The Open Database Alliance: Forking MySQL?

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A little while ago, I wrote elsewhere about an interesting development in the MySQL world following Oracle's proposed purchase of Sun. This piece quoted from a post by MySQL's creator, Michael Widenius, which ran as follows:

With Oracle now owning MySQL, I think that the need for an independent true Open Source entity for MySQL is even bigger than ever before.

The biggest threat to MySQL future is not Oracle per se, but that the MySQL talent at Sun will spread like the wind and go to a lot of different companies which will set the MySQL development and support back years.

I would not like to see this happen and I am doing everything I can do to keep this talent pool together (after all, most of them are long time personal friends of mine). I am prepared to hire or find a good home (either at Monty Program Ab or close to it) for all core MySQL personnel.

Essentially, Widenius was talking about forking MySQL, a pretty major step. Now he has made his next move:

Monty Program Ab, a MySQL database engineering company, and Percona, a MySQL services and support firm, today announced the "The Open Database Alliance," a vendor-neutral consortium designed to become the industry hub for the MySQL open source database, including MySQL and derivative code, binaries, training, support, and other enhancements for the MySQL community and partner ecosystem. The Open Database Alliance will comprise a collection of companies working together to provide the software, support and services for MariaDB, an enterprise-grade, community-developed branch of MySQL.

The intent of the Open Database Alliance is to unify all MySQL-related development and services, providing a solution to the fragmentation and uncertainty facing the communities, businesses and technical experts involved with MySQL. Still under development, the Open Database Alliance is open to all businesses, organizations and individuals interested in helping create a new, centralized resource for MySQL and to ensure that it remains a top quality, high performance open source database.

It's not exactly clear what that “industry hub” will do, and to what extent it will be involved with creating and nurturing a MySQL fork. But it's good to see that Widenius is following up his words with some action.

Update: Michael Widenius has now blogged about the Open Database Alliance.

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