James Governor's Monkchips

On JBoss, IBM Linux, FUD and the “Real Roy Russo”

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Yesterday I opined that after its acquisition by Red Hat JBoss was less a cult of personality, but that personalities still mattered a great deal in the commercial open source space. I mentioned that some project leads had recently left Red Hat – one of whom is Roy “Portal” Russo (sic.)

It seems that one personality at least wants to make sure that folks know he is the guy behind JBoss Portal – step forward Julien Viet.

“Roy Russo is a former JBoss developer that left the company to found his own company (these days everyone wants to be founder of a company, whatever the company is …). I think he is trying to give himself more importance than what he used to have for the JBoss Portal project. If you look at his bio you will read “he led the successful incubation and launch of an enterprise portal product” which says which is a very smart way to say “I was here”++.

I read that a long time ago but did not give a really shit. However James extrapolated this information a bit too excessively.

I am the founder and lead of the JBoss Portal project, well actually I naturally *own* the project, this project is my house. That means that Roy could be at most co founder of the project (since there can be several founders but one lead) and obviously he never led the project.

So I am okay to recognize that Roy co founded the project since he was there since the beginning of the project. I recognize also that Roy played a key role when our management decided to *acquire* other open source portal projects and I think that if the project still exists it is due for a large part to him.”

Well I guess that clears that up then. But as Matt points out Red Hat may have bigger issues to worry about than committers leaving:

Oracle has its own Linux. If IBM gets its own, too, what will this mean for Red Hat? So far “Unbreakable Linux” has done exactly nothing to slow Red Hat’s growth. But if IBM were to dilute Red Hat’s influence even further? This would be bad.

On that note though: I just had lunch with Mark Cathcart, a senior technical architect in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group. He said he had not seen IBM putting a structure in place to roll out its own Linux distro to customers. Frankly I am pretty certain Mark would know if something was afoot for 2008.

That said – IBM does already support its own Red Hat variant for *internal* use. What happens when customers start asking for what IBM uses itself. It surely doesn’t make sense for IBM to pay to support a custom distro for itself, even with 330k+ employees. Then there is the service controller that runs on all its hardware platforms, another custom job. You can say one thing about IBM’s Linux story – its not very “clean” from a platform cost perspective.


  1. Hey, not fair. How is IBM supposed to have a “clean” story based on speculation from people who don’t know anything about what they’re speculating on? If you want info on anything in this area, feel free to contact me.

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  3. […] On JBoss, IBM Linux, FUD and the “Real Roy Russo” – more James Governor’s thoughts on the importance of open source hackers, and more. […]

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