Basically Shitty License

Datetime:2016-08-23 02:22:33          Topic:          Share

Monty announced that he has created a new non-open source license called the "Business Source License" or BSL.  I think it should have a different name...

You see, Monty has fundamentally crafted a straw man to stand in for the general Open Source model by applying his experience in the dog-eat-dog world of forked software, in particular, the "ecosystem" of MySQL.  The software that MariaDB draws the majority of their income from is MariaDB, which is a fork of MySQL.  If you don't know the history, well, you see, SUN bought MySQL, Oracle bought Sun, and Monty, in an environment of nearly Biblical levels of FUD, forked MySQL into MariaDB (both products are named after his daughters).

While MariaDB was originally envisioned as a "drop in/drop out" replacement, it has diverged so far from the Oracle product that it is no longer even "drop in" with the latest versions of MySQL. Oracle is adding amazing new features, like a real data dictionary, and native innodb tables, improved partition management, group replication, etc, that MariaDB simply can not compete with. Forking MySQL was a good business move for a time, but unfortunately, that time has passed.  MariaDB is now obviously trying to compete with Oracle in different areas than MySQL server innovation.

MariaDB corporation's fork of InfiniDB (aka MariaDB Corporation ColumnStore [not to be confused with Microsoft ColumnStore indexes]) is one area where they are obviously trying to differentiate themselves, as well as MaxScale.  I should note though, that even though MariaDB Corporation ColumnStore is GPL, MariaDB still says you must agree to another evaluation agreement to download the binaries.  MaxScale is now BSL which creates problems for the "ecosystem".  The problem is that the "ecosystem" is toxic.  A community can not work when one of the members is actively poisoning the well.  Generally when a software is forked, the communities split, but due to the nature of MySQL that never happened.  This is a toxic "open source" environment, where the "freedom" of open source is just a token gesture and only acts as a vehicle to more restrictive licenses (hosted tools in the case of Percona, non-open source software in the case of MariaDB).  Part of the nature of the "ecosystem" is that the consulting companies (Oracle, MariaDB, Percona) could each support the "full stack" of software.  If you bought Percona support, and there was a bug in MaxScale, Percona could fix it. Now, if you use more than three production instances you have to pay MariaDB a special fee to support just that part of your stack, and if you want Percona support for the rest, you have to pay for that too.  That is harmful to the ecosystem.  Monty just doesn't like fair competition. Surely forking MariaDB from MySQL was leveraging the freedom of open source, but now he eschews open source for (ahem) greener pastures.

What is production?

I define a production system as one that has passed through the beta phase.  The beta phase is a phase of indeterminate length where the system as a whole, and all subsystems, are tested for correctness in all manners possible.  Such a system does not have to be labled as beta to the public, but only assigned such designation internally, since the public at large may find the term beta "offputting", especially considering that new companies often face significant techincal challenges when trying to scale a system, and such problems can not be identified when at low scale.  Since any such system is subject to unexpected downtime, any site that declares itself beta should declare an uptime SLA which is less than or equal to "two nines".

Only when a system has been thoroughly publically stressed at the scale it is intended to operate at, can a system be declared production.  Once that happens, purchasing of licenses can happen.