Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Open Source is Open to Debate

Microsoft, Intel, Sun, IBM and Others Get Drawn Into It

One would think that defining the term "Open Source" is a simple task. After all, an environment is either open or it's not, right? To believe this would be to believe that corporations always have your interests at heart, that there is one true religion, and that politicians play fair.

For the current debate over Open Source involves a number of major corporations, is often religious in tone, and is relentlessly political.

The most recent major development came last week when the Open Source Initiative board held its Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, at which it clarified its stance by stating that "license proliferation has become a significant barrier to open-source deployment-approved licenses must meet three new criteria of being a) non-duplicative, b) clear and understandable, and c) reusable." It added that it will adopt "a three-tier system in which licenses are classified as preferred, approved or deprecated."

The OSI's statement does not legally bind anyone to comply with specific guidelines or to behave in any particular way when developing and marketing its own "open source" products. And therein lies either the problem (if one believes in de jure standards and practices) or the opportunity (if one believes in de facto standards and practices).

The realm of SYS-CON Media publications--which embraces Java, Microsoft .Net, and Linux--encompasses much of the debate about Open Source, with advocates from all sides getting their points across in print and online. SYS-CON, as the world's leading i-technology media company, is able to accommodate the diverse points of view inherent in this debate.

And the debate can get fierce. Most industry cognoscenti are well-aware of a lawsuit filed by SCO against IBM regarding what could be viewed as arcane and abstruse pieces of potential intellectual property. This story has been well-reported at www.linuxbusinessweek.com as well as at an oddly-named website purporting to cover aspects of Internet Age law but actually focusing on this case and on the coverage of Linux Business Week!

But this story hardly merits the only place at the table of Open Source debate. Many of the industry's big gorillas are sitting at the adults' table as well, including Microsoft, Intel, and Sun Microsystems.

The latter company has already displeased some members of the Open Source community with its CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License), which is not compatible with at the GNU General Public License, the source of the Open Source movement and foundation upon which Linux was built.

Intel has cautiously moved to remove its Open Source License as an approved OSI open-source approach. And the OSI has deemed that all "asymmetrical, corporate licenses (have) failed. (Our) new policy will discourage them (in the future.)"

On a slightly different tack, Microsoft would also argue that its .NET application development environment provides the best openness and flexibility on the market. Sun would argue the same for J2EE. Yet, in a special to LinuxWorld, developer and writer Steve Michel stated his support of Linux-driven LAMP rather than drinking "the .NET or J2EE Kool-Aid." (see www.linuxworld.com/story/49141.htm)

The fact is, every major hardware and software company had better have its Open Source "golden pitch" ready for eager customers who have tried to abandon proprietary systems (and their anticipated expense over the long haul) for less expensive, "open" systems over the past few years.

This thinking has driven Dell from an interesting Top Three PC distributor to an industry colossus that is driving toward a goal of $80 billion in annual revenues. But is a Dell system running Linux really "open?" Microsoft would argue that there are more third-party applications for its Windows software than for any other environment, making a traditional Dell Wintel machine no less open than one driven by Linux. Yet anyone closely associated with the "Open Source movement" would howl at this assertion.

The OSI seems well-aware of this confusion, noting that a problem with its open-source definition is that it "did not specifically address was deployment." No kidding. It also notes "code written under different licenses gets mixed together, combined in new source code, linked in the same runtime, called from the same script, included on the same media."

The bottom-line to this situation, the OSI believes, is that "partisans of a particular license and companies will have to give up their vanity projects. The day of the open-source license as tribal flag or corporate monument will have to come to a close."

Given the instinct of corporations to promulgate their "standards" come hell or high water, this may be unlikely. Also unlikely to be fulfilled is the OSI sentiment that "open-source licenses are written to serve people who are not attorneys, and they need to be comprehensible by people who are not attorneys."

The reality is that the use of attorneys may be the bright spot in this story, as it keeps people from drawing guns at the OK Corral. This story is very complex, involves the future of many large IT providers, and will continue to be a top-tier story for developers and corporate IT execs for years to come. Watch this space as we seek opinions from all sides to tell us what the situation is exactly, and what their companies intend to do about it.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
VHI 04/12/05 01:40:40 PM EDT

What is this article about? Lots of words, but no matter.

Renier 04/12/05 07:35:18 AM EDT

This debate is simply a smokescreen designed to confuse. The spirit of the Open Source Movement is freedom! GNU GPL seems to me an adequate definition, all these other licenses seem to be designed simply to curtail freedom.

Andreas Kuckartz 04/12/05 01:51:24 AM EDT

Roger Strukhoff writes about "an oddly-named website purporting to cover aspects of Internet Age law but actually focusing on this case and on the coverage of Linux Business Week".

1. He seems to write about http://groklaw.net here.

2. Criminal activities of SCO (such as stock manipulation, fraud and extortion) are a significant aspect not only of the "Internet Age" but of American society.

3. The "coverage" of the "Linux Business Week" regarding SCO consists of systematic lies and distortions on behalf of the Yarro/McBride-gang.

MOG fan 04/11/05 02:44:04 PM EDT

One don't have to be closely associated with the open source movement to 'howl' at your assertions.

Windows is not free in any sense. And you are less and less allowed to run ANY third-party software on it. It seems that a company which writes software for the Windows platform is either gets sued/threatened by M$ (Windows Commander), gets stolen their property (Stacker), gets pushed out of the market by unfair competition (WordPerfect, DR Dos) or just gets gobbled up (FoxPro, Visio) etc.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.