Monty has resorted to another round of hand-waving in his post MySQL saga. This guy is starting to become an embarrassment to the FOSS community.

Some people accuse him of "selling out" in some moral sense; this is not the case. As a technologist, I can imagine liquidity is a liberating experience as you can pass on the reigns and ultimate financial responsibility of your company and get back to the tech. He built and sold MySQL AB for $1 billion dollars. Needless to say, he and his shareholders were well compensated -- probably far more than the actual "worth" of the company. It is his fault that he did not architect a sale in such a way where he'd remain supreme commander if that was his true desire. In retrospect, what he did by selling, quickly leaving SUN, and starting a fork of the code is a pretty deviant thing to do. But again, if the acquisitions agreement didn't forbid this, there is no foul play on either side.

Sun and now Oracle have done nothing overt to prevent MySQL advancement. What's "killing"[1] MySQL is failure to innovate. Don't get me wrong, MySQL is a great tool and meshes beautifully to the needs of many web workloads. It powers everything from this humble blog to many enormous web properties. It's always been the "good enough" DB and for a long while lacked rather fundamental features that big corporate systems had. Although most of these problems are shored up (and allowed reciprocal growth in 4.x and 5.0), nothing exciting has come along since 5.0. Creating work-a-like storage engines just because Oracle owns InnoDB was silly in retrospect and potentially fatal in the long-term. Sorry Monty, MySQL has never really broken out of the niche that made it so popular back in the version 3.23 days and if you spent your energy and money since innovating instead of dragging your feet this would not be the case.

I've been using the PostgreSQL 9 betas, and let me tell you, it meets or exceeds all my RDBMS needs. If you need a traditional database that has a rock solid history and has stepped up on the innovation front recently, take it for a spin. There are some interesting non-traditional developments as well, especially CouchDB. All in all, if Oracle does fumble[2] MySQL, the only really damage is to Monty's ego as we have excellent alternatives.

[1] MySQL isn't going to go away. It has simply saturated the target market and the growth curve has since flattened.

[2] I see no reason they will do any better or worse than MySQL AB, Sun, or Monty Program AB. Expect more of the same.


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