Fatal Exception’s Neil McAllister questions the effect recent developments in the MySQL community will have on MySQL’s future in the wake of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. Even before Oracle announced its buyout, there were signs of strain within the MySQL community, with key MySQL employees exiting and forks of the MySQL codebase arising, including Widenius’ MariaDB.
Now Widenius’ Oracle-less Open Database Alliance adds further doubt as to which branch of MySQL will be considered ‘official’ going forward. “Forks are a fact of life in the open source community, and arguably an entirely healthy one,” McAllister writes. “Oracle just better hope it doesn’t end up on the wrong side of the fork.” To do so, he suggests Oracle will have to regain the trust and support of the MySQL community — in other words, “stop acting like Oracle.”
McAllister further details the similarities between the current ongoing Oracle/MySQL saga and the case of egcs, which was a fork of gcc. This fork came about because of the stagnating nature of gcc. The main gcc eventually died off, and egcs was renamed back to gcc – making it the default branch again. Something similar could happen regarding eglibc, which we reported on earlier.
I guess forking is simply a part of the open source development model. It ensures that code moves forward, regardless of political struggles or cranky maintainers. It might sound like a bad thing to fork, but it’s just part of the open source model, ensuring open source progresses.
Note: The last two paragraphs were written by Thom Holwerda, the first two by snydeq.