Red Hat’s Use of Proprietary Blog Software Questioned

Should companies built around open source use only open source software? Red Hat's choice of Movable Type to power its Red Hat Blogs has drawn criticism in light of the company's Open Source Now initiative, in which Red Hat touts its "unwavering commitment to the open source community."

Movable Type is proprietary blogging software from Six Apart, which built a huge user base as shareware but switched to a stricter paid license for its latest versions. That prompted many users to switch to open source blogging tools, especially WordPress and Drupal. Given the availability of numerous open source blogging tools, readers of Red Hat Blogs questioned the company's choice.

"It is ironic that (Red Hat) eschews Open Source software when it comes to using software itself," Tom Raftery noted in a comment on a post by Red Hat's Mark Cox. "It seems that Red Hat prefers to be simply a signpost - pointing the way, rather than going there itself. A true 'defender of public domain, and steward of open source' would use Open Source software wherever and whenever such an option exists." Other readers defended Red Hat's decision.

Conversely, Six Apart has recently shifted its corporate web site for Movable Type and and TypePad blog hosting service from Red Hat to Fedora, the free software project sponsored by Red Hat, which was forked last year when Red Hat adopted a new license that required more substantial support fees.