Oracle Makes More Moves To Kill Open Source MySQL

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Oracle is holding back test cases in the latest release of MySQL. It’s a move that has all the markings of the company’s continued efforts to further close up the open source software and alienate the MySQL developer community.

The issue stems back to a recent discovery that the latest MySQL release has bug fixes but without a single one having any test cases associated with it.  That creates all sorts of problems for developers who have no assurance that the problem is actually fixed.

It’s pretty clear that Oracle is trying to make it as difficult as possible to use MySQL. The result is a wave of unsettlement in the developer community about what Oracle considers open and what it sees as closed. The move is causing problems for developers in all manner of ways as expressed here and here.

MySQL is the popular database used by developers throughout the world.  Oracle gained control of the software distribution when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010.

According to a post on MariaDB, MySQL has used a testing framework called mysql-test since 1999. Over the years tests have been built for new features and regression tests that guarantee that a bug fix is permanent. Developers such as those from Facebook and Twitter rely on the testing framework. At Twitter, MySQL serves as the “persistent storage technology behind most Twitter data: the interest graph, timelines, user data and the Tweets themselves.”

It also appears that Oracle pulled the revision history for MySQL. The revision history groups changes to the millions of lines of source code into what are known as change sets. A change set shows the changes for a particular feature. It shows who made the bug fix, when and why. By removing the revision history, Oracle will keep developers guessing about what is fixed and what is not.

For observers, these moves do not look like simple oversights. More so, it appears that Oracle is making its revision tests and histories closed source. It’s not so surprising knowing Oracle and its history.

But it does raise questions for the open source community about what to do as seen in the comments on Hacker News.

I like what one commenter said about the issue. Forget Oracle. It really is time to move on.