Perens Launches Open Source Domain Parking Service

Seeking to offset recent gains by Microsoft, a leading open source evangelist has launched a service designed to boost domain parking on open source software. Author and developer Bruce Perens created OpenSourceParking.com in response to a 5 percent market share gain by Microsoft in this month's Netcraft web server survey. The shift was due to domain registrar Go Daddy shifting 4.5 million parked domains from Linux to Windows Server 2003. "It's time for the Free Software/Open Source community to fight back," wrote Perens, urging open source supporters to park their undeveloped domains with the new service, which runs on the Linux operating system and Lighttpd web server.

The project's goals are to increase the market share for open source software and generate revenue from advertising on the parked domains, which will be used to fund "political and promotional efforts" on behalf of open source software. A sample parked domain includes ads for Firefox, OpenOffice, and OpenSourceParking itself. "These banners will soon be joined by commercial advertising," the service notes, adding that "Open-Source-hostile advertisers will be excluded."

Perens downplayed the significance of Microsoft's market share gain via parked domains. "This is an 'appearance' change only, because the sites involved have no content," he wrote in announcing the service. "But managers believe figures like those in the Netcraft report, and act on them."

In fact, the open source Apache web server has been the primary beneficiary of any "appearance" benefit from parked domains. Apache is used by domain registrars Register.com, 1&1 Internet, Dotster and DirectNIC, while Go Daddy and enom use Windows Server 2003 and Network Solutions runs on the Solaris OS and SunOne server.

Apache is even more dominant among parking-for-profit services that place ads on parked domains. Domain Sponsor, Fabulous.com, Sedo, GoldKey, NameDrive, Domain Hop, TrafficZ, ParkingDots and Traffic Club all are served by Apache and hosted on either Linux or FreeBSD. Of parking services with substantial domains, only Parking Site uses WIndows Server 2003.