Oracle to Open Source: Drop Dead!

Suing Google over Java, killing Open Solaris, what open source friendly move will come next?

Let's face it. While everyone in open source for the last 10 years has been beating up on Microsoft about being public enemy #1, there has been another large software company whose record is even worse. With the purchase of Sun and the dismantling of the foundational open source projects that Sun sponsored, Oracle and Larry Ellison have show their true colors. They are not only just indifferent to open source, but it seems the very principles of open source are anathema to their being.

The latest move is the long suspected and now confirmed pulling of the plug on Open Solaris. Luckily some of the Open Solaris folks had already started a fork that I guess will now become the successor to Open Solaris. 

But lets be realists. That was only the latest move. Also last week came word of the lawsuit filed (lawsuits seem to be Oracle's best friends) by Oracle against Google for its use of Java in the Android phone system. There have been plenty of clues about Oracle trying to move Java away from Open Source for a long time now. It was no accident that James Gosling and Simon Phipps left Ellison-ville as soon as they saw what the score was there.

What about MySQL? As long as Oracle sees revenue coming from the product, they probably won't be as bald-faced as to pull the rug out from under it. But make no mistake, buying MySQL was more about taking a competitor out of the market, than for any love of the open source business model.  

The problem is I don't think Oracle thinks there really is an open source business model. If they can't see a clear straight line to profit, Oracle has no time for science experiments. I personally don't follow the MySQL development community very closely. But I would love to hear from those of you that do if there is still significant open source development going on with MySQL.

Now I know there are some out there who will say: "But Oracle is a big supporter of Linux". Stop right there.  The only reason Oracle supports Linux is because there is one company that they probably have a deeper hatred of than open source. That's Microsoft.  Linux support was a way for Larry Ellison to stick it to Bill Gates.

You know hate is a strong word. On second thought, I don't think Oracle hates open source. They just don't get it. They can't grep open source. Without a path to profits mapped out with bread crumbs, they cannot fathom why anyone would want to do it.

So now they have shown their true colors. There should be no mistake about what Oracle thinks about open source or what their plans are around any other open source properties they own. The open source community should speak back not with their mouths, but with their pocketbooks. Stop supporting Oracle and their anti-open source business practices.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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