Other companies require you to sign up for a Beta program before you can
even look at it.
The public doesn't even hear about it until the Beta is through, and the
product is ready.
You probably will never know how long the Beta cycle lasted.
You are privileded to be given such early access to Beta and Alpha code.
>>From: Joel Rees <joel@stripped>
>>To: Will French <wfrench@stripped>
>>Subject: Re: Info on 4.0.x release date
>>Date: 28 Aug 2002 14:41:51 +0900
>>I know I'm not really involved here, but I would like to suggest a few
>>>Obviously you don't agree with me and that is something I readily accept. I
>>>do have difficulty with the fact that you clearly spent more time typing
>>>your response than considering my points, which were intended to be
>>Well, as a bystander, I think you've shot a little wide.
>>>>>You got the truth. Would you prefer someone lie to you about it?
>>>I will assume that your interest in mysql and participation in this list
>>>indicates that you are somehow involved in the process of software
>>>development. What is less clear is whether this may be a hobby or your
>>>profession. If it is the latter, I would love to know where it is that one
>>>can work in this industry where one is not expected to make projections
>>>about when project milestones might be met.
>>>This is called project
>>>management. And while those of us who simply love writing code find such
>>>pursuits annoying, they are nonetheless necessary and worthwhile --
>>>accepting this is part of growing up.
>>_All_ the areas where we can reliably set schedules are areas where the
>>profit margin is, well, something like the profit margin for
>>Unless you own the virtual monopoly, in which case you can fill in with
>>>And while I applaud the honesty of
>>>saying "we won't declare it stable until it is stable," surely you can see
>>>your way clear that if you were explaining a similar situation to your boss
>>>or to your client, they would almost certainly (and justifyably) want you to
>>>give them more details. This is called accountability.
>>So they gave you all the details they could. That is being accountable.
>>Or did you want to see the list of remaining issues, the assignment list
>>for who gets to cover each, and so forth?
>>>>>What more information would be helpful, exactly? Do guesses really
>>>Guesses are nice... estimates are better. What is the difference, you ask?
>>>The word guess connotes random selection or selection based upon whimsy.
>>>Estimates, on the other hand, are approximations based upon some rational
>>Whimsy, or the cognizance of the existance of more unknowns and their
>>limits on manpower?
>>>Suppose you take your car into the shop and after looking at
>>>it they inform you that it cannot be driven again until a new part is
>>>installed and that part will need to be special ordered. Would you not
>>>expect them to give you an estimate of how long that will take? Following
>>>your logic, they would be justified in telling you that "it will be here
>>>when it gets here." Perhaps you would feel better if they said something
>>>like "the computer says they have plenty in stock and it usually takes 1-2
>>>days for shipments to arrive." In the later, the parts manager cannot say
>>>with absolute certainty when the part will arrive. But short of that
>>>certainty, he has given you the next best thing - his best estimate based
>>>upon a methodology (based upon past history and his experience).
>>Using the manufacturing analogy, what happens when the special order
>>part is not being manufactured any more (because of, say, an earthquake),
>>or has been recalled?
>>But the analogy does not fit. These guys are cutting new ground. If we
>>want to get a real fit on the analogy, we have to turn the clock back a
>>hundred years. There are no factories that we can just order parts from.
>>There are the big guys, but you're not asking for the Model T in black.
>>(Otherwise, you'd have gone with Microsoft or Oracle, wouldn't you?)
>>Since you didn't go to Microsoft or Oracle, we can only assume that you
>>don't want the standard model. The folks at MySQL are developing
>>something that apparently looks close to what you want, so you chose to
>>go with them, based on their previous estimates. Well, they are
>>designing it, inventing parts as they go, and rushing it to the factory
>>floor as fast as they can. Except for one thing, they are trying to
>>avoid the sort of situations that lead to recalls.
>>And yes that means they uncover unknowns as they go, and most unknowns
>>push the schedule back a bit.
>>>>>But that money isn't paid *to* MySQL AB, so how is that relevant?
>>Which was a response to your assertions that the time and planning that
>>you've put into the design based on the dev version of MySQL are real
>>money, and the concept that since you've spent that money you are
>>entitled to "estimates", even though you have never bought a license.
>>Not incidentally, did you ever consider that the "small" license fee
>>might have been "small" enough to go ahead and pay it? This is where I
>>think you've gone south. Usually, if you spec a product that is under
>>development, you would want to back it with real support. Idea support
>>is useful, but if you are planning on eating by it, I'd say you should
>>have put your money where your mouth was last year. If the fees were so
>>small compared to the money you've sunk into in-house, _why_ weren't you
>>willing to part with such a small sum to go to the company making this
>>important part for your planned project?
>>>Ironically, the fact that I pay no license fees to MySQL AB is based upon
>>>the fact that I have no production systems that use it and I will not have
>>>production systems that use it until the new functionality coming in 4.1 is
>>Have you been working with the alphas and betas, reporting actual bugs,
>>etc.? I have the impression from what I've read that you have not.
>>>But the fact that I have not paid any money to MySQL AB does not
>>>mean that I am not doing things which ultimately improve their bottom line.
>>>Though this is my first posting in a while, there was about a three month
>>>period when I monitored this list every day and often contributed my
>>>knowledge when I thought it could be helpful. I have talked up MySQL to my
>>>colleagues. I have suggested ideas for new features. I certainly do not
>>>feel anyone need give me a medal for any of this, but my point is that by
>>>being yet another active member of the MySQL community, I (with those like
>>>me) help advance the product which will inevitably lead to more sales for
>>And I am still wondering. Did you actually get the alphas and betas into
>>your shop and start working with them? What they seem to need most right
>>now is testers. Have you been helping them on that end?
>>Pardon me for being blunt, but no money, no testing, where's the beef?
>>If you have been testing, then pardon me for a mistaken assumption. But
>>your posts don't read that way.
>>>My point that licenses are but a small part of total cost is relevant in the
>>>sense that just being free isn't good enough to close the deal. Everytime I
>>>read one of the smartass responses, I wonder to myself if they feel they can
>>>get away with this attitude simply because they are not charging license
>>I have seen no smartass responses from MySQL AB. I have seen some
>>evidence of frustration, but that is a far cry from smartass. I have
>>also seen a lot of acknowledgement of reality. What exactly is smartass
>>>Maybe this is wrong,
>>It most certainly is.
>>>I hope so, but I think that they would be well
>>>served by if the took more seriously the concerns of their user community
>>>(paying and non-paying) because I believe that it will in the end enhance
>>It looks to me like MySQL AB takes their product and their customers very
>>If you want a look at the user mailing lists of other serious open
>>source software, hope over here:
>>A few I recommend for enlightenment:
>>(Some people see MySQL and PostgreSQL as competitors. I've heard from
>>many who use both as complementary tools.)
>>Welcome to open source. It's a viable model. But it is not the
>>conventional model by any means. (I think it's significantly more
>>realistic business model, myself, but that's probably just me.)
>>Joel Rees <joel@stripped>
>It seems that many have taken the opportunity to slam Mr. French for his
>suggestions that the information given on the expected stable release
>date of 4.0x has not been adequate.
>I believe there is merit to his commentary.
>Sure, the manufacturing analogy isn't perfect, none are. Still, the
>constant answer of "it will be done, when it is done," does give an air
>of either arrogance or obfuscation; and wouldn't be found acceptable in
>most business or even personal situations. Although I don't currently
>have a support license - I have in the past, and will in the future.
>Whether an answer is "owed" to me or French is also irrelevant to
>whether or not the answers given are adequate. I've not heard anyone
>from MySQL saying, buy a license and will give you the real scoop - it's
>just - "when it's done."
>I like and use MySQL, I promote it to associates, I argue with Oracle,
>and SQL Server advocates who often describe their preferred products as
>"serious" business products and describe MySQL as, well - less than
>serious. It becomes harmful to MySQL in general when a release that was
>once predicted in 2001, becomes no where in sight in late 2002.
>I'm sure somewhere there exists a list of "outstanding issues" and the
>actions being taken on them - and heaven forbid, may be guess as to when
>each would be solved. Maybe there's a web page somewhere on the MySQL
>site that has that - I haven't found it. If there is, maybe a link to
>such a page would be a better answer than what's been stated so far.
>I realize that developments of this nature are unpredictable, and no one
>expects perfect estimates - but a clearer idea of what's going on and
>range of possible expectations would go a long way to help those of us
>that argue against the advocates of those "serious" DBMS's. Of course I
>still think MySQL is an outstanding and "serious" product, but a little
>more help in convincing others would be appreciated.
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