Friday, November 29, 2013

A strategy from the community

We have seen the news about MariaDB replacing MySQL in Fedora , SUSE and Red Hat.

While Oracle would not be happy about such news, the open source community supports the focus on a "more" open source solution to be implemented into Linux.

The interesting thing that we all might over look is that, the decision or strategy to move to MariaDB from MySQL was likely not just made by the upper management in Red Hat. This is much more likely to be a movement from the open source community that Red Hat evaluated and they listened.

Consider this, take a look back at Jackie Yeaney's (@jackieyeaney) post about the "Democratizing the Corporate Strategy Process at Red Hat" (posted Nov 10th, 2011) and learn how Red Hat works. "We utilized existing networks in the open source community to "keep our minds open" and socialize ideas outside of Red Hat."  The community wanted openness and a result was a move to MariaDB by Red Hat, is is related to the open strategy at Red Hat, in my humble opinion it is likely yes.

 Jim Whitehurst (@JWhitehurst) appears to embrace the open source community not just because of the financial gains it rewards the company but also because how it revolutionized how they work, make strategic decisions and take input from others: "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." 

Take a moment to relate that last statement to MySQL.  If you follow MySQL then you are well aware that Oracle closed (or have a less open version now) the bugs.mysql.com site. While Oracle has their own corporate reasoning for that, the open source community follows "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."  

As MariaDB grows and become more imbedded into the Linux distros as the default DB the related bug tracking will be open and it will be interesting to see how the bugs split across Maria and MySQL in the long run.

So now.. the interesting aspect is while MySQL had enterprise and community versions owned by Oracle the move still happened because of MariaDB.  Oracle also owns Java and the related OpenJDK. While I am just asking this as an outsider looking in... If a Java/OpenJDK  was branched out into another software package that was not owned by Oracle, would we soon see an replacement for Java/OpenJDK in Red Hat as well ?  Again I am an outsider to the Java world, so I just ask that because of the similarities it represents with MySQL.

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MariaDB & the Linux Distributions

So by now many of you have seen the news about Google, SUSE and  Red Hat / Fedora moving to MariaDB as the default database instead of MySQL.

MariaDB and SkySQL have made very productive business moves this year. What does this really mean for MySQL community and the general open source community ?

For starters think back to what made MySQL so popular? It was readily available in all the top Linux distributions.

OpenSuse and Fedora already are moving to MariaDB so the push for an open source focused movement has begun. Following a RHEL migration that has MariaDB as the default database would then also mean that CentOS would soon have MariaDB as the default database. 

Likely soon to follow will be a move by Ubuntu and Debian. I could have missed the news on a move already but I don't think so.

All of this is big news and moves for MariaDB and the open source community. MariaDB will naturally begin to see more user acceptance and use. While Oracle's MySQL is still an open source software package the big issue has been the bugs.mysql.com site and tracking of mysql user bugs. Will people soon start to track more bugs at MariaDB?

MariaDB also has open source features that mimic the enterprise only solutions available in Oracle's MySQL. So many users are going to naturally pick up on those features. 

While Oracle is building great features and code, but how many in the community are taking it? MySQL 5.1 is heavily used in the community used Linux distributions and many users might only know MySQL 5.1 and so soon MariaDB 5.5.   

What will happen next?
Well what Oracle decides to do is still yet to be seen. Oracle already takes Red Hat Linux to build their Oracle Linux (OEL). So ironically now MariaDB, which is forked from Oracle's MySQL, will be in Red Hat Linux for Oracle to remove for their OEL. Will Oracle fight back with Java in some way?

What will Percona do? Percona is also a player in this and has had a respectful relationship with MariaDB and Oracle over the years. Naturally, Percona does lean towards the open-source side of things so it will be curious to see if any move occurs on Percona's part.  Will more tools focused on MariaDB features becoming soon?

What will MariaDB do?  Well, monitoring the growth rate of bugs in the MariaDB Bugs database will help show how many people are starting to take on MariaDB.
Will Maria at some point break away from the MySQL source code updates and continue builds with just the community and their engineers? 

So what happens next?  We do not know. It is up to the open source community. A lot of angry voices had been directed at Oracle over the years. So how do those voices change or show support to MariaDB will soon to be seen. While many of them likely already support MariaDB, it is the adoption of the masses that will show how well MariaDB does in regards to MySQL. Many companies know the name MySQL and will be hesitant to move to MariaDB (This happened to me just the other day.) . So MariaDB's work is not yet done.
And yet after all of this... Oracle,  Red Hat and Google still come together to help the us government