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Community Calls For OSS Contributions by Banks 106

Erikson Wright writes to mention a ZDNet article, covering a call by open-source vendors to banking institutions. The groups are asking powerful financial firms to contribute more code to the open source community. From the article: "Concerns over competitive advantage mean that it can be difficult to persuade companies to share code with the open-source community, as it can then be easily accessed by competitors. But for technologies that have little impact on competitive advantage, financial companies could probably be encouraged to contribute code, the conference panel agreed ... 'If you're using open-source technology on Wall Street, unless you're completely reliant on a vendor to provide a certified version, you will probably invest extra time to fix it,' he said. 'What will you do with your fix? You can keep it to yourself, but if you move it upstream by passing it on to the vendor or submitting it as a patch, you know it will be available in the next version of the product. That's what drives most open- source development--collective self-interest.'"
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Community Calls For OSS Contributions by Banks

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  • It's a threat! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gasmonso ( 929871 )

    How long before the US government classifies this as a "National Security Risk" and bans the use of opensource in the banking industry?

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
    • Re:It's a threat! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:37AM (#15212079) Homepage
      That's exactly what I was thinking...but also ...

      Banks are generally reluctant to collaborate with other members of the financial community as they are worried about giving advantages to competitors

      Most banks (I work at one) are paranoid about lawsuits for absolutely anything (ex: if you wouldn't have shared you source code, that hacker wouldn't have found the flaw, and you wouldn't have lost your customer's information)... and so if they think that it could turn around and shoot them in the foot ... they aren't going to do it.
      • Liability (Score:2, Insightful)

        I do work for one of the nation's (U.S.) largest insurance companies (read: paying money) and the major reason why they won't touch open source is liability. They want the ability to point to a vendor or software maker and say, "Their fault!" if something goes drastically wrong.
        • Can they actually do that?

          I mean they can always play the blame game, but can they escape liability claims because of it?

          Or is that why there are clauses "this software is should not be used in nuclear power plants" on some software packages? (That one is from Java IIRC.)
  • by certel ( 849946 )
    As well they should. Contributing to open source is very beneficial and would only draw a longer income merchant which for a bank is the bread and butter of business.
    • Why is it that every OSS zealot insists on ignoring the competitive advantage that software can provide?
      • OSS isn't a business method, it's a way to develop software by taking advantage of your industries combined efforts in technical achievement.
        • Re:OSS (Score:3, Insightful)

          by NineNine ( 235196 )
          I understand that... but sharing software within an industry eliminates any competitive advantage that software gives a company within that industry. This is *always* ignored by OSS supporters, and I don't understand why competitive advantage is so easily written off. Is the underlying assumption that software simply isn't important or relevant in business?
          • "... sharing software within an industry eliminates any competitive advantage that software gives a company within that industry"

            This statement is true, assuming that particular piece of software/technology offers competitive advantage. But from the rest of your post, I get the impression you're not fully considering 'Enabling Technology vs. Business Differentiation' Not every type of technolgy offers competitive advantage/differentiation to a businesses.

            Anyway. If you haven't already, check out Bruce Pe
          • I don't understand why competitive advantage is so easily written off. Is the underlying assumption that software simply isn't important or relevant in business?

            Software is important. Software does provide an advantage.

            Nobody is saying that they should contribute the core banking systems and methods that makes them unique.

            However, for the sake of argument, lets assume a bank's Web servers run on Linux. Why shouldn't they contribute apache patches? mailing system patches? utilities?

            These are things that be

            • However, for the sake of argument, lets assume a bank's Web servers run on Linux. Why shouldn't they contribute apache patches? mailing system patches? utilities? Because they probably don't write their own patches and even if they did they don't necessarily have to release it back to the community (based on the software's use and license). Then the utilities they do write probably do constitute a competitive advantage.
    • dirty (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by rbochan ( 827946 )
      Getting OSS "news" from zdnet makes me feel like I need a shower.

  • Article Text (Score:2, Informative)

    Wanted: Open-source code from banks
    By Ingrid Marson, ZDNet UK
    Thursday , April 27 2006 10:42 AM

    Major open-source vendors on Tuesday called for financial companies to contribute more code to the open-source community.

    "How many here have open-source developers working at their company?" Carl Drisko, Novell's Linux and open-source principal, asked the audience during a panel at the Linux on Wall Street conference in New York.
    Advertisement

    Relatively few members of the audience raised their hands, to which Drisko
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Banking industry is the largest group of selfish people I have ever met. Anything they do internally is kept there for fear of giving anyone any kind of edge or leg-up.

    It's to the point that they act almost paranoid that everyone is out to get them.

    • First, not funny; flamebait. Second, bullshit. Having actually worked in banking IT from 90-2003, I can verify it is no different from any other company that invests money in a product and has competitors. They don't share their internally developed software that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on with competing banks? Heavens to mercy, why not? Perhaps it's because they are not stupid.

      Do you have some retarded idea that the software they deveop would be useful to you? No, it's account
    • by radish ( 98371 )
      Crap. I work for one of the big investment banks. We use a lot of OSS, and yes, we contribute back in some cases. There are a number of projects which I know you've heard of that we have contributed significantly to. However, we almost always do it under another name. Why? Because if something goes horribly wrong with some application in the future we don't want our name all over it.

      We also contribute financially to companies who provide support (e.g. RedHat, JBoss etc).
      • Interesting. I wonder how common this is? Perhaps the problem with banks not donating code back is exagerated, simply because all banks contribute back anonymously for fear of lawsuits. Come to think of it, I wonder how much supposedly freelance open source contribution is actually funded by some big corporation or other but not attributed to them because of liability?
  • more code.. (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by joeldg ( 518249 )
    more code is good code..
    though, just noticed the other day that MS seems to have some "code-sharing" initiative they have done..
    though, for some reason I cannot seem to force myself to download *any* of it..
  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman@gm3.14ail.com minus pi> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:39AM (#15212095) Homepage Journal
    This is true in many, many industries. Working on a common code base for the good of all helps companies leverage each other's abilities to get more work done on fewer resources. Many developers don't realize it, but that's what projects like Apache are all about. Thousands of companies may need web servers or Office Document libraries, but these programs are beyond the resources of any one company to maintain.

    I can't find it anymore, but Scott McNealy wrote a very good piece on Open Sourcing and industry collaboration. His key point was that anything that does not give your company a competitive advantage is not worth maintaining individually. The only time you should waste the resources on solely developing a technology is when it puts you ahead of your competitors. To use the banking industry as an example, there's no need for everyone to write their own accounting packages. There's very little you're going to gain over your competitors. However, a market analysis package that contains proprietary formulas for market predictions and benchmarking is most certainly worth keeping private. The information contained in the software can give you a huge advantage over your competitors.

    So in short, it's all about spending your resources wisely. Open Source and Industry Standards just happen to be tools that help companies do that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Many of the common financial functionality that's not proprietary is already opensourced in the form of QuantLib at www.quantlib.org
      • I am a quant. QuantLib is a good idea, but every time I have considered contributing to it, or using it, I have been stymied by the baroque architecture and hit-or-miss grab bag of features. The AC post above gives me a clue as to how it got this way.

        That said, this is all a bit offtopic, as the real discussion is about contributing patches to, say, python-dateutil and not bits of proprietary secrets.
    • To use the banking industry as an example, there's no need for everyone to write their own accounting packages

      I'd completely disagree.

      I used to work on systems for mortgage and insurance, and to financial companies, their software for managing customer accounts is very valuable.

      Banks are basically all about data processing and product development. There's almost nothing physical (cash, and not much of that now). Banks having better software than their competitors is what can mean that they can launch better

    • I'd be interested in reading that article if you can remember where you saw it (or how to Google it).

      I think there's a fairly strong and unsubstantiated knee-jerk reaction from a lot of business people around the implementation of open source software in their organization, particularly financial ones. They seem to feel like there's some lack of control over the code that gets compiled in, and fear that there may be some Office Space-like hidden worm that's siphoning off resources. I've sat and explained
      • I'd be interested in reading that article if you can remember where you saw it

        It was on Sun's website a few years back. Unfortunately, it may not exist anymore. Sun has a habit of replacing their pages with newer and "better" ones whenever they feel like it. I tried Googling their site, but I couldn't find anything more recent than 2006. :-(

        It's really too bad. It was a pretty good article, and I have to say that I agreed with it. You can still hear echos of it in McNealy's more recent "Don't build a custom [gcn.com]
      • "With a vendor, we have contracts in place..."

        With Open Source, you don't.
    • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:13AM (#15212425)
      Working on a common code base for the good of all helps companies leverage each other's abilities to get more work done on fewer resources.

      The thing is, in a relatively free market, the goal of companies is not to help other companies, but to take their customers. Software provides a competitive advantage that can't be overlooked. It certainly does in my own business, and I'll share my software only over my dead body. If not for my custom software, I would not be able to compete as well as I do. I don't want to help other companies in my same industry.
      • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman@gm3.14ail.com minus pi> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:30AM (#15212590) Homepage Journal
        Do you use an OSS webserver? How about your database? Perhaps you're using commercial software like IIS. (In which case you're getting the same benefits, only you're paying for it.) Why do you use Open Source or any software you didn't write if using a custom version would supposedly give you a competitive advantage?

        Your argument is a total non-argument. You've completely agreed with me, only you're ignoring the areas where you use cooperative software because it isn't part of your core business. And that is the core point:

        If it isn't part of your core business, it isn't worth developing in-house.
        • The webserver has already been commoditized. So has the OS. So has the database. Very few companies will see a competitive advantage to re-writing any of these pieces. These are important, but certainly not competitive points. There are lots of parts of businesses that are simply fixed costs like these. Sure, I could maybe save a few bucks here or there switching between competing products, but that's not a big deal. A few months ago I got rid of incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact fluorescen
          • The webserver has already been commoditized. ...because many companies needed it so they banded together and produced a commodity solution. Ergo, Apache.

            I have a retail store that uses software (that I wrote) that lets us put all of our inventory online, in real-time, straight from our POS system. New items get added instantly, and the inventory is always correct, and it's all processed in the same system. That software puts us waaaaay ahead of most of our competition in the industry. THAT software most de
            • Just picking a nit: in banking EVERYTHING is not standardized. There are areas that financial institutions specialize in because, similar to what you said, they feel they can excel in that area and devote resources to exploit it.

              To correct the parent poster, though - the one with the custom POS software. What's to prevent someone else from writing a similar application that's better than yours and open sourcing it? Then it's decision time for you: devote more resources ($$$) to try and one-up your competiti
    • The only time you should waste the resources on solely developing a technology is when it puts you ahead of your competitors.

      Which implies, interestingly, that almost all software developed for the public sector should be Open Source.

    • "To use the banking industry as an example, there's no need for everyone to write their own accounting packages."

      It's not that simple. Most banks use vendor software for their main processing. It's the ancillary hooks that are written in-house.
  • Here's one thing I've wondered about OSS projects - how do you prevent architecture degredation? What I mean is, how do you stop people from making cheap hacks to fix their immediate issue in favour of solving the real bug?
    And if the solution is to reject their changes into the source tree, what incentive is there for banks (see, I'm tying it into the article :->) to make source contributions?
    • An open-source style of coding doesn't automatically mean that all contributions are good quality. However it does generally mean that you get many more contributions, so you can afford to be picky. Also, a "cheap hack" could conceivably be rewritten by a more by-the-book coder to fit in with the current architecture. In my own programming experience, I find that at least half the battle is just in figuring out what's going wrong. The "cheap hack" probably already exposes what sections of the code are inter
    • You fork it, or stick with having a branch of the project that doesn't have such cheap hacks, and then the two solutions compete.
    • What I mean is, how do you stop people from making cheap hacks to fix their immediate issue in favour of solving the real bug?

      You don't, just like you don't in commercial software. Microsoft is FAMOUS for doing just what you describe, but it happens to most software projects. Eventually all of these hacks add up and a complete module or application has to have a major rewrite. The best way around this is for a developer to not incorporate hacks into the project, but rejecting the submissions is not th
  • Utilities too (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jdray ( 645332 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:41AM (#15212105) Homepage Journal
    I made the same argument about utility companies [blogspot.com]. My basic argument is that, since profit margins are regulated, reduced costs mean reduced power prices.
  • How can you fire programmers for a group failure? Normally a sacking that
    quick only results from gross misconduct. How can any individual coder
    be accused of gross misconduct for a bad product arising from a TEAM effort?
    Unless management went through the code module by module and tallied up the
    bugs in each and fired anyones who tally when over some limit. Even so, I
    feel some lawsuits gestating if this really is true (and not simply journo
    hype).
  • Companies (regulated or not) can't care about altruistic value of their work. They only care about the money it saves them.

    So, the question is: How can you show that it will save them money to give back to OSS?

    If they give back to OSS, it means that they won't have to continually re-integrate their changes into the core. In addition to saving them the obvious expense of the insertion, it also saves them the expense if the core has changed in some way that makes their "enhancement" incompatible. In th

  • Forget it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous MadCoe ( 613739 ) <maakiee@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:59AM (#15212278) Homepage
    Looking at the european trading scene for example. These guys don't even tell their software vendors how exactly they use their products. That is after all kinds of non disclosure contracts have been signed...

    So I do not see this happen, very little companies in this branche will see any tool (software, procedure or whatever) as being non essential to having their own edge.
  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @09:59AM (#15212281) Homepage
    Banks are absolutely horrible. They are mean skinflints and will never give anything to anybody, for any reason. Give source code out, for free? Come on, they won't even loan money to black people.
    • Are you serious? Even ignoring your racial comment, your post is still woefully mis-informed.

      I work for an investment bank and we give a LOT back. We have several charity's that we contribute significant sums to (both Employees and the company). We also contribute both source code (on the rare occasions that we do make in-house mods) as well as support through various channels (irc, web, etc.)

      Many very important contributions to Linux have come from banks. Maybe more would if Linux could finally reach the g
      • ...we give a LOT back. We have several charity's that we contribute significant sums to...

        I suspect that has more to do with PR and/or reducing the company tax liability than anything else.

        However, GP was partly off the mark.

  • "A lot of other industries are doing a whole lot better in terms of collaborating, but most are not competitive," he said. "For example, there are initiatives to make government systems open source and there is a lot of collaboration between universities. But the closer it comes to affecting the dollar, the less you will see people participating."

    That's what it comes down to. If you are in a compettitve market, you need an edge, something you have that your competitors don't, that gives you more strength

    • Re:Disadvantage (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NineNine ( 235196 )
      As long as there is a competitive advantage to be gained, major banks and financial firms will not contribute back to the OSS community if there's even the slightest possibility it will cause them to lose that advantage. It's their corporate culture and I don't think it'll change anytime soon.

      Any company that is run by anybody with an IQ greater than that of an eggplant that has a competitive advantage with their software will realize that "contributing" will hurt their bottom line. That's just business 1
    • I don't know about anyone else here, but I had to sign the NDA during my initial setup w/ HR, before I was granted any login access. Non-Competes are almost always required up-front too ... though my latest gig hasn't required one of me.

      Anyway, to the topic at hand, a number of financial applications in the industry are usually customized to some degree or another, which somewhat limits any real portability of the code. We're not talking about Money 2006 for the masses. While some of the applications may
  • Banking industry or not, don't expect some middle-aged Director or CIO to stick their neck out at the next board meeting and say, "lets share everybody! c'mon!".

    Its going to start with some techs, at the bottom, grumbling about having to apply the same patch *again* because the fix didn't make it into the latest release. When the Marketing Director wonders why initiative X has to be postponed, and its because of this redundant patch cycle, they'll table it and give it due consideration. If the process

    • Working in Marketing in a financial institution, I feel I have some experience with this and I can say with absolute certainty.

      There is no PR value in switching to an Open Source product.

      Let me say that again.

      There is no PR value in switching to an Open Source product.

      Clients do not care what your system runs on. They want the lowest interest rates, fast and friendly service, and low service fees. The more technologically inclined don't even care about the 'fast and friendly service' because t
      • There may be no PR value in making it public, but you can bet your bottom dollar those devs building your custom systems are doing so with a ton of OSS code. I know they do, that's exactly the field I work in. There is no "open source banking system" but there's an open source webserver, and an open source app server, and an open source unit test framework, and an open source rendering framework, and...you get the picture.
  • by TheIndifferentiate ( 914096 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:13AM (#15212429)
    I had a roommate in the Army who said he *loved* to clean and for me not to worry about it, he would do all the cleaning. Okay, cool by me. Later when I was transferred from that base to another, he complained to a sergeant that I would never help clean our room/bathroom. As a punishment for my being stupid enough to take my roommate up on his offer, I was made to scour the place from top to bottom before I could leave.

    My take on this is: Don't offer to freely share your software and then complain that there is no reciprocal sharing later. You did not freely share. If financial institutions are honoring the applicable licenses for the software they are using then leave them alone. Otherwise your offer was disingenuous and you become an asshole like my roommate turned out to be. If you can't sleep at night because there is no sharing in return, change the license and quit belly-aching about it because not everyone is going to get caught up in the spirit of open source software the way you would like them to.
    • I don't share software to be an altruist who gets off on sharing. I share software because that kind of software is the only software I will use because it's in my own self-interest.

      As such, I will happily complain about banks not sharing the internal changes they've made to their software. Or Amazon for that matter. I didn't 'offer to clean their lavatory'. I made a contribution to a whole pile of tools because I hope to use those tools myself someday and want to make them better.

      • I would make sure the license was congruent with my principles then. I don't know of one off hand that requires sharing source if the changes aren't distributed outside of an organization. GPL 3 might have that in there somewhere, dunno.
        • I would like to think that some things can be managed without a legal billy-club to hit people with.

          I'm not opposed to an organization having private changes internally. But I do think that pointing out to those organizations that having those private changes internally is generally against their own best interests and doing the community as a whole a disservice is not wrong.

          I believe that the GPLv3 does not have such a clause. If it did, I wouldn't want to use it, and I remember being generally pleased

  • www.openadaptor.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Grassy Knoll ( 112931 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:29AM (#15212580) Homepage

    Openadaptor was open-sourced by investment bank DrKW in 2001

    "openadaptor is a Java/XML-based software platform which allows for rapid business system integration with little or no custom programming.

    openadaptor can be loosely classified as EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) software. It is highly extensible and provides many ready-built interface components for JMS, LDAP, Mail, MQ Series, Oracle, Sybase and MSSQL Server as well as data exchange formats such as XML. New components are regularly added."

    See also this story [slashdot.org] from slashdot in 2001.

    Disclaimer (not that it matters): I was involved in the launch in 2001

  • by flinxmeister ( 601654 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:31AM (#15212599) Homepage
    I've worked in both banks and credit unions for awhile now.

    I can understand Banks inherent unwillingness to contribute to OSS. I don't agree with it, but the culture is very averse to collaboration with anyone or anything outside the bank.

    Credit unions, on the other hand, love to collaborate all over the place. They share ATMs, branches, information...all sorts of stuff. However, when it comes to things technology (core processing, etc), they share many of the same fears and behaviors as banks.

    CU's have many of the same core values that OSS has. I've often wondered why 15 or so don't band together and create a full open source environment from the ground up. It would benefit members at the bottom line, as well as give the CU world important flexibility in competing with banks. Properly, executed, of course.
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @10:34AM (#15212629)
    Are they modifying code, distributing it and not respecting the terms of the license? I thought OSS was supposed to be "free as in speech" AND "free as in beer." So... why is anyone expecting them to give code and money back now? It's one thing to ask them politely for donations to help pay for the development, or to request services like 0% interest loans for development groups that support them, but what's up with this welfare baby entitlement mentality?

    Don't give your code away if you intend to try to squeeze code or money out of them later. The time to ask for an equitable exchange is when things get started, not well after you've given them the product with no notice that it'll cost them anything and then try to squeeze some cash out of them. This is to OSS, what try to tax used CD sales is to the RIAA.

    I'd call it outrageous, were it not for the hypocrisy and downright idiocy of much of the "community." I can't even count the number of times that the "community" (as opposed to the developers and sincere, committed supporters who actually had basic social skills) has acted counter to OSS interests in front of me and those I know be it at school, online or at work. Imagine being called a "fucking idiot" by the local Linux know-it-alls back in 2000 because you think that BeOS was a far more sophisticated desktop than Linux with KDE 1.0. Please, someone tell me how the "community" is typically something more than a mob.
  • Not sure if banks are willing to donate code, but here's my new open source project:

    10 HOME
    20 PRINT "I LOVE BANKS!"
    30 GOTO 20

    If that's useful to someone's ego (who works in a bank) and willing to contribute in cash, call me.
    Thanks for your attention.
    • As if they'd use that!

      Here's my version, its MUCH better to a banking person.

      000100 IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
      000200 PROGRAM-ID. LOVEBANKS.
      000300 DATE-WRITTEN. 27/04/06 16:57.
      000400* AUTHOR GBJBAANB
      000500 ENVIRONMENT DIVISION.
      000600 CONFIGURATION SECTION.
      000700 SOURCE-COMPUTER. RM-COBOL.
      000800 OBJECT-COMPUTER. RM-COBOL.
      000900
      001000 DATA DIVISION.
      001100 FILE SECTION.
      001200
      100000 PROCEDURE DIVISION.
      100100
      100200 MAIN
  • Anyone have any info on what happened to AMQ? Was supposed to be an OS messaging middleware sponsored by JPMC...

    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/08/197 251 [slashdot.org]
  • I saw this article yesterday and I call flame-bait.
    What "Major open source vendors"? HP and Novell. 2. And those major vendors weren't calling on all banks to contribute more code, they were suggesting that firms on WALL STREET (the entire financial services industry, not just banks) could get more from Open Source if they were more open about what they used and what they wanted. The entire article is a subtle spin to paint OSS as victims and the entire financial services industry as pack of wolves. And tha
    • I must disagree. I work at a bank, and there is a lot, really A LOT of proprietary code at banks. Banks don't have relatively large IT departments just to dust of servers.
      • But it's code that either can't be exposed to public scrutiny (because it's so bad they/you'll get in trouble for exposing it, because it's specific to YOUR bank, because it was done in partnership with a company that won't or more likely is an extension of a proprietary app they shouldn't have mucked with in the first place, because it includes *as PART OF THE EXECUTION* clear text passwords in scripts - seriously, ad nausium), or it's code that can't be open because of SEC regulations. Having proprietary
  • Let me see... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Macthorpe ( 960048 )
    Let me play Devil's Advocate.

    Why should my bank spend my invested money giving out free code to people I don't do business with?

    I'm not just talking about some sort of obligation to the common good, because, lets face it, when did a bank ever act for the common good?
  • not likely (Score:3, Informative)

    by bwy ( 726112 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @11:33AM (#15213261)
    I worked for one of the largest banks in the US for several years, and I can tell you that they were in no position to contribute code back to an OSS effort. You see, they are not a software company. They make money by lending money and taking deposits. Software developers and the departments they work in are an overhead cost. The quality of the workforce often suffered and the big bank mentality was to keep substandard people around- everyone is overhead anyway, right? Software was typically developed in huge, monolithic waterfall cycles. Much of what comes out years later was shelfware and low quality. Concepts like continual integration and automated testing were non-existent. Invoking change was nearly impossible due to complex, top heavy org charts. Even if you had a developer or two that was sharp and wanted to contribute to an OSS effort, he'd have to do it in his own time after hours and he'd risk getting in all kinds of trouble for even the mere possibility that he was sharing intellectual property.

    It is easy to say that banks should contribute. It is equally as easy to tell a farmer that he should convice his roosters laying eggs. Making it happen? Thats another story.
  • and the author of this article is apparently completely unaware of that. Banks get audited, fairly often, by the government and other regulating bodies. They are told what they MUST have and what they MUST run. They have very little choice in software, hardware, and so many incredibly stupid little things that it's obnoxious in some cases.

    Do you really think a bunch of non-technical buearacrats are going to allow banks to just switch to open source? Please, get real! If you want banks to use OSS then you ha
  • There was a time when we took a hard, serious look at OSS and Linux as an alternative to commercial software and operating systems. Although we did get a working model of a Linux-based server setup for internal demos, the idea was quickly snuffed out due to fear, not only from upper management, but from many of the customers as well, that the FDIC and state auditors would crap themselves if they ever came across a bank with a setup like that.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.

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