it may be nothing to many of you out there but for us it is a giant leap :)
OR has just reached 200 registered members. The quality of subscriptions is very high. Reminds me of the original 300 over at JBoss.
What I really wanted to validate is that OSS is indeed a useful approach. It is not a given. For example OSS may not be very relevant to crude oil production or the woes of the hedge fund industry.
For HA it is however very relevant. All participants passionately believe that OSS can help. With releases like Beehive, we are trying to prove the point that open collaboration can easily bring about positive changes to a historically fragmented industry. There is a lot of passion and knowledge be it with hobbyist and professionals. I had one pro tell me privately that he would monitor the group just for "competitive threat intelligence". I like to think we will actually help him, but that is for us to prove, isn't it!
Not all lessons of JBoss are portable to OR. Many things to do not translate. Most notably the distribution network. Today's distribution network in HA is installer centric. Crestron for example, leaves 60% of its price on the table for installers to make a living. The promise of cheap hardware and software is viewed with justified worry by many professionals. I am sure the key in getting everyone to agree is in increased productivity for the installers, so they don't need that big a margin and can migrate profitably to mid-market. As this happens, via tools and frameworks and hardware, you will see the emergence of the mega-integrator. Like the PC went from cottage industry to mass.
It is a hot field. The passion is there, the business is interesting. OSS presents its own set of challenges, mostly free software related, duh!