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back to article Monty launches frantic 'save MySQL' web campaign

In a desperate last gasp bid to stop Oracle buying Sun Microsystems and its precious MySQL kit and kaboodle, the database's co-creator - Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius - has launched a campaign to "help keep the internet free." As we reported earlier this month, the European Commission welcomed a series of promises made by Oracle …

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Heart

By the line way

The byline had me giggling for a full minute: "Tens of supporters sign 'anti-Oracle' petition so far".

I am in love with this writer/commentator and want to have his/her babies

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Not too shabby

with 100+ signups in 24 hours, considering most people are on holiday.

Those that base their career/income on MySQL really ought to read the two "Fox in the Henhouse" and "GPL is not the answer" articles - ought to be an eye-opener for those that think Oracle won't make a difference to MySQLs future. At least they'll then have made an educated decision whether to sign or not.

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Welcome

Really?

MySQL cannot compete with Oracle on a truly huge enterprise-class project. When it comes to bigger projects, most enterprises stick to Oracle and DB2. Other databases don't easily scale to the same degree while maintaining performance. (Re-read that before flaming.) IMHO, Sybase, SQL Server, and MySQL are better suited for small- to mid-size enterprises and projects, no matter what marketecture is fed to your manager at the 19th hole by the sales 'droids. You've got to use the right tool for the job. Don't get me wrong -- I've been able to do some cool stuff with MySQL over the years, but there always have been/will be projects where the big toys really do same time and money.

As pointed out in other posts here, most folks aren't drinking Monty's sour grape flavored Kool-Aid.

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Yes, really

I'm not sure I see where we're disagreeing. I'm not saying that Oracle is not the best choice in some situations. What I do think is that Oracle is not necessarily the right choice in *most* situations. And by "most", I mean "number of installations", not "size of application/number of users/scalability".

MySQL has taken a lot of business away from Oracle in areas where Oracle didn't deserve to be in the first place. With MySQL, those that need a car can buy a car. With Oracle, those same people would get a big truck. Now that Oracle is buying MySQL, those customers that are on the fence of having small databases but needing professional services will be pushed into buying the truck, when what they really needed was the car. How is that good for anyone?

Whatever you think of Monty, there's good reason legislators are worried about the creation of a monopoly in this area.

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Is this not a tacit admission...

that "open source" is not the be all and end all that some people make it out to be? If open source is so good, why can a fork not be made and development carry on there?

Don't get me wrong. I use a lot of open source software, and most of the time it is good. I know I am using the labours of other people and paying them nowt. What I don't get, and never have done, is people like Richard Stallman and his intolerance. MySQL is available under Stallman's beloved GNU licence. Stallman keeps telling us GNU is like the word of God. So what is the problem?

Now we have Monty, the man who walked away from MySQL (or Sun, at least), telling us his baby cannot be sold to the big bad wolf called Oracle. Even though he doesn't own this product, he doesn't want somebody else to own it either.

Why doesn't Monty simple work on a fork, proclaim to the world "MontySQL is based on an old release of MySQL", and move on?

Or is the truth that a lot of "heavy" open source programming only happens when a fairly large company is involved? Would Linux be where it is without RedHat taking a gamble that paid off? If RedHat walked away today, I guess Linux would shrink. Being put together by volunteers, no matter how well, would not result in it being certified by certain application vendors (including Oracle). If IBM didn't spend a reputed $1b, where would Linux be? I am not saying that the work of volunteers is worthless - far from it. But without commercial backing it's a different story. Stallman knows it, so does Monty W.

Religious arguments aside for two seconds, FreeBSD and Linux are both good OSs. Why would some netbook vendors (and mobile phone makers) choose Linux rather than FreeBSD? Cos Linux has the backing and FreeBSD doesn't. It has that nice cosy feeling that if IBM supports it, it can't be that bad.

I use MySQL, and have done for years. I don't want to see it disappear.

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Monty did fork MySQL - but the name's still important

"Why doesn't Monty simple work on a fork, proclaim to the world "MontySQL is based on an old release of MySQL", and move on?"

He did that already, the product is called MariaDB. The point that Monty tries to get across is that the *name* MySQL is extremely important.

If Oracle makes a conscious effort to stop or even cripple "MySQL" in preference of their cash cow product, the mindshare that the product has gained will come apart. "MySQL" will become known as "the crippled product" and Oracle's sales folks will push people onto their other products.

Oracle has so far denied making any statement as to how they will support MySQL in the future, and much more importantly, only given vague promises as to the licensing under which MySQL will continue.

As I've written somewhere else: read the two articles on the helpmysql site. They are very enlightening.

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But...

Since MySQL is Open Source, it should make no real difference. Especially since it has already been forked. The only possible danger is people not wanting to shift away at the moment, and the fork getting far enough removed from MySQL-ORA that it is no longer trivial to shift to MySQL-Fork (can't remember that project's name). Its when that happens that Oracle can start to shaft the MySQL users.

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Anonymous Coward

"Of the answers 0.7 per cent says 'I trust Oracle'"

So, people who visit the SaveMySQL blog don't trust Oracle? Next thing you're going to be telling me that people who decide it's worth switching car insurance companies save money when they do so! Good lord!

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

He's on crack

The GPL protects MySQL from inactivity; if Oracle did let MySQL fester in any way, it would be forked and stolen from them. Eben Moglen, who created version 3 of the GPL to meet the legal requirements of the current age rebuts Monty's squealing most effectively

http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/cases/oracle-sun/ec-hearing-and-after.html?seemore=y

The new fork obviously would not have the MySQL brand and trademarks, but that hasn't stopped forks of Firefox for Debian (Iceweasel) or Joomla! being a highly successful fork of Mambo when that project went in a direction that most developers didn't want. Gnome sprung from KDE over licensing issues (at the time). In short, there are plenty of examples of successful forks when a GPL direction heads in an unfriendly direction.

Paris - because she supports as much forking as possible....

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Pirate

Who needs MySQL?

Go PostgreSQL! Go!

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FAIL

Warming up old news

The one to encourage the Commission to approve the sale so that Oracle can bury MySQL for good?

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Hypocrisy

Why doesn't he talk about the money he earned from the acquisition. This is only hypocrisy. MySQL is a corporate asset now, he should made this effort before he sold it to Sun. Most are worried about MySQL's future but Monty doesn't have a say in this.

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Give it chance

"At time of writing, just 86 people had signed the "Save MySQL" petition 24 hours since it was launched."

And that number has tripled in the past 3 hours. (Perhaps El Reg had something to do with that.) Petitions always start off slow. Give it chance to grow.

That said, how often do petitions achieve anything?

http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=downing%20street%20petition&results_per_page=20&site=&psite=0&sort=rel

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Silver badge

Thanks for the publicity

as a result I have signed it and posted on to a few hundred others who are likely to be interested.

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Boffin

Caveat Emptor

The guy took $16m from Sun, *walked out on them* and now wants to spend tax-payer money to prevent the doctrine of first sale.

It beggars belief.

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Boffin

Mistake

Have you ever done something you regretted?

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Linux

idiot - although i agree with him

This guy should not have sold out to Sun then, simple as that.

I am a developer and work with PHP and MySql day to day, and one thing that open source people really dont seem to grasp is business. The phrase know your enemy springs to mind.

It doesn't matter if your business model is different (i.e. open source) having no clue about the real world is you own silly fault. If he had a clue then he could have seen this coming when HE SOLD OUT TO BIG BUSINESS.

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Worries Overblown

I think these kinds of worries betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the GPL, as well as a feeling of entitlement to future upgrades that, quite frankly, Oracle (or Sun or MySQL AB) is under no obligation to provide (for free) to the world. This has all been said better than I could write it:

http://lwn.net/Articles/366480/

http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/cases/oracle-sun/ec-hearing-and-after.html?seemore=y

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Too late

The time to 'save mysql' was when they changed it so you could only write software that supported it if you GPL'd all your code the lot or paid MySql inc. £100 per user (bit of a downer if your app sold for £20, as mine did at the time). That was when a lot of software went to postgresql and never looked back.

Given the choice of sqlite or postgresql for the light/full featured options, mysql sits uneasily in the middle and doesn't really offer anything any more.

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Boffin

Too late, indeed!

Amen! I'd also add that tis is the same Monty who decided to make MyISAM a transactionless engine, polluting the minds of those who followed "the MySQL way" and were duped into thinking that such things as transactions aren't necessary. Their insistance on the fact that such things like transactions or referential integrity weren't needed, added with the aforementioned expensive licensing were the key factors on making me go back to PostgreSQL.

I'm more concerned on the future for SPARC than MySQL. All the smart opensourcers should've already moved to PostgreSQL by now!

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FAIL

Ridiculous

If Monty cares so much about MySQL's ownership, why did he sell the business to Sun for $1bn?

Postgres is better anyway.

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MySQL...

Losing a toy database system like MySQL would only frighten all those PHPBB and CMS users.

Serious transaction processing can't be done with a database that regularly loses rows.

LAMP clearly is a toy system for toy applications. Wherever serious money/business is involved, there is no way around robust and complete systems like Oracle, DB2, SQL Server or Sybase.

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Flame

FUD Time

Saying something like "regularly loses rows" shows your post up to be pure flamebait.

MySQL is used in many high-throughput large-scale high-uptime placements.

My company has serious money involved and it all goes through MySQL servers as it's the only DBMS that can stand up to what we throw at it.

Or do you think Google, Facebook, BBC etc. enjoy using a toy DBMS?

Get with the picture, it's no longer 1998.

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Bronze badge

"LAMP clearly is a toy system for toy applications."

Used by such lightweights as:

cragslist

amazon

slashdot

google

del.icio.us

flickr

imdb

Show me the heavyweight sites that do better. MSDN, anyone?

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"LAMP clearly is a toy system for toy applications."

Also:

Facebook

YouTube

Wikipedia

Yahoo Finance

Twitter

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Dead Vulture

Ain't pullin...

Most UK people are more interested in voting for Susan Boyle, Joe, Leona, JLS and Alex than voting for how their lives are affected in very real ways by laws made in Parliament.

This apathy doesn't mean that the subject at hand is not important.

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Silver badge

Bah!

Oh Monty, if you didn't want MySQL used as a counter in a multinational game of Corporate Risk (TM) you shouldn't have sold it to Sun in the first place.

I'm sure counting all that lovely money will bring you solace as your MySQL vision is ground into so much cattlefeed.

Personally I found the one time I tried to use the thing in a serious application, so many features were still not working (despite the official online documentation that swore blind they were) that it was a huge and expensive waste of time.

But that's just me. There's probably a really good reason why people can't just use PostgreSQL for their free database needs instead.

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FAIL

Thanks for the publicity - or did you mean spam ?

"as a result I have signed it and posted on to a few hundred others who are likely to be interested."

Wow, these are all personal friends are they? Or are you just trying out a new career as a spammer?

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Wants to keep the internet free

Is this , "from little acorns doth oak trees grow".

Am I right in assuming, after he saves MySQL from the grasping clutches of a greedy empire, he will move onto bigger and bigger fish,?

Has the Sith Lord trying to pass the DEB got someone else on his back (so to speak) trying to rid the Galaxy of the forces of evil.?

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So where can i sign the patition

for Monty to sod off?

Seriously, the DB is under the GPL. there is nothing Oracle can do about it either, Monty KNOWS THIS, because he already maintains a fork MySQL called MariaDB.

What Monty "forgets" (and by "forgets" I mean "knowingly ignores because it suits his agenda") is that Oracle ALREADY has control of InnoDB, yet has contenued development on it. Strangely enough, the benificiary of this is... MySQL. If Oracle considers MySQL a serious compeditor to it's own products, why would they do this? It seems to me more likely that MySQL is considered to be a complementery product for the low end market (which Oracle does not cover now).

Monty's real agenda is that he wants to be able to sell propritary licenses again. Well to Monty, you sold it. You didn't license it, you sold the copyrights. If you wanted to keep selling propritary licenses, you shouldn't have sold the copyrights, so SOD OFF!

(oh, and postgre is a better DB anyway)

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Anonymous Coward

To all those saying "Monty sold to Sun"...

No, he did not. The *investor group*, without whom MySQL would never have become what it did, decided to sell to Sun. Monty had a good chunk of shares, but far from enough to prevent the sale.

Which is not to say that he didn't approve of the sale (I wouldn't know). But the decision was never his alone. Far from it.

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Heart

And then there is Firebird

Can I mention the free database that beats them all? I have been forced to use SQL Server and Oracle for projects by IT departments who are frightened to acknowledge that a free database can do it just as well. IMO Firebird leaves them behind. One client was so impressed with the performance and reliability of my application that uses Firebird, they asked me to switch the application I wrote for them which they originally insisted used SQL Server.

The original architect, Jim Starkey, was commissioned to write a decent backend to MySQL. Nuff said?

Don't waste tears on MySQL.

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WTF?

Sounds like a plan!

- Sell MySQL for $1bn

- Walk away

- Suddenly become all-oh-so-worried

I am quite sure whatever level of hyprociteness might Theo think of RMS, Michael Monty Widenius is lightyears ahead.

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Selfish intent, plus MySQL is fading...

Would certainly agree with the sentiment that if he wanted to profit from it, he could have chosen not to sell to Sun. But http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091208104422384 does a pretty good job of hilighting Monty's business motivations. And (as someone that runs an ISP, manages many MySQL instances, and has interacted with MySQL AB's support peeps on behalf of clients), the quality has never been that great. MySQL is a great core for small stuff, but breaks in difficult-to-diagnose ways as you throw more data at it, and the possible tuning parameters are out of this world. The support from MySQL AB for thousands of pounds per server per year is pretty so-so, mostly restricted to responses like "have you tried version X?" and "are you sure the hardware isn't faulty?" and "yes this is an acknowledged bug in this version, I would suggest not using that feature for now". I see more of our customers favouring PostgreSQL, SQLite, (soon) Drizzle, and even so-called "NoSQL" databases like CouchDB where a little forethought can give you an SQL-free application.

It's obviously disheartening to see your life's work become bought up by another company whose motivations will be to choke it, but I think Monty is kidding himself if he thinks that MySQL's continued development is important to anyone but him (and other developers who can't or won't move on to better products). Oracle can't stop everyone using it, but they can keep it on life support for the benefit of MySQL AB's current income stream, all the while selling "upgrades" to their new customers.

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The real story is Monty trying to use the EU to switch away from GPL

The real story is Monty's bad behavior in trying to get the EU to help him steal MySQL from Oracle, but having the EU force a license change away from GPL, which he now dislikes.

Monty is a pig and a scoundrel, and to hell with him.

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WTF?

This is hardly a self-less act ..

Here is another interesting article ..

http://news.cnet.com/openroad/?keyword=Monty+Widenius

For Widenius, as the co-founder of MySQL and the primary driver for this campaign, is more about protecting his own wallet less about looking for the best interest of MySQL community .. for two reasons:

1. He and his cohorts agreed to sell MySQL to Sun and made a boat load of money. {$800Mill} which is 10 times more that it's worth.

2. Then he decided to invest his new found wealth on a new company. This new company sole focus is building a new DB engine for mySQL that means, if Oracle decides to jettison mySQL or put forth less friendly licensing agreement then he stands to lose everything ..

This makes me question his motives ..

-Mantle

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what about the $1B they got for MySQL?

Is he planning to return his share as well?

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Unhappy

forks and docs

Yes, you can fork the code. Drizzle, MariaDB and Percona are all working on this. However, you can't fork a brand, and at the enterprise level, and in the board-room, it's the MySQL name that they're paying for support on.

Also, AIUI, the documentation isn't GPL'd, and as such, can't be "forked" in the same way the code can. Unless someone is willing to reverse engineer all the functionality and document it as such, then the documentation isn't going to leave Oracle's hands, at least not without, I'd expect, a hefty licence fee.

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Unhappy

why sell...

...and I forgot to mention this, but while Monty and David were, indeed, the founders and certainly had a say in the running of MySQL, they weren't to my knowledge, majority shareholders, and even if they had been dead set against the sale of MySQL to Sun, their votes alone wouldn't have stopped it.

So no, I don't think they've sold out. Certainly some things could have been done better, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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Flame

MySQL is not very good anyway!

The silly developers, where I happen to be the BOFH use is for *everything*. Despite that It regularly lose rows; crashes; corrupts data; regularly needs to be shut down, have all the data dumped, then re-imported and database restarted once it has pissed away all the disk space.

... Aaand to really make the on-call duty such an immense cash-cow, to "fix" the instability, they made the databases redundant meaning that now there are TWO cretin instances doing the above as well as a couple of GB of state that needs to be consistent (but never is) and ANOTHER singleton to fail - the daemon that handles the switch between master and slave (but most often does not).

Ptuiiii!! The amount of cash & time wasted juggling MySQL turdlets could easily pay for a proper database server and the cleansing of MySQL'isms from the applications .... but, sadly, this is not to be!

Oracle: Killl it with Fire, I Say!

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Bronze badge

First 24 hours

Linked page is now showing:

Total number of confirmed sign-ups: 691

Sign-ups during last 24 hours: 690

So I'd speculate that the total signups for the *first* 24 hours was actually about, er, 690. Last line of your article implied that 24 hours had already elapsed at time of writing, which I think we can now see was incorrect.

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FAIL

Maybe a different petition is needed

Since Monty "took $16m from Sun", maybe MySQL developers should petition Monty to offer $16m to buy MySQL back from Sun and then place it firmly under GPL.

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funny

it's funny how Mr. Wideanus selfishness is effectively discrediting the GPL and OpenSource... keep up the good work, at this rate nobody will ever want to try GPL FOSS for their business again...

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Anonymous Coward

Open Source

works for all the, 'too cool for school tools', stuff where if you know what you are doing, are the best tools for the job.

MySQL is a low grade database, that has a swappable engine facility, and was embraced by mistake by a lot of ISPs.

Most devs should really be using SQLite for most things now. It is easier to put on shared servers and has a small footprint, though is not suited for complex queries, and so PostgreSQL fills that void.

SQLite is one of the fastest RDBMs around, and as it gets embedded into the application there is near zero configuration, which is something that is worth a lot on shared servers.

Bye bye MySQL I used you once, and it was horrible. MySQL and PHP always spell bad developer, so now we have to rely on PHP alone to determine that one.

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Anonymous Coward

aaaw

Cake, eat it, still wanting it....

Poor Monty is so magnanimous now he's had the millions Sun (over)paid him for MySQL and now he wants it all back for free.

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Unhappy

Self serving drongo

This guy is ridiculous. He sold the business, got the money and now he wants to dictate what is done with it. Monty when you sold the business to Sun, you gave up control and put MySQL and your many employees under the control of J Schwartz.

Oracle will not meet your doomsday expectations and we will see MySQL thrive as a competitive force in the database market.

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Luigi

Have you looked at TPC-C benchmarks? Oracle, DB2 and MS SQL Server have been on par for years if you are using Intel hardware.

It's tough to find TCP-C numbers for MySQL/InnoDB. When you do find them, you know why the open source guys don't want anyone to do that.

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Anonymous Coward

MYSQL & Java . National security mission critical technology

My own feelings is oracle should be forces to separate mysql & java

in to a separate entity by the eu.

for the following reason.

1. national security . Java is in so many critical thing. Most public

banking systems use java to secure web internet banking services.

60% of 4 billion GSM worldwide phone population contain java

technology. This is an international mission critical technology.

2. Mysql is the only serious base of technology that can come close to

to competing against oracle in the mass market. DB2 from IBM has

never managed to enter into the mass market. Microsoft SQL offering

are a joke. If your serious IT professional you just don't need

this explained to you.Microsoft is just not stable for production.

If your a serious IT guy and you want to keep hard core customers

no MS. Get a few IT guys drunk from cisco , alcatel or google and

video them asking them what they think of Microsoft SQL offerings.

Or ask microsoft why most of the back end of hotmail and msn

messenger still runs on freebsd unix... and not microsoft xxxxx

Stable bullet proof production environments are

a) IBM system z mainframe + db2

b) Sun Solaris + Oracle

c) Linux + Mysql

a) being the most expensive . C) being cheapest or free if GPL is used

C) has the biggest install base. To count the install base

ask www.redhat.com aka fedora, centos.org & ubuntu to count

the number of machines which auto update the copies of mysql on them.

my guests is its is several million individual computers.

The national security reason for separating mysql is that it is buried

everywhere in the GPL free version. In most cases you will just not see

it or find it easily.

Its what is the critical glue running the back office functions of many

medium and small Internet services providers across the EU and the USA.

These companies have small profit margins at the best of times and

paying money to Oracle means you take money away from service

providing to customers.

So in a worst case instead pissing off 30000 linux users you

damage lots of low cost Internet service provides in Eastern

Europe / Russia and make many Internet users take big step back with

Internet connection speed as ISP have to reduce connection

speed to save money or worst go bust. You now are having the

potential to damage millions of EU citizens ability too access

the Internet cheaply with good connection speed.

Eastern Europeans need faith in the EU not reasons to hate it more.

Potential solutions

1. Creation of listed company on nasdaq in the usa. Housing Java & Mysql.

This is a short term fix unless the EU hold a golden share to stop take

over of the company. No golden share the problem will come back in a few years

and be worst as more things have mysql & Java in them.

2. MYSQL & Java get put together in non profit foundation or self owning company

where the company owns all its own shares.The EU should a veto

right and sit on the steering board of this company. A Danish company structure

should be used.

MysQL & Java must be put in the same company so they have solid financial base to

work with each year. Last years turn over of these units was approx 60 million USD.

If this company was forcabley created it would create the DNA for many new things just

like ARM technologises for Mobile phones has done. If you broke open every EU

parliments members GSM mobile phone ,the majority of these phones will contain

an ARM core microprocessor from ARM Technologise.

THIS IS TECHNOLOGY DNA AT WORK.

JUST ASK NOKIA OR SAMSUNG OR HTC.

DONT KILL IT. MAKE THE DNA EVOLVE.

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Flame

Can I Start A New Petition?

Can I start a "Please kill MySQL off, burn the body, and bury the remains" petition PLEASE?

Hell, I'd rather touch the POS known as SQLite over MySQL!

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FAIL

Let's just save Sun first

I'm a big user customer of Solaris. I would have to say that I have a career made out of it. I am quite interested in seeing Oracle save Sun as the technology stack Sun has collected over the years is just to good to break out and sell off or obsolete in parts - so that will tell you where my viewpoint will come from.

When Sun bought Mysql, there was a lot of upset in the Open Source community, but I did not see Monty complaining about the payout at that point. I am certain that Sun and the representatives for the Mysql company would have had arduous negotiations prior to the sellout of the IP and branding.

I do not recall at any point reading that the Mysql reps argued about what Sun could/could not

do with Mysql after they bought it, otherwise we would already have seen several lawsuits

for breach of contract or whatever the legal jargon is for when you do a deal and then break

the terms and conditions of that deal. Now I suppose there had to have been a "cooling off"

period prior to the Mysql buyout by Sun and I suppose that has passed.

So that basically leaves Monty with is $1.5b or whatever it was and Sun got something it

probably could have just licensed for a lot less.

Now it is all a moot point. Sun is now in the hands of a bigger fish. Oracle bought Sun,

not a bunch of components. Mysql is a brand but it is also basically just another part of the Sun

product suite now, just like any Sun product that was acquired from another party. The Sun guys I spoke to love Mysql and have suggested that it will remain under a GPL style agreement but I do not know how far that will go.

I think it is unlikely Oracle will rename Mysql in the short term - Sun I believe would have. We would probably see (under an existent Sun) something like "Sun JES 7.5 Application Database Layer 5.1.4" or similar brain numbing nomenclature. Oracle will probably maintain the Mysql

name for a bit and then I reckon it will become something else, perhaps "Oracle Application Services Database" just like they have used Apache to do "Oracle Application Server" and the like.

Monty has a fork. He knows what he can do with it. But he took money for his product

and has to live with that fact. I reckon he's just sorry he didn't ask for more......

The Fail is for Monty - I don't feel sorry for him. I am annoyed that Oracle just have not been given full permission to acquire Sun already so I can stop watching people panic everytime

the hold up is mentioned in the media.

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