Cost-of-Entry, Cost-of-Exit, Standards and OpenSource

Last week SpringSource announced a new Enterprise Maintenance Policy. This has triggered quite a bit of Web activity (if you read French, check out Alexis Note) specially this long TSS thread.

A number of the reactions are negative; I suspect the biggest problem is not the specifics of the new business model - there are many valid Open Source business models - but that this is a change in the assumptions under which many people interacted with the Spring framework. One of the advantages we had at GlassFish is that we designed and advertised the community and enterprise model at the same time.

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The TSS thread also reminded me of Scott McNealy's point about Cost-of-Exit; one of the benefits of standards with multiple implementations is that they encourage vendors to provide good service because the CoE is low. And I'll insert a plug for the EJB 3.1 Webinar.

BTW, Rail Gauges are a good example of the "Cost of Exit": Spain standardized on Iberian Gauge in the mid-19th century; there are plans to switch to standard gauge, but I'll believe it when it happens...

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