Timing is everything. I wrote about how MySQL man pages were silently relicensed away from the GPL. It was picked up by a lot of sites: Hacker News, Slashdot, LWN, and probably more. That led to a bug report in Debian (#712730) to complain that MySQL is no longer compliant with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). That prompted Norvald Ryeng who’s active in Debian (thanks Oracle!) to file MySQL bug #69512. Almost immediately Oracle said it was a bug, where Yngve Svedsen pointed to the buildsystem: “This is indeed a bug, where the build system erroneously and silently started pulling in man pages with the wrong set of copyright headers.” That then prompted Tomas Ulin to write about how The MySQL Man Pages ARE Available under the GPL. Case closed, many on Hacker News attributed it to Hanlon’s razor. Most news sites updated it with the bug, and The H also wrote an article: Oracle bug accidentally removes GPL licence from MySQL man pages.
We learned about this issue from MariaDB Jira and spent some time looking at it. We looked at the MySQL source tarballs, and looked at 5.5.30/5.5.31/5.5.32. This issue is present in a release since 18 April 2013 (5.5.31) and a subsequent release on 3 June 2013 (5.5.32). What is clear is that this also affects 5.1, 5.6, and 5.7. This has been an issue for about two months.
So this issue is written off as a bug. Great. Its fixed because it was noticed. It’s noticed not because it was just reported in the bugs system, but because there was a huge amount of traffic around it. While Tomas might say, “Reporting a bug is always a good way to communicate with us,” I doubt this would have been fixed in record time any other way. Also, I don’t need to rehash all the issues with the public bugs system.
I’m not about to start conspiracy theories here because that isn’t my goal. Our frame of mind since last week’s RHEL Software Collections news has been focused on documentation as well. Sheeri Cabral, an Oracle ACE Director, has had a rather interesting conversation on Twitter about our documentation. man pages aside, we’re improving documentation tremendously, and have over 2,700 articles in the Knowledgebase.
One thing is for sure with Oracle as steward for MySQL: the public perception of Oracle isn’t at its best and generally no one assumed this to be an accident.
Now let’s focus on something celebratory and positive: MySQL (NDB) Cluster 7.3 is now a GA. I’m excited by the node.js connector and the auto-installer. Can’t wait to give it a try. Congratulations all round to the Cluster Team at Oracle.
Continuing on from yesterday, the biggest news that I’ve noted in the past 24 hours:
- The commitment from Oracle’s MySQL team to release a new GA about once every 24 months, with a Developer Milestone Release (DMR), with “GA quality” every 4-6 months. Tomas Ulin announced MySQL 5.7 DMR1 (milestone 11) [download, release notes, manual]. He also announced MySQL Cluster 7.3 DMR2 [download, article]. Needless to say, 5.7′s code isn’t pushed yet to lp:mysql-server/5.7. Of notable mention were the statistics around MySQL 5.6 of worklogs, bugs fixed, etc.
- The MySQL Applier for Hadoop which uses the binlog API to stream to HDFS.
- The media was all over the SkySQL-Monty Program merger, so today its just links: TechCrunch, ZDNet, ArsTechnica, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), PC World, The H, and in one of my favourite newspapers, The Financial Times (FT).
Did I miss any other important announcements/news bits?
I’ve always wondered how Oracle was getting away with its rather mocking advertising. Usually seen on the front-page of the WSJ on a daily basis. Apparently, they’re not.
Taken January 14 2008, on the front page of the WSJ
Last week was a bumper week in London for MySQL users, DBAs & developers. We had the Oracle MySQL Developer Day and Percona Live London 2011. Both events were sold out, bringing in a good 300+ people to each event. From what I could tell the crowds were quite unique, so thats a good 600+ people interested in MySQL in London. The death and unpopularity of MySQL is greatly exaggerated.
At Oracle’s event, we naturally only had Oracle presenters. There was Simon Deighton (Sales Manager), Tony Holmes (Sales Consultant), Luca Olivari (Sales Consulting EMEA from the MySQL days), Andrew Morgan & Mat Keep for MySQL Cluster & High Availability. The event was actually pretty good if you were a MySQL beginner to intermediate user (that seemed to be the target audience — about 1 person was playing with 5.6, and about 1% of the audience was already using 5.5). The Q&A sessions were of high calibre, and answers obviously only pointed towards Oracle products.
At Percona’s event, we had wide and varied speakers, but an absence of Oracle. The crowd were already users of MySQL who wanted to get a lot more out of the database servers. It also served five tracks, so attendees had a lot of choice and value to choose from. There was an absence of beginner-centric talks, so one could get lost quite easily if you were sent there just for training. I already said I had an awesome time there.
The way I see it is Percona Live was meant for practitioners, while the Oracle MySQL Developer Day was meant for beginners to intermediate users of MySQL (they were probably already experienced Oracle DBAs). These kind of events are both important as you get a spread spectrum of people attending conferences. You can never really please all attendees at a large event, and in many ways it is always a balance you strike at large events like the O’Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo.
All in, London was abuzz with MySQL. Both events were out in the Tower Hill area. It is clear that MySQL and its diaspora are alive and kicking, and its quite possible the community of users are also growing.
Jono Bacon recently spoke with Luke Kowalski, Oracle VP in the Corporate Architecture Group, about community in the context of MySQL. I’ve known Jono for sometime now, and I first met Luke at the MySQL Conference & Expo 2010 – I found out that we have a common shared interest: Formula One racing! Jono is somewhat of an expert in online, opensource communities – he after all did write the definitive book that O’Reilly published titled The Art of Community.
The video has made its way online, and Jono wrote a brief (and you can watch the video within his post) about what was discussed. You can also get it as a podcast – just subscribe to Oracle Technology Network TechCasts in your podcatcher.
Its under 25-minutes to watch or listen to, and I’d highly recommend you to take a look if you care about community, MySQL and direction. Choice quote: “Oracle needs to make a firm commitment to acting within the culture and ethos of Open Source to have an effective, fulfilling relationship with the MySQL community”. Definitely watch the video.
The latest in the whole Save MySQL campaign: HelpMySQL.org. Monty has a really long blog post on how to help keep the Internet free. When you read that, scroll down towards “Q: How do the proposed remedies benefit your company, Monty Program Ab?” Understand that Monty is doing this for the love of the codebase and the project that is MySQL…
Totally love the copywriting here: Customers pay the bill: Oracle can have Sun but not MySQL. There’s been a lot of FUD in the last few months, but I suggest you read the issues (with an open mind), check out the FAQ, and if you’d like, sign the petition.
For me? Never again, will I recommend software for commercial use that doesn’t have a lively developer community. Sun reductions hitting open source efforts proves why – commercial (only/mostly) backed open source, just seems troublesome, when companies get merged/sold/et al.
OK, back to your regular scheduled programming. I shall enjoy my visit to a rather cold and wet London. Happy New Year!