Poor Matt, poor Ken

Well, for Matt Asay, I should start by congratulating you for the new job and nice title! (Also, we learn some intelligence from Matt's blog: apparently Canonical is already close to the size of MySQL AB at the time of the Sun acquisition.)

Usually we are told to "ignore the trolls" and all that. The blogosphere unfortunately seems to be full of commentators who like to have share their opinion - even while they are entirely clueless. Sometimes, like the comments on Slashdot, it is ok and considered part of the entertainment. Sometimes it is harmless, because nobody reads that blog. And sometimes, it is just unacceptable:

[PJ: On a personal note, while I like Matt personally, he wrote to me not long ago that he couldn't see why people were so negative about Microsoft, so this is the end for Ubuntu being truly FOSS, as far as I'm concerned, and the beginning of it becoming fused mystery meat, if I may put it that way. They can be whatever they want, of course, but I think it would be foolish to expect anything now but a loss of the F in FOSS at Canonical now.]

I've been witnessing this trend for years with Groklaw now. While it was a very useful site during the first years of the SCO trials, after that the contribution of substance to any discussion has been a disappointment. It seems all PJ has to offer is to see if someone is connected with Microsoft or not, and that's all she has to offer. Now she even degrades to the point of being content with "this guy once said something positive about Microsoft...".

An LWN commenter captures the fallacy quite nicely:

In other news, Daniel Robbins worked for Microsoft at one point. Therefore, Gentoo is not 'truly FOSS'. (sheesh.)

Well, I can only wish Matt well in his new and important job at one of our leading Linux distributions.

Ken Jacobs resigns from Oracle

It seems the rumors are true. Ken Jacobs has resigned from Oracle. Apparently as a result of not being chosen as the one to lead the MySQL Global Business Unit, which most of us expected to happen.

I feel truly sorry for Ken. I never worked closely with him, but we've sat next to each other through enough MySQL Conference talks that I know him as a friendly and nice guy. And for sure, he did manage to keep InnoDB-MySQL relations on a friendly term for all these years. I remember a collague once commented on a discussion about a bug in the MySQL pluggable storage engine api as "it's a fascinating read, like cold war diplomacy :-)".

It remains to be reported on who will take the position not given to Ken and whether anything can be inferred from that. Even if most MySQL execs have already cashed in and resigned, or are expected to do so, there are still some left that could be considered for this position. Or it could be someone else from Oracle, which would be an interesting choice.

During the EU investigation of the Oracle acquisition, it did strike me as odd that Ken didn't seem to have been involved in the large Oracle team. Even 6 months into the investigation Oracle kept misunderstanding simple basics about MySQL, like how dual licensing works, how much revenue MySQL got from it, or just details about the MySQL product line. (And I really mean just simple and rather inconsequential facts, not referring to our obviously differing opinions on whether MySQL competed with Oracle or not.) It struck me as very odd that they didn't bother to get these facts straight by involving someone like Ken in the team. Now we know why. It was a sign. Should've guessed.

Anyway, thank you Ken for bringing us this far.

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