Databases and I don’t get along, period.
That said, I’ll refain from a metric ton of complaints about how databases don’t do what they want on my behalf (which, of course, comes from operator error moreso than anything wrong with the databases themselves — long story).
However, lately I’ve been getting the hang of MySQL thanks to my assignment as GNU/Linux tester for dbEntrance, a MySQL browser currently written for Macs and soon-to-be prime-time for GNU/Linux. With the patience of the Biblical Job, Tod Landis — the lead developer of dbEntrance — has walked me through the nuances of MySQL and as a result, now it’s not the megamystery it has always been.
Now, Sun has bought MySQL for a billion dollars, causing a variety of reactions ranging from a head-scratching followed by a “hmmm,” to all-out “the-end-is-near” panic.
My reaction leans toward the former, with a “huh, how about that?” rather than a “hmmm.”
Why? I think the Jonathan Schwartz years at Sun are different than Sun’s past leadership, and I mean that in a good way; in fact, I mean that in a great way. Not only has Sun liberated Java and also opened Open Solaris, it also puts a lot of work behind OpenOffice. Further, Sun is making its way into academia on behalf of open source projects.
No one is claiming that Sun is perfect, but I’m not sure anyone in the FOSS realm needs to be wailing and gnashing teeth over this deal.
(Besides, anyone who blogs only once or twice a fortnight — as Schwartz and I seem to do — gets my complete understanding and appreciation!)
So this is the kind of deal that comes only once in a blue moon, or as often as pigs — or MySQL dolphins — fly. And rather than bemoaning the fact that MySQL is now a “hostage” of a multinational, I think this should be seen for what it is: a positive step for both companies.