Diversity Limited | February 27, 2013

Tensions in the Cloud Foundry Camp–On the Problems with Forks

Let there be no doubt, open source projects are hard. Balancing central control while still allowing individual members a degree of autonomy is like walking a tightrope – too much control and it looks like a dictatorship, too little and the initiative risks spiraling out of control in the face of multiple individual stakeholders and interest groups.

Nowhere is this more the case than when the open source project is initiated or rests largely with one entity – while Linux worked exceptionally well because there was a benign dictator in Linus Torvalds, someone who asserted strong control, but was unquestionably “pure” in his motivations, the same can’t be said of the to highest profile cloud open source initiatives, OpenStack and Cloud Foundry. Both projects have gained significant exposure, industry support and uptake, but both have also come with a healthy dose of tension.