Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

IBM Pulls Open-Source License

Filed under
OSS

IBM has extended support for a development tool after users cried out against the company mothballing it and revoking its open-source status.

The controversy revolves around the Cgidev02 tool which is part of IBM's Easy400 software suite for the iSeries that lets developers web-enable software written in COBOL or RPG.

Changing Story

Despite labelling the product as open source and stating that it complied with the official Open Source Criteria, the vendor doesn't specify on its Web site which of the more than 70 open-source licenses governs the product. Users who download the free tools are never presented a license either.

Regardless of the product's advertised open status, IBM rejected a request from Giovanni Perotti to offer the Cgidev2 tool for download from his Web site. Perotti is a former IBM software developer who retired earlier this year.

After further review, the vendor claimed that the software had never officially been open sourced.

"While in the grand scheme of things Cgidev2 is penny-ante, the implications of its reproprietization are not," said Jonathan Eunice, principal analyst with Illuminata.

Abusing Status?

IBM has abused the software's open-source status to enjoy marketing and user acceptance benefits, he argued. By revoking the open-source status, the company undermines the value of open source.

"This is the kind of reversal that makes folks into cynics."

IBM's refusal to allow its former employee to host the software automatically meant that the tool would be mothballed. Prior to his retirement, Perotti had been the last developer to work on the project.

"I believe that such a position is totally irrespective of the iSeries and AS/400 customer's needs all over the world," Perotti wrote in an e-mail posted on a mailing group about the application.

Causing an Outcry

More than 17,000 people have registered on the Web site where they can download the tool and over 3,000 sites use it. Cgidev2 allowed IBM to retain customers that otherwise would have migrated to Microsoft's .Net platform Perotti claimed.

IBM's decision to pull support lead to an outcry among users who sent the company several hundred e-mails. This in turn caused the the company to re-assign developers.

"I didn't recognize until Monday that this tool set was still being utilized to develop applications on a platform. Once I became aware of it, I said let's go ahead and support it," Jim Herring, IBM eServer iSeries product management and business operations director told Search400.com.

Spokeswoman Kathleen McGraw for IBM's System and Technology Group told vnunet.com that the situation was based on a miscommunication. The company plans to set up a new Web site to replace the one that Perotti run where users can download the tool.

She added that the vendor is looking to release the code under an open-source license.

By Tom Sanders
VNUNet.com

More in Tux Machines

Canonical and Ubuntu

  • RADV & ANV Vulkan Drivers Are One Command Away On Ubuntu 17.04
    Similar to Ubuntu 16.10, the Mesa Vulkan drivers are not present by default on new Ubuntu installations. But to get the packaged Vulkan drivers, simply sudo apt install mesa-vulkan-drivers. When running some tests on Ubuntu 17.04 this weekend, I was a bit surprised to see that Mesa's Intel ANV and Radeon RADV drivers aren't present by default -- since it's been one year since the Vulkan 1.0 debut and the ANV/RADV drivers have matured a lot during this time. There's also more and more software becoming available that can make use of Vulkan while personally wishing for more Linux desktops to push Vulkan. But it's easy to install the Vulkan drivers as mentioned. Similarly, vulkan-utils isn't installed by default.
  • Wishful Thinking Of Non-Free Software Makers
    Regardless of my personal problems with non-Free software, the world has largely accepted FLOSS to SAS’s chagrin. I guess Canonical should be glad except they barely mention “Linux” on their site. What’s with that? They are like some purveyors of non-Free software that talk about the benefits of their products without even mentioning what the software actually does as if that’s best kept secret…
  • 2017: Should Linux Benchmarking Still Be Mostly Done With Ubuntu?
    Every year or so it comes up how some users believe that at Phoronix we should be benchmarking with Antergos/Arch, Debian, or [insert here any other distribution] instead of mostly using Ubuntu for our Linux benchmarking. That discussion has come back up in recent days. In our forums and Twitter the past few days, that discussion seems to have come up by some users requesting I use a different Linux distribution than Ubuntu as the main test platform for all of our benchmarking. As I've said before, Ubuntu is used given it's the most popular when it comes to Linux desktop usage as well as significant usage of it on servers / workstations / cloud. But I have no tie to it beyond focusing upon using the Linux distribution that's used by the most folks for obtaining the maximum relevance to users, gamers, and enthusiasts reading said articles. And for allowing easy comparisons / out-of-the-box expectations. On my main production system I still use Fedora Workstation as my personal favorite and in the basement server room there are a variety of operating systems -- both BSDs and Linux and from Antergos to openSUSE and Debian.

Linux Devices, Tizen, and Android

Leftovers: OSS

  • SAP buys into blockchain, joins Hyperledger Project
  • foss-north speaker line-up
    I am extremely pleased to have confirmed the entire speaker line-up for foss north 2017. This will be a really good year!
  • Chromium/Chrome Browser Adds A glTF Parser
    Google's Chrome / Chromium web-browser has added a native glTF 1.0 parser. The GL Transmission Format, of course, being Khronos' "3D asset delivery format" for dealing with compressed scenes and assets by WebGL, OpenGL ES, and other APIs. There are glTF utility libraries in JavaScript and other web-focused languages, but Google adding a native glTF 1.0 parser appears to be related to their VR push with supporting VR content on the web. Their glTF parser was added to Chromium Git on Friday.
  • Sex and Gor and open source
    A few weeks ago, Dries Buytaert, founder of the popular open-source CMS Drupal, asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor and long-time member of the Drupal community, “to leave the Drupal project.” Why did he do this? He refuses to say. A huge furor has erupted in response — not least because the reason clearly has much to do with Garfield’s unconventional sex life. [...] I’ll unpack the first: open-source communities/projects are crucially important to many people’s careers and professional lives — cf “the cornerstone of my career” — so who they allow and deny membership to, and how their codes of conduct are constructed and followed, is highly consequential.
  • Hazelcast Releases 3.8 – The Fastest Open Source In-Memory Data Grid
  • SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva are 2016 Free Software Awards winners
  • MRRF 17: Lulzbot and IC3D Release Line Of Open Source Filament
    Today at the Midwest RepRap Festival, Lulzbot and IC3D announced the creation of an Open Source filament. While the RepRap project is the best example we have for what can be done with Open Source hardware, the stuff that makes 3D printers work – filament, motors, and to some extent the electronics – are tied up in trade secrets and proprietary processes. As you would expect from most industrial processes, there is an art and a science to making filament and now these secrets will be revealed.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.2

Security Leftovers

  • NSA: We Disclose 90% of the Flaws We Find
    In the wake of the release of thousands of documents describing CIA hacking tools and techniques earlier this month, there has been a renewed discussion in the security and government communities about whether government agencies should disclose any vulnerabilities they discover. While raw numbers on vulnerability discovery are hard to come by, the NSA, which does much of the country’s offensive security operations, discloses more than nine of every 10 flaws it finds, the agency’s deputy director said.
  • EFF Launches Community Security Training Series
    EFF is pleased to announce a series of community security trainings in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library. High-profile data breaches and hard-fought battles against unlawful mass surveillance programs underscore that the public needs practical information about online security. We know more about potential threats each day, but we also know that encryption works and can help thwart digital spying. Lack of knowledge about best practices puts individuals at risk, so EFF will bring lessons from its comprehensive Surveillance Self-Defense guide to the SFPL. [...] With the Surveillance Self-Defense project and these local events, EFF strives to help make information about online security accessible to beginners as well as seasoned techno-activists and journalists. We hope you will consider our tips on how to protect your digital privacy, but we also hope you will encourage those around you to learn more and make better choices with technology. After all, privacy is a team sport and everyone wins.
  • NextCloud, a security analysis
    First, I would like to scare everyone a little bit in order to have people appreciate the extent of this statement. As the figure that opens the post indicates, there are thousands of vulnerable Owncloud/NextCloud instances out there. It will surprise many just how easy is to detect those by trying out common URL paths during an IP sweep.
  • FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash
    Bribes on offer as courier's custom printing service needs Adobe's security sinkhole