July 16, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: MySQL.com vs. MySQL.org, Open Source alternatives to .Net

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

This week's biggest controversy started as a press release from the folks at MySQL AB, who run MySQL.com, denouncing the launch of "obscure" MySQL.org, scheduled to happen July 16.

But the story quickly got more complicated, with MySQL services company NuSphere, which is launching the .org, and MySQL AB, which employs the original MySQL coders, involved in a complicated business dispute about a deteriorating agreement the two companies had. The two database companies are now suing each other, with MySQL AB claiming NuSphere is using its trademark without permission and violating the GPL by not releasing accompanying software in a commercial release of MySQL, and NuSphere, in return, saying MySQL AB won't accept any changes to its Open Sourced code.

The week ended with both sides telling their side of the story on the MySQL mailing list. While the sides seem to be remaining civil, there is obviously a wide difference in their points of view. Look for MySQL action soon in a courtroom somewhat near you.

Who needs .Net anyway?

A couple of Open Source/Free Software projects that intend to replace or at least respond to Microsoft's huge .Net initiative made their public debuts this week. The Free Software Foundation endorsed the Ximian-led Mono project and FreeDevelopers.Net's DotGNU project. Mono is an Open Source implementation of some of the .Net developer tools, while DotGNU intends to offer an entire alternative to the Microsoft platform.

Are you confused about what all this .Net stuff is? NewsForge tries to explain it, as well as the several projects the Open Source and Free Software communities are launching in response.

But why?

Speaking of the Free Software Foundation, this has already ruffled a few feathers: A column at osOpinion suggested the Free Software Foundation must die because of its lack of "technical perspective." Apparently, the author thinks the FSF approves odd projects, instead of throwing its weight, and thus the "community's scarce resources" behind better projects. Define "scarce resources" for us, please?

All about Microsoft

It's hard to get through one of these wrap-ups without mentioning the closed-source colossus once or twice. This week, Microsoft allowed its computer-building partners the option of installing competing software of more variety.

But that doesn't stop Microsoft from acting like an evil giant when it needs to. One report this week had the company demanding software license fees from an Australian charity that gives away used PCs to poor people. Those damn charities, trying to get away with cheating multi-billionaire Bill Gates out of few license fees! Another report had Microsoft going after inner-city public schools.

Finally, New Mexico announced it was settling its antitrust case against Microsoft, although attorneys general from several other states vowed to battle on.

New in NewsForge

Stories reported first in NewsForge this week:

News editor Tina Gasperson talks to several developers about how to get started, at least in the desktop world. It's a story that generated a lot of debate and discussion. (By the way, did you notice that each NewsForge Report now has its own discussion section?)

Business columnist Jack Bryar checks out a test version of Windows XP and tells what it means to the Open Source community.

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