“MariaDB Corp. has announced that release 2.0 of its MaxScale database proxy software is henceforth no longer open source. The organization has made it source-available under a proprietary license that promises each release will eventually become open source once it’s out of date.
MaxScale is at the pinnacle of MariaDB Corp.’s monetization strategy — it’s the key to deploying MariaDB databases at scale. The thinking seems to be that making it mandatory to pay for a license will extract top dollar from deep-pocketed corporations that might otherwise try to use it free of charge. This seems odd for a company built on MariaDB, which was originally created to liberate MySQL from the clutches of Oracle.”
See Uproar: MariaDB Corp. veers away from open sourceSigh… I understand that businesses need to make money but proper businesses don’t jerk their customers around in the process. That drives them away.
Large businesses that use MySQL/MariaDB depend on the MaxScale component and changing the licence for that jerks them around. In the process, MariaDB is preventing a larger community from sharing in the development, a major plus of FLOSS. So, this is essentially kicking a large segment of the market for SQL databases to a non-Free solution. It really is time to go to PostgreSQL, a truly Free/Libre Open Source database from top to bottom.
I’m a small user and don’t need MaxScale but I don’t want to wait for the next shoe to drop. Oracle and MariaDB both seem reluctant FLOSSies. I will move everything I can to PostgreSQL as rapidly as I can. Certainly all my new projects will skip MariaDB.
UPDATE Widenius responds: “the chief technology officer of MariaDB corporation called his firmâ€™s embrace of a commercial licence for part of MariaDB “critical” to delivering new revenue and for the continued development of open-source software.
Widenius told The Register in an interview that he believes criticism of MariaDBâ€™s commercial licence for its new database proxy sever, MaxScale 2.0, is motivated by a “religious” belief in free and open source software.”
For me, FLOSS is not a religion but a logical point of view. FLOSS is the right way to develop software. No small collection of individuals can do better than the collected intelligence of a large group of users/developers. e.g. Cities are not best which exclude diverse kinds of people. Houses are not best built by a single tradesman. Automobiles use JIT to bring together the best products and ideas from a wide variety of specialized organizations. Software can and is made by the world not just a few friends of Widenius. Small groups may or may not produce good ideas and implement them. Large diverse groups certainly will do the job.
Widenius should have invested more time in considering how MariaDB could take its place in the world of FLOSS rather than trying to limit MariaDB to his way of thinking. If he was short of funds there must have been 100 better ways to go than the one he’s chosen. How is MariaDB better off with fewer users paying more? How is FLOSS better off with that?