Straight from the other horse's mouth

by Volker Weber

Recently I quoted a former IBM engineer on the SNAFU that is Workplace 2.0 (and 1.1). I made it a full quote, since I expected that IBM would take action to have this story removed. (There are two ways to fix a problem: With engineers and with lawyers.) Well, I was right. Pete took the juicy part of the story down. Now Damien Katz is mad at IBM:

My friend Pete recently posted some negative comments about his former employer, IBM. They were simply his opinion of the working environment at IBM, but IBM legal told him to take it down. So he did, no doubt wanting to avoid a big hassle from IBM's legendary attack lawyers. But he has a right to have his opinion expressed, IBM doesn't have a right to whitewash from the world the negative opinions of its corporate culture, they don't have a right to squash dissent. When large corporations succeed in doing that, they erode everyones rights. Freedom of speech is perhaps our single most important right, without it, all other rights can be silently taken away.

IBM is a fantastically powerful corporation, who can sink their teeth into government and politicians and spends huge amounts on lawyers, bending the rules as much as possible in its own favor rather than compete on a level playing field. As you might imagine I hate stuff like that, and I like to do whatever small thing I can to fight such behaviors. So before I get too preachy and without any communication or permission from Pete, I've decided to repost 2 of Pete's removed articles here. Enjoy.

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The whole websphere and workplace concept is far too complex. If techies have difficulty understanding (and installing) it, how are customers supposed to "get" it?
Will IBM ever earn a profit with workplace / websphere license revenues? IBM's model is serious hardware and services, why even bothering with software licensing? Domino has been and probably still is a cash cow, but it is the last of it's kind. If IBM is serious about embracing free software, they should open source Workplace and Websphere. That might help to mature and simplify both product ranges.

Moritz Schroeder, 2005-05-03

I doubt that to open the source of such a product would help. It is far too complex. Even "successful" open source projects like Open Office are still mainly vendor driven (Sun in this case). From my opinion the whole open source discussion could really need a reality check.
The Lotus division does only a fraction of the IBM Software business so there must be some other cash cows around (I could even argue if it still is one).
From my personal point of view I would prefer that people who do not agree would not all leave but try to change something (probably they have done so).

Henning Heinz, 2005-05-03

Henning, my words may have not been well chosen: so yes and yes.
Vendor driven open source, great. IBM is already sponsoring a couple of open source software products, so why not in the collaboration and office compartment?
Sure Domino is one product amidst many. I am just betting that no new generation of IBM software will ever get close to the commercial success with a proprietary licensing model that Domino has enjoyed, that why I called the last of it's kind for IBM.

Moritz Schroeder, 2005-05-04

1. Websphere is ok. Websphere is a cash cow.
2. Websphere MQ is a cash cow, too.
3. I dont understand workplace neither.
4. JBoss, Codehaus and some others show, that openSource for complex products without company works.
5. Agree with Heini, that openSores needs a reality check. Not one. A lot of them. Its really complex. Read comments of brazilian regulars about brazilian government involvement in open Source.
6. Don't mix economy with emotions.
7. IBM supports openSource as they like. We don't understand their moves, because its ibm internal.
8. openSource does not lead as to happy-happy Heidi-Almöhi world.
9. springframework rocks!!!
10. think.
11. work
12. IBM really can't accept those comments. I read the whole story when it was there and did not post a link on Javaranch, because this should never have been published. Not using build process. Jesus Christ.

Axel Janssen, 2005-05-05

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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