After all the industry speculation about MySQL being a “hot 2008 IPO”, this probably takes most of us by surprise — users, community members, customers, partners, and employees. And for all of these stakeholders, it may take some time to digest what this means. Depending on one’s relationship to MySQL, the immediate reaction upon hearing the news may be a mixture of various feelings, including excitement, pride, disbelief and satisfaction, but also anxiety.
Being part of the group planning this announcement for the last few weeks, I have had the fortune to contemplate the consequences during several partially sleepless nights (I usually sleep like a log). And over the coming days and weeks, I’ll provide a series of blogs with various viewpoints of the deal
What does the acquisition of MySQL by Sun mean for MySQL users?
Given Sun’s proven track record as the largest contributor to Open Source, I think MySQL users have plenty of reason to feel happy about the acquisition. There are many companies that attempt to ride the wave of positive attention towards Open Source, but in my judgement, Sun gets it right. Sun gets Open Source. Java has been released under the GPL. There’s the OpenSolaris operating system. There’s Open Office / Star Office. There’s the GlassFish application server. There’s the NetBeans IDE tool. And more.
Anxiety on the part of MySQL users may stem from Sun’s success with Java and Solaris. Will MySQL’s support for other programming languages and operating systems now be given less attention?
Absolutely not. MySQL is still being managed by the same people, and the charter is still the same. There is no need for reducing the set of platforms or languages. It only makes sense for us to continue to support defacto Web development standards like LAMP, as well as emerging ones like Ruby and Eclipse. **This deal is about addition, not subtraction.
I’d like to think that the acquisition of MySQL by Sun will be seen as good news also by the core group of users who form the active MySQL community. This is because Sun is a safe haven for MySQL. Sun knows Open Source, and to the extent things change, I expect Sun to add value to our community. I don’t expect huge change, though. We continue to work with our quality contributors, we continue to provide our MySQL Forums, the Planet MySQL blog aggregator, we remain on the #mysql-dev and #mysql channels on Freenode, we provide MySQL University lessons, we meet at the MySQL Users Conference. We’ll put effort into connecting the many FOSS enthusiasts and experts at Sun — whom we will now learn to know better — with our active user community.