MySQL is People!

I went skydiving yesterday. Here’s a short video of me voluntarily leaving an airborne and perfectly sound aeroplane:

What does this have to do with MySQL? Well, over the past few weeks there have been a bunch of conspiracy theories bouncing around. There are various topics, but the two favourite at the moment happen to be Oracle’s plans for MySQL, and the licensing of the MySQL documentation. There has been a long history of conspiracies surrounding MySQL, from Oracle’s original purchase of InnoDB, to our decision to create the Enterprise edition of the server, through to our long and bumpy release cycle.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not making any calls to stifle discussion, I’m a big fan of community input. I was a member of the community before I joined MySQL, and I like to think that I still am. But I would like it if we could at least think about conspiracy theories before posting about them. We’re all people here at MySQL, we have evenings and weekends and lives just like you. Some of us are crazy enough to do silly things like jumping out of aeroplanes. We’re not out to get you, and we’re certainly not planning on turning into some sort of faceless corporate stereotype. We’re here to do what we love, creating and supporting a really good product.

Oh, and how do you know this isn’t some corporate play to make us seem human? Well, it’s 9:30pm on a Sunday night here, I’m yet to find a company who could pay me well enough to be shilling for them. But MySQL happens to be a group of people I like enough to defend them on my own time.


  1. How is criticism of the “trust us” license for MySQL docs a conspiracy theory? And if a “trust us” license is sufficient, can that trust be extended in both directions? For example, MySQL should publish all code for MySQL Enterprise Monitor and trust users to pay MySQL when they use it?

    1. As Wilston said, I’m not saying people should stop criticising MySQL. Bring it on, in fact. It just makes the discourse so much easier if both sides of the aisle don’t feel they need to defend themselves unnecessarily.

  2. Mark,

    The poster didn’t imply criticism as a conspiracy theory and attacks with a ludicrous comparison. Lately, you seem to be fond of a “us against then tone” tone and to have a opining on everything. Sometimes it’s best to STFU.

    1. Wilston… Mark Callaghan, like no other, has proven himself to be a brilliant diplomat particularly in MySQL matters – anyone who reads his blog will attest to this. When he brings up an issue, it’s founded in solid fact, and deserves the be taken very seriously.

      Testing PR declarations is entirely fair – if you don’t wish a claim to be tested, don’t make the claim.
      You’re only cool if others say you are. “Self-validation” is very un-cool.

      1. > You’re only cool if others say you are. “Self-validation” is very un-cool.

        This is not high school or a popularity contest. Get a life.

  3. Holy bejezus! Awesomeness, didn’t think you had it in ya. 😀

    How did Liam go? Did he try to break his ankles too?

    Also, fantastic view! Falling through clouds must feel pretty cool.

    Oh, and just to buy into the conspiracy thing, I think you’ll find that ANY company is only in it to make a profit, no matter how shiny their face is. Don’t kid yourself, just work for the one that digusts you least. 😀

    Cya sometime.

  4. One thing to also realise is that many of those bringing up issues are former MySQL people. We were in many cases part of the creation process, for instance MySQL Enterprise.
    Please don’t condescend by suggesting that we may not understand or appreciate the issues. We, perhaps like no other, have perspective on this. From inside and out.
    That order is perhaps also important – those who came in (from outside) later, may not be aware of how things were created.

    I generally don’t go for conspiracy, but mainly corporate inertia and automatic disregard/contempt for external feedback. The fact that lots of effort has been put into something doesn’t mean it’s good, right, or best.
    If you work for a company, after a while you tend to self-justify many issues that make no sense for an outsider. You only realise if/when you leave the company and review those issues again some time later.
    It’s entirely natural, and probably unavoidable – that is, being inside the company it’s downright impossible (even as critical thinker) to not be subject to this. The best option is to acknowledge the fact, and indeed take on board the external feedback from experienced people.

  5. The first paragraph states that criticism of the documentation licensing is one of Gary’s 2 favorite conspiracy theories.

    A conspiracy theory requires us to assume evil intent. While some MySQL criticism includes that, the docs licensing criticism has not.

  6. “Gary Pendergast wishes to remind us that MySQL is People! And to illustrate that point, he throws himself from an airplane. The connection isn’t too clear to me, but I do hope MySQL has a parachute that works just as well.”

    Log Buffer #145

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