24 October 2007

Amigo: Open Source's New Friend?

Fifteen of Europe’s leading companies and research establishments in mobile and home networking, software development, consumer electronics and domestic appliances have joined together in Amigo – an integrated project that will realize the full potential of home networking to improve people’s lives.


The Amigo project will further support interoperability between equipment and services within the networked home environment by using standard technology when possible and by making the basic middleware (components and infrastructure) and basic user services available as open source software together with architectural rules for everyone to use.

Interesting in itself, there are couple of other aspects that make it even more so.

First, this is a massively-funded EU jobbie:

Total cost: 24 MEuro
Funding: 13 MEuro

Secondly, the list of participants in this, er, open source project is also of note:

Project participants:
Philips Research - Philips Design - Philips Consumer Electronics (the Netherlands), Fagor (Spain), France Telecom (France), Fraunhofer IMS (Germany), Fraunhofer SIT (Germany), Ikerlan (Spain), INRIA (France), Italdesign Giugiaro (Italy), SingularLogic (Greece), Microsoft (Germany), Telin (the Netherlands), ICCS (Greece), Telefónica I+D (Spain), University of Paderborn (Germany), VTT (Finland)

Oh look, there's those nice open source people from Microsoft. Well, maybe not exactly open source, since at the bottom of this massive list of downloadable files, we have the following Microsoft EMIC Amigo License, which actually turns out to be a shared source licence, not open source.


The Microsoft EMIC Amigo License applies to the following components:
- Content Distribution Interface
- Data Store
- .NET Programming & Deployment Framework
- Security & Privacy (.NET version)

Now, life is too short for me to try to get my head around this massive project to work out whether these components are indispensable to the entire project, or just bits of it; but if they are, I'd like to suggest, ever so 'umbly, that our super-duper Amigo may be a friend but it ain't really open source. And even if they aren't, it's still a tad confusing that we have Microsoft with shared source lumped in rather sneakily with the open source stuff. (Via Heise News.)

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