Are we heading to the post-cloud world or a post-opensource world?
The open-source movement was born in the late 90s with the establishment of the Apache Software Foundation. It was the era of dominance of Microsoft in particular and Four Horsemen, i.e., Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and Dell in general. IBM is conspicuous by its absence in this list, and that may explain why IBM was the primary sponsor of Apache Software Foundation. The creation of ASF was closely followed by the creation of the Linux Foundation in the year 2000.
The open-source movement grew from infancy to adulthood in the decade of 2000. Numerous very successful projects graduated under ASF. Linux in parallel became production-grade, and RedHat was formed to provide it as a commercial offering.
The decade of 2010 was the decade of glory for open-source software. In the Big Data space, where I was associated, it was nearly impossible for a vendor to succeed without open-source as part of the strategy. If fact, in the 2010s, we learned that what is called open-source is made up of 3 notches on a sliding scale:
As you can easily guess, open-source purists did not believe in this classification. I thought it was a good expansion of the definition of open source as it encouraged more companies to be part of the movement. Even today, you can see many messaging products adhere to Kafka API.
That brings the central question of this blog: will the open-source movement continue to grow, or is it on a decline. I can think of the following three factors that are going to affect the open-source as a free-standing movement negatively:
- The rise of public cloud
- The shift in communities
- The resultant change of innovation and value-creation
I would cover these topics in detail in future posts and would also love to hear other points of view.
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