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451 CAOS Links 2009.11.13

Symbian’s future in the balance? All Go for Chrome OS. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

Symbian’s future in the balance?
The H reported that Samsung is to abandon Symbian in favour of Windows Mobile, Android and the new Samsung bada OS, while Samsung later denied that …

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Open Source Licensing Considerations

The two predominant forms of open source licenses are BSD and GPL. PostgreSQL is licensed under the BSD license , while MySQL is licensed under GPL . While the details are arcane, the business impact is significant, and that is what this post addresses.

The BSD (or BSD-style) License: This license basically says: ‘This code is provided as is, do what you want with it, and include this copyright in your resulting product.’

The GPL License: This license, also known as the copyleft license, essentially says: ‘This is free and distributed as source code, and any addition or extension must also be distributed under these exact terms.’

BSD essentially says I prefer open source code, so I’m making my source code open and freely available, but what …

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Harish Pillay and Brian Aker debate with Richard Stallman (Part 2)

The attendees were not satisfied with the first answer RMS gave to Brian, that Harish Pillay (Chief Technical Architect, Red Hat Singapore), chose to ask RMS what more he had to say, with regards to the letter he’d written. He answered quite candidly in this video, which Brian chimed in for as well.



The back channel for all this was Twitter… Don’t hesitate to follow @harishpillay, @brianaker, @piawaugh or even @webmink

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Brian Aker debates with Richard Stallman

At foss.my 2009, Brian Aker asked Richard Stallman at his keynote, about the Oracle/Sun acquisition (with a focus on MySQL), with regards to the parallel licensing approach used by MySQL. Brian was referring to:

As only the original rights holder can sell commercial licenses, no new forked version of the code will have the ability to practice the parallel licensing approach, and will not easily generate the resources to support continued development of the MySQL platform.

from Richard’s Letter to the EC opposing Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL. Listen to the discussion between Brian and Richard.



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CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.09.18

Topics for this podcast:

*Microsoft founds CodePlex Foundation, losing Sam Ramji
*Software patents at the center of MS, OIN maneuvering
*Eucalyptus Systems releases hybrid cloud product
*Oracle-Sun Microsystems and the potential fate of MySQL

iTunes or direct download (26:40, 6.1 MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.09.04

Topics for this podcast:

*EC pauses Oracle-Sun over MySQL
* Open source licenses debated
* Red Hat growth opportunities and Summit roundup
* Reductive Labs seeking cloud role for Puppet software
* VMware-SpringSource analyzed

iTunes or direct download (26:04, 5.9 MB)

The EC is mostly, but not entirely, wrong about Oracle/MySQL

By now you are probably aware that the European Commission has decided to launch an extended investigation into Oracle’s acquisition of Sun based on concerns over MySQL.

The new has prompted a lot of criticism of the EC, much of it suggesting that the delay will do considerable harm to Sun (and therefore Oracle). This argument is valid - Sun’s already declining revenue has been in freefall since the deal was announced and one wonders how far it will fall in another 90 days of stasis.

Other criticism, (such as this from Matt Asay) focuses on the suggestion that the delay will do little to help MySQL or its users, and that the EC fails to understand open source.

This also has some …

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EU probes Oracle’s bid to buy Sun

It appears that little MySQL has just become a disproportionally big player in the Oracle-Sun takeover deal…. article by Associated Press: EU probes Oracle’s bid to buy Sun notes:

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Thursday that regulators needed to examine the effect of a deal “when the world’s biggest proprietary database company proposes to take over the world’s leading open-source database company.”

Ah, Neelie Kroes. Dutch lady from the liberal (that’s seriously right-wing in NL, my American friends party, formerly minister for infrastructure in NL, long time ago.

So what can happen now? The EU can (and I’m skipping a few steps for brevity here) force the MySQL part of Sun to be auctioned separately, to allow the remainder of the detail to go through. One thing is fairly …

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On the GPL, Apache and Open-Core

Jay has already provided a good overview of the debate related to the apparent decline in the usage of the GPLv2. I don’t intend to cover the same ground, but I did want to quickly respond to a statement made by Matt Asay in his assessment of the reasons for and implications of reduced GPLv2 usage.

He wrote:

“as Open Core becomes the default business model for ‘pure-play’ open-source companies, we will see more software licensed under the Apache license”

I don’t doubt that we will see more software licensed under the Apache license, and also more vendors making use of permissively-licensed code, but I don’t see a correlation with the Open-Core model.

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What if MySQL dropped the Dual License?

In his blog Does the GPL Matter? In a Word, Yes, Stephen O'Grady makes the significant point that the dual-licensing model has a major drawback:

Sun/MySQL can only include patches and contributions if they fully own the copyright to those changes.

This gives forks like Drizzle, OurDelta, Percona and MariaDB a major advantage over the Sun version: they can include the best patches from all over. And it is clear that the momentum is building.

In a follow-up blog, Stephen asks: "what would the implications be if MySQL, of all projects, were forced to abandon the dual-licensing model it had long championed?"

Thinking about this, there is something that really bothers me:

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