Pseudo-Open Source Companies

The provocative post by Nat Torkington about pseudo-open source companies at OSCON makes me wonder how many of these will be showing up at FOSS4G 2007, and if anybody will even object as Nat does.


Re: Pseudo-Open Source Companies

Author: James Fee

These things are all marketing anyway. I'm not surprised to see companies "push the envelope" just to get in front of people. I had a product pitched to me last month which claimed to be "open source compatible". What this meant on further inspection was that the website ran on both Linux and Firefox (though the code was clearly .NET with SQL Server only backend).

Re: Pseudo-Open Source Companies

Author: Andy

I went to OSCON last year. I won't go back unless my employer forces me to go. I used to work for AT&T which is a company that is huge on using Open Source so I used to have to go. I quit AT&T and work for a smaller software company now so I doubt I'll be forced to endure OSCON again any time soon. The years I went the seminars etc. looked like: Perl, Perl, Perl, Perl, Perl, Perl, an intro to something not Perl, Perl, Perl, Perl, why we should all love Perl, a few talks about new Perl things in addition to everything else being about Perl, and a hilarious speech by Damian Conway. The only thing worth going for was Damian Conway. As far as the pseudo Open Source companies go I say if their product isn't Open Source they shouldn't be there in a speaking or advertising capacity.

Re: Pseudo-Open Source Companies

Author: Sean

Funny, Andy. Perl was my favorite tool back in those days, but I haven't written a line of it yet in 2007.

Re: Pseudo-Open Source Companies

Author: Nat

Hi, Andy. Sorry to hear you had such a miserable time at OSCON. I sure hope there's more balance in the program these days--we have people like Guido, Laura Thompsom, Edd Dumbill, Chad Fowler, Simon Willison, Avi Bryant, and others on the program committee to get just that balance. As for FOSS4G, the corporate involvement in open source geo is still in its early days but it'll only grow. Stay vigilant and keep the bastards honest.

Re: Pseudo-Open Source Companies

Author: Paul Ramsey

On OSCON being Perl-heavy, I can only assume that is an outgrowth of its roots as a big Perl convention. Since Damian Conway was the best thing about OSCON, and Damian is speaking at FOSS4G2007, your choice is clear. :) We already have one "non open source" FOSS4G sponsor, in Safe Software, a company with a history of early open source inter-operation (first proprietary support for PostGIS, for example). They won't be the only one, either. This isn't a religious gathering, it's a topical one, so as long as the presentations and displays are on topic ("about open source") that is fine with me. I don't have much truck with pseudo-open source companies though (the ones who use the term to brand things which clearly are not open source). That's just intellectual hijacking.