Legal issues stalling progress

OpenShift to be open source in ‘next few months’

LouisGoddard
OpenShift-logo

Red Hat’s popular platform as a service (PaaS) offering, OpenShift, will be fully open source in the very near future, according to a recent update to the product’s FAQ

Red Hat’s platform as a service (PaaS) offering, OpenShift,
which is used by many Java developers for cloud deployment, will be
fully open source in the very near future, according to a
recent update to
the product’s FAQ. Writing on Saturday, an OpenShift team member
reassured users that “Open Source is coming within the next few
months!”

The platform’s marketing materials make much of its open source
credentials — “OpenShift by Red Hat is built on all open-source
technologies”, reads the website, emphasising that Red Hat is “the
leading open source company”. But due to problems with legal
clearance, much of the code remains off-limits.

According to the FAQ, “[p]art of the code came from an
acquisition”, almost certainly referring to Red Hat’s November 2010
buy-out of Makara. This complicated provenance has likely created
issues around licensing, with some components legally incompatible
with others.

OpenShift currently supports applications written in PHP, Perl,
Ruby, Python and Java, and the team added long-awaited Node.js
support last week. It offers a full environment for building,
testing and deploying web apps, with languages, databases and other
tools offered via a system of ‘cartridges’.

UPDATE, 28/03: Red Hat has now
clarified the timeframe somewhat, committing to
open-source the platform at the Open Cloud Conference, which
runs from April 30 to May 3 in  Sunnyvale:

During the Open Cloud Conference, Red Hat plans to make
available the source code to the automation components that are
used to power OpenShift, offering access to the code behind its
PaaS platform.

ReadWriteWeb reports that
OpenShift will be made available under “the Apache 
License” (presumably Apache 2.0) and hosted on GitHub. Isaac Roth
clarifies that only ‘trivial’ parts of the project (e.g. Red Hat’s
proprietary sign-up page) will be held back.

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