Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Sun 'can be biggest open source company'

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Get all your tech news delivered to your mail box five days a week
iTWire UPDATE - it's FREE!

Ulf Michael Widenius, better known to open source folk as Monty, has a few things in common with Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

Monty is from Finland, speaks Swedish like four percent of the population (the remainder speak Finnish) and is an author of an important open source package, in this case MySQL.

But, in contrast to some open source people, Monty is easy to talk to and candid in what he says. I caught up with him on the sidelines of the recent Australian national Linux conference.

Edited extracts:

iTWire: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Monty: I started with computers pretty early - in 1975 - as I was in Scandinavia. I started working with databases in '81, and working with lots of different customers. I did a lot of work in data mining, and for that I created a program that over time  evolved into MySQL. In 1995, we released the code that I had created under an open source-like licence for people to use.

iTWire: So initially it was proprietary?

Monty: In a sense, it was proprietary but it was just because we didn't have something we thought was usable by the masses. Because if you release something you also need to be able to support it. You also need to believe that you can get a big user group that would like to use it. I've been working in an open source environment basically since '83. And in '95, it was the first time we thought that we actually had something that we could give to the community.

iTWire: When you say 'we', whom do you mean? You and...?

Monty: Me and David Axmark. And then we had a third person, Allan Larsson.



Tomorrow, 26 August we’re delivering a FREE day of high-impact content to give you the know-how to lead in the App Economy. Please don’t be sorry you missed it.

• Keynotes on how software is rewriting businesses the world over, including our own backyard

• View code level details with context and repair problems quickly

• Fix problems in minutes before they wreak havoc

• Streams covering DevOps, Security and Management Cloud from pioneers at the coalface.

Register Now - it's FREE!



Where are your clients backing up to right now?

Is your DR strategy as advanced as the rest of your service portfolio?

What areas of your business could be improved if you outsourced your backups to a trusted source?

Read the industry whitepaper and discover where to turn to for managed backup


Sam Varghese

website statistics

A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.