back to article MySQL daddy Widenius: Open-source religion won't feed MariaDB

MySQL daddy Monty Widenius has dismissed claims the MariaDB fork is veering away from open source. Rather, the chief technology officer of MariaDB corporation called his firm’s embrace of a commercial licence for part of MariaDB "critical" to delivering new revenue and for the continued development of open-source software. …

  1. werdsmith Silver badge

    It's fair enough, Maria allows me to mostly avoid Horrorcal, and is free for all my development and testing purposes. When I want to scale and become a money making production deployment then I will pay some of that profit back to those folk that enabled it with their years of coding.

    Actually I won't because I've gone with and am quite pleased with MongoDB.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      MongoDB uses Afro GPL. It's only free to use if you have an afro.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Advert supported

    Maybe we could have an Ad supported database engine. Every 10th row has an advert inserted into a convenient column?

    1. hplasm

      Re: Advert supported

      Aiee! Access 10?

  3. Novex

    Whether we like it or not, professionals in any industry need to be paid in order to have a home and eat food, so they can continue to produce. Advertising will only ever go 'so far', frequently not far enough when we also have to consider that we like our internet free of intrusive advertising. So some kind of payments back to the professionals have to be made. Or are we willing to just put up with the half-arsed results that all too often come about from the efforts of hobby coders volunteering their valuable free time away from serving people coffee and cakes for minimum wage for ten plus hours a day, seven days a week?

    1. wikkity

      the efforts of hobby coders

      While there are some people who contribute to MAJOR projects most are paid to do so. Widenius himself has done very well for himself, even before Sun bought hime out. Most companies make money from OS through support or from other software/service that are dependent on that software.

      That said I have no problem people adding non free functionality. A long time ago MySQL was open source on all platforms but windows.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        Re: the efforts of hobby coders

        There are several types of people who contribute.

        Those who work for big companies and as part of their job they are allowed to contribute.

        Those who work for big companies where the companies are backing the Open Source projects and are assigned to work on them.

        Then there are developers who work on these projects outside of school and work on the code as a way to make a name for themselves and to establish some credibility.

        These people don't make money off of Open Source ...

        The only way to make money is to own the code so to speak and provide paid support.

        Even then, you can't make a lot of money doing this.

      2. federico.razzoli

        Re: the efforts of hobby coders

        But that's not what they did. MaxScale is completely nonfree.

        Also, while I could agree if we speak in general, I don't agree when we talk about MariaDB. Because Monty strongly criticized Oracle for distributing two minor features only in the Enterprise Edition (non-GPL). If your marketing strategy is showing users that you are more open than others, you MUST be open.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby

          Re: the efforts of hobby coders

          You missed the point.

          The bulk of the work in FOSS is off the backs of people who have minimal economic incentive.

          Anyone can take an apache project code and embed it in to their licensed app with minimal requirements. (Why do you think companies like IBM like Apache licensing?) So you can take mySQL/MariaDB/etc and build/enhance a product that is no longer open source.

          Fully open open source code is not going to make you rich. The exception to that rule is RedHat and its in an interesting situation.

  4. Dwarf


    in summary, he forked the product, stuck in the knife at Sun, but now has nothing to put on the end of it ?

    Makes sense that those who support and drive open source get a reasonable standard of living, otherwise whats it all about.

    The difficulty is if some PHB moves in who doesn't understand the product walks off with all the revenue that it brings.

    1. teebie

      Re: So..

      "but now has nothing to put on the end of it"

      Surely you meant, "but now he looks like a spoon"?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No shock here.

    If you really took a hard look at the Open Source Community, you'll see its a false economy.

    Its unsustainable unless you have a commercial entity that holds a monopoly on commercial support.

    (e.g. RedHat)

    I was fortunate to have a one on one conversation with Mike Olson then CEO of Cloudera. He said he believed 100% in the open source model. He had founded multiple open source companies but then sold most of them to Oracle. But here's the rub. What happens when your Oracles, EMC, IBM, etc all end up going away because they don't have the revenues to support buying or funding open source startups?

    One can look at the three big Hadoop vendors to see three different tactics to see what works and doesn't.

    I'm sure I am going to get down voted by the freetards who don't grok the economics behind software development and software companies but having lived through 30+ years in the IT industry.

    There's more to this than just economics but also design decisions that can kill a good product.

    1. federico.razzoli

      Re: No shock here.

      Your comment looks a bit weird to me (no offence). I understand that, after all, you are just elaborating what Monty said to justify his decision. But you should still consider facts. There are more companies in the MySQL ecosystem and, as far as I know, all of them are in good wealth. Sure much more in good wealth than most of companies working with proprietary software. Please don't use Monty's justifications as if they were a scientific case study.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No shock here.

        Its not a simple thing.

        One could write a PhD dissertation on the false economy of Open Source and it would be a very long paper. There are multiple parties coming to play and the impact of Open Source on the software industry are still in its infancy. It will take a few more years before most outside of the industry will see it.

        Where companies are making money is in a hybrid model. There is an underlying FOSS product, but the value comes from support and the proprietary software sitting on top.

        BTW, I'm not using Monty's justifications, there just happens to be a lot of information where you can write a scientific study that happens to support Monty's view. (Hint: He's not the only one with those views.)

  6. Morten Bjoernsvik

    poor dude

    Where is the $1billion Sun coughed up for Mysql Monty? You can fund whatever pet project for eternity.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: poor dude

      I thought it was $two billion. But what's a billion between friends? It's not as if one could take a profit of that kind and then bankroll Ubuntu .... oh, hang on ...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: poor dude

      @ Morten Bjoernsvik, You make me sic. First of all, why do you envy him so much, secondly he did not have nothing close to a majority of the company, third he payed his taxes. Still not bad, hope you will do as well, not.

      1. mulletopia

        Re: poor dude

        You make me (sic).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: poor dude

      Widenius sold MySQL to Sun in January 2008, earning about €16.6 million in capital gains in 2008 (€16.8 million total income), making the top 10 of highest earners in Finland that year.

  7. Nick Kew

    He has form

    MySQL had a commercial element before Sun overpaid for it. Let alone Oracle's time.

    Sun paid handsomely for MySQL, and would doubtless have been happy to go on paying His Lordship a very ample salary while also having a leading say in ongoing development. One might suggest, a happy and successful outcome to someone wanting to do open source and make a living from it. Yet he not merely turned down that opportunity, but savaged the hand that fed him.

    Only with an opensource project could he have his cake again having already eaten it. IMHO you need a lot of ruthlessness and brass neck to do both. While I respect mixed business models, I think on balance I'd sleep easier with Larry's MySQL than the serial teaser-merchant.

  8. Richard Lloyd

    Alternative to Maxscale...

    ...there's always good old MySQL Proxy (it never went GA, but I've used it) or the newer MySQL Router, both of which don't appear to have any sort of BSL-style licence tied to them and both can be used with MariaDB server installs as the backends.

    MySQL Proxy was a bit too simplistic perhaps (very simple round robin by default, requiring some Lua-based work to balance based on load/connections) and I certainly didn't like the number of g_assert() calls in the production source code (262 at the last count), but it seemed to do its job OK.

    1. Hans 1

      Re: Alternative to Maxscale...

      >I certainly didn't like the number of g_assert() calls in the production source code (262 at the last count), but it seemed to do its job OK.

      The macro [is usually] turned off in final releases of code by defining G_DISABLE_ASSERT when compiling the application. I would hope so ...

  9. Tim99 Silver badge

    I would not give Monty any more money

    An article in El Reg in Jan 2010 - "Monty's 'Save MySQL' mudsling... "after he asked for money then.

    "A petition to stop Oracle taking over MySQL has garnered support from more than 15,000 people, after Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius launched his last gasp web campaign in December. The MySQL co-creator, who walked away from the database just seven months after Sun Microsystems bought it in September 2008 for $1bn, cobbled together a …" Here is my reply - I had hoped that Monty may have made enough money out of this by now.

  10. mulletopia

    "I need to charge money for not-open source because I want more open source."

    War is Peace

    Freedom is Slavery

    Ignorance is Strength


    I think I understand now.

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