Recorded at the Northeast GNU/Linux Fest 2012-03-17
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MariaDB is a community-developed branch of the MySQL database, the impetus being the community maintenance of its free status under the GNU GPL, as opposed to any uncertainty of MySQL license status under its current ownership by Oracle. The contributors are required to share their copyright with Monty Program AB.
The intent also being to maintain high fidelity with MySQL, ensuring a "drop-in" replacement capability with library binary equivalency and exacting matching with MySQL APIs and commands. It includes the XtraDB storage engine as a replacement for InnoDB, as well as a new storage engine, Aria, that intends to be both a transactional and non-transactional engine perhaps even included in future versions of MySQL.
Its lead developer is Michael "Monty" Widenius, the founder of MySQL and Monty Program AB. He had previously sold his company, MySQL AB, to Sun Microsystems for 1 billion USD.