Note: An edited version of this story appeared last week at Open Source Delivers.
It's not pretty.
What happened to Java, OpenOffice and Solaris under Oracle was not pretty, but the community did all it could about it. Those projects had already been under a big company, Sun Microsystems, so Oracle's takeover was something in the natural order of things.
What we may soon see, however, what we're starting to see, are big companies taking on support of projects that already have a corporate sponsor. A small company devoted to the code that has been fighting to monetize it suddenly looks up and finds a giant hovering over it. The cat eating the mouse becomes food for the coyote.
Revolution Analytics recently found itself in this position. The corporate sponsor of the R big data language recently found out that Oracle will be offering support for R in its data center offerings.
David Smith, the company's vice president of marketing and community, doesn't feel like the cat before the coyote, however.