Cool story: I just got out of a meeting with a VC who is a potential investor in OpenLogic. At one point during the meeting, he asked about adoption of open source application frameworks -- specifically Struts and Spring. I pulled up the web site for The Open Source Census, went to the All Packages by Name report and found out that Spring had been found on 8% of the machines scanned so far and Struts on 16%. The VC's mouth dropped open. He started staring at the screen and writing all sorts of numbers down in his notebook.
I can't believe a pure model based on support is going to scale to the one billion dollars we always talk about. A pure support and services model works for a while, then customers get comfortable with what they have and pull the plug on it. Your best customers leave you because they are too satisfied... It is sad but inevitable. Maybe you can make it with an operating system, but if you move up the stack you are screwed...
Think about the risk exposure this represents. Obviously, there are questions regarding whether the company is complying with the license obligations of the open source software, so the company's attorneys are likely to be concerned.To my mind, though, legal risk is only a small part of the overall risk this CIO faces. The far larger risk is that there is no visibility into the makeup of a significant portion of the company's IT infrastructure. How can you confidently plan for SLA commitments when you're not sure of what software you're running, its maturity, supportability, and so on? Furthermore, as a CIO, you face the very real potential of being unable to adequately map out your workforce skills planning, since you are unaware of what development and operations commitments accompany these invisible software implementations. Finally, it's hard to attest to important regulatory requirements (if you're subject to regulations like recoverability and so on, as financial institutions are), when you don't know what will need to be recovered.
When you decide to not only use an open source software project but to really rely on it, accessing community viability is important. You don't want to build your business around a project only to discover that nobody is really working on it, bugs never get fixed and there are no new releases.
I've heard rumors lately that the One Laptop Per Child program may go to Windows. That would be a shame. And not because I think Linux should win over Windows but because OLPC has the largest, spontaneous community I've seen and OLPC would lose them immediately if they moved to Windows. When I'm at conferences, I see people walking around with their green OLPC's explaining and giving demos to anyone who is interested. When I ask them their affiliation to OLPC, "none" is always the answer.
Microsoft just held their 2008 "MVP Global Summit" in Redmond last week. This is an internal conference where they recognize awardees in a number of divisions and have over 400 technical sessions on a variety of topics.
A number of people have asked about my "Would you do it again for free?" presentation. It's a talk about why open source developers started working on open source software and how money and companies have changed that.
I just read Matt Asay's blog post MySQL adoption: Deep and wide in which he refers to an anecdote on Jonathan Schwarz's blog about MySQL adoption in the enterprise.
As of today, The Open Source Census is now LIVE and accepting data!
Abhijit Nadgouda says it's been a decade since the term open source was chosen to represent the concept. This is true, but the concept has been around far longer. I remember reading through freely available source code to BBS systems back in the mid-late 80's to discover their secrets. Long before that, software was freely given away with source code by hobbyists.
FYI - Because serial data devices are still so ubiquitous (in the form of RS232, TTL, USB, SPI, I2C), an excellent book on serial port software and hardware development is:
When my parents lived in Japan, everyone thought my dad looked like Harrison Ford. Their noses are kind of similar and they're both American. And I have Caucasian friends that think all Asians look alike. So it shouldn't have been a surprise to me that people think that the women in open source all look alike.
Over at Microsoft, they've just celebrated their first Open Source Day.
I've helped a lot of companies write open source software policies. The one thing that surprises me the most is the number of companies that require that their companies use an anonymous email address, i.e. google or yahoo, to interact with the community. I try to explain why this is a bad idea. Today I had a conversation with Jeremy Allison, the maintainer of Samba, who explained it really well.
There is an interesting article in The Campus Word which asks if Trent Reznor's recent efforts with the release of Ghosts are single-handedly fixing the music industry.
Do you think that people work on open source software projects for the same reason they participate in social networks? I think there are some interesting correlations and some important differences.
I've been a big proponent of Agile Development for quite a while now, mainly since I read all about eXtreme Programming in 2000-2001. I always liked the idea of pushing those tenets in software development, but there were always some sticking points. Mind you, they're not exactly the same list Abhijit Nadgouda mentions in his recent post on Extreme Programming Getting Stagnant, but they're similar.
Jesse Robbins has an interesting post on O’Reilly Radar about how IBM is building a new datacenter in Zurich that will use its excess heat to warm a public swimming pool for local residents. He references an article on GreenerComputing.com, which notes that “the Zurich data center will be completed later this year, and will generate 2,800 megawatts of excess heat each year.” According to Steve Sams of IBM, reclaiming the waste heat from the data center “will save about 130 tons of CO2 emissions.”
As promised by my previous post, here is the basic exchange guide for proprietary software credits. Each OS manufacturer is assigned a base value, to that we add the proprietary footprint of the OS they provide.Notes on some OS's are provided. If the OS was particularly difficult on the user, then the overall cost is higher.If the manufacturer has spread FUD about Open Source, they are taxed additionaly. Apple you will notice has a higherthan average credit price because they fall in the "wolf in sheeps clothing" arena. They create a product "based" onopen source but are not open source. They are a factory churning out smugness with every shiny powerMac and sleek iMaclike corn through a goose. Microsoft, also deserves additional taxation due to the FUD, and for churning out the"blue screen of death" at an unprecedented rate.This is just the OS credit exchange, there are some software packages that need to be added as time permits.Microsoft Office springs to mind. There should be some special level of credit hell for anyone who has ever usedexcel as a programming environment rather than a spreadsheet application.. I will have to work on how that will be handled.These cost are per system. So if you have multiple computers, you need to add up all the values. If you are a corporationlooking to offset your proprietary footprint then bulk rates may apply. Just drop me a line and I will work it out with you.If you find any holes, or additional software that should be placed on the list, or have a discrepancy with any of the costlet me know. Any additional comments to the list are welcome. --------------Exchange Guide----------------Acorn $2.00Arthur $5.00ARX $5.00MOS $5.00RISC OS $5.00RISC iX $5.00Amiga $2.00AmigaOS $5.00 *smugness up charge. There are still people using this thing!! And still harping about it.Amiga Unix $5.00 *See above.Apollo $2.00AEGIS/Domain/OS $5.00Apple $5.00 * Black turtleneck up charge.Apple DOS $6.00ProDOS $6.00GS/OS $6.00SOS $6.00Lisa OS $6.00 * 10 grand for this chunk of crap! cmon' Ray.Mac OS System Software 1 $6.00Mac OS System Software 2 $6.00Mac OS System Software 3 $6.00Mac OS System Software 4 $6.00Mac OS System Software 5 $6.00Mac OS System Software 6 $6.00Mac OS System 7 $6.00Mac OS 8 $6.00Mac OS 9 $6.00A/UX $6.00 * was this really Unix? I think not! cha-ching!Mac OS X v10.0 $6.00Mac OS X v10.1 $6.00Mac OS X v10.2 $6.00Mac OS X v10.3 $6.00Mac OS X v10.4 $7.00Mac OS X v10.5 $8.00 * leoptard charge. Extra cost of driving your Prius down to the Apple store to stand in line with other MacTards, so you too could be cooler than the rest of us.
Bruno Lowagie, author of iText, says receiving small donations creates a lot of work - he'd rather have recognition:
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