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HP FOSSology – Is the Fox Watching the Hen House?

By John | January 28, 2008

This morning I was reading Matt Asay’s article about HP’s recent FOSSology announcement. Being a Tivoli guy, I am always suspicious of what the other guys are up to. So, after reading Matt’s article, I did what I always do at 2 am when I can’t sleep – I dug a little deeper. It looks like there is a third part to HP’s FOSS strategy. HP is going to provide an extended service offering to customers of its FOSS offerings called Health Check services. I think that most people, including myself, applaud HP’s initiative to go the open source route for a new product offering as opposed to its traditional close source model. I wonder, however, if it’s not a coincidence that Black Duck, another open source FOSS tracking company, has almost $30 million in VC investments. All things being equal, I think that it is a good thing that HP has taken the OSS route. I guess my only question is can a close source tools vendor be trusted to make honest assessments of open source tools?

Topics: blackduck, foss, fossology, hp | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “HP FOSSology – Is the Fox Watching the Hen House?”

  1. Bob Gobeille Says:
    February 3rd, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    The fact that both HP and Blackduck Software developed tools around open source governance isn’t really surprising. HP initially developed tools like this because it had a critical need for internal open source governance. Blackduck also saw the need, and market opportunity, and developed their suite of tools. Blackduck has been doing a great job and anyone needing open source governance should talk to them, Open Logic, Krugle, HP, …

    To answer your question “can a closed source tools vendor be trusted to make honest assessments of open source tools” – the answer is yes. The driving force behind FOSSology is to perform objective analysis. To proof is in the open source code.

    Bob Gobeille
    Lead Developer – FOSSology.org

  2. John Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Bob,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I think FOSSology is great. I also think it was a great that HP made the code open. My only question is can an HP service offering be objective? It sounds like a potential conflict of interest if an analysis has to be made between a open source tool and an close source competitor.

  3. Bob Gobeille Says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 1:18 am

    I see your point. I guess time will tell. Personally, and with what I know about HP Services, I don’t see this as a conflict. I think they do whatever they need to satisfy the customer and will evaluate FOSSology with the same criteria they would evaluate any open source software. If anyone finds out anything different, I hope they will contribute to this thread.

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