Opinion: Who pays for open-source?

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News: Opinion: Who pays for open-source?

  1. Opinion: Who pays for open-source? (112 messages)

    Alan Williamson has a new blog on java.net, and recently asked "who pays for open-source?". He seems confused on the issue of "we all need to eat... so if we give away the software, how do we get food on the table?". He doesn't believe that "we just sell support", and looks to other industries to see if open source has happened/worked there. Many people have replied on this topic, which makes interesting reading.

    Alan's Blog Entry: Who pays for open source?

    Simon Phipps responds:

    "I believe his thinking confuses two different issues - how software is developed and how it is deployed. In some contexts they are the same thing, but in a growing number they are completely different. In the difference lays the answer."

    Tim O'Reilly talks about the "Internet Paradigm", which discusses issues such as this

    What are your thoughts?

    Threaded Messages (112)

  2. JBoss starts charging for their product. If they really understand demand and how demand increases and decreases for a product in their space, they'll keep the price low. The community of java developers is now so large that huge margins on their product simply aren't necessary. This is something that BEA doesn't get. Either that, or BEA has locked themselves into a pricing model and doesn't want to piss-off the companies they've over-billed throughout the years.

    I would be happy to pay for JBoss licenses if the price was within reason. With millions of potential customers, a nice start would be 5 bucks. Talk about a nice tidy profit that would make.

    Honestly, consider it - $90,000.00 per cpu. PER CPU!!! That is just plain silly.

    Sound-off if you have been priced-out of using Weblogic, and if you would buy a license for a couple of hundred bucks.

    BEA would absolutely dominate Oracle, JBoss, Sun, and IBM if they were to do this. I'm sure, however, that their existing customers - those who have already paid rediculous sums of money for WLS, would scream.

    Best,

    John C. Dale
  3. JBoss starts charging for their product.


    There's this thing called LGPL that says the source code to the product must be available for free.

    /T
  4. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    There's this thing called LGPL that says the source code to the product must be available for free.


    JBoss is currently distributed under the LGPL. That means that if you download JBoss, you must make the software available to anyone who wants it. But there is nothing stopping JBoss themselves from deciding that as from version X they will no longer use this licence but will switch to some commercial "non-free" licence.

    I'm not saying that they WILL do this, just that they CAN. There is no law stopping them from charging people for their software in future if that's what they want to do. At the moment they seem to be able to support a business model that does not involve charging for the software. It may be that over the next few years that model proves unsustainable, but at the moment it appears to work (as far as I can tell).
  5. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    I'm not saying that they WILL do this, just that they CAN


    Nope.

    They do not own the copyright to the code, so they cannot change the license.

    This must have been said a thousand times already.

    /T
  6. License[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    Nope. They do not own the copyright to the code, so they cannot change the license.
    </quote>

    This is correct. What you can do is asking every single persons, who have written the code to change the license. If they agree with this, you don't have any problems. Or if most of persons, who have written the code, are from JBoss Group, this would be easier, as you don't have to ask so many persons to change the license.

    Or trash all the codes, which don't belong to JBoss Group, and rewrite them. This is also possible ;-)

    Regards,
    Lofi.
  7. BEA Licensing[ Go to top ]

    I do get slightly frustrated with the continued pot shots from the JBoss Group zealots at BEA's pricing policy. Always be sure to talk to a vendor's representative instead of taking quotes from a third party. Otherwise, FUD might be distributed.

    As for BEA, we have many price points for WebLogic Server. The entry level price point is sub-1000, the highest price point is 17K. And, the 17K version includes a number of advanced capabilities. Upon request, BEA will detail dozens of differentiators over JBoss to help you make a product decision. We've gone to great lengths to document differences between the products to allow the public to make an informed decision. Local representatives would be glad to help you with specifics.

    The 90K per CPU includes Integration / Portal, which are capabilities that JBoss doesn't have. These are embedded features such as: process management, choreography, unified user profiling, integrated content management, personalization, e-commerce, rules engine, XQuery engine, out-of-the-box adapters (many), service broker, message broker (different from JMS), etc.

    Also, there are many price points between the 17K and the 90K based upon the capabilities that you desire, just like there are many price points between our entry level fee versus our 17K / CPU fee.

    So, make sure to talk to a representative of your vendor before you take anything as set in stone.

    Tyler Jewell
    Director, BEA
  8. BEA Licensing[ Go to top ]

    Tyler,

    Tomcat, and Resin are J2EE and cheaper as well, like J:Boss.
    EJB are contraversial, as per other threads on TSS.
    J:Boss is looking at JDO.

    Point is.... no need to pay for EJB, if you won't use it (most people pull it out).
    So... BEA is not in the top 4:
    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2003/04/10/java_servlet_engines.html
    .V
  9. Tyler> So, make sure to talk to a representative of your vendor before you take anything as set in stone.

    Big companies like BEA or IBM often do not have firm prices, they want to haggle with you, they want to access you wealth and try to rip more off you if you able to pay more. It is even worse than car buying process, there you have MSRP, and you also have invoice and you know rebates and kickbacks (well, not all of them). And you know pretty much within 5% margin what you can buy a car for. The sales policy of software giants is worse, is patronising, is feudal "come here, boy, let's see what I can do for you". And it may take several days or even weeks to come up to the reasonable figure. Well, salespeople have to show that they are doing something. Who whould need salespeople with firm prices, credit card payment and delivery over internet?
  10. License[ Go to top ]

    Lofi & Thomas, I am not sure you are right on this. Nothing prevents you to start a *new* project based on LPGL code with whatever license you want (LPGL is not a viral license). This is exactly what MySQL did for their JDBC driver. They first implemented a LPGL JDBC driver for MySQL, then stopped that project to start a new one, based on the original codebase, with a GPL license. Another example is Jive, the forum software. It was an open source project at first, it is now a commercial one. Nothing prevents the open source community to continue developping from the LPGL codebase, however. Simply, the original developers have decided to commit to another project with a different license type...

    Am I missing something, here? If yes, thank you for clarifying.

    Bertrand Fontaine
    JavaShelf.com: Your Java bookstore on the Web!
  11. License[ Go to top ]

    LGPL is viral if you need to make any changes to the original LGPL'd code. If you never need to change the original LGPL code in any way then you can link a new project to the LGPL libraries. Any changes to the original LGPL code must be released under same license.

    I have no idea what license Jive used. If a small group of people owns the copyright to the entire codebase, then a license change is easy.

    /T
  12. License[ Go to top ]

    LGPL is viral if you need to make any changes to the original LGPL'd code. If you never need to change the original LGPL code in any way then you can link a new project to the LGPL libraries. Any changes to the original LGPL code must be released under same license.


    Here's the point that confuses me in this talk about open source licences. A licence is a legally binding agreement between two parties: the licensee and the licensor. In order to be binding, both parties must be identifiable otherwise the licence is unenforcable. In the case of an open source software project such as JBoss in which (apparently) nobody owns the copyright to the software, who is the licensor? To put it another way, if somebody breaks the licence agreement for JBoss, who has the legal right to sue in a court of law? If the JBoss Group don't own the intellectual property rights, I don't see how they can control what happens to the source code. Or is my understanding of the law incorrect? (Which is highly likely.)
  13. License[ Go to top ]

    You keep insisting that nobody owns the copyright to the code base. That's where you are wrong. The developers own the copyright to the code, they are the licensors. The developers have the right to sue. JBoss Group cannot control what each individual does with their own piece of code. They do, however, have a guarantee made by the LGPL license that the version they are distributing today cannot be withdrawn. They also have a guarantee that they can modify and distribute the modifications to the current LGPL codebase.

    All the parties are clearly identifiable (original authors of the code) and the license can be enforced.

    /T
  14. License[ Go to top ]

    You keep insisting that nobody owns the copyright to the code base. That's where you are wrong. The developers own the copyright to the code, they are the licensors. The developers have the right to sue.


    OK, I understand. In some open source projects, the copyright is owned by a named organisation (example: the Apache Software Foundation). In such a case, the ASF (or whoever) are the licensors.

    In other OSS projects, copyright is owned collectively by all the contributors. Anyone who contributes to the project becomes a copyright-owner and thus a licensor once their changes are committed to the JBoss code-base (or at some other point). So if anyone breaks the JBoss licence agreement then any JBoss contributor can take them to court (although in practice this may prove an expensive undertaking for an individual). I get it. This is what distinguishes JBoss as being "open source" rather than "public domain": in public domain software, there is no copyright owner at all.


    > They do, however, have a guarantee made by the LGPL license that the version they are distributing today cannot be withdrawn. They also have a guarantee that they can modify and distribute the modifications to the current LGPL codebase.

    If my understanding of the LGPL is correct, it's rather stronger than that. The LGPL not only guarantees that the current version remains freely available, it guarantees that all subsequent versions derived from the current version will also be free. This distinguishes it from other licences, such as the BSD licence, which allow modified versions of the software to be released under a different licence (if I understand it correctly).
  15. License[ Go to top ]

    If my understanding of the LGPL is correct, it's rather stronger

    > than that. The LGPL not only guarantees that the current version
    > remains freely available, it guarantees that all subsequent versions
    > derived from the current version will also be free. This distinguishes
    > it from other licences, such as the BSD licence, which allow modified
    > versions of the software to be released under a different licence
    > (if I understand it correctly).

    That is correct.

    /T
  16. LGPL vs BSD[ Go to top ]

    David Skelly wrote:

    The LGPL not only guarantees that the current version remains freely available, it guarantees that all subsequent versions derived from the current version will also be free. This distinguishes it from other licences, such as the BSD licence, which allow modified versions of the software to be released under a different licence

    This is only the case for modified versions which were not developed by the original copyright holder. For example, if I create and release a library under LGPL, I may immediately create and release a modified version (or heck, even the same version) with a very proprietary license.

    God bless,
    -Toby Reyelts
  17. License[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    Nothing prevents the open source community to continue developping from the LPGL codebase, however.
    </quote>

    Bertrand,
    you are also correct ;-) By making the next version of JBoss as a closed source (by the JBoss Group, for example) does not mean that the community can not develop the JBoss Open Source product further. I only said, that JBoss Group can also make a closed software out of JBoss in case they are doing what I've written above. So we have the choice ;-)

    Regards,
    Lofi.
  18. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    They do not own the copyright to the code, so they cannot change the license


    OK, I'm confused. I'm not a lawyer so I don't understand how these things work. If they don't own the copyright, how can they impose a licence on it in the first place? Who does own the copyright? If no-one owns the copyright, who has the legal right to take action if the licence terms are broken? How does this work for open source projects and has it ever actually been tested for real in a court of law for any OSS project?
  19. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    If they don't own the copyright, how can they impose a licence on it

    > in the first place?

    The distributor does not impose a license on the software. The developer who writes it (the copyright owner) does. And because he owns the copyright, the license cannot be changed without the developer's consent. The license says that anyone is allowed to distribute and modify the code (as long as the modifications are released under the same license). Without the license public distribution would be impossible (the LGPL license is a permission given by the copyright owner to distribute and modify his work under certain conditions -- however, it does not invalidate the copyright from the original author at any point).

    /T
  20. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    The distributor does not impose a license on the software. The developer who writes it (the copyright owner) does. And because he owns the copyright, the license cannot be changed without the developer's consent. The license says that anyone is allowed to distribute and modify the code (as long as the modifications are released under the same license). >


    I guess my problem here is that I don't understand who is the copyright owner in an open source software project. There must be a copyright owner otherwise the licence agreement has no force (an licence agreement requires two parties - a licensee and a licensor - to be meaningful, it seems to me). If a piece of software is developed by a commercial company, that I can see that the company owns the intellectual property rights and the copyright. If a piece of software is developed by a single individual then that individual is the copyright owner. But in the case of an OSS project with many contributors, which (if any) of the many developers counts as being "the owner".

    Presumably even in an OSS project if there is a copyright owner somewhere behind it all (either an individual or an organisation of some sort), then the copyright owner can still decide "Hey, I'm fed up with this OSS lark, I think I'll change the licence terms from the next version." Is that right or is there some legal requirement that having issued a piece of software under a certain licence agreement, all subsequent versions must abide by the same licence?
  21. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    Is that right or is there some legal requirement

    Nope - I own the code, I can change the license. What you can't do is revoke existing licenses. That should be pretty straightforward.

    As an aside, I hear lots of people complaining about open-source. My take? If your company can't keep up with an open-source project, then it's time for your company to go find another area of business.

    I believe that the common situation is that a company develops a piece of software and expects to continue to make revenue off of that software in perpetuity. Sorry folks - the real world is competitive. What you do get (if you build a good product) is enough time to pay your employees to continue to innovate and build even bigger and better products. Can't handle that? Too bad.

    God bless,
    -Toby Reyelts
  22. Here here...[ Go to top ]

    "As an aside, I hear lots of people complaining about open-source. My take? If your company can't keep up with an open-source project, then it's time for your company to go find another area of business."

    Here here.

    Best,

    John C. Dale
  23. Oh Dear me[ Go to top ]

    Oh John, you're such a magnificent defender of the people! Everybody who buys WebLogic is a Fat-Cat, right? Whatever, if that's the argument you want to pursue, it's illogical immaturity speaks for itself. Go ahead and label everybody who thinks that WebLogic is worth the money as purveyors of wealth, the only effect you will get is that people will expect you to be poor forever, or else you are a hypocrite.

    Having said that, JBoss is a great app, but please don't try and convince anyone that it is in Production in any significant quantity within the Fortune 500. And even in the places that JBoss is running in Production, it is running as a component in an n-tier system, probably responsible for reporting or help docs. I am a travelling app server consultant, and after 3 years of working with J2EE customers, I have yet to see JBoss have any impact in a production environment --- but don't tell that to the macho developers who love to run it in their dev environments! That "underdog" mentality will come up and bite ya in the arse!!

    John, here's the reality, and whether or not you want to use cute references to MTV's reality show line-up is up to you:

        WebLogic will always be preferrable to JBoss, because WebLogic has been engineered by seasoned professionals, and WebLogic has a dedicated support and services staff who are equally experienced in their realm. The WebLogic employees are paid what they are worth, and this helps to give their work and their product a value.
        JBoss is engineered by university students and garage-band-programmers, and is led by an arrogant man who realizes that the only way he will ever make an impact in the world is by doing something drastic like giving away the product THAT OTHER PEOPLE SWEATED OVER for free. JBoss employees have used Open Source development for their economic benefit in order to cause people to believe that a well-engineered app server has no value.

    And by the way, I realize that I will never be able to prove this, but for what it's worth I am not an MS employee and have never worked for WebLogic directly. I have worked with all the major app servers and found that WebLogic is the one most preferred with employers that count.

    ~C
  24. Oh, woe is me, poor little mental midget. Cry for me capitalist societies of the world. Unite for the external validation of my strife.

    Everybody who buys WLS has the software equivalent of termites eating away at profit margins. BEA wants a piece...no, a chunk of any revenue that might be generated by a successfuly product, and are thusly creating huge barriers to entry into the enterprise software market space (apps building on J2EE implementations) for individuals and smaller companies (who could eventually be big companies) with potentially good ideas.

    These folks are the majority, and I look forward to competing with them by leveraging cost-effective solutions to common software problems.

    As an aside, I really do like WLS, and have been using it for over three years for various companies. I've also seen first hand the extent to which 'BEA Dollars' munched-away at the bottom line.

    "Go ahead and label everybody who thinks that WebLogic is worth the money as purveyors of wealth, the only effect you will get is that people will expect you to be poor forever, or else you are a hypocrite."

    I'm not focusing my arguments on those who pay for WLS, but rather the intended focus is on BEA itself, who I think has inflated prices. You strike me as a sales-person. Lots of smoke and rhetoric, no real substance, and you continue to make ad-hominim swashes against me personally, instead of focusing on my argument. Honestly, let's stay focused, and separate the person from the argument. Things will be much more civil.

    Just curious, what would you have to lose if WLS turns out in fact to be severely overpriced? Be honest and dilligent in your answer. I challenge you.

    Cheers,

    John C. Dale
  25. ?[ Go to top ]

    John,

        Please be more specific in your challenge, and I will respond to it. The reason I am confused is because I am not hearing from companies that they believe WebLogic to be "overpriced". Also, I do not understand the scenario you are laying out --- isn't that akin to asking me how I would react if the price of tea in China suddenly increased to an unachievable price? How are these feats of imagination relevant to the real world, where product prices are carefully determined based on economic theory and execution?

    ~C
  26. Challenge...[ Go to top ]

    I am trying to address the credibility of your endorsement of WLS.

    Imagine for a moment an equivalent product entering the market space that provides J2EE container services. That product is released and sales skyrocket. The price of the product is 2% of the cost of WLS, and the company that introduces the product makes a killing.

    The company provides an equivalent product at a much cheaper price and still makes a nice profit for its stockholders. In this context, BEA is clearly overpriced and risks losing significant market share unless a price adjustment is made.

    As I said originally, if the WLS stack is overpriced relative to one or more viable competetors, how would that effect your credibility with your clients? Have you always recommended WLS under all circumstances? Have any of your clients unwillingly spend an absorbidant amount of money on WLS?

    Currently, JBoss has millions of downloads per year. Major corporate vendors endorse its use. It has been successfully deployed in enterprise scenarios in which J2EE compliance (althought it is not officially compliant yet), high availability and scalability are requirements. (see http://www.jboss.org/index.html?module=html&op=userdisplay&id=services/references/index for more information)

    The purpose of this challenge (although possibly not valid in your particular case) is that the recommendation of WLS might be polically motivated, and that BEA could be just as viable to its stockholders with a different pricing strategy. More competetors would/could enter the market space via a clearly competent product.

    I some respects with BEA, I feel like a doctor trying to help a smoker to quit. I will never be successful as the 'disease' has too strong a hold, and I have no choice but to watch the smoker die a slow death.

    Best,

    John C. Dale

    PS: Thanks for taking a more civil tone.
  27. Then what abt the developer contribution[ Go to top ]

    In opensource set of developers are contributing for the development of the product take jboss 3.0 if suddenly the company says version 4.0 will be under
    commercial license then what happens to the developers effort for this opensource product??? They all coded becoz its going to be opensource right?

    If they need it for commercialization then it has to be a seperate process or under a differnt name or different company
  28. It's just a matter of time before...[ Go to top ]

    My company had to remove CPU's (from 4 to 2) from the Sun boxes in order to afford the upgrade to Weblogic 6.1 during a budget cut. Now that's just plain silly if you ask me. And then, well, BEA's product didn't live up to it's documentation, so we switched to JBoss and plugged the CPU's back in.

    I think many people would pay for JBoss, but the speculation is moot since it's LGPLd anyway.

    T.
  29. Loss Leaders[ Go to top ]

    In typical Williamson fashion, he misses saying anything insightful due to what must be sever ignorance? I mean, he still hasn't made up his mind on OSS? How much longer does he need? 10 more years?

    The only remotely interesting point he almost makes is the concept of the "loss leader". For example, movie theatres make no money off of ticket admissions. THey make it on popcorn and Coke. The movie is the loss leader to get people in the door to buy snacks.

    One could think open source software as the loss leader to sell support or deployment or upgrades/add-ons that are proprietary.

    But, this is not the thinking of the open-source developer. The open-source developer just wants to write software and doesn't need it to support himself. Other companies are just trying to see if they can make money without any development overhead.
  30. Loss Leader[ Go to top ]

    No, the movie theater does NOT use the price of tickets as a loss leader. The movie theater business reasons that the price of a ticket, popcorn, and a cup o' pop comes out to $20, and each customer walking into the theater costs them $20-x, so therein lies the profit. It is not as significant which product has the highest margins as it is how much money you make on the total visit.

    Same with open-source. So now that we have the ability to get a free J2EE server, who picks up the cost associated with this "loss leader"?

    Now that the app server is free, an app server vendor takes off a little bit from the $20 per visit. So now it's ( ($20-y)-x ).

    Guess what? The cost 'x' has not gone down, but app server vendors now have to deal with 'y'.

    Way to go open-source!!! Making it more hard on vendors to hit profitability! I guess the only people who will ever make money are the Fat Cats. All the smart techies out there simply think their way into the poorhouse. What a bunch of saps!

    ~C
  31. What is the most honorable ?[ Go to top ]

    Hi all !

    I wonder which one you think is the most honorable:
    - earn a living by making good quality software, and sell licences
    - earn a living with professional services... I'm not talking specifically about support, but services in general, including development.

    I think making software is all about creativity, and successful software requires really smart people. That's why not everybody does it.

    And consultancy is not about creativity, but about the power that knowledge can give to you. Consultancy could be fine, if consultants had to be smart people. But they just have to be smart enough, or smarter than their clients. And sometimes, they just don't have to be smart at all: wearing a suit, and knowing how to convince others that they are knowledgable may suffice.

    A good developer making a living by selling his software sounds right to me.
    A mediocre developer making a living by making crap software or giving fool advice to their clients does not.

    Why should software be free, when someone relies on it to live ?
    Software can be free when a full time job pays the bills. But some may prefer to go another way, towards more independance, and maybe more reward for their work. How many OSS developers would prefer to work on their project to make a living, instead of their full time job ? Why did they start their OSS project ? Maybe it's because their full time job is not excactly what they would do if they could choose.

    Don't blame smart people who ask 200$ for their software.
    Blame those who ask 1000$+ a day ! except if they're worth the cost... but that's not the majority imho.

    We should also make a distinction between indies (independant developers) and corporations here... Corporations have to sell their software because sales men and managers want a new swimming pool and a new BMW. In this case, developers don't get paid for their creativity: no pool and no BMW for them. They're most often considered like sh..t.

    Indies and small companies want to get paid for their work, and once again, it sounds right to me.

    Regarding JBoss: why would it be more honorable to get paid for writing documentation than software ? I'm probably missing something.
    What Open Ssource is actually doing in some cases is it degrades the work of really smart people we call developpers.

    I'm proud to be a developer, and I'll try to make a living by selling my own software. I'll loose a lot if I'm not good enough.
    I've resigned 5 months ago from my full time job (in the software industry, as a Project manager/architect), and I'm now 100% busy writing what I hope you'll pay 200$ for. Don't ask me to open source it, I'm too proud of my work, and I want to make a living out of it.

    My 2 cts...
    Chris
  32. Let's not forget that "open source" started out with developers doing something cool in their spare time and giving it away for free. I have a website with some articles I've written and travelogs, I make them available free. It's not much different than someone else who wrote a cool library for testing servlets and gave it away for free. Then it got popular and others started contributing. It has become an industry but it still hasn't become a business. At least not a profitable one. Giving the product away for free and selling support is interesting. I've been using open source products for a long time and have never paid for support. In fact that's one thing I like about open source, I don't have to. I find the support from FAQs, mailing lists, websites, and usenet discussions much better than commercial support from various vendors I've worked with. I've gotten incredible support for Tomcat, Struts, & Postgres. Who's going to pay for support?

    I find it ironic that the industry went from $90k/CPU to free so quickly. But it was the $90k/CPU which made the transformation happen. The way I see it, BEA contributed to JBoss's success. The real question can for-profit companies survive against their open source competition? I remember when chip makers were in trouble for product dumping (selling products below cost to put competitors out of business). Airlines do it often with their price wars. And now open source is doing it as well.

    Michael
  33. IMHO, the advantage of leveraging OSS is to allow a developer to use an existing framework to cut down on development time and focus on delivering business results.

    A developer could take the time to write their own MVC framework (or use Struts). A developer could take the time to write their own Logging framework (or use Log4J/Commons logging). And so on and so on. But that is the advantage of the open source community; developers recognize this need and share their "products" with others.

    When it comes to mainting and providing support for these open-source products, doesn't that make sense from a business perspective? If I'm going to provide you with a stable framework and supporting documentation to get you going, isn't it reasonable for me to expect compensation to help you understand/support it? JBoss is a perfect example; they provide the server and limited documentation (more than enough to get you going) but charge you for advanced documentation and support.

    Just my random thoughts.....
  34. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    I am in the process of selecting between WebLogic and JBoss. Someone on this board mentioned WLS would cost $90k per CPU but the quote I've got is only about $17k per CPU. Are they lowering their price or I am just lucky? Can anyone shed some light on what I would get from WLS if I pay the extra? Thanks a lot.
  35. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    mentioned WLS would cost $90k per CPU but the quote I've got is only

    > about $17k per CPU.

    $90k per CPU is for their full suite of products. For $17k you get just a taste of it. After you dish out $17k you find out how much it REALLY costs to use it ;-)

    /T
  36. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    BEA also charges more per CPU if you plan to use it in a clustered environment.
  37. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    Troy: BEA also charges more per CPU if you plan to use it in a clustered environment.

    For the clustered full J2EE stack, WebLogic lists at $17k per CPU.

    If you want just the web part of it, and you don't need clustering, WebLogic is as cheap as a couple hundred dollars per CPU.

    If you want every possible add-on that BEA has for WebLogic, then you get the platform edition, which lists at $90k per CPU.

    I doubt that anyone has ever paid $90k per CPU, but it gives BEA some leverage on upselling accounts to volume or site licenses of the platform product. For example, if they manage to get close to $10k per CPU for the clustered edition (which is probably closer to reality), then they can try to upsell to the other editions, including platform, giving steeper and steeper discounts to gain marginal revenue.

    BEA will never be as cheap as open source (free) so they need to concentrate on providing value, not beating the cost of open source. The good news is: that's what it appears that they are focused on doing.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  38. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    I believe we were paying about 50K/CPU. I'm not sure what package we had, but we sure got some nice T-shirts and Yo-Yos.

    T
  39. I doubt that anyone has ever paid $90k per CPU, but it gives BEA some leverage on upselling accounts to volume or site licenses of the platform product. For example, if they manage to get close to $10k per CPU for the clustered edition (which is probably closer to reality), then they can try to upsell to the other editions, including platform, giving steeper and steeper discounts to gain marginal revenue.


    You mean it gives them a chance to behave like slimey car salesmen. I think the two things that bothered me the most about the whole dot.com boom was how little attention was paid to actual value received for the money paid (ie people paying $2 million in software and consulting fees for Interwoven deployments) and this whole "extract whatever that particular client can pay" mentality. Call me old fashioned (I come from the engineering, 'cost-plus' pricing point of view), but when I see a product info page with a 'contact sales' blurb instead of real prices, I stay the hell away...

    Regards,
    Colin
  40. WebLogic Pricing[ Go to top ]

    The 90k per CPU is for their enterprise server I believe which includes portal, personalization, etc. I think. Don't quote me on that.

    The basic WebLogic J2EE server (i.e. EJB, JMS, etc. support) is around 17k per CPU if I remember right.
  41. $17,000 - $0.00 = $17,000[ Go to top ]

    That's the only math I need to do.

    Seventeen thousand dollars for a one-cpu installation of WLS.

    Hmmmmmm....

    That's a pretty good yearly wage for a waitress.

    I could buy a pretty decent luxury car for that price.

    I could also feed 10,000 starving Iraqies for a week or two.

    For a software product that produces little/no overhead for the production of additional units, you sure are marking it up a whole lot.

    The moment BEA comes down to earth with their pricing, I'll gladly hop on board. Until then, you can just keep pricing small-time developers out of the market, and keep on selling your professional services development talent along with your (JMHO here) very overpriced application server, and keep looking over your shoulder at products like JBoss.

    Zealot is a loaded slur, BTW. I've used your product, Orion, Oracle ias, JBoss, and Websphere. I've used them gladly, and watched projects fail financially because BEA siphened their investment dollar. BEA is really keeping the market from throttling with their pricing. For the record, this is just my conjucture-ous opinion.

    Cheers,

    John C. Dale
  42. Nice[ Go to top ]

    John,

       In the real world -- or alternatively, the World Where Meaningful Things Occur -- the opinion of people in the market segment such as yourself are not considered. ie. A multi-million dollar business does not care that the "little guy" cannot afford the product. BEA is interested in selling a professional product to organizations.

       If you want a little toy that you can play with at home instead of spending time with the wife & kids, then yes, JBoss is perfect. Otherwise, stop criticizing businesses that are earning money in a way that is obviously desired and worthwhile.

       You may argue that I know little about technology and how it should be deployed, but I would put it to you that you have very little interest in the business of technology.

    ~C
  43. Nice[ Go to top ]

    John,

    >
    > In the real world -- or alternatively, the World Where Meaningful Things Occur -- the opinion of people in the market segment such as yourself are not considered. ie. A multi-million dollar business does not care that the "little guy" cannot afford the product. BEA is interested in selling a professional product to organizations.
    >
    Here is the bottom line. If your product doesn't perform up to snuff and I lose millions in potential business because of it, who do I sue??? For companies that literally rely on BEA or Websphere for their businesses survival, what they are purchasing is not just software, but an insurance policy as well.
  44. Nice[ Go to top ]

    Here is the bottom line. If your product doesn't perform up to

    > snuff and I lose millions in potential business because of it,
    > who do I sue???

    Sorry but this just doesn't add up to a real life experience. Good example is the millions of lost business due to Outlook virus outbreaks that have literally stopped businesses for hours and hours at a time world-wide. But nobody is suing Microsoft over this. Why? You ever read those EULAs in your software packages? The companies make damn sure that if something does happen, the product doesn't perform "up to snuff", there is a bug, anything at all happens, they cannot be held liable.

    So much for your "insurance".

    /T
  45. I have seen a lot of issues with both commercial software and open source software but I have yet to see any lawsuits issued. What matters most is quick and efficient resolution of issues and for that I dont see a better model than open source.

    I have seen examples of commercial software failing seriously and even in situations where we have managed to get the source,diagnosed the fault, and supplied a fix these haven't been acknowledged and incorporated by the vendor.

    The commercial model seems particularly good at putting several layers of bureaucracy between the developers creating the product and the developers using the product. This is particularly noticeable in the UK where the local representatives are "just the sales arm" and "all the devlopment is done in the US". More layers, more mismanagement.
  46. That truly is nice...[ Go to top ]

    You've chosen to use WLS because BEA is a nice target for a potential lawsuit if your project fails.

    Just a little advice...

    Winning attitude going in, success going out.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    Cheers,

    John C. Dale
  47. Thanks for your reply...[ Go to top ]

    'Real World' was a show on MTV.

    You might bear in mind that I am in a position to recomend your product. I have been a professional developer in the Enterprise Application space ONLY for 5+ years, now.

    I know my salt. I know my technology. I know how it should and can be applied. I have seen more red bottom dollars as a result of overspending on licensing than you can shake an overpriced CD at.

    Prediction: Unless a more affordable offering of WLS is offered in the next ten years, BEA will become too hollow to sustain itself. Think about all the karma that will eventually come BEAs way. There is more elasticity in demand for WLS than BEA is willing (or able) to recognize.

    BTW, that little toy you mention has been the platform on which several enterprise scale systems have been successfully deployed. The price tag is $0. No wonder MF hates you guys so much...talk about arrogance.

    The display of BEA representatives in this forum, in official capacities and otherwise, has been childish and moronic, and I am further than ever from being able to recommend BEA's products.

    Best,

    John C. Dale
  48. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    hmmm..what else can we add to that list...
    Seventeen thousand dollars for a one-cpu installation of WLS...

    One could outsource about 3 IT jobs paying $60-80K in the US to 3 Indian programmers at $6K a pop..that's a pretty good wage in India..so basically for the price of one American waitress you can get three Indian Java wizards..saving over $200K per year..guess what, the waitress is unsourceable...about the luxury car, I'd say you save your money for the rainy day you'll be outsourced like the 4 million rest of us...but let's stay cheerful anyway

    btw - my comment wasn't directed at you in person, just putting things in perspective for many of us including potentialy you.
  49. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    One could outsource about 3 IT jobs paying $60-80K in the US to 3 Indian programmers at $6K a pop..that's a pretty good wage in India..so basically for the price of one American waitress you can get three Indian Java wizards..saving over $200K per year..guess what, the waitress is unsourceable...about the luxury car, I'd say you save your money for the rainy day you'll be outsourced like the 4 million rest of us...but let's stay cheerful anyway

    >


    Finally. Somebody said it. We'll all become a nation of lumberjacks, waiters and cabbies. Ooops, sorry, no cabbies, position taken. Guess by who.
  50. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    One could outsource about 3 IT jobs paying $60-80K in the US to 3 Indian programmers at $6K a pop..that's a pretty good wage in India..so basically for the price of one American waitress you can get three Indian Java wizards..saving over $200K per year..guess what, the waitress is unsourceable...about the luxury car, I'd say you save your money for the rainy day you'll be outsourced like the 4 million rest of us...but let's stay cheerful anyway

    > >
    >
    >
    > Finally. Somebody said it. We'll all become a nation of lumberjacks, waiters and cabbies. Ooops, sorry, no cabbies, position taken. Guess by who.

    No, no... not everybody. The stockholders of these companies will have more profit.

    It's funny to hear people complainning about that... here in Brazil I just can't buy a car from a brasilian company, most of our telecom/energy companies are property of companies from the US/UE. It's time for countries like Brazil, China, India, Russia and others to see some benefits of globalization too ;).
  51. Dear Mr. Souza Mario Bueno,

       It's equally funny to hear people like you defending outsourcing like it's this fantastic transfer of wealth from those greedy americans to these poor impoverished people from 3rd-world countries who have finally hit the big time.
       Don't you understand? $6000/year doesn't do for you the same thing that $75000/year did for the American who used to have your job.
       The main affect of globalization is that there is more money left over for the executives of the company. And you definitely can't speak from experience -- you insinuate that there are american companies in Brazil, so you should have every right to lower the cost of labor at an aggregate level. That doesn't make any sense. All you do when you accept these jobs is expedite your "promotion" into the job of sewing Nike shoes together.
        And you don't see Americans rushing over to Brazil and snapping up all the jobs do you? So you don't know how it feels to lose your job to somebody who doesn't mind living on minimum wage. So how can you possibly say that this phenomena is balancing the economic scales? You are just as misinformed as you think that we are....

    ~C
  52. Dear Mr. Souza Mario Bueno[ Go to top ]

    So you don't know how it feels to lose your job to somebody who doesn't mind > living on minimum wage.


      Dear Mr. Colon,

      You should avoid this kind of comment in respect for the millions of brazilians who live out of a "minimum wage" in Brazil, which by the way is near 80 dollars. They do mind living like that, believe me.

      Thanks.
  53. Dear Mr. Ochiai[ Go to top ]

    So you don't know how it feels to lose your job to somebody who doesn't mind > living on minimum wage.

    >
    >   Dear Mr. Colon,
    >
    >   You should avoid this kind of comment in respect for the millions of brazilians who live out of a "minimum wage" in Brazil, which by the way is near 80 dollars. They do mind living like that, believe me.
    >
    >   Thanks.

    Sorry Mr Ochiai, but Mr. Colon is right. And believe me, I know what I'm talking about. If people do mind living on minimal wage, they wouldn't allow for the church-politics-bussiness caste(let's say Argentina, unbelivable, Borges and Piazzola!!).
  54. Dear Mr. Ochiai[ Go to top ]

    So you don't know how it feels to lose your job to somebody who doesn't mind > living on minimum wage.

    > >
    > > Dear Mr. Colon,
    > >
    > > You should avoid this kind of comment in respect for the millions of brazilians who live out of a "minimum wage" in Brazil, which by the way is near 80 dollars. They do mind living like that, believe me.
    > >
    > > Thanks.
    >
    > Sorry Mr Ochiai, but Mr. Colon is right. And believe me, I know what I'm talking about. If people do mind living on minimal wage, they wouldn't allow for the church-politics-bussiness caste(let's say Argentina, unbelivable, Borges and Piazzola!!).

    So how refusing jobs from US/UE companies will make it worse? I totaly lost you.

    Just to make it clear, working on tech jobs outsourced to poor countries a local worker will usualy earn a lot more than the average worker can earn in another job.
  55. Dear Mr. Souza Mario Bueno,

    >
    > It's equally funny to hear people like you defending outsourcing like it's this fantastic transfer of wealth from those greedy americans to these poor impoverished people from 3rd-world countries who have finally hit the big time.

    First of all I didn't say this is fair nor that I like it. If you didn't notice it I was being sarcastic, hence the ;). I'm _not_ a nationalist... there's good people everywhere.


    > Don't you understand? $6000/year doesn't do for you the same thing that $75000/year did for the American who used to have your job.

    I don't work for an US/UE employer and a techie like me here in Brazil makes around US$ 16000/year... belive me.. that's not too bad. Also, I do understand that US$75000/year for an american do a lot more than US$ 16000/year for a brazilian. So what? Should we refuse these jobs? Doesn't makes sense for me.


    > The main affect of globalization is that there is more money left over for the executives of the company. And you definitely can't speak from experience -- you insinuate that there are american companies in Brazil, so you should have every right to lower the cost of labor at an aggregate level. That doesn't make any sense. All you do when you accept these jobs is expedite your "promotion" into the job of sewing Nike shoes together.

    Nope... I didn't insinuate. I'm making it very clear that there are foreign companies here in Brazil and they are taking control over some markets like energy, telecom and others. I'm not saying that this gives me the right to lower the total cost of labor at and aggregate level... I'm just saying that if companies want to outsource work here, and they will pay us more than we'd earn otherwise, they are very welcome and that I _do_ have the right to accept this job.. why woudn't I?

    If you were living here, would you accept a better paying job? I'm not talking about sewing Nike shoes, but about a tech job. (btw... I'd accept a job for sewing their shoes if I were unemployed and had no other option.)

    > And you don't see Americans rushing over to Brazil and snapping up all the jobs do you? So you don't know how it feels to lose your job to somebody who doesn't mind living on minimum wage. So how can you possibly say that this phenomena is balancing the economic scales? You are just as misinformed as you think that we are....

    Nope... americans are not rushing over to Brazil to take our jobs. But that would in fact be a good thing if some or even all the bright tech americans decided to come to Brazil and work hard _here_. It'd have a good impact on our economy as a whole.

    As for how it's balancing the economic scales that's pretty simple... in this _specific_ case, money is flowing from rich countries to poor ones. Unfortunately more money is flowing in the opposite direction.

    >
    > ~C
  56. Dear Mr. Souza Mario Bueno[ Go to top ]

    What you forget is that in time outsourcing is also a transfer of knowlegde. When you build something, you also get knowledge of how to design something - and when you have that you you basically do not need the outsourcer. If a country or a region do a lot of subcontracting, it is only a matter of time before they start doing the contracting. What happens the day that developers from Brazil or India define the standards - when they own the model?
  57. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    One could outsource about 3 IT jobs paying $60-80K in the US to 3 Indian programmers at $6K a pop..that's a pretty good wage in India..so basically for the price of one American waitress you can get three Indian Java wizards..saving over $200K per year..guess what, the waitress is unsourceable...about the luxury car, I'd say you save your money for the rainy day you'll be outsourced like the 4 million rest of us...but let's stay cheerful anyway

    > > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Finally. Somebody said it. We'll all become a nation of lumberjacks, waiters and cabbies. Ooops, sorry, no cabbies, position taken. Guess by who.
    >
    > No, no... not everybody. The stockholders of these companies will have more profit.
    >
    > It's funny to hear people complainning about that... here in Brazil I just can't buy a car from a brasilian company, most of our telecom/energy companies are property of companies from the US/UE. It's time for countries like Brazil, China, India, Russia and others to see some benefits of globalization too ;).

    I'm sure this is a topic most all of us residing in the U.S. are grappling with right now. Me, I've been developing for years but I'm thinking seriously about making a big push into more managerial positions, still in IT. I think the more business-oriented you are, rather than just tech-savvy, the better chance you have of keeping what you have.

    I remember a college professor explaining that at certain points in history, technology allows the economy to eliminate large segments of the U.S. workforce. As he explained it, it was a good thing as those people were freed up to do something better, more productive- and higher paying. I have to say that this has turned out to be true but we'll see if this current situation works out that way. I think we may be in a different era when we can so easily ship high paying white-collar jobs away. I often wonder how the U.S. can sustain itself this way. The U.S. cannot support a workforce of high-paid CEOs and lumberjacks. Sooner or later, they'll be no one left to purchase those products to keep the CEO's paid and guess what, we don't know how to do anything anymore as our knowledge base is gone.

    My 2 cents anyway,
    Mike
  58. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    Mike,

    I think either you or your college professor need to go back and look at historical economics.

    Technology has NOT traditionally eliminated large parts of the workforce. Let's look at history. in 1790, the slavery in the US was in decline (about 657,000). After Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Engine, the United State's unfortunate reliance on slavery become far worse because the technology didn't reduce the need for workers in a particular market, it opened the particular market so much that they needed more workers (slavse in this case). By 1810, slavery in the US was at 1.3 million. And the cotton engine is often credited with this.

    As for more recently, during the last 30 years, the computer technology revolution has spurred job creation all over the world, but certainly in the U.S. It's also increased productivity, which is a critical economic indicator for standard of living. On top of which, despite the down economy, and *very* increased unemployment, large groups of people aren't being laid off because of technology. They're being laid off because of economic cyclicity.

    Most new technologies do not follow the doomsayer bs/ignorance and make humans obsolete. They create *more* jobs.

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  59. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    I agree with your statements but, mostly due to my poor choice of words, they don't disprove my main points.

    True technology has created jobs, lots of jobs, BUT at the same time, it also destroys others. Every major technological advancement has taken old jobs and created new ones. There's little doubt that they've created more than they've taken.

    However, as far as white-collar jobs going overseas, these jobs, of course, are not exactly lost. In fact, I'm sure they'll be more IT positions world-wide in 5 years than there are now. But the majority of them won't be in the states. To a U.S. IT worker that is displaced, it makes little difference other than that his/her job is gone.

    I was just curious how, when a good-deal of white-collar jobs (IT, accounting, etc.) can be done cheaply overseas, the U.S. economy can continue to create new, better jobs to replace the old ones.

    Mike

    > Mike,
    >
    > I think either you or your college professor need to go back and look at historical economics.
    >
    > Technology has NOT traditionally eliminated large parts of the workforce. Let's look at history. in 1790, the slavery in the US was in decline (about 657,000). After Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Engine, the United State's unfortunate reliance on slavery become far worse because the technology didn't reduce the need for workers in a particular market, it opened the particular market so much that they needed more workers (slavse in this case). By 1810, slavery in the US was at 1.3 million. And the cotton engine is often credited with this.
    >
    > As for more recently, during the last 30 years, the computer technology revolution has spurred job creation all over the world, but certainly in the U.S. It's also increased productivity, which is a critical economic indicator for standard of living. On top of which, despite the down economy, and *very* increased unemployment, large groups of people aren't being laid off because of technology. They're being laid off because of economic cyclicity.
    >
    > Most new technologies do not follow the doomsayer bs/ignorance and make humans obsolete. They create *more* jobs.
    >
    > Jason McKerr
    > Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  60. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    I think that people have had these same fears for a couple of hundred years. To some extent I agree with your worries. The software engineer in me (that's what I do now) hates the thought of difficult times for me and our group of people. It's a fun business we're in, and I'd hate to lose it. On the other hand, the economist in me (what I used to do) knows that movement of jobs by price is a good thing for all involved. It creates value for the person hiring (less cost) and value for the person being hired. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the economy as a whole does destroy sections of the economy and creates new ones (a bad paraphrase of Schumpeter's Creative Destruction). I hate to see it happen in my industry, but again it's better for the economy and society as a whole in the long run.

    Also, let's not get too hyped up. Even if, as some people are saying, 1 in 10 jobs are being shipped overseas in the hi-tech market, the labor market will begin to shift to reflect the changes. I've already seen articles in industry press about college students beginning to shun the technology majors because of the industry trend. In other words, the job markets will generally reflect demand over time and reach an equilibrium (somewhat. There's no perfection in reality here).

    Every time this kind of thing happens, a lot of doomsayers get rolling. And every time, things turn out OK. It doesn't turn out OK overnoght though. And I'm with you: I really don't want to see the industry go. But if I was running a software business and my choices were compete and ship jobs, or go out...I'll probably compete.

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  61. hmmm[ Go to top ]

    The macroeconomic concepts you're so gung-ho about make sense to some extent but in an economic environment where heavyweights like Greenspan are having a hard time understanding what's going on, I am having a hard time convincing myself that everything will be just okay if I just close my eyes and turn the other way.

    I suppose in the end it will be up to the government to step in and regulate what's happening as it did with the superconductor and automotive industries among others to avoid massive damage. Not only because it would cause a few million tech workers inconvenience but to secure the nation's future in a number of fronts.

    Also as you said we need to keep our competitive edge regardless of how things go. The best and the brightest still want to come and work here for a reason. Hope we keep it that way.

    > I think that people have had these same fears for a couple of hundred years. To some extent I agree with your worries. The software engineer in me (that's what I do now) hates the thought of difficult times for me and our group of people. It's a fun business we're in, and I'd hate to lose it. On the other hand, the economist in me (what I used to do) knows that movement of jobs by price is a good thing for all involved. It creates value for the person hiring (less cost) and value for the person being hired. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the economy as a whole does destroy sections of the economy and creates new ones (a bad paraphrase of Schumpeter's Creative Destruction). I hate to see it happen in my industry, but again it's better for the economy and society as a whole in the long run.
    >
    > Also, let's not get too hyped up. Even if, as some people are saying, 1 in 10 jobs are being shipped overseas in the hi-tech market, the labor market will begin to shift to reflect the changes. I've already seen articles in industry press about college students beginning to shun the technology majors because of the industry trend. In other words, the job markets will generally reflect demand over time and reach an equilibrium (somewhat. There's no perfection in reality here).
    >
    > Every time this kind of thing happens, a lot of doomsayers get rolling. And every time, things turn out OK. It doesn't turn out OK overnoght though. And I'm with you: I really don't want to see the industry go. But if I was running a software business and my choices were compete and ship jobs, or go out...I'll probably compete.
    >
    > Jason McKerr
    > Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  62. $17,000 - $0.00 = $17,000[ Go to top ]

    Your obviously not a software developer. If you were you would understand what a product like Weblogic cost to develop. In order for BEA to continue to lead the industry they need the revenue to pay brilliant developers and staff. If Weblogic was not worth what BEA was charging for it do you really thing they would be in the market position they are in? Do you think they just show a flashy presentation and the customers throw money at them?

    If your software has value people will pay top dollar for it.

    Sal
  63. Oh my goodness...[ Go to top ]

    "Your obviously not a software developer. If you were you would understand what a product like Weblogic cost to develop."

    :)

    You are too funny. I think the point that you miss is that, to produce additional units of a given release of WLS, it costs nothing (save maybe the price of a cd, but if it is downloaded, I'm guessing that BEA pays a fixed price for their available bandwidth whether they let developers download x or x+10000 copies of WLS, so no additional cost to produce additional units).

    The trick to pricing is to anticipate how many units you can sell at a given price. I'm guessing that if BEA lowers the price of WLS, that the number of developers and businesses that would use WLS would increase exponentially. At some point, there would be a diminishing return on the lowering of the price. That point, in my guess, is MUCH lower than 90,000 per CPU...even 17,000 per CPU.

    What is likely keeping BEA from doing this is the angst from their existing customer base, i.e., the businesses they have already ripped-off.

    Why?

    Let's talk about the 'swimming pools', Mansions, and generally lavish lifestyles of BEA executives.

    As long as businesses think they have to buy WLS, SunOne, Websmere, or Orion, we smaller developers will have to make the most of our OPPORTUNIES with JBoss (and others to come, no doubt).

    Cheers.

    John C. Dale
    5-year Enterprise App Developer
  64. Oh my goodness...[ Go to top ]

    John: Let's talk about the 'swimming pools', Mansions, and generally lavish lifestyles of BEA executives.

    Oh, no! Swimming pools! What next? Indoor plumbing?

    Anyone who has nice things is obviously worthy of our collective scorn and hatred. I'm sure they only could have achieved success by cheating and stealing and lying from poor hardworking people.

    Sing with me now: "I'm going to party like it's 1917."

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  65. Rhetoric vs. Cogency...[ Go to top ]

    I'm struggling to find a swimming pool sized argument in your sea of propaganda/rhetoric.

    In case you missed it, I was suggesting that the motivation for the perceived inflated price of BEA's software stack members was not motivated by the quality of the product as much as the greed of its owners.

    I say here here to rewarding competence, but was it really the executives who were responsible for the quality of the WLS stack?

    Best,

    John C. Dale
  66. No[ Go to top ]

    John,

        You need to understand that $90000/CPU to a major company is not the same thing as $90000/CPU to an individual.

    Best,

    ~C
  67. Again, I think my point has been lost. By selling 'potentially' hundreds of thousands more units at a lower cost with lower margins, BEA could make a killing and out-compete all other big players.

    Pervasive internet software development would be the result, and would significantly contribute to a maret pop in our space.

    Too many barriers are clogging the markets arteries with the current level of pricing of development tools.

    With an increased emphasis on the bottom line since the recent onslaught of corporate scandals, I think solutions like JBoss will become more and more attractive.

    I don't even think its arguable that there is a lot of scum in the upper management echelon.

    Enron, Anderson, .coms, etc..

    Greed is becoming counter-productive for the workforce, but more importantly it has hit the real juice in any/all market(s) - the stockholder.

    Cheers,

    John C. Dale
  68. Too seriously[ Go to top ]

    John,

        You seem to be reading too much into the media reports, and this has resulted in you creating sweeping generalizations that may make sense to you as an individual who could never afford $90K/CPU.... but your feelings are not shared in the business community, to whom $90k is a great deal.

    ~C
  69. Never say never.

    :)

    Best,

    John C. Dale
  70. ps:[ Go to top ]

    Assume you meant '90 is not a big deal...'

    Wouldn't the stockholders differ?

    Best,

    JC
  71. answer[ Go to top ]

    Then the answer to your challenge is that the $90000/CPU is worth it because it provides a stable and professional platform for the WL product whereas JBoss relies on a unaccounted-for, unreliable, nomadic band of developers who have no monetary interest in the success of the product.

    Which of the two would you trust if you needed to make a decision that would affect your company's bottom line to the extent that your service could be shattered and thousands of jobs lost? You would not trust Open Source, I guarantee you that much.

    This is the point of view of the executives that you seem to despise, yet are the ones, at the end of the day, left with these decisions.

    Price is not the only factor, and it should not be the deciding factor either. Your argument only applies if it is.

    ~C
  72. answer[ Go to top ]

    Depends how profitable I want to be.

    If I use BEA at $90K, that includes the Portal, and Oracle at... $20K and Windows at $2K per CPU, and I have an comercial app, that is deployed to 2 19 inch racks (each rack can now a days support 200 CPUs) on Sun Boxes.... that is a big number to share. What if you want to support 100,000 concurent users?

    A good CTO would turn to R&D and say... can you write this or cut costs?
    So when you write, you want to reuse, so get the source for:
    Linux, pgSQL, Resin ($500), j:Rockit, Struts and use NewISys 2100.
    This means that one of these companies will be more profitable, assuming sofware is of same quality (it's not, Open source is better - Cathedral and the Bazar).

    So if you are pro capitalisam and want to be profitable, which would give you a better margin?

    I open source basicPortal.com (as does Resin, etc.). This way I do not have to spend 3 monhts closing a sale. And deal with legal/budget issues only to have the sale die.
    When somone is ready to buy, they buy!
    (if somone violates the license and I find out, the lawyers take over their company)
    http://www.opensource.org/advocacy/case_for_business.php

    The best model will win!

    .V
  73. Oh my goodness...[ Go to top ]

    John: Let's talk about the 'swimming pools', Mansions, and generally

    > lavish lifestyles of BEA executives.

    >
    > Oh, no! Swimming pools! What next? Indoor plumbing?

    My my Cameron, you're getting awfully defensive. Why's that? It's BEA we're talking about here, not Tangasol. Or is your cache under threat from Open Source too?

    /T
  74. Cheap shot[ Go to top ]

    That's a cheap shot on Cameron, Thomas. If you research his past posts, you'll find them very objective on this matter.

    ~C
  75. Cheap shot[ Go to top ]

    In that case I am convinced he does not need you to speak for him.

    /T
  76. Oh my goodness...[ Go to top ]

    John: Let's talk about the 'swimming pools', Mansions, and generally lavish lifestyles of BEA executives.

    Cameron: Oh, no! Swimming pools! What next? Indoor plumbing?

    Thomas: My my Cameron, you're getting awfully defensive. Why's that? It's BEA we're talking about here, not Tangasol. Or is your cache under threat from Open Source too?

    If you don't mind, I'll address the second part of your question first. Our potential revenue is always under threat from open source products, and has been since day one. You won't hear me saying that open source sucks, though, because it is a part of life, and I consider it to be part of a healthy market ecosystem, and arguably it has many more positive aspects than negative aspects. We utilize large amounts of open source software ourselves, including the browser I'm using, more than half of our servers, the Java editor I use, etc.

    So, I hope you don't mind if I don't bash open source. I will repeat my much earlier comment from a different thread that companies shouldn't sit on their duffs and wait for open source to take their markets away -- in this industry, companies should innovate, or they will die. (As to the argument of whether they should die, I will leave that to the religious bigots to discuss.)

    Further, although I like the WebLogic software, I'd be a fool to think that they too won't some day want to do clustered caching, and Tangosol would be much more hurt by having similar functionality in WebLogic than in some open source project, because over half of our customers deploy our software as part of WebLogic clustered deployments, and they don't mind paying for good software (otherwise they probably wouldn't buy ours ;-). The same thing goes for IBM, since probably 25% of our customers run WebSphere, and IBM is talking about eventually having clustering and caching. So if you want to think of incentives to keep our company improving and innovating, you don't have to threaten me with open source ... just threaten me by looking at our partner page! ;-)

    Nonetheless, we continue to grow revenues at well over 100% per year. But it's not easy in this market. And there are alternative open source projects, and alternative commercial products, ... and most probably there are more "threats" coming that I don't even know about!

    Now, as to the first part of your question. I'm not being defensive. I'm being offensive. I think it's terrible that someone would look at a successful company or a successful individual and begrudge them of their success and the fruits of it -- just because they are rich or successful. In this case, the gains are not illicit. No one was sniffing poisonous glue making sneakers for BEA. They provided a pretty d*mned good bleeding edge product, and companies use it successfully. I've personally been to hundreds of companies using WebLogic successfully, so you can't tell me that it is just overpriced sh*t in a can. (As I've said before, I do think it is a bit overpriced, but it's certainly not sh*t in a can. ;-)

    I don't like to hear people begrudging other people making money for their efforts. If I wanted to live in the former Soviet Union, I would have moved there. (As William Louth would say, this isn't an Irish lobster pot. ;-) If JBoss makes money on doc and training and consulting, good for them. If BEA makes $90k a CPU for their software, then good for them. If the Genuitec (or however it's spelled) makes $30 a month for some handy tools, then good for them. What is this craziness that makes people come out of the woodwork to criticize anyone who earns a profit? Profits are good. Really, they are. Companies that can figure out how to profit can stay in business. That isn't a bad thing. JBoss Group tells me that they are very profitable (and I got some specific figures.) Is that bad? Of course not.

    As for the reason that I'm "throwing this all up" now, it's because on a half dozen threads here, not to mention other sites and lists that I read, the same conversation is going on, about how bad someone is for charging money for their work. (To his credit, John C. Dale clarified his original post, so the root cause of this "throw up" has already been resolved here.) However, I think it's well worth my time to stand up and say it's reasonable, even in a bad economic climate, even when people are losing their jobs or having their pay cut, even when companies are going under, I think it's reasonable that we should be encouraging (not discouraging) companies that are trying to build value and make a profit, because those are the bright points of innovation from which our industry's next surge of growth will come.

    As for Tangosol and the "threats from open source" ;-) ... well, I hope we continue to innovate and prosper, and hopefully we'll be there when the market turns the lights back on.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  77. :)[ Go to top ]

    Very nice post. Thanks for taking the time.

    John C. Dale
  78. Open Source (adv and disadv)[ Go to top ]

    The OS issue has always fascinated me (more so now that I run my own software manufacturing company) because of how it has changed the landscape but yet everything is still seems the same in the end.

    Some Advantages:
    1) Its free
    2) Better Quality
    3) Reduces entry level costs
    4) Troubles the "big guys"
    5) Increases competition

    Some Disadvantages:
    1) Its costly
    2) Poorer Quality
    3) Increases entry level costs
    4) Benefits the "big guys" - The Lobster Story.
    5) Reduces competition

    (read on before calling for the straight jacket)

    All of the above are true depending on your perspective (time, OS project, business, population sample, current rung on success ladder,...).

    OS is a double edge sword lets not forget that.

    All the best,

    William Louth
    JDBInsight Product Architect
    JInspired
  79. Oh my goodness...[ Go to top ]

    Well said Cameron. I totally agree with you.

    Paul Parsons
  80. Hi all,

    > Anyone who has nice things is obviously worthy of our collective scorn and hatred. I'm sure they only could have achieved success by cheating and stealing and lying from poor hardworking people.

    The "swimming pool" argument, back in its context:
    Assuming software should be free reduces the added value of developer jobs to 0. Assuming consultancy is the way to make money with software inflates the added value of other jobs: they grab the added value. And have their swiming pool.
    Please note that I could buy a swimming pool instead of investing to create a company: there is no envy or hatred in my post...

    What if music was free: artists and music producers would not make money.
    Radio stations owners would still make money out of ads, as would other "end of the chain" businesses. Would it work ? It would move the added value to the extreme end of the supply chain.

    IMHO, free software everywhere would not work either.
    Our economy tends to promote this kind of attitude (the added value is in the Burger, not in the cow), but AFAIK it has never threatened intellectual jobs, because the added value was spread based on... let's call it merit.
    The difference between Capitalism and Socialism lies in the definition of merit.
    I though manual work was "simply" disgraced in favor of intellectual jobs. If developers work is valued at 0, it means the capitalist system we're in could spread money without regard to the capitalist definition of merit. When developers get paid like cookers and farmers, it's called socialism. When only a small elite with little merit except good politics skills grabs all the economy, it's either totalitarism or socialism.
    Yes, this lead to revolutions in the past, and I don't want to see it happen. Food for thoughts.

    I am a capitalist (according to last century's definition :-), I've been rewarded (very well, but not enough :-) for 6 years of real life Java expertise, and I am *not* against Open Source. But as a developer, I do not agree with those who think software *should* be free. Do they also lobby for free music?

    Work *is* worth money in a capitalist economy.

    Bye
    Chris
  81. WebLogic vs. Open Source[ Go to top ]

    I am in the process of selecting between WebLogic and JBoss. Someone on this board mentioned WLS would cost $90k per CPU but the quote I've got is only about $17k per CPU. Are they lowering their price or I am just lucky? Can anyone shed some light on what I would get from WLS if I pay the extra? Thanks a lot.

    $90k is the price of WebLogic Platform (WLS + Workshop + WLI + ...).

    $17k is the price of WLS alone.

    --
    Cedric
    http://beust.com/weblog
  82. Charging for support to sponsorize software development can not be a viable business model. No company could compete when any other system integrators on the earth can just focus on selling services and not investing time on your product development (and let you all the R&D costs).

    Then you may have open source projects funded because it is fun based on voluteers free time. Others funded by universities (and indirectly paid by your taxes). Others sponsorised by large IT vendors to try to create a de-facto standard (mostly the Apache projects and indirectly paid by your software vendor license fees) but for small Software SME, there are no real profitable business model based on classical OSI based licenses today (dual licensing is often not the best choice).

    On our side we tried to create a collaborative source license based on a "contribute or pay" paradigm. This avoids having free riders on your technology and every member of the community (every customer) HAS to finance something wheteher in cash or whether by spending some time on the code base. We call that the "Unvalue Added Taxes" principle. More your contribute to the project, less you pay in cash. And it works just fine. So why there are no more collaborative source projects today?

    But please read more about the license here: http://www.jahia.org/jahia/page336.html

    Cheers

    Stéphane
  83. Stephane,

    That's funny, because IBM seems to be making a fortune off of doing just that in many cases (especially with Linux).

    To many of the people against open-source as a business model seem to have little or no economic understanding. They imply that there is some type of economic value destruction when software is given away for free. Except that just isn't true. Those companise that need software and choose to use open-source don't just destroy some economic value because they've done so. They still have tht money that they *didn't* spend on software. That money (if they are a smart business) will be put to use for that company. More importantly, that money is still put towards economic drivers! Maybe they do more marketing, invest in capital infrastructure, hire a couple of more developers to help develop on top of their open-source stuff. These are important economic drivers, and allow for the company (assuming some equality between open-source and proprietary) to invest in more than they otherwise would, hopefully giving them greater overall return (an economic driver in itself).

    Let's remember what software vendors jobs should be: To help clients be more (put design goal here) efficient, better, faster, whatever. It's not industry's job to subsidize the software industry. It's their job to build the best company for the least money (cost). If the software industry can't compete on price, they need to differentiate by value, performance, whatever. If they can't do that, then they go out of business. That's pure market capitalism: "You can't compete, your out." It's true between proprietary companise AND between open-source and proprietary. If they can't compete efficiently, then the money spent on them is ill-invested. It should be invested elsewhere.

    Here is a quote from Schumpeter's rule of Creative Destruction that says it better than I ever can:

    "The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the
    organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such
    concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial
    mutation–if I may use that biological term–that incessantly
    revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly
    destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of
    Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what
    capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live
    in..."

    Here is a link to the entire section of Schumpeter's Creative Destruction

    http://transcriptions.english.ucsb.edu/archive/courses/liu/english25/materials/schumpeter.html

    Now, I'm not really for/against open-source or proprietary. Just pick the right tool for the job. But the rants about this subject get old, especially when there isn't much economic understanding behind them

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  84. Hi Jason,

    It seems to me you're essentially talking about competition between open and closed source software. Choosing open source software when it suits your need is OK, even when there are commercial alternatives.
    But what happens when there is no commercial alternative ? or no free alternative *yet* ?
    Expecting innovative new software to be Open Source is common behavior. "I'll wait for a free alternative"... read on TSS last week.

    There are three distinct situations:
    - some companies can release open source products that are not part of their core business, to gain a competitive advantage (Sun making Java free, IBM making Eclipse OS)
    - some companies try to make money out of existing open source software (ISVs, JBoss, MySql)
    - some companies can't consider open sourcing their software because it is their only asset. These are software companies

    I think that not every business model can leverage OpenSource.

    Bye
    Chris
  85. Chris,

    I didn't mean to imply that every business can leverage open-source. But, there are really two important points tht I was trying to make:

    1) Open Source does add economic value in a great number of cases, just not to proprietary software vendors. The value is being gained by the client. That's a good thing.

    2) If companies go out of business because they can't compete, that's not really a bad thing. It sucks for the employees, but it's simply an economic cycle that makes the economy more efficient. Pouring money into an investment that can't compete is just not a good thing, so put your money on something else.

    But I agree: if there's no alternative you might be stuck. However, waiting for an open-source alternative is primarily an economic decision (or should be, maybe too many fanatics out there). They say, "I don't want to pay for XYZ." I'll wait to see if one comes up in open source. Why is that a bad thing? If they are saying that, then the economic value added/ROI isn't worth buying the closed source one. That seems like good business/economic sense to me. It's simply: What is it worth to me? What are the costs?

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  86. Jason,

    > However, waiting for an open-source alternative is primarily an economic decision (or should be, maybe too many fanatics out there). They say, "I don't want to pay for XYZ." I'll wait to see if one comes up in open source. Why is that a bad thing? If they are saying that, then the economic value added/ROI isn't worth buying the closed source one. That seems like good business/economic sense to me. It's simply: What is it worth to me? What are the costs?

    I agree completely with your post. However, my concern is the shift in minds. You know, sometimes, just because the majority starts thinking the same way altogether, things change a lot...not always for the best.
    One example: a few years ago, people thought that the net economy should make them rich. We all know the result: the very values of capitalism no longer exist. Capitalism, afaik, states that you invest in a company, and you're reward ed a dividend. An increase in the market value should be a side effect of growth, not a goal.
    But exchanges don't work like this anymore: your sales increase must be increasing fast enough to be considered of any value. If these increases are enough, your stock may not be bashed too much. And companies like Microsoft don't distribute dividends.
    And a company who fed 1000 workers for 50 years, making benefits every year is not considered a model, but an anomaly: no growth...and must cut 500 jobs. I must be missing something !

    What's the point? I'm afraid by OpenSource zealots. In their hands, open source can kill a part of our economy. It's just as if some guys could get some stocks for free. What would happen ?

    I'm concerned because I consider software development a higly honorable activity, somewhat like art. What will happen if art goes open and free ? Artists will sell pizzas instead of painting, or whatever.

    OpenSource has become a synonym for free stuff... The source code is probably not downloaded as often as the compiled packages. Guess why...
    What if my company sells its products, but then gives CVS access to their clients ? I may try this... OpenSource was created partly to avoid software vendors charging too much for... service and maintenance. Irony ?

    Bye
    Chris
  87. And a company who fed 1000 workers for 50 years, making benefits every year is not considered a model, but an anomaly: no growth...and must cut 500 jobs. I must be missing something !

    >

    Yes, you're right.
    But what can be done about it? Nothing. A great majority of OSS "thingies" is actually 'donated' by commercial companies like IBM. Kicking out the small players in the process cannot hurt them. Linux didn't kill Microsoft. It killed SCO. Yeeay!
  88. But I agree: if there's no alternative you might be stuck. However, waiting for an open-source alternative is primarily an economic decision (or should be, maybe too many fanatics out there). They say, "I don't want to pay for XYZ." I'll wait to see if one comes up in open source. Why is that a bad thing? If they are saying that, then the economic value added/ROI isn't worth buying the closed source one. That seems like good business/economic sense to me. It's simply: What is it worth to me? What are the costs?


    The real problem is that there is a big confusion between open source and free software. The fact that you can get access to the source code is different to your rights of use of the technology under certain conditions. The problem is that Mr Stallman and others mixed both a few years ago under the same "open source" term. And I think it was an error. Having the right to access to the source code has nothing to do with the value of the technology.

    So basically your company may want to access to a competitive and state of the art software right now and is ready to pay for it because it will bring to them a competitive advantage (positive ROI). Then getting an access or a copy of the source code is just one additional criteria that may influence your technological choice.

    Then according to the Moore's laws, the software will rapidly become a commodity and the pricing will tend to zero. Here you will get Free Software. And perhaps your company may finally benefit from this commodity for free.

    But this does not change the fact that, to be able to create innovative, stable, well maintained and documented software, you need money. This money may come from a "marketing" budget inside a large IT group, from your taxes for universities projects or from any other direct or indirect financial revenue streams. It is just stupid to think that free software does cost nothing to the provider and that he is doing that for fun. The Neteconomy is now dead. The same for a lot of open source projects that don't get any irrational investments any more. So what is important before chosing an open source library is to be sure that there is a possible long term commitment from the community members on the project. It often means: Do they have a viable and profitable business model to continue sponsorizing this open source projet in the future... Else you will go into trouble (do not believe that, because you have free access to 400'000 lines of code, you will be able to debug and mainain them yourself!)

    Stéphane
  89. Stephan,

    It seems like I could name at least a dozen open source projects that have created innovative, stable, well maintained software without a marketing budget, government sponsorship, or the things that you imply. I don't see that Apache, OpenSymphony, or ObjectWeb have profitable business models, but I feel pretty confident using their stuff every day.

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering.
  90. Sorry for spelling your name wrong there.

    Jason
  91. Jason,
    I think Stephane's point is that ultimately, the software is paid for by someone. You have to eat/live somewhere, have access to a computer and internet and all of this still costs money.

    Apache gets quite a lot of money from IBM AFAIK. Eclipse even more - most of the people contributing to the Eclipse are to my knowledge IBM employees.
    The common distinction here - as you undoubtedly know - is "free" as in free speach and "free" as in free beer.
    I'd quite the first interpretation - when you sell a product to someone, you'd provide source code with it. I know how big a difference it can make.

    Unfortunately, the second interpretation is prevalent, and the problem I have with that is that as it hides the costs, it gives the big guys yet another stick to beat the smaller ones with.
    Let's face it, if MS would decide to sensibly spend their cash hoard on OS, free, software they could put a whole lot of small (and probably not so small as well) companies out of business - and lock their users in even further (at some level). In fact, they are already doing it to some extent - except that they don't give the source away (yet).

    I'd paraphrase something someone already said here - so far Linux has been more help to IBM (getting rid of SCO) than hinderance to MS.

    Regards,
    Vlad
  92. On our side we tried to create a collaborative source license based on a "contribute or pay" paradigm. This avoids having free riders on your technology and every member of the community (every customer) HAS to finance something wheteher in cash or whether by spending some time on the code base. We call that the "Unvalue Added Taxes" principle. More your contribute to the project, less you pay in cash. And it works just fine. So why there are no more collaborative source projects today?


    Interesting idea. One of the things that concerns me about open source software is that there does seem to be a very small ratio of contributors to users. In other words, most people like OSS because they're getting something for nothing, they get the benefits without having to pay any of the costs (either in terms of money or in terms of time or effort). I wonder how that can be a good situation in the long-term.

    And I'll be honest: I fall into the camp of being a user who does not contribute. During my office hours, I'm paid to work on my company's software, not someone else's. During my own hours, I've got better things to do than sit in front of a computer programming software and not getting paid for it. That's why I'm cynical about OSS: I think most people are as selfish as I am.

    The collaborative licence mentioned sounds like a great idea to me because it would act as a motivator for me and would make it worth my while to contribute. Sounds difficult to police, though. How do you decide how much someone has contributed to the software. I could spend weeks making what turns out to be a minor change, whereas someone else spends just a few minutes making a change to a core part of the system. Who has made the bigger contribution?
  93. The collaborative licence mentioned sounds like a great idea to me because it would act as a motivator for me and would make it worth my while to contribute. Sounds difficult to police, though. How do you decide how much someone has contributed to the software. I could spend weeks making what turns out to be a minor change, whereas someone else spends just a few minutes making a change to a core part of the system. Who has made the bigger contribution?


    Based on a simple paradigm: Time = Money then each customer that want to contribute in kind has to provide to us a quote (looks like the reverse situation ;-) ) mentionning the number of man/days and the price per hour they are planning (may be different for a JSP developer or an EJB guru). Not different at all in the process as mandating an external system integrator...

    But what is important is the fact that it gives a concrete incentive for the IT manager to book some of his developers on the payroll to become a contributor of the project. Then everybody is happy:
    1) our project has new features and we may "outsource" some of the R&D for free (or against a license)
    2) the customer has full access to the source code, has developed the new enhancements he wanted and by contributing them back to the community has not to pay any expensive license fee
    3) most of the time, customers that pay in kind contribute more than they have to. They become then real long term contributors to the project.
    Win, win deal for everybody

    Any lines of code has a cost, so any software (open source or not) has a certain market value. You may want to create a dumping situation and provide it for free (e.g. some J2EE server bundles) but you will have to finance your lines of code indirectly on other revenue streams. In our case we only have one product and this is just not a working scenario. In the same time, we love open source(and we reuse several projects and participate as much as we can in others). However, like everybody we still have to pay our salaries. So this business model looks like, at least in our case and our market niche, the best of both worlds for all the parties.

    Stéphane
  94. Easy to contribute[ Go to top ]

    It's easy to contribute, even if you don't have time to participate directly in the code. Just join a mailing list and answer questions, or submit bug reports when you find a bug, tell others of your ideas in the mailing lists, etc. You can contribute without coding. Bug reports and answering questions are very appreciated by the developers because it let's them focus on developing.
  95. Opinion: Who pays for open-source?[ Go to top ]

    I dont think he put lot of thoughts on open-source....
  96. How would the JBoss Group feel if BEA and/or IBM funds a open source group that provides free documentation and support for JBoss? That would make Marc's idea of charging for support unviable.

    Open source and Free software are fine as long as they don't pinch your bottom line. It does not matter whether you sell software or support(or documentation), somebody can put you out of business by making it available free of charge.

    Krishnan
  97. As long as IBM and BEA are making a good living off app server licenses, it would make zero sense for them to offer an open source app-server.
  98. Better articles on Open Source[ Go to top ]

    Here's some more thought provoking articles on open-source by Eric Raymond. May favorite is the Magic Cauldron.

    The Cathedral and the Bazaar

    Homesteading the Noosphere

    The Magic Cauldron

    Regards,

    Bill
  99. JBossGroup cannot change license[ Go to top ]

    Just to clear things up, it would be virtually impossible for JBoss Group(or any other organization) to change JBoss's license from LGPL to another license. Contributors to the JBoss codebase all retain their copyrights and JBossGroup would have to get the written permission of each of these copyright holders. I'm taking a wild guess here, but there have been hundreds of contributors to the JBoss code base over the past 4 years. I can think of a few significant individuals off the top of my head that would never allow the license to be changed (I myself fall into this category). Unless a clean-room rewrite was done of the entire JBoss codebase, the JBoss license will never be changed. Of course, if this rewrite ever happened, then it wouldn't be JBoss, would it....

    This license change impossibility is also applicable to other lesser restrictive OSS licenses like BSD, Apache, or Eclipse.

    Projects like MySql work differently. You can download MySql and it's source for free under the GPL license. MySql owns the copyrights on all source, so what they do, is provide a non-GPL'd licensed version which you can pay for.

    Best regards,

    Bill Burke
    Chief Architect
    JBoss Group LLC.
  100. Opinion: Who pays for open-source?[ Go to top ]

    The more fundamental issue that would not allow the OSS consulting model to work IMHO, is that if developer convinced management to use open source product he is almost surely to figure out his way without support. I have heard an opinion that having a variety of choices we have now makes it hard to pick the right option many times,and this alone leaves the choice to people who are very proficient at choosing technologies which also reflects into them not needing as much support. I could mention many examples where we needed support to resolve issues with commercial products but no company has support that can stand agains Google or the Groups or other options :-) without spending a dime.

    Cheers,
    alex krut
    http://www.velare.com/cgi/alexkrut-blosxom.cgi/2003/06/29#june15
    Implementing business processes in Java
  101. OpenSource is a public good and governments are a public service for the public well.

    If all government invest resources into OpenSource then the people will have a improved public good.

    It's like cars and roads, we paid taxes to the governments to build roads, and we buy the cars. Well software is a road where computers can run. We already paid taxes then the governments got help to create software where computers can share.

    These doesn't mean all software will be free, just the most common and public used apps, like database, webserver, office, OS. Then business will pay for particular modification for them.
  102. Open Source != Freeware[ Go to top ]

    Hi,

    Why does everyone always equate Open Source with freeware (free as in free beer)? Open Source never said that you can't charge money for your software. It has nothing to do with whether you sell software, services, documentation, etc. Open Source only requires you to make the source code available when you sell or give your software.

    For example, I've been happily paying good money to buy various distributions of Linux. Sometimes I need the source code to recompile it to optimize for my hardware. I won't pay for any OS that doesn't allow me to do this.

    If you need to control how your source code may be modified and redistributed, then choose an appropriate Open Source license.

    Alex.
  103. Open Source & Freeware[ Go to top ]

    to set things right on this, heres a quote from the OSI definition of Open Source (http://opensource.berlios.de/docs/definition.php)

    ====
    1. Free Redistribution

    The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
    ====

    so, you *may* charge money for it, but there *must* be a way to obtain it free of charge as well. Just source code availability is not enough.

    Christian
  104. OpenSource the to the market Door[ Go to top ]

    WRT Alan Williamson's comments on OpenSource, I think one opportunity with Opensource is that it gives smaller players an opportunity to market their ideas and software at no cost. If you look at a startup wanting to market a software applicaiton to generate revenue, it would literally cost millions in marketing alone. OpenSource makes all players from the heavy weight of IBM/MSFT/Oracle/Sun/others and to the lighweight to compete on a single playing field. At the end of the day the lighwieght is able to beat the heavy weights based on porduct quality and genius inventions. OpenSource is a place that you can place a seed that will grow and innovation is not curtailed by heavy regulations, copyrights, etc. This last comment about innovation is what the heavy wieghts are aware of, particulary IBM, they want to experiement and see in the opensource how a particular project will fair and if succeeds then they jump in with both hands and create an almost identical product, or even one that builds on top.
  105. Open Source Software is already paid for, and the economic base for further development is strong.
       Why? Well, because of the huge amounts of taxpayer dollars that flow into academia and research institutions (just ask any parent who is sending kids to college if a lot of money is involved). The model, or ecosystem, or whatever you want to call it, is that governments and individual citizens fund researchers
    and universities, through tuition and state budgets, and the software and technology created in academia, etc. is placed in the public domain. Now factor in not just the United States, but the money spent on higher education and research in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, etc...there's a HUGE amount of funding available under the Open Source model.

    This is also how things are supposed to work. as an example, the mission statement of the University of California system begins with "The University's fundamental missions are teaching, RESEARCH AND PUBLIC SERVICE" (caps are mine) and then clarifies that "UC disseminates research results and translates scientific discoveries into practical knowledge and technological innovations
    that benefit California and the nation."

       This proven model of public/private funding of research activities, followed by release of discoveries and techniques into the public domain (worldwide), is what has driven the explosion of medical knowledge in our time. It's worth noting that using this economic model, *implementing* medical knowledge employs million and millions of people, paying high salaries in many cases. Can you imagine the state of medicine if medical discoveries and reference data around the world were jealously guarded secrets, a la Digital Rights Management?

       Back to software: for any entity to purchase basic infrastructure sofware from, say, Microsoft, is crazy...they are paying *twice*. Once in taxes for the real work done in academia and the Internet community (such as development of the TCP/IP stack, Internet protocols, operating systems, etc) and once more simply to line the pockets of a wealthy individual. This is bad economics, and there is what economists call an opportunity cost: the money that organizations could have spent on modernizing physical plants, etc. is instead wasted on private license costs for using a publicly created good.
  106. No[ Go to top ]

    Cole,

       That premise is ridiculous.

    ~C
  107. No[ Go to top ]

    Colon,

    The premise is far from ridiculous. I don't agree that it should necessarily be the "way it is supposed to work", but the premise isn't even close to ridiculous. It is right on!

    I myself work in computer engineering research at the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering. We are a research group affiliated with Oregon State University, and we are doing a good deal of EXACTLY what Cole said.

    Further, we're one of the smaller groups. Huge amounts of publicly available technology have come out of other universities. As well, a huge amount of technology has come out of companies.

    A great deal of public research funding comes to us through organizations like the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and others.

    So the premise isn't ridiculous at all. It's not even a premise. It's a fact that a great deal of technology comes from publicly funded research.

    Jason McKerr
    Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
  108. No[ Go to top ]

    I think you are thinking only about the state of Java Open source when you disagree. Think about Unix and Linux and Cole's point becomes very valid.
  109. I think that a key point is being lost here. The true value of pre-written software, whether open source or closed source, is time. We all use software from someone else because it saves us time. In every organization I've ever worked in, the largest cost to the organization was people, both in terms of salaries and benefits, as well as indirect costs like office space, utilities, etc. Time means money in most industries as well. The faster a produce/service can be made available to the customer, the better for the company. So, we all use pre-written software to reduce the time to market.
    Now, you could measure this time in several ways. Pure development time saved, less testing time, less support time (i.e. less bug fixing), less marketing time/cost (to combat quality issues). However you look at it, the value of using someelses software is the time it saves the organization.
    Open Source can simply be thought of as a organizational community effort. Just like organizations cooperate and well as compete, i.e. trade groups, lobbying efforts, etc), they can cooperate by shareing source code for non-strategic software with one another. That is one model, and that is where Open Source gets a lot of its funding. Companies use and improve Open Source code because it improves their products, reduces their time to market, and since the software is not strategic to their business, they share it with others, seeing the benefit that they received from like-minded decisions.
    The close-source model really is the same thing. Instead of devoting their own developers time to writing code, especially code that is non-strategic, they pay somene else to do it. That has always been the value of traditional software companies. They have the time and expertise to develop the software that other organizations an use, saving those organizations the time that they can then devout to their strategic projects.
    The consulting model is again the same thing. Hireing someone to do something because you don't have the resources, and thus the time, to do something. Now, each model has its strenghts and weaknesses, and I think there is a place for all of them. Will Open Source push certain types of close-source software companies out of the market? Sure it will! Unless they inovate and provide a valuable product/service, they will disappear. Can close-source be a better option than open source? Sure it can! I've used JBoss, and I've used closed-source app servers. While JBoss works well, it is MUCH more difficult to manage, and much more difficult to learn. Yes, the JBoss Group is working on that, and there are resources available to help, and it can be done, but the closed-source versions are more polished, easier to pick up, and easier to manage in some respects. That's not to say that once the learning curve is traversed, do those values for the close-source product remain, but again, the cost was time.
    So, in closing, it doesn't really matter what the model is used. All will survive, all have value, and all can coexist, and even cooperate. The real question that an organization should ask is not whether to choose open source versus closed source versus out-sourced, but which supports its time horizion, and its strategic goals. The same organization will make differient decisions at different points in time, due to its different needs.
  110. What about quality...[ Go to top ]

    One of the strangest things I keep hearing is that open source is some notion of quality. I would rather suggest that most open source software is of very very low quality. There are of course things like emacs and - after some really long time - mozilla, but the overall quality of the "open source" products is not within what I would assume to be "enterprise ready". Doing some open source myself, it hurts, but really, to get a high quality open source product out in the open you need some real wealthy champion - like Eclipse has with IBM. Otherwise it is just to expensive.

    Just look at one of the most successful open source products. Tomcat 3.2 source code was written in a way that can be considered "hacking" and Tomcat 4.0.6 takes timeouts of 5 seconds while doing garbage collection after some trivial jsp inclusions and taglib handling. Is that what I like to have in my production environment - doubtful.

    I am sure the developers do their very best and are thrilled to develop their software. But there is some point where you just need the resources for proper technical documentation, quality assurance, testing etc. While this can be automated to some extent, there is a lot of work to be done. This is why I think open source will only have limited success in the long run - producing quality production grade software at some point becomes - more often than not - so dull, that people working on it just need to be paid for it ;-)
  111. What about quality...[ Go to top ]

    "Just look at one of the most successful open source products". You must mean Linux. Already deployed into production by quite a few companies (including financial companies that usually stick to IBM)
  112. WE MAKE OURSELVES JOBLESS[ Go to top ]

    HI ONE THING I BELIVE IN THIS WORLD IS
        NEWTONS ? LAW
       OUR COMPUTER SKILLS MADE OTHERS JOBLESS HAS SENT LOT OF EMPLOYEES HOME
        NOW OUR COMPUTER CKILLS IS GOING TO SEND US ALL BACK TO HOME
        
       POC:)
          WIZARDS --CREATING WEBSERVICES
          OPENSOURCE TOOLS
             JUST THINK ABT DEVELOPERS IN THE AFFECTED COMPANIES
  113. What about quality...[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    "Just look at one of the most successful open source products". You must mean Linux. Already deployed into production by quite a few companies (including financial companies that usually stick to IBM)
    </quote>

    Well, I did not mention Linux because - while it is Open Source - there are some points that make it stand apart from other open source apps. One main difference - and to some extent the same that Eclipse or Mozilla enjoyed - is that it is heavily financed by some companies, currently for example IBM. Also I have my doubts that the source code of the system is really important, inspected and changed if it runs on IFL :-). And consider that it took a long time to mature to a state where it was possible for financial institutions to use it. And most do not use it because it is Linux and Open Source and particularly stable and secure but because it is recommended by HP, IBM and the likes.

    On the other hand it is far easier to succeed in a server side environment using Open Source, because "noone can see the mess". Consider the pain it took to bring open source projects that expose some complicated user interface to a stage near production readiness. Open Office (Heavily backed by sun), KOffice, Mozilla etc. And as it gets more specialised, it gets even harder. Consider load testing, database development, UML modelling, groupware etc. There are things out there but they are still basic and error prone.