Governance and responsibility

James McGovern james at
Mon Sep 26 10:03:48 UTC 2005

Let me name a very specific example of my problem space. I work for a large
Fortune 100 enterprise. Recently, one of my peers called up Gartner Group
and others of this kind seeking information on Portals. Not a single report
from analysts included a very high quality portal: Liferay Enterprise Portal
(On SourceForge) which is used by at least fifty different Fortune 500
Enterprises including Grainger, Bank One, Fidelity, Bank of America, Costco
and others.

In talking with the analyst, they didn't seem interest in even representing
accurate information in this space. The roadblock to adopting open source
isn't the Doc Searls DIY IT problem space, it is simply about which story is
easier to tell problem space. Right now, analysts are telling the vast
majority of stories in industry rags and it doesn't include open source.

The OSI would better serve its goals if it worked with the media better than
it currently does to help get the word out. It would also be well serving if
it introduced the media to folks in corporate America that were willing to
talk about experiences with open source openly. I am one that will and know
of hundreds of others.

-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Nelson [mailto:nelson at]
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 6:21 PM
To: osi at; license-discuss at
Subject: RE: Governance and responsibility

James McGovern writes:
 > I would love to see Eric and his peers solve for one thing that
 > torques me. How about getting those industry analysts to start covering
 > open source software and not just the stuff supported by large commercial
 > entities.

You will get half of what you want in time (estimates of dates are
transparent fiction, so I won't attempt to write such), and you'll
never get the other half.  Right now, people who are making the
transition to open source software want to deal with it in the same
manner as which they have proprietary software.  They want to go to a
buyer with a list of requirements and tell them "buy this.  Oh, and
evaluate open source software as well, as long as it has commercial

In time (there's that word again), users of open source software will
discover "DIY IT" (a term invented by Doc Searls as far as I can
tell).  DIY == Do It Yourself.  IT == Information Technology.  It's
users of open source software doing without commercial support.  It is
half of what you are asking for.

If you look at the DIY home maintenance industry, you'll see that it
is chock full of large commercial entities.  Consider Lowe's, or Home
Depot (which, by the way, is still running DOS on their cash registers
and should be a PRIME TARGET for an upgrade to Linux running their DOS
cash register software in DOSEmu).  These firms support the DIY
industry as well as the professional full-time builder.

So you can expect the DIY IT industry to have lots of large commercial
entities who help people use open source software in ways that don't
count as "stuff supported by...".  You might consider O'Reilly to be
the first DIY IT company.

--my blog is at         | with some experience
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok |     you know what to do.
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241       | with more experience
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  |     Sheepdog          |     you know what not to

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