On 5/1/13 7:36 PM, Robert Haas wrote:
On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM, Jim Nasbywrote:
On 4/28/13 7:50 AM, Craig Ringer wrote:

I find it frustrating that I've never seen an @paraccel email address here
and that few of the other vendors of highly customised Pg offshoots are
contributing back. It's almost enough to make me like the GPL.
FWIW, I think there's a pretty large barrier to these folks contributing
back. Would the community really want to add a bunch of hooks to support
something like Redshift? Or Greenplum? Or etc, etc.? Most of these guys have
to change significant amounts of PG code, so much so that it's actually hard
for them to stay current (which is why most of them just fork).

I do think this is a shame, but I'm not sure of any good way to fix it.
Yep. There are plenty of things that we do at EDB for good and valid
business reasons that I can't imagine the community accepting under
any circumstances. For example, Oracle compatibility is not something
the community values as highly as EnterpriseDB (and our customers) do.
I'm sure that many of those vendors are in similar situations - they
write code that only runs on specialized hardware, or (rather
commonly, I suspect) they remove parts of the functionality in order
to make certain things very fast. Those are not trade-offs that make
sense for PostgreSQL, but I find it hard to understand what we'd gain
from preventing other people from making them. There are in fact a
pretty large number of companies - EnterpriseDB, obviously, but there
are many, many others - that are choosing to build businesses around
PostgreSQL precisely because it*isn't* GPL. Personally, I think
that's a good thing for our community in terms of mindshare even when
companies choose not to contribute back - and it's even better when
they do.
FWIW, one point I was trying to make that was overlooked is that it seems to be exceptionally difficult for companies to fork Postgres and then stay current (AFAIK EnterpriseDB and Mammoth are the only products that have pulled that feat off). I believe that makes it significantly harder for them to actually contribute code back that doesn't give them a business advantage, as well as making it harder to justify hacking on the community codebase because they'll just face a very large hurdle when it comes to pulling that code back into their proprietary product.

I don't know of any good way to solve that problem. Maybe it's not worth solving... but I do suspect there's some useful stuff that the community has lost out on because of this.
Jim C. Nasby, Data Architect jim@nasby.net
512.569.9461 (cell) http://jim.nasby.net

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