I read Matt Aslett's (The 451) post on the golden age of open source with interest. In it he describes that we've arrived at the fourth stage of open source, which is ”in short: a return to a focus on collaboration and community, as well as commercial interests."
What we're doing with membase.org definitely falls in line with this description although with a slightly different twist. NorthScale saw the need for a simple, fast, and elastic NoSQL database that we felt wasn’t being met by existing technologies. When it became clear that many prominent companies shared this view and were committed to an open source solution, NorthScale stepped in to shepherd the development of a broad community around the membase.org project. Consistent with Matt Aslett’s description of open source 4.0, the result is a project with an “emphasis on collaboration and community rather than control." While NorthScale has contributed the bulk of the code to the project, our customers Zynga and NHN are co-sponsors of the project who have a strong commitment to its success. This blurring of the line between vendor and customer – the collaboration between two seemingly opposite sides of a transaction – has long set open source apart from the large proprietary vendors who want nothing more than a lock on their customers.
Read more »