Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Developments at SpringSource

The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that SpringSource is going to be charging for support, and for maintenance releases. SpringSource is becoming a more traditional, more mainstream enterprise. Rod Johnson, one of the progenitor's of Spring has seen Spring become like hibernate in that though it is not a standard it might as well be.

Now they SpringSource, the entity which focuses on Spring development are looking at ways to extract value out of that popularity, but also, I think, take Spring to the next level.

And the developments are not unusual, or should not have been totally unexpected. How many other open source applications have gone the similar route. Redhat linux, JBoss, to a lesser extent hibernate... What other way do you monetize and open source application apart from selling support etc...

From all that I've read, the change to the release system is that "official" releases will only be available to non paying customers for three months after an official release. So 2.6.2 will only be made freely available if it is released in the 3 month period after version 2.6.

The bug fixes that go into any release will still be put into the source code and the licensing of the source code has not changed. So, then, why can't some developer checkout the source code, build it, and then make that freely available for all the other developers. I guess the only draw back is that it's not an "official" release. It's like a new car is only a new car if you drive it off the show room floor.

Personally, I don't have a major issue with where Spring is going. I think it's an acceptable way to build a viable business model out of their operation. Though it may serve to alienate purists, it might also cause people on the fringes to be brought in.

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