E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Backstory: In the 1990s I did graphic design for newspapers and magazines. Then I wrote technology commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon.com, Chicago Tribune, and lots of little places you've never heard of. Then I taught photographers how to create good websites. I co-wrote a book (see below) along the way. Current story: I am helping turn a giant media corporation into a digital enterprise. Feel free to email me.


I'm co-author of "Python Web Development with Django", an excellent guide to my favorite web framework. Published by Addison-Wesley, it is available from Amazon and your favorite technical bookstore as well.


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I missed it last month when MySQL AB signed an agreeement with SCO. But it's hard to miss the backlash now. SCO peed in the pool and it's just not cool to hang out with them anymore. MySQL CEO Marten Mickos defends the deal in a Computer Business Review article from yesterday:

...Mickos maintained that MySQL's track record in promoting open source and opposing the European technology patent directive should retain the community's trust. "That's a hundred times more influential than any deal with SCO could have been," he said.

I think Mickos has underestimated the loathing SCO has earned. Or maybe he has already discounted the users who have decided to jump ship to PostgreSQL or SQLite on hearing this news. Perhaps some of those people are inveterate whiners with perverse resentment of open source companies that achieve commercial success. Perhaps.

MySQL has an enviable installed base, and will retain it for a long time no matter what -- switching RDBMS's is a lot harder than switching browsers. Nonetheless, this is a PR gaffe at best, and a deal with the devil at worst. If I'm remembering right, the companies SCO had the best luck extracting money from in its lawsuit spree were those who had already signed contracts with them.

Update: Via Jeremy Zawodny I discover another dramatic news item about MySQL: Oracle just bought Innobase Oy, a company that makes a key component of the MySQL system. Interesting times. See the comments on Jeremy's post for another idea about Oracle's motivations -- namely the relationship between MySQL AB and SAP, Oracle's competitor.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

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