This Week in Open Source Software Mar 27 – Apr 2

Is Marc Fleury of JBoss One of the Most Hated Men in Open Source?

The latest edition of BusinessWeek did a feature article on Marc Fleury of JBoss, which portrays him as one of the “bad boys” of open source software. The article includes the following gems:

“Brash, outspoken, and frequently insulting, Fleury has clawed his way to the top of the open-source pile over the past six years. Part of the dislike arises because he’s a threat.”

Meanwhile, some open-source companies are put off by what they say is Fleury’s money-grubbing, controlling style. It’s out of keeping, they say, with the cooperative, do-it-for-the-greater-good ethos of the open-source movement.” (BusinessWeek)

Marc responded to the article on his blog:

One of the advantages of achieving a little notoriety is that you get to spend time telling young journalists about what a ‘bad boy’ you are. The aftermath: you get to read the ensuing portrait of a money grubber who’s ‘clawed his way’ to the top of the open source pile (of what, kaka?) and who communicates via a ‘fervent, almost preachy and completely self-serving blog.’

“Don’t get me wrong I am actually EXTREMELY GRATEFUL for the article, Sarah, I mean it is not every day that ANYONE gets a full-featured article in BW. This is more publicity than I could ever hope for and I did get a chuckle out of reading it, so thanks.” (Enter the JBoss Matrix)

Another Open Source Win for Healthcare

Catholic Healthcare West, the largest non-profit healthcare provider in California, moves to open source as part of an initiative to consolidate systems and increase efficiency. The flexibility of open source software allows them to more effectively meet the restrictive regulatory requirements of this industry. Eric Leader, Chief Technical Architect for Catholic Healthcare West said, “In general, IT in the healthcare industry tends to lag. They are slow to adopt and risk-averse.” (Newsforge) I have previously discussed the risk-averse nature of the healthcare industry, which makes these examples of open source usage even more compelling than similar ones in industries with greater tolerance for risk.

Venezuela Promotes Open Source Software

Many governments promote open source software as a way to stimulate the local economy, reduce costs, and avoid supporting the large, multinational, American companies. Venezuela is the latest example with the Science and Technology Ministry recently holding an event to promote the use of Linux and other open source software in place of Microsoft solutions. The ministry said that this is part of a move toward “technological sovereignty, and taking advantage of knowledge for building national scientific independence.” (AP)

Former Sun Exec Asks Sun to Open Source Java

Peter Yared, former Chief Technologist at Sun and currently the CEO of ActiveGrid, posted an open letter to Jonathon Schwartz questioning Sun’s decision to open source Solaris and SPARC, but not the Java virtual machine. It has generated some press attention, but I have not seen a response from Sun yet. Sun has answered this question before, but typically in convoluted terms that do not really explain why open sourcing Java should be different from the other products that Sun has released into open source, so it will be interesting to see how Sun responds to this request.

An Update on the City of Tuttle, CentOS, Jerry Taylor Saga

I blogged about the City of Tuttle story earlier this week, so please read this post first if you are not familiar with the background. This week the local paper, The Tuttle Times, reported on the event that captured attention from around the world. In the article, Jerry Taylor was quoted as saying:

“’This is just a bunch of freaks out there that don’t have anything better to do,’ he said. ‘When I came in to work Monday morning, I had about 500 e-mails, plus anonymous phone calls from all the geeks out there. [CentOS is] a free operating system that this guy gives away, which tells you how much time he’s got on his hands.'”

“Taylor said that the mistake could have happened to anyone, and he stands by what he did.”

Despite all that has happened,

“Mayor Paxton said that the city manager knows a lot more about computers than he does, and he trusts Taylor.” (The Tuttle Times)

Interesting choice.