[development] Oracle buys SleepyCat

James Walker walkah at walkah.net
Wed Feb 15 16:56:14 UTC 2006

On 15-Feb-06, at 11:39 AM, Khalid B wrote:

> On 2/15/06, Chris Johnson <chris at tinpixel.com> wrote:
>> If Oracle buys Zend and plays nasty with PHP development, that  
>> could be ugly,
>> couldn't it?  I worry more about PHP getting screwed than MySQL,  
>> because there
>> are ready alternatives to MySQL but not for PHP.  Java?  Python?   
>> Ruby?
>> Bleagh.  ;-)
> No, that is somewhat different.
> PHP as a language is not owned/controlled by a company. MySQL is.
> The PHP language is, and has always been, open source from the start.
> It is being developed independantly of Zend, which specializes in  
> tools
> for PHP (IDE, accelerator, ...etc.), but does not control PHP.

Well, except for the fact that PHP 4+ depends pretty heavily on the  
Zend scripting engine ... which, it is unclear to me who actually  
owns the copyright on. It looks to me in my php 4.4.2 sources, that  
until 2002 the Zend portion was actually under it's own "Zend  
Licence" and copywritten to Zend. (php-4.4.2/Zend/LICENSE). However,  
perhaps the copyright has been signed over to the PHP Group now?

I think the concern here, is that copyright owners have the right to  
change the license of their software. So, while, yes it's free  
software ... it could mean that the Zend engine (i.e. the heart of  
current php) ceases to be developed in the open... and has to be  
picked up or redone by someone else.

This is a whole lot of speculation - and I certainly am not an  
authority... though I've been given good reason to believe that the  
PHP Group (which is *not* controlled by Zend) is in control, and  
there's little to worry about.

I guess we'll see.

> The same is true for Drupal, which is not controlled by a company,  
> unlike
> other CMSs which have GPL versions (e.g. ezPublish).
> It all depends on:
> 1. What Oracle does, and when?
> 2. The financial impact on MySQL AB (the company).
> 3. Reaction of the MySQL community (can they pick up and continue?)
> 4. Reaction of hosting companies (they go PostgreSQL or SQLite, or
> stay with MySQL)
> Too blurry now ... that, or I need my crystal ball washed ...

Yeah, IMO, Oracle is out to put the squeeze on MySQL AB... not PHP.  
Oracle does not compete with PHP... Wild speculation: that Oracle is  
looking to take on MySQL's market by gaining better PHP support (and  
buying Zend would give them considerable PHP expertise).  But,  
exactly ... it's all a blurry crystal ball at this point.

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