When a conference speaker shows a quote at the beginning of a talk, says the quote “really pissed him off,” and then said that is what his talk is going to be about, I sit-up and listen. The problem is that I did not attend Monktoberfest 2013 live, so I had to sit-up straight at my desk in the office while watching the video.
With the heart of an optimist and the head of a bitter cynic, Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, gave an irreverent talk at Monktoberfest 2013 on the topic of Open Source Foundations in the Age of Kingmakers. Though I must admit his irreverence was aimed mostly at the “coffee-swilling, San Francisco hipsters” jumping in on the $14 trillion internet of things bandwagon boondoggle, but that is perhaps a topic for another blog post.
In order to address the quote (you’re gonna have to watch to video to see it) that pissed him off, Milinkovich discusses the benefits of open source foundations, answering the question “In a world of GitHub, do we still need things like open source foundations?”
Benefits of Open Source Foundations
The list of benefits is extensive, compelling, and convincing. Open source foundations provide:
- IP Mgmt, licensing, licensing compatibility
- Project infrastructure and forge (e.g. git)
- Project lifecycle
- Community oversight, norms, mores, culture
- Vendor neutrality
What’s All the HubBub About?
With a list of benefits this long, I can only wonder what all the debate is about. In fact, even if I believe this is just a list created by someone who runs an open source foundation seeking to sell the benefits of open source foundations, how could I argue with the importance of open source knowing that Linux, BSD, Ubuntu, MySQL, Wordpress, Firefox, Mediawiki, and Apache (to name only a few) all have open source roots?
It seems to me (and, of course, to Milinkovich) that open source wins.
Where ever you come down on this debate, you will find Milinkovich’s talk stimulating and entertaining. I did, and I am not even a hard core developer with a strong opinion on the subject.