MySQL creator launches campaign to 'save' database

Widenius urges action as Oracle-Sun hearings near a climax

The creator of MySQL has launched a Web-based campaign to "save" the open-source database from the "clutches" of Oracle, which is attempting to purchase its current owner, Sun Microsystems.

Oracle announced plans to buy Sun in April for US$7.4 billion, but the deal has been held up while European authorities conduct an antitrust review. One key concern of regulators, as well as open-source advocates, is the future of MySQL under Oracle, which holds a healthy share of the database market with its own proprietary product.

But if users speak up now, European authorities could stop the merger or force Oracle to provide certain concessions and guarantees around MySQL, Michael "Monty" Widenius said in a blog post.

He claimed that Oracle has contacted "hundreds of their big customers," asking them to lobby the European Union to support the deal. Oracle has told customers it would invest more money in MySQL's development and that even if it abandoned the database, offshoots of the codebase would "take care of things," according to Widenius.

Widenius himself is behind one such project, MariaDB.

Still, such efforts aren't enough, according to Widenius.

"Just putting money into development is not proof that anything useful will ever be delivered or that MySQL will continue to be a competitive force in the market as it's now," he said. And an offshoot "is not enough to keep MySQL alive for all future, if Oracle, as the copyright holder of MySQL, would at any point decide that they should kill MySQL or make parts of MySQL closed source," he added.

Ten years ago MySQL was mostly used for Web applications but has since become "very functional, scalable and credible," and used for a variety of purposes, he added.

"This not only scares but actually hurts Oracle every day," he said. "Of course Oracle has a lot more features, but MySQL can already do a lot of things for which Oracle is often used and helps people save a lot of money. So I just don't buy it that Oracle will be a good home for MySQL."

Widenius is asking like-minded users to publicize their concerns by sending letters to the E.U., blog on the issues and speak to executives at their companies.

Users had mixed initial reactions to Widenius' plea.

"Let's stand up today to face the evil!" said a poster identified as "Ryan Chan" on the MySQL mailing list.

But others took a laissez-faire attitude to the merger.

"You sold MySQL (and that's OK)," said one person who commented in response to Widenius' blog post. "Oracle is free to do whatever they want to do with it, I mean they bought it so they own it, period."

An Oracle spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Widenius' 11th-hour campaign may be in vain, as the E.U. appears set to approve the merger.

On Monday, Oracle issued a statement containing 10 commitments to MySQL's users and developers. The pledges, which would be valid for five years following the close of the merger, are "an important new element to be taken into account in the ongoing proceedings," the E.U. said in a statement. The E.U. also reiterated Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes' recent remark that she is optimistic the matter can have a satisfactory resolution.

(Joab Jackson in New York contributed to this report.)

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags databaseSun MicrosystemsmysqlOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?