UK government backs open source
On the face of it, this sounds good news ..
But like many things – I don’t think people understand the issues
The BBC article refers to two Open source comments
Simon Phipps, chief open source officer for Sun Microsystems, said the UK government’s stance was part of a “global wave” of take up for open source in governments.
Steve Shine, Ingres says Open source can help avoid many of the hidden costs of proprietary software
I have already said before the misconceptions of open source governance and open source licensing model Open is the new closed? – Bringing transparency to Open source by separating Open source licensing models and Open source governance models ..
Let us consider the mention of Ingres in the context of Open source above ..
A long time ago .. I used to work for PeopleSoft which is now Oracle corporation . Prior to mobile, I have worked extensively on databases(especially Oracle) and also data warehouses.
So, databases are familiar to me ..
Hence, I was surprised to see Ingres now calling itself an Open source company information management company ..
Was it the same Ingres which used to be around so many years ago? (at that time the race was between Oracle, Sybase, Informix and Ingres)
Over the years – Oracle won! By a wide margin!
In fact, I did not know that Ingres still existed until I read this article
Yet – by calling itself ‘Open source’ a once forgotten company tries to be ‘cool’!
Worse – in my view – the UK government seems to mandate that Ingres(because it is supposedly Open source) is better than Oracle(which is not)
Anyone who knows anything about database business knows that the critical factor is not open source – but the data itself(protection, reliability, etc etc)
These factors seem to be ignored and ‘Open source’ seems to be the key criteria for inclusion
I have said before .. that there are politics of Open source .. and while Open source has its place within any ecosystem – governments and regulatory bodies should not mandate Open source or open standards one way or the other. Microsoft vs. the EU: Can we legislate to force a company to use Web standards ..
That’s a key line to cross .. and it would appear to me that companies who have not been commercially successful(like Ingres) are now claiming product superiority over those that have(like Oracle) only by claiming to be ‘Open source’ – a factor that has only limited value in the broad scheme of things within a database context
Disclaimer: I have no commercial relationship with Oracle