Why is it that every time I hear an executive for an open source company talking, he makes the case the his company is the only one in the hole wide world that actually can do open source and still make money?
In an interview with Businessweek, JBoss CEO Marc Fleury, once again makes the case. His application server is the only viable commercial open source project, he argues. Forget about open source CRM (SugarCRM for instance), forget about selling even Linux.
Talk to Novell and you'll hear chief executive Jack Messman claim that open source is good for legacy, end of life applications – but he plans to make money by selling proprietary software.
Matt Szulik from Red Hat? His company is the only true Open Source advocate. All the others are just providing lip service to the movement's ideals.
Fleury claims that the whole development model just doesn't work. Open source CRM? Which developer is going to sacrifice his time building that instead of playing Doom III, coding Linux or having a social life?
"I'm a developer. I work during the day and at night. If I'm going to pass on seeing my girlfriend or my kids, it better be some sexy software that I'm working on. Writing a financial graphics user interface on an application? That's what I do for living. The idea that I'm going to sit up at night doing it is ridiculous."
But somehow none of those arguments apply to JBoss.
Fleury should have done his homework before he came leashing out against the open source industry (yes, industry, not community).
The top Linux developers today are employed
by commercial organisations. It's their job to work on the open source operating
If I have an internally developed, legacy CRM system, I might be very happy to move some of my development resources to an open source project that over time can replace my expensive code with a better and cheaper alternative.
Enterprise class open source applications today aren't being developed in dusty attics by pale looking geeks. Since Fleury failed to notice that, he might have gotten out of touch with the open source world at bit too much.
Fleury also conveniently left out that
JBoss's application server is developed internally with few if any open source contributions. Acknowledging the value of significant outside contributions would amount to
him admitting that JBoss took the wrong approach. I guess his failed argument says enough.
Tags: JBoss, Linux, Open source, Open-source
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