So what it takes is the people at the top really laying out a new strategy or a new shift. For example, IBM has been shifting from being a software/hardware company to being a hardware services kind of company. They still sell software, but it is mostly about selling the services around the software. Most of the companies today are making the shift to services; even the stalwarts like Oracle and Microsoft are starting to realize that they need not rely on the software licensing model in the future.
IDGNS: Is there some debate as to when open source is really open source? You have a number of these big companies saying they support the open-source model, but their approach seems different from what you might usually describe as open-source approaches.
Behlendorf: Well, I am a little biased because I am also on the board of the Open Source Initiative -- the group that is charged with defending the term open source. When we see something that is not distributed under a valid open license, thhen we will get up in arms and send them a nastygram and usually they will respond with, "yeah, OK, we will rethink this and re-evaluate it." I am hard pressed to think of the last situation where somebody did misuse open source and did it willfully. I think we have done a pretty good job of preserving that term.
It does get overused quite a bit. It does get thrown out there without people thinking sometimes, but I think the definition has remained pretty clear. The term open source is tied to the open-source definition. The open-source definition is about a bunch of different things that make it easier to distribute and specific requirements. I would say the most important requirement is the right to fork. It is the right for a user or somebody outside the developer pool or even a subset of the main development pool to be able to take the code and start a new project.
IDGNS: Do you feel that some of the major open-source projects have not received enough attention? Apache sits on 60 percent of Web servers, but some people remain unaware of its dominance in this space. Do you ever get a bit disheartened by the lack of attention?
Behlendorf: I am not frustrated. The fact that we don't have a multibillion-dollar marketing organization means that, sure, Microsoft is going to be able to claim things or do things that we can't, but that hasn't hurt us so far. We are out there more widely than they are.