Sun isn't just that small RDBMS ...
The discussion surrounding Mysql is somewhat depressing. At the moment it’s a major road block on the way to the merger of Sun and Oracle. When you read all this stuff in the public discussion, you could come to the conclusion that Sun is just consisting out of Mysql. In my opinion it doesn’t deserve this role.
Damned , Mysql is just a single database in a large heap of other open source database in the SQL and noSQL world: Ingres, Postgres, MaxDB (albeit not open source), Firebird, SQLite, Drizzle, Apache Derby, Openlink Virtuoso. Or CouchDB, HBase, Hypertable, SimpleDB, MongoDB,redis, Riak from the NoSQL fraction. Just to name a few. Of course Mysql the most prominent open source database at the moment. But it isn’t that way, that even when Oracle stop the development of Mysql there wouldn’t at least two alternatives to step in. And i’m pretty sure, that further development of Mysql would take place: I think Larrysoft is pretty aware that Oracle and Mysql are headed into two pretty different markets. Oracle as the highend RDBMS, and Mysql for smaller datasets that have to be accessed really fast (web server for example). Given the existence of Drizzle i would even assume, that not everybody was lucky with trying integrate more and more enterprise features watering down the real advantages of Mysql. It’s great for web databases, for smaller databases, as it gives you an SQL-like interface to a datastore, but it doesn’t have the potential to be a high-end RDBMS competitor. For that part i would bet my money on Postgres. When you want an Oracle/DB2/MSSQL competitor you should start there. But some people didn’t got that, when Sun purchased Mysql given the fact that we already offered Postgres support. You can do that, because they address two different markets. I tend to think that in enterprise world, Mysql is more a competitor to Access than to MS SQL. But that’s just my personal opinion. You can get rid of all this Access databases floating around in a company (it’s amazing how common such databases are below the radar of IT, they just get aware of them, when something has fscked up those data stores) with Mysql. Mysql is a good way to professionalize those DB. But you never put your SAP on it. When you look from the web app perspective: There must be really really good reasons to use Oracle as a database for my LAMP stack. On the other hand i would have almost no problems to make a LAPP, LA(sqlite)P or LAFP stack out of my blogs given that I’ve used a reasonably modular application that allows me to exchange the database beneath my web app, any database would do the job. Given that Oracle hadn’t really something interesting in the low-end web database market, the incentive to further support the development of Mysql is pretty large. And you should think of the following: Would Oracle tolerate the burned money for the delayed acquisition, when they just want to bury Mysql after the acquisition? It would be cheaper just to drop Mysql. Furthermore i don’t understand that people have problems that Oracle may earn a dollar or two. They hadn’t problems with it when Mysql was purchased by Sun and you should consider that Mysql AB was company meant to make money, it wasn’t an altruistic foundation. When the people are so afraid of Mysql in Oracles hand, just fork it, it’s available via GPL. Everyone saying that isn’t feasible just says, that some of the dogmatic foundations of “Open Source” is unrealistic: Anyone can develop for it, anyone knowledgeable enough can deliver support it, anyone can make a business out of it, as long he or she obeys the rules. As a side note: I find it really strange that RMS (whose unrealisitic dogmatism starts to outweighs his undeniable merits for free software … but that’s just my humble opinion. Perhaps he just wants to have a major open source project at GPLv3 after it doesn’t look like Linux (as the other posterboy opensource project) goes the way of V3) et al. state in a open letter:
Given that forking of the MySQL code base will be particularly dependent on FLOSS community contributions - more so than on in-company development - the lack of a more flexible license for MySQL will present considerable barriers to a new forked development path for MySQL.
I really don’t know if they wanted to state, that community open source doesn’t lead to competitive products and just the involvement of companies lead to usable products. Apropos forking: Some people think that an Oracle owned mysql would lead to forking and thus to an fragmented Mysql. Maybe that’s true, but Mysql has already some forks: The mentioned Drizzle. MariaDB from Monty Widenius that started February 2009 … before the Oracle/Sun merger announcement. Then there is the the Percona Patchset. Or Infobright and Kickfire analytical databases, that are based on Mysql. As you see, there is a flourishing development outside of Sun with the current licensing. However: I assume there are larger interests behind this recent open-letter barrage. Mysql is just a weapon in this battle. It’s just about money. It’s just that some people found a nice way to delay the creation of a combined company, that could compete with IBM or the post-EDS-merger HP, and thus they prevent competition while telling the public something else. But somehow i’m not really sure that these writers of Open Letters are aware of the fact, that open source isn’t the issue here and that they are used for other peoples objectives.