James Dixon’s Blog

James Dixon’s thoughts on commercial open source and open source business intelligence

Should Microsoft be allowed to contribute to Joomla?

with one comment

Microsoft has signed the Joomla Contribution Agreement: http://community.joomla.org/blogs/leadership/1167-microsoft-signs-jca.html

Matthew Aslett at the 451 Group posted about it here – Tilting at Windows or (don’t be a Cnut)

I agree with him.

Reading the comments on the announcement is interesting. I see two kinds:
* Paranoid, irrational, subjective, and discriminatory ones objecting to Microsoft’s participation
* Well-balance, pragmatic, objective, and open ones cautiously welcoming the news

The basic issue is the same one as with the Oracle/MySQL situation, which I wrote about at the time: http://jamesdixon.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/open-source-fanatics-choose-wisely/

As with Oracle/MySQL there are calls to preemptively fork Joomla to prevent Microsoft participating. This is sad, self-limiting, counter-productive behavior. Worse it is directly counter to Joomla’s OSI license. To quote ‘The Free Software Definition”

“Free software” does not mean “noncommercial.” A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution.

If you really advocate open source software, the positive participation of the large software companies is a good thing. Let them participate, and only criticize them when they do wrong. Preemptively forking projects to prevent them participating is counter to the OSI license and the philosophies of open source and free software. Using the banner of Free Software to incite exclusion discredits the movement.

Written by James

May 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Microsoft, open source

One Response

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  1. Yeah, I agree. When the other party signs your contributor’s agreement, what is there to complain about?

    Roland Bouman

    May 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm


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