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Zoli Erdos: "Internal Email on Why a Software Company Migrates Away from

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Zoli Erdos: "Internal Email on Why a Software Company Migrates Away from MySQL"
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:04:29 -0000

Interesting article.

"Internal Email on Why a Software Company Migrates Away from MySQL

By Zoli Erdos on November 4, 2010

Twitter is abuzz this morning with MySQL news:


What these messages refer to is that Oracle dropped InnoDB from the free
Classic Edition, it is now only available starting with the $2,000
Standard Edition.  A few days ago we heard support prices were increased
– none of this should come as a surprise, the writing had been on the
wall ever since Sun’s acquisition by Oracle.  And of course it’s not
only MySQL, all Open Source products are on uncertain grounds – there’s
a reason why many of the OpenOffice folks split off and are now
supporting the new fork, LibreOffice.

I don’t pretend to be the Open Source expert, thankfully we have one,
Krish, who recently chimed in on the issue.  What I want to do this
morning is to take this opportunity to publish an internal email from a
smart software CEO who instructed his teams to migrate away from MySQL
several months ago.  While he wishes to remain anonymous, this is not a
leak, I am publishing it with his permission.  (Yeah, I know, a leak
would have made this story a lot juicier…).  Here’s the email:

I posted this internally to an employee question why I am asking our
company to move away from MySQL towrds Postgres (instead of Ingres):

I would answer the “Why not Ingres” with one word: GPL.

Let’s step back and think about the  “People are angry with what Oracle
is doing with MySQL” statement. Actually why could Oracle do this with
MySQL? How was it possible for Oracle to do this? After all MySQL is
“open source” and could be “forked” right?

To be honest, I had long anticipated this move on the part of Oracle.
Unlike Linux, which has what I call the Torvalds-interpretation-of-GPL,
which kind of makes it in effect LGPL for the apps written on top of
Linux, MySQL has the original and strict Stallman-interpretation-of-GPL.
So an app written on top of Linux, even though it makes system calls to
Linux, doesn’t have to be GPL – why, simply because Torvalds decreed it
so. But an app written on top of MySQL, even though it connects over the
wire and a JDBC driver, has to be GPL – why, simply because MySQL
decreed it so; they did it because it would make it commercially
convenient for them.

I am not saying that MySQL did not have the moral right to do what they
did – software licenses are not about morality, it is about commerce and
business. Alas, Stallman effectively enabled this MySQL interpretation
through his rigid moralistic stance on software licenses – I don’t
consider it a moral issue but he does. So Stallman’s moralism created
the MySQL interpretation, which then allowed Oracle to acquire them and
make life hard for any MySQL users – basically demand lots of money for
shipping MySQL with your software. Eventually, Stallman’s GPL v3, if
MySQL were to adopt it, would require us to pay lots of money to Oracle
from our services too.

So unless we want to pay large and increasing amounts of money to
Oracle, which is a mathematical certainty because it involves Larry
Ellison and Money, we should move out of MySQL. Do we want to work hard
to ship more and more money to Oracle?

Now Postgres. It is actually BSD licensed. So while it allows anyone to
build proprietary versions of it (as many companies do), no company can
prohibit another company from shipping the free Postgres version with
their software or demand money for it. This is a subtle but very
important point.

GPL is basically “Here is our charity to you, but with this money you
can only do charity.” BSD is “Here is our free gift to you, do whatever
you want with it.”  Stallman has long believed in forcing people to be
charitable. Needless to say, forcing anyone to be anything, ultimately
leaves the door open to evil. The way the door to evil was opened with
GPL, interestingly, is surprisingly similar to what happened with the
Catholic Church in the middle ages in Europe, which is what led to the
Protestant Reformation. The Church had the absolute power to declare
what is sin, which in practice meant that the Church could also absolve
anyone of any sin, essentially by decreeing it. The Church could grant
you “absolution” (forgiveness) from your sins. This evolved into selling
“indulgences” for money – commit adultery, robbery whatever and then pay
money to the Church to buy an indulgence, which is what Martin Luther
found so abhorrent. His theological solution is surprisingly similar to
the BSD license.

Stallman created this problem with his “Absolutely No Sin Ever Allowed”
rule in GPL. The natural loophole is that the original author of GPL
code can allow sin by dual licensing the code – i.e sell indulgences. In
Stallman’s theology, we are buying indulgences for the sin of
distributing proprietary software.

Torvalds sensed this problem early on, and that is why he arbitrarily
imposed his more liberal interpretation on Linux – he could get away
with it early on and his interpretation stayed. In theological terms,
Torvalds split with Stallman.

Now, do you want another theological lecture from me on why we should
get out of Java next? (One word: Oracle)."


"Plaintiff Erik Andersen is a work-from-home father who has gifted 
to the world software underlying a significant body of consumer
electronics." ROFL
                     -- SFLC crooks Ravicher, Williamson, Spiegel
(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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