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Open Data Platform Initiative looks to ease fears

Thor Olavsrud | May 13, 2016
In an effort to address concerns that the ODPi is a vendor organization designed to exert undue influence on Apache Hadoop ecosystem projects, the Linux Foundation organization announced a gold sponsorship of the ASF.

Another concern expressed by some members of ASF is that the presence of ODPi as a middleman between Apache developers and end users could have a stifling effect on innovation.

"Part of the concern about an organization like ODPi is that it creates a layer, maybe an undue layer, between the people developing Hadoop and the end users," Jagielski said. "Open source, in general, thrives by a very, very tight feedback loop between the developers of the code and the end users of that code. One of the concerns that we have is making sure that that feedback loop is not curtailed in any way."

But the ODPi, says John Mertic, director of Program Management for ODPi and Open Mainframe Project at The Linux Foundation, is focused on downstream users. It seeks to gather insight from ISVs and other end users and surface those insights to the project communities at ASF.

"The ASF isn't really organized to do a lot of the, for lack of a better word, handholding," Jagielski acknowledged. "That's the sort of area where ODPi can really, really shine, to provide that sort of help for us."

"At the ODPi, we don't make software," Mertic added. "With what we do, our number one priority is making sure this technology can permutate into organizations of all sizes, all cultures, everywhere. I consider that we have a bit of a civic duty in doing this in an open source manner in getting this technology to as many people as possible."

In an effort to show that ODPi exists to support ASF's Hadoop ecosystem projects rather than muscle in on the foundation's turf, ODPi announced on Wednesday that it had become a gold sponsor of the foundation, joining existing ASF sponsors Pivotal, IBM, WANDisco and Hortonworks (all of which are also ODPi members).

"We have a number of our members that are sponsors at different levels as well, but we wanted to make a real public show of our support of the ASF," Mertic explained. "we are in support of the efforts of the ASF. For us, this is the start of a continuing dialog. We're not trying to fork Hadoop. We want to get rid of that idea."

"When we came out, we probably didn't do the right thing with the ASF," Mertic added. "This is probably a dialog we should have had then. We're both focused on the same thing. We both want Hadoop to succeed. We don't want to be in competition with each other. There's tons of barriers to Hadoop adoption. What can we do to resolve that?"


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