Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Eclipse Mine

It's natural enough when thinking about IBM and open source to also think about Eclipse. When I think of "Eclipse" and "mining," my first association is usually BIRT. But now there's another link in the chain: Marc Fleury says that IBM's approach to open source is "strip mining." An interesting image, perhaps, but not one that makes a lot of sense to me. Assuming for a minute that Marc's argument holds, we still do not have something analogous to strip mining, because others, in addition to IBM, are able to obtain benefit from the open source in question. In strip mining, however, the resource is extracted only once. In other words, open source is nonrival.

But there's an interesting twist in Marc's argument. He says: "...dual strategy of proprietary products and low-end open source." What is this "low-end open source?" Does it apply to Eclipse and, if so, what are the implications?

Anyway, if there is an Eclipse mine, then who/what is the canary?


Blogger Mike Milinkovich said...

John, I don't know for sure but my guess is that Marc was thinking about the middleware space and staking out a position in the JBoss vs. Geronimo competition. I don't think that anyone could realistically claim that IBM hasn't contributed to Eclipse in many meaningful ways.

8:26 PM

Blogger John Graham said...


Yes, I agree -- it is hard to imagine how anyone could deny the depth and breadth of IBM's contributions to Eclipse. But that's exactly what I found most interesting about his comments -- could this be applied to Eclipse in some way -- and why I wanted to bounce it around the Eclipse community.

10:33 AM


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