Monty's 'Save MySQL' mudsling gets 15,000 backers

Widenius wails while competitors gleefully rub hands


A petition to stop Oracle taking over MySQL has garnered support from more than 15,000 people, after Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius launched his last gasp web campaign in December.

The MySQL co-creator, who walked away from the database just seven months after Sun Microsystems bought it in September 2008 for $1bn, cobbled together a “Save MySQL” website just before Christmas.

Monty has been appealing for supporters to sign up to his petition in a last ditch attempt to convince European regulators to scupper Oracle’s buyout of Sun Microsystems.

According to the latest stats, 93 per cent of supporters want the MySQL database to "be divested to a suitable third party that can continue to develop it under the GPL", if Oracle's takeover of Sun gets the go ahead, that is.

As we reported last month, the European Commission, which has been probing Oracle’s proposed $7bn acquisition of Sun, welcomed a series of promises made by the Larry Ellison-run outfit about the future of the MySQL database.

The move appeared to signal that Brussels’ watchdogs will give the deal the all-clear. Indeed, Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes reaffirmed in December that she was "optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome”.

It’s understood that the petition will be presented to anti-trust authorities in the European Union, at some point this week.

A final legal deadline for a decision on the Oracle/Sun Microsystems deal is 27 January 2010.

Meanwhile, other database vendors have been wading into the debate about why Monty has decided to challenge Oracle now.

Python Software Foundation chairman Steve Holden said in a blog post on 2 January that he was “having a hard time understanding why Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius is pushing so hard to ‘Save MySQL’ as the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems looms.”

Holden pointed out that Monty had upset the applecart over at Sun several times before he quit the firm for good.

“The question that I am left with is: why, having sold the brand (and since MySQL was open source licensed under version 2 of the GPL, the brand was the main intellectual property transferred along with the support business) does Monty imagine he has any right to control what happens to it?”

Elsewhere, vendors are lining up to remind customers of the alternatives.

Enterprise DB's Larry Alston goes so far as to quote in detail why Monty thinks its PostgreSQL product isn’t a worthy contender to the MySQL crown, including incompatibility issues with the database.

"Needless to say we at EnterpriseDB could not disagree more with this point of view," Alston opportunistically grunted.

Open source software maker Ingres recently told The Register that it too was hoping to benefit from concerns about the future of MySQL, by luring customers over to its VectorWise product. ®

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