Feeds

MySQL fork duo tear down Oracle's Iron Man fantasy

Widenius and Aker to convert the converted

Boost IT visibility and business value

MySQL Con The battle to own MySQL is over and Oracle executives are fanning out to woo open sourcers, but MySQL luminaries have mobilized to win the hearts and minds of DBAs and developers.

MySQL father Michael - Monty - Widenius and leading MySQL architect Brian Aker spoke separately at the annual MySQL Con in Santa Clara, California, where they pitched hard their MySQL forks and their unshakable beliefs that no one company should become the single source for MySQL development or support.

They articulated a vision of diversity of developers and companies supporting MySQL, and the view that their MySQL forks should be owned by developers interested in code - not a business motivated by profit.

The spectacle was made bizarre by the fact that MySQL is now owned by database giant Oracle, which is listed as a "founding sponsor" of O'Reilly Media's MySQL Con. Just the day before, Oracle chief software architect Edward Screven tried to bond with MySQLers, saying their database was safe because it allowed Oracle to offer customers a single, integrated and supported stack.

Screven promised there'd be projects to tie MySQL into Oracle's software fabric and management products. Possibly the opposite of the right thing to tell open sources, keen on independence and openness.

Oracle's Iron Man 2 ad

Send in the machines: Oracle sees itself as your hardware/software hero - complete

It was a corporate message plucked straight from the slide deck of Oracle's annual OpenWorld that failed to strike a chord with the DBA and developer faithful that applauded politely following some encouragement from MySQL program chair Colin Charles once Screven had finished.

Now, 24 hours later, you had MySQL's daddy and a top architect preaching exactly the opposite to Screven: that community is good and single stacks and one supplier are bad - bad for innovation in the code base and in the business ecosystem. It was a message of independence they used to distance themselves from Oracle, and appeal to users and potential code contributors.

It was a duet that'll test just how far Oracle is willing to engage with the community, tolerating dissent and spend its time and money on a MySQL conference that grants out-spoken critics and fork leaders such a prominent forum.

Any event that does anything less than blast the alpha-male Oracle marketing message that "we can do it for you wholesale", gently articulated by Screven Tuesday and forcefully in Oracle's latest ads that co-opts the forthcoming Iron Man 2 is extremely un-Oracle.

According to Oracle's Iron-Man-2 web site (PDF): "Just as man and machine join flawlessly to power Marvel’s invincible hero Iron Man, Oracle’s industry-leading software and hardware seamlessly integrate to deliver a complete IT stack unmatched by any competitor."

Oracle is trading on the fact Iron-Man owner Marvel Entertainment uses its products while saying the combination of Oracle's software and Sun's Solaris, servers and storage means it can deliver "best of breed", "leading edge"... well, you get the picture.

Iron men of SQL

With all this machismo in the air Aker delivered a stern promise there'd be no "Drizzle Incorporated" for his MySQL fork. Aker, who left Sun Microsystems following the Oracle acquisition, said he doesn't want to create a company that has a "strangle hold over innovation."

"There will be people who provide services around it - there will be no central company," he said.

As a corporate entity MySQL had lost its focus on innovation - even before the Sun then Oracle acquisitions, he said. Features in the then planned MySQL 5.0 appealed more to OEMs interested in a cheap embedded replacement to Oracle or for running SAP's dusty old R/3 rather than users like Facebook and Google looking to the future of large-scale, multi-core, 64-bit computing.

Aker encouraged more forks, saying this would create a rising tide of opportunity and innovation. "We have an open code base. We allow people to fork it - we encourage people to build products around it," he said.

Aker promised he'd announce two companies providing support for Drizzle this summer, around the time of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Oregon.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.