ramblings on PHP, SQL, the web, politics, ultimate frisbee and what else is on in my life

So now it happened ..

While writing my thesis paper on open source in the database market I of course quoted Martin, MySQL AB's (ex-)CEO, with replying to Oracle acquisition attempts that MySQL AB "will be part of a larger company, but it will be called MySQL,". Well things did not turn out that way, was instead of an IPO to lay the foundations of this large organization, MySQL AB was instead bought up by SUN. I have mixed feelings about this, but there is definitely one good thing now: People will now no longer have to be confused about MySQL vs. MySQL AB (I always hate company names where the main product has the same name .. do you hear me Oracle?).

So my main source of concern is that SUN is not exactly a company I associate to scripting languages. Since I believe that scripting languages are the tool to use to solve the "web problem", I have to hope that in fact the MySQL ABers are right in saying that SUN bought MySQL to get into LAMP and not only get another database. Hopefully we will be seeing more presence from SUN folks (not only ex-MySQLers) at scripting conferences (I have not yet proposed anything, but I might just drop by for a day in Karlsruhe) and mailing lists.

Another source of concern are the pains we are having with dealing with other Fortune 500 companies when it comes to collaboration on the development of PHP itself. Among the companies involved with the development of PDO2, MySQL AB was the first to make it clear that they are not trying to push a CLA onto the PHP community. How will things look now? BTW: We were promised an explanation of the CLA that is to be applied to PDO2 "soon", but to this date nothing has been "revealed".

Another area where I am unsure, but somewhat hopeful, is that of other areas of community relations. Its no secret that MySQL AB has been testing the limits of community relations in order to turn more users into customers. It all started with the client library change. This turned into a fairly big fiasco, something they have solved with a band aid (aka FLOSS exception) and now with a more solid solution (aka mysqlnd). The next step was the separation into the community and enterprise editions. Something that can also be called a failure. I never quite got how turning their successful model of leveraging the community has a test bed for their paying customers up side down could be spun as a good idea. Aside from annoying the community, I think they created a world of pain for their overworked QA department (growing code bases and multi threading are a tricky business). Closing the MySQL Administrator in favor of a keeping partially open MySQL Workbench was another step, though I am hesitant to mention it in relation to the two other items in this paragraph, since the impact is much smaller of course. Especially since the product of choice for MySQL administration remains phpMyAdmin anyways.

Now with MySQL being part of SUN and alot of SUN shops already making use of MySQL, while paying top dollar for premium SUN support for other pieces in their server rooms, there might be enough opportunities out there again, that instead of shaving of pieces of the community in order to convert them to customers, they can focus on these opportunities. Here is hoping. Then again they need to squeeze out 1 billion USD out of the market to make the deal worthwhile. That being said, in the grand scheme of things I am equally optimistic as 1 on this entire thing. And if all goes bad .. I might at least have a blog post to point to that detailed the potential problems that turned true. Anyways, like the topic says, it was clear that something was going to happen/change sooner or later. No reason to be in shock now that something did happen.

Oh one final thing. A bunch of people have commented on the fact that SUN in the recent days has been throwing more and more weight behind PostgreSQL, which leaves people wondering what will happen now that they have gobbled up MySQL. I think nothing much will change at all. PostgreSQL is the kind of thing that can go head to head with Oracle, MySQL can't. MySQL solves other kinds of problems, where I would also not necessarily use PostgreSQL. Also even if SUN's stance towards PostgreSQL would change, its not like they have been pivotal to the development of PostgreSQL. Ever since the Great Plains bust, the community has become much smarter in not having too many core guys be reliant on a single money source.


Re: So now it happened ..

One day this beautiful world will die for a commercial reason..
I only can hope that I won't be here then..


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