?"> "Despite the concern that this practice is potentially widespread, it is curious, but disappointing, that this has resulted in a witch hunt specifically directed at only at JBoss Inc.," he said. "Other organizations could learn from this, too. JBoss becomes an easy and colorful target, not only because they take flamboyant and controversial positions but also because there is a vocal subculture that dislikes JBoss and occasionally thrives on conspiracy theories."In an interview earlier this week, Fleury said he had no comment on the issue. "Not really, I dont really have anything to say," he said. "Everything I said is what I think. Its really a non-issue. Besides, we cant expect to continue to be successful and have people cheer us on all along the way."Meanwhile, sources said JBoss had threatened legal action against TheServerSide, claiming its systems had been hacked and accusing TheServerSide of providing potential hackers with JBoss employees IP addresses. But Deshpande said, "That information is false. JBoss has not threatened legal action against us." The tactic of anonymously attacking competitors or artificially fomenting tides of support for or against a cause, also loosely known and "astroturfing," is not new, although some view it as unscrupulous. Despite the flurry of disdain for the alleged acts of bogus posting, it seems that Fleury needs no pseudonym or anonymity to promote his company and his brand of open source, or even to disparage his competitors. At the recent ServerSide Java Symposium in Las Vegas, sponsored by The Middleware Company, Fleury dressed up as the villain Joker from the "Batman" comic and delivered a talk extolling JBoss expertise and belittling the competition. Openly slamming some of JBoss primary competition during his talk, Fleury said: "We had some B players that we replaced with A players and our vision of professional open source." Fleurys comments were met with a smattering of boos from the crowd. But they were obviously aimed at Core Developers Network LLC (CDN), a Bloomington, Minn., company started by two former JBoss employeesthe so-called "B players" Fleury referred to. And Dain Sundstrom, a CDN partner and former JBoss employee, was in the audience. Check out eWEEK.coms Developer & Web Services Center at http://developer.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.