Open Source Gotcha

If you think that selecting an open source software will allow you to use it for free forever, think again.

JDJ has published an article about the rumors that Oracle might buy JBoss. I do not know if it “ll ever happen, but let “s assume for a minute that this is true. Do you think that JBoss application server will remain free? I doubt it. LGPL license has customer protection clauses for the acquisition cases. I know that the current code base will always remain free, and enthusiasts can fork new branches as they please, but the future versions of JBoss may become quite costly. And if you “ve invested lots of time and efforts on creating JBoss-based data centers and deploying applications under this app server, you may need to go shopping again. Hopefully, you did not use any JBoss-specific features in your JEE applications, otherwise you “ll need to spend time on porting this application to the new app server.

This issue is not specific to Oracle/JBoss rumors, feel free to replace JBoss with whatever open source product you use and Oracle with VendorXYZ.

If you do not think that such things are possible, read Bill Venner “s post “Rewriting versus Refactoring rdquo;. He told a story of a formerly open source Jive, which all of a sudden got a price tag of $8500 per server

Do you know what most of the open source vendors dream about? They hope to be bought by a wealthy VendorXYZ. And if their dream comes true, you might start getting nightmares.

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