After Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle, there has been a large amount of discussions in the business and developer community on the future of MySQL community involved in its development.

A Community Fork?

Interestingly, MySQL community has been able to create a new Database by a fork from the public branch and has revived the project as MariaDB.

On it’s website, AskMonty.org [founded by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder and creator of MySQL] states that its aim is,

To provide a community developed, stable, and always Free branch of MySQL that is, on the user level, compatible with the main version. We strive for total interoperability with both our own, and our upstream, communities.

It also states that,

MariaDB is a backward compatible, drop-in replacement branch of the MySQL® Database Server. It includes all major open source storage engines, including the Maria storage engine.

What about cloud?

There is another branch of MySQL survived as Drizzle which aims to focus on Cloud. The Drizzle project states that,

…[It] is building a database optimized for Cloud and Net applications. It is being designed for massive concurrency on modern multi-cpu/core architecture. The code is originally derived from MySQL.

Looking at both of the above, it can be seen that even if the main source of the above two projects are same (MySQL), they are going on different directions as a result of the community turmoil created because of Oracle’s acquisition.

The Future [and the Community Edition]?

Oracle had stated that it will be continuing to serve existing business customers of MySQL of Sun by providing more investments to the development and continuing support for the existing customers, but has not issued any statement related the community editions of the MySQL. It is seen that Oracle plans to retain existing customers of Sun but most probably, not the community. Having a closed source culture and being business minded, Oracle is highly able to transform the existing MySQL customers to Oracle Database solutions by strategically reducing and finally discontinuing support for existing MySQL customers.

Adding with the demise of MySQL [probably within the next couple of years] from almost every xAMP stack, the free and open source community has to reinvent the wheels to continue its race against the well-built closed source commercial software.

This has also been made difficult due to the absenteeism of a centralized management framework for managing the functionality and requirements  in most open source software as highlighted in a previous post in this blog [Is Open Source software a classic example of fail for Design by Committee?].

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