Over on the 451 CAOS Theory blog, Matthew Aslett references the CIO.com’s Executives Online blogathon where respondents indicated that Google was their first choice destination when looking for open source software. Matt says he was expecting more mention of sites like OLEX. Take the same survey this time next year, and I'll bet that open source aggregation sites like OLEX will get much more attention.
When I first started working on the business side of open source software, it felt like I spent a lot of time convincing people that they couldn't just throw old code over the wall. I think people managing dying projects actually felt relief that there was something they could do with their old project that might keep a few loyal customers happy. I'd explain to them that if they weren't willing to maintain it, probably nobody else was and given the amount of work it takes to open source a project, they'd be much better off helping their loyal customers move to a better long term solution.
I really like using analogies and metaphors to explain things. I think good ones catch on quick and get carried further and further until they sound ridiculous - but that's when you know there was a grain of truth to them. Two that I've heard recently that really worked (or at least got used over and over again!) are open source software as honey and open source software as a deli.
So by now I'm sure you've seen the Red Hat settlement around patent litigation involving Firestar Software, Inc. and DataTern, Inc. Hopefully this patent settlement sets a standard for future patent settlements because it really took into account the nature of open source software development and usage. Here's a few ways that Red Hat made sure they covered open source software developers and users in their agreement:
One of OpenLogic's main goals in creating the Open Source Census is to encourage enterprises to use open source software by showing them how much open source software is being used. In order to do that, we need to make sure that we get enterprises to participate in the Open Source Census.
The Apache Foundation is one of my favorite examples when I explain how open source works because the Apache projects have been wildly successful - as a volunteer, non-commercial entity. Not all open source software projects need to follow the Apache model, but it is proof that an entirely volunteer, democratic, open source organization with many projects can be successful. This year, the Apache Foundation released some very interesting numbers. Some highlights quoted from Ross Gardler's post:
Paula Bach over on Port 25 talked about how to go hybrid yesterday, but she's not talking about cars.
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