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From Gianugo Rabellino <>
Subject OSS rant (was: Re: XXE editor support for Forrest (Fw: Re: forrest and xml catalogs))
Date Tue, 26 Nov 2002 10:44:08 GMT
Steven Noels wrote:

> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> > BTW, Wyona seems to be talking about getting off from the OS
> > experience for now, since they found it unproductive :-(
> Ditto for Xopus.

<rant off-topic="true">

I'm not surprised. When will those companies learn? There is absolutely 
no way and no reason for such companies to prosper with a such blind 
Open Source strategy. What is the point in making a product Open Source 
if there is no community around it? You just end up spending lots of 
money/funds on developers while giving away your results for nothing 
(possibly to no one or close to).

The whole point in Open Source (forget about the big guys who might 
leverage marketing visibility and similar crap) is about collaboration 
and community. We work together to produce good software on which we all 
make a living by selling it as a product (quite lame but anyway...) or 
as a set of services/consultancies. But the real point is "together": my 
company, your company, her company, not just me. Open Source communities 
are a precious resource when tought as a "shared" R&D department, for 
companies that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it: my company 
provides a couple of developers and gets the benefit of a lab of 50 
people or so, we join a common effort with a relatively small amount of 
resources and we all benefit from that. No small or mid-size company in 
the world would have been able to put together software like the one 
hosted by the ASF: think about Cocoon, where S&N, Otego, Outerthought, 
Anyware and many others, together with individuals, enthousiasts and 
some big company were able to put together a great product which turns 
out to be a great asset for their business.

In the OSS world, talking about companies and not about individuals, 
there is no room (again, big guys aside) for one-man shows: a single 
company is unable to sustain itself on a single, self promoted and self 
developed OSS, it just doesn't make sense. So Wyona, Q42 and many others 
are doomed unless they make it in broadening the number of developers by 
having an heterogeneous community around them. And they won't have it 
unless it made clear that their effort will turn into a community effort 
owned by no one but the community: I, as a developer, perfectly see a 
reason on working on org.apache.*, much less on com.somecompany.*.

What would happen if Wyona chooses to step right into the Cocoon 
community donating their code (provided, of course, that we are talking 
about quality code that meets the interests of the community and that 
the intention is not purely to dump stuff) and making it a core part of 
a Cocoon based CMS? I would jump right away on that train, trying to 
help as much as I can, and so would others (and so actually *did* others 
with the S&N portal stuff). Most probably we would end up in a short 
timeframe with a great CMS, done by several developers around the world, 
tested, interoperable, well documented (oh well... maybe not *that* well 
after all... :-)), with a great brand on it such as the Apache one, on 
which many OSS companies, including Wyona would have been able to make 
good money. We all win.

By joining (or creating, but it much more difficult) an healtful OSS 
community you get great code, a good number of developers and marketing 
for free (or almost). With one-man shows you're alone in the dark: good 
luck, but please don't blame Open Source if you fail.



Gianugo Rabellino

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