Open Source Communities: About the Importance of Retaining an Open Source Community

Beyond the differences between community and sponsored projects, if it is true that buy an existing open source community is not easy (yet possible), retaining a sponsored one seems difficult looking at the Citrix versus the Xen Community case.

Wet groundWet open source ground by rupertsanfordscutt

Daniel Kusneztky reports that XenSource, struggling to find ways to appropriate returns from the commons, is embarking in a new direction, potentially harmful to other members of the XenSource community.

Tony Asaro, who recently joined Virtual Iron as Chief Strategy Officer, pointed out that the Xen technology is also the result of the efforts of others, therefore the results are not owned by Citrix.

Acquiring a virtualization company is easy, especially if you can pay an high price for it, retaining its community maybe a more difficult task, though.

Sun Tzu said there are six kinds of terrain, open source communities are an entangling ground: ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy. Traditional IT vendors buying small open source companies have to mind their steps, open source is a different ground, definitely.

Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, XenSource, Citrix, DanielKusneztky, open source communities

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2 thoughts on “Open Source Communities: About the Importance of Retaining an Open Source Community

  1. I am the Xen.org program manager from Citrix/XenSource and wanted to reply to the ZDNet posting. You can read my response at http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12695-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=49804&messageID=932957. My personal opinion is that Simon’s discussion about Virtual Iron was taken incorrectly by Virtual Iron as they saw a great PR opportunity to take people’s attention away from his technical comments.

    One interesting issue that this whole blog conflict shows is the difficult task of people speaking out about both the open source project (Xen) and the companies for sale product (XenServer). I think that Simon may have incorrectly mixed the two concepts in his response thus causing the whole blog conflict; however, it seems as though the ZDNet authors went quite far in their “forecast” of what was really going on.

    Please stop by the Xen.org community site to see how Citrix along with the Xen Advisory Board who manage the project are working together to make Xen a great open source solution for customers.

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