Many sites online have reported that new features will appear in MySQL Enterprise as opposed to the community version. Slashdot is now suggesting that Sun is going to begin closing the MySQL source, and that "Sun has had a very poor history of actually open sourcing anything."
From Jeremy Cole's blog, submitted by reader Vic Cekvinich:
MySQL will start offering some features (specifically ones related to online backups) only in MySQL Enterprise. This represents a substantive change to their development model — previously they have been developing features in both MySQL Community and MySQL Enterprise. However, with a shift to offering some features only in MySQL Enterprise, this means a shift to development of those features occurring (and thus code being tested) only in MySQL Enterprise.
As I’ve discussed before, the size of the user base for MySQL Enterprise is much smaller than for MySQL Community. That means these critical features will be tested by only a few of their customers. So, in effect, they will be giving their paying customers real, true, untested code. How is this supposed to work? In addition, this means that they are changing their internal development model, splitting the relationship between the two trees, and overall going even further down the path of getting the RHEL/Fedora model backwards.Slashdot's post on it
is utterly confusing. Here it is, in its entirety:
"From the MySQL User's Conference, Sun has announced, and former CEO Marten Mickos has confirmed, that Sun will be close sourcing sections of the MySQL code base. Sun will begin with close sourcing the backup solutions to MySQL, and will continue with more advanced features. With Oracle owning Innodb, and it being GPL, does this mean that MySQL will be removing it to introduce these features? Sun has had a very poor history of actually open sourcing anything."
The post is tagged as "flamebait" and "wrong."
Marten Mickos, previously CEO of MySQL, posted a response to the /. post, saying:
Let me clarify some facts:
* The business decision on this was made by MySQL AB (by me as the then CEO) prior to the acquisition by Sun, so this has nothing to do with Sun. On the contrary, Sun is more likely to influence this decision the other way.
* It is not a quesiton of close sourcing any existing code, nor anything in the core server. Everything we have released under GPL continues to be under GPL, and the core server will always be under GPL (or some other FOSS licence).
* We will introduce backup functionality for all users (Community and Enterprise) under GPL in version 6.0.
* Additionally we will develop high-end add-ons (such as encryption, native storage engine-specific drivers) that we will deliver to customers in the MySQL Enterprise product only. We have not yet decided under what licence we will release those add-ons (GPL, some other FOSS licence, and/or commercial).
* At all times, because the main backup functionality goes into the core server under GPL, anyone can of course use the api and build their own add-ons or other modifications.
Those are the facts on this. The interesting topic is of course the one of the business model and what the best business model for FOSS software is. I hope to cover that in a separate posting.
In all of this, you have our undivided continued commitment to providing a fantastic and complete MySQL server under GPL for anyone to download and use. If we for whatever reason would not do that, we would risk losing users to other open source databases or risk seeing a fork of our own product. This is the power of open source.
It's also odd that the Slashdot poster says that Sun has a poor record of open source. It's almost like the poster (and slashdot?) consider "open source" to be GPL and nothing else - availability of source and the right to commit changes are the only measures of whether something can be considered open or not.
This may be a slight exaggeration on my part, but seriously!
Sun's separate licenses have their encumbrances, to be sure, but by and large, for the average developer, accessibility to the original source is enough.
Before you start flaming me: I'm very aware of the license issues in the JCP, and I'm also aware of the Apache/Sun license arguments. These all have merit on both sides. As soon as you have a solution that fits all requirements - really fits them, instead of deciding that a requirement isn't important after all - send them my way and I'll forward them.
So what about it, TSS readers? Does the possibility of two versions of MySQL having slightly separate and separately funded features really worry you?