I have just returned from visiting the gang over at the Indiana Linux Fest in preparation for tomorrow’s conference. It looks like it’s going to be a great time, and I am humbled that they asked me to be the keynote speaker. I hope I don’t disappoint.
In other news, I finally have time to comment on a 451 Group post by Matt Aslett this week called “When commercial open source goes bad“.
To me, their new report on proprietary companies going open source (and in some cases failing) echoes some of my sentiment that “fauxpen source” as a business model is dead.
Specifically, I liked this paragraph:
Meanwhile one of the prominent “open source” systems management vendors appears to have removed all mention of its Community Edition software from its website, while the Community Edition itself has not been updated for 15 months. While the project is not officially “dead” it is, to say the least, “pining for the fjords” and the company in question could be said to be open source in name only.
Although they don’t call out Groundwork Open Source by name, some of my three readers may remember my post from last year about Groundwork deciding to stop publishing their “community” or open source version. According to Sourceforge it hasn’t been updated since December of 2009 (so much for release early, release often). Back then, when I asked Tara Spalding, Groundwork’s Chief Marketing Officer, about the rumor that the open source version was dead, she replied:
That is untrue, and the rumor mill is pretty lame.
I’ve noticed that Tara is no longer with Groundwork, and the rumor mill seems to have been validated.
But still, this morning, Roberto Galoppini posted on his blog about “open source webinars” and included Groundwork, when it is obvious that Groundwork can no longer be considered open source in any real fashion. I asked him about it, but my comment is still waiting moderation as I write this so I’m not sure if he’s seen my question.
I think that most proprietary companies will adopt some form of open source in the next few years, but it is one thing to use open source and/or provide some open source code and another to advertise yourself as an open source company. As an end user, you have to ask yourself if you want to use a product by a company whose marketing is that misleading.
I’m betting you won’t.