There has been a series of acqusitions amongst database companies. Oracle bought InnoBase Oy and Sleepycat, two makers of transactional storage engine for MySQL. MySQL AB has then acquired Netfrastructure, a web aplication development framework. However, what MySQL AB actually acquired is not just the company + its software, but the main brain behind it. Firebird News reports that Jim Starkey, the founder of Netfrastructure, who also happened to be the father of the once open-sourced Interbase, has left his development on Vulcan, the next generation SMP-capable Firebird, to work full-time on another open source database engine.
That sucks. Especially when you know that your project would greatly benefit from Vulcan which might integrate with the up-coming Firebird 3.0 -- provided that Firebird 2.0 is out of door soon. Looks like there will be at least a year away from SMP-capable Firebird.
But all the best Jim! Though I don't believe that there is no intersection between MySQL and Firebird's target audiences (especially when MySQL is scaling up for features and Firebird is scaling down for embeded systems), I believe Jim's work there will bring open source RDBMS to another level, competing with other commercial heavy weights.