In this second of a two-part vnunet.com interview, Ingres' chief technology officer Dave Dargo talks about his vision for open source and the role it plays in the world. Part one of the interview can be seen here.
Dargo first started working with Linux in 1999 when he collaborated on the so-called Unbreakable programme. Unveiled in 2001, Oracle bolstered the security for its database and made the assertion that the application could not be hacked.
"Linux was great because it got out of the way. With all the other operating systems I've worked with, I always had to bend Oracle to match the operating system," Dargo recalled.
"With Linux I had the ability to bend the operating system to match what we were trying to do. It gave us the ability to really change into a support model where we could get code-level support from one place."
Dargo quit Oracle in 2004 and started consulting part-time for venture capital investors about open source businesses. Then he realised that the IT industry was facing a fundamental problem.
As software evolved from using applications that were developed in-house to shrink-wrapped software, users became accustomed to paying licence fees to cover research and development. As products matured, the innovation stalled but the licences remained.
"At some point, people kind of forgot that software licences were meant to pay for new research and development and to get new features in the products," said Dargo.
"The market simply became used to paying these licences. After the database products became feature-bloated or feature-saturated, the licence fees no longer went on new functionality in the database product.
"In the case of Oracle, they went on acquiring new companies. Maybe Microsoft spent its fees on developing the Xbox, but it was no longer really going to database innovation.
"The compelling characteristic about Ingres was that here was a company where they've got the mature database technology. Because they are being spun out as a private entity, and because their product is already open source, they can now drive an open source business model which really supports subscription as opposed to upfront licences."
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