This is a direct response to Andy Powell's blog entry but serves as a general statement of my opinions on the matter as well. I understand my comments might be perceived differently due to the fact that I am on the Steering Committee and I appreciate that but I hope folks can look past that for a second and read my rather long but thought out commentary. Besides these comments are mine and certainly do not reflect that of what others on the Steering Committee think.
OpenBD has been loosing momentum since the day it was announced w/ speculation and bad blood strewn about. It really sucks Vince is the way he is and that OpenBD suffers from the New Altanta stigma. The migration stuff is a gimmik, a shitty one but a gimmik non the less, to sell licenses. Alan is not part of New Atlanta and licenses BlueDragon to NA. If Vince was truly converting and not selling BD licenses wouldn't you think Alan would be a bit pissed off ? After all if Vince is converting and not selling licenses Alan is not making as much money. Is Vince eating away at Adobe's license sales? Probably not much he's claimed to be focusing on folks still on cf5 that have "abandoned the platform." Am I just being fed a spoonful of crap or the truth I don't know. I tend to believe him, maybe because I want to but also because I work for a large enterprise that nearly signed a deal with New Altanta a few years back and had nearly abandoned the platform (we were still on 5 at the time) and I know plenty other large companies in the same boat.
There have been some bad misconceptions and double standards applied the OpenBD project to get OpenBD to where it is. For example Adam Lehman says OpenBD only served to eat away at Adobe's customer base. Folks agreed and disliked OpenBD claiming OpenBD does not want to grow the community it simply wants to cannibalize it. While I never thought this was true based on the NA stigma I can understand where that was coming from. Then Alan is shone in a light by Sean (slightly out of context but a fair depiction of the conversation really) that says Alan doesn't care about the CF community and wants to focus on the Java community. All of the sudden OpenBD is looked upon negatively b/c it doesn't care about the community. Seems like a hard place to win honestly. If OpenBD focuses on the community its cannibalism if OpenBD doesn't focus on the community it doesn't care about the community and is against it.
As for Railo being more open, I vow right now to each and everyone that reads my blog and/or comments on the various boards I will be open and honest about what OpenBD is doing and make sure it is communicated. I'll also do my best to help folks differentiate between my own words and those that are coming from the steering committee. I have had an open dialog with Adam Lehman on email in the past and I plan to continue to seek his honest feed back in private as long as he is willing to listen. I'm also always willing to listen to anyone in the community I don't care if you are a high profile person like Joe or Sean or a lurker that has never spoken out before like Chris Weller. If you have an opinion and want to share it I am listening.
What I think needs to happen. I think Vince needs to donate NA's Admin to the project as a sign of good will. I also think the comunity needs to realize that Alan's target is not the CF community and never was, that is why folks like Sean, Matt and Mark were on the committee to ensure the community was fairly represented. I think Adobe should continue being Adobe selling an awesome product and evangelizing ColdFusion. Finally I think OpenBD needs to refine the license, I'd love to see Alan step up to the plate and release under LGPL as well. Will that happen? Not Likely, but a Classpath exception would be a step in the right direction. OpenBD is not New Atlanta and I hope New Altanta drops BlueDragon JEE all together and only focuses on selling support for OpenBD.
In an effort to be completely honest, had I know Railo was going open source I may have stayed out of Open BlueDragon. I didn't know and now I made a commitment. My commitment was not only to OpenBD but to the community to make sure we were represented appropriately. I've listened so far and brought up points like better licensing and concerns about perception. Posts like Andy's are rough, they make me doubt if I am doing the right thing but at the end of the day I think I am and I appreciate the open and honest feedback.
Like I said else where OpenBD should succeed or fail on it's technical merits not some emotional attachments. Technically its a good solid engine with plenty of potential and I would hate to see the OS offerings dwindle because some folks can not look past the history of New Atlanta's BlueDragon and look forward to the future of what OpenBD can offer.