February 2, 2005

Analysis: The open source monopoly

Author: Lajos Moczar

Editor's note: "The Open Source Monopoly" was originally published as a single paper by the author, a Colorado-based IT business consultant. It has since become the first in a series of three. The second, "The Economics of Commercial Open Source" (which will be posted on ITMJ on Thursday), looks in more detail at the economic models of companies such as Red Hat Inc., JBoss, and MySQL AB. The third article, "A Call for Open Source Reform" (to be published Friday on ITMJ) presents some solutions to the current trend in open source and offers a challenge to the open source community for reform.

Recently I wrote an article on Apache Geronimo for JavaWorld called "A First Look at Apache Geronimo." In the summary, I stated that "Geronimo aims to be the first J2EE-certified open source J2EE server." As can be imagined, that statement generated a flurry of emails and responses, most of which claimed that, in fact, JBoss was the first open source J2EE certified server. In my reply to some of the reader feedback I received, I clarified that I did not consider JBoss open source in the same way Apache Geronimo is open source. That statement led to more controversy, and so I decided to respond fully in a separate article. This article is my response.

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