As you may already know or soon will find out MySQL had released a new version of their community server, 5.0.33. First all congratulations to developers, any release is a lot of work and finally pushing it out the public is definitely an achievement.
There are however some interesting and in my eyes less then positive developments pertaining to this release. As you can see from Kaj's announcement as well as the state of the MySQL's download page pre-compiled binaries are no longer offered. The only files available for MySQL 5.0.33 are sources for *NIX and Windows platforms.
While this is not an issue for *NIX users where lack of binaries will be resolved by distros and if not, the compiler is always available and compiling MySQL is big issue, it does pose a major problem for Windows users who generally do not have access to a C/C++ compiler. This means that all the people who develop on Win32 and then deploy on *NIX machines will need to stick to older versions of the database for the dev environments or rely on someone other then MySQL to provide binaries (which may result is less then stable, trustworthy packages going around). This also may affect adoption rates since many companies insist (and rightly so) on using same version of DB on production and development.
Interestingly enough the "For maximum stability and performance, we recommend that you use the binaries we provide." statement on the download page still remains. I guess the suggestion is that if we (the users) want stability we need to go for the Enterprise edition.
You comment that: "pre-compiled binaries are no longer offered". is that correct?
According to which I read in the Kaj's blog says: "I expect the next Community release, 5.0.35, to be available as source and binaries for the same platforms as MySQL Enterprise Server and as the previous MySQL Community Server binary release 5.0.27."
Well the approach of dual license companies has always been to associate a certain "pain" for customers using the GPL (or in more general terms strongly propagating license).
Most companies rely on the actual "pains" created by given strongly propagating license. They also provide additional documentation and knowledge bases for proprietary customers. Usually they also bundle some sort of support.
Making binaries less often available for community users is a novel approach. We will see if it pans out for MySQL AB.
Yeah, the release cycles for binary releases for the community edition are said to be 4-6 per year.
I am wondering if this will really pay off for MySQL's QA team. They will now face a lot of issues that might result from different ways people will generate the binaries. And as you rightly point out the masses of WAMP developers that deploy on LAMP will not be happy (myself included).
I have talked to people at MySQL AB about this and they seem willing to take the gamble of annoying their community user base as well as their QA department. Then again I rarely updated my windows install with the latest binaries. Mostly I left that to the normal 12 month windows reinstall cycle
I think the whole idea of not providing free binaries for the community edition is seriously stupid whose long-term repercussions have not been thought out. This is obviously a decision which has been made by an accountant, and as far as I am concerned accountants should NOT be allowed to MAKE decisions - their purpose in life is to carry out the decisions made by others. Bean counters just count the beans made by others, they do not make any beans themselves.
I, like many thousands (if not millions) of developers started in web development by downloading and trying out all the necessary tools for free (but spending lots of money on books). As my development PC runs Windows and does not have a C compiler I could not do this without the binaries being available. I have been develping my own software in my own time and at my own expense for several years now, with the hope that one day I can have a product that I can sell to paying customers. It is those customers who will require commercial licences for their DBMS, not me as a developer working at home. I am not running an application which requires a commercial license, I am merely an application developer working to a very tight budget.
The software that I developed was originally MySQL-only. I did not supply connectivity to PostgreSQL until Windows binaries became freely available. I did not supply connectivity to Oracle until Windows binaries became freely available. I can only write software using the tools which I can install on my PC, and pre-comnpiled binaries are an absolute MUST. If I cannot downoad and install a DBMS for free on my PC then I cannot support that DBMS in my software. MySQL therefore loses the option of selling commercial licenses to the users of my software.
The amount of money that MySQL will save by not producing binaries is NOTHING compared to the loss of goodwill in the open source community. Potential web developers will not be able to download and install MySQL for free as they can with Apache and PHP, therefore will not be able to develop with and gain knowledge of that DBMS. They will of course switch to PostgreSQL as the only viable alternative. The software which they develop will therefore be PosgreSQL-only, and that will be the DBMS they will recommend to others. The number of developers with MySQL experience will decrease, which means that the number of applications which use MySQL will decrease, which means that the opportunity for commercial licenses for MySQL will decrease.
This is a bad move by MySQL, and the loss of goodwill in the open source community will turn out to be much, much more than the cost of providing binaries for free.
You know, a bug report takes time on my end to figure out a test-case and isolate the problem. Then file the bug report, and respond to them.
Seeing how I've reported at least 4 major bugs and a bunch of minor ones, I kind of expect my back to be rubbed. I expect updated binaries. That's not that much to ask.. but seeing how they messed up binaries after binaries over the past year and a half.. I can see why they've stopped.
I will not pay Mysql AB for mysql binaries until they start paying per bug report. Makes total sense.
I hope everyone that files bug reports waits for their paycheck before filing a bug report or goes to Postgresql.
I went to postgres and my machine is scaling better than mysql was so in the end it's all good.
Mysql is the new microsoft and postgresql is the new google.
"MySQL continues providing Windows binaries for free
Contrary to some reports in the community, MySQL will continue providing binaries both for Windows and other operating systems. All our download pages, including those for MySQL 5.0, have binaries today, and will continue to have them.
The source-only releases we introduced with 5.0.33 (and will continue to provide in the future)are just in addition to the binary-and-source releases. The current latest binary-and-source MySQL Community Server release is 5.0.27, and I expect MySQL 5.0.35 Community Server to be released as binary-and-source within a month, both for Windows and our other platforms. This is as we always planned it, and tried to communicate it. I am sorry our communication has not been clear enough."