I was yesterday attending the "Open Tuesday" Sun & MySQL event. One of the first questions I got from the audience during my questions & answer session was what is my take of the recent MySQL proposition of having closed source parts/modules in the server.
I was very happy to be able to say that Mårten some hours earlier had announced on CommuntyOne that the MySQL server is and is always going to be open source.
It looks like the community is also quite happy about the outcome, as can be seen on the responses from Slashdot when this was announced.
Mårten did also say on the CommunityOne panel that, that we should "expect Sun/MySQL to continue experimenting with the business model, and with what’s offered for the community and what’s offered commercial-only."
My hope is that the experiment when it comes to closed source extensions developed by Sun is now ended. As far as I know, there is no existing plans for any closed source extensions to the MySQL server. The strong commitments made now by Mårten and by Jonathan Schwartz in his interview by Tim O'Reilly where Jonathan said "Everything Sun delivers will be freely available, via a free and open license (either GPL, LGPL or Mozilla/CDDL), to the community. Everything. No exception." should ensure that things stays this way.
Kaj Arnö, who attended the event, has in his blog this in detail and his post is worth reading.
I would however like to clarify one thing Kaj said, in an attempt to avoid future confusion:
"Then for MySQL’s business model. To financially support MySQL’s free and open source platform, we have a business model which allows both community and commercial add-ons, and we remain committed to it."
I interpret this, in the context of Mårten's and Jonathan's announcements, that we will continue to support and make available commercial addons to the MySQL server from third party, like the Infobright storage engine. Things that we develop ourselves at Sun, at least on the server, will continue to be open source.
It's very good to see that Mårten is continuing to be responsive to the MySQL community and to the MySQL customers. Thanks to Mårten for doing the right thing! Thanks to the MySQL community for expressing their opinions!
For those that wonder what the title of the blog has to do with this post, I just want to say Open Source is the Future and the MySQL server is now back on track for the Future.
2 years ago