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    The title of this story confused me because it made me think of a different project named OpenSearch that also comes from Amazon. Naming things is hard.

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      Has Amazon/OpenSearch documented yet how they plan to keep HTTP API compatibility with Elastic’s Elasticsearch server, so that the client libraries don’t diverge in the community?

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        I recall some statements that they intend to keep API’s compatible for as long as it makes sense.

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          Good question, maybe they’ll also fork the libraries

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          This should be interesting - are OpenSearch and regular Elasticsearch going to end up with meaningfully divergent feature sets? Or will OpenSearch just go along behind / beside ES and generally keep parity? If it gets to the point where you need to re-index all your data in order to move between them, or rewrite complex searches, that’ll raise the barrier to entry on both sides.

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            What I don’t like about the project is that AWS actually owns the Open Search trademark. („OpenSearch is a registered trademark of Amazon Web Services.“) I would‘ve really like it if they setup up something completely independent. Does anyone know about future plans for this? I mean Rust was once under the umbrella of Mozilla, but is not anymore.

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              I’m a bit confused how this is not just obviously Amazon et al. getting developers to sharecrop for them (like, even more than usual).

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                Isn’t that just … the state of the software economy these days?

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                  I mean, you’re not wrong.

                  :(

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                  People keep bashing amazon, yet Elastic did (does?) the same thing. They make you sign a contributors agreement if you want to submit a patch and they equally benefit from you. People think they are some scrappy open source shop, but they are a for profit, publicly traded company with a current market cap of 14 Billion dollar. That is a substantial company and not some starving open source developer somewhere. https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ESTC?p=ESTC&.tsrc=fin-srch

                  So while Amazon is certainly bigger it is also true the the original developers of ES are doing the same thing on a smaller scale.

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                    Market cap is just how much some people on Wall street think you’re worth if you’re going to sell the company; it’s not a very useful number. They had $428 million in revenue last year, but with a $75 million net loss after expenses.

                    I mean, it’s not some small independent setup run out of someone’s basement, but it’s also not exactly what I would call a healthy profitable business.

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                      Market cap is just how much some people on Wall street think you’re worth if you’re going to sell the company; it’s not a very useful number

                      It may not be an accurate reflection of the size of the company, but it is a very important number because it is effectively a summary of the company’s ability to print money. A company can always try to raise money by issuing more shares and, normally (and unless they sell them in a huge quantity), they can sell those shares at the current trading price. If the market cap is $15b, then $75m is 0.5% of their total market cap. They could issue enough shares to dilute the existing stock by 0.5% and raise enough capital to cover that loss without anyone caring (a lot of companies dilute their shares slightly every year as a matter of course).

                      This also impacts the total compensation of their employees: if their share price is healthy then they can pay a significant fraction of their employees’ total compensation in newly issued shares, which cost the company nothing and can be sold immediately if the employees don’t have faith in the long-term value of the company.

                      They had $428 million in revenue last year, but with a $75 million net loss after expenses.

                      The revenue number is important but the profit / loss is even more meaningless than the market capitalisation. Expenses can include all manner of things. Amazon famously didn’t post a profit for years because they were reinvesting all of their revenue in growing the business. That was reflected in their share price because investors expected the company to keep growing. Without a breakdown of how much of this is operational expenditure and how much capital expenditure, it’s impossible to make any meaningful claims from this number.

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                        One stark example of higher market cap in itself letting you print money: when Gamestop stock skyrocketed from becoming a “meme stock”, the company took advantage of that to issue a little over $1 billion in new shares. That put them in a much better financial position than before, converting a seemingly purely paper increase in memed-up market cap into a significant improvement in the company’s actual balance sheet.

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                        It is a very useful number in the context of the whole OpenSearch vs. Elasticsearch kerfuffle. The ES folks, esp. the founder is trying to pretend they are poor starving OSS developers and AWS is stealing from them. In reality they are all vey wealthy given the valuation of the company. The founder, Shay Bannon, owns 8.5 million shares: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ESTC/insider-roster?p=ESTC That makes him, at least on paper, a billionaire.

                        FTR: I am not jealous of him, I am trying to say that we should not fall for this narrative of evil AWS ripping off poor OSS developers

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                      I’m curious what model would be acceptable here if Amazon wishes to give a project back to the community. Or is your position that large tech corporations should just not release open code?

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                        The code is under a free license (Apache 2.0) so anyone can also use it. Also, there’s no CLA, so Amazon can’t relicense other’s contributions as proprietary down the road like Elasticsearch did, despite their assurances they wouldn’t.

                        Cynically, yes, Amazon is going to get some benefit from other developers helping them. But in this case I think the rest of the community is also gaining something of value too.

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                          I mean, that’s the trick, right? Amazon gets to monetize hosting (which they’ve already got obscene margins on, I’d wager) and externalize costs of development.

                          It’s like when a landlord in their great generosity allows tenants to fix up the house on their own dime.

                          (Also, the “community-driven” part is a level of cynical agitprop that frankly leaves me gobsmacked that anyone would fall for it. Like, the real reason this is happening is because Amazon doesn’t want to cut ES a check, right?)

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                            My impression is that Amazon will lead development, so they’re paying most of the costs in this.

                            Like, the real reason this is happening is because Amazon doesn’t want to cut ES a check, right?

                            Yep. But I think this is beneficial to everyone else, to have a freely licensed search engine. And for all the complaints and problems I have with Amazon, I think the setup/governance with Amazon is better than it was with Elastic…at least it seems like that so far.

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                              Like, the real reason this is happening is because Amazon doesn’t want to cut ES a check, right?

                              The ES folks used the Apache license origninally. It does not require AWS to cut them a check, so why would they? People cry all the time that people are making money with other peoples code, but that is completely fine under the licences that people put their stuff under. If you don’t want somebody else to benefit from your code this way, then don’t give it away like that.

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                          If the project succeeds I’d hope / expect them to transfer the trademark to some corporate but neutral trade body like Linux Foundation.