I represented Red Hat at the US version of the Accenture conference that Mark Little attended in Europe and blogged about. As Mark described, it was a good conference and basically the same questions and discussion took place. On the vendor panel was IBM, BEA, Red Hat, Microsoft, Sun and Oracle in that seating order. However, there were a couple of notable differences.
For one, while I extolled the importance of vendor-driven standards to solve complex business problems (and reiterated Red Hat's participation in these activities), I also mentioned that I continue to be amazed at how super star developers create a framework such as Hibernate, jBPM, Drools, Spring, or Seam to solve a programming problem in a simple way that ends up being used by large numbers of developers creating a defacto standard. This got a rise out of at least one of the commercial vendors who went on to say something like this after describing their leadership driving standards - "...and these open source communities are proliferating creating way too many frameworks and projects. Like JBoss Seam. Why don't we just fix JSF through the vendor process? Some of these open source projects become defacto standards! I hate to say this, but we need to stifle creativity in the open source community and control these standards so they evolve in a more orderly way...". Wow! I fell out of my chair...and grabbed the mike :-)
After answering the question about open source evolution, I went on to say something like..."While the vendor driven standards process is important, that process gave us J2EE entity beans and the open source community gave us Hibernate. I need say nothing further!".
Oh, and how did I answer "How do I see oen source (OSS) evolving"? Basically, OSS is bringing a great deal of energy and creativity solving developer and business computing problems. OSS is expanding the market by making software more affordable and higher quality. As OSS SOA middleware evolves and becomes more feature rich, it is putting pressure on the commercial vendors in the manner described in the "Innovator's Dilemma" where commercial software continues to become more complex and overrshoots more and more of the market with open source taking a greater share over the next decade.