OpenNTF goes to …

There have been some discussions about what is going on with OpenNTF these days, e.g. in Volker’s blog (see here). I’m in a difficult situation since I have no authority to speak on behalf of OpenNTF and as always I cannot speak for IBM in this blog. So I don’t know where OpenNTF goes to but here are some personal notes.

I think the key value of OpenNTF is the code, nothing more and nothing less. In the strategy working group teamroom (see here) I’ve documented that I’d like to open source IBM’s discussion template (see here), that OpenNTF should do development contests (see here) and OpenNTF should have new mechanisms to kick of new projects (see here). All of this leads to the creation of new code. Additionally I have 20 new IBM samples (mostly widgets) in the pipeline ready to be published to OpenNTF.

However due to the community feedback OpenNTF got earlier (some people complained that only IBM code is in the catalog) I put the new IBM contributions on hold until the final IP model will have been worked out and everyone necessary will have approved it. Now I’m waiting for non-IBM projects to be added to the catalog (see here) first which is what the SC decided (see here).

The biggest controversy as I see it is the licensing question. Personally I’d like to make code available to as many customers, ISVs and developers as possible under a license that allows maximal reuse including reuse in commercial applications. To me this is what open source is all about. It is not selfish for IBM but it helps all consumers. Especially bigger customers don’t allow usage of GPL and certain other licenses.

At the same time OpenNTF has been used by various contributors to promote themselves. I understand this and it is absolutely ok, but it doesn’t always fit well together with the goal to make code available for all types of reuse.

When the new OpenNTF Alliance was announced the previous model was not removed. As described in my article (see here) as well as currently documented on openntf.org (see here) contributors can still post projects with whatever license they want in the projects area with no further process involved than previously. The only bad thing is the term ‘legacy model’ (which wasn’t what I came up with). I would rather want to call it open model (vs managed model). In addition to this open model however there is also a catalog of cleared ALv2 projects. For me this is the best of both worlds.

As far as I know the IP working group has made good progress to define these models. Please just be a little bit longer patient. I know it is hard.

As always negative news seem to be the most popular news unfortunately. I’d much rather want to see more constructive feedback. There is more than just IP stuff going on right now. There is a strategy teamroom on OpenNTF (see here) but only four people from the community commented so far. I’d appreciate if people could help in this teamroom to determine the direction of OpenNTF.