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From Aaron Bannert <>
Subject Re: Why solve a problem that doesn't exist?
Date Thu, 07 Aug 2003 20:41:47 GMT

On Wednesday, August 6, 2003, at 07:06  AM, Jack Frosch wrote:

> Open source projects typically solve a problem not addressed by 
> commercial vendors, even if the problem is just the price being 
> charged for the commercial solution. Yet we already have a very 
> popular, open-source J2EE container in JBoss.
> Why must people's egos get in the way of common sense in our business 
> as in so many?  Like Microsoft, it appears that just wants 
> to control everything - and that's just such a lamentable motivation, 
> whether held by Microsoft or
> How about swallowing your pride, giving up your aspirations of 
> controlling every popular, open-source, significant project, and just 
> embrace JBoss with support, MBean development, etc.?
> Frankly, I'm just dismayed by the Geronimo project and the pettiness 
> of the egos driving

I think this is a very good question. I believe the answer lies
not in copyrights or ownership, but in community. Apache is a place
where communities are grown and fostered. The products of these
simply exist for all to use in whatever way they wish. Apache does
not rely on ownership or copyright to hold a community together, yet
somehow our communities hold together despite disagreements, losing
key contributors, forking, or other such things. I do not believe
our communities would hold together if there were a better alternative
way to reach the same goal.

One thing you mentioned, control, is a common misconception of Apache
projects. Apache projects do not exist to exert control, they exist to
provide a minimum common platform of functionality available to all at
no cost (economic or social). We don't tell anyone how they must
use our code, nor do we expect anything in return. Again, this is
a crucial distinction between our products and other proprietary or
more-restrictive products. We rely on our community to produce
excellent code in order to maintain our popularity.

Let me turn the tables a bit: Do you think Apache can create a J2EE
product that will dominate the market by means other than product
excellence? (In other words, do you see something inherently wrong
with a competitive J2EE landscape?)


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