being the lowest cost. Oracle is still the highest quality over all of these."

    You offer little evidence for this sweeping assertion, other than that you have got Oracle to work well at your clients. For real scalability, Oracle sucks.

    Ask any Data Warehousing specialist who's tried to implement a multi-terabyte DW with Oracle: the fields are littered with the corpses of failed attempts using Oracle, since their one-size-fits-all OLTP architecture doesn't suit DW well at all. For example, Walmart's new joint-venture e-commerce business has its IT run by non-Walmart Oracleheads, who brought in Oracle to replace Informix for the project (Walmart itself uses Informix for everything), and as a result they were offline for a month, struggling to make it work. They refused to divulge specifics to the press, but we can take a rough guess.

    Oracle trades mainly on its name and size, and buys key reference accounts like Amazon with free upfront licenses and consultancy. But it is far from being the best. It's just good enough, that's all.

    Oracle and MS are often the default choice for the timid business, as Oracle and SQL Server DBAs are easier to find than DBAs for technically better DBs: ironic, as most Oracle projects that I've seen seem to require more DBAs than an equivalent DB2 or Informix implementation would have. This therefore becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.

    So please don't confuse popularity with quality. If PostgreSQL does catch up sufficiently on scalability, and offers better value than Oracle, people will start using it in droves, just as Apache beat the once-mighty Netscape Server.
  • You *can* do multi-terabyte with Oracle, but it's not easy, and only makes sense if you're growing into that size from a long history of nice small Oracle DBs. In fact at over 800 gig is when you typically start to run into problems on Oracle. Informix IDS runs into trouble at around 500 or 600 gig. Informix Redbrick scales into multi-terabyte effortlessly, because it was designed for DW.
    So for a new project which you know will be multi-terabyte from Day 1, Oracle is not the best choice.

    Less effort + fewer DBAs = better price/perf. All businesses like to do things for best value, not just Walmart. I'm speaking of real businesses here, not pretend tech-boom startups of course...
  • Actually that's right: the big DW there uses Teradata. Teradata is another DB that's designed to scale up very high, unlike Oracle. But they use Informix Red Brick and Informix IDS for most of the other stuff, and have encountered problems when they've tried Oracle on the very big projects.
  • Oracle will never go open src. Oracle's codebase is not too impressive. Postgres can go head to toe with Oracle any day. Oracles support for high-end server hardware is primarily tied to the OS. In otherwords, it is Solaris that makes the big cluster work, not Oracle. Why is Oracle a dominant player then, and why do I recommend going with Oracle for large scale enterprizes?

    Simple. The same reason you go with Cisco.

    • 100 Oracle DBAs for every Postgres DBA
    • dozens of third party monitoring packages support Oracle
    • dozens of third party data transformer packages support Oracle.
    • dozens of failsafe spillover packages support oracle
    • dozens of anything else I forgot supports oracle.

    So why on earth would Oracle go open source and give away their software for free?

    2nd point. The article claims that Sun is moving towards Linux. I dispute this claim. Solaris is the flagship at Sun and will be for the next 5 years.

  • Why do people paint the divide between proprietary software and free software as a great chasm? For example, why do people suggest that an enterprise level product like Oracle and free software licenses are mutually inconsistent?

    Look, I'm sure it would involve a bunch of paperwork for a bunch of lawyers, but the distance between where Oracle is now, and Oracle as a free software product is really not that great. It's simple: the owner of the proprietary license changes it to a free license. That's it. Done. Now you have an enterprise level database with a free software license. Impossible? Nonsense.

    The real question is whether or not such a move would be economically viable in the long run. Especially in the case of enterprise level databases, I think it would be. This is not the kind of software you merely install on a bunch of PC's and sprinkle around the organization. The database engine itself is only the beginning. For maximum impact, it needs to be installed on specialized hardware by trained technicians. Database applications need to be developed and/or customized to fit end user requirements. Data integrity must be ensured, and it's long term viability must be maintained beyond particular product lifecycles. This is not easy work. The people who can do it are not cheap to come by.

    Can such services support multi-billion multi-national corporations? That I'm not sure about. But you don't need /billions/ to be economically viable and competitive.

    Will it happen? Who knows. Could it? No doubt.
  • Oh, I agree with you completely. Oracle currently has no incentive whatsoever to change their licensing strategy. (I just think it's dumb when people say things like "open source can never catch up to X". Come on - "open source" merely refers to a licensing strategy. E.G. - "open source will never catch up to JFS, d00dz". Oh, but then JFS gets open sourced. Doh.)

    But a service play could work for someone else, a Great Bridge, for example. While I think it's true that Oracle is a more mature, more familiar, and more trusted environment; they also have a soft white underbelly. Even if open source solutions don't match all of Oracle's achievments (yet), they are more than adequate for many tasks.

    Remember DOS? 80% of what people want for 20% of the cost. That was a winning strategy then, and I don't think things have changed much. But Microsoft had their sights aimed higher. And where was Microsoft aiming? The glass house: UNIX. And what happened? Linux. It's free.

    Fun stuff to watch, that's for sure.
  • I loved the Italian Renaissance metaphor. That was the best part of the article. I do believe that the things that are happening today in Open Source are fundementally changing the nature of our society. The old ideas of money will soon be gone, replaced with... what? No one knows yet, but it is being thrashed out in government (campaign finance reform) and business (open source). It is becoming more and more apparent to everyone that our systems are cracking and can no longer hold. It is exciting to be in the world of computing, because we are on the cutting edge of the new paradigm.
  • Oracle does need to be keeping an eye on these things, because they can change fast. Assuming that Open Source is the direction of the future, Oracle's business model will be in the "complete solutions" area. They will need to give away the DB to keep up with the rapidly evolving open DBs.
  • Your sig does not compile in gcc.

    What have I done wrong?
  • The newest release of their application server, Oracle 9i AS, is already walking down the open source path. It is quite a change from the previous version of their app server. The HTTP server is Apache with JServ for Java stuff. There is also a mod_ose for their new Java server services. It includes mod_perl and perl. It includes their reporting tools. It is definitely an interesting blend of proprietary and open source tools. Its also been very stable in our use compared to their previous offering (running on NT...havent tried the unix version).

    As to open sourcing their database that will never happen. Yes never is a long time but it's the best option out there for enterprise-level database needs. If anyone thinks the open source databases are going to catch up anytime soon they need to seek therapy ;) That isn't to say that the open source alternatives aren't good....they just aren't Oracle.

  • Postgres can go head to toe with Oracle any day.
    You must be smoking some *real* good stuff. PostgresSQL doesn't come close to Oracle in abilities (and it shouldn't .. Oracle costs a fortune for a reason). Is Postgres good for some things and Oracle overkill? Of course. But lets not say it can go head to head with Oracle. Thats completely bogus.
  • I believe MSSQL doesn't have a one process per connection model (which would bring NT/2K to its knees pretty quickly), or even a one thread per connection model. Instead it uses a thread pooling model, which is generally more efficient (on NT/2K kernel architecture).
  • I was replying to Hemos asking about the open sourcing of oracle. But since your reading comprehension is obviously at an alltime low, I guess you wouldn't understand that. Another thing, you don't need to post repeatedly about what the article is /actually/ about. I read the article. It had nothing to do with what hemos asked. I am contributing to that discussion. Otherwise you have 10 people saying, "Oh golly, they have an opensourced tool".

    That's not a discussion.

    This is.

    Got it?

    Thanks, Cunt.

  • by TheReverand ( 95620 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:28AM (#280162) Homepage
    Honestly, the best DB's out their are Oracle, Sybase, MSSQL and DB2. None of these are cheap, sybase being the lowest cost. Oracle is still the highest quality over all of these.


    And please don't bring up MySQL or postgreSQL (you haven't so far, and I am grateful). If you want cheap web transactions fine, but I am talking about true DB apps where you need row-level locking, rollback, transactions, etc.. all the things That the above mentioned RDBMS's have. I use MSSQL behind a server that gets about half a million hits a day, and it is fine. Granted the machines are dual proc powerhouses, but it runs great. I have Oracle at my clients who have several thousand employees accessing financials. Nothing else could be as solid and run this.


    I say this because we /tried/. We spent the money trying to eliminate Oracle's licensing fees. We brought in pros. Noone else could pull it off with any degree of stability.


    Anyway, you know what I'm sayin. Right tool for the right job in the end.

  • by TheReverand ( 95620 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @06:54AM (#280163) Homepage
    Where is the benefit for oracle to OSS? It uses free tools to draw in casual developers, who then become Oracle DBA's. But why would they throw away years of engineering just to give it all away? That's ridiculous. Oracleis one of the most profitable companies in the world. That won't change. Just because a bunch of teenagers don't think it is worth the money, doesn't mean that the people with the money to spend on it agree. There is a reason Oracle can charge per/cpu licensing. It ain't because it sucks kids.
  • It sounds like you want to argue, not discuss.

    Why dont you try and be constructive, no need to resort to name calling just because someone didnt agree with your initial post.

    Maybe your a new breed of troll
  • I am just trying to picture Linus in the Gladiator...
  • Whenever the subject of open source databases comes up, everyone talks about the usual suspects:

    • MySQL
    • Postgresql
    • Occasionally, Interbase gets a mention.

    No-one ever seems to mention SAP DB [sap.com]. I'm no database expert, and I would really like to hear what people think of it. How does it compare to MySQL, Postgresql and Interbase on features?

  • I make my living promoting Open Source tools. For most of our systems, PostgreSQL is adequate. The lack of Left and Right joins makes me want to shoot myself occaisionally, and we are limited in our ability to scale, but the product works, and works well.

    We can even support our tools on MySQL, but we'd have to make a lot of changes because we have database appications, and we'd have to change them to MySQL applications because MySQL isn't really a database, it's a storage format that is retrievable via SQL.

    However, Oracle kicks the shit out of these low-end toys.

    Hands down, they are number 1, by far.

    Open Source databases are not ANYWHERE close to catching up. MySQL is a simple database whose entire reason for existance is powering websites. If you are a programmer, NOT a database designer, and you think that a database will help you store your data better than files and AWK, you use MySQL.

    PostgreSQL is at least a properly designed system, but it is limited.

    However, despite NEITHER database approaching Oracle, we have decided that Open Source will overtake them?

    This is arragance beyond belief.

    I don't get it, what Open Source product has been SO successful that it dominates everything?

    The closest is Apache, but while it is on a lot of servers, it isn't as well represented in the top traffic sites. Apache is the closest to leading its field of any package.

    Linux? Not a shot in hell. Linux doesn't lead in ANY market. Desktop, Microsoft Owns that. Unix Server market: owned by Sun. Unix Workstation Market: MAYBE won by Linux, but Apple OS X is likely to own that by the end of the year.

    Let's be real people. Open Source Products right now are getting better. Whenever they reach your "good enough" level, then you can use them. I need certain features, PostgreSQL provides them. As much as I acknowledge that Oracle is better, PostgreSQL meets my needs and is cheaper.

    However, to suggest that Open Source will win and dominate everything is kind of silly. This Manifest Destiny, that we will in the long run own the world is kind of silly. It seems that the areas Open Source has "won" have been small servers/daemons (sendmail, bind, etc.) where the open source version does the trick, the needs are limited, and therefore there is limited value added options.

    However, let us understand where open source packages are good and where they need work. The big-three software titans will be remembered as the Carnegies, Rockafellers, etc., of the early computer era. However, to be deifying Linus this early is kind of silly, don't you think?

    Alex
  • Trying to stick with the stable releases. But yes, the improvements have been there, but I don't want to go and find all the SQL that needs improvement.

    Alex
  • We may actually be running 7.1, I code, not sysadmin. Lots of our code was written before that upgrade. Thanks for the tips, but lots of people have told me.

    Alex
  • Well, let me tell you... you don't want to see the code. Do you remember Mozilla? They wrote it again from scratch because everyone refused to go on from the point netscape code was in.

    Most of comercial products are in this stage and the companies will think twice before releasing the code just to be exploited and thrown out. The only one who would benefit at this point are competitors.

    We are following the open source movement kind of closely at Oracle and I am sure that if there would be a way how to gain any profit by open sourcing any of the great bunch of products, Oracle would do it immediatelly.

    Of course any opinions expressed here are just mine and mostly likely different from these of Larry Ellison or anyone else in the company :)

  • by aralin ( 107264 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:55AM (#280171)
    I have read the article and I think its too early to talk about this. Even PostgreSQL which is now slightly ahead of MySQL in heading to the market where Oracle actually operates... (MySQL is going to completely different market!) ... is far from what Oracle offers.

    But databases are NOT the point. Oracle is offering complete solutions. Its not just the database, its complete application server, soon also development environment, its CRM and ERP and everything tightly integrated and cooperating. As far as I would like to, I don't see open source products even started on this line.

    For some parts of what Oracle offers you have open source alternatives, though still few years behind in the development, but there are whole parts of Oracle solutions where there are no alternatives in Open source whatsoever.

    And I will tell you when will be the right time for Oracle to start to worry about opensourcing its database. At the point when first bank of the world top10 will adopt ANY open source database. Not sooner, but not even later.

    Of course any opinions expressed here are just mine and mostly likely different from these of Larry Ellison or anyone else in the company :)

  • I can't believe I am just about to platform bash, but:-

    Please don't rule out Sybase for large systems. I work for a large investment bank, and we use both Sybase and Oracle heavily. (As you would imagine a bank might.. :) )

    Whilst Oracle does have the edge for indexing extremely large DSS systems (bitmap indexing..) Sybase is more than capable of holding its own - even for tables >20Gb in size with rowcounts in the tens of millions. People tend to forget just how much cheaper than Oracle Sybase is - IMHO it offers much more bang for buck...

    If only its technical support in the UK did not suck rocks most of the time... :-)

    Ah well, Rant over.
  • You'll find the cost of oracle to be worth it. With the reduction in effort and time you'll spend in performance, recovery, and uptime, you'll find that when you end up with tables with a couple million rows that oracle is worth the cost. If you have less than a million rows, chances are mysql or sybase will fit the bill.

    chug chug [nethole.com]

  • Downloaded copy of Oracle: $0 Downloaded copy of Linux: $0 Downloaded copy of Apache: $0 99.9% uptime on a production data driven web site: Priceless

  • by Nohea ( 142708 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @06:54AM (#280179)
    I think this is known as a strategic partnership. It is in Oracle's interest to run it's software on a large number of platforms, and also to run on free operating systems. That way, corps can cut some costs on paying for Oracle and solaris/windows. More money goes to Oracle, or a larger percentage of the price of deployment. In effect, the database layer becomes the important platform, not the OS.

    However, i'm sure they want to keep charging a premium for their proprietary database and app server software, as long as they can.

    Plus, it's a bonus for Ellison to stick it to Gates. It makes sense though, as long as Oracle stays significantly better than the open source alternatives.
  • You mean like this? [joyoftech.com]

    John

  • Open Source being what it is, I'd say that "one day" is not just likely but inevitable. Someone out there is rich enough or crazy enough to be able to do the work necessary.

    Whether it will happen anytime soon is anyone's guess, but if there's demand it will be done.

    /Brian
  • Wow. Never been called a troll before.

    Look, to the idiot who modded me down: I'm one of you Open Source Zealots (tm). I simply have enough guts to admit when what I support isn't doing the job. And I still wouldn't be trying to run Linux on a single high-load server.

    (I'm also a hardcore Mac junkie, and there's no way in hell I'd be running a database server off a pre-X MacOS either. LinuxPPC? Sure. X? Hell yeah. But there are things the Classic Mac simply doesn't do well (apart from network security).)

    /Brian
  • Hey, stranger things have happened. I've heard tell of a man who was lucky enough to have a Cray for his personal system...

    And in any case, if a company needs it and can't get it, they'd hire someone to write it anyway.

    /Brian
  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @06:54AM (#280184) Homepage
    FIRST POST!!!1!!

    Okay, now that I got that out of the way (and I probably won't be when I actually get this posted...)

    I think Oracle probably holds the same place in the database world as Sun does in the server world. Open Source is a great thing, but it hasn't quite evolved to the enterprise-level capability that's needed. If I was doing anything involving heavy processing, you'd better believe I'd be running a Linux (or BSD or Darwin) farm to do the work. But if I needed something that was going to handle anything and everything I could throw at it, Solaris would still be my first choice (and you can get source anyway, even if the licensing is ludicrous).

    Oracle's future is in positioning themselves as the Solaris of databases; when MySQL and PostgreSQL finally do catch up, they should be preparing themselves to go down the same route as IBM, opening up to the Open Source community while providing a rock-solid support network for their users. If Larry Ellison wants to prove to the world that he's not quite as much of a nutjob as everyone thinks he is, this is the sort of idea that should be on his roadmap.

    /Brian
  • A quick scan of chapter one seems to learn that Oracle itself doesn't do anything Open Source, except supplying Oratcl, a scripting tool.. So it's all about what *other* people do concerning open source and Oracle compared to what Oracle itself is doing in Open source. The last part can be easily answered: not a lot, except the already mentioned Oratcl and porting Oracle 8i to Linux (but not free and open source I presume).

  • SELECT * FROM Father
    INNER JOIN Holy_Ghost ON Father.Holy_GhostID = Holy_Ghost.ID INNER JOIN Son ON Father.SonID = Son.ID
    WHERE Divine_Revelation = True AND Gods_Other_Than_Me = False AND Teaching_Untainted_By_Quick_Buck_Evangelist > 0


    Oracle: (0 rows returned)

  • by rfreynol ( 169522 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @06:54AM (#280192)
    Oracle has too many advantages over its competitors to open the source code. If Andy Duncan thinks that MySQL is going to be competitive in a few years, he is smoking some good stuff. Does anyone really thing that one day MySQL is going to support parallel servers on a multi-domain Sun E10k? This guy's only crediability is that he was a contract DBA at Oracle's EMEA data center - he sure is in the know. :)
  • Whatever they say, you should be suspicious of them. For one thing, they will go after you if you try to publish a benchmark comparing Oracle to say PostgreSQL:

    http://jamesthornton.com/acs/benchmarks-ora817-pg7 03.html [jamesthornton.com]

    So much for "openness", although if you look hard enough you and draw your own conclusion about the name of a "leading proprietary database application" is you can see PostgreSQL can perform impressively:

    http://www.angelfire.com/nv/aldev/pgsql/GreatBridg e.html [angelfire.com]

    And they are known for dirty marketing tricks, where once they lock you in they jack up the price:

    http://pub13.ezboard.com/fiwetheydatabases.showMes sage?topicID=76.topic&index=1 [ezboard.com]

  • What was the benefit to Jim Barksdale to give away Communicator? Why would he throw away years of engineering for free? Netscape was a very profitable company too.. at the beginning.
    Netscape was never making much money off of Communicator (free for personal and academic use). Oracle OTOH had revenues of $10B last year, mostly from the DB product.
    Here's the point: it just doesn't matter what Larry Ellison wants-- it's what he'll be forced to do. Mr. Barksdale discovered that people became unwilling to pay for his browser when an equivalent or better product could be had for free (IE3+).
    There is a vast difference between the two cases. Firstly when IE really started to take market share (after 4.0 was released) it was arguably a better product. Anyone who thinks any of the free DBMS systems are competitive with Oracle are on crack. Performance might be similar in some situations, but for scalability, features, or support they're not even in the same ballpark. Which brings me to my second point which is that more than half Oracle's revenue is services. That means that one of the biggest reasons people go to Oracle is because they want support. That didn't apply in browser wars. MySQL and PostgreSQL don't just have to be better products, they also need a comparable level of support.

    I'm not saying MySQL or PostgreSQL won't every be competitive with Oracle. I'm saying that they won't be for a long time yet. Even when they do become competitive it's doubtful whether Oracle would gain anything by opening their code.

  • by update() ( 217397 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:27AM (#280203) Homepage
    They had apparently found a cast-iron method of printing their own money--blasting a single, relatively inexpensive set of binary bits onto millions of very cheap CDs, charging hundreds of dollars per disk to go with each PC, or thousands of dollars per license for each database server, and jealously wrapping the entire thing in a fierce set of intellectual property rights.

    This is a nice illustration of what I find so unappealing about the "Free everything!" crowd. There is an utter contempt for the skill, talent, labor and risk that go into creating the goods they want to redistribute. In this case, it's the idea that creating software is simply "blasting bits" onto media. In other contexts, it's a similar attitude towards the creation of music, pharmaceuticals, inventions, brand names, literature... The only professions worthy of respect are sysadmin, Linux advocate or seller of T-shirts and stuffed monkeys. I'm no Libertarian but people like this make me want to beat them over the head with a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

    In an entirely unrelated point, notice that the same guy then sings the praises of Oracle for involving itself with free software, while they keep their DB entirely proprietary and shackled with the sort of licensing MS would be roundly denounced for.

    Oracle has the same privilige games have on the desktop; they're cut total immunity from Open Source advocacy, probably because they're simply too important to the advocates to forgo. In fact, both Taco and Hemos seem to believe [slashdot.org] that as long as their their Windows partitions are only used for games, they don't really exist the rest of the time.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • by gentlewizard ( 300741 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @08:10AM (#280208)
    Oracle is making a major push into its applications, transferring them to the Net as ASP services in an attempt to beat .Net to the punch. (See this link [oracle.com] for background info.) If Oracle is successful, I can see them reaching the point at which they could consider the RDBMS a candidate for open source.

    This is particularly likely if they decide to re-engineer the product's kernel to be more object-oriented. Oracle's attempts at adding object features to its database started at 7.3 with user defined data types, got a huge boost at version 8.0 with user-defined object types, and another kick forward in 8i (8.1) with the internal Java engine. But it's all just grafted onto a relational kernel that hasn't changed significantly since version 7. (The rumor is that Oracle's developers are afraid to touch it for fear of breaking something, so all new features are bolted on using PL/SQL packages.)

    So, let's say they rewrite the kernel from the ground up and give it a new name. It becomes the flagship product, and that clears the way for Oracle to release the older source code to whomever wants it. They'd be making most of their money on subscriptions to their online apps anyway.

  • by Hilary Rosen ( 415151 ) on Thursday April 19, 2001 @07:30AM (#280221) Homepage Journal
    Simply:

    1) mod up the five slashdotters on the list below.

    2) reply to the article (not this post).

    3) copy this post into your new post.

    4) Remove the top karma whore

    5) add a link to your /. homepage to the bottom of the list.

    6) post!

    7) Paste the URL of your post into your .sig.

    Within days you will receive at least 50 karma points.

    People to mod up

    --

When a Banker jumps out of a window, jump after him--that's where the money is. -- Robespierre

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