July 7, 2010

Death by Oracle

This is probably not an original idea. I am not one of those who complain about Oracle's acquisition, as a part of Sun Microsystems, of the MySQL mark and the associated software. Larry Ellison is plenty shrewd enough to make money out of open source - OK, maybe not as much as from proprietary, but when you are Larry Ellison you might figure you are getting close to enough anyway. Or maybe not.

But suppose someone evil in the Ellison empire were to decide to bury MySQL for ever, it strikes me that all they would have to do would be to bundle it under the Oracle installer. This gargantuan framework with basic Java look-and-feel and often totally inadequate error handling (disclaimer: I have little recent experience of Oracle, but I have used their products since 1986 or thereabouts and would be surprised if things had changed radically) would be quite enough to deter anyone who hadn't already forked over huge amounts of money for the software behind it. A free software release would simply not be worth the pain.

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