Adobe, Day and Open Source: a dream and a nightmare
What does the acquisition of Day by Adobe mean for Day's open source activities? Some people are disappointed by the lack of comments about this in the official announcements to date.
Thankfully, Erik Larson, senior director of product management and strategy at Adobe, commented on Glyn Moody's blog post quite early in the frenzy of tweets and blog posts that followed yesterday's announcement.
...we are very excited for Day's considerable "open source savvy" to expand Adobe's already significant open source efforts and expertise. That is a strategic benefit of the combination of the two companies. I have personally learned a lot from David Nuscheler and his team in the past few months as we put the deal together.
Not bad for a start, but we're engineers right? Used to consider the worst case, to make sure we're prepared for it.
Me, I'm an engineer but also an optimistic, and I'm used to start with the ideal, happy case when analyzing situations. It helps focus my efforts on a worthy goal.
So let's do this and dream about the best and worst cases. This is absolutely 100% totally my own dreams, I'm not speaking for anyone here, not wearing any hat. Just dreamin', y'know?
This is late 2011.
The last few months have more than confirmed that Day's acquisition by Adobe, one year ago, happened for strategic reasons: a big part of the deal was filling up gaps in Adobe's enterprise offering, but Day's open source know-how and network have brought a lot of value as well.
Day folks have played an important role in expanding the open development culture inside Adobe; Photoshop will probably never be fully open source, but moving more key components of the Adobe technology stack to open source, and most importantly open development, has paid off nicely. In terms of reaching out to developers and customers, in getting much better feedback at all levels, and in terms of software quality of course. It's those eyeballs.
The Apache Software Foundation's Incubator has been quite busy in the last few months. The new platinum sponsor enjoys a fruitful relationship with the foundation.
With JCR moving to their core, Adobe's enterprise applications are starting to reach a new level of flexibility. Customers are enthusiastic about being able to access their data via simple and standards-based interfaces. Enterprise-level mashups, anyone?
JCR is not just that minor content repository API pushed by that small swiss software vendor anymore: being adopted by a major player has made a huge difference in terms of market recognition (I'm sure my friends at Hippo, Jahia and Sakai, among others, will love that one). The added resources have also helped improve the implementations, and people love the book!
With this, Apache Jackrabbit and Apache Sling have reached new levels of community participation and quality. Although quite a few new committers are from Adobe, a number of other companies have also pushed their developers to participate more, due to the increased market visibility of JCR.
Adobe's additional resources, used wisely to take advantage of the Day team's strengths, have enabled them to fully realize the CQ5 vision. Everything is content, really.
As in all fairy tales, the former Day team and Adobe live happily ever after. (Editor's note: this is not Disney, can we strike that one please?)
This is late 2011, and I can hear the programmers complaining in their bland cubicles.
The few Day folks who still work at Adobe did try to convince their management to continue on the open source and open development track. No luck - you can't argue with an US company making 4 billion a year, can you?
CQ5 customers are too busy converting their websites to native PDF (this is about documents, right?) to realize what's going on. The most desperate just switched to DrooplaPress, the newest kid on the LISP-based CMSes block. That won't help business much but at least it's fun to work with. If you love parentheses, that is.
Adobe's competitors who really jumped on the open source and open development train are gone for good, it is too late to catch up. You should have sold you shares a year ago.
Luckily, Apache Jackrabbit and Apache Sling are still alive, and increased involvement of the "Benelux Gang" (ex-Day folks spread over a few Benelux content management companies) in those projects means there's still hope.
You wake up wondering why you didn't accept that job at the local fast food. Computers are so boring.
I know life is more complicated than dreams sometimes, but I like dreams much better than nightmares, and I'm a chronic optimistic. So you can easily guess which scenario I'm going to work towards!
I'll keep you posted about what really happens next. Once I wake up, that is.
Just dreamin', y'know?
Open Source at Adobe by my colleague and fellow Apache Member Jukka Zitting.
Open innovation in software means Open Source, a recent post of mine.
See also my collected links related to the announcement at http://delicious.com/bdelacretaz/adobeday.