A very happy new year to you from the MariaDB Foundation. Since I last wrote in June the Foundation has been doing plenty of work on everyone’s behalf.

First there’s the extensive technical work that Monty wrote about, which has been carried out by the team the Foundation employs who all work for Monty. He would like to grow that team a little, so your donations – or even corporate sponsorship or membership — would be especially welcome at the moment. With the move of the Monty Program staff he used to employ over to SkySQL, there’s no longer any cross-subsidy between consulting work and the fix-sustain-build mission of the Foundation’s core team, so we depend completely on donations and corporate support to make that happen.

Second, we’ve been growing the Foundation membership. During 2013 we gained three Corporate Members — Booking.Com, Parallels and SkySQL — to whom we are very grateful for the support that has encouraged us to keep going and paid the bills. We’re starting 2014 with new Corporate Member enrollments. There are two others in progress that I hope to announce soon, but I’m delighted to say that Automattic, the company behind the WordPress this blog uses, has become a Corporate Member. Many thanks to them for their generous support.

During 2013 we also had a number of Corporate Sponsors — Percona, Jelastic/Planeetta , WebYog and Open Query — whose financial contributions have been most welcome in addition to their community involvement. We are starting 2014 with several new Sponsors who I’ll announce with the new Members soon. I hope we will be able to welcome more Members and Sponsors this season.

Thanks too for all the individual donations we have received. If you are able to send a small amount each time you download from the Foundation, your contributions will soon add up to a substantial sum, as we’ve seen a steady increase in downloads. We very much welcome these “subscription donations” as they help me plan our budget.

Third, we’ve been working on new, community-led governance. The bylaws are now drafted and ready for community comment. Once the trademark paperwork from SkySQL is confirmed, I’ll put them online for review and discussion. It’s taken longer than I had hoped to reach this point, partly because we needed to wait for the merger of the former Monty Program Ab into SkySQL to complete. This happened on September 30 so we’re now good to go. I hope we will get the whole process started this quarter.

One key question we need to address is use of the MariaDB trademark. SkySQL acquired it along with Monty Program Ab, but as you’ll note from their CEO’s comment, they are committed to good stewardship of that valuable asset for the community. We are working with SkySQL to devise an unambiguous and community-focussed trademark arrangement that will allow the Foundation to act in the interests of the whole community. We’re completing a first stage now to secure the Foundation’s name and I will let you know when the collaboration bears fruit.

I hope to meet many MariaDB Community members this weekend at FOSDEM in Brussels, but if you want to discuss anything please get in touch. The coming year is going to be interesting!

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