★ Rehost And Carry On

Revised version of British wartime poster, found on Wikipedia

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I spent the last two days in Brussels with many of the key participants  in the OpenESB Community. OpenESB is a large software subsystem that conveniently allows all kinds of applications to communicate with each other across networks. It was created by Sun, but since the Oracle acquisition has, as the former Sun project leader (now at Google) wrote eloquently, languished in the decline reserved for projects with important customers which are nonetheless no longer wanted. There’s the soft sound of footsteps backing away to leave it in splendid, unannounced isolation.

The community around OpenESB is actually fairly active, and they (or, as it includes ForgeRock where I now work, perhaps I should say “we”) want OpenESB to stay around. But what do you do if the project is hosted somewhere under the control of a disinterested party? There’s no huge crime or disagreement to “justify” a fork and the code is still out there, but on the other hand any new plans really will need the source and the community presence hosted in a way that allows the interested parties to change and improve things without having to wait for weeks to get replies to requests and risk having them declined if they are deemed inconvenient.

That’s why the topic under discussion is not forking – the remaining community is not divided – but rehosting. That’s also how I would characterise what ForgeRock has done with OpenAM (formerly OpenSSO) and OpenDJ (formerly OpenDS). No conflict, no malice, just a desire by the remaining community to carry on in the aftermath of the main sponsor backing silently away.

[An expanded version of this post can be found on ComputerWorldUK]

6 Responses

  1. […] ★ Rehost And Carry On The community around OpenESB is actually fairly active, and they (or, as it includes ForgeRock where I now work, perhaps I should say “we”) want OpenESB to stay around. But what do you do if the project is hosted somewhere under the control of a disinterested party? There’s no huge crime or disagreement to “justify” a fork, but on the other hand any new plans really will need the source and the community presence hosted in a way that allows the interested parties can change and improve things without having to wait for weeks to get replies to requests and risk having them declined if they are deemed inconvenient. […]

  2. The article “Rehost and carry on” the link for “wrote eloquently” is missing.

    • Thanks, fixed it – as Chris says, it should be http://frankkieviet.blogspot.com/2010/04/openesb-under-oracle.html

  3. The “wrote eloquently” link is http://frankkieviet.blogspot.com/2010/04/openesb-under-oracle.html (I suspect).

    How can it be a fork? A fork with only one tine is not really a fork!

    As Winston Churchill put it… KBO!

    Chris

  4. Hi Simon,
    Keen to retweet this but wondered whether you would first remove the word ‘Java’ from the phrase “conveniently allows Java applications to communicate with each other across networks”. The beauty of OpenESB and web services in particular (if implemented well) is that it doesn’t matter what language the code on the systems you’re connecting is written in.
    Regards,
    Paul

    • OK, I’ll do that I fixed it in the expanded version on CWUK already, will reflect that here.

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