back to article Q. Why's Oracle so two-faced over open source? A. Moolah, wonga, dosh

Oracle loves open source. Except when the database giant hates open source. Which, according to its recent lobbying of the US federal government, seems to be "most of the time". Yes, Oracle has recently joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to up its support for open-source Kubernetes and, yes, it has long …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    There is nothing two-faced

    Oracle as a company has always been and is likely to be distinctly anti-open source.

    That is a given, they seem two-faced only if you have the memory span of Drosphilla Melanogaster.

    1. malle-herbert
      Trollface

      Re: There is nothing two-faced

      You could have just gone with 'a goldfish'...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There is nothing two-faced

        apart from goldfish have decent memories (not the 1 minute claimed). Yes, you can even "train" them.

      2. Jonathan Richards 1
        Boffin

        Goldfish (was Re: There is nothing two-faced)

        Drosophila melanogaster [sic] is a fruit fly. A goldfish is Carassius auratus, but it can't remember that when it has to fill in a form. Allegedly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Re: There is nothing two-faced

      Oracle as a company has always been and is likely to be distinctly anti-open source.

      Up to a point, Lord Copper.

      A company the size of Oracle inevitably contains many different views. What you see in any particular pronouncement depends on who is speaking. On this particular consultation we have the extreme end of a spectrum.

      Anon 'cos I was once on the Oracle payroll. That is, for a couple of months, after they borged Sun and inherited me.

    3. TVU Silver badge

      Re: There is nothing two-faced

      "Oracle as a company has always been and is likely to be distinctly anti-open source".

      I think a more accurate description would be "Larry has always been and is likely to be distinctly anti-open source" and in some respects he reminds me of Steve Ballmer. In contrast, Sun Microsystems was distinctly open source friendly before they were gobbled up by the Oracle behemoth.

      Even though there's a logical and pragmatic option to follow, the Microsoft route, I just can't see Larry doing it and it'll be the next generation leader who'll take Oracle down that route.

  2. John Sager

    Well, Larry is still making lots of dosh. Oracle's attitude won't change until that changes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    They don't love open source

    ... but they really go wild for free labor!

  4. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Simples...

    Oracle are doing this all wrong - they need to embrace open source...

    ... literally. Take what they need from open source, contribute to it and wrap it up in a bunch of proprietary support systems so tightly it's almost impossible to decouple without massive functionality loss.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20 years of working with Oracle RDBMS and I recently climbed out of the dark hole and saw the light that is SQL Server, MongoDB, Maria, PostgreSQL and even little SQLite, a whole world of fun DBs to play with. Oracle will happily keep fleecing people all the time they keep paying, but they're a hydra that's slowly being hacked to pieces and losing heads, one day the reckoning will come and it's not too far off.

    The world is changing, a new breed of IT people are coming into the workforce that won't simply accept the way it was, some of the old guard like me are willing to go with them into a future with a lot more choice. Oracle have had their day, now it's time to retire, they know it but they just won't accept it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      saw the light that is SQL Server, MongoDB, Maria, PostgreSQL and even little SQLite

      Isn't that a little like saying "I spent years paying IBM a fortune, but finally discovered the Raspberry Pi?

  6. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Boffin

    "cost of forgoing features, functions, automation ... overwhelm any presumed cost savings."

    Except you know what - the vast majority of deployments of any application don't need the latest and greatest new features and functions, and tend to run perfectly with just the core functionality. Why pay for the development of features you don't need.

  7. Milton Silver badge

    Short version:

    Short version: Soulless greed-driven scum will say literally ANYTHING.

    Then, having jettisoned anything resembling ethics and conscience, all they need is people either (a) stupid enough to believe their self-serving propaganda, or (b) who can be purchased by the bushel—which is where CIOs and politicians, respectively, come in. It's a perfect ecosystem of short-termist greed and epic folly.

    Since about 1992 Oracle really ought to have been subtitled, like a movie: "Buyer's Remorse".

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Well that makes no sense

    Let's also not forget that Oracle's experience with open source has been pretty toxic. Oracle straight up lifted RHEL to sell as their own. And their stewardship of OpenOffice, Hudson and Mysql was so moribund that the devs forked the code and decamped.

  9. LDS Silver badge

    Larry: "We need to make America...

    ...'s Cup great again!!!"

    So pour money into this enormous wallet please, going to New Zealand is going to cost!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Open Source economy is a fraud...

    Before you down vote, you need to think this through....

    When happens when Open Source companies can't make enough money to support their operations and there isn't a large software house around who can afford their valuations?

    When you answer that question... you start to realize that these companies are working with a broken model.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The Open Source economy is a fraud...

      Stock market valuations are bullshit as they are often based on investor wishful thinking and navel gazing. The major issue for any company is whether they are producing real profits. If they are producing real profits and seem to have a grasp of their market, they should continue to do so. If a software company is making money with open source they will probably continue to do so (and many do).

    2. AdamWill

      Re: The Open Source economy is a fraud...

      Er...what does that have to do with open source?

      To put it another way, is this not a precisely equally valid question:

      "What happens when proprietary software companies can't make enough money to support their operations and there isn't a large software house around who can afford their valuations?"

      And thus, can't we reduce both questions to:

      "What happens when companies can't make enough money to support their operations and there isn't a large company around who can afford their valuations?

      at which point it has nothing at all to do with open source (or, indeed sofware at all)?

  11. -tim
    Coat

    Closed vs open source email server costs?

    When the US Govt decided they needed a standard for email in about 1990, they came up with a X.400/X.500 based thing covered under a butchered standard called GOSSIP. Those systems in 1992 costs about $50,000 for the license and another $20k just to find someone who could drive the thing. The $100k worth of VAX, Sun or other hardware was on top of that. Much of oddness in Microsoft exchange was a result of them trying to comply with the odd changes to the X.400 protocols. Open source SMTP was allowed as a migration strategy and most places shifted to that and never looked back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Closed vs open source email server costs?

      GOSSIP

      GOSIP. Government OSI Protocol

      SMTP was allowed as a migration strategy and most places shifted to that and never looked back.

      I don't know about that, there are days when I loook at the spam in my Inbox and regret the days of the better-authenticated and more secure OSI stack, instead of the free-for-all we have today. It may be simpler, but it sure ain't technically better.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give Larry a break!

    Do you have any idea how much a facelift costs?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Give Larry a break!

      Do you have any idea how much a facelift costs?

      It costs less than an island in the Hawaii archipelago.

  13. Gnoitall
    Devil

    Claiming Oracle is "Anti Open-Source" misses the critical point

    They're not Anti Open-Source.

    They're Anti-competition. They're against Open Source when they think they'll be competing with it. They're completely in favor of it when they can use it to lower their internal costs or enhance their offerings. (Like as the underpinnings of their dedicated DBMS hardware.) The kind of thing that allows them to sell (and make money) while reducing the money they have to spend.

    It's not about for-or-against Open Source. It's about for-or-against Oracle.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Claiming Oracle is "Anti Open-Source" misses the critical point

      Can I give you more upvotes?

  14. jobst

    Check out what Oracle means:

    1. a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity.

    2. archaic: a response or message given by an oracle, especially an ambiguous one

    The name already gives it away!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The CIO view

    I'm afraid your view is an extremely narrow one, based on companies that want to build their own applications, which is not surprising as the Reg is for IT people who like to build stuff. In the wider world, CIOs just want the best apps that support their business colleagues. In the vast majority of companies, and for the vast majority of apps, buying a SaaS cloud service is the easiest, fastest and cheapest. There's a reason why 365, salesforce, Dropbox, LinkedIn, netsuite are so so successful. None of those are open source. A blinkered open source policy pushes CIOs to choose PaaS or IaaS solution which then leads to a build not buy policy. Most organisations build very poor IT solutions, just look at the security holes as an indicator. I'm not commenting on any specific supplier here, but if El Reg wants to be taken seriously it needs to lift its head out of the narrow IT developer viewpoint.

    The provision of IT is a little like a complex supply chain, with open source providing the basic parts, but kit cars are a very niche market, everybody buys fully built cars these days. IT will go the same way.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020