19 votes

NGINX has been acquired by F5 Networks

27 comments

  1. [26]
    aphoenix (edited ) Link
    I think there are a few key points from either article: That's great to hear. I honestly don't know much about F5 as a company (ie. I don't know what they value, or where they would be likely to...

    I think there are a few key points from either article:

    And make no mistake about it: F5 is committed to keeping the NGINX brand and open source technology alive. Without this commitment, the deal wouldn’t have happened for either side.

    That's great to hear. I honestly don't know much about F5 as a company (ie. I don't know what they value, or where they would be likely to do with such an acquisition) but I'm glad that they're at least saying that they want to continue in the same direction NGINX was going. It makes sense, as well - if you acquire a company you don't usually do so because what they were doing before was bad.

    F5 will acquire all issued and outstanding shares of privately held NGINX for a total enterprise value of approximately $670 million, subject to certain adjustments.

    That's a ton of money; it's interesting to see what an open source project acquired at that price point.

    I imagine that there will be some changes to accommodate needs that F5 has, but I wonder what sort of effect this will have for free users.

    Edit: I struggle to describe how I feel about this. Perhaps "Cautiously Neutral".

    11 votes
    1. [24]
      balooga Link Parent
      Rule #1 of announcing an acquisition is assuring the current users that nothing will change. Rule #2 is breaking that promise as soon as you think no one is looking anymore. I don't mean to be a...

      Rule #1 of announcing an acquisition is assuring the current users that nothing will change.

      Rule #2 is breaking that promise as soon as you think no one is looking anymore.

      I don't mean to be a pessimist, but this is all pretty standard stuff. In all seriousness I'd love to know if anybody has any examples of that not happening, where a beloved open source project actually got better for its existing userbase after being bought out.

      23 votes
      1. [21]
        aphoenix Link Parent
        Some that could be argued: GitHub. I think it's actually only improved under Microsoft. MySQL. I'm not an Oracle fan by any means, and I'm not a MySQL fan at all, but I think that it's gotten...

        Some that could be argued:

        • GitHub. I think it's actually only improved under Microsoft.
        • MySQL. I'm not an Oracle fan by any means, and I'm not a MySQL fan at all, but I think that it's gotten better in the last 10 or so years since it was acquired.
        • Android. Maybe? I love android, but there are a lot of problems around Google and its lack of "don't be evil". I still think that there have been a lot of feature improvements, at least, since Android was acquired by Google.

        I know that there will be changes to nginx as a result of this, but I'm cautiously optimistic. Maybe that's too strong a way to put it; I haven't knee-jerk changed all my sites to use something else, at least.

        12 votes
        1. [3]
          clerical_terrors (edited ) Link Parent
          I'd say for MySQL part of the great support has been the MariaDB fork, and that could just as well end up happening for Nginx: developers might decide to fork it to keep part of it's open-source...

          I'd say for MySQL part of the great support has been the MariaDB fork, and that could just as well end up happening for Nginx: developers might decide to fork it to keep part of it's open-source legacy alive.

          12 votes
          1. Akir Link Parent
            From what I have heard (I have been away from DBA responsibility for a while now), MySQL actually was seeing more growth in terms of useful features than MariaDB. Though personally speaking the...

            From what I have heard (I have been away from DBA responsibility for a while now), MySQL actually was seeing more growth in terms of useful features than MariaDB.

            Though personally speaking the last time I looked into comparing RDBMSs, Postgres won my heart over.

            4 votes
          2. masochist Link Parent
            That happened with pretty much every major open source Sun (RIP) Oracle project: Solaris became illumos, Hudson became Jenkins, MySQL became MariaDB, Java became OpenJDK. VirtualBox is really the...

            That happened with pretty much every major open source Sun (RIP) Oracle project: Solaris became illumos, Hudson became Jenkins, MySQL became MariaDB, Java became OpenJDK. VirtualBox is really the only one that hasn't been adopted in that way.

            3 votes
        2. [3]
          balooga Link Parent
          Thanks for the counterexamples, I definitely agree about GitHub. I had my reservations when I heard about the sale but so far all of the changes I'm aware of have been positive ones. I'm not sure...

          Thanks for the counterexamples, I definitely agree about GitHub. I had my reservations when I heard about the sale but so far all of the changes I'm aware of have been positive ones. I'm not sure sure about MySQL, I don't work directly with it at a level where I'd recognize new features (the ORM abstracts that all away). I'm not sure what Oracle's done with it to differentiate it from MariaDB or PostgreSQL, which are all interchangeable as far as I'm concerned.

          Was Android an acquisition? I thought Google developed it in-house. I had an Android phone a long time ago but I haven't really kept up with it in years.

          3 votes
          1. json Link Parent
            Google acquired Android inc. way back before there was any public release. So in a sense, it was basically all developed in house at Google.

            Google acquired Android inc. way back before there was any public release. So in a sense, it was basically all developed in house at Google.

            In July 2005,[14] Google acquired Android Inc. for at least $50 million.[19] Its key employees, including Rubin, Miner and White, joined Google as part of the acquisition.[14] Not much was known about the secretive Android at the time, with the company having provided few details other than that it was making software for mobile phones.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#History

            8 votes
        3. [3]
          Crestwave Link Parent
          Isn't GitHub proprietary?

          Isn't GitHub proprietary?

          3 votes
          1. apoctr Link Parent
            AFAIK the core parts of GitHub are proprietary, while some more general components of the site are open-source.

            AFAIK the core parts of GitHub are proprietary, while some more general components of the site are open-source.

            1 vote
          2. aphoenix Link Parent
            Github is a mix of open and proprietary software.

            Github is a mix of open and proprietary software.

            1 vote
        4. [11]
          synergy Link Parent
          how has github improved under microsoft? I stopped using them outside of work after the acquisition was announced and I haven't noticed any changes yet at work.

          how has github improved under microsoft? I stopped using them outside of work after the acquisition was announced and I haven't noticed any changes yet at work.

          1. [4]
            hamstergeddon Link Parent
            We got free private repos earlier this year, which was pretty much the only thing keeping me off of GitHub. That's a win for my cheap ass :P But personally I think it's still way too early to say...

            We got free private repos earlier this year, which was pretty much the only thing keeping me off of GitHub. That's a win for my cheap ass :P But personally I think it's still way too early to say whether the MS acquisition is a positive or a negative. Hasn't even been a year yet.

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              synergy Link Parent
              gitlab has free private repos though.

              gitlab has free private repos though.

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                hamstergeddon Link Parent
                Yeah, bitbucket too. I'm just saying that's a win for me because the only reason I didn't go with github when I first got into using VC was because of its lack of free private repos.

                Yeah, bitbucket too. I'm just saying that's a win for me because the only reason I didn't go with github when I first got into using VC was because of its lack of free private repos.

                1 vote
          2. [6]
            aphoenix Link Parent
            There are a few things that I think about Microsoft that I think make this an arguable position, plus a couple of minor changes to github. I believe that there has been a deep cultural change at...

            There are a few things that I think about Microsoft that I think make this an arguable position, plus a couple of minor changes to github.

            I believe that there has been a deep cultural change at Microsoft underneath Nadella, such that Open Source is understood as a valuable garden that should be tended. Contrast to Microsoft under Ballmer, where Open Source was a foe to be smashed at every opportunity. I think that believing this is antithetical to a lot of people who were active in FOSS at the relevant times; I understand and respect that past behaviour informs current opinion, but the current behaviour of Microsoft indicates to me that they see the value in Open Source and want to act as a gardener and not a destroyer.

            Github has made a few billing changes that are directly relevant to me. I think they are a result of this acquisition.

            Github has maintained activity - here https://github.com/github - and I believe that a lot of that activity is good. That's about 90% gut feeling, and 10% actually looking at changes.

            That's only a few things, but there's only been a small bit of change.

            2 votes
            1. [5]
              synergy Link Parent
              So there hasn't been any improvements to github yet since the acquisition. I'm personally still not trusting microsoft, and all it takes is for a new CEO to come along to change the direction of...

              So there hasn't been any improvements to github yet since the acquisition. I'm personally still not trusting microsoft, and all it takes is for a new CEO to come along to change the direction of the company again. I don't want them to get a foothold of any marketshares / communities for that very reason.

              1. [4]
                aphoenix Link Parent
                I gave you three ways in which I saw improvements at Github. If you choose not to consider them, I think that says more about you than about what was said. Feel free to attempt to actually rebut...

                I gave you three ways in which I saw improvements at Github. If you choose not to consider them, I think that says more about you than about what was said. Feel free to attempt to actually rebut them instead of ignoring them.

                The first point I brought up is about cultural change within Github due to Microsoft's influence.

                The second point I brought up are direct improvements that happened as a result. I didn't go into detail because I think someone else spelled it out for you, but to be clear: Github has now become financially viable for users that require privacy and don't want to pay per private repository. This is a huge change, and massively for the better for me personally (I only use Github for personal projects, not professional ones), and for most other people who are in the same boat.

                The last point was the activity in Github's open repositories. You're welcome to make a judgment for yourself if you have the capacity to do so, but to me the way their repos are continuing to shape up look like improvements in Github. I'm disinterested in explaining the changes or why I think they're good, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist.

                And I get it - you hate Microsoft because you hate Microsoft and you just want to keep hating Microsoft. I think that's a fundamentally unreasonable stance to take; actions speak louder than words, and recent actions speak much louder than past actions. At some point, one must understand that entities change direction and change values, and we have to accept that. Microsoft now isn't he Microsoft of the 80s and 90s.

                1. [3]
                  synergy Link Parent
                  no need to get defensive looks like you've got some personal attachments to github. People don't trust microsoft for a good reason. You've listed mostly improvements to microsoft not github and...

                  no need to get defensive looks like you've got some personal attachments to github. People don't trust microsoft for a good reason.

                  You've listed mostly improvements to microsoft not github and the only clear improvement that you listed was to the billing, and linking that to the microsoft acquisition is quite debatable.

                  I don't hate microsoft I'm just cautious about trusting. I use Windows and many microsoft products. I just want to know what improved on github cause I use it for work everyday and I didn't notice any change / improvements.

                  1. [2]
                    aphoenix Link Parent
                    I don't have any personal attachment to Github; I barely use it. I use bitbucket (Atlassian) and CodeCommit (AWS) for most projects. I have a GitLab account, which I mostly use for a local fork of...

                    I don't have any personal attachment to Github; I barely use it. I use bitbucket (Atlassian) and CodeCommit (AWS) for most projects. I have a GitLab account, which I mostly use for a local fork of Tildes. I barely do anything on Github, but I think it's important to be aware of the various open source communities and how they are changing and functioning.

                    I wasn't "being defensive". I was explaining my position, and inviting you to actually comment on that position. Alas, it seems that that was time wasted; you have yet to comment on any of the actual things that I've said.

                    1. synergy Link Parent
                      and you yet have to mention any actual improvements to the product

                      and you yet have to mention any actual improvements to the product

      2. SourceContribute Link Parent
        In the case of the acquisition of TravisCI they broke that promise before people stopped looking: https://twitter.com/ReinH/status/1098663375985229825 Hope that isn't the case here.

        Rule #2 is breaking that promise as soon as you think no one is looking anymore.

        In the case of the acquisition of TravisCI they broke that promise before people stopped looking: https://twitter.com/ReinH/status/1098663375985229825

        Hope that isn't the case here.

        2 votes
      3. Akir Link Parent
        I get it. It's basically what I was thinking as soon as I read the URL. My theory is that as soon as someone officially calls something an "application server" it's the beginning of the end.

        I get it. It's basically what I was thinking as soon as I read the URL. My theory is that as soon as someone officially calls something an "application server" it's the beginning of the end.

        1 vote
    2. synergy Link Parent
      my company uses F5's VPN client. it's pretty terrible and buggy. Multiple error prompts pop up and sometimes I have to attempt to connect multiple times before it will connect

      my company uses F5's VPN client. it's pretty terrible and buggy. Multiple error prompts pop up and sometimes I have to attempt to connect multiple times before it will connect