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IBM ProjectZero: A new development model for commercial software?

· 2 min read

You have probably heard about IBM ProjectZero, this "incubator"project from IBM pushing a new way of building, assemble and run Web applications. I won't talk about the technology in this post, it will come later, but just comment about the way this project is developped: a Community-Driven Commercial Development process.

The idea behind this "process" is to apply to a commercial software, ideas that are common  in free software. As you see I am not talking about "open source" since Project Zero is open source, it is really about the way a "commercial" software is built...

If you take a look to the "About" page of ProjectZero you can learn more about this process/ideas. Some key points:

  • the development team, mainly IBM folks, want  feedback, insight, suggestions, and criticism from the community. So we as the community can really be involved in the product in a stage where it is usually inside IBM labs without any visibility for non IBM employee... This is quite exciting to see that we can really discuss with the development team as they do the product, and we can see the product evolving based on "real" customer requirements/comments.
  • so as "future" user of the production release I can discuss the features. As a developer of the "current" development release I can participate to the future product. So what you may be tempted to say, especially if you are a lot involved in open source and free projects, but you have to admit that it is quite a switch for commercial product.Project Zero is not the only project that is using this approach Jazz from the rational team is also on this model. 

In the same time if we consider, GlassFish, we do have more or less an equivalent, that is the JavaEE RI and the Sun Application Server... but here on Jazz or Project zero it is really happening on a brand new product that is not a reference implementation but new products part of a commercial R&D lab...

I am still a little confused to see what will be the license when release 1.0 goes out... Just wait and see.. hmm sorry I should say "just participate and see".