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Re: Sun Talks about MySQL

From: Andrew Sullivan <ajs(at)crankycanuck(dot)ca>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Sun Talks about MySQL
Date: 2008-04-25 15:20:53
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Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-performance
On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 10:41:24AM -0400, Jonah H. Harris wrote:

> Not to rain on my MySQL/Sun bash parade, but your response is based on
> the extremely poor assumption that Sun would put 100 developers on a
> single project.  

I was certainly being a little glib, but I do think the original statement
is fatuous.  Adding 100 developers to a single product like MySQL -- or, for
that matter, to 20 small projects all working on some feature for MySQL or
even to 20 small projects all aimed at some sort of application that is
supposed to work eith MySQL -- presents a pretty serious management hurdle,
and one that I don't actually think can be leapt in a single bound. 
Therefore the claim that the sudden addition of 100 developers who know
about databases to the MySQL "stable" will result in sudden increases in
innovation is nonsense.  It'll play to the kind of managers who believe in
throwing people at a problem, of course -- and I've worked for plenty of
them in my life.

The claim, however, was really part of the bigger claim that the transition
from small-distributed-company to organic-part-of-Sun is over: that was the
real message in those comments.  This, too, I find incredible.  Either it's
a happy face for the public, or else the honeymoon isn't over.  Integrating
sudden infusions of people into a strongly developed (some pronounce that
"ossified") culture like Sun's takes rather more time than has passed so
far, no matter how compatible the cultures seem on the surface.  Power
relationships do not change that fast in human societies, ever.  By way of
comparison, the most obviously successful absorbtion of this type Sun ever
did was StarOffice, and it would be pretty hard to argue that that project
was either an unmitigated victory or a fast integration.


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