Please don’t save MySQL


A petition was started to “save MySQL” from becoming property of Oracle. This of course only concerns the commerical side, which used to be called “MySQL AB” until its found sold it to Sun a few years ago.

The URL is: http://helpmysql.org/en/petition

I’m SO not signing this.

A few reasons from the petition text:

“MySQL must be divested to a suitable third party that can continue to develop it under the GPL.”
I remember hearing that GPL software would either fork or fail.
Thinking of quite many GPLed software pieces that never saw substantial development from outside the original vendor (i.e. evms, sgi cluster, xfs)

“Oracle must commit to a linking exception for applications that use MySQL with the client libraries (for all programming languages), for plugins and libmysqld. MySQL itself remains licensed under the GPL.”

Ohhhhhh isn’t that against GPLv3 and isn’t that one of the mostly stated things the GPL folks hate, even though most users  / vendors had asked for it?

For a more theoretical discussion against GPL-Dual-licensing see Monty’s Page here: http://helpmysql.org/en/theissue/gplisnottheanswer

Personally, I loved this – GPL users fighting a case over how GPL is not the answer.

He says that Oracle customers wouldn’t be able to threaten Oacle with using MySQL any more. Well bad luck, needa play fair? And he seems to think that Oracle will just drop or not develop MySQL any further.

He writes that no single vendor has ever cannibalized their sales by overing a cheaper alternative.

The thing is :

  • Oracle is big enough to not do that, they can afford having two (actually more) offers of the same thing.
  • Oracle offers Oracle XE for free.
  • Oracle has quite a few successful OSS projects which are constantly being developed and not just dumped into GPL and forgotten like IBM tends to do it.
  • TimesTen was sucked up by Oracle some years ago and is still being advanced and – i think – has benefitted a lot by the stronger backing and by the ‘standard’ Oracle offers like dev licenses.
  • Teradata was sucked up by Oracle some years ago and is still being advanced and will grow much a heavier player in the market with the Sun SSD storage.
  • (commercial) Berkeley DB was sucked up by Oracle some years ago and is still being advanced. I don’t know if it’s still used at google, but it used to be and I would highly doubt that Oracle was unwilling to offer support renewal to Google.
  • Oracle has proven quite keen on doing new, better stuff (pNFS, and the direct block access protocol filers used to have 5 years ago – whatever it used to be called).

I think somewhere on this site he even wrote that Oracle wouldn’t innovate (not just with respect to MySQL), which is kinda funny – let me ask for _one_ feature in MySQL that is not just copied from commercial databases, but was really invented and developed on the GPL(!) side of MySQL.

From my impression Monty is just a bit too single-minded to see any positive options for MySQL at Oracle even though they exist. Besides, he SOLD it out and while I see that he’s sad for his mindchild it’s still not OK to make a fuzz now. But I really love all the anti-GPL points.

Lastly, i never liked MySQL over Postgresql anyway.

I will be all happier if many not knowledgeable MySQL people stop spreading constant FUD towards every “different” system while doing their DB backups using wget on phpmysqladmin.

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