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?
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.