Why CEOs don't blog

Summary:The downside of CEO blogging is that when you say something people don't like they are going to treat you like a blogger.

Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of Sun, is one of the few top executives that blog. I always find his posts provocative and entertaining, even when I disagree.

Of course, the downside of executive blogging is that when you say something people don't like they are going to treat you like a blogger.

Most top corporate executives can't handle that kind of heat. So it will be interesting to see how Jonathan reacts to the fallout from his latest faux pas.

It's near the bottom of Stephen Shankland's story about Sun planning to patent aspects of its "open-source" Solaris.

Schwartz suggested that Java is truer than Linux to the open-source development advantages described by The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the manifesto written by Open Source Initiative President Eric Raymond.

"They're frustrated with their inability to get their changes in. They don't get a vote," Schwartz said of companies trying to steer Linux. "That seems awfully cathedral-like as opposed to the bazaar of the JCP."

Linus Torvalds would take all this in stride. Raymond (above) didn't. His open letter response emphasized something y'all have been talking to me a lot about lately, the "right to fork:"

He can vapor on about voting and committees all it wants, but at the end of the day JCP is still a single point of control, the Java reference implementation and class libraries are under a proprietary license, and nobody can legally fork them. As long as that continues to be the case, Java will be firmly stuck in cathedral-land and any claim otherwise will be disingenuous crap.

Any questions?

Topics: Open Source


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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