Tag Archive for 'governance'

It’s all about the governance

About a month ago, when talking about the prospects for more open RIA technologies, I wrote:

I’d hope that we could do better than both the W3C or the JCP for Flex/Flash or OpenLaszlo.

After yesterday, I think my reasoning ought to be obvious. FAQ link for those new to the issues. Stefano and Ben, as always, find a satisfying way to put it, and Redmonk’s Steven O’Grady has a fair minded analysis.

The details of Java and Apache aside, I would call this whole situation a case study in how not to setup the governance for something open. I have never been a fan of the JCP process because Sun has always had rights that no other participant had. To Sun’s credit, the process has become considerably more open since the JCP was created in 1998. On the other hand, that openness is the result of *years* of hounding by the ASF and other organizations, and now, 9 years later, there are still hiccups. The world is a different place today in 2007 than it was in 1998, and general understanding of openness and community are much greater than when the JCP was founded. I would hope than anyone setting out to build a governance model for some piece of technology would look long and hard at the lessons (good and bad) of the JCP experience.

Open Source does not imply dictatorship

From Dave Winer’s piece on The theory of Twitter

In open source communities they call the imbalance a benevolent dictatorship. Far from being a perfect democracy some people imagine open source to be, actually a project sinks or swims based on how good the central decision-maker is. Again, people complain about the A-list, but that’s okay, work gets done over the objections.

Well, not all open source projects are dictatorships. Apache, Eclipse, and Subversion are examples of prominent open source projects whose governance model is not a dictatorship.