He joins former CEO Martin Mickos on the outside looking in.
This has led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth, not just here but elsewhere in the computer press.
Please excuse me if I don't join in.
For me this is a case of deja vu all over again. One of the first stories I covered here involved the acquisition of the JBOSS framework by Red Hat and the subsequent leave-taking of its founder, Marc Fleury.
As with many today I was certain this was the end of JBOSS, possibly of open source itself.
I was wrong.
Some in the old JBOSS team did leave, and pretty quickly, after Marc did. But they landed on their feet. Some went to their own start-ups, others became key men within other open source companies. JBOSS survived, too. It took time to digest, and it found new competition along the way, but the ending is not an unhappy one.
With the perspective of time I suspect things will be the same in this case. The only surprise to me is that Mickos and Widenius stayed as long as they did.
Entrepreneurs are a special breed, not built for suits and hierarchies. They can't handle people over them saying no, and they should not have to.
They're too precious as what they are. Open source needs more great entrepreneurs, and to have two with experience back in the fray is very exciting. The mySQL deal was worth $1 billion. Money won't be a problem for their next projects.
All Monty has so far is a Wiki page, where he talks about building a transactional storage engine for mySQL dubbed Maria, and a branch of the language supporting it. That's good, for him, for us, and for mySQL. A project becomes powerful as it builds an ecosystem which supports it, and no ecosystem can be contained within four corporate walls.
Besides, if Sun messes up with mySQL, remember that it's open source. The code still lives. Mickos and Witinius could then fork it and it would continue moving forward. I hope they don't have to, because working on cool new stuff is always more fun than maintaining the old stuff.
The JBOSS deal worked out great for everyone. I think the mySQL deal will do the same. So, too, will its founders. And so will all of us.