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jonasbn (1153)

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Perl Programmer located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Active member of Copenhagen Perl Mongers.

Author of:

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and maintainer of:

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Journal of jonasbn (1153)

Sunday March 18, 2007
02:48 AM

Open Source only as leverage?

[ #32726 ]

At LinuxForum one of my former bosses gave a presentation on using open source to build an ADSL focused ISP. The talk was quite interesting, even though I only went to see it due to my relation with the speaker.

Haktan Bulut (the speaker) also talked about SCRUM and I remembered our discussions on methodologies and I miss them. Well listening to what Haktan and his team was doing it sounded like SCRUM is very much alike the method I attempt to implement in my company, so I am going to investigate SCRUM a bit more. Perhaps there are some more bits I can adapt.

I am also in that lucky situation that Josh McAdams are giving a lightning talk on SCRUM and agile methodologies at the upcoming Nordic Perl Workshop. I am attempting to set up a BOF on the same topic now that we have the opportunity.

Anyway to get back on topic, Poul-Henning Kamp (PHK), who writes a blog on Version2 touched the topic with an entry questioning whether startup telco's (and others I guess) only use open source as leverage until something Enterprise can be bought to take the place.

The entry was quite interesting, since it question whether anybody dares say that they are using open source all the way and just not to firing up their startup.

I do not know many companies who solely base them selves on open source, which in my book is okay, the right tools for the right job should be chosen, open source or not.

But in my opinion, something I also read in PHK's blog and that it is not good if open source is labeled as something, which is good for doing a start up, but if you want to run a more serious business you should buy your software.

Is the pattern really that all these magnificent Open Source tools are exchanged for licensed, expensive platforms and solutions (I will get back to this later) - simply because this looks better in investors and potential new owners eyes?

I know a lot of companies who use Asterisk, which must be said to have filled the right hole. I think it is positive that start ups use open source, at least they are using open source and perhaps it will even stick.

But I think it is bad for open source if it is labeled as I mentioned above and get a reputation of being bad at scaling and not really ready for the enterprise, open source will stick at a level of being a hacker toy - and reputations are hard to shake, just look at Perl and the overall perception of the language as CGI/Web only and crazy-weird one-shot hacks and scripts, which can be thrown away after successful execution.

Another thing, what happened to the word enterprise, open source is just as important player in the enterprise as any other piece of software.

I attempt to get my company to be focused on developing open source, we simply want to give away our software and distribute and market it using open source channels. Something I gave a talk on a YAPC::Europe in Birmingham.

Does anybody know any other success stories of open source playing an important long term role in a company?

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