MariaDB Creators Launch Non-Profit Foundation
New organization will oversee interoperability and standards for the popular open source database.
MySQL (and MariaDB) creators Michael “Monty” Widenius, David Axmark, and Allan Larsson, announce the launch of the MariaDB foundation. The new foundation, which has applied for non-profit status in the United States, has received one million Euros in initial backing. According to the announcement, the founders will appoint board members and confirm bylaws in February 2013.
According to its mission statement, the MariaDB Foundation exists “to improve database technology, including standards implementation, interoperability with other databases, and building bridges to other types of database, such as transactional and NoSQL.”
Sun Microsystems purchased the parent company of the open-source MySQL project in 2008, and the ownership passed to Oracle when Oracle purchased Sun in 2009. MariaDB began as a fork of the popular MySQL when a group of core developers objected to Oracle’s management policies.
According to David Axmark, “MariaDB continues the project started 18 years ago when we founded MySQL, with code maintained by the same dedicated core team. The time is right for an independent organization to safeguard the interests of MariaDB users and developers as we head towards MariaDB 10.”
Formation of the MariaDB Foundation follows recent concern expressed by Monty Widenius about the future of MySQL. In an interview with The Register, Widenius said he was concerned that if Oracle breached commitments made to European regulators in 2009 during its purchase of Sun Microsystems, it could produce an irreconcilable fork: “with MySQL at Oracle going one way and those extending MySQL – such as Widenius’s MariaDB and Facebook and Twitter – going another.”
An article in The Register notes that, among other commitments, Oracle agreed not to release “any new, enhanced version of MySQL Enterprise Edition without releasing a new, also enhanced version of MySQL Community Edition licensed under the GPL.” However, the article stated that, in September, Oracle released three extensions for the MySQL Enterprise edition only.
The article quotes Widenius as saying: “If MySQL was broken we would try to get people engaged. In open source, being part of the ecosystem drives development.”
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