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Open Source Software Up the Stack

Dennis Byron

Maybe in wine and cheese but do the French lead in open source? Non!

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I follow my fellow ebizQ open source blogger Alex Fletcher, as I hope you do, and I very rarely disagree with him. But I think his take on the French having a big lead on (North) America in open source development and forming some kind of shining example for the open source community in North America is missing quelques faits. Actually I am disagreeing with the InfoWorld article he links to as his proof point as much as with his post itself.

I hope it is not parochialism on my part but to say the work at OW2 proves some kind of French leadership because it is a spin out of my old employer Bull really disses the Apache Software Foundation, Mozilla, etc. The fact that most open source groups similar to or even more open than OW2 have their roots here in the U.S. doesn't make the U.S. any more or less a mover or shaker in the community. It's not a geographic thing. In reality, all these groups including OW2 hopefully are using contributors from around the world.

The real kicker is the sentence:

"Everyone prospers when working together under a single, shared technology vision."

Well, no, sorry that is not the case in France or anywhere else. In France in particular, before this current iteration of central technology planning by the French government, it was called Plan Calcul, launched by the French government in 1966/1967 in response to the launch of the IBM System/360 or in response to GE's acquisition of Bull or because Kennedy didn't want to sell deGaulle a CDC supercomputer to build a nuclear bomb, depending with whom you parlez.

Whichever, it was a costly failure. It was abandoned around 1975. I saw its effects during my time with Bull in 1973-1974. That is one of many reasons I am against any government's intervention in the IT market through regulation and legislation. But at least the finale for Plan Calcul pretty much convinces me that every time a government does try to intervene it is good news for developers and software publishers--open source or otherwise--that run the other way. Do the timeline and you find that France completely missed the real next big thing in IT while it was trying to beat IBM (or GE or Kennedy) by government edict.

As as aside, I think the statement, "A lot of universities in the U.S., except probably MIT, use traditional tools like Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP" would be found laughable by the U.S. labs and universities where open sharing of source code began back when (North) America was still sending France CARE packages. But C-M, Harvard, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois among others can defend themselves.

14 Comments

Dennis,

Thank you for writing about OW2. I would like to address a couple of points in your post.

First of all, whatever its origin, OW2 has been a fully independent organization since January 2007. There is not a (euro) cent of public money in OW2. We are proud of that; it makes us truly independent. If our members do not renew their membership then OW2 might disappear. That's all.

Second, although there is still a high proportion of French project leaders, we are not trying to prove anything in this respect. We are a global community and a global organization. Our membership is fast developing in China, Europe and Latin America.

Third, our Technology Council (the group of project leaders) is here to define the technology vision and maintain consistancy of our code base. It's not always easy, but it's part of our governance system, it's the way we oprerate, and it tends to make things more comfortable for everyone.

There is no magic, no politics, and we are not trying to prove anything; at OW2 we are just trying to do our job right. And we say that our job is to build a global community and to grow that code base of open source middleware.

Regards,

Cedric

Cedric Thomas
CEO OW2 Consortium

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Thanks for the comment Cedric.

I don't think I said OW2 was public funded but if something I wrote implied that, I apologize.

I think on your other comments we are in complete agreement: no politics, no nationalities, no governments in software development.

Dennis

But I would have to get my foot out of my mouth cause how would I categorize quality of life. They may be in poorer living conditions but they could be happier than I am because of their belief system. So alas I don't know. This is what blogs are for. :)

But I would have to get my foot out of my mouth cause how would I categorize quality of life. They may be in poorer living conditions but they could be happier than I am because of their belief system. So alas I don't know. This is what blogs are for.

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Ne voivat olla huonot elinolot, mutta voisin olla onnellisempi kuin minä heidän uskonsa järjestelmään.

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Mama sepeti köpek maması ve köpek mamaları satışı yapan bir eticaret sitesidir.

visible because of a great article, thank you ...visible because of a great article, thank you ...

tşkler emegınıze sağlık gelek spas dikikm ji wera

tşkler emegınıze sağlık gelek spas dikikm ji wera

Ne voivat olla huonot elinolot; mutta voisin olla onnellisempi kuin minä heidän uskonsa jarjestelman. Joten valitettavasti en tieda.

Ne voivat olla huonot elinolot, mutta voisin olla onnellisempi kuin minä heidän uskonsa järjestelmään. Joten valitettavasti en tiedä.

Dennis Byron’s blog on open source software: A longtime market research analyst follows what “the movement? means to business integration—in applications, infrastructure, as services, as architecture and as functionality.

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