Please sign the petition to save MySql
If you are an ordinary Internet user then you may be in the dark about what LAMP is. But without doubt a large number of the sites that you visit would not have existed without this behind the scenes combination of software packages and in particular one part of it - the Open Source Database software MySql. MySql is now threatened with takeover by a large commercial rival and people are organising to counter this threat.
LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP(1) - a combination of software that provides the most common framework used for delivering internet services. These four parts of the LAMP package are Open Source software - free for anone to use or develop. This free Open source nature of the elements of the LAMP package is undoubtedly one of the things that has driven the incredible growth of the internet.
(1) Sometimes Pearl or Python rather than PHP
It is not difficult to understand in a simplified way the basic role that each of the elements in ths package plays. Linux provides the operating system that runs the computers that host the websites. Apache is the webserver software that controls the basic delivery of webpages to visitors, MySQL is database software which is used to store the information that the website serves to visitors and PHP is the software that is used to create the webpages and provides much of the "logic" of a site that glues these parts together.
Although there are other packages that provide these functions they are sually controlled by big corporations like Microsoft or Oracle. These other packages charge purchase and licence fees that are generally well outside the costs that any small to medium business or organisation can sustain.
Without Open Source Software the Internet would be a much smaller and less interesting world and those companies that could afford a web presence would almost certainly be under even greater pressure to charge for web services to recover the costs of software licences.
MySql currently faces the prospect of takeover by Oracle. The reason this is a problem is that Oracle already owns one of the most widely used database packages. It seems unlikely that Oracle has the intention of buying MySql in order to nurture and grow it's current Open Source competitor. No, Oracles purpose is clearly to remove Open Source database competition in one swoop.
Now maybe anti-competitive practice is not something that keeps you awake at night. It's a subject for courts and ministers. But it should worry you that major parts of the Interent run on LAMP and that if MySQL goes down to a commercial predator then the survival of the other parts must be in question.
I doubt that many people want an internet which is fully controlled by major corporations which start charging a fortune for their services. Please consider following the links in this story and adding your voice to the campaign to stop Oracle getting MySQL.
Here's the MySql petition link again