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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Oracle CEO Ellison and his PR gurus are all full of shit! Here is why:

Sun owns the following products that my business uses on a daily basis:
MySQL - an open-source database
Java - a platform-independent programming language
JavaFX - a rich media platform
NetBeans - an open-source platform for software development
OpenOffice - an open-source suite of productivity software (like Microsoft Office)

Sun products that I don't use, but are very important:
Open Solaris - An open-source version of Solaris operating system
Glassfish - An open-source application server

First, What is "open-source" software? When programmers got tired of being forced to use Microsoft programs (which are not secure and poorly written), they teamed up to create 'open' replacements. The source code of these products is published to the web and freely available to all. Any programmer is welcome to submit bugs / enhancements / features for the project, which creates extremely reliable and secure software. Instead of a QA team of a dozen looking at the code, you have subject matter experts all over the world examining and improving the source code.

As open-source products matured, a huge market share has been lost by companies such as Microsoft and Oracle as their proprietary and expensive products are replaced with open-source alternatives.

Instead of Windows ($100's), I use Linux (free). Instead of SQL or Oracle ($1000's), I run MySQL (free). Instead of programming with Visual Studio ($1000's), I program in Java / NetBeans (free). Instead of purchasing Microsoft Office for every employee ($1000's), I run OpenOffice (free).

By banning all Microsoft products company-wide, I have saved thousands (soon to be millions) of dollars. I enjoy a secure, stable, and open computing platform for both our workstations and servers. I also don't lose sleep every night wondering who is hacking into my servers.

Since the transition to open-source, we have had only one security incident (and it was not a successful one). I tracked down the wannabe hacker within minutes of the first intrusion attempt. Within fifteen minutes, I had passed on to the FBI the name, IP address, postal address, previous addresses, even wife and children names of the attacker.

In addition to great security, open-source products are very stable. If I discover a bug, I can report it or since I have the source code - I can fix it myself. I don't have to wait on a "service pack" or OS update.

So why do you think Oracle wants to acquire Sun? The only reasonable purpose would be to kill the products that are stealing their market share. The US quietly approved the acquisition, but the European Union was smart enough to ask some serious questions before they approve the transaction. I don't think anyone in the US has even heard about the proposed business deal, especially the companies that rely on these projects.

Sun and Oracle have had their spin doctors working overtime to alleviate the very legitimate fears that exist in the marketplace. Here are just two examples of the bullshit they are cranking out:

?MySQL and Oracle do not compete at all,? said Mr. Ellison, adding that he would not sell MySQL -- Financial Times, 22 September 2009

"The transaction does not threaten to reduce competition in the slightest, including in the database market. " - Oracle statement 11/9/09

I can't believe they had the balls to actually put those in writing....

There is a petition started my MySQL creator Monty Widenus, but all of these crucial products I previously mentioned will be at great risk. Since most open-source products are free, there is not any accurate way to measure their true market share. You can't count just downloads, because most companies download it once, then install it on all of their machines.

There is a lot of activity among us programmers to rally together and to keep these products alive and open. If you or your company rely on any of these products - stay tuned!

-- Gary Wright II

MySQL Petition: helpmysql.org

Monty's Blog: monty-says.blogspot.com/2009/12/help-keep-internet-free.php

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