The future of open source

11 leaders outline the challenges and opportunities ahead

There's no question that the open source community is a passionate one -- and one with significant influence on technology directions and options. We're way past the days when people asked if Linux or Apache was safe to depend on in business. Open source is now a mainstream part of the technology fabric.

Yet it remains connected to its roots around a passionate community working together to solve problems and share the fruits of their labors with others. Any endeavor based in community is bound to spark passionate debate. After all, without contention, how else to determine the best way forward?

Since its emergence, open source has embodied this spirit. Part defiant, part self-reliant, and often outspoken and opinionated, those immersed in the community have worked both in tandem and at odds, all with the intention of pushing the movement in as many worthwhile directions at once.

It's so worthwhile that the drumbeat of business can now be heard in nearly every corner of community, drawing the attention of vendors and capitalists alike. And with greater attention and potential has come a measure of added strife. Questions of selling out and just desserts surface more frequently, yet not to the jeopardy of the endeavor, as the code keeps proliferating, thanks to those who participate.

Given the increased reliance on open source by users and commercial vendors, as well as by the commercialization of some open source projects, InfoWorld spoke with 11 thought leaders in a roundtable discussion about the current open source climate to uncover the most vibrant themes and conflicts shaping open source today.

From pioneers Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond to technology strategists at Google, IBM, and Microsoft to the new guard of entrepreneurs and developers working to transform projects into products, each expert sheds ample light on the opportunities and pitfalls ahead.

Topic No. 1: Issues and opportunities Topic No. 2: Evolving trends Topic No. 3: The cost of commercialization Topic No. 4: Avenues for acceptance Topic No. 5: Missteps and lessons learned Topic No. 6: Visions of utopia Topic No. 7: Competition and dissent

Roundtable participants

Matt Asay Vice president of business development, Alfresco

Andy Astor CEO of EnterpriseDB

Chris DiBona Open source programs manager, Google

Bruce Perens Creator of the Open Source Definition and co-founder of the Open Source Initiative

Sam Ramji Senior director of platform technology strategy, Microsoft

Eric S. Raymond Programmer, author, and open source software advocate

Dave Rosenberg CEO and co-founder, Mulesource

Javier Soltero CEO, Hyperic

Mark Spencer Founder and CTO, Digium

Robert Sutor Vice president of open source and standards, IBM

Zack Urlocker Vice president of products, MySQL

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open source

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jason Snyder

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?