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Great Googley Moogley

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I was in an Irish pub in downtown Portland, contemplating ordering my third beer of the evening, when a force of energy dressed in black and carrying a very large skateboard shouted my name and threw himself into my field of admittedly narrowing vision.

The man in black was William (whurley) Hurley, who's work in the open source community is highly regarded. The fact that he's a pretty good socializer and could conceivably kill you with his pinkie, well, that doesn't hurt, either. Currently, whurley is the Chief Architect of Open Source Strategy at BMC Software, Inc., otherwise known as the BMC open source guru.

In that capacity, whurley has been advocating the need to get things as open as possible. Not only at BMC, but throughout the community. Of course, it's taken some time for whurley to actually get the ball rolling at his company. This is understandable, since every new job brings a ramp-up period. whurley's news, which he was very eager to share with me, would not only roll the ball, but essentially hit it out of the park (to mix my metaphors).

Clearly wanting to build the suspense, he told me that BMC is now going to adopt a single-licence open source policy. So, any project that will be made open at BMC from now on would be licensed under the most open license possible. To get the process going, he added, they've created the BMC Developer Network, and tossed in some adapters under the open source license.

Curiously, none of the big projects, like CMSFS, have been made open yet. But I have to wonder, given that whurley also mentioned that they would be setting up some development forums around CMSFS and other BMC projects, if this project is potentially next on the list of things to get open.

With a gleam in his eye, whurley asked me to guess which license they were actually going to use. I figured I would guess the most outrageous thing possible, and say the GPLv3, since whurley has historically had issues with this license.

What the heck, maybe he fell of his skateboard and changed his mind.

Nope, they've decided to go with the BSD Licence.

At this point, I decided I definitely needed that beer.

When my eyes pulled back into my head, I asked him why he thought that was a good license choice, and not the more pervasive GPL (either version). For whurley, the importance of being as open as possible is the highest priority, and in his opinion, the BSD license is as open as it gets. His faith in the GPL as being truly open has been seriously corrupted during the creation and release of GPLv3.

As his friend, I felt obligated to state the obvious: he and BMC were likely to catch a lot of flack for this move. Essentially, he's ready for the debate, and I think it best I let his explanation be stated in his own words.

Whether you agree with this licensing move or not, clearly BMC is making a bold move into the open source world, and you've got to give them props for that.

In other news today, SugarCRM announced the adoption of GPLv3 for their Community Edition 5.0. This was a bit of a shock, one that I am chafing to get to the bottom of. But, my colleague Peter Galli has a good analysis up already on his blog, and I have other stories to get to today before flying home.


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