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Red Hat CEO Warns About Faux Open Source

Jim Whitehurst talks about the dangers of companies that claim to be open source but aren't actually encouraging open participation or innovation from a broad group of users.

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Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst spent last week’s annual Summit praising the progress made in open source, but during his opening keynote he also warned attendees about companies that claim to be open source without actually encouraging open participation and innovation from a broad group of users.

’Beware of projects that are, I’ll call it ’open source in license only, ’’ Whitehurst said. ’Projects that have one major contributor or one contributor who produces 90 percent of the code and calls it open source. Beware of projects that have government structures that aren’t free and open, where meritocracy’s not allowed to truly drive decisions in those projects.’

Whitehurst said, ’The power of open source is around participation. It’s about users,’ and that broad participation is key in using open source to drive innovation.

According to the CEO, Red Hat is only interested in diving into projects with ’massive participation.’

’Open source has clearly taught us all that the best ideas rarely happen from the top. They generally simmer and bubble from users,’ he said.


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