Sun's Phipps Speaks Out on OpenDS

Lora Bentley

Early this month, former Sun Microsystems employee and OpenDS owner Neil Wilson wrote an open letter to the community explaining he would no longer be involved in the open source project. He claims that Sun "strong-armed" the project owners to maintain control of the project.


In this piece at InfoWorld Netherlands, Sun's chief open source officer, Simon Phipps, sets the record straight on Sun's side of the story:

Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open source officer, told Network World he regrets the flap around the OpenDS (directory server) project, but that the company simply wanted to reverse an unauthorized governance change that Sun claims eliminated its stake in the project, which began in July 2006 to create an open source directory written in Java.

The four former project owners changed the governance model to require further governance changes to be approved by a consensus of the project owners rather than by a single project lead appointed by Sun Microsystems. As InfoWorld Netherlands reports:

The change ... eventually resulted in Sun no longer having a controlling interest in the OpenDS community after the four co-owners were laid off, and that meant the April change amounted to the foursome disposing of a Sun asset, which they were not authorized to do.

Though he believes they were acting in good faith and thought they had authority to make the change, Phipps says they did not.


As a result of the fuss surrounding the OpenDS project, Sun employees and managers involved in any open source projects will go through training on their respective responsibilities, the story says.

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