MySQL is Not pronounced MY SQL
Ok – this is not exactly hot news. But I went to an EXCELLENT seminar on Friday last week with Sun and MYSQL. Which according to the founder is pronounced “MESQL” as the “MY” is the name of his daughter. Well, translated it’s “MY” not “ME”, I tried saying MESQL but it makes me sound like a Texan. (sorry if you Texan). So I’m sticking to MYSQL.
They spent a lot of time trying to convince us that the open source software model (that Sun use) is the way to go for software. You know, install it, make it work – if you want support pay for it. I liked this for a number of reasons and didn’t like it for other reasons.
Why I Like Open Source
– Customer and you can get the software, run it, test it, see if it’s what they need and then upgrade to a commercial license and support whent they are happy
– Customer can get the “best of breed” and mix and match
– Source code is available if supplier goes bust (ok, I know Sun & MYSQL are not going bust but it’s a thought)
– For the developer its less pressure than working on a project where you are up against deadlines for a client. However this also means the development may be less focussed on solving a particular problem, one of the comments was that Open Source payroll “Isn’t mature enough yet”, well that’s fine but its not cheese. It won’t just mature, someone, somewhere has to fund the development (see bad points). In this model:-
a. Customer pays a license fee to use the commercial version (they call it Enterprise in the Open Source World)
b. Customer pays a support fee to use the commercial version – or hires in house people to support it
c. Customer pays when they are happy or at least ready to get professional help.
d. I like the 15 minute rule, if I can’t install it and have it running in 15 minutes (even though it mike take 2 hours) to download then its probably not ready.
– Open source is better for the smaller company because they can get other developers to contribute and people to file bug reports for example when something is not working.
– Open source means that developers get recognition in the developer community for work they have done especially if it is pioneering. Developers need encouragement and sometimes in a small team they don’t get it. Especially being the only developer in a company, it’s unlikely that those outside of the software engineering world have any understanding about the elegance and effort put into a peice of software, I’ve seen bad software that looks great but is terrible and great software that looks terrible but works like a dream. (often us developers need to hire a designer!).
Bad Points about open source
– Developers need to feed their kids – so unless someone funds the development then Developer doesn’t feed kids until someone pays a support contract, most developers are not rich enough to live on thin air.
– Unless someone funds it a project may take longer to develop than with the conventional hire a developer model and not be “quite” what the customer was looking for in the first instance. Thus the best open source software is the GENERAL stuff, that is not focused on doing a specific job, like payroll or transport. Because from the base platform you can build up to do something specific.
So, it’s scarey and nice at the same time. Yes, I love open source but Yes, I need to be paid to develop so I can feed my family (and they are hungry, especially the cat).
So what about MySQL itself, well it’s great, thats all there is too it. I love the way I can change database engines PER TABLE which means that for instance if I have an archive I can just use an archive database, I love the clustering, I even like the logo. Good job.
Sun buying it? Well I wrote an article about this on this blog anyway so you can trawl through if you like and read it.
Great Seminar, well worth going, only thing was, not enough freebies. Good grief Sun I travelled an hour accross London. I expect at least a CD and T-Shirt, not just a pen! A PEN!, ok they were giving away an IPhone, which was nice but I never found out who got that. I guess one of the big banks who were there.
If you fancy doing the presentations to yourself you can download them here.