back to article IBM to Google: Istio, Knative, TensorFlow should be under 'open governance'

What does a £63m investment even mean in a country where you don't need to declare cash flow? IBM's CTO of Open Technology, Chris Ferris, tells The Register that: "IBM believes firmly that open source, especially for projects that really are strategic to the industry, that the best way to manage those is under open governance, …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What was that ?

    At the very beginning of the article we start by reading "IBM believes that strategic open source projects should be managed by a vendor-neutral foundation".

    That's all very nice, but given how every single big company out there treats the market like a shark treats its prey, I have trouble believing in a "a vendor-neutral foundation". Every vendor is going to be vying for an advantage, pushing his own agenda and trying to get his way.

    I doubt that they'll all be sitting around the table, nicely listening to other vendor's ideas and giving their assent to good ideas even if goes contrary to their agenda. That's not the world we're living in when Fortune 500 companies sit at the table.

    1. trevorde

      Re: What was that ?

      I was part of an industry initiative which was meant to promote interoperability, so users could mix and match components from different vendors. Someone described it as "Trying to get a pack of hungry rats to share lunch". It was supported by various vendors to different levels such that it was never really useful, so quickly disappeared.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What was that ?

      "IBM believes that strategic open source projects should be managed by a vendor-neutral foundation"

      Translation: IBM believes these projects may become big and is worried that IBM will be screwed by a third party doing something they don't want. Moving to a vendor-neutral foundation will make IBM happier.

      Disclaimere: anyone who isn't IBM may not benefit or actively be disadvantaged by said move but hey, we're IBM

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: What was that ?

        This is really the RedHat part of IBM speaking. RedHat managed to make a business out of selling services based on open source, in much the same way that Google and Amazon have done. True, it has committed resources to some projects such as OpenStack, but the business contracts are often as restrictive as the competition.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What was that ?

          Are you sure this is the Red Hat part? IBM have invested significantly into development of Istio and developed a number of TensorFlow tools so they are just as involved as Red Hat with Knative and the larger Kubernetes ecosytem.

          And this sounds awfully like the historical IBM view on open source projects - if IBM does then get a place on an oversight committee, the pace and direction of development then goes where they want, often to the detriment of the project and other users with little real benefit other than "slowing things down".

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Theory or Reality

    In theory a foundation would be neutral and users would be able to govern the project to the benefit of all. But in reality, it is very hard to set up a governance scheme that is not vulnerable to being dominated one major group to the detriment of others. So the question is not whether project X should be under a foundation but whether whoever is running X is doing a reasonable job managing it to the benefit of the wider community. If the project is being run well then I would leave its governance alone. If it is not being run well, why are you using it would be a fair question.

    A problem Itsy Bitsy Morons failed to note is, just because something is proposed does not automatically mean it is actually beneficial to the wider community or to the project. And someone has to play the role of BDFL to keep the project on track.

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