Europe fights for the open source wheel

Summary:Before dismissing  Jesús Villasante's attack on corporate open source as mere carping from "Old Europe," let's ask if there is some justice in it. (The picture is from the conference program.

Before dismissing  Jesús Villasante's attack on corporate open source as mere carping from "Old Europe," let's ask if there is some justice in it. (The picture is from the conference program.)

Villasante isn't demanding anything. He's not calling for European leadership of open source. He's not even threatening to do anything about his complaints.

What he's doing, in my view, is pointing out a simple truth. As "Deep Throat" (allegedly Mark Felt) told Bob Woodward, "Follow the money."

The money, in this case, flows mainly to hardware giants, such as H-P, Sun, and IBM. It flows from their customers, and it usually flows then to products and services of the hardware vendors' choosing.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. But many, many open source projects are begging for support, for time and money, for users -- well, mostly for money. It's a common refrain. My item earlier today on Rodi came from just that, a lead developer's cry for help in bringing what he thinks is a good open source solution to the community.

So my response to Villasante is very simple. Sir, put your money where your mouth is. Find more money for open source projects. Don't just use us to make political points. Get us good jobs with good wages.

Or as my old high school German teacher told me, nearly 35 years ago now, "Call me sour, call me kraut, just don't call me late for supper."

Topics: Tech Industry

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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