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Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns

by on Jul 26, 2012

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Talk given at FISL 2012 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhgXQFk9noI

Talk given at FISL 2012 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhgXQFk9noI

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  • a_z_e_t a_z_e_t @miahfost ahahaha. have you ever had a look at the source code or development? please do not refer to BTRFS if you are cosidering typical production/enterprise use-cases. i can't even begin to count mission critical bugs that have surfaced over the last year in BTRFS.


    one i remember very well, a hash collision (very likely to occur in commercial setups) yields linux's own BUG_ON();

    i've always developed free software, but i'd rather have the users choose what to do with my product or their forks of my code. don't get me wrong, GPL is fine with me, i just don't like to write GPL code.
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  • miahfost Jeremiah Foster, Open Source Technologist at Gothenburg Sweden I am interested in your posts, and I did read the one you linked to. It is an interesting premise part of a meme going around that the GPL is too rigid for collaboration. Frankly, the evidence you present for your premise, the collected licenses of Github, tell us nothing because no license lives in a vacuum, it is only relevant when it is in a distro linked to other software. Github is a giant inert blob of code, the magic happens when you actually build it.

    This is the fundamental fact that you cannot ignore -- the greatest Open Source projects, GNU and the Linux kernel, are GPL, and what has been created on top of them is astonishing. How about a billion dollar company as evidence? RHAT (Disclaimer, I own no stock in RHAT and I run Debian.) Look at Debian, which runs on 8 architectures officially, and others unofficially, including SPARC. Look at Ubuntu, look at Gentoo, at Linux Mint. All of those OSes are possible because of the GPL.

    How's that for collaboration?
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  • bcantrill bcantrill @miahfost You may be interested in my follow up to this: http://dtrace.org/blogs/bmc/2012/08/01/post-revolutionary-open-source/ 1 year ago
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  • miahfost Jeremiah Foster, Open Source Technologist at Gothenburg Sweden This statement is a pure falsehood; 'GPL v2 has prevented the integration of open source technologies like ZFS and DTrace in Linux.'

    Typical of Sun, or Ex-Sun, to blame the GPL for blocking contribution when in fact the problem was _created_ by the Sun CDDL.

    And its not a big deal, there is tracing in the Linux kernel and we've BTRFS so problem solved.
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  • mmarth mmarth In general, I think the ASF solves 2 big problems (that you also refer to in your preso):
    * it prescribes rules for governance. This is a good thing because it clarifies one of the most important questions for me when I look at an open source project: how can one become a committer.
    * the ASF takes the copyright of the software, i.e. committers do not have to give their IP to a company anymore, but rather a foundation that cannot be bought by someone else. Compare this to company-driven open source projects where the leading company can simply be bought, e.g. MySQL.

    Personally, I have been involved with Day software and the Apache Jackrabbit and Apache Sling project. These were, in a sense, open rewrites of existing closed software, so I don't know if they count for you. For Day software these were very successful moves.

    Other examples of companies moving projects into the ASF that I personally consider successful: SOLR (started by Cnet), Cassandra (Facebook).
    Outcome not yet determined, but so far looking good IMO: Phonegap (Apache Cordova) donated by Adobe.

    In the end I think the answer to your question depends a bit on what you mean with 'the model worked'. Commercial success of the company, success of the open source project or both?

    Again, I think ASF is not the best for each and every situation, but certainly no anti pattern (which by my book would be wrong each time).
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  • bcantrill bcantrill @mmarth: Well, we do disagree on that then. I think giving software to the Apache foundation is fine for software that is being abandoned (i.e., better to give it to Apache then let it die), but giving living software to the Apache foundation is -- in my opinion -- a giant mistake. (I'm not alone on this, BTW: here at FISL, I have been amazed how many have voiced strong agreement with that particular point.) But I would be curious about your experience: have you been inside of a company that has open sourced software by giving it to a foundation and found that that model worked? (It's not a rhetorical question -- I'm genuinely curious.) 1 year ago
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  • mmarth mmarth Interesting. I disagree with the anti pattern 'eschewing ownership' though. Moving software into e.g. The Apache software foundation is IMO a great way to open source proprietary software because itensureres that the company loses control. Not necessarily for fit-for-all but certainly not an anti pattern. 1 year ago
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Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns Presentation Transcript