Sun’s Simon Phipps posted about the different roles/stakeholders in an OSS community. Phipps states:

“I’ll be using this model in the coming months within Sun to advise our engineering, marketing and management teams on their community engagements…”

These are the 4 groups Phipps starts with:

  • Originators (originating co-developers)
  • Extenders (extending co-developers)
  • Deployer-developers
  • Users

Initially, I contributed minor points to the discussion. This morning I wondered if the discussion is completely necessary. Back when we were doing the Gluecode acquisition, we had to put together a “few” charts educating our execs and the broader team on the stakeholders in the OSS market. That was over 2 years ago. Are there really folks at Sun who don’t “get OSS” today? And if there are, shouldn’t these folks have been “educated” prior to Sun open sourcing their software portfolio? Maybe Simon is pointing out that things have changed in the OSS market since and he’d like everyone at Sun (and in the market) to work from the same definitions.

In any case, take a look at Simon’s definitions and add/subtract to them as you see fit.