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Doug Kaye's thoughts on web services, web hosting and managed services.

Robb'd Again. John writes, "Software, like most intellectual property is the result of vision. Answer for me how a group can have vision? My view is that it isn't possible." Good point, but...

The most successful open source packages (e.g., Apache, Linux, JBoss) are not the results of vision. They're good, practical down-to-earth software engineering. Apache evolved from the NCSA HTTP Web sever, and it's the Web server of choice for most of us. Linux came from Unix, and JBoss came from the J2EE EJB sepecification. CIOs and CTOs aren't looking for vision. They're looking for reliable, cost-effective solutions, and open source packages often meet those needs better than any others. During my career I've managed perhaps 350 programmers. From my experience, the peer review aspect of the open source process has helped create some of the best software I've seen or used.
[Source: John Robb's Radio Weblog]
Posted Friday, December 28, 2001 5:57:06 PM   

Open Source Gets Robb'd. John Robb writes, "Hey, it is time to put a nail in the coffin of free software.  Open Source and .Coms followed the same logic:  they thought they could rewrite the rules of business.  Life, and the economy, are much more complex than any individual can understand.  You can't rewrite fundamental rules overnight no matter how pure your intentions. People who write great software need to make a living.  Money comes from the sale of product.  Products can be priced low enough for entry level people to buy them (note Microsoft's success) without financial distress.   Corporations can be managed to do good things for a great many people (if they don't get too greedy)."

John and I usually see eye-to-eye, but not this time. I think one needs to have spent a few years in the trenches with both open source and commercial software before one can compare them, and certainly before one can criticize the open source concept. As CTO or VP of Engineering for a number of dot-coms, I've found many open source packages to be far superior to commercial equivalents. Apache is the most obvious example, but there are so many others such as JBoss, CVS, Bugzilla and Tomcat.

In 1988 Brian Behlendorf (my predecessor at Organic Online where much of the early work on Apache was done) convinced IBM to abandon their own Web server product and throw their resources behind Apache. IBM saw the value of the superior product as well as the value--even to IBM--of contributing engineering effort to open-source code.
[Source: John Robb's Radio Weblog]
Posted Friday, December 28, 2001 5:41:45 PM   



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