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Curious Stirrings In The World Of Open Source

Several events in the open source world have piqued my curiousity. What's going on?

Here's what I'm talking about: Oracle bought Innobase, Check Point Technologies bought Sourcefire, IBM bought Gluecode, BEA bought M7, and Microsoft partnered with JBoss. Innobase makes InnoDB, which is a database storage engine designed to work with the open source MySQL database system. Sourcefire makes the open source Snort intrusion detection and prevention system. M7 makes a tool set for open source Java-based platforms. JBoss makes a Java-based open source application server and development platform. Similar to JBoss, Gluecode makes a Java-based application server and development platform.

All of these open source projects are hugely popular and considered to be leaders in their respective fields. All of these open source projects also have their respective commerical aspects that generate significant revenues. Without a doubt these open source solutions put a damper, either directly or indirectly, on the sales of competing commercial solutions.

Added to all this is the fact that Tenable Networks, makers of the Nessus security scanner (also hugely popular) decided that Nessus will still be free but beginning with Nessus 3.0 the scanner will no longer be available as open source. The company announced that it will close the source code.

Further, JBoss has come under serious fire lately. JBoss filed a lawsuit against the German firm Brockhaus and the company was reportedly issued a cease and desist order. As a result of JBoss' actions against Brockhaus, Rickard Öberg, who helped develop the initial JBoss source code but is no longer involved with the company, launched a blog, "The JBoss Issue," where you can read more about the matter.

That's a lot of significant movement in the open source community. And this is just a summary of the most recent developments.

So let's see... Closed source companies are wheeling and dealing and grabbing up open source companies, and open source companies are jockeying for position in security and application server market spaces where huge amounts of money are to be made. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on for future developments.

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