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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

By Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier on August 09, 2007 (1:00:00 AM)

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MySQL quietly let slip that it would no longer be distributing the MySQL Enterprise Server source as a tarball, not quite a year after the company announced a split between its paid and free versions. While the Enterprise Server code is still under the GNU General Public License (GPL), MySQL is making it harder for non-customers to access the source code.

Kaj Arnö, the company's vice president of community relations, wrote that the Enterprise tarballs "will be removed from ftp.mysql.com. These will move to enterprise.mysql.com, and will be available for our paying subscribers only." Customers will also be able to get the source out of the MySQL BitKeeper repository, but it will no longer be available as a source tarball.

According to Arnö, the move was made to "underline the positioning goal of 'Community Server for community users, Enterprise Server for paying users'. And the GPL requires us (like anybody else) to hand out the code to those whom we give the binaries, which in the case of MySQL Enterprise Server is just the customers."

This does conform with the letter of the GPL, as Arnö points out on his blog, but how will it fly with the community? Some in the MySQL community aren't too pleased. Mike Kruckenberg, whose blog is carried on Planet MySQL, called this a move away from open source for MySQL.

Derek Rodner, director of product strategy for EnterpriseDB, says that this is a sign MySQL is trying to get ready for its IPO, but he says by limiting access to source code "they're going to alienate many of their paying customers" as well as the community.

Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing at MySQL, says that the company isn't trying to alienate its Community users, "and if it comes across that way, it's a mistake in our communications." Instead, Urlocker says that the company is trying to clarify who should be using and distributing the Community version of the software. Urlocker says that MySQL wants to prevent "unnecessary proliferation of a lot of MySQL versions," and that "we're not trying to take something away, though I guess we have; it's to eliminate confusion."

One of the things that many users worry about is whether they're getting an inferior version of MySQL by using the Community version. Urlocker says that MySQL "wants to make sure the Community version is rock solid," but admitted that the company has introduced features into the Community edition of the software that "[weren't] as robust as we thought, and created some instabilities."

Because of that, the company is revising its policies about when features go into the Community releases. Urlocker says that MySQL will now restrict new features to alpha and beta releases of the Community version of MySQL to "avoid a situation where the community version isn't as tested or isn't as solid" as the enterprise version.

Urlocker was also careful to point out that there's not a major disparity in features between the Enterprise and Community editions of MySQL, but that the Enterprise version is distinguished by support offerings and an update schedule that are better suited for enterprise customers.

Though MySQL AB will not be distributing the source tarball, Urlocker says that MySQL isn't going to try to stop distribution of Enterprise Server source by others. "If somebody wants to, that's fine. People can distribute it.... It may not be something we've necessarily tested, but we're not going to try to coerce people against it."

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.25.230.42] on August 09, 2007 02:23 AM
MySQL forgot where thay come from and their success all of the open source. I'm done with MySQL it is sad but they are going into the wrong direction. I will move for enterprise projects Oracle for opensource projects PostgreSQL.

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Re: MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.86.239.44] on August 09, 2007 04:28 AM
It still is open source. The ability to download source code for free of software that usually or money it a great thing, especially for people who never pay for software. However this modal is what open source is suppose to be about, instead of just getting the binaries you also get the source code. It was never about software being free (costless).

Companies that offer free and paid versions of software are great. As a software developer i'm willing to pay for powerful and advance SDK's, however I love that I can download free versinas of software that I need but use infrequently (stuff like graphic design apps)

Dan

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Re(1): MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.73.195.25] on August 10, 2007 05:43 AM
Free software is certainly about being free, free is free from
cost there is no other free. If it's not free to use it isn't freedom
of ideas or free as in beer it has to be both otherwise it's simply
payed license software and it's the same as any other the source
doesn't mean much.

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IDIOT!!! "Free" isn't "FREE". Re(2): MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.189.74.194] on August 12, 2007 02:09 PM
the gnu.org folks tell you so. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html You know next to nothing about at about free software. It's about freedom, you idiot.

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They need to be careful

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.164.145.201] on August 09, 2007 05:43 AM
PostgreSQL is mainstream, Ingres is now fully open-source (GPL) and both are industrial-strength. (Ingres also has a big slice of mindshare amongst academics, a major group of open source software users.) MySQL is under serious pressure and one wrong move could doom it the way poor decisions doomed mSQL in earlier days. Who needs a restrictive database company, if the only sizable benefit is a faster database that is no longer that much faster? There could also be a code-fork, as it is GPLed. All it would take is for the fork to recapture the old strengths, and who would bother with the original?

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There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 198.240.213.26] on August 09, 2007 06:56 AM
Starting with the headline: "MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs". The truth is that MySQL will no longer be distributing Enterprise source tarballs themselves, which is quite different. Anybody who receives an Enterprise source tarball can distribute it (because it's licensed under the GPL). MySQL can't "end" distribution to non-customers. All they can do is stop doing it themselves, which they have a perfect right to do.

Then some commenter suggested moving to PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL may be a reasonable choice as a database, but I would never contribute to a project which has such a defective license. PostgreSQL is licensed under the BSD, which means that anytime Microsoft wants to take over a chunk of PostgreSQL code and incorporate it into a proprietary, closed product, it's free to do that. If you value freedom in the software world, you won't even help to test PostgreSQL. Of course, most people don't value freedom, so this may not apply to you.

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Re: There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.12.14.240] on August 09, 2007 02:14 PM
Customers will also be able to get the source out of the MySQL BitKeeper repository, but it will no longer be available as a source tarball.

so you still have access to it but you need to "CVS" it out. They only make it more difficult :(

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Re(1): There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.189.74.194] on August 12, 2007 02:05 PM
that sentence needs to be reworked. First:

<quote>
the Enterprise tarballs "will be removed from ftp.mysql.com. These will move to enterprise.mysql.com, and will be available for our paying subscribers only."
</quote>

and then:

<quote>
Customers will also be able to get the source out of the MySQL BitKeeper repository, but it will no longer be available as a source tarball.
</quote>

So.. "paying customers" will be able to get the enterprise tarballs (from enterprise.mysql.com), but then "customers" will not be able to get a source tarball???? Other than this, great work on the interview! Loved how you put him on the spot by asking him the difficult questions....

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Re: There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.235.128.5] on August 10, 2007 05:52 AM
A BSD license is a GOOD thing and recently I have done testing to prove that PostgreSQL actually out-performs MySQL in transactional activity when there are 50+ simultaneous connections, so don't be so quick thrash PostgreSQL simply because you don't agree with its licensing. As for the Microsoft comment...that's the purpose of BSD...to prevent others from reinventing the wheel. But of course, if Microsoft actually did rip code from PostgreSQL, you should be so lucky, as it further proves the point that they don't have much creativity and that they make up for it by taking pieces from GOOD software.

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Re(1): There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on August 13, 2007 03:19 AM
But the BSD license does not require that changes be contributed back into the code base. That is the big weakness of the BSD license, because it does not enforce sharing improvements. And that is why BSD-licensed projects stumble along with small resources and slow progress.

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Re: There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: unknown] on August 16, 2007 10:33 PM
Yea how dare you support someones right to pick there own licenses. The BSD license is actually very Open and PostgresSQL is a good database. BTW BSD is considered Open source by the OSI so get over it.

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Re(1): There's a lot of misunderstanding here

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.140.44.2] on August 29, 2007 06:36 PM
Agreed. People throw around "freedom" a lot of times when they really mean, "GPL's definition of freedom". Both licenses are free, just different types.

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 210.49.188.237] on August 09, 2007 08:39 AM
I wrote a response here, as I think there's a bit of misunderstanding - <a href="http://www.bytebot.net/blog/archives/2007/08/08/is-mysql-really-taking-a-step-away-from-the-open-source-model">http://www.bytebot.net/blog/archives/2007/08/08/is-mysql-really-taking-a-step-away-from-the-open-source-model</a>

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On MySQL's commitment to open source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 210.49.188.237] on August 09, 2007 08:40 AM
Please read <a href="http://www.bytebot.net/blog/archives/2007/08/08/is-mysql-really-taking-a-step-away-from-the-open-source-model">On MySQL's commitment to open source</a>, sort of an answer to Mike Kruckenberg's post

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This is why we need to stop calling it open source and start (again!) calling it Free Software!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 221.166.139.251] on August 09, 2007 12:31 PM
The title says it all. Free Software is more than just having access to the damn source code. It is about my freedom, and MySQL is now sending some very bad signals. There is no misunderstanding.

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.131.183.10] on August 09, 2007 05:34 PM
"If you value freedom in the software world, you won't even help to test PostgreSQL."

This is an incredibly stupid remark. The fact that a BSD-licensed product can be incorporated into a commercial closed product is precisely what is allowed by the license. That option increases the likelihood that an OSS product will be used.

The FSF fanatics need to realize that "freedom" of software is not the be-all and end-all of existence. To deny support to PostgreSQL, a long-standing and superior alternative to MySQL, would be to deny access to valuable technology to everyone, including "free" software advocates.

It's this kind of fanaticism that will end up destroying OSS AND "free" software.

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Re: MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.80.34.124] on August 10, 2007 05:06 PM
First, the development of free software as opposed to open source software is faster and has a larger pool of developers. That does not happen by accident and it will always be true. When the proprietary software companies have finished incorporating all the BSD code they need they will have hired most of the developers to develop their proprietary products, under license to not develop open source lest they reveal proprietary secrets. Then you are left with fewer and less experienced programmers developing code in the hope that they will one day be hired away by megacorp. Those types of programmers will be inferior to free software programmers and free software will continue to grow leaps and bounds over BSD style development. The BSD's have certainly done some good things in their time and will again no doubt. It's not an entirely either/or issue. Nevertheless for software freedom we need free software not just open sourced software.

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EnterpriseDB has no standing to criticize

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.114.47.149] on August 09, 2007 07:10 PM
They do basically the same thing - or worse - they represent only the "enterprise" fork of postrgresql.

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Dorsal Source and Proven Scaling continue to distribute source and binaries.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.176.49.46] on August 09, 2007 10:13 PM
You can still get the enterprise source and binaries from http://mirror.provenscaling.com/

dorsalsource.org will also continue hosting the enterprise source.

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.53.206.214] on August 10, 2007 12:20 AM
Can You say, "Hello, PostgreSQL !"

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.155.196.96] on August 10, 2007 01:57 AM
CentOS needs a source for these tarballs ... who wants to help provide them.

Thanks,
Johnny Hughes
CentOS Developer

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Re: MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.34.251.140] on August 10, 2007 05:10 AM
The MySQL source tarball and binaries will continue to be made available from http://mirror.provenscaling.com/

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.4.130.113] on August 10, 2007 03:34 PM
Thanks for very interesting Article Joe. Keep up the good work. Greetings
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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.106.251.36] on August 10, 2007 06:06 PM
There's not only PostgreSQL, "the GlassFish community is building free, open source, production-quality, enterprise software" which is based on Java.

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Re: MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.93.185.45] on August 11, 2007 03:38 AM
we are talking about rdbms or relational databases not middleware application servers. By the way Java Rocks!. :)

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

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MySQL ends distribution of Enterprise source tarballs

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