Red Hat chides Oracle over Linux

Michael Evans speculates that Oracle wants to contain open source

Oracle's venture into the Linux market was called "a bit disingenuous" by a Red Hat executive speaking at the MySQL Conference & Expo on Tuesday.

The executive, Michael Evans, Red Hat vice president of corporate development, speculated that Oracle wants to contain open source.

In the midst of his presentation on the One Laptop Per Child initiative, Evans noted mainstream adoption of open source with companies like Oracle participating in the Linux space. Oracle, however, is "a bit disingenuous in their intentions, if you ask me," Evans said.

Oracle last year unveiled a program to support Red Hat Linux customers. Evans said Oracle's overall motives, in addition to desiring its own OS, also include a desire to contain the growth of open source and hurt the leading vendor in that marketplace -- Red Hat.

"They have a real desire to have their own operating system. They're very clear about that. But I also think there's a secondary motive to control and contain open source," in the database, middleware, and application spaces, Evans said in a follow-up interview at the conference.

"And if you can hurt the leading player in the market by doing that, you can try and show the world, stop investing in these open-source companies, etc," Evans said.

Oracle could not be immediately reached for a response to Evans's comments. But MySQL, an open-source database vendor, has had a good relationship with Oracle, said Marten Mickos, MySQL CEO. Oracle bought one of the companies providing a database engine for MySQL, InnoBase, and has abided by pledges to fix any bugs in the technology, Mickos said.

"They lived up to the promise," Mickos said.

In discussing One Laptop Per Child, Evans said the US$100 device runs open-source software, is targeted at the developing world, and is expected to ship later this year.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has criticized the project, Evans said. "It's a very scary concept to a lot of people," to have 50 million to 100 million children using open-source software, said Evans.

Mickos, meanwhile, noted improvements planned for MySQL's database platform. These include clustering enhancements for online addition and subtraction of nodes as well as scalability features and specifically row-based replication. The company's monitoring and advisory service will be bolstered with the ability to assist with replication and scaling issues.

MySQL at the conference launched MECA (MySQL Enterprise Connection Alliance), a partner program intended to make it easier for resellers, hardware and software vendors, and IT service providers to provide database-related solutions to MySQL users.

MECA members receive special access and discounts to MySQL software subscriptions and support, joint marketing and sales opportunities, MySQL said. Some companies joining MECA include Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, and Sun.

Also at the conference, CodeGear, the developer tools arm of Borland Software, said it has partnered with MySQL to integrate the MySQL database with the CodeGear Delphi IDE line, including Delphi for PHP, Delphi 2007 for Win32 products, and Delphi for .Net.

Developers will be able to build database-driven Web applications for PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) and Windows, CodeGear said.

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