"It has not been the smoothest of sailing recently. MySQL was
having problems even before the Sun acquistion shook the community.
In it's effort to help the product "grow up" and cater both to
enterprise users (which means adding more functionality) and newer,
less sophisticated users (which means making things more friendly
and approachable–and building more tools), the team seemed to
lose direction and ended up being spread too thin.
"The large gap of time between MySQL 5.0 and 5.1 is partly to
blame on management and priorities. But it's also largely the
result a codebase badly in need of a good cleanup and
refactoring--something that has not happened to this day (though
there are signs of that changing). The unnecessary complexity and
lack of clear standards not only slowed down existing developers
but was surely a barrier for new developers as well.
"These problems continued and people began to depart Sun not
long after the acquisition. Members of the senior management team
as well as some of the most experienced and talented developers are
no longer there to guide the development. A subset of those who've
left are actually contributing to the MySQL community in other
ways--more on that later."