Thoughts on PDO V2

by Mike Willbanks on January 24th, 2008

While many people are in a huff about the news of PDO v2 having a CLA, I believe it is actually a step in the right direction. PHP has successfully built many of their database drivers and had them working fairly well. However, that is not to say that they have been without problems. Many of the problems due to the internal workings of the database in use. I remember a few years ago and having many problems with the oracle handling. That has since been reworked, however, the time till it was reworked took a very long time until the database vendor stepped in.

Further, there is specific functionality that many of these databases have. When I am looking at PHP and database support, I certainly believe that having the database vendors helping to produce drivers will certainly give the flexibility and better functionality to PHP. While I have complete confidence that the current core developers and developers on PDO could complete the task at hand, I am in the same area as many others that PDO has been neglected. Having specific resources from the database vendors puts pressure on them to ensure that they fix the drivers when there are fixes or features to add because they would now have the responsibility of supporting it. I believe that is one of the best steps forward that PHP could make as far as database support.

As for all of the new legalities facing it, it is understandable that the database vendors would prefer to have the code under a CLA. This is providing protection to the end user, core developer and also the company at hand. Eventually in certain areas we all have to walk through the steps. I believe PHP is at that point. PHP has really over the last few years been making major leaps in the enterprise world and I believe that would only solidify the offering.

I realize that change can initiate fear but let it not take us down that path as this change is simply allowing new growth.

From PHP

  1. As I say on my website, who cares if a CLA is worthless if it makes vendors feel warm inside and gets them to contribute then its good for PHP regardless

  2. @ Richard Thomas: I care, because with a CLA it’s not Free Software anymore. I’m not allowed to look at the code unless I sign an extra agreement that I won’t do… something. Sorry, not Free Software. I’m not interested.

    Contributions that are not Open (as in Open Source) are not contributions. They’re poison. If *insert proprietary DB vendor here* refuses to help make their database work better in PHP unless we violate our principles, then I would much rather PHP not support that database at all. Yes, that includes Oracle and Microsoft. It even includes MySQL/Sun if it ever came to it.

  3. @Larry:
    To clarify a few things. A CLA does not mean that it would be closed source and you would have to sign a CLA before hand. Take a look at the Zend Framework for instance. You have to sign a CLA before you contribute but that certainly doesn’t make it so you can not view the source code.

    Further, if the source code was not available then how would we build from the source? I think you are looking at this from the wrong viewpoint without actually reading into it fully. If you read part of the F.A.Q. you will see “3) The license of the work should be compatible with the PHP license and
    of the same spirit.”. Now if you head over and read the PDO license that they are looking at you might be able to talk a little bit more on principle

  4. Indeed, the concern with CLA is mostly about the ability to openly participate and not about being able to read the source. All of this will be done under a BSD/PHP-like license of course. But splitting the community because not all people are able to sign is a major concern still.

  5. Damn, I had no clue PDO was so bad. I just wonder why we do not get more help from the vendors. Because actually most of them are contributing already today – without requiring a CLA for that. Also if PDO looks so bad to you, why don’t you help? After all it is open source.

  6. Helly,
    I don’t believe that PDO looks bad presently, but it certainly could be improved. I’ve been using it for quite sometime.

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