« MySQL and PHP: Best Practices | Main | Using Extra Caution When Filing Bugs Against Open Source Software »

April 19, 2004

Nagging Thoughts about MySQL

MySQL 2004 was incredible, packed with much-needed information and interaction. However, since leaving MySQL 2004 I've had one thought that keeps coming back into my mind, is MySQL still the open source project I used to know?

For years, my perception of MySQL was that of a small, community-driven database that was making huge leaps toward the high-end RDBMS market, largely by grass-roots efforts.

The conference had an air of having graduated from the grass-roots and being ready for the enterprise with a full-fledged company of marketing, sales, internal development and 24x7 support folks. It was clear that MySQL AB is trying to convince and prove to people that MySQL is ready for the big time, at a significantly lower cost. While that is wonderful for MySQL and it's users I wonder about the relationship with the open source contributors. I heard at least two references to the fact that code is rarely contributed from non-employees, and that the community value is in submission of bugs. I think I'm blurring boundaries, but in my mind the true open source project is not just debugging.

Don't get me wrong, I think MySQL is still my database (since 1999), and it makes a lot of sense to graduate to offering support contracts etc. I just don't feel as strongly about advocating it as I did back when.

I'm curious to see how MySQL will balance it's relationship with the open source community along with it's interest in becoming a respected player in the enterprise database market.

Posted by mike at April 19, 2004 11:31 PM