Miguel de Icaza has a long post on Oracle’s patent lawsuit against Google that’s very much worth reading. He theorizes that the opportunity to sue Google (and potentially Android handset makers) was one of the reasons that Oracle acquired Sun in the first place. If that’s the case, I don’t see this going away without a lot of money changing hands.
The bottom line: As both a community member of MySQL, and a service provider, I am not worried about Oracle buying Sun and acquiring MySQL in the process. There is no validity to the argument that Oracle will slow down or stop MySQL development — it is not possible, with various forks already in heavy development, and it is not probable, because Oracle has owned the InnoDB codebase for 4 years and has not slowed that development down.
Pythian DBA Sheeri Cabral in A MySQL Community Member Opinion of Oracle Buying Sun. An interesting view from the front lines.
You can just ignore my post from yesterday and read Stephen O’Grady’s late innings Q&A on the Oracle/Sun deal to catch up.
Oracle and content farming don’t have anything to do with one another (or do they), but they do seem to be topics that are dominating the news in my little corner of the world today.
The last obstacle to Oracle’s takeover of Sun (and MySQL, its subsidiary) is the European Commission, which is investigating the antitrust implications of the merger. Last week, hearings started. Everyone sees this as their last chance to make themselves heard on the topic, and the stakes are high.
MySQL creator Monty Widenius has posted an impassioned plea for people to contact the EC opposing the deal for fear that Oracle will find crippling or killing MySQL to be more lucrative than supporting it robustly. He also says that Oracle has asked its customers to contact the EC and demand that the deal go through, so he’s asking MySQL users to contact the EC on behalf of an independent MySQL. For more, see Paul McCullagh and Jeremy Zawodny. Oracle has also posted its list of guarantees to reassure the MySQL community.
I think that the Oracle-Sun deal will go through and that MySQL will fall into the hands of Oracle, and I’m worried about the future of the product. Ultimately, though, I think that MySQL has gotten too big and pervasive for Oracle to be able to kill it off.
Today everybody’s talking about content farming. Tim Bray talks about search engines losing their grip, and Scott Rosenberg argues against describing SEO-driven content as fast food. Jacob’s comment on my previous post is definitely worth reading as well. Oh, and Chris Dixon makes the point that the subjects that are most heavily gamed also happen to be those that get the least attention on human networks.
Now I’m all caught up.
MySQL is near and dear to my heart — I use it for just about every project I work on. And like many people, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun leads me to worry about MySQL’s future. However, I’m not sure that the new MySQL fork from Percona and Monty Program Ab will lead us to the promised land.
What scares me most is that the new database will not support InnoDB. That makes sense, because InnoDB was already an Oracle property even before the Sun acquisition, but moving away from it will be scary for many users. Time to figure out whether Primebase XT is ready for prime time, I suppose.
Update (May 20): MariaDB will support InnoDB. See the comments.