June 14, 2005 4:00 AM PDT
Open-source LAMP a beacon to developers
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builds awareness of the company, said company founder and CEO Curt Finch. Python is also quicker to work with than Java, he said.
"Java is an old-style language--I'm not impressed with it. Look at how much money it takes to get (IBM) WebSphere or (BEA Systems') WebLogic up and running. It's just an endless stream of development money," said Finch.
Self-organizing versus top-controlled
LAMP vendors argue that open-source stacks will become more commonplace among business customers as third-party products, such as packaged applications and tools, become available. Also helping the adoption of LAMP is the fact that more customers are willing to use open-source databases, application servers and development tools.
"What we've seen in the last two years is corporations saying, 'We don't need these big heavy J2EE application servers. Why don't we migrate to something easier to deploy and less costly?'" said Mark Brewer, CEO of Covalent.
The organizing structure behind the LAMP software is very different from the more established stacks of .Net and J2EE.
Microsoft builds .Net and all Windows-related management tooling. Java software, meanwhile, is developed through the formal Java standards organization, where many additions are submitted by large vendors, such as IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and BEA.
By contrast, there is no central body overseeing the LAMP software. As a result, the combination of tools is not specifically designed to work together, although open-source components tend to stick to industry standards.
This "self-organizing" aspect of the LAMP marketplace prevents customers from getting "locked into" a specific vendor, according to LAMP vendors.
"If you look at .Net or J2EE, they are top-controlled by single entities to make decisions--sometimes good decisions, sometimes bad," said Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL. "In the LAMP stack, the evolutionary powers make sure that only best-of components survive. It is a difference in philosophy."
Both Microsoft and Java vendors are clearly aware of the popularity of LAMP.
IBM and Oracle have partnered with Zend to make their respective databases work better with PHP programming tools. Java vendors, including Sun, are making changes to the standard Java virtual machine and NetBeans development tool to work with scripting languages Jython or Groovy.
The LAMP stack is still not an officially sanctioned application platform in many companies. But the open-source development model, where individuals can make contributions to freely available products, will put the LAMP stack on a quicker development pace than those of Java or .Net, predicts MySQL's Mickos.
But, he said, "It doesn't matter," because LAMP is unlikely to displace the entrenched stacks altogether. "Big corporations will not bet on just one stack anyhow."
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