Open Source seems to be gathering steam in the market – but so far the one thing missing seems to have been a balancing view to all the evangelists.
I was delighted to read Ronan’s Lustratus Insight, ’10 Rules for adopting Enterprise OSS – A Cynic’s Guide’. For enterprise use in particular, this paper does a good job of sounding some of the necessary counter-balances to the army of fanatics driving OSS forward.
One rule that seems so obvious, but struck a chord for me, was
Rule 6: Ensure that any customer reference has sufficient distance from the project, otherwise be aware you are not dealing with an impartial reference.
I have talked to customers who swear blind that their enterprise open source usage has been a wonderful experience, but now I think about it these were often companies or individuals closely involved with the OSS project and hence somewhat biased!
One other observation – Ronan takes care to point out this is not a critique of all OSS usage. His focus is very much from the enterprise software point of view.