I’m sorry I forked you

I’ve been immersed in open source coding since my teenage years, and now, I can’t fathom a world without it. Throughout my career as a computer engineer, I’ve yet to encounter a tech company that isn’t built on the foundation of free and open source software. Each company adds its proprietary touch to this vast open source landscape, but they are ultimately just forming a unique blend atop a colossal iceberg of shared resources. In the software world, open source truly is the driving force behind innovation.

Unconventional Financial Currents in Software

The software industry operates on a financial current that defies conventional norms. Unlike other sectors where key players like oil companies rake in the riches by supplying essentials to other businesses, the software realm flips the script. In this landscape, it’s user-facing giants like Google that reap the profits, while the very creators crafting the software forming the bedrock for Google and countless others often find themselves on a different end of the economic spectrum.

Open source developers observe this intriguing dynamic, sometimes even finding satisfaction in witnessing how their freely contributed software fuels the creation of multimillion-dollar ventures.

SQLx: A Rust Marvel

sqlx is one of the numerous software libraries that lie at the foundation of this software iceberg. It’s a formidable SQL database driver for the Rust programming language, that harmonizes connection to a multitude of databases. It garners approximately 20,000 daily downloads.

Version 0.7

sqlx’s main maintainer sought to find a middle ground – crafting good open source software while seeking a sustainable livelihood. This endeavor led to a pivotal decision: extracting the database drivers from the core library. While retaining most drivers as open source, compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server was relinquished. This significant architectural shift also necessitated the removal of some other features from the core framework, and the introduction of a new API, making it non trivial to migrate from the previous version.


As the principal caretaker of the SQLPage web application server, which relies on sqlx, I faced a pivotal juncture. The path ahead diverged into two distinct trails:

  1. a challenging migration to sqlx v0.7, making a cross on MSSQL support;
  2. persisting with v0.6, a realm housing outdated and potentially vulnerable dependencies.

After a lot of hesitation I chose a third path: forking sqlx.

I’m sorry I forked you

I’m sorry I forked you, sqlx. I really am all for financially sustainable open source. My hope is that the newfound proprietary drivers find success, duly compensating @abonander for the invaluable contributions made.

But I really need a good fully open source set of database drivers for Rust, I need some of the features that were removed in v0.7, and most importantly, I want to support SQL Server in SQLPage. So I created sqlx-oldapi, a fork of sqlx v0.6.

In the fork:

The full list of changes can be found in the changelog.

Concluding Notes

And if you are curious about why this page’s URL ends in .sql, check out SQLPage.

Important addendum: The main contributor to sqlx reacted to this post, and they wanted to clarify two things:

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