that they are addressing this publicly speaks volumes …

… it means that they have to. That many others have asked. That this is a concern.

Specifically I am talking about the MySQL acquisition by Sun. The article talking with the current VP of DB (former CEO of MySQL AB) is attempting to put to rest these fears. Unfortunately, the headline/title is designed to inject conflict.

The title of this bit is “Mickos, As New Sun Exec: Linux Will Stay In LAMP”

This looks like an attempt by the author or editorial staff to inject controversy. Sun is not the arbiter of what goes into the LAMP stack. If there were any question about the stack and MySQLs commitment to it, the “M” would be replaced. Not the “L”.

Note that in the article we see this

“We are still committed,” Mickos said. “If we are not committed, than any one of you can take the MySQL code and fork it to make a new MySQL product, which I am sure you would do” if Sun tried to converts LAMP to SAMP.

This is the crux of it. Sun can’t convert LAMP to SAMP. Customers have to want SAMP, and they can do that themselves. Open source provides the customer control and choice.

What was interesting to me was this quote from Mickos on the internal view

Mickos was peppered with questions from the Linux crowd. “What is Sun’s Linux strategy? What degree of freedom will the MySQL group have inside of Sun?”

“There’s a realization inside of Sun that the days of the monoliths are over, but the Web continues to grow.” Sun wants to participate in that growth, not by sticking to Sun-only technologies, but by offering a smorgasbord of choices to its customers, including a core set of Java/Solaris/Sparc technologies.

Well, I guess one group thinks the monolithic stack days are over, and the other group wants to push the monolithic stack.

I have seen articles on the aquisition which told of giving Sun immediate open source credibility. I guess I am not sure how this is the case.

Sun does have lots of good people, and some interesting projects. It is also facing a rapidly transforming market. How it reacts and operates in this market is the key. The MySQL acquisition looks like it may be good. For MySQL. I don’t think it gives Sun open source creds though. Actions do. The willingness to work with existing open source projects, and create new ones that allow interoperation with the universe of open source projects.

Since Sun does technically make OpenSolaris open source, zfs is technically open source. But as I have pointed out here, its license precludes it from being incorporated into other open source projects, say for example, Linux. This is not a mark of open source creds IMO. We don’t see IBM doing this. Nor HP. Nor Oracle. Nor …

The counter argument that Simon Phipps and others have pushed has been “its open and you can implement it on your own from the spec’s if you like”. Well, if you don’t mind the 50 or so patents hanging over your head, sure. You can do this. OSX isn’t a threat to Solaris (or Linux, or windows) where zfs is concerned, so I imagine this works well. Gives cover to the OSS argument.

Hey, its their code. They can do what they want with it. Its just a little specious in my opinion, to state that they are the largest provider of OSS as compared to folks like IBM, HP, Oracle, etc who actually do contribute code to GPL projects, rather than corral their projects with incompatible licenses.

This gets back to the MySQL issue, as Sun’s actions (release of incompatible licensed products) suggest that their intentions of working with the larger OSS community may not be similar to the intentions of others working with the community. So the question of the MySQL future is something of importance. Which is why people are asking.

And as I have noted before, I do expect quite a few “shoot the messenger” type notes. My past criticism of this company and/or its products, or even a discussion of alternative products has netted intelligent responses from Simon and others, as well as, sadly, less useful “fanboi” responses. Such is life.

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