Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Fork In Progress

It looks like MySQL AB is going about the code fork in a very methodical, gradual, and thoughtful fashion. The latest Community release seems evidence of this. It was released as source-only, as promised, however it was announced that since no community contributions have been made to the community tree, the release was made from the Enterprise tree. In effect, the actual fork has not taken place yet. There is a community tree in evidence in BitKeeper, but it appears to be a placeholder only so far. The changes to date have been with regard to policy and procedure, not code.

I see this as a good thing. This gives MySQL time to evaluate reactions to these changes while implementing them in a gradual fashion. The changes appear well thought out and sound, and reflect changes in the community, the marketplace, and the customer base. It's important to balance all of these factors since they all play a part in the life of the product.

Knowing who the community user is, and who the enterprise user is, is important too. The focus should be on prioritizing catering to the needs of larger groups first, with the knowledge that some may not see their needs met directly. But this is an open-source product, so surely someone can rise to the occasion and fulfill a niche need.

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