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Archive for December, 2010

LXer Article

Recently SkySQL announced itself to the world with its focus being on former Sun MySQL customers. This comes in the aftermath of Sun being bought by Oracle and the subsequent departures of former Sun executives and engineers before and after the purchase. I recently had a chance to talk with Ulf Sandberg the new CEO of SkySQL for a few minutes.

Q: It looks to me that most, if not all of the original architects of MySQL are either invested in or an active part of SkySQL.

A: Yes, both co-founders and OnCorps as well as Open Ocean Capital, which is comprised of some of the founders of and investors in MySQL Ab as well. – OnCorps being major investor, they wanted the most for their money and they will be involved in keeping us focused on sales and revenue. Bob Suh, CEO and Founder of OnCorps who used to be at accenture wanted to be in on it. We have almost all of the core developers and support team and we are selling that to our prospective customers. Knowing that most of the people you used to get support and service from are here at SkySQL makes it a much easier choice for them.

Q: I take it you are actively selling your services to all your old customers at Sun and MySQL then, how is that going?

A: “We’re back”, we are telling people that MySQL took a break but now we’re up and running again. To our customers, they have an alternative for pricing and services as compared to Oracle and can decide for themselves what is best. I think everyone can see what is going on with Oracle and with us in the market now they have a choice as to who they want to get their support and services from going into the future.

Q: So having already done business with them as Sun they were familiar with you and you philosophy correct?

A: The ecosystem and partners want to talk to people they know, along with the commitment to open source and keeping the code open. Most companies do not want to be hostage to one vendor, especially one that charges a lot for their products and service. They now have an alternative in SkySQL and we have already received a number of requests from companies that would rather be with the original MySQL team and our reasonable pricing model and not hand cuffed by Oracle. They also do not trust that Oracle will supoort open source and MySQL down the road but will try to upsell them as soon as they can to more expensive but typically not needed product.

Q: It seems obvious that the takeover of Sun by Oracle lit a fire to make this happen. A lot of people think it was Oracle’s attitude towards the developers that did it, MySQL started bleeding execs and devs even before the sale to Oracle was official.

A: We saw what was going on and decided it was best to go in another direction. The deal took a long time to close and some MySQL folks were already leaving prior to completion. We did expect Oracle to continue with the acquisition, similar to what they have done to other companies they bought. They have no prior experience of open source nor interest as evident from how OpenSolaris, OpenOffice and as of lately Java has been managed by Oracle.

Q: Is Oracle really committed to MySQL?

A: Depends on who you ask, they are really focused on sales..

Q: Isn’t the writing on wall for MySQL?

A: Sun had soft gloves, maybe too soft. Oracle is much more about “Here is what you are going to do and how your going to do it.” and it just is not how we feel it should be done. How could Oracle balance both their enterprise database offerings which are very expensive with the popular MySQL database in their accounts? Their sales people just don’t want MySQL in their accounts and become a threat to their high price. They might say they are supporting MySQL externally but in reality, there is such an internal conflict that it likely can not happen.

After reading this article by Henrik Ingo and talking to Ulf I think that there is more than enough room in the ‘MySQL” world for SkySQL to not only survive, but thrive as well. If there is one thing I have learned it is that there is a ton of talented people who can code SQL and if you can find and keep them, you’re going to be alright.

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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have part 1 and 2 of Steven Rosenberg’s farewell to Fedora. why Glyn Moody is rooting for Microsoft, a long overdue look at XFCE, Dr. Tony Young’s final (or is it?) installment in his switching to KDE 4.4 adventures and the Linux foundation releases their annual list of who writes Linux. Enjoy!

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1: I really did like Fedora 13. I liked it enough to solve more than a handful of problems. I liked it enough to use a proprietary graphics driver for the first time (didn’t like that; not only was it outside the package-management system and hard to update, it didn’t perform so well either). I love the Fedora community, the openness that’s everywhere, the lack of pretense. But just as everything was roses, furry kittens and such when I first ran Fedora 13 with the 2.6.33 Linux kernel, it started to go dark with the change — in mid-cycle, mind you — to the 2.6.34 kernel.

Open Source Does Not Need Monetising: It’s common to hear commentators and business leaders justifying practices that wouldn’t be recognised as “open source” by many of us on the grounds that they have to make money somehow. Actions that deny the software freedoms of end users – and even developers – appear like a fungus, spuriously justified by the need for profit. Phrases like “we can’t give everything away” garnish the thought, and it’s easy to be drawn into sympathising with them. But they are wrong. Open source itself is not about making money – that’s the job of its participants. Open source is the pragmatic product and projection of software freedom.

How a “Welded-to KDE 3.5 User” Began a Move to KDE 4.4 – Part 2: In this second part of a two part guest editorial and tutorial Dr. Tony Young (an Australian Mycologist by trade) shares his trials, tribulations, successes and disappointments in working with the new version of KDE. In this installment he configures media players, K3b, Crossover Office, Lucid and Post Script and his final thoughts on his adventures.

Why I’m Rooting for Microsoft: It will not have escaped your notice that the patent system has been the subject of several posts on this blog, or that the general tenor is pretty simple: it’s broken, and nowhere more evidently so than for software. Anyone can see that, but what is much harder is seeing how to fix it given the huge vested interests at work here.

The bad guys are worried – did we win?: Recently two pieces of first class anti-free software diatribe hit the headlines. The first is Microsoft’s “please don’t use OpenOffice.org” video and the second is Steve Jobs’ anti-Android rant. Both are pretty shallow attempts at deflection and have been rightly called out as actually endorsing the subject of the attack as a valid opponent. In both cases it does seem to say that Microsoft and Jobs are concerned enough about OpenOffice.org and Android respectively that they need to tell the rest of us how bad they are.

6 Best Linux Terminal Applications for Linux: A Quake-style terminal is a drop-down terminal which can be shown/hidden just like the console in Quake (and most of the first-person shooter games out there), using the press of a key (~ in Quake). Guake is a terminal application written in GTK which uses the F12 keyboard shortcut by default to show or hide it.

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 2: Review of Debian Squeeze: I’ve been keeping my eye on Debian Squeeze (and Sid) for the past few months via live images, and in the course of the release’s life there have been changes in the application lineup. Notable inclusions in the now-frozen Squeeze are the Ubuntu Software Center as an alternative way of managing applications. Yep, you read right: Debian is using the Ubuntu Software Center. It looks like Debian’s developers are in a more cooperative mood than they get credit for. I for one am glad to see such cross-pollination between Ubuntu and Debian.

A Long Overdue Look at XFCE: Here at MakeTechEasier, we’ve covered Linux desktop issues of all kinds, and we’ve examined desktop environments both well known (Gnome and KDE) as well as somewhat obscure (Window Maker, LXDE). For some reasons, we’ve never taken a close look at the very popular XFCE desktop environment. It’s nearly as feature-rich as Gnome, but with a smaller footprint. As it’s been a big name in the Linux desktop world for quite a few years now, it seems we’re long overdue to check out this polished and useful collection of software.

World Wildlife Fund WWF format cracked!: I heard about the new .WWF format this morning. It is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to prevent people printing .PDF files. As a matter of fact, it is a .PDF format, but slightly modified and with the “no printing” flag enabled. But I don’t like it when people are forbidding me something. It is sending the wrong message. So I set out to crack it.

Who Writes Linux?: This is an annual report published by The Linux Foundation that measures the the rate of Linux kernel development, who is doing it (developer names) and who is sponsoring it (company names). It has become an annual check on the state of the world’s largest open source project and collaborative development effort.

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