Marc Fleury / JBoss Inc. bans 'Astroturfing'

by Kevin Bedell

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I was complaining about this practice just yesterday (see Giving honesty 'Arun' for it's money?). Now Marc Fleury, CEO of JBoss Inc., is publically stating that he's banned the practice at JBoss Inc.

According to Marc, "Let's put the professional back in professional open source. 'Astroturfing' is hereby banned at JBoss, starting with me."

I guess it's one thing to be a wildcat when you're an open source project only concerned with great code. If you don't have customers (and potential customers) to worry about offending, it's not that big a deal to get caught and lose community respect.

Maybe this is like graduating from college or university. While you're a student you can have your hair long, have a tongue piercing, wear nerdy t-shirts with holes in them and do/say pretty much whatever you want (ah, those were the days!). But once you're out 'in the real world', most people find themselves changing and adapting to meet the expectations of the people who give them a paycheck. I've heard that this is called 'growing up'.

Is JBoss (the company, not the product) 'growing up'? Let's hope so. Open Source as a technical and social movement will only be fully accepted by executives and corporate managers once they perceive that it's a low-risk option.

Changing this practice is just one sign that Open Source is now 'growing up'.