Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

Summary: You can take whichever side you choose. Just remember that at the end of this, and it will end, we need to shake hands and get on with it.

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There is nothing the media likes more than a good fight. It lets them take sides. (Yes, that's Brad Pitt in Fight Club again. You prefer a gossip mag photo of him and Angelina?)

In the case of Florian Mueller (he likes to be called Floyd) and Eben Moglen (he's Professor Moglen to me) the fight club imagery is overdone.

This is not Mr. & Mrs. Woods. This is a public dispute about a public issue. But it's not James Inhofe and Al Gore either. These guys are on the same side.

On 99 out of 100 issues, I'm certain, Floyd and Prof. Moglen are on the same side. They disagree on the Oracle purchase of mySQL and have been public about it.

  • Floyd looks at Larry Ellison's track record. If you were running Siebel Systems or Peoplesoft when Oracle bought them, you probably feel you paid for the merger. And Ellison's barber. Even his sailboats. When customers are there to be squeezed, Ellison is not squeamish. Floyd fears Ellison bought mySQL to bury it.
  • Prof. Moglen looks at contracts. He's a law professor. His statement, issued through the Software Freedom Law Center (an unlikely Ellison ally) suggests we have faith in the GPLv2. Ellison can't squeeze mySQL customers the way he could PeopleSoft's. They can walk. They control their own code. So what's the big deal?

The big deal is what happens to the code without a deep pockets sponsor. Under Sun mySQL was champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Monty Widenius is more a beer-and-a-bump. And you're paying.

I still believe that all mySQL stakeholders, like Amazon, can get together into a foundation to support the code in fine style, based on the large number of companies, large and small, that depend on it. I have suggested Ellison set up such a foundation, but if he won't someone else can.

Trouble is, Monty is trying, and making little progress. Big money and small change don't hang in the same circles. To be effective, Floyd needs something done in an air conditioned ballroom high in the sky, with comfy high-backed chairs and bottled water in front of each place.

Both sides here have a point. Prof. Moglen is right in the law, and right in theory, but I think Floyd tells some truth about the practice of business in the age of Oracle.

You can take whichever side you choose. Just remember that at the end of this, and it will end, we need to shake hands and get on with it.

This is a primary battle, not a general election. It needs to strengthen the movement, not just deliver divorce, division, or snark.

Topics: Data Centers, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Open Source, Oracle, Software

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6 comments
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  • MySQL Foundation

    If it's that important, Google, Amazon, IBM and Red Hat could snap their fingers and make it happen. Why aren't they doing so? Even though most have forks ready to go.

    Monty Wenius on the other hand, spends his time prattling on about how he only made $100m on the MySQL acquisition, and deserves another $100m. Puleeez.
    Mark Pinot
  • RE: Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

    I been reading this continuing drama over MySQL and wonder what in hell Oracle and Sun were think in the first place.
    Richardbz
  • Let's put Moglen into fuller perspective, please.

    As described in better detail at Groklaw
    (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?
    story=20091204095942328), Moglen has enforced
    the GPL since 1994 and led the revision process
    for GPLv3, meaning that he *wrote it* with input
    from world. So he isn't just looking at the GPL
    vis a vis MySQL from a contractual point of
    view; he's looking at the GPL vis a vis MySQL
    from the standpoint on being the world's
    foremost expert on the GPL.
    TriangleDoor
  • RE: Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

    Dana
    you'd be a heckuva lot more credible if you learned to spell MySQL.

    --Zack
    ZUrlocker
    • RE: Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

      @ZUrlocker And your credibility would suffer no loss if you used words that actually exist in the English language!
      steve.hazeldine
  • RE: Floyd vs. Eben on Oracle and mySQL

    You can take whichever side you choose. Just remember that at the end of this, and it will end, we need to shake hands and get on with it.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="white"> k</font></a>
    zakkiromi