which kind of Free Software business people like (and which not)

Lutz Horn lho at gmx.de
Tue Feb 3 07:52:10 UTC 2004


yesterday I was at a presentation by Libelis[1] about
their JDO[2] implementation. Since JDO is a specification
which can be implemented by many parties, other
implementations, including as Free Software, exist.

For Libelis these projects are direct competition. This
is also true for projects solving the problem of object
persistence in a way not conforming to the JDO
specification. The most prominent such project at
the moment is Hibernate[3] which is Free Software
under the LGPL.

The speaker from Libelis yesterday had much to say
against Hibernate. Since it's no implementation of
the JDO specification, he called it "proprietary",
meaning not conforming to a "standard". Being a
project with dedicated and visible people he talked
about a "guru problem". All in all he didn't say a good
thing about a Free Software project that is a direct
competition to the product of his company.

Of course there were other Free Software projects
he liked: Ant[4], Tomcat[5], and XDoclet[6] all didn't
have the problems Hibernate had for him. Although
all three being Free Software projects he didn't mention
the problem of them being "proprietary" or the "guru
problem". Since they are no competition for his project
and since he can use them for his own work, they
are welcome.

You may have already noticed that I totally disagree
with the attitude of this person. He clearly was no
part of the Free Software community, only taking and
using the projects he estimated as useful while at the
same time badmouthing projects that are a competition
to him.

I think this is the way business people think about
Free Software: Take as much out of it as possible
without giving anything back. Fight all Free Software
that dangers your business.

This sucks.


[1] http://www.libelis.com/
[2] http://java.sun.com/products/jdo/
[3] http://www.hibernate.org/
[4] http://ant.apache.org/
[5] http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat/index.html
[6] http://xdoclet.sourceforge.net/

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