Friday, May 16, 2008

Not Going Closed Source?

MySQL is one of the most popular databases in use today, a popularity that has been driven by the open source community. Some in the community, however, are taking issue with exactly how open MySQL actually is as fears about the future of the open source database grow.
At stake and at issue are the $1 billion dollars Sun has invested in MySQL. As community members question Sun's intentions, MySQL defends its turf.

This week Sun's MySQL division preannounced the release of MySQL 5.1, which is expected to be available in June. The actual release is months behind schedule and follows the last major MySQL release, MySQL 5.0, by two and half years.
MySQL also announced some new features for MySQL 6, currently in Alpha development.

MySQL Backs Off Closed Source Plan

MySQL has backed off a plan to charge for some encryption and compression backup widgetry in the next version of the database – and, heavens, NOT OPEN SOURCE THE STUFF, an idea it trotted a few weeks ago and predictably caught hell for.
Sun, which bought MySQL for a billion dollars, a good reason to try to make some of the money back, took the rap.
MySQL’s community relations VP Kaj Arno says on a blog that the features will be open sourced after all, admitting “a change in direction” and absolving Sun of complicity in the, um, miscalculation. Sun gets enough bad press.

“The change,” he writes, “comes from MySQL now being part of Sun Microsoft. Our initial plans were made for a company considering an IPO, but made less sense in the context of Sun, a large company with a whole family of complementary open source software and hardware.”
That is not to say, MySQL won’t try again. Arno says “To financially support MySQL’s free and open source platform, we have a business model which allows both community and commercial add-ons, and we remain committed to it….expect Sun/MySQL to continue experimenting with the business model, and with what’s offered for the community and what’s offered commercial-only.”

MySQL backtracks on closed-source plan

"MySQL Server is and will always remain fully functional and open source," said Kaj Arno, MySQL's vice president of community relations, in a statement released on his website on Tuesday. "So will the MySQL Connectors, and so will the main storage engines we ship."
In effect, MySQL has changed its plans for forthcoming encryption and compression backup features that it had planned to ship under a proprietary licence, and will now release the features with open-source licences, Arno said. He also confirmed that pending backup functionality in MySQL 6.0 and the MyISAM driver for MySQL Backup will be open source.
The announcement is a step back from plans announced last month by Marten Mickos, former chief executive of MySQL and now a Sun vice president.

MySQL in a Nutshell, Second Edition--New from O’Reilly: Updated Reference Keeps Pace with MySQL’s Growth and Changes

Sebastopol, CA�MySQL has held steady as one of the great open source success stories, and there is no indication that this will change in the foreseeable future, in spite of its recent acquisition. "Although MySQL AB has recently been purchased by Sun Microsystems, the software and the organization has remained intact" reports author Russell J. T. Dyer. "The software will only get better now that the company has the money to expand its software engineering department. More importantly, the software will be broadly adopted by larger companies now that it has the backing of a multi-billion dollar company like Sun. Sun can assure large companies, institutions, and governments that MySQL is here to stay and that it’s fully supported"

MySQL aficionados confirm that this is indeed the case, making the new second edition of Dyer’s book, MySQL in a Nutshell (O’Reilly, US $34.99) even more timely. "There have been several changes to MySQL since the first edition: in particular the stabilization of version 5.1 of MySQL" says Dyer. "I wanted to expand the book to include the changes and improvements to MySQL. This new edition includes the many new features such as stored procedures, stored functions, triggers, and views