Sun executive puts a brave face on insubordinate rant

Marten Mickos wants to put a happy face on Monty Widenius' public insubordination, but I'm not buying it.

MySQL's Michael ("Monty") Widenius cann be a bit of a loose cannon, as I've written here before and as revealed in his recent excoriation of MySQL's 5.1 release, telling would-be adopters to be "very cautious" about using it.

Sun SVP of Database Products, Marten Mickos, attempts to put a happy face on Monty's indiscretion but I imagine his private feelings involve some choice Finnish profanities with Monty's name after them. At least, that's what I'd be saying (if I spoke Finnish).

Transparency, as Mickos notes, is a hallmark virtue of open-source software and its associated communities. But there is a difference between transparency and responsible self-criticism. Monty crossed that line.

Monty doesn't work for MySQL anymore. He works for a public company and has a duty not only to his conscience but also to his shareholders, shareholders that are not well-served by his now routine destructive commentary toward his own company.

Monty publicly criticized Mickos for putting consistency of release schedule over quality. Mickos, to his credit, has sought to make peace. But with rumors swirling about Monty potentially leaving Sun, I can't help but feel that he could not possibly leave soon enough for the good of Sun and its database business.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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