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Re: OSS Projects WAS: Call from Info World

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: PostgreSQL advocacy <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: OSS Projects WAS: Call from Info World
Date: 2003-11-22 17:50:03
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Lists: pgsql-advocacy

> Not like:
>     * Not Linux - no single gatekeeper, project is usable without
> enhancement * Not Mozilla - no company history like AOL/Netscape
>     * Not Open Office -  no controlling company like Sun
>     * Not Gnome - no controlling companies
>     * Not PHP - no Zend steering development
>     * Not Sendmail - no control by Sendmail, Inc.
>     * Not MySQL - no MySQL AB that does all server development

Some of these examples are redundant.   Really, there's only 6 models for OSS 

(please note that the projects cited are NOT based on in-depth research and 
may be wrongly classified)
1) Ours: a diffuse leadership structure with a variety of individuals and 
companies, but the only participants with clearly "louder voices" are 
individuals with seniority & responsibility. Examples: Us, LTSP, Samba, 
2) Heirarchical: large "volunteer" distributed network of contributors, but 
tightly controlled heirarchy at the top (usually a single "high priest").  
Model shared by Linux, Perl, Python, OpenBSD.  Very common for projects that 
started as a single person's work.
3) Corporate-Council: projects which, due to their commercial value to several 
companies, are run by a group of company-appointed representatives, with 
independant developers largely excluded.  Examples Gnome, XFree86.
4) Corporate-Sponsored: projects which either recently or historically have 
been financially sponsored by a single company, foundation, or university.  
As a result, leadership is hybrid of developer seniority and 
company/foundation influence.  Examples:  Apache, PHP, Slashcode
5) Corporate-owned:  Open Source software which is really part of a single 
company's project line, and is often offered alongside proprietary offerings 
or accessories based on the same code.  The company's paid development team 
and the project's leadership are identical.  Examples: MySQL,,  
Eclipse, Sendmail, Sourceforge.
6) Single-developer:   By far the numerical majority of OSS projects, these 
projects seldom have more than one or two serious developers and a few dozen 
users submitting bugs.   Examples: Flexbackup, XCDRoast, and SQLite up until 
6 months ago.

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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