Commercial, Professional, and Community Open Source: Resolving the Naming Confusion

As a researcher, imprecise naming bothers me. The general confusion around the terms commercial open source, professional open source, and community open source warrants closer analysis.

First my proposal, then some litmus tests, followed by a bit of history.

  • Commercial open source is software provided as open source where a single legal entity owns the rights to the software (SugarCRM, Alfresco, etc.)
  • Professional open source is software provided as open source where a dominant firm provides services around the software without actually owning it (JBoss, Spring, etc.)
  • Community open source is software provided as open source where multiple stakeholders hold the rights and no player dominates the software (Linux, Apache, etc.)

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International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes

I’m a founding member and associate editor of the International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes. Please consider submitting a paper to this new journal, call for papers appended.

CALL FOR PAPERS

International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes (IJOSSP)

An Official Publication of the Information Resources Management Association – New in 2009

www.igi-global.com/ijossp

Editor-in-Chief: Stefan Koch, Vienna University of Economics and BA, Austria

Published: Quarterly (both in Print and Electronic form)

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The Total Growth of Open Source (Abstract)

Authors: Amit Deshpande, Dirk Riehle

Abstract: Software development is undergoing a major change away from a fully closed software process towards a process that incorporates open source software in products and services. Just how significant is that change? To answer this question we need to look at the overall growth of open source as well as its growth rate. In this paper, we quantitatively analyze the growth of more than 5000 active and popular open source software projects. We show that the total amount of source code as well as the total number of open source projects is growing at an exponential rate. Previous research showed linear and quadratic growth in lines of source code of individual open source projects. Our work shows that open source is expanding into new domains and applications at an exponential rate.

Reference: In Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2008). Springer Verlag, 2008. Page 197-209.

Available as a PDF file or in HTML, also see the Addendum.

Global Open Source Trends and Public Initiatives

I’ll be moderating the experts panel on “Global Open Source Trends and Public Initiatives” at the half-day Global Open Source Conference on March 24th, 2008, in San Francisco. Panel participants are Mark Radcliffe of DLA Piper, Sander Ruiter from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Tony Wasserman of CMU West, and Arnaud Le Hors of IBM. The event precedes the Open Source Business Conference which will start the next day.

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Continuous Integration in Open Source Software Development

Authors: Amit Deshpande, Dirk Riehle

Abstract: Commercial software firms are increasingly using and contributing to open source software. Thus, they need to understand and work with open source software development processes. This paper investigates whether the practice of continuous integration of agile software development methods has had an impact on open source software projects. Using fine-granular data from more than 5000 active open source software projects we analyze the size of code contributions over a project’s life-span. Code contribution size has stayed flat. We interpret this to mean that open source software development has not changed its code integration practices. In particular, within the limits of this study, we claim that the practice of continuous integration has not yet significantly influenced the behavior of open source software developers.

Reference: In Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2008). Springer Verlag, 2008. Page 273-280.

Available as a PDF file.

SDN: Is there Money in Open Source Services?

IDC’s Matt Lawton recently released a new report about open source adoption:

“However, project vendors, project partners, and vendor partners need to step up and provide support and attendant services in order to move the adoption of OSS from early adopters to the mainstream. Only 12% of all projects are supported by a commercial software vendor, and, incredibly, less than 1% of the projects have attendant services sourced from service providers.” […]

Wow! Open source is in the enterprise, and only 1% of those off-the-shelf software components have attendant services for them?

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