shieldsd wrote: "If IBM were to acquire SUN then it would *have* to open up the key IP assets: Solaris, Java, OO and MySQL."
This sort of confusion keeps coming up. There seem to be different meanings that different people are using for the word "open".
* open source? The four projects mentioned are already publicly distributed under open source licences.
* open development practices? I don't know about this. Does MySQL-in-Sun have open development practices? Did MySQL-before-Sun have open development practices? What *are* open development practices? This is a serious question -- I'd like to know the community consensus on this.
* nice friendly people? I used to think Sun was populated by nasty jerks, but recently I've started to like some of them more and more. I guess reading someone's blog will do that to you -- make you like them more. Do you like anybody who works for Sun? Does it matter to the definition of "open"?
* outside contributors? Surely an open source project is more robust when it has outside contributors, but is that what people mean when they say "Open"? I know of a lot of open source projects -- the vast majority of them, actually -- which never got outside contribution beyond token amounts. Should we say that those projects weren't "open"?
As far as I can tell, the only meaning that is easy to judge is "open source", and the four projects named are already clearly open source. The other meanings might be really important, too, of course, but it isn't clear to me what they mean in this conversation.
Maybe the real issue that shieldsd is concerned about has something to do with corporate strategic direction-setting. That, too, is a very important issue, but maybe we should use a different word than "open" to refer to the degree to which a project is independent from a single corporation's influence.