Too Much Power?

In InfoWorld this week, I’ve reprised my views about contributor agreements. The trigger for this was seeing Oracle erroneously change the license for the MySQL man pages from GPL to something nasty. Once they were told, they fixed the error (which had been public for two months), but the fact their build system even has an option for proprietary relicensing that can be accidentally enabled is cause for thought.

Why can they do that? Contributor agreements have given them ownership of all the copyrights, including for things they didn’t make. With those copyrights comes the power to change the license without asking anyone (even by accident).  In an age of OpenStack, Eclipse and Apache, why should we still have important open source projects under the control of unaccountable entities?

Taking MariaDB Foundation Forward

MariaDB FoundationI’m pleased to tell you that I have a new role that I’ve already started within the scope of Meshed Insights. It’s a new and exciting departure for me.

I’ve remained in touch with Monty Widenius ever since we were both at Sun together. At the start of the year, he asked if I would consider helping him move the MariaDB Foundation forward as an independent steward of the MariaDB database project. I agreed, and recently accepted his request to join the board of directors for the new Foundation, along with several others. To allow Monty to focus on the technical aspects of MariaDB, I also agreed  to the new Board’s request to take on a part-time role as the interim chief executive of the Foundation, at least until a member-elected Board is seated.

We just published a news release about this, which you’ll also find at I’m very excited by the opportunity to help this important open source software community devise representative governance. I expect every individual who has made substantial contributions to MariaDB to have a role in the governance process and in the future Foundation too; more of that soon.

But most importantly, I want to hear from every company that values MariaDB and wants to see it have a stable, secure, independent future. We need you as a sponsor – either engaged in governance or simply making financial (or other) contributions to the community. Please contact me now – MariaDB needs you!

MariaDB Foundation

I interviewed Monty Widenius and Andrew Katz about the new MariaDB Foundation.

There’s more in my column for InfoWorld today.

MySQL FUD Claim Needs Action, Not Words


A chance encounter at the OFE Summit in Brussels, coupled with a provocative statement by an Oracle VP, lead me to believe it’s time for Oracle to come out of hiding and start working with the MySQL community – including MariaDB, Percona and other competitors  After all, that’s how open source works. Read more at ComputerWorldUK.


Distributed Teams And Open Source


Remote staff? Learn from open source. My article for InfoWorld this week observes that having a distributed team works best when you borrow the practices of the most successful open source projects, just as businesses like Automattic and the former MySQL did.


☝ Open Core MySQL? Contributor Agreements!

Oracle has finally done what the business management at MySQL had been asymptotically approaching for years. It’s taking MySQL open core. It’s interesting to read both Monty’s view and the comments for this one. It’s all on ComputerWorldUK

☞ Difference of Opinion

  • Henrik Ingo has been a key persuader in the emergence of MariaDB, Monty Program AB and the Open Database Alliance from the consequences of the takeovers of MySQL, so his departure is a big symbolic blow. All the more so because his stated reason for leaving is that MariaDB is apparently not being run in a way that respects the ownership of the trademark. I’m sure there’s more to be understood here, so I am waiting to read it before saying more myself – talking with Monty directly suggests there’s no new news and contact with Henrik actually backs that up to a degree.
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