Just a heads up that Red Hat’s Bill Burke (of JBoss fame previously) is blogging here. Bill does write about techie stuff at the JBoss Matrix, but this blog seems to go beyond the bits and bytes and get into things like:

Should you start an OSS project at Apache?
Should Interface21 join the standards process?

I’ve had mild disagreements with Bill in the past, but he’s always made me think….and his post on “Apache Business Model failure” is no exception.

I had never thought about “who owns the brand for an Apache project”. Now that Bill points it out, the answer is obvious.

It’s clear that established software vendors prefer neutral communities such as Apache or Eclipse. These vendors seek to jointly develop some widget/product/project and then use it within a commercial offering under their respective brand. As a result, “who owns the brand for an Apache project” is not a very salient question.

I’ve argued in the past that users benefit from projects developed at Apache (or Eclipse) as multiple (competing) vendors and parties have a stake in the direction of the project.

Maybe we’re going to see Apache become the home for OSS projects that are sponsored, in one fashion or another, by Traditional vendors. Additionally, Apache could remain the home for implementations of core technology by individual developers who have a vested interest, but aren’t doing so as their primary source of income.

Note however, I don’t think Bill’s comments have any impact on the importance of the Apache Software License.