Resurrection, open-source style

Open source can help to make code outlive its creators.

I remember talking with the CIO of a large law firm a year or two ago. During our conversation, he lamented the demise of one of his smaller vendors and, particularly, the fact that despite an escrow agreement, the company's code largely died with its bankruptcy.

"I tried to convince them to open source the product," he recalled, "but they didn't and now I'm left with nothing."

Consider the open-source alternative, as The 451 Group does in reviewing the status of OpenQRM since its project sponsor, Qlusters, died. Downloads and project traffic are both up.

As this OStatic interview with one Qlusters executive suggests, a good open-source project will always be bigger than any one company, or any one person. The code is king in open source, something that no escrow agreement for proprietary software can replicate.

No, open source is no guarantee of eternal life. But it's a step in that direction.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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