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4/21/2009
11:51 AM
Curt Monash
Curt Monash
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It's Time to Strengthen MySQL Forkers

I think Oracle will do a better job with MySQL product development than Sun has. But of course that's a low hurdle. And so it leaves open the questions: What should and/or will be the most widely adopted code lines of MySQL (or other open source DBMS)?

As my first three posts on the Oracle/Sun merger suggested, I think Oracle will do a better job with MySQL product development than Sun has. But of course that's a low hurdle. And so it leaves open the questions:

What should and/or will be the most widely adopted code lines of MySQL (or other open source DBMS), especially for the types of users and vendors who are engaged with MySQL (as opposed to principal alternative PostgreSQL) today?As much as I've bashed MySQL/MyISAM and MySQL/InnoDB for being low-quality general-purpose DBMS, I'd still hate to see MySQL-based development stall out. There are a number of MySQL engine providers with rather unique technology that deserve a good front-end partner to build their products with. The high-volume sharding guys deserve the chance to continue down their current path as well. And so does the low-end mass market -- although I'm least worried about them, as I can't imagine any realistic scenario in which Oracle doesn't offer a version of MySQL fully suited to support 10s of millions of WordPress and Joomla installations.

So far as I can tell, there are only four real and currently active candidates for MySQL code coordinator:

  • MySQL itself, soon to be owned by Oracle.
  • MariaDB, Monty Widenius' proposed mainstream MySQL alternative
  • Percona, which seems to have some fans as a superior alternative to vendor-supplied MySQL/InnoDB
  • Drizzle, which is directly focused at web-centric MySQL users who never wanted a robust DBMS in the first place.

Patrick Galbraith and Steven Vaughan-Nichols did good jobs of illustrating the turmoil.

Oracle isn't a very comfortable partner long term for the storage engine vendors, and Drizzle doesn't seem to be what they need. So I think that Infobright, Kickfire, Tokutek, Calpont, et al. need to get aligned in a hurry with an outside MySQL provider such as Percona or MariaDB or a newcomer, preferably all with the same one. Yes, I understand that Infobright is getting a lot of marketing help from Sun these days, that Kickfire just got a nice-sounding Sun marketing announcement as well, and so on. But the time to start working toward the inevitable future is now.

And by "now" I mean "right now," since the MySQL community is at this moment gathered together for its annual conference.I think Oracle will do a better job with MySQL product development than Sun has. But of course that's a low hurdle. And so it leaves open the questions: What should and/or will be the most widely adopted code lines of MySQL (or other open source DBMS)?

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