Oh Maria

Google ditches Oracle for MySQL fork MariaDB

Lucy Carey
mariadb2

Google engineer lets slip that the company will be migrating from ‘neutered’ MySQL to the more free MariaDB.

Monty Widenius has always regretted

not taking more action
to block his creation MySQL
from being owned by Oracle when it took over Sun Microsystems in
2010 – and whilst it’s hard to forget your first love, there’s
nothing more satisfying than getting one up on your
ex
. Widenius must be pretty
gleeful
, then, to have
lured Google across to MariaDB
, his new
open-source database project
.

Google hasn’t made any official announcements
about the switch, but Google senior systems engineer Jeremy Cole
broke the news at the Extremely Large Databases (XLDB) conference
in Stanford as part of a presentation on the general state of the
MySQL ecosystem.

In an interview with the Register,
Col
e stated that, whilst MariaDB and
MySQL were “more or less equivalent other than if you look at
specific features and how they implement them,” the big difference
was the ideologies behind them – namely, the fact that many,
Widenius included, see My
SQL as
‘neutered’
to the point of no longer being
truly open source.

Oracle might care to disagree with this,
considering the source code is still released under a GPL license,
but many remain unconvinced. In fact, the Googler went as far as
to

claim
that Oracle “ignores bugs, feedback,
communication from community”, and that development is “often
without much public visibility until release”.

Cole explained that, since version 4.0, Google
has been running a bespoke version of MySQL 5.1, but is now
shifting to MariaDB 10.0, which is roughly the same
as
MySQL 5.6. As a result, Google has been working to make sure that
the transition is as seamless as possible by identifying and
changes that have occurred since 5.1.

Google’s move to MariaDB is likely to be
interpreted by many as a an attempt to disentangle itself from a
dependence on Oracle technology. It
s
been working with the MariaDB Foundation since the beginning of the
year to smooth over any problems, and there are currently five
Google technicians working part-time on MariaDB patches and bug
fixes.

With Google on board, MariaDB is now packing a
considerable punch. Red Hat is also following Go
ogle
in trading

MySQL for MariaDB
in Red Hat
Ente
rprise Linux 7, and with the general antipathy
towards Oracle’s NoSQL stance, no doubt Widenius is basking in the
warm glow of
schadenfreude

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