23 December 2007

Beaten to the Blog

News that IBM was buying Solid Information Technology, a company with close ties to MySQL, set off a distant bell ringing in my head in connection with something I'd written a while back, but I didn't have the time to pursue it.

Now, it seems, I don't need to:

When [Monty Widenius] started MySQL, I worked for this other small database company, Solid Information Technology. I told Monty that his project was just going to fail, and that it was a stupid thing to do, and that he didn't have a chance because we had a chance.

GM: What was your view of the Free Software world when you were at Solid--were you even aware of it?

MM: I was getting more aware of it, and I was getting excited about it. At Solid, I drove an initiative of not open-sourcing the product, but making it very popular on the Linux platform--and that was why I was an advertiser in Linux Journal, because we were the leading Linux database in the world in 1996. We gave it away free of charge, so we had taken a step in that direction.

Then Solid decided to cancel the project and just focus on high-end customers, and that's when I left the company. So in that sense, when I got to MySQL, I had some unfinished business. By that time, I had completely bought into the notion of code being open.

Thanks, Matt, for beating me to it....

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