Tuesday, September 2, 2008

'The power of open source'

MySQL is the M in LAMP, the Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP open source software stack that has underpinned the Internet revolution, empowering generations of web development on all parts of the spectrum. David Axmark, co-founder of MySQL, was in Bangkok to explain the history of MySQL, the company's culture and the power of open source development as well as give a glimpse of its future now that MySQL has been taken over by Sun Microsystems.

Development began back in 1992 as the company needed a simple database for its own use. By 1995, the project became known as MySQL after My, the daughter of fellow co-founder Monty Widenius. The first public release was in 1996 and the company continued to grow as a loosely knit group of software programmers with no formal organisation or budgetary process until 2001.

"Developers usually complain about administrators, but they actually do good work and you notice when you don't have them," Axmark said. In 2001, just after the dot com crash, the company went for its first round of funding. One more round and later in 2008, MySQL AB was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.

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