Wednesday, March 7, 2007

JBoss: The Shape of Things to Come with Open Source?

Marc Fleury.

Former CEO of JBoss. He and his wife collectively owned more than 50% of JBoss when they sold it to Red Hat not that long ago for a cool $329 million.

How much of that code was developed by the JBoss Open Source community? Was the community allowed to share in any of the Fleury's spoils?

It comes as no surprise to this industry observer that Fleury is leaving Red Hat stating only that: "I've done what I can to help Red Hat succeed."

Good for you Marc. Now what about your loyal "open source" community?

With all due repsect to the Open Source community... Where's the outrage? Where's the class action lawsuit to get your fair share of the windfall? Where's your sense of abandonment? After all either Marc Fleury and his wife have retired early in order to enjoy their $150 million of Red Hat bonus bucks or this very moment Marc is hatching yet another scheme where he can get dedicated programmers to work for free on a "community" based project that Fleury can turn around and sell corporately for another nine or ten figure windfall.

Either way, is it any wonder why Fleury left Red Hat in the lurch too? Why work for a regular salary when there's so much more money to be made so much more quickly without even breaking a sweat in the wonderful world of open source.

Maybe it's just because I grew up in a small town of 3,500 people where the only hucksters we knew accompanied the fall fair into town just once a year kindly taking us all for a nickel or two at a time. These "carnies" didn't make millions at it by any stretch. But then again they didn't invoke that what they were doing was for the good of their "community"! In our small town "flurries" meant a lot of snow and reduced visibility. You couldn't drive at times because you couldn't always see what was coming up ahead. It looks like "Fleury's" means reduced visibility for the Open Source community too. I don't think when they dedicated all those hours of their development time for free that they saw what was coming up ahead either!

The content for this commentary was derived from a recent Informationweek article which can be viewed here:

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