Subject: Re: {fsb} Re: Ximian's proprietary connector for open source Evolution
From: "M. Drew Streib" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 23:40:06 +0000
Wed, 5 Dec 2001 23:40:06 +0000
On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 06:15:44PM -0500, Mark Eichin wrote:
> We didn't get that far, in practice.  Part of the justification was
> also that we weren't going to replace tivoli any time soon, so we'd
> have to coexist with it - I suspect there's similar logic for Ximian
> wrt Exchange as well...

History will tell, as this is just one step in the evolution of business
models and free software, and we've seen a few new entries to this model

Notables in this field:

* Ximian
  Proprietary modules for interaction with Exchange servers around the 
  free Evolution package.
* VA Software / SourceForge
  Proprietary modules for links to existing Oracle databases, and also
  Clearcase repositories and other development tools around the mostly
  free SourceForge platform.
  Similar to SourceForge, selling proprietary modules for links to
  existing development tools around the mostly free Tigris platform.
* Sendmail, Inc.
  Sells packaged software and tools around a modification of the
  free sendmail package.

This model isn't completely different than the services and custom
software around free software model, currently in use by:

* NuSphere (MySQL)
* Mysql AB (MySQL)
* GreatBridge (out of business, PostgreSQL)
* Eazel (out of business, Nautilus, Gnome)
* Troll Tech (QT)
* Scyld Computing (Beowulf)
* Namesys (reiserfs)

...and of course distribution companies have flirted with attaching 
proprietary modules to otherwise free distributions as well.

On a not-so-good-for-free-software note, some companies tried the free
model and ended up changing:

* Lutris 
  Enydra (a j2ee server) appears to be non-free in its latest incarnation.
  Formerly Lutris had tried selling services around the free platform.
* Sistina
  GFS (Global File System) will be non-free in its new versions.

We'll have to wait to see how well these hybrid models fare in the long
term. If one takes a view of the group as a whole, it appears that the
model may work for those that are leaning towards a professional service
focus, but without the extreme growth that we saw in early attempts at
free software models. Of course, there are a lot of other factors
for each company as well that contribute to success or failure...


M. Drew Streib <>, Free Standards Group (
co-founder, | core team, freedb | sysadmin, Linux Intl.
creator, keyanalyze report | maintnr, * | other, see freedom/law

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