With all my Sun years advocating open source and my following closely of the Hudson/Jenkins drama from within Oracle some two years ago, I’ve been tracking the recent vert.x issue with quite some detachment (I’m no longer at Oracle and I’m not involved in any way in this technology) but also with a lot of interest. What was really fascinating was to read everyone’s
perspective bias in the public discussion :
- A (somewhat naive) lead and creator of the project caught in the middle of politics
- Red Hat’s experience with Netty influencing its current behavior
- VMWare claiming they have lots of open source experience too
- The idea that foundations would solve all the IP and governance issues
- My foundation is better than yours arguments
- The realization that neither Eclipse nor Apache are ideal
- Jenkins’ Kohsuke suggesting nonprofits for shared assets
- The Eclipse Foundation being called once again a trade association
Clearly, as Simon Phipps writes in his column, “In an age of open source, it’s hard to acquire a technology” and this brings up what I think is a paradox for any open source believer :
This recent episode will make it even harder for startups to bet on open source to find funding and for companies to be acquired for their open source assets, thus in turn leading to less usage of open source.
In the end, isn’t this underlying a weakness of the greater open source cause or should open source technologies never be a reason to acquire (or sell) a company?