System i Blogger

Aug 25 2008   7:34PM GMT – Open Source on i

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

Today in my mail box I received the newsletter from the folks at and this is what it said:

Open source for i
[Leah Rosin, Associate Editor]

Last month I attended OSCON in Portland, Ore., and learned from Bernard Golden that open source utilization in the enterprise is on the rise. At the conference, IBM featured its free DB2 Express-C version of DB2 9. When I asked Rav Ahuja, the strategy manager of information management at IBM, whether this would work on i, he explained that it would if you run a Linux partition. All of this was a great primer on the implementation of open source and, specifically, Linux on i. And now the first of a three-part series of Linux on i is here.

Let us know what you think. And if you run or develop open source apps on a Linux partition on i, consider writing a tip or submitting a guest column.

System i Blogger: Linux Foundation launches killer development tool
System i Blogger: Getting started with Zend PHP

Firs I am humbled that they linked to my blog on ITKE, thank you Leah!, and second lets talk about this for a bit.

It’s all about the money is it not? I am pro open sourced dude, but let’s face it if your not making money or able to support your code writing habit then it’s all a wash? While the Linux community is best known for their OPEN projects, the IBM i has not seen this kind of energetic code writing.

There have been attempts at OPEN SOURCED projects for the IBM i over the years but it’s been scarce, and nothing out there that could change the face of a buisness. I would love to see an open sourced web site for all IBM i projects with many many active projects.

There should be CRM and ERP projects for the IBM i, and there just aren’t.Projects like this would do two things, drive people to contribute and wake up CRM and ERP software offerings to kick them in the tend bits so that they know they need to step up the code they are working on because there is a FREE open sourced equivilant that is coming and could replace them. It does create competition, even if it is frustrating.

I don’t see this being something that is going to happen anytime soon. The community does not lend itself to lots of after hours late night coding. For one the IBM i is not a platform you can just get at your local Best Buy and write some code for at home with your newly open i/OS. If that were the case I think we would see more OPEN projects.

I would still like to see IBM really rethink how they sell the smaller IBM i systems. I would love to be able to put down less that $2,000 USD and get and IBM i that I could work on, or maybe IBM takes a really large IBM i and places it in Rochester and lets you have a partition to write code on and stuff. That would cost them little to nothing but would foster community growth. They should offer it for FREE and more over allow any student in college a larger chunk of the machine than you would let me have, and IT professional. I can’t afford to have a new 520 at home, but I could afford to log into a partition that was FREE, then I could create a project, open source it on SorceForge and let the world help me build it and make it better. Sadly I don’t think IBM is that “hip” yet and they never will be.

If you are looking for IBM i Open Source Projects check these links:

Link :: Open Source for i

Link :: The iSeries-Toolkit

If you have a good project idea then let it be known! If you think IBM should build a sandbox for us all, say it. They are reading this blog and they do wonder what we are thinking. I would love to build a CRM package for the IBM i that is open sourced and free.  I am sure some of you out there have done it a thousand times but never like you wanted. Now is your chance.

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