Marc Fleury Publishes WHITE: Why I love Professional Open Source

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News: Marc Fleury Publishes WHITE: Why I love Professional Open Source

  1. Marc Fleury has published the "White", the second paper in his "Blue, White, Red" series. White, or "Why I love Professional Open Source", discusses JBoss' beginnings, how they grew, how open source works, Fleury's views on the economics of the appserver marketplace, and his vision for Professional Open Source. Read White: Why I love Professional Open Source (see the "WHITE" link in the services box). Check out the last TSS thread about Blue: Why I love EJB's. Also, Bill Burke, (JBoss 4 lead architect) is keynoting at TheServerSide Symposium.

    Threaded Messages (102)

  2. Color ?[ Go to top ]

    Blue, White, Red : french flag ?
    or is it american flag ? or both ?
  3. Color ?[ Go to top ]

    Blue, White, Red : french flag ?

    > or is it american flag ? or both ?

    That'll be a dilemma.

    Poor americans won't know whether to boycott JBoss or not. :-)

    /T
  4. Open Source as a Business Model[ Go to top ]

    The key point of "White" is that critical, complex open source projects like JBoss need to find a mechanism to maintain finacial viability. There is a need for continuity and high quality in the development team working on a project like JBoss. JBoss Group has figured out a way to do that, and is the reason the open source JBoss project is one of the true success stories in the software industry today.

    I am on the Advisory Board for JBoss Group. The reason I am doing this is because I believe JBoss Group is working on a new model to make open source viable for the long term.

    Bob Bickel
  5. Success == Commercial[ Go to top ]

    When you boil it all down (and I am glad the JBoss Group admits this!) The Ultimate success of any business endeavor is maintaining financial viability and with any luck producing profit.

    The more "viable" JBOSS Group/JBOSS is, the more it is a "Commercial" endeavor. Eventually, the broader JBOSS community will realize that they are being suckered by a phony notion of "free".

    Only a Frenchman(mcFleury) would argue that free code (...or freedom in general) is free.....


    Matt
  6. I have my own oppinion on the French too. And MF. But please do keep references to nationality out of this site.
  7. "The community"[ Go to top ]

    endeavor. Eventually, the broader JBOSS community will realize that they are being suckered by a phony notion of "free".


    Are you talking about the "developer" community or the "user" community. One of the clear points Marc Fleury makes in white is that there is no anonymous developer community on the JBoss project.

    It is a simple way of saying that "there is no free lunch". That should be the real title of the paper. JBoss Group subsidizes JBoss development. Read bob bickel above, he says exactly that. JBoss Group found a way to provide lunch.

    The user community however is anonymous by marc's admission (he doesn't know who uses him unless they buy services) and we will continue getting the product for free. So who is being suckered here?
  8. "The community"[ Go to top ]

    endeavor. Eventually, the broader JBOSS community will realize that they are being suckered by a phony notion of "free".

    >
    >
    > Are you talking about the "developer" community or the "user" community. One of the clear points Marc Fleury makes in white is that there is no anonymous developer community on the JBoss project.
    >
    > It is a simple way of saying that "there is no free lunch". That should be the real title of the paper. JBoss Group subsidizes JBoss development. Read bob bickel above, he says exactly that. JBoss Group found a way to provide lunch.
    >
    > The user community however is anonymous by marc's admission (he doesn't know who uses him unless they buy services) and we will continue getting the product for free. So who is being suckered here?

    Both very good points:
    1. Developers who mistakenly think that being paid for half their efforts via services instead of product sales benefits them or the industry.

    2. Companies who are conned into thinking that funding development on JBoss is a good investment.

    Everything will continue to look rosey until the JBoss Group tries to "Cash-in" or else realizes that its not possible.
    Matt



    Both cannot be right.
  9. Free Now...[ Go to top ]

    Well, I paid $0 for JBoss 3.2 and I use it to make money. So far, I like how this is going.

    What's up with all the sinister plot theories?

    BTW, when do the aliens land?
  10. Back from Antiwar protesting[ Go to top ]

    With that reasoning it explains why BEA has ditched Webflow and left customers stranded. If the quick money blinds your motivation for customer satisfaction, watch out.


    Hell, I get more free support on JBOSS via google than BEA's Platform. Besides, JBOSS was engineered not cobbled together. Anyone seen BEA platform 7?

    ha
  11. Third Country Development[ Go to top ]

    Hi All,
    Honestly I dont care the component is Open Source or not, commercial or not, that is silly, we are born to survive and died in piece.

    Can you help us to make all the poor people that never get the opportunities to enjoy the open source? That is the good thing.

    See, you get money from Open Source Project, and so do I. But can you feel there is millions people born, not because they are not innovative, but never get opportunities to go to school, and there is much much in the corrupt country like me, Indonesia.

    We (and several team) are very disappoint because the goverment is to silly and money oriented, and our team (Open Source Team) fail to again Microsoft, our goverment system run using Microsoft Windows with Windows 98 client, and that cost 1 trillion Rupiah (around 1 billion rupiah).

    We are very disappointed with that, because we cannot prove that all you say, that sell Open Source to management, no one trust it here. Here. Windows NT is cost US$ 1, more cheaper that the Pink Lady exstasy pill, that will make you horny all the day in the discoteque.

    Comment?

    Frans
  12. Third Country Development[ Go to top ]

    Can you help us to make all the poor people that never get the opportunities to enjoy the open source? That is the good thing.

    >

    I don't get this. I'm certainly no saint. Nor do I think open source community.

    > See, you get money from Open Source Project, and so do I. But can you feel there is millions people born, not because they are not innovative, but never get opportunities to go to school, and there is much much in the corrupt country like me, Indonesia.
    >

    I still don't get it. What's that got to do with open source? Are you expecting open source solutions to be a cure-all recepie?

    > We (and several team) are very disappoint because the goverment is to silly and money oriented, and our team (Open Source Team) fail to again Microsoft, our goverment system run using Microsoft Windows with Windows 98 client, and that cost 1 trillion Rupiah (around 1 billion rupiah).
    >

    There are may be valid reasons as to why people stick to Microsoft based solutions, including governments. USA is a good example, i guess :)
    When comes to gov. projects, money may not be the only major driving force for decision making. Others such as percieved support, technical skill pool and availability, long term support commitment and maintainability, just to mention a few. And in some countries, vested interests?

    Afterall, large projects tend to (expected) live longer :)

    My experience is that larger enterprise (or gov. based) projects are unlikely to be build solely on open source tools, unless the tools used have large and viable resource pool available (skilled developers, good doc, responsive tech. support,...). And this limits it to largely commercial based solutions, as oposed to open source ones.

    > We are very disappointed with that, because we cannot prove that all you say, that sell Open Source to management, no one trust it here. Here. Windows NT is cost US$ 1, more cheaper that the Pink Lady exstasy pill, that will make you horny all the day in the discoteque.
    >

    I disagree with you here :) on regard with selling open source solution to management.
    Yes, I live and work in the country you mentioned above, possibly in the same city with you? And for almost the entire last couple of years I have been doing Java development largely based on open source tools and solutions, and our projects span from simple web sites to a large financial institution (the second largest in the country), all based on open source tools, except for the persistence engine (db).

    We don't seem to have significant trouble convincing our clients to go for open source based solutions. Most of our clients concerns are usually centered around long term supports and significant saving. If we could win them on these two fronts, the path to winning the contract is much smoother.

    > Comment?
    >

    See above.

    > Frans

    /bernard
  13. Explanation[ Go to top ]

    So, this mean our goverment make a BIG BIG mistake choose Windows 98 as their standard PC, and not using Open Source solution.

    mmm. have a tips to kick they assss and throw them to this country? I think we need another Bush to kick them? haha... but anyway, because the war at Iraq, our goverment buy new jet figther to Rusia. mmm

    anyway, prove or not, I will still love, died, sleep, and F*c* with Open Source..
  14. How about a profit?[ Go to top ]

    "...maintain finacial viability"

    Is this another way of saying "profit"?

    Don't keep us in suspense any longer. Is JBoss Group profitable?
  15. it is not about the swindle..[ Go to top ]

    "Indeed, how can thirty guys around the world, the size of the JBoss development team in the first quarter 2003, compete successfully with the likes of IBM, BEA and Microsoft?"

    Correct answer: "They can’t"

    JBoss is one of the biggest and most outrageous fraud, deception, scam (pick your choise) operation ever to surface (to my knowledge). In the job-listings it is none-existent, I find it incredible that there are still naive Open Source developers stupid enough that work and contribute to this project.

    It will be interesting to observe the continuing development of the JBoss Group, now that the business idea has changed into a "pyramid game".

    If it was just about the con trick I wouldn’t care! It is the hypocrisy that is so absolutely impossible to stand..

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  16. Huh?[ Go to top ]

    <rolf>
    JBoss is one of the biggest and most outrageous fraud, deception, scam (pick your choise) operation ever to surface (to my knowledge).
    </rolf>

    You mean besides yourself, of course? Seriously, how is it scam? Who are the scamming? What are they scamming them out of? Where is the deception? What lies do they tell? What is fraudulent about JBoss? Please, for the sake of your integrity (which you have pretty much flushed down the toilet repeatedly on TSS), back up your wild statements with something more than empty rhetoric. Or is that all you have in your bag?

    <rolf>
    In the job-listings it is none-existent, I find it incredible that there are still naive Open Source developers stupid enough that work and contribute to this project.
    </rolf>

    I did a two second search on monster.com (typed in jboss and hit search) and it yielded > 0 results. What is your definition of non-existant? I always thought of it as a boolean state - it is or it isn't. There are JBoss jobs out there. BTW - Tomcat yields as many hits as JBoss. Resin yields 2 hits. What does this mean? NOTHING! Your search-engine metrics are ridiculous. I would expect nothing less from you, though.

    <rolf>
    If it was just about the con trick I wouldn’t care! It is the hypocrisy that is so absolutely impossible to stand..
    </rolf>

    This from somebody who's entire perspective of the software world is suckled off the .Net teet. You are right Rolf, all you are good for is entertainment.

    Ryan
  17. dont get started about jboss jobs[ Go to top ]

    <ryan>
    I did a two second search on monster.com (typed in jboss and hit search) and it yielded > 0 results. What is your definition of non-existant? I always thought of it as a boolean state - it is or it isn't. There are JBoss jobs out there. BTW - Tomcat yields as many hits as JBoss. Resin yields 2 hits. What does this mean? NOTHING! Your search-engine metrics are ridiculous. I would expect nothing less from you, though.

    </ryan>

    Ryan -- you've begun buying your own bs. There are no employers that value Jboss experience ( as opposed to jobs that demand Weblogic/ Websphere/ Sun ONE etc.) I havent been able to find a Jboss job for months, and I have been looking for a whole lot longer and harder that your two seconds. I had moved from WLE onto Jboss and spent about two years on Jboss development for a Intranet project. I recently landed a job for J2EE develpoment
    , thanks to my past experience with WLE and the collegues that used to work with me during my WLE days.


    Jboss may not be a scam but I am beginning to think its not a fair system. There is no third party documentation(there weas a book of some sort by an unknown author but one of the Jboss Group enployees posted a message on the Jboss development mailing list asking everyone not to buy that book), no third part training and definitely no jobs or consulting contracts. The only people making money from Jboss is the Jboss Group.

    Rolf may not be a J2EE developer but I am and his observation about Jboss jobs is 100% accurate.


    So I am glad you are enjoying your stay in the ivory castle and all that, but one of these days when you have to look for a job , dont count on your Jboss experience.
  18. Ryan -- you've begun buying your own bs. There are no employers that value Jboss experience ( as opposed to jobs that demand Weblogic/ Websphere/ Sun ONE etc.)


    > So I am glad you are enjoying your stay in the ivory castle and all that, but one of these days when you have to look for a job , dont count on your Jboss experience.

    FWIW, I have no BS to sell in the first place. JBoss is neither my primary nor secondary app server. I use WebSphere in production and Tomcat on my local box for development. And I am pretty sure therer are > 0 jobs out there wanting WebSphere experience. I have "played" a lot with JBoss - even deployed our primary app on it for a learning experience. I never said JBoss is the be-all, end-all of app servers. However, I have been impressed with what it offers.

    My comment was simply disputing the point that JBoss jobs are *non-existant*. You even reinforced this very statement. That is simply not true. I demonstrated this (I thought) in my previous post. I even interviewed a candidate *this month* who is using JBoss at his current job. There are JBoss jobs out there. Saying that there aren't is a lie. As for you not being able to find a job - don't know what to tell you there...

    So, before you come dashing to the rescue of our resident jackass (that is you, Rolf) and start slinging assumptions, please get you facts straight.

    Ryan
  19. from your resident jackass[ Go to top ]

    "our resident jackass"

    Thank you Ryan, for calling me a jackass.

    And don't forget that there are going to be a facit to all this. I recommend reading the thoughtful post of Ganesh Prasad. When you have done that go back to the early history of JBoss and compare - I assume you are an intelligent fellow that can extrapolate a graph.

    I would almost give my right arm for the ability to see one year into the future, both in the case of JBoss Group and concerning .NET vs Java.

    Time will tell who is the jackass.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  20. To the resident jackass[ Go to top ]

    Thank you Ryan, for calling me a jackass.


    I called you a jackass because calling you what I wanted to would likely get me flagged as noisy :-)

    > And don't forget that there are going to be a facit to all this. I recommend reading the thoughtful post of Ganesh Prasad. When you have done that go back to the early history of JBoss and compare - I assume you are an intelligent fellow that can extrapolate a graph.

    I have read Ganesh's post. I will say that it is a heck of a lot more thoughtful than anything you have offered to this thread. However, it is one person's theory of what "might" happen, with little logical basis if you ask me. I would think this business model switch would leave a sour taste in many developers mouths. I could be wrong, but I doubt this is the direction JBoss is heading.

    I do find it interesting that you would by into this hypothesizing, yet when people ponder whether Microsoft would yank the rug out from under the Mono project, you deny any basis for *that* claim. Of the to scenario, MS killing on an OSS project seems much more likely. Are you a selective extrapolator? Didn't you say something earlier about hypocracy? Hmmmmmmm...

    > Time will tell who is the jackass.

    I don't need time to tell me that one.

    Ryan
  21. Hypocracy?[ Go to top ]

    When the first commercial version of JBoss arriveres, you can give me an apology..

    If it really was in MS interest to stop a Unix version of the .NET I would not trust them anymore that any other company - but it is not. Therefore, the comparison is halting.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  22. Hypocracy?[ Go to top ]

    if jboss starts holding out on us, they'll lose the support of the masses who are trying to push it into their companies and environments. then the code will fork and we'll continue on our merry ways supporting this new branch of the code. why must we try to predict such gloom and doom?

    the same people who are building their market share will put in the effort tear it down if they scorn us.
  23. MS is in control of JBOSS fate[ Go to top ]

    Once SUN enforces their copyrights -You won't even be able to run JBOSS much less fork it.

    They are just holding out until .Net is no longer a threat (Once MONO is ready -runs on Solaris/Linux, or is Crushed by MS due to patent infringement). Then there will be no need for SUN to allow JBOSS to continue as the low-end J2EE server opposing .NET

    How ironic that the fate of JBOSS may depend on the whims of Bill Gates.
  24. Man,

    I've talked to Sun representatives actually suggesting JBoss' usage for prototyping. Stop the FUD, please. What do you think would happen if Sun would wage an open war at JBoss?

    It'd be a shot in the foot. JBoss is actually one of the largest entry-points into the Enterprise Edition of the platform. Do one thing: run a market research over your company (or clients, or country, whatever), and try to see which brand is best known: Sun or Java.

    You'll be surprised. Sun holds Java as it's golden chicken. Due to it's business model, however, Sun is not the farmer that grows the chicken - the partners, the industry, is. JBoss, for instance. There's no point in killing a good farmer, specially if he/she works for free.

    HJP
  25. Does anyone know how many jboss deployments are there in production? I'm not putting this down as a challenge to jboss, I'd just really like to see some estimates.
    Thanks,
    Vlad
  26. sys-con live poll[ Go to top ]

    http://www.sys-con.com/java/

    on the top right you will see a live poll. Most people claim to use JBoss in production.
  27. hey, what's the harm?[ Go to top ]

    Jboss may not be a scam but I am beginning to think its not a fair system. There is no third party documentation(there weas a book of some sort by an unknown author but one of the Jboss Group enployees posted a message on the Jboss development mailing list asking everyone not to buy that book), no third part training and definitely no jobs or consulting contracts. The only people making money from Jboss is the Jboss Group.

    > So I am glad you are enjoying your stay in the ivory castle and all that, but one of these days when you have to look for a job , dont count on your Jboss experience.

    while i may not get jobs based strictly on my jboss experience, i at least have had the opportunity to learn j2ee in the first place. i take that knowledge and apply it to the commercial app servers. that's the point of the standards. just because i learned on jboss, i'm not stuck on jboss. it's like getting a jumpstart into the unix world using linux. i can get started with the free stuff before i have someone who can afford to hand me the commercial.

    jboss is great for doing proof of concepts before shelling out for the big expensive app servers too.

    jboss group's aim to take over the world keeps them competitive. the competition for the commercial servers pushes them to be better too. we get the source to jboss and some of us use the more improved commercial servers, so we all win.

    and if jboss group ever "cashes out" or goes some undesirable direction, we take the source and fork it. while they are talented, they're not the only talent out there, so what's the harm in letting them run with it as fast as they want? i greatly appreciate their works, i'm glad they let me have it for free, and this controversy is entertaining!
  28. it is not about the swindle..[ Go to top ]

    Rolf,

    You obviously know that whatever you say that you hate, people will want to like. So obviously you are a closet JBoss fan, and you are only dissing it to make others argue how good it is. You are very clever ... very clever. I am in awe. ;-)

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  29. it is not about the swindle..[ Go to top ]

    Rolf,

    >
    > You obviously know that whatever you say that you hate, people will want to like. So obviously you are a closet JBoss fan, and you are only dissing it to make others argue how good it is. You are very clever ... very clever. I am in awe. ;-)
    >
    > Peace,
    >
    > Cameron Purdy
    > Tangosol, Inc.
    > Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!

    My own personal conspiracy theory is Rolf is actually just a TSS employee hired to roam the boards stirring up controversy so that people will post. Think about it. How many replies does Rolf generate? Just ignore the guy. Nobody agrees with him.

    Bill
  30. it is not about the swindle..[ Go to top ]

    Bill, if there's anything I hope that TSS members 'get' about this site is that we (TSS Staff) care about quality, not quantity. If a thread has 100 messages but its full of bickering, that's not for TSS or its members. Besides, it's far more likely that he's a MS employee. :)

    Floyd
  31. For Floyd[ Go to top ]

    But seriously, the quality of posts eminating from this one individual is not benefiting this group and any way I can see.

    He just makes it take longer to work through the posts to find the sensible ones and devalues the quality of the group.

    Everyone has their opinion and Rolf's should be respected as much as anyones, but not when it is simply contentious for the sake of it, and just cluttering up the group.
  32. For Floyd: good example[ Go to top ]

    But seriously, the quality of posts eminating from this one individual is not benefiting this group and any way I can see.

    >
    > He just makes it take longer to work through the posts to find the sensible ones and devalues the quality of the group.
    >
    > Everyone has their opinion and Rolf's should be respected as much as anyones, but not when it is simply contentious for the sake of it, and just cluttering up the group.

    Isn't this pollution/dilution effect the essential problem with open source in general!?!?

    Who wants to go for a swim in Marc's Stinky Pee?
  33. Peering through the mushroom cloud[ Go to top ]

    I think you got the wrong analogy Matt. The point is not Marc Fleury or JBoss, but the larger fact that Open Source is not going away. I agree with you, from a grander scheme, creation of wealth for millions of shareholders standpoint, Open Source offers a far less appealing proposition than for profit software licensing. If we were to discover a cheap and safe energy alternative tomorrow, it would suck for the established energy companies, but their challenge would be adapting to a new economic reality--shooting the messenger is a waste of time.

    If American developers don't feel the system offers them enough respect, pay-off and professional gratification, what makes you think that tomorrow several people around the world aren't going to try the same thing Marc and JBoss Group did? If on their individual level (since not every developer who works for MS or Sun gets to be Paul Allen or James Gosling) developers feel they can get a better job and better pay, they will write Open Source. They will do this simply because they CAN and I doubt they will go through some Ganesh-like outside committee of the benevolent guardians of perpetual light to do so either.
  34. Man, this reads like a frustrated rant of a drunk. A mean drunk. It's not the product - it's the model. Separate JBoss success from group success. And don't stick my nose in it if you are having a bad day. Most people using it have invested mindshare. Don't alienate them with this greedy marketing stuff. Redhat IS differentiating from their core to add value. And they seem cooler too.
  35. <quote>Man, this reads like a frustrated rant of a drunk. A mean drunk. It's not the product - it's the model. Separate JBoss success from group success. </quote>

    Obviously you didn't understand the paper or you would have gotten the point that JBoss success and JBoss Group the success (the people who bring you the product, remember? It didn't just appear out of nowhere) are one and the same. Your commentary reads like a self-loathing developer. Clearly you would prefer the RedHat model where the only people making money off open source are third-party venture capitalits.
  36. Not all money is necessarily evil[ Go to top ]

    If you have a look at many Open Source porjects, they work in pretty close cahoots with companies. Apache, Tomcat, Eclpise, Mozilla, MySQL, and probably many others have contributions by paid members of companies. Mozilla is a good example. Several Netscape employees work on this project, if I recall correctly. MySQL actually sells commercial licenses. IBM has some pretty close ties to various projects. This is NORMAL. Open Source development costs time and money, and although there are many developers who do it in their spare time, it seems that many of the most 'professional' products are supported by commercial organisations.

    Is this a conspiracy? I really don't think so. JBoss is slightly different in its business model, but if you hate it, feel free to fork the source base.

    Just because money is involved doesn't instantly make the project evil. I am unsure of the rationale behind these rampant attacks on Open Source.
  37. Source of unease[ Go to top ]

    OK, I've read the Blue and White papers. I've also been following the activities of the JBoss Group for a while. I'm not prepared to take a strong stand either for or against the JBoss Group's business strategy. I currently can't see anything wrong or unethical in what they're doing. But I also see the potential for some undesirable developments in the future, and I'd like to document them here.

    1. As Marc points out, the JBoss development community is not vast and amorphous. It consists of a limited group of clearly identified developers who have commit rights. That keeps control of the product within a small group.

    2. Most, if not all, of these developers seem to have signed an agreement with the JBoss Group LLC as part of their compensation plan. We don't know the exact terms of that agreement. It means that the group is probably tied to a particular organisation's direction and is not "independent" like other Open Source development groups.

    3. JBoss is licensed under the *Lesser* GPL, earlier called the Library GPL. This differs from the GPL in that it allows proprietary software to link to an LGPL-ed package (e.g. a library) without "infecting" that proprietary software with the same license.

    4. The JBoss 4 architecture is based on Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP), which allows features to be applied to a product without building them in as part of a prior, comprehensive design. (Examples of such "orthogonal" features are remoting, security, caching, etc.)

    5. JBoss as an application server continues to gain market share and destroy its proprietary rivals, building its own brand and beginning to be seen as a "safe" choice for user organisations.

    Put these facts and trends together and the future begins to look a little troubling.

    Consider this scenario:

    1. A future version of JBoss is released under the LGPL as before, but has only a subset of the features that a J2EE app server of the time should have.

    2. The full set of features is available as separately-licensed extras that must be purchased.

    3. For the JBoss Group, applying those features is painless thanks to the AOP architecture.

    4. The LGPL does not prohibit this because applying features to a core product through AOP can be taken as a form of linking. (Perhaps the FSF's lawyers can shed some light on this.)

    5. Since the main JBoss developers have all been coopted through the compensation plan, there is no alternative source to approach for those extra features.

    Thus, although the JBoss Group's business model today is "Open Source software, paid professional services", they could be leveraging themselves to benefit from a more traditional "Free base product, commercially-priced enterprise product" business model.

    I would welcome a clear statement from Marc Fleury or the JBoss Group LLC forswearing this direction.

    It's nice today that JBoss is keeping the commercial vendors honest, but quo custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchers)? As an insurance for the Open Source user community at large, it would be nice if the JOnAS application server or OpenEJB came under the aegis of the Jakarta project and became the bigger cousin of Tomcat (Jakarta Tiger? :-). It will be a good way to keep JBoss honest in turn.

    Other than these misgivings, I wish the JBoss Group and its developers all prosperity. They deserve it.

    Regards,
    Ganesh Prasad
    Independent Developer
  38. Correction[ Go to top ]

    Sorry, instead of

    "...they could be leveraging themselves to benefit..."

    please read

    "...they could be positioning themselves to benefit..."

    or

    "...they could be leveraging their architecture and license to benefit..."

    Regards,
    Ganesh Prasad
  39. Co-opting Developers[ Go to top ]

    Considering that open source development can only be done be graduate students, independent millionaires, people living in their parents' house (or in-laws as it would appear Marc temporarily did) or as much of the significant Apache development is done now--by EMPLOYEES OF SUN and IBM, who presumably are co-opted by their compensation plans what's the big deal with JBoss Group having a compensation plan? The only JBoss developer on that thread who claimed that the compensation plan was tied to working for JBoss Group was Rickard Oberg, whose personal vanity, delusional paranoia and contempt for anyone who's ever employed him he so aptly demonstrates on many occasions on this site.

    I respect them more for having one. I want to know the code I am using is written by developers who are good enough to get premium pay on the job market and who are being compensated for their work. So what if their code is LGPL? From a business point of view it would have been smarter to GPL it. That way they could be making some fat revenues off dual licensing to ISVs without having to bust their asses doing services.
  40. Re: Co-opting developers[ Go to top ]

    Chip,

    It's not the compensation plan per se that's troubling, it's the fact that it comes with an agreement that the developers have to sign. The terms of that agreement don't seem to be publicly available anywhere for us to examine.

    The danger is that the JBoss developers are being asked to agree to a model that is less free for users than the current one.

    I agree this could be called paranoia or a conspiracy theory, but it doesn't hurt to express it and await a clarifying statement from the JBoss Group.

    Regards,
    Ganesh Prasad
  41. FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH[ Go to top ]

    Hi Ganesh,

    I must say that your messages cut across the clutter and heated nonsense that one can read in those threads. I would happily make public the agreement that developers have to sign together with their acceptance of the economic interest units which they get in the JBoss Group compensation Plan. However, the document is a bit longish and full of legal jargon, and I am not sure it would be of interest for the readers of TSS.
    Here is the deal, could you please let me know at daniel at jboss dot org your e-mail address and I'll make sure that I forward to you the document in question so that you can testify in all impartiality whether there is in there any seeds of the risks you mention. The truth is that there is NO STRINGS attached for developers in the plan. We have been extremely careful about that because we respect and value their independance.

    Daniel Fleury
  42. Re: FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH[ Go to top ]

    Daniel,

    Thank you for responding. I appreciate the fact that you're willing to clarify an issue that must be bothering many others as well.

    There has always been a degree of suspicion in the Open Source community about the motives of the JBoss Group because there are so few precedents of a successful commercial entity leveraging off Open Source without trying to compromise it in some way. The JBoss Group is therefore in the uncomfortable position of having not only to be completely above board in its treatment of its Open Source product, but also to be seen to be so.

    Coming to your proposal (for me to be an impartial third party who will vouch for the bona fides of the JBoss Group's agreement with its developers), though I have no objections in principle, I see 3 drawbacks with it:

    1. I am not a lawyer and am not competent to make such a judgement.

    2. Any testimony I make here is likely to be buried on this page and forgotten in 6 months. You could do with testimony that is more durable.

    3. Nothing prevents another poster from suggesting that I myself have been coopted ;-).

    For these reasons, I suggest you provide a link to your document on the jboss.org site itself. Anyone wishing to examine it will be free to do so at any time, and it can be linked to by your many supporters to defend against similar accusations in future.

    Let me add that I have myself played the role of JBoss defender in private conversations with skeptical colleagues, and my first post on this site was a distillation of the main "case" against the JBoss Group, as it were.

    In addition to opening your developer agreement for public inspection, it would be very nice if you could also clarify (here and on the jboss.org site) that there is no intent to make the full JBoss server less free in future.

    Thanks again, and my apologies if needless aspersions have been cast.

    Best regards,
    Ganesh Prasad
  43. Re: FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH[ Go to top ]

    Ganesh,

    You are my hero!

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  44. Once again, I am surprised by large number of negative posts at TSS.

    Isn't the future where people would say "no one gets fired for choosing OpenSource" great ?

    Isn't it better than MS dominated world where all developers are writing stupid VB scripts and moving icons in VS which doesnt need any brain at all. I think that all inteligent persons want do do something interesting in life,
    something intelectual. Don't you agree with that ?


    Mark has created a business model where ppl can get good money by doing something interesting, instead of
    writing boring business apps which contains a massive amount of tables and that's all. Isn't that great ?

    I don't see anything unethical there at all.

    good luck to JBoss group!

    PS

    To Rolf Tollerud: I have read many your posts But still I dont understand why you think that MS ruled IT world is the ideal world
    To Ganesh: you are spreading FUD. What a nonsense about partially commercial code.

    Maris Orbidans
  45. Once again, I am surprised by large number of negative posts at TSS.

    >
    > Isn't the future where people would say "no one gets fired for choosing OpenSource" great ?

    The whole infrastructure that Open Source depends on would never have been developed and adopted if not for the traditional model where people get paid for Intellectual Property -not services. Examples include:
    The J2EE standards -developed and owned by commercial product companies
    Windows, the defacto desktop -developed and sold for profit (MS is not a services company)
    The netscape browser -created the WWW and sold for $


    >
    > Isn't it better than MS dominated world where all developers are writing stupid VB scripts and moving icons in VS which doesnt need any brain at all.

    So simplicity, productivity, and broad usage is _bad_ in a services model??

    I think that all inteligent persons want do do something interesting in life,
    > something intelectual. Don't you agree with that ?

    Sure. Start a software products company! Don't spend your time "pissing in the pool"(Marc Fleury analogy of how Open Source dilutes the IP of product companies.)

    >
    > Mark has created a business model where ppl can get good money by doing something interesting, instead of
    > writing boring business apps which contains a massive amount of tables and that's all. Isn't that great ?

    Getting paid for half of your time/effort at services rates is good money???
    More like being a serf in the middle ages.

    >
    > I don't see anything unethical there at all.

    Not unethical -just dysfunctional.
    >
    > good luck to JBoss group!
    >
    > PS
    >
    > To Rolf Tollerud: I have read many your posts But still I dont understand why you think that MS ruled IT world is the ideal world
    > To Ganesh: you are spreading FUD. What a nonsense about partially commercial code.
    >
    > Maris Orbidans
  46. Maris,

    It is light years between Stallman’s "FSF" and a company as for example Ximian.

    For me the expert Jakarta group symbolizes the most pure and the best form. I cannot see they have anything in common to FSF (who want to destroy all commercial software).

    If you have really read my posts you will know that I hope that the Mono project will prevail and dominate develop environment in the years to come. "A Java like environment build on a free standard and with an Open Source implementation".

    Project like the JBoss Group, which start as an ordinary OSS group - then transform to a commercial enterprise and then - maybe in the future even starts to charge for parts or the whole, can only diminish the good reputation of OSS.

    (And then there is the issue of the massive over-hype by Fleury which perhaps doesn’t have anything to with the case but which is really painful..)

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  47. If you have really read my posts you will know that I hope that the

    >Mono project will prevail and dominate develop environment in the
    >years to come. "A Java like environment build on a free standard and
    >with an Open Source implementation".

    You can get Java environment (not "Java like") for UNIX right now.
    Also I doubt that Mono will dominate. Although Windows based VS will get some market percents without doubt. There are many MS only shops, so they will adopt .NET without thinking about other alternatives. Anyone who needs platform independence have used Java long before .NET.

    Java platform offers much more freedom than .NET, so many different IDE's out there. For example IDEA is so cool, code completion and on the fly analysis is far better than that in VS.
     
    I am convinced that any type on monopoly is bad. I dont want future where all are coding in VB NET like monkeys bla-bla-bla. And all getting MSE MSD (or whatever) crappy certificates. Why would anyone be interested in that kind of world ? So that's the reason I dont understand your pro MS opinion.

    regards,
    Maris Orbidans
  48. like the Treasure Of Sierra Madre[ Go to top ]

    Maris,

    I will not go into the discussion of .NET vs Java this time (lets just say that if Weblogic cannot stop .NET JBoss is hardly going to do it), but talk about the moral side of the matter.

    To allow things like this to happen will have far-reaching consequences on all Open Source work. Everybody will need to worry right from the beginning: "Have anybody registered the name", "Is somebody planning a fork with help from outside capital", "To whom shall contributors singning of their copyrights" and so on - just like the film "Treasure Of Sierra Madre".

    In other words, "distrust from the very beginning".

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  49. LAST TRY[ Go to top ]

    Ganesh,

    My offer still stands. Let me know your e-mail adress and I'll send you the document, personnally, under NDA, so that you can form YOUR OWN OPINION.
    You must understand that there is intellectual property attached to this. We've thought long and hard about the compensation plan, have spent good money to get it perfectly legal and do not wish to publish it so that everybody can copy it and ride once more on what JBoss creates.
    The word "testify" in my earlier communication was inappropriate. You should read " convince YOURSELF". Frankly, we, at JBoss Group do not give a rat's ass about the opinion of a number of professional critics who spend their time ranting on TSS instead of contributing code. I assume this is not your case.

    Regards,

    Daniel Fleury
  50. re: LAST TRY[ Go to top ]

    I'm primarily a lurker here; I read TSS pretty much daily (as well as many other news sources) but seldom see the need to say anything. Our company has historically been using Orion, Oracle 9iAS, and Websphere and I have been at the forefront of pushing for shifting to JBoss as our preferred platform. Indeed all of our production servers and all but three of our development servers are now running JBoss 3.2; the three exceptions are for validation testing against Oracle 9iAS, Websphere, and Web Logic. We are preparing to deliver on monday the first three systems specifically geared to run on JBoss, and those three customers are expecting to run under JBoss 3.2.

    So far, I've really cared nothing for the "politics of personalities" that have caused such heated debates over is JBoss good, bad, or indifferent. It has been enough to know that it has more than sufficed for our needs and that it appears that, since JBoss is "Open Source" it should suffice for the forseeable future.

    Ganesh has raised some interesting and fair points but I wasn't particularly concerned by them since Daniel Fluery wrote in his "From the Horses Mouth" post: "I would happily make public the agreement..." and "... so that you can testify in all impartiality..." and " there is NO STRINGS attached".

    I also thought that Ganesh's reply was reasonable and in fact was what was going on through my mind as well. I must admit some concern, however to the reply titled "Last Try" that states: "do not wish to publish it so that everybody can copy it and ride once more on what JBoss creates".

    These two posts seem almost diametrically opposite to one another. In the first case, the only reason for not posting these documents is because of their length and legalese, in the second, it is because they contain information you don't want people to know or don't want people to be able to build upon.

    All of this said, whether or not Ganesh is or is not willing to review your documents I would happily do so, under NDA if necessary. I am unable to find your email address on the JBoss web site, but should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at robhedin at hotmail dot com.
  51. Last Try? Why? Let's hope not.[ Go to top ]

    You know the feeling I got? I actually think that the first message is Daniel Fleury's own post - or, at least, a reasonable try to sort things out. Now, as the I read the second post, I actually feel Marc's way of dealing with Ganesh's question.

    Don't get me wrong here. I love JBoss as a concept, I even put a few lines of code in there a long time ago. I love Marc's ideal for making money out of open source. I even like his far-fetched ways of marketing the brand. And I sincerely wish that JBoss would be both a successful open-source project and a strong income base for the people using and/or working on it.

    I use, propose and promote JBoss in Portugal. As version 3.2 goes, I love the container and it's features and am able to testify it's usage in major telcos and software houses - some of those being Sun Authorized Java Centers.

    What I find hard, however, is describing the shift I feel in the last months towards some kind of secrecy over JBoss's control, focus and future, mostly regarding the licencing issues - and the J2EE brand.

    Daniel, Marc (or Bill, or Scott), I believe you could do a great contribution to JBoss's future it you would simply answer the following simple questions:

    1) Do you plan to make the JBoss 3.x branch J2EE-compliant by certifying and licencing the server?

    2) What, specifically, is the API versions compliance for the 3.x branch?

    3) Will the JBoss 4.x be J2EE-compatible (notice that I say "compatible" and do not specify licencing)?

    4) Will it be compatible out-of-the-box, or will it require special configuration and/or special aspects in a pay-per-usage model?

    5) What, specifically, will be the API versions compliance for the 4.x branch?

    6) Do you plan to make the 4.x branch J2EE-compliant by certifying and licencing the server?

    7) Can one JBoss specialist (not affiliated with JBoss Group) publish a manual / tutorial / whatever (free or for-pay)? How will you guys (both as developers and JBoss Group) find this?

    8) Can one developer or JBoss specialist affiliated with JBoss Group via the contract we've been commenting publish work (either code or doco) in other way or channel than that of the JBoss Group?

    9) How would publishing the contract make someone ride on JBoss's success? Wouldn't it just help?

    Thanks. I love working with the server, and promote it for free because I believe in the information I transmit. I just hope I'm able to continue this way.

    Love and free software for everyone,

    Hugo
  52. Ganesh, who appointed you the defender of the open source community? Have you written a single lign of open source code? I looked you up on the JBoss developer page and you weren't there. Do you know Marc Fleury or the JBoss developers at all? Exactly why does a private company owe you a copy of their stock option plan when you have no involvement with them or the project. Where is your project or contribution?

    There is no United Nations of Open Source. What is the open source community? It is a bunch of independent projects. Have you demanded that RedHat, Ximian, or Sun or IBM for that matter hand up their compensation plans? Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and Richard Stallman are pundits because they led projects like Marc Fleury does. You are only as relevent as the quality of the code you contribute. If you aren't a major contributor to JBoss, you have no credibility or relevance here.

    Marc Fleury defends his developers. That is the message I got out of white. The JBoss developers are not anonymous and they don't need you. They can speak for themselves--but they're probably too busy coding.
  53. You are only as relevent as the quality of the code you contribute. If you

    > aren't a major contributor to JBoss, you have no credibility or relevance here.

    Actually, that misses the point. Ganesh's opinions are important and relevant to him. But fortunately, it doesn't matter.

    If he distrusts the JBoss Group but likes the JBoss appserver, fine, then he doesn't have to trust the JBoss Group. He can still use JBoss without committing to the JBoss Group. He can still change JBoss or hire a consultant to customize it or fix bugs in it. He doesn't have to rely on the JBoss Group if he doesn't want to. The JBoss Group can go out of business tomorrow and he still wouldn't be stuck since he or his consultant can take over for him. Open source software tends to survive long after the companies that created it die. Yes open source companies aren't that different from other companies (like BEA). They can die too. But unlike non-open source companies, you're not locked in or stuck without support if that happens. Just imagine how much trauma there'd be if BEA died or lost interest in the J2EE world and decided to move to higher vertical markets.

    If Ganesh believes in the JBoss software but doesn't like where it's going or how it's managed, then he can always fork it. RedHat has been forked hundreds of times into hundreds of distributions without RedHat's permission. It's not needed. Open Source under a free software license gives you this power. Who knows, if he is right, his version of JBoss might become the official version. That's what happened when:
    * ECGS forked the GCC compiler because the ECGS didn't think the GCC group was open enough
    * Phoenix forked the Mozilla browser because they didn't like the monolithic approach Mozilla was taking
    * LIBC forked the GLIBC library because GLIBC wasn't meeting the needs of the Linux community.

    In each of these cases, the fork was so superior or popular that it killed off the original project and got adopted by the original project. So Ganesh, if you feel strongly enough about a fork, go for it. We'll all benefit if you're right. And if you're wrong, it won't hurt us since we're free to ignore your work.

    Personally, I don't see anything in the JBoss Group's behaviour or organization that warrants a fork. Marc Fleury is a bit opinionated and abrassive at times but so is Linus Torvalds (of Linux) and so are the founders of Oracle and the creator of Java. These guys must have enough redeeming qualities since otherwise they wouldn't have been able to build up the communities of users that they have. I don't need to be friends with these guys to appreciate and use their contributions in my own work.
  54. Chip,

    Sigh. You didn't get what I was trying to say, did you?

    > Ganesh, who appointed you the defender of the open source community? Have you written a single lign of open source code? I looked you up on the JBoss developer page and you weren't there. Do you know Marc Fleury or the JBoss developers at all? Exactly why does a private company owe you a copy of their stock option plan when you have no involvement with them or the project. Where is your project or contribution?

    They don't owe me anything and I wasn't asking to see anything. They offered to show me the stock option plan, and I in fact told them why it wasn't a good idea.

    >
    > There is no United Nations of Open Source. What is the open source community? It is a bunch of independent projects. Have you demanded that RedHat, Ximian, or Sun or IBM for that matter hand up their compensation plans? Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and Richard Stallman are pundits because they led projects like Marc Fleury does. You are only as relevent as the quality of the code you contribute. If you aren't a major contributor to JBoss, you have no credibility or relevance here.
    >

    I am a user of JBoss. I recommend JBoss to friends and colleagues. I accept the model of a free app server with paid support and professional services. It sounds fair to me. I would like to know if this model will hold true in the future as well, because any change to it affects me as a user. I don't have a right to *demand* that it remain so. I would only like to know if it will, because otherwise it may mean I should make alternative plans. Fair enough?

    I am not a mindless critic of JBoss. Far from it. I want their model (the stated one) to succeed. Some aspects of their architecture, licensing and agreements with their developers suggested a possible departure from this model in future. I asked for a simple disclaimer from them that this would not happen. Instead, the discussion has gone off on a tangent and my original point has been lost.

    As far as I am concerned, if the JBoss Group makes a simple statement saying, "All of the JBoss server code will continue to be licensed under the LGPL indefinitely," that will be enough to allay all my apprehensions.

    I hope you understand what I am saying.

    Regards,
    Ganesh Prasad
  55. from a deep eyed cynic..[ Go to top ]

    Ganesh,

    "All of the JBoss server code will continue to be licensed under the LGPL indefinitely"

    LOL. You never (until the hell freeze) get them to include such a statement.

    What JBoss Group intend to do with JBoss is all too obvious.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  56. As far as I am concerned, if the JBoss Group makes a simple statement saying,

    > "All of the JBoss server code will continue to be licensed under the LGPL
    > indefinitely,"
    that will be enough to allay all my apprehensions.

    Isn't it stated clearly enough in the paper:

    "The core product will always be free. [...] even if we wanted to do it differently, we couldn't. Our license, the Lesser GPL, states that the software will always be licensed for zero dollars."

    Basically what it comes down to is that in order for the JBoss Group to change the license they would have to get a consent from all of the people who have contributed to the code base (the copyright owners). Looking at the number of contributors, that is not likely to happen (same holds true for other large open source projects, including the Linux kernel for example).

    When FSF created the license they really made it to protect the source code from being closed. And as far as we can tell today, the license works.

    I recommend you go to www.fsf.org and learn some more about the LGPL license.

    /T
  57. Thomas,

    "The core product will always be free.."

    "When FSF created the license they really made it to protect the source code from being closed. And as far as we can tell today, the license works"

    LOL

    The most probably way to go is that they are going to have one Commercial version with all the features, and one free version – without the goodies. Nothing in the license prevents that.

    However, if they should decide to make everything proprietary, no problem. You only slash down the usual lable, which you normally do when you have stolen something:

    "Everything is a complete rewrite"

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  58. As far as I am concerned, if the JBoss Group makes a simple statement saying, "All of the JBoss server code will continue to be licensed under the LGPL indefinitely," that will be enough to allay all my apprehensions.

    >
    > I hope you understand what I am saying.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Ganesh Prasad

    GANESH AND ALL OTHER JBOSS SUPPORTERS SHOULD READ:
    http://www.ilaw.com.au/public/licencearticle.html
  59. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    As far as I am concerned, if the JBoss Group makes a simple statement saying, "All of the JBoss server code will continue to be licensed under the LGPL indefinitely," that will be enough to allay all my apprehensions.
    </quote>

    I'm a regular TSS reader and always appreciate your thoughtful postings here. However, I disagree somewhat with your point here. First, it's probably very unrealistic that they would agree on such a limiting "treaty", but mainly because I think it's unnecessary.

    Note: As I reviewed this posting, I noticed that it had become very long, and, since it's late at night, perhaps somewhat incomplete at some points - please bear with me. :)

    The software market (and most other markets involved with computer science and telecom) has a special side to it that most other markets or businesses do not have - the marginal cost (cost of producing another unit) is almost zero. This "feature" makes competition very different from the "traditional" businesses - let's say growing corn or manufacturing umbrellas.

    In traditional, analytical strategy theory (e.g Michael Porter's), there are, in essence, two major ways to compete in a market - by differentiation or cost leadership. The "big" J2EE vendors like IBM and BEA have always refused to compete on cost leadership (i.e selling their server cheaper than their main competitors to gain market share) - for a good reason. As mentioned earlier, there is almost no cost associated with shipping another software unit once it's built. This means that the lowest price they will be able to sell the software for without losing money (still, after producing it in the first place) is almost zero. If the two products have almost identical value to the customer and cost competition begins, the price will eventually be slashed to nothing. I.e, the only potential winning party in such a price war is the customer. I say "potential" because the customer will probably also suffer if the selected vendor goes out of business.

    This "spiral of death" has been observed in many different businesses - e.g when MS licensed a cheap encyclopedia and put it on CD-ROM (almost killed Britannica) or whenever new contenders enter the mobile phone operator markets and only focus on aggressive pricing - often the prices in the whole market go down for a while, then the new-comers go broke, the old-timers survive and everything returns back to normal (somewhat simplified - I've ignored government regulation, but anyway :)).

    All this boils down to the fact that cost competition in the software market leads to commoditized products (the products become almost free) and this, in turn leads to two things:

    1. Any existing company in the market will try to avoid competing on price, but focus on features, support, TCO and, unfortunately, FUD
    2. If a product with a comparable perfomance and much lower price that cannot be resisted enters the market, the existing industry must adapt to survive

    As I see it, this process has started in the J2EE AS business - the basic infrastructure (the AS) is getting commoditized and focus has shifted to the activities further down the value chain (as Marc correctly points out in his paper). Macromedia is selling JRun almost for free to strengthen Flash's grip on the web UI market and JBoss Group LLC is giving away JBoss to strengthen (or rather, enable) their consulting and training services. This has sustained for a while and the big guys have already responded by giving away low-end and developer licenses for their servers. Still, the JBoss package isn't yet appealing enough to force IBM and BEA to give away their products, but that day may come. (BTW: I do NOT want to get into the technicalities or real-life TCO discussions - thery are irrelevant here)

    There is nothing wrong with the way these things work. In my opinion, BEA, IBM, Macromedia and JBoss aren't "bad" companies - they're striving for any company's main goal, which is making money by any (legal) means possible.

    Now, the reason for saying all this, is that, the way I see it, there very little reason to be scared of JBoss becoming partly closed source in the future. If the JBoss Group decided to do so, they would undermine their own business which is selling JBoss services, not selling JBoss itself.

    For the million dollar question: Will JBoss make J2EE technologies cheaper or better for J2EE users?

    Since the JBoss Group is maturing and the JBoss team is innovating, the competitors must improve their products and the overall quality will probably improve and make the technology better. But cheaper? Maybe, maybe not. If, in let's say ten years, all application servers are free, but the whole J2EE package is as valuable to the customers as it is today (or at least seems to be), all those millions of dollars might find their way into the JBoss Group's pockets as payment for their training or consulting services. Or IBM or BEA - if they adapt in time. But, at the same time, it's very likely that smaller businesses that cannot afford today's steep entry prices and do not need the advanced expertise of future J2EE consultancies, in a few years can embrace and deploy fairly advanced J2EE applications at very little cost.

    OK, that's a lot of thoughts and some aspects have been simplified to make the point clearer. To sum up (very quickly), I think the JBoss Group is doing the right and smart thing. Even if they aren't idealists or naive, they aren't evil just because they want to make some money and their efforts will probably gain everyone in the end (perhaps even BEA and IBM).

    BTW: .NET fits nicely into this picture - just add web services and perhaps a touch of lock-in, and off you go. :)

    Cheers,

    Dag Liodden

    --
    Chief R&D
    Giant Leap Technologies AS
  60. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    I applaude you on your analysis -it does a good job of describing the dynamics at work.

    I basically agree with everything you state except that the instability and IP/ROI dilution caused by open source will eventually lead to regulatory measures. Just look at the napster case.

    When commercial providers start really being adversely affected by the existence of Open Source "Products", then one of several things will happen:
    1. The java/j2ee license owner will restrict Open Source usage.
    2. Anti-trust laws, patent infringement, and copyright lawsuits will be used to curtail Open Source activity.
    3. The Government will legislate/regulate the industry to maintain price stability and keep it "safe for investment". (This is already occuring based on changes in the way that the patent and trademark office treats software patent requests.)

    Matt
  61. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    I basically agree with everything you state except that the instability and

    > IP/ROI dilution caused by open source will eventually lead to regulatory
    > measures. Just look at the napster case.
    >
    The thing is, there is no IP/ROI dilution. With open source, copyright owner *voluntarily* place their code under a collaborative license. These copyright owners are paid in source code and functionality from other contributors. Why would anyone accept source code or functionality as payment? Some people want it for the learning experience. Some people like consultants want it because it allows them to work on more interesting projects that allow them to charge more. And companies like banks do it because software is not core to the business. -- it is a cost center. Anything that can reduce the cost of software development will increase profits, so open source (where you only have to pay for your customizations) is very attractive. The added cost of open source (letting your competitors have your source code) isn't really an issue because you're not competing against them in the software realm (in the case of banking, you're competing against their services, trust, and know-how). This doesn't even touch upon all the business models that are built on open source.
     
    > When commercial providers start really being adversely affected by the
    > existence of Open Source "Products", then one of several things will happen:
    > 1. The java/j2ee license owner will restrict Open Source usage.

    How would it be in the best interests of a company whose business model is based on open source?

    > 2. Anti-trust laws, patent infringement, and copyright lawsuits will be used to curtail Open Source activity.

    I don't see how anti-trust laws can apply for voluntary effort. First aid courses from non-profit organizations take away significant profits from doctors, but doctors don't complain. They still have work, they simply focus their attention on more complex diseases and life-style issues. To go against open source would be to go against the volunteer movement and that would do more harm than good.

    > 3. The Government will legislate/regulate the industry to maintain price
    > stability and keep it "safe for investment". (This is already occuring based
    > on changes in the way that the patent and trademark office treats software
    > patent requests.)

    Again, I don't see a reason for this. Proprietary software will *always* exist. Not all software is best served by open source. Take tax software for instance. Every year, it needs to be updated by trusted accountants because laws change. The software interface probably won't need such specialized knowledge so it would probably be open sourced, but the law data algorithms costs too much to produce so they won't likely be open source. A company could make money off the tax law business logic. J2EE is becoming "infrastructure" (a.k.a. it's becoming commoditized). There's really little innovation in it and it's pointless to keep re-inventing the wheel when you could be working on more interesting uses of the wheel. Having an open source J2EE allows proprietary companies to package J2EE technologies in their proprietary product without having to do any development work on it. They can focus on higher level technologies where they can provide unique value and charge extra money for it.

    In the end, they gain more by moving away from marketing such commodities. Few companies can make money off commodities. Soap, water, and razor blades are all commodities with low profit margins. You can dress up commodities any way you like, but in the end there's little difference between your product and a competitor. Creating OPEC-like quotas on commodities only hurts the economy and results in a thirsty smelly unshaved population.;-)
  62. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    Many commodities are regulated like farm products(price supports, import taxes, etc.) and utilities - The california experiment in energy deregulation shows what can happen when stable markets are disrupted.

    Open Source contributors are more akin to terrorists(having the ability to do large scale damage to markets) than volunteers(free services is not nearly as destabilizing as free product).

    When terrorism was not considered a threat it was tolerated -after sept 11th laws were changed, people were arrested, countrys were attacked, Allies re-aligned, and a whole new department of government was established.

    If allowed to continue, Open Source will eventually bring about their own "sept 11th" and there will be a response.

    Matt
  63. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    Many commodities are regulated like farm products(price supports, import taxes, etc.) and utilities - The california experiment in energy deregulation shows what can happen when stable markets are disrupted.


    Deregulation certainly has to be done with care. I am not really familiar with the California experiment, but typically, if regulated prices are artificially low, they will go up when deregulation occurs. However, if the market functions properly, this will pricing probably be more "correct" and increase social welfare and thus reduce the deadweight loss. We've seen this in Norway as well. Lately, there prices on power have gone up dramatically due to lack of rain (most of our energy is produced by water fall plants). The public is very mad, but it actually proves that the market works well (supply and demand).

    > Open Source contributors are more akin to terrorists(having the ability to do large scale damage to markets) than volunteers(free services is not nearly as destabilizing as free product).

    This depends on the interpretation of "destruction". In France, private companies build and maintain high-ways and charge the motorists themselves. In Norway, the government builds the roads and gets paid by collecting taxes from all citizens. In essence, the Norwegian government has completely "destroyed" the market for road-building enterprises. For what reason? They mean that roads should exist in all parts of the country and be available to all citizens, regardless of whether they are rich or not (I happen to agree with them) and that deregulated competition can take place elsewhere. E.g, there is still a very competetive market in public transportation, and it's very likely that this market works better (and has a low deadweight loss) because everyone can compete on an equal basis since the roads are free (well, almost).

    Most European countries do it this way, and calling it terrorism is far fetched (but I guess you only said that to make emphasize your point :).

    From your first reply:
    >I basically agree with everything you state except that the instability and IP/ROI dilution caused by open source will eventually lead to regulatory measures. Just look at the napster case.

    I see your point, but building a product and then giving it away to sell services is quite different from giving away a service that enables stealing of other people's products. In fact, the excact opposite of what you're saying has been the attidute of the European governments in the telco business. They're actually forcing the network owners to rent their infrastructure to other service providers at a cost that only marginally covers the owners' initial investments. This has been done with great success - Europe in general has a much better working telephone markets than the US (which hasn't done this, at least not for a long time), the services are usually better, interconnectivity and roaming is never a problem and the prices are lower. :) (Telco regulation is a tricky business, though, so there aren't any simple answers on excactly how to do it)

    As Marc points out in White, the Apache web server is a commodity, the services on top of it aren't. Would the Internet be what it is today if IBM and BEA charged $5k for a Apache equivalent web server (with PHP, as an extra $2k add-on) and they had the only products on the market? Probably not.

    Are people making money on training, hosting and developing Internet services on top of Apache / PHP? Yes. Can small companies with some in-house comptetence afford running simple services on top of Apache / PHP? Yes. If they want really complex systems, can they buy them from IBM or other large consultancies? Yep, and hopefully, both IBM and the customer will benefit from it.

    I'm not saying that any of these comparisons of historical events in other markets and technology sectors must or should apply to the Application Server business, but they could. If they do they might, as you say, "destroy" one market, but it will at the same time create a new and, as far as overall economic welfare is concerned, better market. The big guys have seen this a long time ago, and probably recognised that this will happen eventually, but as long as it's still profitable to market and sell services and software, they'll continue doing so (which of course isn't "evil").

    Cheers,

    Dag
  64. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    You're only seeing one side of the picture. Yes open source makes some markets unprofitable, but it also creates new profitable businesses. Look at TCP/IP. Before it became open source, it was just one of thousands of network protocols. None of the protocols would talk to each other. Something as big and complicated as the internet was just plain inconcievable since you'd need protocol adaptors for thousands of different protocols. There were so many network stacks out there that it became a commodity. When BSD's Internet Protocol (TCP/IP, etc) was released as open source, it became the standard. It wasn't the best or the most efficient but it was cheap and allowed all network protocol companies to add an IP adaptor to their network. Eventually IP became so commiditize that it drove all but the most specialized based network protocols to extinction. Base network protocol companies that didn't adapt, died off.

    But that's only one side of the equation. Base network companies were able to survive, but they needed to adapt their strategy by moving up the protocol stack and offer services on top of IP. Markets for LDAP, active directory, specialized quality of services, voice over IP, etc started forming. The internet started forming and things that were previously impossible because of constant re-inventing of incompatible wheels now started to take shape. In the end, open-sourcing the base network protocol layer created far more jobs and companies than it took away.

    To compare open source with terrorism is laughable. The open source is about solidifying base standards so you can stop re-inventing the wheel and start innovating the car/bicycle/train/.... Innovation *always* destroys markets. The car almost destroyed the buggy industry. TV almost destroyed the radio. The plane almost destroyed the shipping industry, and the transport trucks almost destroyed the train industry. In some cases, the old industry was able to adapt a bit. Radio survives mostly because of cars and boats. Trains and ships survive mostly because of cars (i.e. oil) and pleasure cruises/train rides. But overall, the market for these old industries is significantly smaller than before the innovation.

    Yet I don't hear you calling innovation terrorism? Why not? The car, TV, an transport truck created far more than they destroyed. That's why innovation is good.

    As for the regulation of commoditities, it has more to do with managing a scarce resource (either farmable land or power grids) than anything else. Batteries prices aren't regulated because there is no scarce resource to manage. If battery makers were able to pack a months full of utility power into a few reasonably sized batteries at a competitive price, the utility companies would go out of business and everyone would still be better off. The same goes for farms. If hydroponics were cheap enough so that a skyscaper full of hydroponics labs could feed a city, there'd be little need for price controls on farms any more than there would be need to have price controls on cookies or soft drinks.
  65. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    It (TCP/IP) wasn't the best or the most efficient but it was cheap and allowed all network protocol companies to add an IP adaptor to their network. Eventually IP became so commiditize that it drove all but the most specialized based network protocols to extinction. Base network protocol companies that didn't adapt, died off.
    </quote>

    Standards are Standards and Open Source is Open Source. Open Source does not a standard make -never has. Windows, Solaris, etc. all implement the TCP/IP standard protocol but do not likely include the actual BSD implementation.


    It takes a lot more innovation to build an original product, work with the industry to create standards, create mindshare, marketshare, acquire and train customers and grow the product features in a coherent and customer-focused way than it does to build an ad-hoc but "functionally similar" product and make it available for free.

    In other areas of technology, patents are issued that successfully prevent this type of dilution (i.e. Theft e.g. generic drugs cannot be sold for x number of years after the original patent was issued.) of intellectual property thereby making technology "safe for investing". Unfortunately, there is no system currently available to provide the same broad protection to software innovators -other than their own ability to maintain implementation differentiation and add non-standard features.

    So, if you are truly concerned about innovation, then Open Source fails since it offers only intangible or minimal indirect investment return.

    And if you are truly concerned about standardization, then Open Source fails since it doesn't contribute to the standards process (JBOSS Group, nor Mark Fleury, nor Bill Burke are members of the JCP) but they use the standards to unfairly compete with the companies that invested in the development of the standards and have similar commercial products.

    And finally, if you are truly concerned about efficient markets that drive investment capital and product revenue to where it provides the most benefit, then Open Source fails since it artificially lowers the cost of technology adoption by customers, destabilizes the prices of similar products, and at the same time it increases risk and artificially reduces the revenue/ROI realized by the original innovator(s) and their investors.

    BTW, price controls and regulations are implemented in the self-interest of politicians and their constituencies. A software industry suffering a steep decline in investment and innovation is in virtually nobody's best interest (in the US).

    Matt
  66. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    amazing,

    an intelligent and fun discussion on tss. Matt Gunter is a very enjoyable read.

    > Open Source does not a standard make -never has.

    BULLSHIT

    it is called the net.

    Free Software makes standards.

    > It takes a lot more innovation to build an original product, work with the industry to create standards, create mindshare, marketshare, acquire and train customers and grow the product features in a coherent and customer-focused way than it does to build an ad-hoc but "functionally similar" product and make it available for free.
    >

    In white, it is said that license based revenue stream are economically sound if and when open source cannot achieve the same result for a lot less. Open Source works well for infrastructure (net systems today). Free Software works and has unbeatable advantages.

    Also the tactic you describe, to give away a similar product to win market share, was the tactic employed by MS to take the browser market. Free Software does this naturally, this is where its standard power spreads.
     
    > So, if you are truly concerned about innovation, then Open Source fails since it offers only intangible or minimal indirect investment return.
    >

    Bullshit.

    I truly want research. Academic grade innovation. Not the kaka that VCs pump out in 50 indeferenciated startups all doing "webservices orchestration for portals". You call that innovation? since when do vc's care about innovation. Real innovation. "White" points out that the research academia is already running ahead, academia brings innovation, in all fields of human knowledge, deep innovation. JBoss is a natural distributor of that innovation.

     
    > And if you are truly concerned about standardization, then Open Source fails since it doesn't contribute to the standards process (JBOSS Group, nor Mark Fleury, nor Bill Burke are members of the JCP) but they use the standards to unfairly compete with the companies that invested in the development of the standards and have similar commercial products.
    >

    I agree. It is important that the innovation going on in jb4.0, deep innovation at the AOP level, be put back in JCP. It is the java++ vision, which is derived from c# pointcut language stuff.

    > And finally, if you are truly concerned about efficient markets that drive investment capital and product revenue to where it provides the most benefit, then Open Source fails since it artificially lowers the cost of technology adoption by customers, destabilizes the prices of similar products, and at the same time it increases risk and artificially reduces the revenue/ROI realized by the original innovator(s) and their investors.
    >

    oh please. Strike 3 you're out.

    we are all concerned about the efficiency of the markets here. White argues that the business model evolution is one where commercial software leverages free infrastructure. It is the shift, not the destruction of artificial 'wheel reinventors' in the lower levels that is interesting. Does a free and quality infrastructure allow you to build the 'technology cities of the future' because infrastructure is good and aplenty as white argues? or do you want the techno-elite slaving away on 50 implementations of web services? Clearly it is the vision, the net vision.

    > BTW, price controls and regulations are implemented in the self-interest of politicians and their constituencies. A software industry suffering a steep decline in investment and innovation is in virtually nobody's best interest (in the US).
    >

    buuuuurp!

    Free markets anyone? you ready? the net has a destructive power. As for me, I blame the net's power for the recent market bubble. We all got excited like little girls when we saw the net impact for the first time and we are now recoiling in horror at its destructive/constructive powers. Evolve...fast. It may invalidate the license EULA discussions for infrastructure software. So be it!

    f the micro-economic reality of a bunch of geeks on the net invalidates your fragile macro-economic formula, you go crying to the referee? But is it natural?

    Do you really believe the DOJ will sue "open source inc" for abuse of monopoly power?
  67. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    Matt & Brian,

    Matt,

    You're right that price controls are often at the behest of eletcive constituency. However, there are a number of regulations that are important, especially in light of antitrust, and they're quite important. For example, The Sherman Antitrust act is pretty important in preventing market abuses in monopoly situations.

    As an ex-antitrust economist/financial analyst, I'm ot even sure how I'd categorize a dominance by open-source in terms of antitrust economics. A large part of the economic objection to monopolies is based on not the efficiency of a single producer, but the impact on society as a whole in economic terms. Economists do not object to the transfer or gathering of wealth to an entity, but to do it in such a way that hurts society (e.g. inefficiency through restricted trade).

    The underlying math (and this is econ 101, not advanced antitrust) is that in an efficient market place, Marginal Cost = Marginal Revenue. In a monpoly, this often becomes distorted (if the monopolist chooses to take advantage of their power, which it is assumed they will). They will restrict output/raise-price, force competitors out through predative tactics, to make a "monopolistic profit". This is often a place where marginal revenue is now greater that marginal cost.

    Now, how might this apply to open-source? I'm not sure. First, I stopped working in finance in economics a long time ago, so I've forgotten some of the theory. But, at simple terms: How would you define cost/revenue and marginal cost/marginal revenue in an open-source environment? If it's free, there is no real marginal revenue. So is there no economic incentive for open-source to abuse their position? How about cost? There are certainly costs with open-source but where do they lie? and how are they defined? Is there any marginal cost to giving away another free copy of a product? Bandwidth?

    Here is a really good short article discussing some of these things in fairly layman's terms

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Monopoly.html

    Matt You said:
    ---------------------------------------
    And finally, if you are truly concerned about efficient markets that drive investment capital and product revenue to where it provides the most benefit, then Open Source fails since it artificially lowers the cost of technology adoption by customers, destabilizes the prices of similar products, and at the same time it increases risk and artificially reduces the revenue/ROI realized by the original innovator(s) and their investors.
    ---------------------------------------

    This really doesn't make any sense. First, how are costs *artificially* lowered. What is artificial about it? On top of that: You like so many people who don't really understand economics imply that there is some value-destruction in this loss to revenue. The problem is you're only looking at one perspective. While one company loses revenue, the company that *saved* in cost *created* value. They now have more investment money for something else. Maybe they'll invest in some other economic driver that creates economic wealth.

    Matt: You also state that this *artifically* reduces the revenue. This may actually be true. But why is it bad? If I come up with a way to make a car more efficiently that GM, and I sell it for a much lower price then GM either loses market share or lowers price (maybe losing ROI). This is really no different and is a GOOD THING. Even if I have put my competitor out of business, I've created economic value, not necessarily destroyed it. This is what competition is all about.

    New innovation does occasionally put others out of business, whether the new is proprietary or open. But it likely creates new (and often greater) value somewhere else. IBM saw some value to be gained from *services* surrounding open-source. They're making pretty good money off it, and it'll likely get more. I myself am employed to write applications using mostly open-source. That is value created for me AND my clients.

    You need to learn more about economics I think. If investment drops in software industry, do you think that Ivenstors stop investing; stop creating value out of their money? Hell NO! They invest in other profitable things. IP-law also helps to protect people who do, in fact, invest in software that might be revolutionary.

    Again, you imply that value is somehow destroyed, and that might be true for a few companies. But for other companies, and maybe even society, new value is created.

    Jason McKerr
    The Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  68. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    "Again, you imply that value is somehow destroyed, and that might be true for a few companies. But for other companies, and maybe even society, new value is created. "

    Right-o. It's called increased productivity.
  69. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]


    > Here is a really good short article discussing some of these things in fairly layman's terms
    >
    > http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Monopoly.html

    Thanks!

    > This really doesn't make any sense. First, how are costs *artificially* lowered. What is artificial about it? On top of that: You like so many people who don't really understand economics imply that there is some value-destruction in this loss to revenue. The problem is you're only looking at one perspective. While one company loses revenue, the company that *saved* in cost *created* value. They now have more investment money for something else. Maybe they'll invest in some other economic driver that creates economic wealth.
    >

    There is a lot of effort/investment that goes into bringing a product to market and then creating a market for it. Standards development, product definition, product packaging, partner product coordination, marketing, evangelizing, even selling are all necessary.

    Open Source does not incur any of these costs, nor does it pass any on to the customer, thereby short-circuiting the return owed on all of that invesment.

    So the first question is: would JBOSS exist without capitalizing on SUN, BEA, Oracle and IBM's efforts in the first place?

    The second question is: in a future dominated by Free Open Source "counterfeits" of commercial products, what company is going to continue to design the next generation of products, work on standards bodies, hold conferences, proactively promote technology, advertise on the serverside, etc.?

    > You need to learn more about economics I think. If investment drops in software industry, do you think that Ivenstors stop investing; stop creating value out of their money? Hell NO! They invest in other profitable things. IP-law also helps to protect people who do, in fact, invest in software that might be revolutionary.
    >

    I think IP-law and economic theories both may need to be adjusted to address software companies' unique vulnerabilities.

    Matt
  70. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    Matt,

    It doesn't short-circuit the entire ROI. The ROI is moved to the client more than the developer. Further, there *is* no ROI analysis for the developer even though you're implying one. How do you do an ROI analysis for Apache? It was developed for free, it is given away for free. Yet these people seem passionate about their products, often more so than guys in proprietary development. And the intellectual propery, no matter who it belongs to, has created value (ROI) for millions of companies and individuals. I would even argue that it's created greater knowledge, as the source code is free. I regularly look at open-source projects to learn stuff.


    "in a future dominated by Free Open Source "counterfeits" of commercial products, what company is going to continue to design the next generation of products, work on standards bodies, hold conferences, proactively promote technology, advertise on the serverside, etc.?"

    You're implying that this commoditization reduces innovation and investment.
    I would argue the opposite. There are two factors that are important here.
    First, product value (good ole' Porter who's articles I admit I'm sick of reading/hearing about so I can't believe I'm gonna say this) for these companies are driven by price or differentiation. They can't compete on price, so they'd better differentiate. That alone drives _greater_ innovation, not less. If you wanna differentiate, you gotta have better, faster, or 2.2 Gigawatts! Whatever. Although I think execution (not in Porter's model) counts too, although that's a business driver.

    Second, why is it bad that that investment is not made? If the app-servers become commodities, DON'T invest in building an app-server. You're going to compete at the commodity level if you can't differentiate. So, invest in something else. This also breeds _greater_ innovation, not less. If that market is saturated, find another market, come up with a new product, if your really bold and smart, make your own market (Ebay). The effect is a diversification of investment, innovation, and knowledge; not a reduction.

    As for being involved in standards or communities, people/companies are likely to become involved anyway. Apache is quite involved, as are a number of open source groups, in a number of private (Java) and open (XML) standards. Further, the companies that _are_ differentiating still have either a vested interest in being inolved in and helping standards (Macromedia, IBM, Sun, even Microsoft(SOAP)), or they are invloved in maintaining their propreitary base (IBM, Microsoft, SCO, Adobe, Macromedia, whoever). I don't see IBM staying out of XML, and various web-services just because Xalan, Xerces, Axis and all that exist. Hell they even contribute to some or all of those.

    And I DO think that companies are differentiating. I like JBoss ok, and I've even used it in production. Still, I'd rather use Orion, Jrun, Weblogic, Resin, whatever. It's now an ROI analysis for me the client, not me the application-server developer. I have more choices. That in itself may be part of the important innovation of standards and even open-source (a non-technical innovation). Oracle, Sybase, MS, IBM are still selling databases (vs postgres,sapdb,mysql). BEA, IBM, Oracle, and a _host_ are still selling app-servers despite form competition (open-source J2EE) and other (Python, Cold Fusion (Yeah it's J2EE now), PHP, ASP, whatever. Microsoft doesn't seem to be going broke yet.

    I haven't seen these companies stop innovating. They might indeed go out of business if they can't differentiate from the JBoss's, but that's more their own fault for not reading the tea-leaves than the market's fault for having open-source. It's unfortunate, but true: the tea-leaves are important. Hard to see, hard to plan for, and difficult to succeed even when you're right. That's why the Gertner's of this world get the big bucks.

    Economic drivers of value don't disappear. They may however shift to new products, services, innovations, dreams, whatever.

    As for IP, I think IP has already gone to far in protecting sill patents. But that's more a personal assessment than an economic one. I do believe that patents, copyright, trademarks, whatever are an important vehicle for economic value. But some of this has gone too far societally, not economically. I suppose this isn't an argument for this forum. More a Slashdot kinda thing.

    Jason McKerr
    The Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  71. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    Matt, really enjoying your stuff.

    I sit at a diametrically opposed position but all your points resonate, they have bothered me at one point or another.

    > There is a lot of effort/investment that goes into bringing a product to market and then creating a market for it. Standards development, product definition, product packaging, partner product coordination, marketing, evangelizing, even selling are all necessary.
    >

    That is the basis of your argumentation and it is false.

    It is clear that in the case where this upfront investment is necessary (end user software comes to mind) then license based business are economically sound and in fact needed.

    The point of the net is that it produces the same result with several orders of magnitude less investment. Only for insfrastructure software today. Look at JBoss, they brought a leading product to market, and are innovating beyond IBM/BEA, all by leveraging the power of the net. They also have awesome marketing by the power of the net.


    > Open Source does not incur any of these costs, nor does it pass any on to the customer, thereby short-circuiting the return owed on all of that invesment.
    >

    Read Jason's answer. Open Source does not incur that cost because it doesn't need to. It can produce quality at a much more competitive price, it is the net's power. Jason points out that the savings at users is in fact a large economic ROI.

    > So the first question is: would JBOSS exist without capitalizing on SUN, BEA, Oracle and IBM's efforts in the first place?
    >

    I agree, it wouldn't. But ask yourself whether J2EE would be defended against dotnet if it wasn't for the availability of JBoss. It does create a j2ee community for all vendors by keeping those who can't spend the 10k.

    There is a symbiosis there. But I agree that it is the standard that created JBoss's success in part.

    > The second question is: in a future dominated by Free Open Source "counterfeits" of commercial products, what company is going to continue to design the next generation of products, work on standards bodies, hold conferences, proactively promote technology, advertise on the serverside, etc.?
    >

    It is an excellent point. I won't say it keeps me up at night but it does bother me. It means that once an open source player has reached monopoly, will it keep on innovating? Where does the money come from? Clearly JBoss is doing that, the vendors are not even close to the AOP innovation and the system level thinking. I think that academia driving innovation there is also a very positive thing. There are early signs of deep innovation in JBoss today.

    > I think IP-law and economic theories both may need to be adjusted to address software companies' unique vulnerabilities.
    >

    the vulnerability is one of a subset of companies dealing in standard infrastructure software. Standardization is a fact of life, specifically in software/hardware, then do you want another microsoft, or sun, or ibm controlling that infrastructure or do you want professional open source doing it?

    the vulnerability of these companies is pretty obvious, they can't withstand the impact of 100 geeks leveraging the power of the net as JBoss or Linux are doing? They deserve to die. Once they die, people will shift and refocus on other layers of software as Jason is arguing. Re-allocation driven by survival. I believe it will be the case, natural evolution. The games are on.
  72. Brian,

    "they can't withstand the impact of 100 geeks leveraging the power of the net"

    One of the things that strike me most is the incredible naiveté that surrounds the whole Open Source camp.

    Almost no Open Source project would stand a chance if not backed up by powerful commercial companies (like IBM with Linux for example).

    And why do they do it? Do you think it is for altruistic reasons?

    No, they do it do get at the competition. The law probehits price-dumps, but nothing stops a company to go in and sponsor an Open Source project that undermine their competitors product. IBM engagement in Linux is effectively in the process of killing Sun, for example.

    OSS is a tool used by the big companies in their endless struggle for power.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  73. Rolf,

    I find it ironic that you seem to be getting angry about IBM's tactics in Linux which you say is intended to undermince competitors.

    It's ironic because you're such a champion of Microsoft, who uses these tactics more than just about anyone. You sound like you have this double-standard in your mind. If MS does it it's ok, cool even. Anyone else is a loser for it.

    And again, you seem to imply some evil conspiracy to put competitors out of business. In economics, it's not such a bad thing to try to best your competitors. That breeds competition, innovation, efficient (relatively) markets. Further, IBM didn't really do it *for the sole purpose* of putting others out of business. They did it to make mony, increase their P/E ratio, take market share, whatever. They innovated in a new, non-technical direction, and seem to be making a good deal of money off it.

    It only becomes bad when *there is no competition,* a monopoly exists, and it's abused. You then have a situation where you stifle competition, innovation, and create market inefficiencies. Seems to me like the only company in this discussion capable of, CONVICTED OF, and using the power to do that is Microsoft. And even then, it seems to be backfiring, at least on the server.

    And yes Rolf, read the news. They really were charger, convicted, and upheld on appeal. I know you seem to think somehow they were never charged or convicted.

    Jason McKerr
    The Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  74. unfortunatly I have a weak point[ Go to top ]

    Rolf,

    I gotta hand it to you. You say the damn wierdest things!

    First, I'm not sure what ANY of that meant.

    Second, you did a splendid job of *not* actuall responding to anything I said.

    Lovely. I haven't laughed this hard in a while. I needed a loosener.

    Jason
  75. unfortunatly I have a weak point[ Go to top ]

    My dear Jason,

    I am never angry. As you know - "we real men" have always a sound positive and sanguine view of life that rarely changes. What for? The incidents are rare and and far between that anything surprised us.

    Trajanus (or Marcus Aurelius?) said,

    "Every day I know already in the morning that I will meet at least one unreasonable person during the day. When the day passes and when I meet the difficult fellow I do not need to be angry - I just can say to myself (satisfied) – “I was rigth again”.

    The case with IBM and Linux is just an observation – no more.

    The things Microsoft was (is) accused of are ridiculous bagatelles that are daily done by the any dozen of the big companies. If you compare MS to Sun or Oracle, MS stand out like boy scouts - white as snow IMO.

    Nevertheless, if it is anything that could irritate me a little at least, then there is this innocent and naïve opinions from young people without facts or any ideas or experience whatsoever of the human nature - people who believes in utopias or in “the Cathedral & the Bazaar”.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  76. unfortunatly I have a weak point[ Go to top ]

    Not really sure how my response ended up before yours...

    Jason
  77. Jason wondering[ Go to top ]

    Jason,

    I bet the time on the three servers in the cluster is a little off and that is why this happened. Dion and company can you shed some light about how the time stamps work in this clustered application.

    Jim
  78. unfortunatly I have a weak point[ Go to top ]

    A Rolf,

    Since we're getting philosophical I'm gonna go with Othello. This quote, I think, describes you well.

    Othellow V, ii.

    Then must you speak
    Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
    Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,

    Jason
  79. Almost no Open Source project would stand a chance if not backed up by powerful commercial companies (like IBM with Linux for example).

    >

    Absurd. Of course it helps to have a big company backing you up, but OSS was born, has lived and will live with or without big companies. In fact, a small percentage of OSS projects has big companies (or even small ones) behind them.
  80. Business Model Evolution[ Go to top ]

    ...a few responses....

    brian thomas:>Free Software makes standards.
    If Free software made standards, then why even have a JCP or an IETF or an ISO or an ANSII, etc.?

    Academia hypothesizes and publishes research based on GRANTS of MONEY (remember...$, you know, the stuff with presidents on it that you pay the rent with?), So ultimately ROI drives innovation.

    btw, what "deep innovations" has academia contributed to software in the past 10 years, who funded the research?

    brian thomas:>...or do you want the techno-elite slaving away on 50 >implementations of web services? Clearly it is the vision, the net vision.

    Standardization loses a lot of its value if it's acheived at the expense of choice and competition. You can ask any soviet-era Russian to vouch for this.

    I agree that free software can help create "defacto" standards -sometimes- but they don't generate enough ROI to justify the hard work of creating "real" standards and getting them adopted.

    Matt
  81. Bushism[ Go to top ]

    Sounds like you have a bad case of Bushism. Read the Northwoods Document it should enlighten you.
  82. Source of unease[ Go to top ]

    "As an insurance for the Open Source user community at large, it would be nice if the JOnAS application server or OpenEJB came under the aegis of the Jakarta project"

    If you want to see why Marc Fleury is atypical of the French technocracy, try relying on those girly-boys at JOnAS to stop a Microsoft invasion...
  83. hype?[ Go to top ]

    I wonder why JBoss gets all the attention while a better performing product like JonAs gets side-lined and only attracts little attention.
  84. Some Basic Questions[ Go to top ]

    I think we need to ask ourselves some simple questions here :

    a. Is the JBoss group delivering less than what we pay for ?
    b. Are we being misled in any way ?
    c. Are any of their terms unfair to us (the developer community at large) ?
    d. Are they making whatever money they do make in a manner which is unfair (their services revenue) ?
    e. Exactly how does it matter to us (apart from hurting our notions about how an open source shop should be run) in a business sense - how they distribute the money they make ?
    f. Do we have the guts, the strength and the finally the capability to do things differently "ourselves" if we dont like the way they are doing things ?

    Should the answer be no to the above questions, we need to ask ourselves personally :

    a. Are we discrediting them (and ourselves in turn) by casting aspersions simply because TSS offers us a platform to do so - and it is FREE ?

    Personally - kudos to them. They have done something very few have dared to attempt. All the best to them. I like their server. The day I dont, I will use another one. Frankly they help me do my job better. I better stay out of the way (by not unfairly criticizing them) unless I can help them do theirs better.
  85. Colsed-Mined article[ Go to top ]

    Hi,

    as I am a big fan of the BLUE whitepaper I am now disappointed of the WHITE paper.

    I think that Marc and the JBoss Group will get into trouble if they follow this closed-minded business model. Thinking to be better than IBM and BEA and to provide better service is a assertion that is 100% false. (I am not an employee of any of the big companies...) I have a lot of experience with IBM services and it is true that not every of the 50.000 service people IBM employes is as good as Bill Burke or Marc, but they have a big knowledge network and some of the best engineers of the world standing behind them in their laboratories (some of them earned even the Nobel price).

    And why is the business model closed-minded? Because AppServers are not the curcial part of the system. In my point of view it is the Database and the legacy systems (or the integration of it) of a company, especially products like SAP, Siebel, Ariba Buyer, Peoplesoft. Companies are chosing IBM, Accenture, etc. because they see the whole picture and have experts in all areas of the system. What if I have a system with a DB2 database running on zSeries (S/390), a SAP on Solaris and a Siebel system under Windows NT and I want to build a J2EE portal for my company using these system? Ok. I will use JBoss because it is free and has the best service...will they help me to tune the DB2 on zSeries? No. Will they help me customizing my SAP? No. Have they Siebel experience? No. They will help me with JBoss and the J2EE part of the application, which is as I pointed out earlier not the crucial part of the system. I would take a service company were I get all the service out of one hand and who will help me get the whole system running. and 10K$/processor will really be the small part of the total price...

    If I build a 100% J2EE application using Entity Beans as persistence, than I would agree that maybe JBoss consulting is one of the better service companies...but how many of such projects are there in the real world I live in???

    Mirko
    :wq
  86. Hello,

    We are developing a CMS and portal server (Jahia.org) available under a collaborative source license.

    Before releasing it under such a license, we carefully evaluated all the open source licenses to try to figure out how we could develop a working commercial business model on top of it (we need to pay salaries at the end of the month!).

    For such type of software, we only found one real possible solution: dual-license your code in GPL by enforcing a very strong viral effect and in the same time under another classical commercial license. However this requires you to keep all the IP rights at any time. This is working quite well for MySQL for example (check: http://www.mysql.com/products/licensing.html). But, as you have to take care of keeping the control on all your IP rights, this limits the work that can be done by the community at least in the kernel and goes in opposite to the basics of the "open source way of working". Any other way of "selling services the day and coding the night" could not be profitable in the long term (how to fight against classical system integrator that do not want to assume the role of project contributor and manager?)

    So we decided to create another license based on a viral effect no more on code but on contributions. We estimate that any software has a certain market value. Then we ask to our "customers" that 1) they pay cash such a market value 2) they contribute new developments in kind at least for the same value. In all the cases, everybody can access at any time to the whole source code for free (license fee only on production servers).

    Clear, this not compliant with a pure OSI based license. But what is important to an open source project is 1) full access to the source code and 2) a strong community behind it, no? So let's imagine new business models which can really merge best of both worlds into an effective and realistic business way. OSI licenses are great but irrealistc for a lot of software projects, so let's create some standards for collaborative source license!

    (Please no flame war)

    Stéphane
  87. Collaborative licenses sound nice on the surface (assuming a full disclosure of the source code and build environment so you can build your own version), but they have one important flaw. Once a user has seen the source code, he/she has to be careful not to duplicate any of the IP anywhere else in his code.

    If IP were limitted to copyrights, there wouldn't be any issues. I could look at your source code, throw it away and a week later use some of the algorithms from your work in my applications. Copyright law allows and encourages such learning which is why so many books and songs have similar themes and styles. Before anyone says anything, you can look at the Linux kernel for ideas and implement them in proprietary software.

    If, however, IP includes patents, I have to be extremely careful. I have to keep track of everything I learn from your source code (either consciously or unconsciously) and license the appropriate patent if I end up using such an algorithm in my source code. If I slip up or forget where I learned some algorithm, I risk being sued. I might even have learned an algorithm on my own or in a trade journal, but if it's in your program (even a part I didn't read), I'm in trouble. Frankly, I'd avoid looking at any 3rd party source code that includes patent rights. It's too dangerous.


    So here's my suggestions for a collaborative license:
    1) If your company goes under or development stops, all source code is released under an open source license (either GPL or MIT/BSD). This ensures that the user is not locked in to an orphaned product.

    2) You guarentee that you will not use patents in the company's source code. I can read your source code without fearing IP contamination.

    3) You guarentee that the complete build environment is part of the source code so that I can customize my own version. Customization is a very important benefit of open source.

    4) Complete source code is available, again for customization.

    5) If I exact some of the code from your company's product into a smaller utility or library (to allow me to write several utilities), I have to pay your company the licensing fee for every copy of that utility or library. By default, that licensing fee is equal to the price of the full product, but it can be re-negotiated. This sort of customization and specialization is an important part of open source. However, since you're interested in getting paid for your IP, it's not unreasonable to expect money for such customizations.

    6) If I make customizations to your product for inhouse use, I don't have to reveal it to anyone (it's one of privacy and trade secret guarentees of open source that also allows experimental versions). If, however, I release it outside my company I must contribute it back to your company. This last issue is the most contentious issue for companies and individuals since it essentially says that you want to be paid for your IP work but you don't want to pay if we do IP work on your product. To balance this, I'd suggest that your company will not use or disclose any such modifications it recieves by default. If your company does, then it will negotiate with the contributor for IP usage. Note, this includes bug fixes (although in the case of bug fixes, you may want to give a standard discount on your product for every critical bug).


    Writing a collaborative license where IP gets paid is very tricky. The GPL succeeds because payment comes from knowing that if someone extends your work and releases it, you have access to those changes. Payment is the new code and functionality. When payment is money, it's even trickier because money, unlike ideas, is a limited resource, so it tends to breed a scarcity mentality where you want to maximize your contribution and minimize the other guy's. Because of this, I would not be surprised if the above has thousands of loopholes in it.
  88. Please find some comments in your text:
    > So here's my suggestions for a collaborative license:
    > 1) If your company goes under or development stops, all source code is released under an open source license (either GPL or MIT/BSD). This ensures that the user is not locked in to an orphaned product.

    This is already the case for partners (resellers; VARs; OEMs;...) as part of their partnership agreement.
     
    > 2) You guarentee that you will not use patents in the company's source code. I can read your source code without fearing IP contamination.

    Sorry for the use of the term IP. I just meant a right to sublicense and redistribute code not any kind of patents.

    > 3) You guarentee that the complete build environment is part of the source code so that I can customize my own version. Customization is a very important benefit of open source.

    Sure. The main benefit of open source is that customers are able to patch the software themselves without having to wait for an "official" patch that may never come...

    > 4) Complete source code is available, again for customization.

    In opposition to what I call "Developer Source" (access to the source code only after having paid some kind of royalty, I mean by collaborative source exactly the same rights as traditional open source models excepted that there is a limitation on the possible use of the technology.

    > 5) If I exact some of the code from your company's product into a smaller utility or library (to allow me to write several utilities), I have to pay your company the licensing fee for every copy of that utility or library. By default, that licensing fee is equal to the price of the full product, but it can be re-negotiated. This sort of customization and specialization is an important part of open source. However, since you're interested in getting paid for your IP, it's not unreasonable to expect money for such customizations.

    That's exactly what we are doing as part of our OEM deal for software vendors that only want to buy a piece of our technology.

    > 6) If I make customizations to your product for inhouse use, I don't have to reveal it to anyone (it's one of privacy and trade secret guarentees of open source that also allows experimental versions). If, however, I release it outside my company I must contribute it back to your company. This last issue is the most contentious issue for companies and individuals since it essentially says that you want to be paid for your IP work but you don't want to pay if we do IP work on your product. To balance this, I'd suggest that your company will not use or disclose any such modifications it recieves by default. If your company does, then it will negotiate with the contributor for IP usage. Note, this includes bug fixes (although in the case of bug fixes, you may want to give a standard discount on your product for every critical bug).

    There is no viral effect on code in our license. Every customers or resellers can keep or sell proprietary modules on top of our technology. He may choose to "give" it back to the original project for ease of maintenance reason and to avoid a fork but this is not an obligation. The contributor is "paid" by cumulating points that will allow him to buy additional licenses.

    >
    > Writing a collaborative license where IP gets paid is very tricky. The GPL succeeds because payment comes from knowing that if someone extends your work and releases it, you have access to those changes. Payment is the new code and functionality. When payment is money, it's even trickier because money, unlike ideas, is a limited resource, so it tends to breed a scarcity mentality where you want to maximize your contribution and minimize the other guy's. Because of this, I would not be surprised if the above has thousands of loopholes in it.

    Yes it perhaps a bit more difficult to manage but at the end, Time = Money so you can make some kind of conversions. In practice it is often more easy: some customers do not take care of choosing an open source product or not. They just want a nice technology. So this is not a problem to pay some kind of royalty. For other customers that have an internal dedicated IT team, having the rights to modify the source code and/or to contribute extensions in exchnange of their license fee is very interesting. And finally the latter do not really take care of the quantity of code they contribute as they consider the project as any other open source project.
  89. JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    While I like the idea of an Open Source j2ee implementation, I have to say JBoss isn't the sort of Open Source implementation I would like to use. It has to be one of the most deliberately obfuscated and difficult appservers out there. It makes the Sun Reference Implementation look like weblogic. I don't want to have to fill in 101 config files just to bootstrap the damned thing, I don't want to have to define where every service is and how it should be configured exactly, I don't want to have to spend $99 on out of date documentation that is REQUIRED to get anywhere at all. Perhaps they think they are clever, not having default jsp/ejb/lib homes, and making you suffer with 101 ant/doclet files.

    This is the problem with JBoss. Unlike, say, Caucho, who had the balls to go with a shareware-ish liscence model and who's implementation kicks ass in not giving you a shit time and in being easy to use, they are a nightmare in almost every conievable way. But, they HAVE to be a nightmare, and they HAVE to be difficult to understand and obscurantist about everything, because otherwise they can't make money selling their out-of-date documentation and providing training and such that educates developers about every single detail of their appserver that, idealistically, they just shouldn't need to know about at all.

    The day JBoss makes things easy and stop ripping off Sun and apache code and implementing it in weird ways to force you to buy their docs and starts making things a bit simpler, starting with the obvious like, I dunno, an Installshield or a JStart or something, is the day hell freezes over. Their entire business model depends on obscurantism and difficulty, and this is precisely why they will never be particularly popular.

    I really, really wish they would drop the arrogant attitude as well. All their crap about wanting "full spectrum dominance" (open source is supposed to be all about choice, guys) and becoming the reference implementation, give us a break.

    It's like I use any other j2ee server, all I do is tell it where my jdbc drivers are, and what I call the db I use, then drop in a war/ear wherever it wants them and it does everything for me. And JBoss is better why?
     
    For me, Caucho's Resin is a far more interesting "open source" project (in the sense that the source is available) - just three guys and they have JBoss beat in almost every department, they provide up to date docs, they have a viable business model, and they don't deliberately obscure everything or have a repugnantly arrogant attitude.

    Open Source in the JBoss model is not the sort of Open Source tool I would like to use. Jakarta's stuff, yes. Eclipse, maybe, if Intellij vanished. Hibernate, yes please. But JBoss? UGH!
  90. JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    There's not really a whole lot complex about JBoss. At a basic level, JMX is about strings. Everything runs on top of JMX in JBoss, all the source is there. I love being able to grab the source, change something, run the ant script and deploy the updated jar to see what I'm doing wrong.

    Steve
  91. JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    Hehe, I'm sorry, this seems irrelevant and immaterial - I mean, I don't go recompiling tomcat or resin to find jsp or ejb errors. And "jmx is about strings" is like saying "xml is about strings" - I mean, it just doesn't matter :)

    I think the JBoss business model depends utterly on being obscurantist and difficult. If it they deliberately made it easier to implement and work with, their revenues from support and training would decrease. Quite a conundrum. I think something similar can be seen in other open source projects that have a business model that depends on support - sendmail might be a good example, it being famous for being impossibly obscurantist and difficult, when compared to strictly commercial offerings and of course even open source projects without that service business model, like qmail. Or mysql, perhaps, or hell, even linux itself when implemented by Red Hat/IBM/Suse and the rest. They can't make things to easy, or else their support income vanishes. They deliberately design their systems to be difficult to support and implement for the end user, and JBoss os the latest in a long list of Open Source projects that have this awful (from my perspective as a user) model.
  92. JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    Well, you keep insisting that things are so difficult, and obviously there's more to JMX than just strings, but the basic architecture of JBoss is about as simple as you can get. <shrug>

    WebLogic is just as good at making things difficult. They're hiding everything behind the workshop, and if you have any issues behind the scenes you're screwed. The thing is, if you want their entire stack of products, expect to hire just as many consultants full-time as you're saying you'll need for JBoss. :)

    Obviously, I don't recompile jboss just to find jsp/ejb errors, but everything is there for you. It's just a piece of code. You don't have to be afraid of it ;)

    Steve
  93. JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    Well, I don't think comparing JBoss and Weblogic and the rest is fair. They just don't compete in the same arena. JBoss is nowhere near close to invading the domain of the big enterprise app servers. A better comparison is to compare with its peer competitors, tomcat and resin, where I think JBoss would need more consultants and more expense. If JBoss and and Weblogic are being used in the same arena somewhere, then one of them is being seriously misused.

    I don't find JBoss's archtecture simple, from the point of view that working in it is a case of editing a zillion scripts and worrying about every little asinine detail, and fighting with poor documentation. Compared to its peer competitors, it is much more difficult to work with.

    JBoss has its place, don't get me wrong. I just get annoyed with the attitude of the JBoss company, with its general publicity whoring and hypemongering. It is good for their business model to be on the front page of slashdot for their latest manufactured controversy, because they can boost their downloads then claim to be the "standard" from that, hype themselves up, and get public recognition. I just wish they let their code speak for itself, rather than all this hysterical nonsense they keep manufacturing.

    JBoss sort of reminds me of mysql, in that it is perfectly good for certain narrow tasks, but has a fantical, weird following and developer team who like to falsely claim it can beat the big Enterprise players and become ubiquitous.
  94. Re: JBoss's awful business model[ Go to top ]

    Well, I don't think comparing JBoss and Weblogic and the rest is fair. They just don't compete in the same arena. JBoss is nowhere near close to invading >the domain of the big enterprise app servers.


    The future will tell.

    > A better comparison is to compare with its peer competitors, tomcat and resin,

    No, that's an even worse comparision...
    JBoss *does not* compete with resin or tomcat, that's like saying they are competing with "microsoft personal webserver"!

    >where I think JBoss would need more consultants and more expense. If JBoss and and Weblogic are being used in the same arena somewhere, then one of them is being seriously misused.
    >

    How come? Do you even know what jboss and weblogic are compared to tomcat?

    > I don't find JBoss's archtecture simple, from the point of view that working in it is a case of editing a zillion scripts and worrying about every little asinine detail, and fighting with poor documentation. Compared to its peer competitors, it is much more difficult to work with.
    >

    If you know the j2ee specs. atleast I find it quite okay/easy to work with - orion might be easier, but not that much...

    The real documentation is the j2ee spec. (atleast for getting things to work in the first place, if you need performance or high availability - charge jboss group for some services... ;)

    > JBoss has its place, don't get me wrong. I just get annoyed with the attitude of the JBoss company, with its general publicity whoring and hypemongering. It is good for their business model to be on the front page of slashdot for their latest manufactured controversy, because they can boost their downloads then claim to be the "standard" from that, hype themselves up, and get public recognition. I just wish they let their code speak for itself, rather than all this hysterical nonsense they keep manufacturing.
    >

    Why? Why change something that works? Seems stupid to me atleast :)
     
    > JBoss sort of reminds me of mysql, in that it is perfectly good for certain narrow tasks, but has a fantical, weird following and developer team who like to falsely claim it can beat the big Enterprise players and become ubiquitous.
    >

    Yes, why not? And I actually assume they - jboss & mysql - can beat the "big enterprise players" in a few cases - cost is just one example.
  95. JBoss vs Resin/Tomcat[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    For me, Caucho's Resin is a far more interesting "open source" project (in the sense that the source is available) - just three guys and they have JBoss beat in almost every department, they provide up to date docs, they have a viable business model, and they don't deliberately obscure everything or have a repugnantly arrogant attitude.
    </quote>

    Resin 2.1 is a great product, indeed. It's particularly lightweight and handy, and very easy to understand. One server config file, obvious structure, clear docs - and a very responsive mailing list. Servlet/JSP/JDBC DataSources/JTA with persistent sessions, load balancing, and all those goodies. Resin 3.0, their J2EE 1.4 compatible version, will even provide JCA in the base version. As you stated, the source is available, not only to customers but to everyone. Development and testing is free, deployment is 500 USD per server - a bargain for such a fine J2EE web application server. BTW, I'm in no way affiliated with Caucho, just a fan... :-)

    Tomcat 4.1 is a decent web app server, too - finally. Tomcat 3.2 wasn't really convincing in total. Tomcat 4.0 was based on that new container named Catalina but still had Jasper 1, that painful JSP implementation. But Tomcat 4.1 (with Jasper 2) is a really lightweight and simple server, providing Servlet/JSP/JDBC DataSources. One manageable server config file, sufficient docs. Even JTA/JCA support via Tyrex integration. All things considered, well suited for many J2EE web apps without particular needs - and free.

    <quote>
    Open Source in the JBoss model is not the sort of Open Source tool I would like to use. Jakarta's stuff, yes. Eclipse, maybe, if Intellij vanished. Hibernate, yes please. But JBoss? UGH!
    </quote>

    Same here: I'm a dedicated IntelliJ IDEA fan, Eclipse looks fine too. Hibernate is one of the best persistence toolkits that I know of, easily my favorite. Jakarta? Well, Tomcat, Ant, Log4J, Velocity, of course. I'm not a particular fan of Struts, though.

    Regarding JBoss, I simply wonder about the target audience. Even full-fledged J2EE web apps are better off with Resin or Tomcat, IMHO, as both are far simpler to handle than JBoss, and offer everything needed. You can build perfectly layered applications with such a container + a POJO persistence toolkit + a web MVC framework + some lightweight middle tier service infrastructure, as long as you don't want to distribute at the object level but just replicate your servers. No need for EJB here, thus no need for an EJB-container-centric app server like JBoss.

    The other end of the spectrum are classic "enterprise" apps with dedicated middle tier servers, backend integration issues, the whole shebang. This is the typical domain of BEA and IBM, they do not only offer their application servers but also a lot of integration products like BEA's JAM etc. Here and just here, such servers are worth their money, IMHO. But is JBoss really suitable for such scenarios? Frankly, I don't think so. Too little added value for that domain, I fear.

    So what is JBoss' primary audience then? Of course they can try to convince web app developers to use JBoss instead of Tomcat or Resin, but that would mainly be a marketing victory, not a technologically sound argument. Assumably, they won't get into the big iron scenario any time soon, as outlined above. That leaves the segment inbetween: dedicated middle tier servers, thus needing EJB, but less focus on backend integration. I guess that will be JBoss' place, not the ubiquitous one-size-fits-all J2EE server they'd like to be.

    Juergen
  96. Start contributing[ Go to top ]

    I really regret to have started reading this forum. It makes me angry because of all these people that just complain.

    I would have so much to say. I just deleted all of it again because I realized there is no point in bringing many good arguments up here. Let me just make one point:

    So for those of you really interested in the story:

    1. JBoss is LGPL. Go, read the licence. Then you know what can be done and what not.
    2. If you still fear JBoss will start to have a free part and a commercial part in the future (I see no signs for that besides the FUD that is spread here) then START CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROJECT NOW.

    If you think "wtf?" then think again. The more people contribute to the project the harder it would be to change the licence. The more functionality is covered by free code the less others can add on a for-pay basis.

    So if you have that PARANOIA about the JBoss Group (commercial -> support) wanting the JBoss Server (LGPL -> free) to be nonefree in any way in the future AND (a logical one) you stil have the ability to make logical conclusions THEN

    -=> the best you can do is <=-

    -=> to contribute as much as you can to the server <=-

    under the LGPL licence. The more everybody contributes the more it will be harder for another party to add non-free parts they can charge for. What is released under LGPL is free forever. Once you have downloaded it NOONE can stop you from redistributing it, forking it, changing it as long as you distribute it under LGPL (or even GPL !!!) yourself. Sorry for repeating the obvious.

    I apologize for all the anger that may come through in this post. I am very upset about all the people that complain but don't contribute a single line.

    Cheers,
    Tobias

    PS: I feel right now that I am getting an arrogant attitude BECAUSE I have read through all this waste that is in this forum. Seems to be a self protection mechanism. Sorry for that.
  97. Start contributing[ Go to top ]

    LGPL does not prevent a court -based on infringement- or new legislation from cracking down on open source -it will happen just like napster....

    BTW, the cringley pov is right-on from my perspective...
    "So Open Source is not especially altruistic, just ego-driven. It can be hijacked and it can be subverted [and made illegal]. And a concerted effort at subversion taking advantage of developer fatigue could be devastating. This hardly seems a movement, then, that can be relied on, yet millions do. "


    Matt
  98. Cringely:
    But in time, most Open Source projects grind to a halt. The ones that survive are projects like Linux and Apache that have substantial involvement by PAID engineers. One could argue, in fact, that the idea of Open Source software being created by volunteers is a misnomer. Even Linus Torvalds is paid by Transmeta to be the God of Linux.

    So, IBM has hired most of the Apache team..!

    OpenBSD have just lost a fat grant from DARPA (U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) after Theo de Raadt..

    More and more information is coming through by the day, that practically all successful Open Source projects is funded in different strange and various ways..

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  99. Start contributing[ Go to top ]

    "So Open Source is not especially altruistic, just ego-driven. It can be hijacked and it can be subverted [and made illegal]... "

    Being ego-driven and being open to subversion are hardly unique characteristics of open source software. And hype and publicity-seeking are distasteful when employed by open source companies, but not by their commercial competitors? You have a clear double standard here. Open source software inspired by commercial software or standards is "counterfeit?" Then what is commercial software that liberally inspires itself from other commercial software--the holy graal? Government and academic-sponsored research are just as important in driving software innovation as the corporate community. The Internet is a clear example of this. All three key play a key role in innovation and R&D.

    Matt, you and Rolf want to have your cake and eat it too. Either we must assume that Open Source is entirely irrelvent and of such poor quality that nobody would ever use it (note that the actual number of people posting who've actually used JBoss on this thread is probably 50 or less than 50 percent), in which case the market dynamics alone would marginalize it and there is no need for legislation. Or, open source does offer sufficient value for the price (zero) that it does represent a significant market force and danger to commercial software vendors.

    It's a free market. Nobody forces you to use open source and I can't see why anybody would unless it offered some value. In which it case, the kind of protectionist legislation you're talking about favors a select group of vendors by keeping prices artificially high, while screwing software consumers. Even if open source did succeed in becoming a monopoly, no individual or entity has unique control over it, so I cannot see how it would become abusive. It's free and anybody can take the code.

    Rolf, if you'd actually read the paper that is the subject of this discussion, one of the stronger points made is that there is no free lunch with open source and that good developers very often do need to be paid to work in it. That does not invalidate the model. What is argued is a lower cost of R&D than traditional software licensing that depends on an optional (rather than mandatory) purchase of services.

    You guys are screaming like violated virgins, that open source unfairly competes. There's no fair or unfair, virtue, or anti-virtue. It's just market dynamics. Let the consumer choose. If somebody can make money doing it and somebody saves money using it--it will be done.

    In another Othello quote in honor of Rolf (it comes from Iago)--"put money in they purse." (or keep it there).
  100. "for I am nothing if not critical"[ Go to top ]

    Chip,

    "Either we must assume that Open Source is entirely irrelevant and of such poor quality that nobody would ever use it"

    Nobody has said that government or privately -sponsored Open Source research is of poor quality; what we are saying is:

    1) that OSS is enjoying a ridiculous high "moral reputation" which it probably do not deserve
    2) that OSS is having a free ride from investments from commercial software industry

    In short - I do not want to stop Open Source, just to adjust the "Gloria un poco"! It is the same good old capitalism - just a little dirtier IMO, because of the hypocricy.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  101. Start contributing[ Go to top ]

    Good Point Chip!!

    One of things that I forgot to mention is that protectionism almost always backfires against the consumer, future innovation, and market efficiencies.

    Example? A year or two ago I wanted to put a deck on my house. Got and estimate for something like $3,000. Then the govt put a tariff on wood from to save jobs. So the price of wood went up. My deck now cost over $4,500. There are some outcomes to this:

    1) Wood demand drops.
    2)We're "robbing Peter to pay Paul." In other words, helping one constituency and hurting another. This IS self-serving at both political and economic levels.
    3) We're simply limiting free trade. The anti-dumping rules require that producers be dumping product BELOW COST! Open source is not doing this. There is no cost, overhead, or way to identify the R&D value.
    4) Speaking of artificially created problems, protectionism does create artificial price/demand distortions that don't reflect the economy outside.

    Jason McKerr
    The Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  102. FYI, there are many legal instruments aimed at controlling the negative consequences of
    "... market dynamics. Let the consumer choose. If somebody can make money doing it and somebody saves money using it--it will be done"

    Are you proposing that "market dynamics" should trump IP law, patents, trademarks, contracts, anti-trust law, etc.???

    Look at what you're saying, Chip!
    Matt
  103. coopting open source[ Go to top ]

    There's nothing wrong with trying to make a buck off software you write. It's also very considerate to use an open source licence that allows any keen developer to take the codebase and do (almost) anythingw they want with it.. I can't understand why people would be upset about the commercialization of open source when the chosen license explicitly allows it. (In fact, there are very few licenses that prohibit the commercialization of work...)

    OTOH, the fact that the agreement with developers is under NDA is a little worrisome. I totally applaud the JBoss Group for their pioneering work in open source buisness models, but when a core component of said model is hidden behind a legal wall I find it disconcerting to say the least.
    The second half of this week's Cringely column sounds a (possibly bogus, but interesting nonetheless)warning concerning a way MS could subvert open source projects. I imagine that JBoss would be a fantastic candidate for such devious efforts and the lack of transparency in the JBoss group's dealings could easily foster suspicion and illwill regardless of JBoss group's true motives.