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IBM WebSphere SE To Be Opened? 71

JoyToy writes ""AS PART OF its crusade to marginalize operating systems such as Windows, IBM is leaning toward giving the Standard Edition of its WebSphere application server to the open-source community." "
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IBM WebSphere SE To Be Opened?

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  • BEA WebLogic is similar WebLogic, in that it's a good App server. Still closed source, last I checked.

    Dare I ask, why bother shifting products just because IBM changed it's licensing?

    There are a number of perfectly legitimate reasons to switching to Netscape server from apache, but it's folly to think "it's opensource" to be one of those reasons.

    My two Cents.
    -K
  • I downloaded it a couple weeks ago, and tried to get it to at least run, and it did abosolulely nothing on any boxes, no servers starts, no apps poping up, nothing. Tech Support was a joke, install instructions are worthless. Documentation was nil. Is it me? or am I totally missing something.

    --pug
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:26AM (#839724)
    If IBM wants to give Linux (and other Free/Open Software) a real kick in the pants they can do one thing: Get Mozilla out there Do whatever it takes--lend some programmers, delete all Bugzilla entries labelled "enhancement", hire some hit-men to kill the current managers, whatever.
    --
  • although I can't help wondering what they really think is in it for them?

    are they seeing the light or is it just payback time?
  • I think, waffle I am

    Its more correct to what your sig is. Yoda like, it sounds.
  • Point 1: Was OS/2 free? No. It still isn't. In fact, it's more expensive than Windows 95.

    Point 2: Linux cannot "go under within two years", since "Linux" is not a commercial entity. If all the commercial Linux vendors dissapeared today, there would still be distributions available, and there would still be Linux users.

    Point 3: Are you seriously saying that Linux is endangered because IBM may refocus the emphasis of the platform toward the geek community? Have you ever met a Linux user?
  • but how does this impact Windows? You see WebSphere is an Java based web application server and Windows is an operating system. The competitors of Websphere are the likes of ATG, BlueMartini, Broadvision etc. The idea of the two competing is like IIS/ASP taking market from linux. It just dont make no sense.
  • For someone who's set up WAS (WebSphere Advanced Server) on both *NIX (Solaris) and NT, this is interesting. WAS on *NIX is a royal pain in the arse - impossible to administer, difficult to configure, and generally a black art.

    On NT, on the other hand, it works. And it works well. You may be interested to know that IBM internally build WAS on NT first ('because it's cheaper'), then port to AIX, Linux, and Solaris. The NT SCM (Service Control Manager) controls the WAS services properly, unlike the rather dodgy shell scripts shipped with the *NIX version.

    Still, if they go open source, then nothing will make them wrong in ./'s collective eyes, even if it is a nightmare from the coding pits of hell.
  • First off, IBM can't kill the open source movement. At this point no one could, and that's the main reason the open source movement is catching on outside of the "pocket protector" crowd.

    0S/2 didn't fail because it targeted the techie market anymore then Apple failed because of its success with graphic design.

    IBM lost to Microsoft because they couldn't expand their user base past the tech crowd and more importantly, because they didn't provided developers with compelling tools that made them want to recommend OS/2 for internal projects.

  • these were the primary "windows killer" technologies of 1995...
  • Hmm,
    with the advancement of CORBA 3.0 there is already support for the component objects in the OSS environment. Maturity ? That is an issue that would be addressed by the community! If it is already mature what would you do for a kick!
  • don't like c#?

    change the hell out of it!

    just compile IL in the CRT and who gives a crap
    if it's composed of abacus symbols

    guess what? you'll be able to interop with anbody else's idea of what code should look like -- that's why it's an open standard
  • Quite correct. But the AE comes bundled with DB2 for serialization and the EE comes bundled with CICS/Tuxedo, MQ, Components, IMS connector etc. The Standard edition is Apache+Xylan+Xerces+..+..+ - your apache website with all its tools (one year old) nicely bundled in a neat front end. But they did commit a lot of development resources to this. But AE & EE are absolutely robust in nature. They are scalable and tie into any old system that cuts your paycheck to supplies electricity to your home (i.e. all ibm technologies since 1965). So as much as they need to indulge the developer community, they have other needs in mind too
  • It may be you...

    I've installed it dozens of times on NT, Linux, and AIX. Never had a problem with it not running immediately after reboot. The install instructions are complete (I have never found them otherwise) and if you follow them to the letter, you should have no problem. Granted it's never going to work everytime so...

    What version were you trying to install? OS? etc.
  • And there is certainly hype, or at least inaccurate reporting: why even mention EJBs in an article discussing an application server that doesn't support them? Correct me if I'm wrong on this point, but WebSphere Standard Edition (including latest version 3.5) provides a simpler JSP/servlet engine without support for EJBs at all. The "EJB container" isn't available without paying $$$ for Advanced or Enterprise edition.

    Either this was a mistake or it was a deliberate statement. If the former, it could easily have been caught with some simple fact checking. If the latter, well...

    Personally, the "WebSphere Application Server ready for e-Business" message displayed in the admin console when the server starts up leaves little to the imagination as to IBM's motives.

    Within the context of the application server market, this is also a smart move by their part. I'd expect at least one other "major vendor" to soon follow suit.

  • Plus there is the problem of convincing enough people to switch to C# when it offers only marginal benfits over Java.

    I doubt that'll be much of a problem, MS can make C# the language of choice for writing Windows apps, and the Windows cult will follow. I suspect IBM will have a hard time truly adopting C#, both because it will be tied to Windows (that was the whole point of ditching Java and coming up with C#, Sun wouldn't let MS make a Windows-locked version of Java), and, as you say,

    Microsoft can change IL however it likes with each upgrade to C#, making sure everyone else (including IBM) plays catch-up to MS and can't really produce a good C# compiler.

    (See OS/2 and Windows app compatibility)

  • although I can't help wondering what they really think is in it for them?

    It may be pretty clear to IBM by now that they don't have any chance of dominating the software market on their own, and the most likely scenario, if things continue as they are now, is that it will end up being even more completely dominated by MS, even on the server side. Much better for IBM if the software market is dominated by open software, of which they can at least be a part, rather than being completely at MS' dubious mercy.

    Other possible factors: I believe IBM may have larger revenues from consulting and such than from software sales. They can get more software bang for their research and development bucks with open source development, since they hopefully have a large community helping out.

  • Never used it myself... but is that only on AIX? How about Linux, Solaris, HP-UX?

    .technomancer

  • This is not as radical a move as it looks, and so I find your comment difficult to understand. IBM has long been a big supporter of the Apache and the HTTP server IBM provides with WebSphere is based on it. If a company has a real distrust of things open source they shouldn't have been going near WebSphere to begin with. If IBM's blessing is what rescues the "heathen open source" then that shouldn't change if IBM open sources WebSphere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:37AM (#839741)
    Actually working in one of the IBM labs in North America, I can tell you IBM is becoming very very open about embracing the open source movement. This is really just a taste of what might come later. Being a open source supporter aside, I can certainly understand their strategy to move away from proprietary solution to give them an edge over products like Microsoft's Visual Studio... They get better publicity, better 3rd party developers and better software in general. I am very happy with where they are going with this.
  • although I can't help wondering what they really think is in it for them? are they seeing the light or is it just payback time?

    They realize that they can't build a bigger cathedral than Mr. Gates & Co, so they're taking their customers out into the bazaar with them.
    - So Big Blue, got a clue ;-)
    Derwen

  • 1: This has no revelance to the point whatsoever.

    2: Linux can go under in the sense that the recent Linux craze can crash and turn to be a fad. And it will.

    3: I am a Linux user. Here's how IBM can kill the platform.

    I'm not saying IBM's mistake is focusing the platform on geeks. I'm saying IBM's mistake is focusing on geeks, period. They're using Linux as the evagelization tool of choice to attract geeks.

    However, by trying to take Linux out of its OSS context, IBM is exposing Linux to mass markets before it is ready to take on the desktop market head on. They're trying to press the advantage of OSS, and frankly, I don't think they care for Linux beyond the fact it's a good way to endear themselves to the geeks.

    Thus, IBM is once again taking a product before it is able to compete on the desktop market, and pushing it to the sky. Too bad this means Linux will receive a lukewarm reception from the mass market, and will forever be remembered as another attempt by IBM to promote an OS with not chutzpah.

    In closing, I really, really didn't care for your sophism-laden condescending attitude, Mr. 'Have you ever met a Linux user'. For crissakes, did you notice this is SLASHDOT?

  • Dude, it starts up a lot faster if you change the -mx in the admin.config file. Also, the way to shut it down is to startup ./adminconfig.sh and stop the server. You must not have used a recent version (ie > 3.0). Never had a problem with having to reconfig the whole thing though. I have had problems in getting the Advanced edition EJB's to work, though.

    Hope this helps.

  • WebSphere (and the other application servers you listed) is an application server which, in short, means that it has the ability to serve applications. These applications can be browser based (Servlets/JSPs, Applets, etc.), Java based (as in a Java client connects to WebSphere on some server), and other possibilities. The application types just listed are completely platform independent (or can easily be made to be such). This means that Windows as an (desktop) operating system provides no (or few) advantages and now the costs more clearly outweigh the benefits windows can provide. The desktop is now merely an environment that can run Java apps and/or a browser.

    So yes, Websphere competes with ATG, BEA, SilverStream, etc. but they also all compete with Windows on a certain level. Now, obviously the application server idea cannot replace all of the current uses of Windows in the corporate environment, but think call centers and the like. Order entry can just as easily be done in an JSP based application or an applet along with any other duties of the majority of order/data entry people.
  • Ok so they open source it. (I don't know anything else about it but from what I've heard sounds pretty cool) And then because "with enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow" we as a community fix this and other bugs and have a good system.
  • I agree entirely. We installed the Solaris version at work here and if you haven't had a lot of prior knowledge of Solaris package management and DB2 (IBM's database) along with JDK you'd find it pretty hard going. Aparently Websphere initially was just a hacked-together version of their intranet server which ran on apache. The documentation is just a quickly hashed-together piece of trash. Doesn't work out of the box.. the documentation is incomplete.. the list goes on.
  • First off Tivoli is a widely used Enterprise Management System that can be rather convoluted. I've seen organizations spend lit 5-6 digits in support and customization of Tivoli products for their enterprise. Take my word for it .. to give away WebSphere, but have large Tivoli hooks means that IBM can then follow up and sell Tivoli consulting and customization to many small companies and this is a much larger sell than a simple license for an web/app server. Top this with the IBM jdk and the convolution of the Smalltalk/Java line and I believe we get a dilution of the Java language and protocol extensions.

    Second, while not espousing theories of conspiracy that the evil blue empire is on the verge of world domination, I would be cautious in approaching the blue flag of universal friendship. Bad blood between the Unix vendors runs deep and wide and the "embracing of OSI" initiative is a largely political stance to get IBM back into the mainstream culture. I've heard some of the top AIX developers/integrators say "there's a few good ideas in Linux .. like the small graphical install packages", while at the same time saying that they will introduce new functionality in AIX that comes directly from linux source code without giving proper due credit. This effectively goes to the point of stealing code back out of some linux utilities, and then figuring out how little of it they are obligated to make public again.

    On top of this AIX has never been a strong O/S (BSD base and slow to adopt later SVR4 revisions - only recently with the acquisition of SCO do they have the license and have things like truss been announced for the O/S) .. IBM knows this, and is looking for ways to popularize their lack of technology and innovation - mainly the good old fashioned way of copying and changing a little to make it look like your own (like a good percentage of dissertations out there) .. much in linux has this same form of flattery, and a merger of the two means that we now have a hybrid imitation of many things that are better done and supported elsewhere with no real advancement in the field itself. This muddying of the technical waters has persisted for many years, and through the duping of much of the "technical mainstream" will persist for many more while a rift develops between what people understand and what they think they understand. All the while this leads to large $$ capital position as phony needs are created, and a large "enterprise with XX years experience" steps in and says we can support that .. it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the s/w industry will be peanuts compared to the future h/w and service industry.

    sigh .. enough ranting for a day ..

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @02:02PM (#839749)
    OK, I am a little confused here... The "Open Source Community" begs companies to release open source software. IBM then announces the opening of the source for a major product. Next, I read crap like this with all sorts of conspiracy theories. What the hell?!?!

    Of course IBM wants to dominate the industry. Every public company has a fiduciary duty to it's stockholders to attempt to gain a monopoly position in every market it enters. (Remember having a monopoly is not illegal, just using illegal means to maintain it.)

    Next, who cares what IBM's intentions are? So what if they want to dominate hardware and services? Take the source and run! Ignore IBM's pleas to pay them to integrate. Hang up on the marketing rep when he tries to sell you hardware. Once you have the source, what the hell do you need IBM for? If you don't want IBM to be a focal point for change, fork the code!

    Don't like "Tivoli Ready Modules"? Don't use 'em! Don't want to use VisualAge? Fine, who is going to stop you?

    Exasperated at hair-trigger morons,

    SirWired
  • IBM are really running a rearguard action here. There are already two good open-source Java server apps out there, Jakarta and Enhydra, and the currently available ones are significantly ahead of IBM's basic offering in terms of supporting the most recent versions of standards.

    If IBM released the EJB container, on the other hand, that'd be cool. There isn't a halfway-decent free-as-in-liberty EJB implementation that I know of.

    I work with Websphere Advanced Edition for my day-job and really like it, but I don't think I'd bother with the standard edition even if it were open-source - there's already enough code out there, and Websphere isn't particularly friendly to install or configure on *nix.

    On the other hand, IBM have been really good lately about releasing Java stuff to the open-source community. The XML/XSLT packages that they donated to the Apache project are pretty damn funky, for example.
    --
  • The source code for the OS/2 version of OpenDOC is already available to DevCon members.

    However, it requires SOM/WPS which aren't open source.

    I would like to see the source code to SOM and WPS made available to all. It is curious that the last version of SOM was version 3.0 yet OS/2 is still shipping with version 2.4

  • Charles Miller asks:
    Maybe we need an "Imminent Death of Linux Predicted, Film at 11!" meme?
    Uhm... Are you saying we don't have one already???

    Christian R. Conrad
    My ISP is the Saunalahti company, of Finland.
  • I have no problem with a company being dominant; what I do find objectionable is companies who become dominant by locking you into a solution.

    That is when you lose the fairness in competition.

    There is a great difference in being dominant through being the best than being dominant through being the most crooked.
  • by Kerg ( 71582 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2000 @01:44AM (#839754)
    There isn't a halfway-decent free-as-in-liberty EJB implementation that I know of.

    Well, there is jBoss [jboss.org], GPL licensed EJB server (supports 1.1). Scheduled for release 1st of September. The CVS version works quite well already.

  • Operation Ivy rules.
  • OS/400!

    Who needs directories and files when you have LIBRARY and MEMBERs!!!

    Green screens shall inherit the earth.

  • However, backing C# the language is not really very interesting at all unless they would also back IL, the intermediate language C# is compiled into. As far as I know that is not being sumitted to a standards body so Microsoft can change IL however it likes with each upgrade to C#, making sure everyone else

    c# is compiled. The IL is most likely part of the standardised process, but it doesn't matter so much, since its easily reverse engeneeringalbe, and just like Java 1.2 needs a new JRE, so would MS common language runtime 1.1. What is outside the standard process is this common language runtime. Its what needs the most porting effort. c# is basically c++ with vbrun700.dll architecture.

  • There's a fundamental difference I think you're missing here, and intentions have much more to do with things than you might think .. for IBM to give an air of embracing the OSI movement, but have ulterior motives does not really help the Open Source community, but actually weakens it at it's very core. I think you're missing the consideration of upper (unenlightened) management structures who will be more likely to believe a large well established corporation's view of what OSI means over smaller bands of disorganised developers. Fork the code as much as you like in your little home lab, but when it comes to making large decisions for corporations - support and SLAs play a much more important role .. expect IBM to support your changes? I'd rather expect the other - they fork your code for their own product - they then get free development effort from you and can run back and say - hey it was our great development efforts that have done all this - Why does this matter? The building of perception in the marketplace is more valuable for a company with respect to their stockholders than having to actually contribute necessary steps to facilitate greater learning. With enough popular perception they can then become the new soma of a brave new world.

    At least with the SCSL you have a license that is consistent with their intentions (apparently protection of a standard), but with IBM giving the appearance of embracing the OSI while maintaining unfair business practices in other venues we have what is inconsistent and appears to be more like the pied piper in the community bandwagon .. for a company that is not open to leapfrog 4 levels and suddenly announce they are completely OSI comfortable either indicates that they are either dishonest and not considering the broader implications of what this should mean, or desparate (if we learned anything from pre-MS history, I think you might already know the answers as history has a habit of repeating itself) .. I personally would be more comfortable if they were more honest about their intentions and developed their own License to address those concerns as an intermediary step.

  • How can OpenDOC need WPS. There are OpenDOC implementations on things that don't have WPS (such as NT and AIX.)
  • Not sure about the software version (the latest version for linux at the time (about a month ago)), but I've tried installation on various versions of RedHat and Debian. I will take back one comment tho, it does run, but only to tell me to give it an option switch, and no matter which valid option switch I give it, it loads, sits for a second, and then dumps me back into cli. I think you are right, it's probably something I did.

    --pug
  • I was writing of the implementation which IBM has opened the source code to - which happens to be the OS/2 version.

    IBM has left it to Apple to open the sources to the NT and Mac versions. Something which I don't think they will do.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've admined WebSphere Application Server on an RS/6000 / AIX box. The officially sanctioned method for shutting it down is to "kill -9" it. If you (or anything else) shuts it down ANY other way, it rapes its configuration database, forcing you to start configuring from scratch if you didn't save a "known-good" version someplace. It also takes an ungodly amount of time to start up.
  • Since the company I work for has a deep distrust of anything open source (they replaced Apache for Netscape Server) this might just be the death blow to all the WebSphere efforts that have been undertaken. Could somebody please advice which closed source product does something similar to this?

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:12AM (#839764) Homepage
    Do they let you use internet E-mail? I only ask because I don't imagine it's possible to route mail anywhere without hitting sendmail at some point along the line. :)

    Finkployd

  • by spankenstein ( 35130 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:12AM (#839765) Homepage

    IBM is really heading up on my respect-o-meter. Moving to Linux, making a very good JDK, and now Web Sphere. Cool.

  • info here [ibm.com] find out more here [ibm.com]

    don't mod this up, it's just for reference. (ie, not insightful!)

  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:42AM (#839767)
    I would like to see Open Source implementations of the following.

    OS/2> At least make it free for personal use. The bloody thing is still $200 or so. I mean it only gets used in a small market, so why not free it up? They can't possibly be making much money of it.

    SOM> There needs to be a CORBA independant object model on free OSs. Nothing against CORBA, but there needs to be a lighter weight alternative.

    OpenDOC> The perfect thing to boost up Linux. Of course both GNOME and KDE are working object models and embedding, but OpenDOC/SOM are both more mature, and a good deal lighter in weight. However, they might have problems opening this up due to the cooperation with Apple.
  • If IBM wants to give Linux (and other Free/Open Software) a real kick in the pants they can do one thing: Get Mozilla out there Do whatever it takes--lend some programmers, delete all Bugzilla entries labelled "enhancement", hire some hit-men to kill the current managers, whatever.

    If IBM were to throw developers at Mozilla would it really speed things up? It might just make things chaotic and unorganized, thus slowing development. To tell you the truth I would really like to see Mozilla without the email reader, or news reader or any of that other crap that I don't use and be a pure web browser.
    Molog

    So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

  • I think that the decision of IBM is the unique one. The standard edition of Websphere has nothing more than jakarta except it is late in implemetation of the J2EE specification and except it is not free.
    Jakarta : jsp 1.1 servlet 2.2 (jakarta.apache.org) websphere se : jsp 1.0 servlet 2.1
  • For IBM, the key issue driving this move is to prevent Microsoft, Sun, or any other vendor from using a core technology to dominate the industry.

    bull-hockey!! while I agree with the first part (prevention of Sun or Microsoft to gain dominance), IBM is still out to be dominant. This is attempted (subtle distinction) not through creation of a new technology but rather assimilation and change of "popular" technologies as they set themselves up to be the source point for change

    .. beware of large wooden gift horses ..

    WebSphere includes "Tivoli Ready Modules" - is Tivoli open source? Integration with IBM VisualAge .. is this open source? and will most likely run best on AIX (ever look at the licensing structure for their O/S?) which will enable them to sell more hardware (where everyone knows the real $$ come from)

    By positioning themselves in the middle of the market and jumping on the bandwagon to pigeonhole and point the finger at other companies, they make their own bad policies and practices less apparent. Ever look at the cost for IBM services? This is what they really want to sell and dominate.

  • So IBM wants to give direct competition to Windows by attacking the market from the techie angle, do they... Here's one reason why it's gonna absolutely fail: OS/2.

    Was OS/2 efficient? Yeah. It was stable, customizable, you name it. But OS/2 had a big problem: it was aimed at techies and geeks, while Windows was targeted at marketers and end users.

    Guess who has the most power? Sorry, it's the end users, directors and marketers. OS/2's fate proves that. IBM obviously hasn't learned their lesson in the way they now approach the server market, because they're attempting it all over again by catering to Open Source geeks.

    Careful that IBM doesn't accidentally kill the Open Source movement by mistake... If IBM corners the market as efficiently with WebSphere as it did with OS/2, expect Linux to go under within two years.

  • IBM may have done wonders with OS/2 but that is to be no longer. Rumours coming out of the woodwork are that IBM is going to drop support for its own OS - OS/2 and support NT instead.
  • Wow, it's 1995 all over again...
  • Hebner said that should Microsoft gain the acceptance of a major industry-standards body such as the European Computer Manufacturers' Association for its forthcoming C# initiative, IBM would likely place support for C# on
    a par with Java given Sun's reluctance to make Java a truly open standard.


    Now this has got to have both MS and Sun singing the blues. IBM, who currently has the fastest and best java implementation is promising to back C# if it gains status as an international standard. Ouch. Sun would lose its biggest ally on the Java front and MS would see its next attempt at world domination spinning out of Bill G's control.


    I don't think it would set Sun back much - they said they might place support for C# "On Par", or equal to Java support. That doesn't mean they would abandon Java at all...

    However, backing C# the language is not really very interesting at all unless they would also back IL, the intermediate language C# is compiled into. As far as I know that is not being sumitted to a standards body so Microsoft can change IL however it likes with each upgrade to C#, making sure everyone else (including IBM) plays catch-up to MS and can't really produce a good C# compiler. Plus there is the problem of convincing enough people to switch to C# when it offers only marginal benfits over Java.
  • If IBM really wants to eliminate technology choke points, they'll help the EFF and lead an effort to get the DMCA repealed. The DMCA is all about letting copyright owners create new technology choke points by calling them "access controls" or "copy controls".

    That being said, I don't doubt IBM's commitment to eliminating choke points that affect them (like Microsoft), I just don't think we should overestimate their commitment to openness. The important thing is that IBM is learning and growing and we can help the learn more and grow more in the future.
  • I was under the impression that websphere was little more then apache, jserv, and a few other well known software projects.

    I was also under the impression that websphere was regarded as one of ibm's worst software packages.

  • IBM is throwing developers onto Mozilla. The people who are porting Netscape to OS/2 are also (so I've heard) working on Mozilla, most likely concentrating on the OS/2 stuff. I even remember hearing about how they will be making some variant of Mozilla for OS/2 (aka WarpZilla) the next official OS/2 web browser.

    The developers who are working on this will be at Warpstock 2000 [warpstock.org] on Septmeber 9/10 in Philadelphia to talk about it, if you want to learn more.
    --

  • Actually, I was reading a BYTE magazine circa 1993. It talked about OpenDoc and SOM and all. SOM reminded my of a COM with inheritance, it has CORBA complient (but didn't depend on it) and OpenDoc was pretty good as well. It just seemed that they were good technologies that never really caught on. However they had a lot of merit, and if IBM released them, then they might get another chance.
  • that'd be version 2.03

    version 3.02 is now out for linux and is quite a bit better than 2.03, especially on the administration front (imo)

    if you're still interested, i'd suggest checking it out. you should be able to download the standard edition at ibm's software site

  • Well duh!, of course IBM will take the best changes and put them into the "official" release. Of course they will try to sell service and support for their supported version of the product. How is this different from what RedHat does? If you make your own major changes to the Linux kernel, don't expect RedHat to help you if your changes break things.

    Next, is there even one example of IBM stealing Open Source Software and touting it as their own? While you can't expect that they will issue a press release for every little bug fix, I really don't think that they would steal any kind of major dev. effort. Remember that Sun tried this with the Blackdown fiasco.

    I think IBM's new religion on Linux is genuine. You really think IBM enjoys writing DB2 over and over again for seven different operting systems? (Palm, Win16, Win32, WinNT/2000, AIX, OS/400 and OS/390) If IBM has a standard base to build value-added services and custom software, it sure makes their lives a lot easier. If WebSphere becomes a defacto standard (or at least widely used) application server, IBM can now sell services contracts (big $) that much easier. If the open version is a stepping stone, customers are more likely to buy the full (not-so-open) version.

    Will IBM ever go totally open-source? No. IBM currently makes more money selling software licenses than any other company on the planet (including Microsoft and Oracle) It would be suicide for the Board of Directors (i.e. shareholder lawsuits) if they decided to give all that up. However, IBM would love to have commodity parts of the system open-source (i.e. web browsers) so it can spend precious dev. dollars on more lucrative packages. (What would you rather sell, a $60 OS (i.e. Windows), or a multi-million $ transaction processing package?) How can you say IBM's intentions are not clear. They have not once said that they want all software to be open. They have merely committed to keeping open standards open, and getting as much of their software ported to Linux as possible. IBM doesn't think like RMS, and it would be unreasonable to expect them to do so.

    SirWired
  • "I'm not saying IBM's mistake is focusing the platform on geeks. I'm saying IBM's mistake is focusing on geeks, period. They're using Linux as the evagelization tool of choice to attract geeks."

    IBM's core business is selling hardware. IBM only ever started selling software to avoid being accused of bundling during its antitrust days. Think about it - it's sure be easier for IBM if Linux was mature enough that they didn't have to maintain AIX any more.

    I don't see IBM throwing Linux at the desktop market. Sure, they're making the occasional press-release that only gets mentioned on slashdot, and they're doing nifty research projects with it, but they're no more positioning Linux as a desktop OS than they are AIX. Look at the ports they've actually done for Linux - Websphere, DB2, Linux for OS/390 and Domino Server. They've ported the Domino server, but not the Notes client. Server, not desktop.

    Yes, having Linux run on your Really Big Servers (and really small watches) attracts geeks. If you attract combine giving geeks what they want (Linux compatibility) with giving suits what they want (big-company supplier), you sell hardware. But I don't see how this is harming Linux at all.

    Linux can go under in the sense that the recent Linux craze can crash and turn to be a fad. And it will.

    I remember when they said this about the Internet. "Oh, it's just like CB radio. In a few years the fad will be over and only the geeks will be left." Maybe we need an "Imminent Death of Linux Predicted, Film at 11!" meme?

    Charles Miller


    --
  • by mr.ska ( 208224 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:20AM (#839783) Homepage Journal
    "Mature, international company seeks community support. Knowledgeable in hardware, software, and support, is OSI-curious. Please respond to P.O. Box..."
  • We *need* OpenDoc. We need a component model, and OpenDoc has all the features needed. IBM has already promised [ibm.com] it will release OpenDoc as free software. We must email them and remind them of that promise!
  • by Delirium Tremens ( 214596 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @11:17AM (#839785) Journal
    • Websphere Standard Edition (WSE) is Apache (currently 1.3.12) + HTML-based customization front-end + a JSP/Servlet. Open-sourcing their work is moderately useless because the enhancement they made to Apache has already been back-ported and their JSP engine is way behind the current spec level and hence not much interesting for developers who want to play with the latest stuff.
    • WebSphere Advanced Edition is WSE + an Enterprise JavaBeans container. We slashdotters don't need to know more about it because it is not going to be open-sourced and - to say it politely - it still needs some work (not yet compliant with the EJB1.1 spec, has proprietary features, requires even more memory that M$ Word in auto-saving mode, etc)
    • WebSphere Enterprise Edition is WSE (not WAE, mind you) + another EJB server from IBM. The same functionality in two different products: talk about confusing the customer! The license price being outrageously high I have yet to find someone who has ever used it, so I am not going to comment about this one, though I heard it was a (academically) interesting mix of C++ CORBA code and Java objects.
  • The only real changes about IBM WebSphere Applicaion Server SE are the liscensing.

    I had the blessed experience of developing a global intranet based on WebSphere, and it was practicaly decidedly Open Source two years ago...

    neitzert

  • WebSphere includes "Tivoli Ready Modules" - is Tivoli open source?

    Anyone care to shed some light on what some of the more common Tivoli products are? We've recently begun seeing it here around our office, although the Tivoli site offers little information on what's what. (Been told we're migrating to this from SMS, because of stability and "added benefits," although no one has told me what those might be.)

    Enquiring minds want to know, and all that...:)

  • I love how people find evil in every action IBM ever does. *sigh* I suppose the same thing will happen in 20 years when Microsoft is "just another company".

    Ayway, if IBM could gain a monopoly in services for an Open Source software industry, that would be quite the feat! And if the source is open, why the hell would it "run best" on AIX only? Have you ever actually USED the product? If anything, it currently "runs best" on NT.

    IBM is still a company,and it still needs to make money. If IBM doesn't encourage people to buy more IBM hardware, what possible reason could IBM have to release any software ever?

  • by brokeninside ( 34168 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:22AM (#839789)

    "The problem is that even if what they offer is 90 percent healthy and only 10 percent rat poison, the rat poison is still going to kill you," said Scott Hebner, director of e-business marketing at the IBM Software Group.

    Holy Cripes! That could have come straight from the mouth of RMS himself! Who would have ever guessed that a corporate behemoth like big blue could start to grok the true advantages of open source?

    Hebner said that should Microsoft gain the acceptance of a major industry-standards body such as the European Computer Manufacturers' Association for its forthcoming C# initiative, IBM would likely place support for C# on a par with Java given Sun's reluctance to make Java a truly open standard.

    Now this has got to have both MS and Sun singing the blues. IBM, who currently has the fastest and best java implementation is promising to back C# if it gains status as an international standard. Ouch. Sun would lose its biggest ally on the Java front and MS would see its next attempt at world domination spinning out of Bill G's control.

    And this is the part that really rocks my boat,

    This point was reinforced in the most recent edition of the IBM annual report, in which company CEO and Chairman Lou Gerstner said that eliminating technology choke points is a key goal for the company.

    Perhaps I need to go find a copy of the annual report, but it seems to me that Lou is stating that IBM wants to go full fledged open source to be a pure hardware + services company. I could be wrong, but I don't see what other technological choke points there could be....

  • Granted, the Novell thing is just a rumor, but it seems like IBM is getting quite diverse in the software department...

    Still, if it evens the field a little, then go, Big Blue!

  • by VP ( 32928 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:22AM (#839791)
    Since the company I work for has a deep distrust of anything open source (they replaced Apache for Netscape Server)

    I am sure a smart and visionary company like this can write it's own implementation of WebSphere.
  • by the coose ( 171981 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @10:24AM (#839792)
    Since the company I work for has a deep distrust of anything open source...

    So how's the weather in Redmond? ;-)

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