MySQL creator Monty Widenius has taken a hard line against Oracle getting its hands on MySQL, adding another wrinkle to the debate over the fate of the open source database as Oracle tries to win over the European Commission.
With the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle still in the
air, MySQL creator Monty Widenius has come out in strong
opposition to the deal.In a blog post,
Widenius urged the MySQL community to contact the European Commission
regarding Oracle's possible acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which
bought MySQL AB in 2008.
"Without your immediate help Oracle might get to own MySQL any day
now," Widenius wrote. "By writing to the European Commission (EC) you
can support this cause and help secure the future development of the
product MySQL as an Open Source project."
His Dec. 12 call to arms is one side of warring campaigns surrounding the deal. Today, Oracle issued 10 promises to the EC in
order to quell the commission's fears. Among them to "enhance MySQL in
the future under the GPL" (general public license) and create a MySQL
Customer Advisory Board within six months of the deal. Oracle has also pledged to
increase spending on MySQL research and development during each of the
next three years, and to eclipse what Sun spent on the database in its
most recent fiscal year before the closing of the transaction ($24
million).When the deal was first announced in April, reaction at the MySQL
Conference & Expo 2009 was mixed. Since then, both the Independent
Oracle Users Group and the Oracle Applications Users Group have
endorsed the deal. In an analysis of the proposed acquisition in June,
Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg wrote that the deal "will be good for
customers who wish to have a choice and for Oracle to gain new
customers, currently purchasing open-source subscription support,
allowing Oracle to up-sell to these new customers."A recent survey by The 451 Group, however, showed that some MySQL users remain hesitant to embrace the concept of an Oracle-owned MySQL."From
the reactions of those who made the effort to explain their issues with
Oracle it would appear that they fear that it will limit development
and/or increase prices," 451 Group analyst Matt Aslett told eWEEK.
"Some of them just don't like Oracle. It has to be said that the
majority though are not bothered either way."Still, Widenius blogged that he was worried MySQL will suffer if it is in Oracle's hands."Unlike 10 years ago, when MySQL was mostly just used for the Web, it has
become very functional, scalable and credible," he blogged. "Now it's
used in many of the world's largest companies and they use it for an
increasing number of purposes...A weak MySQL is worth about one billion
dollars per year to Oracle, maybe more. A strong MySQL could never
generate enough income for Oracle that they would want to cannibalize
their real cash cow. I don't think any company has ever done anything
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