EnterpriseDB CTO Bob Zurek was kind enough to have me on the his Database Radio program, with the audio feed here and the transcript here (PDF), which proved to be fun to record and hopefully an enlightening listen.
Bob asked me to name the top trends in open source. Here's my answer:
There have been two big ones that I've noticed lately. One is the opening up of the Web. Traditionally the Web (infrastructure) was open, but increasingly we have things like applications moving to the Web, things like Facebook, that were proprietary--maybe built on open source, but their APIs were closed...Facebook, Reddit, Myspace--all of these are now competing on "openness," and it's kind of a rehash of what we were doing in the offline world with the Alfrescos and Red Hats of the world over the last 10 years, but it's been at a much faster pace.
And the second thing is, which is something that Tim O'Reilly has been predicting for a long time, open source is just becoming standard furniture in everybody's business...Even companies that were once fighting it are now incorporating it. I think five years from now, even two years from now, open source is going to be thought of as standard plumbing that everybody includes in their offerings, whether they're a vendor or an enterprise customer.
Now (open source has) become commonplace. I think that's good and bad. It's bad in the sense that we may forget just how unique and interesting open source is, and the value that it provides in reducing lock-in. But it's good in the sense that it means we can focus on providing value to customers, rather than on "who's the most pure open-source company." I'm starting to see that that may not be the most productive place to have the conversation.
For the rest, you'll have to tune in. Let me know if you disagree with the points above or others I make in the interview.