JBoss, Apache founders engage in war of words on the web

JBoss founder Marc Fleury lashed out Sunday at a blog written by an Apache chief claiming he did not pay proper homage to the Apache Software Foundation after making his fortune.

JBoss founder Marc Fleury lashed out Sunday at a blog written by an Apache chief claiming he did not pay proper homage to the Apache Software Foundation after making his fortune.

In Maison Fleury's latest blog, entitled, "The Brotherhood is Displeased," Fleury takes issue with a web post authored by Apache Software Foundation co-founder and director Jim Jagielski last week that chides the JBoss founder for whining about not getting a formal invitation to the recent ApacheCon conference and his lack of financial support to the ASF, whose code is embedded in JBoss software.

Red Hat purchased the open source enterprise Java middleware (based on Apache Tomcat) in mid 2006 for more than $350 million. Fleury, who became a multi-millionaire as a result of the transaction, served as senior vice president and general manager of Red Hat's JBoss Division briefly and left in February of 2007 to pursue other interests.

"Jim thinks I oughta follow what the ASF does because I owe them for the success of JBoss. Jim asks me to consider a sponsorship of the ASF, now that I have got some moollah," Fleury wrote on his blog Sunday. "Clearly, those that I feel I owe, I also feel I have already taken care of by way of the JBoss equity cap table, which included people who worked at JBoss, members of many OSS communities, as well as some members of the ASF. JBoss, and now RHT sponsor various Apache projects."

The testy web exchange started on November 14 after Fleury wrote a blog questioning why he was not formally invited to the recent ApacheCon, held mid this month in Atlanta. Fleury noted that he crashed the conference and ran into some people with grudges against him.

In response, Apache guru Jagielski penned a piece arguing that Fleury would be more up to speed with community events if he paid any attention to the foundation and "invited" Fleury to become an ASF sponsor.

"So Marc, how about becoming an ASF sponsor? I figure that the Platinum Sponsor (at $100,000) is the right level. The donation would only be a bit over 0.06% of what you personally made off the JBoss deal, which is an amount I hope you could afford. If money is tight (and with the holiday season right around the corner, that's perfectly understandable), then maybe the Gold level ($40,000) is the right fit, at just 0.026%. Please don't hesitate to contact the ASF's fundraising team if interested. Heck, you can even contact me directly if you like. In fact, I'll even mail out a written invitation to sweeten the deal. "

In his latest missive, Fleury also points out that his deal with Red Hat forbids him from giving money to a competitor.

"We paid for coders; not politicians, or should I call them Aparachiks. The idea of funding [those who drive] community spirit offends my sensibilities," Fleury wrote. "Even if it didn't, I would still decline the offer. My Red Hat contract prohibits me from contributing to projects that compete with JBoss. Do I need to remind Jim that Geronimo competes with JBoss, albeit not very successfully. Should I be grateful for Geronimo?"

It will be interesting to see if Fleury gets a formal invite to JBoss World, being held in Orlando from Feb. 13-15.

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