The Little Red Hen eats the bread

The Little Red Hen eats the bread

Summary: There is a warning here for users of other open source projects, a warning that should be heeded. A contract is not forever. It is not a guarantee. Open source depends on those who get free code doing something in return, and while many do most don't.

SHARE:
9

UPDATE: I have another post on Illumos today. Critics on the discussion thread are invited to read it.

I have written here often of the Little Red Hen. (And probably sold some copies of this book at Amazon.com.)

Everyone in corporate open source knows the story. You come to the open source market with a complete project, people download it without even saying thanks, and you want a way of assuring your own future.

When I write here of the 90-10 rule, I am likely to see comments from folks saying it's more like the 99-1 rule, or the 99.9-.1 rule. Open source users are all take and no give, they say. If you're not getting significant help open source isn't worth it.

That theory gets its ultimate test starting today as Oracle officially takes back OpenSolaris. Future versions of the code, dubbed Illumos, will only be released as they are finished by Oracle. Oracle will control the software's horizontal and its vertical.

The former Open Solaris board did come in for a lot of criticism, and not just from the company that released the code. It was seen as dithering, as ineffective. As the dog, the cat and the duck, in other words.

There is a warning here for users of other open source projects, a warning that should be heeded. A contract is not forever. It is not a guarantee. Open source depends on those who get free code doing something in return, and while many do most don't.

You don't have to be a programmer to give back. You can use beta code. You can report bugs. Some popular projects offer t-shirts and coffee mugs. You can write to friends and recommend the program, doing its marketing.

Or you can complain.

Topics: Open Source, Amazon, Oracle

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

    Illumos will be innovating, and not just waiting for Oracle code drops, now that Oracle has stopped providing updates. Basically, Oracle made us fork.

    That's ok though, because it also gives us freedom to start working on improvements that we might not have otherwise done because of the problems associated with merging.

    OpenSolaris suffered from impossibly high barriers to community contribution.

    Illumos does not. We have already started to take contributions from individuals that *tried* to contribute to OpenSolaris, but where held up by process or lack of interest on Oracle's part.

    As a result, the Illumos project will be more vibrant and thriving as a community effort than OpenSolaris ever was.

    Don't believe it? Just wait and see. (Of course, I'd rather if you actually joined in and helped in any of the number of manners you indicated.)

    -- Garrett D'Amore, Illumos Tech Lead
    gdamore
    • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

      open source projects, a warning that<a href="http://www.nerdysouthrecords.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> about it</font></a> is bank that <a href="http://rabbiburton.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">website</font></a> attacked from the <a href="http://thescatterload.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">site support</font></a> from any soldier <a href="http://www.macnerdnews.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">site</font></a> to the light <a href="http://www.ventasyacom.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">home page</font></a> is great should
      musdahi
  • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

    Nice reminder Dana, I could do with a Ubuntu Ogio messenger bag.
    Agnostic_OS
  • Open Source only for software???

    Why is it that Open Source is only for software?
    Why not for hardware, or cars, or kitchen appliances?
    I would be more than happy to (literally) test drive a car, or a 3D HD TV. I'm sure that my insight would be very valuable to these companies. I would even be amenable to receiving a cash bonus for doing so...
    FiOS-Dave
    • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

      @FiOS-Dave
      Actually open source hardware does exist. The arduino is definately open source. You can learn about it at http://www.arduino.cc/
      hswaters@...
      • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

        @hswaters@...
        So the Arduino hardware is available for free?
        I guess I've always associated open source with being free.
        FiOS-Dave
  • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

    Thank for the reminder Dana I'll get on and order a Ubuntu Ogio messenger bag now.
    Agnostic_OS
  • This article provides false information.

    quote" That theory gets its ultimate test starting today as Oracle officially takes back OpenSolaris. Future versions of the code, dubbed Illumos, will only be released as they are finished by Oracle. Oracle will control the software?s horizontal and its vertical."

    And Illumos is totally independent from Oracle now, using the original OpenSolaris code with those closed bits now being replaced. Please review your facts by just visiting illumos.org.
    LinuxUser&XPGamerGraphic
  • RE: The Little Red Hen eats the bread

    Yeah, the problem is that this is a warning all right - a warning to not chip in and help on corporate-sponsored open source products.

    Most people give of their time to help open source to promote open, free software for everyone. When it can just be 'taken back' at any time - screw that. There's about 1000 other projects to do work for that aren't like that. At this point, anyone doing free work on Oracle "open source" is a chump; they are an unpaid serf of Ellison's.
    mxyzplk