My SQL Dump

MySQL musings by a self professed MySQL Geek

Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
MySQL documentation team announces docs will NOT be GPLed. Boo MySQL. Boooo.
In a blog post today, Stefan of the MySQL documentation team says that the MySQL documents will not be open sourced. Now, I have to go back and review the MySQL CE Keynote that Karen gave, but I'm pretty sure she said to the audience that it was "going to happen". Why would she even bother bringing it up in the keynote if it was never really being considered anyway? There has been little community input on this, and I for one am outraged that a GPL product would not release the documentation as GPL too.

I'm now totally convinced that MySQL does not understand, and will never understand the MySQL community.

Is this an opportunity for Oracle to try to stall community participation in MySQL? I don't want to be paranoid, but this could just be the hints of bold new changes in MySQL strategy, especially considering Karen's keynote mention of GPLing the docs.

I think the Free Software Foundation should protest MySQL's latest move and coordinate a letter-writing campaign in support for open source documentation for open source licensed software. Sun is actively moving to thwart the efforts of the community by not putting the documentation under the GPL license.

Is it time for an open source version of the MySQL documentation to emerge from the community? Keeping manuals in sync between multiple versions of multiple product lines requires a very large team of contributors. An entire team at MySQL is responsible for documentation changes. I'm not sure that the community can sustain useful database innovation while also being burdened under the weight of recreating the omnibus MySQL documentation set.

Redoing the docs sounds like too much work. It would be nice if there were a way to make them more open but still allow MySQL to get a return on their investment. Keeping the docs current requires a huge effort on their part.

FWIW, GPL isn't the right license for the docs either. We want to be able to use the documentation without having to reprint the whole thing in its entirety -- for example, a fork of MySQL *should* be able to fork the docs, too, but that's not currently possible.



2009-04-29 02:53 am (UTC)

How is keeping something the same "actively moving to thwart"? The docs have never been open source so Sun isn't changing anything. Now if Sun should open source the docs is debatable, I can see arguments on both side I don't think they are sitting in their evil lair cackling gleefully while plotting how to "thwart the community". Maybe I am wrong.

It amazes and saddens me to see the sense of entitlement people have.

I don't understand why both Karen and Kaj endorsed GPLing the docs on stage, but then without any further input or discussion, or even some discussion on meeting somewhere in the middle, just to announce no dice.

My question remains: why mention it in the keynote and endorse opening them up, then retract?

She, as a relatively new boss of the group, was joking with Kaj, who said he wanted something, she asked for feedback from the audience, received a very small smattering of applause - seemed like maybe 20 people out of hundreds - and said "so why don't we go and talk about that and lets see if we can do that". The talking now seems to have been done, with no change the result.

Since this appears to contradict your own memory you may want to look 36 minutes into the keynote address video.

The main thing done wrong there was surprising her with the question, so she had to give an ambiguous answer rather than committing either way. Not a good move during a keynote address by the new boss of the group.

Interesting that Kaj mentioned it as something that they hadn't already discussed during many meetings, so it seems to have been way down on his own interest list.

You might try asking the documentation team to provide a way for forks to annotate the manuals with their differences, in a way similar to the commenting system that's already there.

Yes, but as I pointed out somewhere else (escapes me at the moment) the current annotation system is very flawed.

Even if MySQL AB doesn't allow modification, it has to allow /distribution/, which isn't the case with the current license.

If drizzle could just add addendums to the existing manual and distribute it, that might be okay, but that isn't the world we live in right now.

Yes, it's flawed in lots of ways, like keeping comments regardless of version, so in 5.1 you can see comments that were intended for 4.0. I know that they have plans to improve it but don't know when it might happen.

I asked the Stefan if they can do something about that sort of link. No telling what they will do about it, if anything, though.

Also thanks for the link. I did a google video search for:
2009 MySQL CE Keynote Karen

but no results:
Your search - 2009 MySQL CE Keynote Karen did not return any results.

"Now, I have to go back and review the MySQL CE Keynote that Karen gave, but I'm pretty sure she said to the audience that it was 'going to happen'."

Just to put things in perspective:
Kaj Arno is introduced at 35:44

Karen: "Are there other kind of big ball things that you think we should be doing?"
Kaj: "Can I wish for something?"
Karen: "Yes."
Kaj: "So I was thinking about going a bit more open source, for instance on the documentation"
Karen: "BSD? just kidding...that was a joke."
Kaj: "DFDL or something..
Karen: "The documentation?"
Kaj: "uh huh"
Karen: "So what do you guys think about that....Should we GPL the documentation, is that something you guys would like?"

[audience applauds]

Karen: "Allright, so why don't we go and talk about that, lets see if we can do that.."
Karent: "So thank you."

...keynote proceeds with the next topic.

Thanks. I have a cold. I think the cold medicine may have gone to my head.

"Justin Swanhart gave news and opinion in one headline..."

Log Buffer #145

You are viewing swanhart