Tuesday, November 24, 2009

OpenBD and CF Conferences

Below is our, OpenBD Steering Committee's, official stance on the matter that was brought up here

We feel it is more important for folks to know why they won't be seeing any OpenBD sessions at any CF conferences. While those involved with OpenBD are willing and happy to share some of the cool stuff we have done on OpenBD with the community at a conference, we'd hate to do that to the detriment of the conference by endangering a major sponsorship opportunity.

OpenBD has two distinctly different development branches. We have our standard JEE development branch which has had tremendous contributions from the community, and we have the GAE branch which has received great accolades from both inside and outside the CFML community. New Atlanta employees have been very active in the development on the GAE branch of OpenBD, and these contributions go beyond OpenBD. They've been the focus of many developers outside the CFML community and helps show CFML in a positive light to developers outside the CFML community.

As an example, Vince is creating a VFS for GAE that is a completely independent open source project (http://code.google.com/p/gaevfs/). This benefits not only OpenBD on GAE, but everyone deploying Java applications to GAE. It's a great contribution and by extension can only help reflect positively on CFML as a whole.

Remember too that it's not at all unusual for open source projects to have significant resource contributions from commercial companies. In fact, most well-known open source projects operate this way. A large contribution to Eclipse comes from IBM associates, but Eclipse is certainly not an IBM product even though it's used extensively by IBM. An important distinction is that Eclipse's license allows for commercial use, one reason why IBM is interested in Eclipse. OpenBD's license (GPLv3) does not allow for commercial redistribution and that helps ensure companies like New Atlanta or Adobe can not take and sell OpenBD or its derivatives. We do this for the protection of the community to guarantee they will always have a free fully open sourced engine for CFML development.
Edit: The title has changed since the original post, to be less confrontational and I've modified the introduction as well to try not to be confrontational. The last thing we've intended to do was be negative or against any group or individual. And inresponse to a couple private messages and one public the reason this is on my blog and not OpenBD's blog is 2 fold: I typically am the communication liason with the CF community, in tandom with Matt and sometimes Niati, and OpenBD servers more than just the CF community and we did not want to pollute that space with politics like this. We try to avoid this stuff and would have been happy to not talk about it but it was brought up so we responded.


Jim said...

I would actually love to see a OSS focused CFML conference that Adobe wasn't a sponsor of... It would be great to see Railo and OpenBD showcased as a true alternative to ColdFusion.

We did CFinNC fairly inexpensively (I think) so it probably could be done - maybe a 1 day event?

It's a shame the CFML community is fractured like this between Adobe and the OSS alternative.

Adam Haskell said...

Thanks for the feedback Jim. Matt and I have thrown around the idea of a Open Source conference. Well really Matt has thrown it around and I keep being negative about it ;) The problem I see with a OSS Conference is it would be like preaching to the choir. If we are talking to folks in the CF community it needs to be an outreach to those on the fringe/edge of the community ones that might be seriously considering leaving the community due to cost/lack of Open Source alternatives/lack of trust in a single company or any combination of those and other reasons. These are the folks that need to be made aware of alternatives and some of the awesome work being done outside of Adobe. Unfortunately these are also the ones that can be reached at big conferences like CFUnited but smaller 1 day OSS conferences will likely not get that message out to them.

To your last point I don't think the community is fractured. I think the community is, for the most part, very united in support of OSS engines. It's some of the leadership of engines (mostly commercial at that) that have a hard time getting along.

Sean Corfield said...

As chair of content for cf.Objective(), I was happy to see a suggestion that someone present on CFML on GAE and it was you, Adam, that withdrew the topic from the table.

Adobe don't have a problem with community members presenting on any aspects of CFML.

It is entirely up to the OpenBD community whether they submit talks to conferences of course but I think painting Adobe as the villain in this case is disingenuous...

Adam Haskell said...

Sometimes I have regret the decision and think we should have just left it up to the conference to make the decision but in this case I rather just take the high road. I'm sorry Sean but I did not paint Adobe as the villain. I gave a reason why we will not be presenting. If someone chooses to think Adobe is evil for this that is entirely their choice. As I said WE chose not to present, and we did so as to not endanger sponsorship. This was based off personal correspondence that I am not going to waive around in public, not my style. Now if you think I am painting Adobe in a bad light what does that say about your own personal bias and opinion on the matter?

remotesynth said...

I would agree with Sean that there is certainly an implied villain here and the one being disingenuous in this case is you for trying to play like there isn't (your readers are not that dumb). I also think its interesting how you throw around accusations of bias and yet have so little self-reflection as to your own.

I obviously cannot discern the contents of any private email conversations you may have had, but perhaps the better path would have been to allow your presentation to stand and force Adobe as a sponsor to play that card (assuming they would...which I'm not 100% certain they would). However at this point, it seems as to your readers though you are throwing implied accusations without a shred of evidence. This doesn't do much to help change the situation in the least.

Anyway, I am just saying, if the scenario you paint is indeed true, then it'd be better served by an attempt to improve it or change it.

Adam Haskell said...

Seriously? Read my comment on the List, I even say on there I think it is good business to not sponsor things that have competitors sponsoring as well. Hell we never would have made some foolish official stance had Vince not brought it up and get things all stirred up. The story goes something like this:
1) GAE presentation was brought up by the board
2) Someone made a comment about concern with Adobe's thoughts on this
3) Being a member of OpenBD and the board for cfO I took it upon myself to contact Adobe about this.
4) Adobe made some comments and allowed me to draw my own conclusion. Personal opinions in the email aside it was a fair and honest email.
5) I pulled the trigger to have the presentation pulled from the "created by the board" list and consulted with Matt (we generally are the 2 opinionated folks that represent the CF community)
6) Made it clear later on that I/we would not contest community submitted topics.

i think were i went wrong is the title of the blog entry. The reality is we do not want to endanger an event from a major sponsor it could be Adobe, Railo, hell even Microsoft. The point was not to be negative at Adobe or paint anyone as a villain it was to be official on the stance since it was murky and also to let people know why they may not see OpenBD around. I've stated for 1+ years now that we're more interested in presenting outside of CF community than in it. This just reinforces that sentiment. Example: http://cloudcomputingexpo.com/

remotesynth said...

Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps the response out of context of the originating thread made it appear differently than it was intended (especially where it veers off into validating NA's contributions to openBD which given your clarification sounds out of context..but I did not check the entire thread). I'm not sure personally it even required an "official" response but I can understand not wanting to get mired in politics.