Apparently yT has private copies (repositories) of some “open source” projects. They seem to be (according to the story I heard) porting in changes made to the public repositories but not returning the favour. This sort of behaviour sucks. Do we really want to play this game?

Most people get involved in open source projects to contribute to a project that interests them. They gain a feeling of respect and that’s one of the key things that keeps them working. The small patches contributed often lead to acceptance and a growing involvement. That’s how open source projects are supposed to work. The code remains open to all and grows through more people becoming involved. Features get added, bugs fixed and over time the projects becomes more and more useful.

Now, yT is a company. They have a product that they want to sell and make lots of money. It’s important to keep that in mind. They pay developers to fix bugs and work on code.

Companies taking open source code and adding bits on to make it unique isn’t new. It happens all over the place and in all sorts of ways. The difference here is that the companies normally take a known release or version of the open source code to work from. They don’t simply create their own repository as “it makes their release process easier”. (I’ll refrain from talking about their release process as I guess we all know how succesful it’s been to date).

If yT are serious about not just making a product that will have a shelf life of 6 months, then having a viable community behind it is a key component. Be realised it early on, but then forgot the lesson and alienated the community it had created. yT need to take note of the history lesson and be very careful to avoid a retelling – actions such as this are NOT the way to accomplish it.

As evidence of this I’ve been told that some code destined for one of these projects may be released under a deliberately obstructive licence. This sort of action is a sure sign that the damage is real and unless yT take remedial action it will get worse. OBOS won’t be immune from such actions as many in that community want to establish commercial ventures on the back of their work. yT’s actions and the community reaction should not be taken in isolation nor considered in terms of their short results.