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05 February 2009, 07:42

MySQL founder leaves Sun

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Michael "Monty" Widenius, original author and founder of MySQL, has announced he has now resigned from Sun to start his own company, Monty Program Ab. Rumours of his departure had circulated last September and Widenius now confirms these had an element of truth to them. According to him, his issues with MySQL 5.1 GA were pivotal in the decision making process and his public warnings of those problems "had the wanted effect". That effect was an agreement to stay on for three months to "help Sun work out things in MySQL development" and allow Sun to "create an optimal role for me".

The three months, which stretched to several months, have passed and Widenius felt that the changes he'd hoped to have made have not happened fast enough, saying "I would have liked to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up the server development, but the pace has been too slow."

Now, by agreement, and apparently on good terms, Sun and Widenius have parted. "I still think that Sun was the best possible buyer for MySQL and I feel sad that things didn't work out together", he said, "I will be available for Sun in helping them with their goals in the open source space".

Widenius' new company – Monty Program, is to be a "true open source company with the additional goal of being a smaller family oriented company", based on some principles developed by him and Zak Greant for an egalitarian, sustainable, transparent, fun and agile business. Monty Program will be working on the Maria project, a crash safe MyISAM database engine, and some Maria developers are joining Widenius in moving from Sun to the new company. Monty Program will also take on "non-recurring engineering (NRE)" work for MySQL and Maria customers which will be incorporated into the new MySQL-Maria work. Widenius also added "Shameless promotion: If you want something to be done, fixed or changed in the MySQL server, please contact me at "monty at" for an offer".

Other plans Widenius revealed are that he will continue to invest and work with disruptive technology start-ups and "also working on opening a new kind of restaurant that will use databases to achieve a better customer experience".


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