Open Source, Open Core, Open ScoreCards
There is this constant discussion about Open Core vs Open Source vs Proprietary Software , Fauxpen Source, Open Source Business models etc.. you probably know all the usual suspects involved, first up lets agree that nobody will ever agree on what's best, (off course it's pure open source.. ) , but one of the important aspects is to know what values are important for you and your customers
Simon Phipps thinks we should build a scorecard that lists the different values we attach to a certain level of openness
He'd like a rating to questions such as , Is the license OSI-approved? , Is the copyright under diverse control? ,Is the community governance open?, Are external interfaces and formats standards compliant? , Does your community operate under a patent peace arrangement? Are trademarks community controlled? etc ..
Do we need one ? Matt Aslett , whom I finally met last week in London , thinks not as it will has the knife will cut on both sides, but then also thinks yes as it might clear up confusion to outsiders.
The comments on his post however is where the real discussion starts, the one where the Open Core fanboy tells about HIS customers not caring, and the Open Source zealots comment that the open core customers don't care as they already settle for the best of worst world (ok ok , I added that myselve :))
We are old and smart enough to decide ourselve .. aren't we ? Fact is that plenty of us already use this kind of scorecards for themselves, We prefer Open Source over Open Core , but still Open Core over proprietary software, we look at the community, we look at the source , we look at who's contributing and who's using. Sometimes we value a vibrant user community over a vibrant contributing community , sometimes we don't like projects with only contributions from 1 company .. we do that exercize daily
On the other hand, as Matthew Aslett states, the outsiders probably don't know yet, and as someone else in the discussion said, some customers are just stupid ..
Different Open Core vendors have different approaches, we should use our own brains to see the difference between Marketing Driven company squashing out buggy but open code and community driven company looking for a business model. If you, such as Sander claims constantly are trying to outsmart your community , don't you think your customers will realize that ?
An aftertought If Simon Phipps gets his wish granted, what do we do with the blogs etc, shouldn't Matt then change the subtitle of his blog to The business and politics of open core ? and his title to Open Core Executive to ? Or do we just call him the Richard Stallman of Open Core ?