Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Crazy Proliferation of Open Source Licenses

CA is getting into the fight to streamline open source licenses. The situation is really going crazy. Intel removed its license from the fray a while ago. The current model is so crazy that it spawns not only incompatible licenses like GPL and MPL, but also practically the same license as with Apache and BSD. In the first case, there is reason probably to have a separate license. But in the latter, it is primarily organizational vanity in creating a new license.

The problem is, such cases allow the creation of a lot of pseudo open source licenses like Sun's Community Source License, pseudo because it is really an attempt to keep open source community out of bounds.

CA also brought up an interesting idea around creating a generic template to which various options could be added to create a unique license. This would reduce the proliferation of similar licenses and also make it easier to compare licenses. There are doubts whether this is possible however, especially if we attempted to do this all around the world.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Making money with open source

Lately open source based business models have taken hold, especially around continued standardization of technologies. One of the early attempts - Cygnus - was bought by Red Hat eventually, which itself was based on release and support of Linux.

LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP/Perl/Python) based stack has allowed for open source to become more acceptable. This has led to more companies being spawned around it.
  • SpikeSource is a new company created by Marimba co-founder Kim Polese.
  • SourceLabs seems to be doing something similar based in Microsoft's backyard.

Similarly there are a host of companies based on standards like J2EE.
  • The most well known example is JBoss.
  • Similarly, it seems that Apache's new Geronimo J2EE app-server is spawning similar opportunities for companies like GlueCode.
  • Geronimo will likely be supported by the aforementioned LAMP support companies