Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Source: The Model Is Broken .. NOT!

Stu Cohen, CEO of the Collaborative Software Initiative has written an article in a BusinessWeek special on open source. I wrote the following comment there but thought I'll blog it too as I totally disagree with Stu.

Stu, I couldn't disagree more. If the open source vendor offers nothing other than bug fixes, then yes its hard to sustain itself.

However, a true technology provider is a partner of the customer in helping them navigate technology to solve business problems. If you achieve that then you don't need to hold some proprietary IP and use open source effectively as a trojan horse to get your software in.

That's what we're doing at WSO2 and doing very well with it. ALL of our IP is open source and we don't hold anything back - we have lots of big and small customers who pay us because we deliver real value to them. The fact that we are not holding something back as a way to force them to pay for it has not been a problem at all.

Let me also point out another flaw in your argument: if collaboration is really happening, then how do you prevent the community from re-inventing your precious, closed-source value-add? So you're clearly not interested in doing truly open collaboration in that case!

Thailand airport attacks

This is beyond belief: take over the country's two main airports illegally and then ask the police to protect you?! That's like the Mumbai bombers calling the police saying they're being attacked by anti-terrorist commandos!

Its an utter shame that a military general leads this type of unlawful behavior.

Its an even bigger shame that a country with such a strong military ignores this. Clearly the government has lost its head up its own rear end and can't deal with the situation - allowing a tourism dependent country to shut down air traffic for nearly a week is proof that they've lost the will and ability to act. Imagine how much cleanup would be required at the Swarnabhoomi airport? If you've been there, you know the size (and beauty) of that airport .. a tragedy. (If you want an analogy imagine taking over O'Hare forcefully and occupying it with thousands of people for a week.)

Just blow (with water, tear gas, rubber bullets or worse if that's what it takes) those damned people up and get on with it. This is not civil unrest any more - these people are terrorists holding the entire country hostage!