Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

"The Myth of Open-Source"

Filed under
OSS

In February, 2000, the Internet bubble was just about to burst and Paris-native Marc Fleury was in Silicon Valley hitting the venture-capital circuit, trying to get funding for his fledgling open-source startup. When one VC after another told him it was a horrible business plan, he packed up his PowerPoint slides -- along with his bruised ego -- and moved into his in-law's house in Atlanta, setting out to build his startup the old fashioned way -- with his own money.

Fast-forward to 2004, and Fleury is having the last laugh. His company, JBoss, has decided to go for its first outside investors, sewing up a tidy $10 million in funding from VCs clamoring to get in on one of the hottest open-source companies in high tech. JBoss, along with a handful of others, such as MySQL, have proven that big corporate customers have an interest in free software that extends beyond Linux (see BW Online, 10/19/04, "Redemption for JBoss's Boss").

JBoss makes application-server software -- the kind of that's responsible for running mission-critical Web programs, such as JBoss client Travelocity's reservation engine. It's a market that has been dominated by BEA Systems (BEAS ) and IBM (IBM ), but analysts say JBoss is posing a serious threat by offering free software licenses while charging for support, maintenance, and training.

In 2004, Forrester Research surveyed 95 open-source-friendly tech companies and found 15% were already using JBoss software and 8% more were planning on it. While just 3% or so of JBoss users are paying customers, almost 6 million companies have downloaded its software.

Despite his success, Fleury is skeptical of the new generation of open-source startups now being funded by VCs. BusinessWeek Online Silicon Valley reporter Sarah Lacy caught up with Fleury on a recent trip to San Francisco to talk about making money in the world of open-source software -- and why it may not be as easy as JBoss and others have made it seem. Following are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Kernel 3.18 development – the kernel column

Linus Torvalds announced Linux 3.17, the Shuffling Zombie Juror, saying, “The past week was fairly calm, and so I have no qualms about releasing 3.17 on the normal schedule”. The latest kernel includes a number of nice headline features, such as the new getrandom() system call and sealed files APIs that we covered in previous issues of LU&D. Linux 3.17 also includes support for less highlighted new features, such as new signature checking of kexec()’d kernel images and sparse files on Samba file systems (which is significant for those mounting Windows and Mac shares). Read more

Qt 5.4 Release Candidate Available

I am happy to announce that Qt 5.4 Release Candidate is now available. After the Qt5.4 Beta release we have done some build & packaging related updates in addition to large number of error fixes based on feedback from Beta release. Read more

Weston's IVI Shell Sees New Version

There hasn't been much in the way of exciting Wayland/Weston developments to report on this month, but its development is continuing in its usual manner. Out today is another version of the Weston IVI Shell as it still works to being accepted upstream. The weston-ivi-shell is a reference shell for Wayland's Weston compositor running on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems. The Weston-IVI work dates back many months and today's revision to the shell marks its eighth public version as it still seeks to be accepted into mainline Weston. Read more

Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell

The GNOME Shell 3.15.2 release fixes some visual glitching, improves the layout of the extension installation dialog, supports the CSS margin property, and offers other bug fixes and minor enhancements. Most notable to GNOME Shell 3.15.2 though is there's finally Python 3 support. Many GNOME components have long ported their Python 2 code to Python 3 while GNOME Shell's Python support has just received the Py3 treatment. Details on GNOME's overall Python 3 porting work can be found via this Wiki page. Read more