It's been exactly a year since former Delta Airlines vice president turned Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst criticized open-source vendors for doing a lousy job of getting customers involved in the community and projects. Twelve months on, how are things looking? Little has changed, judging by the general level of hand- …
I prefer open-source products but...
As a business architect working in the financial sector with companies that want to use open-source, three problems identify themselves.
The first is that simply Tibco et al can sell themselves better to the management and in big companies that matters.
The second, and in my view more serious, is that there really are too many products (including open source products). I am a proponent of choice but how many busses do we need and how many super-duper variations are necessary? The 80/20 rule has to be observed.
The third and most serious is the lack of support and expertise (where can I get the people with experience of that product) plus the tendency to change the thing every now and then.
There really is a need for some stability. I design systems that in terms of the business have to function for 10 or more years. The IT also has to be relatively stable for that time.
I admit that IBM and Tibco regularly come out with "better" products (for themselves I suspect), but again they have the name and some sort of justification.
What I could do with are fewer, simpler products with longer term ideals. A release every year or two is more than adequate.
Customers are End-Users
Its nice that some companies can occasionally help with strategic open-source projects when it benefits their bottom line. Most customers however are busy with their own operations and do not have extra developers sitting around with nothing to do.
I am curious as to how AMQP tackles the "more specific needs of financial services".
As it only defines a wire protocol but no API companies will still be locked in to whichever vendor's (or in-house) API they decide to program to.
Yes, once they provide a JMS mapping that will provide one option but, you know, not everyone in the financial services uses Java for everything!
People should get more involved, in the long run it will benefit them and others.
It's just that in today's hardened society people seem to be scared to help another person, in fear of negative retribution. Malformed kind of self-preservation inherited through past experiences with software patenting, restrictive licensing, enforced by security through obscurity dressed in dark glasses and a Gestapo long coat? hmm.
Oh, it's you, Bill. I thought you'd be taller.
No news here! Yes OSS help is flaky at best, but it's written by people who do it a lot of the time as a side project which may interest a few other people, if it takes off, great, if not it languishes unloved in the Freshmeat.net basement!
OSS take it or leave it, all about the choice! Business need to think about that before they try to jump on the OSS open-love, trendy, cost-cutting band-wagon. OSS can be very hard work and you need good, dedicated people, but it can pay off very well if done correctly, Amazon a good example. However most companies I have worked in are, well to put it politely, as cohesive as the behemoth online retailer!
I love OSS but I also accept it's shortfalls, horses for courses!