Justin Swanhart (swanhart) wrote,
Justin Swanhart

If you really want to "save" MySQL, start by encouraging them to release their docs under the GPL

I've talked about this before, but I think it bears repeating as we enter a new year. Sun has still not released the MySQL documentation under the GPL license, or any other free license. It's still not legal to modify and republish the database documentation. This hurts projects like XtraDB, MariaDB, Kickfire, Infobright and other companies which either have forked the GPL licensed version of MySQL, or entered into a proprietary license agreement with Sun.

These companies can't update the documentation to reflect the changes and enhancements which they have made to MySQL. I can't take the docs and publish changes or annotations without violating the license agreement for the docs.

If Sun wants to claim that MySQL is true open source then they must open source the documentation. If Oracle wants to claim that there is plenty of competition in the database market, they should be forced to open source the documentation.

It boils down to this: The current documentation license scheme hurts a fork's ability to compete in the market by denying them a core part of the MySQL product - the documentation.

If the playing field isn't level between MySQL forks and Sun, how can their be a level playing field in the rest of the market?
Tags: documentation, gpl, mysql, oracle, sun
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