Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category
Sphinx is an amazing piece of software. Andrew Aksyonoff is an amazing guy, too. But aside from Andrew’s many talents, and Sphinx’s awesomeness, I wanted to list two related examples of how Sphinx makes the world a better place. Both examples are implemented as open-source software from Ivinco, a company founded by a group of people I used to work with.
The first is the Sphinx WordPress search plugin. I have repeatedly considered using it on my own blog, but I’m running on Pair’s shared hosting, so I don’t think I should do that. But we use it on the MySQL Performance Blog. It returns highly relevant and very fast search results, and has a number of other benefits that end up being very good for SEO, among other things.
The second is the Dokuwiki search plugin. I love Dokuwiki, but its built-in search is horrible; the results are anything but relevant. The Sphinx search plugin is excellent. So if you hate Dokuwiki’s search results, try this plugin and see what you think.
Both the WordPress plugin and the Dokuwiki plugin are available from Ivinco’s open-source software page.
You have about 14 more hours to submit session proposals to the O’Reilly MySQL conference, which is soliciting sessions about all open-source databases: PostgreSQL, CouchDB, Riak, Hadoop, Firebird, you name it. The last-minute proposals are coming fast and furious, as usual, and we have a great selection to choose from, but we need more!
There’s lots of buzz lately about the so-called “open-core” business model of Marten Mickos’s new employer. But this is nothing new. Depending on how you define it, InnoDB is “open-core,” and has been for a long time. The InnoDB Hot Backup (ibbackup) tool was always closed-source. Did anyone ever cry foul and claim that this made InnoDB itself not open-source, or accuse Innobase / Oracle of masquerading as open-source? I don’t recall that happening, although sometimes people got suspicious about the interplay between the backup tool and the storage engine. Generally, though, the people I know who use InnoDB Hot Backup have no gripes about paying for it.
What is the difference between open-source with closed-source accessories, and crippleware? I think it depends on how people define the core functionality of software. Some might say that backup is core functionality for a database; and others would point to mysqldump and say that InnoDB isn’t crippleware as long as there is some alternative.
I think InnoDB is an interesting case that illustrates what can happen when commercial and GPL play together. Part of that story is the appearance of XtraBackup, an open-source competitor to InnoDB Hot Backup. Everyone’s subject to the rules of the game, unless they restrict the “core,” which would make it non-open-source to begin with.