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Re: [school-discuss] MySQL in classroom

On Sun, 2004-08-22 at 02:48, Jeff Goodwin wrote:
> Regarding the response of Tom Adelstein to Robert Rittenhouse:
> I am just a list recipient of considerably less expertise than either of you
> and probably most people reading this.  I have no opinion about the relative
> merits of MySQL.
> But I am a literate, interested person and I do take offense at the tone of
> Mr Adelstein.  I said the tone, not whatever the merits (or not) of his
> content.  Mr Adelstein, what on earth justifies your hostility?  Dr
> Rittenhouse merely expressed an opinion.  If that opinion as it was
> published here suffers from anything, it suffers from not explaining what
> Rittenhouse finds lacking in MySQL.  If you disagree with his rather cryptic
> reference, then factually refute it rather than belittling the author and
> his University.
> Sincerely,
> Jeff Goodwin


I didn't experience much hostility over here, but if that's how you see
it, then I should take responsibility for it coming across that way.

For several years now, members of the open source community have
operated in camps. We had some interesting wars between the Gnome and
KDE advocates, Debian and everyone else especially Red Hat and so on. We
even had a Debian advocate file a law suit against what is now Xandros
because he didn't want them commercializing it.

The latest war has to do with PostgreSQL and MySQL with the postgres
advocates cutting down MySQL anytime they see it mentioned.

One of the key figures of OSDL refused to support a major education
initiative that would have brought $20 million in funds to schools for
open source grants. He demanded that the project abandon MySQL and use
postgreSQL. He also wanted us to alter the meaning of LAMP to mean Linux
Apache Middleware and Programming. Otherwise, no support. Imagine such
ideology cutting the legs out from under a program already appropriated
by Congress. 

If you have any familiarity with the effort and money it requires to get
any software through a Common Criteria Certification or a FIPS 140
validation - you would understand how off handed, thoughtless comments
like the one I saw today from a person who parades his authority around
might hurt the efforts.

At the moment, we have no money or effort behind any certifications or
validations for postgreSQL and yet we have generous contributions from

Having lived through enough flame wars as an advocate of open-source
efforts, I have seen thoughtless comments destroy too many initiaitves. 

I work long hours and very hard and so does my team.  I've watched
academicians undermine too many initiatives. So, my feeling is, if you
aren't going to help get out of the way.

I know this is a prevalent attitude that others share, even members of

So while you wonder what on earth justifies what you perceived as
hostility, consider this: We have a LAMP Emergency Response Program
that's been in operation  in the Dallas FBI office since May 2001. It
handle issues on 9/11 and during the space shuttle disaster. I can put
personnel and asset to work in seconds not hours.

It should have been operational in Florida last week. Secretary Ridge
has given the program his blessing, publicly. And yet, internal politics
keeps it from being deployed throughout the country. Right now, it's in
pilot in Seattle, Indianapolis and Atlanta. And internal politics have
slowed it's deployment to a crawl. Do you expect anyone in the media to
draw attention to this?

In a few months, your life might be in danger and yet we have the
technology to respond rapidly and bureauracy is keeping it slowed down.

Now this is an application that can save lives, handles information
sharing and uses the Common Alert Protocol. It implements many
recommendations of the 9/11 commission report. It uses MySQL and scales
almost infinitely. It's been in operation for three years. It works.

We don't need people dissing MySQL and if the postgreSQL people want to
mouth off, I'm going to say on my watch, "cut it out".

I hope that explains it.