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  1. #1
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Sun bought MySQL - is this a gag or something, feels like April Fools has come early
    JOHN DVORAK'S SECOND OPINION
    The Sun-MySQL deal stinks
    Commentary: Oracle is the only winner in this deal

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...B186A622456%7D

    Looks like the open source MySQL was sold to Sun Microsystems...

    Seems like big news to me, feels a lot like an April Fools joke as well...

    Anybody else seen this and think it's a real report?

    Is it normal for "open" source stuff to get bought and go "closed"?

    Were we really sold out by the Swedes or is this someone yanking Dvorak's leg?

    Am I going to need licenses in the future to use MySQL?

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Am I going to need licenses in the future to use MySQL?
    Maybe it would be a good idea for those of us that use datafeeds, to download the latest version of MySQL to our HD, while it's still free, just in case. ;-)

  3. #3
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    This is no joke. It is a serious deal, but it has not been finalized, so it may not happen. Sun's stock has fluctuated all week soaring high on first announcement, then sinking as the deal waits (and some take their money and run...hehe considering it went from 5.00 to 22.00 now back around 15 /share)

    It is a possibility that if bought it could no longer be open source, but that is generally not the case, and probably business suicide for Sun. This is probably a way to better position itself to attack Microsoft competitively, giving Sun a more diverse offering.

  4. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Not good at all

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    At first blush, I am not happy about this news. But I will reserve judgment til I see what happens.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    It's real, I watched it on CNBC.

    edited to add: Wasn't it Sun that bought Open Office? It is still free. Companies have been purchasing open source software and keeping it free. Or like Google, purchasing software (analytics) and making it free.
    Deborah Carney
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  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Lox, good points in your post, thanks.

    I guess I'm not so much worried as I am a tad confused - is the open source software path really a route to riches, duping contributors all over the globe to invest considerable time and mind power to make some software program better, then later, turning it upside down to cash out. Seems a little switch and baitish to me.

    Maybe the open source movement needs to address perpetuality better going forward, especially if this event makes waves from the throngs of MySQL users everywhere.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    You know, giving out free stuff is a good way to hook people into buying the harder dru... errr, products.

    Thanks for that example, Loxly. I'm not quite so tense about the news now, but still... waiting to see how this all turns out. I can see how it can be used in branding, but like Donuts, I'm not quite sure exactly how they'll monetize/capitalize on it.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meadowmufn
    ...Thanks for that example, Loxly. I'm not quite so tense about the news now...
    Yeah, thanks, Deb, your calming "Mommy" words are always soothing to hear.

    Sun would put a serious hurtin' on themselves to yank MySQL from the land of the free...
    ...we might all have to learn another language. I don't think that will happen.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  10. #10
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    I can see how it can be used in branding, but like Donuts, I'm not quite sure exactly how they'll monetize/capitalize on it.
    One way to capitalize on it is to be the "one" to go to for services. I don't know who is in that space right now, IBM maybe? But if Sun owns the platform, they would have a lot of leverage in a bid for services. Plus it's a foot in the door to design custom systems and what not.

    It seems like I read that some developing countries are leaning towards open source systems in government entities, so maybe Sun is looking at growth in this area.

    No harm in giving the product away for free and servicing the big boys (for Sun that is). But it still doesn't answer the questions about who continues to develop the database software, and what does "open source" really mean in the future.

    edited to add: Wasn't it Sun that bought Open Office? It is still free. Companies have been purchasing open source software and keeping it free. Or like Google, purchasing software (analytics) and making it free.
    Hopefully, they will continue to provide it free, but once there's enough users out there, I wonder how long it will remain free. I was thinking of setting up a Linux system myself and actually I didn't know Sun bought Open Office...news to me! What next...PHP!!

  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachy
    Yeah, thanks, Deb, your calming "Mommy" words are always soothing to hear.
    lol, glad I know things that are able to be calming
    Deborah Carney
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  12. #12
    Newbie r2pro's Avatar
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    While this may at first seem to be a bad deal, I am of the opinion that it is actually a positive one. Sun is one of the biggest open source champions in the corporate world. They have opened up Solaris and Java over the past few years. They are indeed trying, as others have mentioned previously, to become less dependent on HW sales and move to a more service oriented platform, a la IBM.

    Sun is also a much larger company than mySQL AB, and they should be able to put more resources into its development. Particularly in the DB engine space.

    Another point to note is that mySQL AB is a for profit company. Just like Sun is. mySQL AB makes money today off of current versions of mySQL through commercial licenses if your use of it falls into certain categories. They also make a bundle off of support contracts. If let's say Johns Hopkins has a patient record system that stores patient info in mySQL (they actually use db2), even though they can use the software for free, they still want to have some reassurance that if there is a problem, then they have someone who they can call.

    But even if Sun did a complete 180, and decided to make all future versions closed source, then it wouldn't stop you or anyone else from using mySQL as we know it today. Once you GPL a work, you can't revoke it. So all of our servers that run mySQL for free will be able to do so forever. It's like if I put a photograph that I made into the public domain, once I do that I can't change that, but any future pictures I take can be licensed in a different manner.

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    I am EXTREMELY concerned about this.

    I design and sell datafeed scripts and other scripts which work using MySQL.

    Will I as a supplier of scripts have to pay a license to SUN every time a customer of mine buys my scripts because it uses their application? We make constant modifications and ensure our script matches the version of php and MySQL on the server and this issue is very very worrying.

    Every widget user, every datafeed user would end up having to pay me a regular maintenance fee (as we provide service technical support) so a royalty fee could be paid to SUN. That will cost billions worldwide for script suppliers.

    A dark bad day in internet world thats for sure.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  14. #14
    Newbie r2pro's Avatar
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    Only if you were to sell an application that has mySQL embedded in it, and do not release your application under the GPL.

    If you're just generating scripts that others use to connect to their mySQL servers, then you don't have to worry at all.

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2pro
    Only if you were to sell an application that has mySQL embedded in it, and do not release your application under the GPL.

    If you're just generating scripts that others use to connect to their mySQL servers, then you don't have to worry at all.
    That is the current status quo, however Sun now owns it all and they can change all that. Just as Microsoft require payment for a "developers license" for any software to work on their applications with access to the source code so Sun could introduce new operating pre-conditions.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  16. #16
    Newbie r2pro's Avatar
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    Maybe so, but any changes to the license would kill the product and people would move onto postgre, and then you would just change your script's connection functions if it's a php 4 script, or your PDO parameters if using php 5.

    But as I said in the earlier post, they can not change the license for the current product. So mySQL 4/5 will forever be freely available for it's current uses. If Sun alters the licensing for future releases (and again this would be suicide for them), then your customers would probably not use it for the same reasons you won't be able to. It won't be free.

    So worst case scenario is you have to alter a few lines of code, but Sun's business model is as far from Microsoft's as you can get and again they are one of the biggest open source companies out there.

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    I wish it was that easy. It's sadly more than changing a few lines of code, essentially it is a complete rewrite for every product. Just as we rewrite numerous files for every version of php and MySQL and also server security protocols, we'd have to do the same with changing to something that is server based but not reliant on MySQL.

    I guess we are all now going to have to adopt a wait and see on this. Maybe I'll ask their competitors in the Far East if they want to set up a working alternative or commission us to produce one for them seeing they are our clients. Now that would be a nice contract!
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  18. #18
    Newbie r2pro's Avatar
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    Sounds like an opportunity worth pursuing!

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