OS3G - Open Source, 3rd Generation

A (humble) attempt to publish news from the trenches where Free/Libre/Open-Source Software is brought to the mainstream -- and Francois Letellier's blog, too

Friday, August 26, 2005

Right to Reply

Apache recently accepted Synapse as an incubated project. The news has been announced in a press release distributed by WSO2. The press covered this announcement.

There's no denying an increasing number of people in the community are concerned about the way open source is used in tactical moves that may jeopardize the long term sustainability of some projects. This is in no way specific to Apache nor to Synapse. Organizations such as Apache, CodeHaus, Eclipse, ObjectWeb, OSDL should address these questions with the greatest care. We as nonprofits have the duty to act responsibly for the common good and to promote cooperation.

For lack of clear public policies to govern collaboration between organizations, any apparent discrepancy between the agendas of any two organizations can be interpreted as the early symptoms of a major crisis.

Apache and ObjectWeb have long built good relations. But good relations don't sell paper (nor hits), and some magazines bet on controversy to catch the reader's attention. Why did Apache start the Synapse project while ObjectWeb was already working on similar matters? Turning this question into a cross-organization squabble indeed can produce highly inflamatory papers.

In recent articles I've been quoted on this topic -- and too often misquoted. It was not the first time, it won't be the last. When it starts, it spreads like wildfire. Please keep this in mind when you read stories about Synapse and Celtix.


  • At 3:41 PM, August 26, 2005, Anonymous Brian McCallister said…

    Competition is good =) It is inefficient, wasteful, sloppy, unoptimized -- but has proven again and again to work better than planned economies.

  • At 4:01 PM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Francois Letellier said…

    "but has proven again and again to work better than planned economies."

    This sounds very much like a political statement to me! Unfortunately, advocating for planned economy or for free market was not my point. I'm keeping the comment to make it clear.

    Competition is good, but even in the jungle symbiosis rules. Even when competing there has to be a balance, and rules.

  • At 4:31 PM, August 26, 2005, Anonymous Andy said…

    Man, why is it when two open source projects cover the same space there is such shock and awe. There are like 20 reasonably popular open source variants of UNIX. There are like 5 open source web servers. The big commie "one size fits all" thing never proved out that well. Differentiation, competition, etc are better forces than "symbiosis" -- evolution is a rat bastard in nature. I develop a big horn to imaple you with, so you figure out how to dig under ground so I can't find you. Then I learn to stomp, you develop a shell. This is how software evolves. Its no different than the proprietary space.

  • At 5:41 PM, August 29, 2005, Blogger Francois Letellier said…

    "evolution is a rat bastard in nature": this sounds like 19th century interpretation of Darwinism! Is competition the best solution *inside* a same species? Think of social insects; they are amongst the most successful creatures on Earth. Across species: there would be no human life without symbiosis. The bacteria we carry in our intestines are more vital to us than any of our limbs! And the same goes for software :)


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