One of the articles I read was Curl Opens RIA Tools to Community. I definitely scratched my head for a few minutes after reading it. Not to pick on Curl (since I don't really know them or their products all that well), but I cringe when I see statements like:
- "We want to remove the concern that Curl is a proprietary platform," said Richard Treadway, vice president of product strategy at Curl. "We are releasing things above the platform that are fairly mature."
- Curl will not release its runtime to the community, Treadway noted, because it's important that the runtime exist only in one version that is solid and can run anywhere.
My experience tells me that in situations like this...you get all wet!
I racked my brain for an example of a company that voiced a similar strategy and avoided getting wet.
Sun made similar statements. Their initial open source strategy excluded Java Standard Edition because they feared doing so would open the doors for competitors to fork Java.
I actually think Sun got a bit damp before they corrected their strategy by rolling out OpenJDK which put them firmly on the [open source] boat.
Bottom-line: Sun's a big company and can afford to get a little wet...but smaller companies that face credible open source alternatives need to get it right the first time.