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Open Source “Purity,” Hadoop, and Market Realities

Merv Adrian (Gartner):

The question is whether it is somehow inappropriate, even “evil,” for EMC to enter the market without having “enough” committers to open source Apache projects. More broadly, it’s about whether other people can use, incorporate, add to and profit from Apache Hadoop.

After reading a lot of reactions to EMC’s announcement, the question floating in my head was: how many similar complains have I read about IBM, Amazon, and all other companies that either distribute Hadoop or offer services around it without contributing directly to the Apache Hadoop project? None.

I love open source and I would love if every business using an open source project would find a way to contribute back. But the reality today is different. There are many businesses making use of open source and contributing nothing back. There are also numerous companies making money from open source and contributing back almost nothing. There are very few companies making money directly from their open source projects. And there are very few open source projects that receive any sort of funds to support their communities. Maybe things will change. Or maybe we should take another look at how the open source market works and come up with a different, more sustainable approach.

Original title and link: Open Source “Purity,” Hadoop, and Market Realities (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)