Product management, effective developers, and the future of MySQL
Feb 23, 2010 / By Paul Vallee
I am writing because Sheeri sent me a note about a blog post written by Brian Aker, where Brian concludes, quite correctly, that (in Sheeri’s words not Brian’s)
MySQL is now just a branch (the official branch,
but a branch nonetheless, and a bunch of trademark (logo) and
copyright (docs) ownerships).
This is exactly true. No denying it. Why bother. It’s true. It’s also true for the vast majority of open-source projects, by the way.
I replied to Sheeri:
There's no denying that. The product direction will be set by whoever sets the best product management strategy backed by the most effective development effort. And there can be multiple winners.
Well, this is the kind of quality output I can be relied on. It might not fit on twitter, but it’s not blogworthy. Sheeri’s word of encouragement:
See, now that would be a nice blog post with a positive outlook that
both Oracle Corp and MySQL community would agree and be happy with,
because both Oracle Corp and the MySQL community feel they can set
"the best product management strategy backed by the most effective
God. My reply was embarassing but maybe I should include it for humour value:
Go for it. Its a tweet for me at the most. No time to expand that thinking into a blog worthy of the blog today.
and then, right away,
ah censored it i'll do it.
it'll be short.
You are now reading the result of this very modest effort.
Here’s the future of MySQL, Drizzle, Monty Program, the Percona fork, etc.
The best product management strategies… should we be lightweight for the web, plug-in oriented like Drizzle? Should we follow Monty’s giant-killing roadmap? Should we focus on performance-oriented patches? The best product management strategies will win.
They can’t win alone. Will they be backed by appropriate investments from effective developers? Effective developers are the ones who convert winning product management strategies into working products. You can’t get there without them and I’ve seen lots of great strategies fail that test (including my own actually).
And there can be more than one winner.
It’s doesn’t matter what roadmap Oracle plots for MySQL. If it’s not the roadmap the community wants, it will lose ground and open an opportunity for another fork. If it is, however, (and NEVER, NEVER underestimate Oracle’s product management because it is outstanding and a big component of their historical success), if it is, however, Oracle can win the long-term hearts and minds, because they can resource quality developers in a way that I don’t think any of the competing forks are capitalized to do (yet.)
Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch.
And more than one player can win.
And regardless, the community wins. Big time.
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