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Red Hat releases its certificate system into the open

It took the company three years to open source its certificate system. Why? I have no idea.

Red Hat gets a lot of credit for being a pure-play open-source company, and rightly so. It's therefore interesting to see the company releasing code that most people probably a) didn't know existed and b) didn't know was proprietary.

But so it is with the Red Hat Certificate System, which Red Hat acquired from AOL a few years back, and which Red Hat has now released under an open-source license. (Actually, it is released under several, given the different components in the Certificate System.) RHCS, now dubbed Dogtag, plays a useful role in securing systems.

Why didn't Red Hat release this before? I have no idea. It demonstrates, however, that open sourcing technology is not trivial, even for companies like Red Hat and Sun Microsystems that are firmly committed to open source. Thought, code scrubbing, legal review, etc. are all required to fully open source code. It doesn't happen overnight. For Red Hat, it took three years.