back to article Fast and 'free' beats steady and paid on MySQL

MySQL, the lovable little database engine that could - for reasonable values of could - is starting to feel the pain of being an open source project distributed by a large company. With a slower release cycle, community contributions are having a hard time making it into the mainline codebase, and an illicit market for patches …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Fast and good enough...

    ... doesn't cut it in the real datacentre world where ubuntu only exists on the laptops brought in by engineers.

  2. baswell
    Paris Hilton

    New release soon

    I hear there will be a new release soon that incorporates many of the community patches. Sun will distribute this on 2009-02-29.

  3. h4rm0ny
    Paris Hilton

    Always beast slow and correct?

    "This is the same lesson that Debian hasn't yet learned from Ubuntu: fast and good-enough always beats slow and correct."

    No, it really doesn't. It's just that MySQL is *already* the fast and good enough database app. Those who want "correct" are already using Oracle or, if they want free and open source, the very excellent PostgreSQL. MySQL does not exist in isolation and its users have already made the choice of ease over reliability so its no surprise some continue in that vein. (I use the word ease instead of fast because benchmarks don't put MySQL ahead of its competitors and its best to avoid confusion over what we mean with "fast" - in this case release cycles, not performance).

    Anyway, just because some people are eating a slice of SUN's pie, doesn't mean that they made a poor decision. I'd say that the pie itself is considerably larger than it would have been had SUN kept things under lock and key. All of a small pie or a fat slice of a large one? SUN has decided to try for the latter with MySQL and people need to realise that rather than focus on a distorted picture. I'd say it's actually working out okay for them, though only a few more years will tell.

    Paris, because fast and easy isn't always best.

  4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Interesting ...

    So now MySQL will have forks in their Open Source distribution.

    This must really put a crimp on Sun's plans for their conversion of MySQL users to their paid for supported version.

    This isn't to say that Sun won't further release 'free' versions. Only that Sun will want punters to pay for the best and more efficient database engine that they derived on MySQL.

    At least when IBM bought Informix, they knew what they were getting for their billion dollar investment. (Technology and a revenue stream with a real ROI and ttROI under 10 years.)

    Didn't Sun realize that those who chose to use MySQL wanted a simple, lightweight, 'relational database' that was free?

    Sorry but the brains at Sun are still asleep at the wheel.

    Paris, because she apparently has more brains in her blond little head than all of the BoD and C level execs at Sun.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Lesson learned

    "This is the same lesson that Debian hasn't yet learned from Ubuntu: fast and good-enough always beats slow and correct."

    Or as I prefer to put it, "running code trumps all" ... That's why I use Slackware & the BSDs.

  6. Kevin Hutchinson
    Thumb Down

    You call this news?

    Is there a "Register bashing Sun" quotient that you have to meet each month? Were you running low for December? Better get one last anti-Sun story out there before the end of the year eh? Man you guys should maybe go investigate something before just writing a page of opinion and hoping people click your PPC to pay for that Christmas party in London.

    How about looking into the Falcon storage engine or investigating ways of running multiple MySQL servers on a single server? That might be useful for devs, so I guess Sun-bashing wins out instead?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good enough vs correct

    "This is the same lesson that Debian hasn't yet learned from Ubuntu: fast and good-enough always beats slow and correct."

    Yeah, right. Do servers run Ubuntu and desktops run Debian in your world?

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Jay Jaffa

    SUN yet again leads the way

    Isn't it amazing how anything that SUN turn there hand to these days gets so fucked up so quickly. They fucked Java, they fucked there Hardware business and the pony-tailed freak's Cloud computing initiative fell flat on it's arse.

    Keep it up I say ... the sooner that company is bought, looted and broken up the better.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    fast and good-enough always beats slow and correct...

    sad but true

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @jay jaffa

    They fucked up Java? They INVENTED Java ffs....

    Obviously another Windoze fanboi

  12. Mr B
    Dead Vulture

    Binary compatibility ???

    If there is one thing Sun is good at, it is binary compatibility, apps developed on Sun OS 5.7 are still running on the Open version of Sun Solaris 11 you can still link libraries coz compilers are compatible with previous versions ... if they want to achieve that kind of stability with MySQL, it may take some time and some free community tantrums.

    Java is a heap of pooh by design but crappy Java apps using deprecated APIs are still ok to run on the latest JVM.

    The only use of ubuntu I'm having is the live CD image so to manage GUI & MRB disks and partitions. ubuntu = toolbox not OS.

  13. Don Mitchell

    Toy Databases

    Yeah, MySQL is fast as long as you avoid a real storage engine that does transactions and locking. And as long as you don't expect it to scale up with multiple cores like a professionally designed system. Sadly, on the Linux platform, people have to turn to Oracle for heavy duty database functionality, and then they pay through the nose.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    What do you mean "fast and good enough always beats slow and correct?" That's one of the most stupid blanket statements I think i've ever heard. I don't know if you've ever actually compared Debian to Ubuntu, but the meticulous nature of Debian's release cycle means that it performs exponentially better than Ubuntu. It's as if you're saying that people shouldn't care that much about quality or performance, but rather how often they can get a "new" product. Take issue with the bogged-down bureaucratic bullshit that Sun applies to all of their open-source software, sure, but try not to be a fucking idiot, why don't you?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If "Fast and Good-Enough" is what is needed then use the current version.

    Is it true that Sun Bashing is the only way that Reg folks get their articles read?

  16. Pirate Dave


    Well fuck me, there's NO PROFANITY AT ALL in this story by Ted. What the fuck is up with that? Is he going soft? Maybe he's just taking a break because it's the holiday season.

  17. jake Silver badge

    You didn't ask me, but I have an answer ...

    "Yeah, right. Do servers run Ubuntu and desktops run Debian in your world?"

    Nope. Servers run either the native OS or BSD, and sometimes Slackware. Desktops nearly always run highly customized Slackware.

    Even my 70+ year old parents are happy with Slackware on the desktop ... This last Boxing Day, Dad was trying to convince my youngest brother that he (my brother) should consider talking to me about the OS for his kid's about-to-be-purchased computer ... I just got off the 'phone with said brother, and we're going to try out Slack for his kids. There are five of them, all aged under 10 years.

    Can't save all of 'em, but five's a start ...

  18. Anne Bokma

    specially if fast and good enough...

    become better as the original.

    Nuf said

  19. n
    Thumb Down

    @ Kevin Hutchinson


    Maybe their apple box marked "freebies for top 10 review articles" didn't arrive this christmas.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Erm, what exactly is a "native OS"? Does it come with bongo drums and spears?

    And while I'm at it, Slackware? For kids?

    Sure, slack is a great server OS, but as a desktop? Are you trying to turn them away from linux for life?

  21. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Father Ted

    I was hoping for some festive fecking swearing from Father Ted.

    About the only thing I agreed with in the article was the petulance of the open source zealots who love features and fluff over reliability and is often as loggerheads with production requirements.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Nuno trancoso


    "Sure, slack is a great server OS, but as a desktop? Are you trying to turn them away from linux for life?"

    All under 10. Equally capable of installing/configuring/maintaining Windows/Slack/Ubuntu/whatever, wich is, not at all... So, Jake wil be doing it, and placing nice shortcuts on their dektops, and probably doing remote maintenance/admin. Wich means, Slack will be as friendly to a 10yo as Jake makes it to be.

    Added bonus of not having to go through the FriendlyDistroTM "where the fuck did they put it this time...", "what in hell where they thinking" or "why is this crap even here..." routine.

    <Flame shield on>Still , even Slack is starting to carry too much crap these days, sign of times i guess...<Flame shield off>

  24. BioTube

    Ubuntu v Debian

    Testing is more stable than Ubuntu's releases, from what I hear. In addition, Debian would never allow a new kernel into a release the day before it goes gold.

    Debian stable = rock solid

    Debian testing = desktop

    Ubuntu = ancient African word for "can't configure Debian"

  25. jake Silver badge

    @misc. folks

    "Erm, what exactly is a "native OS"? Does it come with bongo drums and spears?"

    First of all, you are undoubtedly a racist prick. Second, I assume you've never bought high-end equipment. Not all computers come from Best Buy or Staples, you know. There are OSes other than Linux, BSD, Windows and OSX, too. Do some research, you might learn something.

    "petulance of the open source zealots who love features and fluff over reliability"

    I'm not a zealot. I just want whatever OS I use to work with minimal histrionics. Slackware and BSD provide that functionality. For me. Your mileage may vary.


    Exactly. Apparently the AC missed that I customize Slack for folks who are obviously not power users. Like my parents, nieces, nephews, wife, etc. My goal is to deliver a working system and never need to provide support. I've had Slack on my desktop tor about 13 years now, and I've been using Un*x for about 30 years, so it's probably not as difficult for me as it might be for your average *buntu or Win* user ...

    "even Slack is starting to carry too much crap these days"

    Nah. Where is it written that you have to install the complete contents of the DVD? Do a basic installation, recompile the kernel for your hardware, then install the software that you need for your day-to-day life. Lean and mean. Works for me, anyway :-)

    As for the kids & Slack, they will grow with their systems. Hopefully by the time they graduate Junior High School, they will have a pretty good idea of how computers work, as opposed to how to use the pointy-clicky-thingy.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "First of all, you are undoubtedly a racist prick."

    is a great thing to post, esp followed by:

    "I'm not a zealot. "

    Sigh. I love my slackware boxes, and I really don't like the idea of flamey zealot lunatics like you acting as self-appointed advocates. Please stop talking before you drive the last few holdouts to Vista. Seriously.

  27. jake Silver badge


    "is a great thing to post,"

    Seemed fitting at the time. Still does. I mean, seriously, I am a native (of Northern California), you are a native (of somewhere), in fact every man, woman and child on this muddy rock are native to somewhere. Why bring up "bongos and spears", especially when I was obviously referring to an operating system or systems? Seems racist to me.

    "esp followed by:

    "I'm not a zealot. ""

    I'm not a zealot. My Father asked me to build the boxes for he and Mom after I set up a "try before you buy" box alongside their NT2K machine. My brother called me after talking to Dad, and messing with the "guest" account on Dad's machine. I didn't harp on them in a zealous manor by any stretch. All they knew, after doing some basic research, was that they either wanted a Mac, or something else non-Vista.

    All my relatives know I'm the family computer geek, and they are free to ask me questions. I provide answers as best I can. Sometimes I recommend XP, sometimes a Mac, sometimes a Linux based solution, and sometimes dual boot. Depends on the needs of the user. My goal is to provide a solution that works, with as little routine maintenance as I can possibly deliver.

    "I really don't like the idea of flamey zealot lunatics like you acting as self-appointed advocates"

    Flamey? Nope. Calling it as I see it. Zealot? Nope. Did you see in mine where I noted that it works for me, but your mileage may vary? Or did you bother reading that far? And advocates are, in general, all self appointed. I'll cop to slight lunacy, however :-)

    "Please stop talking before you drive the last few holdouts to Vista. Seriously."

    Do you REALLY think anyone reading this forum will base their choice of OS on any post anyone writes? Do you think anyone reading this forum even bases their choice of OS on articles written by ElReg staff? Seems rather unlikely to me ... But I could be wrong.

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