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Sunday, June 3rd, 2007, 5:33 am

Hopping on the “Open Source” Wave, Even If You Are Proprietary

Quanta Plus

THERE is an increasing number of companies which try to play the “source code” card when it fact they give nothing but binaries. This trend is worrisome. It is also disturbing because it adds ‘noise’ and makes it difficult to identify projects that are truly about collaborative development.

Here are some projects that thrives in Open Source status that is not truly deserved:

  • Coverity – brags detection of defects in Open Source code, but proprietary nonetheless.
  • Krugle – searches and indexes Open Source code, but if you talk the talk, you ought to walk the walk.
  • Google – Thrives in the use of Open Source software, but lacks transparency (APIs are no code).
  • Black Duck – verifies license compliance in open source projects, but still proprietary.

What does it all come down to? It’s nice when you speak about opening and sharing, but if your company only exploits this “Open Source” aura, then you can do more harm than good. Software opens up because it makes it better and development is sped up. Companies whose focus are other open source projects ought to realise this.

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