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Oracle and Sun

I’m sure this made Larry’s day:

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the planned acquisition of US hardware and software vendor Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, a US database and application software company. The Commission”™s initial market investigation indicated that the proposed acquisition would raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the Single Market because of competition concerns on the market for databases. The decision to open an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the final result of the investigation. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 19 January 2010, to take a final decision on whether the concentration would significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it.

Via.

The area of concern is Sun’s rather odd acquisition of MySQL, an open-source database product. The details behind the EU case can be found here.

I never understood the driver for Sun to get into the open-source database space. I also did not think that it would become a point of contention in a merger scenario.

Sun’s first-quarter results showed a decline of 25 per cent in revenue. And shares in the company are trading well below Oracle’s takeover offer which suggests that investors are worried that the takeover may be in trouble.

Larry Ellison confirmed that  all of the uncertainty around the deal is costing Sun about $100 million US a month. The company has been forced to lay off thousands in a restructuring plan as a result of a mass exodus of Sun customers.

The European roadblock, significant migration of customers, mass firings and dwindling revenue make it increasingly unlikely that Oracle will ever achieve its stated investment goals with the $7.5 billion deal.

Oops.

Of course, there is always another point of view.

Apache, MySQL, PHP and WordPress

I’ll be doing some work with WordPress on another musician’s website. WordPress is an open source content management system. The blog you are reading is powered by WordPress.

Typically, a WordPress blog is driven by a LAMP server: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Because I run a Mac, I can host a WordPress environment on my local machine. I can use a Mac as if it were a LAMP server.

Apache is enabled by simply turning on Web Sharing under the Sharing option of System Preferences. Or, if you are a diehard Unix geek, you can bring up the Terminal app and enter:

sudo apachectl start

Make sure you have your root password handy.

PHP is installed in Mac OS X by default, but not enabled. To enable it, the Apache 2 configuration file, which is located at /etc/apache2/httpd.conf, has to be edited. There is a line which loads the PHP 5 module, which looks like this:

#LoadModule php5_module libexec/apache2/libphp5.so

Remove the comment symbol, #, and save the file. And restart Apache.

sudo apachectl restart

I had to download MySQL and install it myself. Not the most user friendly database install. And, even though I had the database up and running, my local install of WordPress would not connect to the database. It turns out that I had to edit a line in the wp-config.php file to replace localhost with a default IP address:

define(‘DB_HOST’,’127.0.0.1′);

After a few hours of Unix hacking, I had a full WordPress development machine on my Mac. Just like using a LAMP server on my ISP. For whatever reason, it felt good to still be able to hack around Unix, Apache, MySQL, PHP and WordPress.

I am a hopeless geek.