Triggered by an otherwise very interesting visit to a major European corporation yesterday, I feel that today I should rant a little on the corporate use of Open Source.
Now, I am not ranting about the fact that commercial entities are actually using Open Source - I want to rant a little about the fact that they (often) don’t publicly say so!
Or to put that into perspective - often the groups/units etc. that use Open Source are not allowed to mention the fact outside of their office. It’s a “secret”.
Now this fact often actually hinders the group in their use of the open source software. They can’t benefit from many of the advantages - because they are not allowed to.
So they resort to fixing bugs themselves - instead of getting them fixed in the Open Source project. They write new components when the ones in the Open Source project don’t quite fit what they need. They can’t ask questions on the mailing-list (unless they disguise themselves by using a generic mail-domain). In return, they cannot give back to the project and so the project also loses.
From my experience, the people working with Open Source are extremely frustrated by this and it can take a long long time before the “powers” agree that these facts can be publicly made.
So, my question is what do we - in the Open Source community - need to do to help those enthusiastic supporters of Open Source inside major corporations convince the “powers” to go public?
What can we do? Post your ideas here.