OpenLogic: HP hogged FOSS announcement limelight

Hewlett-Packard's recent announcement regarding a pair of free and open-source software projects has irked one of its co-sponsors, OpenLogic.

FOSSology is a tool for tracking the use of open-source software in an enterprise, and is based on technology developed in-house at HP, the company has said. FOSSBazaar is an accompanying Web site housing best practices and other information concerning FOSS governance.

OpenLogic's CEO, Steven Grandchamp, said in a blog post Tuesday that HP'smedia release essentially hogged the limelight, downplaying the fact that many other companies are backing FOSSBazaar, including Google and Novell.

"Although this initiative was started and led by HP, it is designed to be backed and supported by many in the open source ecosystem," he wrote. "Just as no single member of a large open source community would claim responsibility for all the results, FOSSBazaar will need to follow these same open source community norms. In HP's desire to talk about their leadership on FOSSBazaar, they may have lost sight of the open and community aspects."

In addition, the HP news release mixed together news of the free information housed at FOSSBazaar and its new set of commercial services, he noted. "Those details of HP's open source services may have been better left for a different forum or separate press release."

Grandchamp also said he has received phone calls and e-mail regarding whether HP is now competing with OpenLogic, which makes a tool called OSS Discovery.

Describing the two tools as "complementary," he wrote, "OSS Discovery can be used to discover which open source packages are installed on your machines (providing package names and versions), regardless of license. FOSSology can be used to search for open source licenses in a set of source or binary code."

But Grandchamp extended an olive branch to HP even as he chided its actions. "Bottom line, we think that FOSSBazaar can be a valuable resource for enterprises, despite some confusion around the announcement. Our intention is to work with all of the participants in FOSSBazaar to ensure that it is a valuable resource helping enterprises to become more knowledgeable about open source governance issues and therefore more comfortable in using open source software."

HP could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

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