I have now departed from Sun and joined my own company, Monty Program Ab.
There were a lot of rumors around me resigning in August/September last year. I didn't back then want to comment on the rumors, because I was still trying to work something out with Sun. Now I can finally describe a bit of what was going on.
In this case, the rumors had some elements of truth to them. I had told management that I thus would be submitting my resignation immediately as I strongly believed that the 5.1 release was not ready and that those problems needed to be fixed before it went GA. This action, together with other peoples´ efforts, did have the wanted effect and I made an agreement with Sun´s upper management to not initiate my resignation but instead stay around for three more months to help Sun work out things in MySQL Development and also give Sun a chance to create an optimal role for me within Sun.
The three months did stretch out to seven months, and the changes I had hoped Sun would apply to in the MySQL Database group to fix our development and community problems did not happen fast enough.
Sun and I concluded in the end that I have much higher chances of achieving my goals outside of Sun, so it's just better to swallow the bitter apple, go out and get things going. We parted in good terms and we both expect to continue to do business and work together.
The main reason for leaving was that I am not satisfied with the way the MySQL server has been developed, as can be seen on my previous blog post. In particular I would have like to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow.
I still think that Sun was the best possible buyer for MySQL and I feel sad that things didn't work out together. Sun has a lot of good things going on and I hope that they will continue their path to create and promote Open source. I will be available for Sun in helping them with their goals in the Open source space.
So what will Monty Program Ab and I be working on?
Monty Program Ab will be a true open source company, with the additional goal of being a smaller family oriented company (10-30 employees) where everyone can be owners of the company, where we care about our employees and strive to have fun together and share the profit we create. You can find more about this at: http://zak.greant.com/hacking-business-models
Some of the Maria team members will follow me and some will stay in Sun. The plan is to continue to work on the Maria project more or less as before. The main difference from before is that the Maria project and it's mailing lists will move to launchpad and we will start using free-node for our IRC communications (channel #maria). Maria 1.5 (the crash safe version of MyISAM) is now in beta and we hope to get binaries out soon. We have already started working on Maria 2.0 features (full transactional release) and performance issues. From my side there will be a small time delay in the Maria development (one-two months delay in the final release) as I have to set up things in the new company.
Monty Program Ab will start working actively with the MySQL community to allow stable patches to the MySQL-5.1-Maria tree and create an active community around this tree. We will also do some restructuring of the MySQL code to make it simpler, faster and with fewer bugs.
One shouldn't regard the MySQL-Maria tree as a fork but as a branch as we intend to pull in all changes from the official tree to the MySQL-Maria tree; Some of the changes will probably be reworked but we will do our best to ensure that for the end user they should look and feel the same.
Monty Program Ab will also do NRE (Non-recurring engineering) to customers on MySQL and Maria and put this work into the MySQL-Maria tree. (Shameless promotion: If you want something to be done, fixed or changed in the MySQL server, please contact me at "monty at askmonty.org" for an offer).
In addition, I will continue to work with and invest in disruptive technology start Up companies that do open source and community products. (Another shameless promotion : If you think you have an unique business idea in the open source space, contact me on "monty at openoceancapital.com"!)
I am also working on opening a new kind of restaurant that will use databases to achieve a better customer experience. (Expect a special discount for database developers!). More about this later...
More information of what I will be doing will be found at http://www.askmonty.org or
(Note that the above web sites will be under constructions for the next few weeks)