You've all heard the news by now that Sun went out and snapped up MySQL for a hefty $1 billion. Yes, that's right...turned the open source community on it's ear...or did it? So...what do you think about the Sun/MySQL deal? Reckon it's good for open source in general? Does it affect your orientation towards MySQL? What about the price? Are they nuts? That's exactly what we asked a bundle of the movers and shakers around the open source CMS community. And they were mostly upbeat about the deal. Which is great, but...boy, how we would have loved someone to come out guns-a-blazing against those Sun guys, or MySQL, and given us some controversy or blackmail material. Next time we do this, we'll get them on the sause first.

John Newton - CTO Alfresco, Co-Founder of Documentum

"This is good for open source, because MySQL is good for Sun. Sun under Jonathan Schwartz is heading in the right direction towards open source. The deal also gives MySQL more horsepower and distribution than before."

Jay Batson, co-founder of Acquia, formerly founder of Pingtel

"In my opinion, the MySQL deal demonstrates how open source development and the commercial open source software model is transforming the technology industry. The deal is good for open source in a few ways: First, it will attract further venture investment to the sector. That means more startups, more ideas, more innovation, more value, and more benefit to open source users and communities. Secondly, it means increased investment in advancing MySQL technology so it can cover more usage scenarios. This will in turn put further pressure on proprietary vendors and give customers more good options in more situations. Third, it will draw large vendors like Sun deeper into other areas of the LAMP stack, helping these technologies mature more quickly and integrate more fully. The Drupal community relies heavily on MySQL today, and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Acquia has no database religion -- we'll follow what the community and the customers value. I don't have any comment on the price other than to note that MySQL is a great operational company with excellent management, and a wonderfully disruptive business model attacking a huge and well-defined market opportunity. It's nice to see such things highly valued in the marketplace."

Scott Paley, CTO/Principal, Abstract Edge and all-around Plone superstar

"Yes, this is good for open source as it proves that there is real value in building a company around an open source model. After a deal like this I don't see how there can be anybody left who feels that open source software won't be a major force, even at the enterprise level. It's a great deal for Sun as well as it makes them a preeminent player in the database market."

Lloyd Budd, "Digital Entomologist" at Automattic / WordPress

Lloyd is at pains to point out that he wants to 'Wait and see...', and that he hasn't been following the acquisition too closely, presumably on account he has better things to do with his time than we do. But he quotes us some scripture from the WordPress Bible: "MySQL is ubiquitous and has shown to be fast enough and scalable enough for the highest traffic loads, so supporting other DBs would not improve the WordPress experience or our popularity much. As a feature request it comes of fairly infrequently." ... before continuing... "Blogging software is relatively simple software with simple architectures and does not have particularly intense database needs. MySQL experts and even MySQL staff have long actively participated in WordPress. Over the last few years I have grown to trust Sun with open source. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz plays a big part in that trust and their approach to start ups is synergistic with their approach to open source. I got a kick out of Jonathan writing 'Because the L in LAMP stands for Linux, not Looney'. I have no idea how reasonable the price tag is, but I was surprised that neither of Jonathan's posts about the MySQL acquisition talked about MySQL's financials."

Matt Asay, VP Business Development, Alfresco Software

"This is yet another proof point for the viability of open source in the enterprise. MySQL was already being used in mission-critical applications, but Sun’s imprint should make MySQL even stronger and more viable within the data center. Given that over 50% of Alfresco’s deployments, including mission-critical deployments, use the MySQL database, this is great news for Alfresco, as well the entire open source community."

Paul Burdick, EllisLab CTO (Expression Engine et al)

"I am cautiously optimistic. MySQL AB was doing well enough, but there are a number of long standing bugs, performance problems, and features that should have been in MySQL 5 that were not. Of all the companies that could/would buy MySQL AB, I think Sun was definitely at the top of my “good” list. They are a strong, stable company with a relatively good track record for open source and making decent products. Like Derek, I am curious if Sun will be able to play well with Oracle. Falcon is nowhere near ready and even though InnoDB is not widely used, it would be a disappointing turn of events if it stopped being licensed. Honestly, there are way too many details about the deal that remain unseen and, even if one knew them, you never know how well things will be executed."

Nevin Lyne, EngineHosting CTO

"I hope Sun applies its clustering technology directly to MySQL as an upgrade to the lackluster clustering abilities of MySQL. Currently MySQL Cluster can not be used as a direct replacement for systems most open source and commercial php/mysql scripts will run in. Master/Slave replication processes only help if the software is written for this environment and 3rd party true clustering that does work runs in the range of $3k - $5k per cpu “core” per server in the cluster. Other solutions generally have a “duct tape and bailing wire” feel to them, not something I personally want to trust client data to. Sun applying their general “enterprise” knowledge to clustering would be a good thing, at least in my book."

Seth Gottlieb, Independent Open Source and Web Content Management Specialist

"MySQL is a leader in open source business strategy while Sun has been awkwardly working through its open source strategy and how it complements its commercial software business. Overall, however, Sun will bring more enterprise customers to MySQL and MySQL will provide Sun with an offering that is more comparable to what Oracle and IBM can bring to the table (database, application server, portal, and middleware). The most interesting aspect of the deal is that Sun also contributes to other open source database projects most notably PostgreSQL. Acquiring EnterpriseDB (a commercially supported product based on PostgreSQL), while having a much smaller market impact, would be more in line with Sun's PostgresSQL investment. EnterpriseDB also has more functional parity with Oracle than MySQL (at the moment at least). Still, MySQL is a huge name with a huge install base and certainly would get Sun into more accounts."

The Wrap

So there you have it. The general consensus from our group of wizards seems to be that MySQL + Sun = great news for Open Source, and that Mr. John Schwartz is doing a heckuva job. But we are curious... what do all the grunts, plebs and rank 'n file propeller heads think of the deal? Come on, guys and gals we know that you are going to want to have your say on this one -- so go right ahead.