The Brotherhood is Displeased
Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so low.
-- Henry Kissinger
Since this is Thanksgiving Sunday and I have nothing better to do but relax by writing this blog entry, I will take the time to respond to Jim Jagielski's answer to my ApacheCon blog entry where I basically compared it to an aging Star Trek convention. Jim finds fault with the fact that I failed to notice the goings on of the Brotherhood. Jim thinks I oughta follow what the ASF does because I owe them for the success of JBoss. Jim asks me to consider a sponsorship of the ASF, now that I have got some moollah.
Clearly, those that I feel I owe, I also feel I have already taken care of by way of the JBoss equity cap table, which included people who worked at JBoss, members of many OSS communities, as well as some members of the ASF. JBoss, and now RHT sponsor various Apache projects. We paid for coders; not politicians, or should I call them Aparachiks. The idea of funding aparachicks offends my sensibilities. Even if it didn't, I would still decline the offer. My Red Hat contract prohibits me from contributing to projects that compete with JBoss. Do I need to remind Jim that Geronimo competes with JBoss, albeit not very successfully. Should I be grateful for Geronimo?
It is interesting how many people online purport to speak for the "Community," almost as many as purport to speak for God. I find myself asking: how do they know? The open source "Community" is by definition diverse. It includes students, consultants, industry employees, volunteers, professionals, shills for IBM, hobbyists, fanatics, cynics, superheros, and the silent online majority who never show up in Google quotients. There is a certain presumptiousness in speaking in the name of The Community. Speak for yourself, not for me, not for the community. I am part of the community.
If Apache wants to remain relevant these days, it needs to lower the proverbial ratio of chiefs to Indians. It also needs to get rid of the last remnants of its historical hostility to Java and seriously ask itself what is so compelling about the BSD license to justify replicating already successful OSS projects like JBoss or, more recently, the Java VM.
I chose a model that rewarded contributors to JBoss; some people are fanatical about the BSD license; others yet devote years to learning Klingon. I don't know why, but that's the way the world is.