open source

Oct 13 2009

Open Source, Open Core, Open ScoreCards

There is this constant discussion about Open Core vs Open Source vs Proprietary Software , Fauxpen Source, Open Source Business models etc.. you probably know all the usual suspects involved, first up lets agree that nobody will ever agree on what's best, (off course it's pure open source.. ) , but one of the important aspects is to know what values are important for you and your customers

Simon Phipps thinks we should build a scorecard that lists the different values we attach to a certain level of openness

He'd like a rating to questions such as , Is the license OSI-approved? , Is the copyright under diverse control? ,Is the community governance open?, Are external interfaces and formats standards compliant? , Does your community operate under a patent peace arrangement? Are trademarks community controlled? etc ..

Do we need one ? Matt Aslett , whom I finally met last week in London , thinks not as it will has the knife will cut on both sides, but then also thinks yes as it might clear up confusion to outsiders.

The comments on his post however is where the real discussion starts, the one where the Open Core fanboy tells about HIS customers not caring, and the Open Source zealots comment that the open core customers don't care as they already settle for the best of worst world (ok ok , I added that myselve :))

We are old and smart enough to decide ourselve .. aren't we ? Fact is that plenty of us already use this kind of scorecards for themselves, We prefer Open Source over Open Core , but still Open Core over proprietary software, we look at the community, we look at the source , we look at who's contributing and who's using. Sometimes we value a vibrant user community over a vibrant contributing community , sometimes we don't like projects with only contributions from 1 company .. we do that exercize daily

On the other hand, as Matthew Aslett states, the outsiders probably don't know yet, and as someone else in the discussion said, some customers are just stupid ..

Different Open Core vendors have different approaches, we should use our own brains to see the difference between Marketing Driven company squashing out buggy but open code and community driven company looking for a business model. If you, such as Sander claims constantly are trying to outsmart your community , don't you think your customers will realize that ?

An aftertought If Simon Phipps gets his wish granted, what do we do with the blogs etc, shouldn't Matt then change the subtitle of his blog to The business and politics of open core ? and his title to Open Core Executive to ? Or do we just call him the Richard Stallman of Open Core ?

Oct 12 2009

Enterprise Open Source Adoption at BT, London

Repost from our corporate blog

Last monday some Inuits quickly crossed the channel for a day of speeches and talks regarding Open Source and its Adoption, the event organised at BT brought together a mixture of techies, legal persons and management to listen to and discuss about the current state of Enterprise Open Source adoption

The short introduction was done by JP of Confused In Calcutta , who mainly introduced Mark "I`m from outer space" Shuttleworth. Mark keynoted about Ubuntu .. he talked about Aubergine being the new Brown ... ranted (as everybody) about the Cloud , talked about a stronger focus to services rather than product building , talked about the ecosystem of "people close to you" for supporting solutions .

Steve Bouch, of the Synapse Project at BT discussed ao the decisions they had to make, the varialbes they took in to account when starting
to use Open Source , discussions such as the reputation of the project, the internal skill zet, the ease of importing and exporting data in and
out of the project, and the different license terms were covered.

Andrew Katz , legal guy , who's also working on the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review gave an overview of the legal impact of Opensource . We learned that his customers have similar questions as ours, such as when to publish the code, what code to publish, when to look for alternative licenses etc

There was avid discussion regarding the Affero GPL license and using Open Source as a key component to build your killar webinfrastructure while not contributing back etc.

During the pannel discussion questions like Software Patents, and the fact that Ubuntu One won't be fully Open Source were tackled For us , most of the event was confirmation that what we are doing is the right thing to do, And that is worth a lot !

Oct 11 2009

What Kind of Open Source Fanboy are you ?

James Dixon has some polls on his blog, they let you choose between being a free software junkie, an open source hacker or what I'd call a an incompetent moron ;)

I had mostly 2's , no 3 in case you'd wonder.

Oct 01 2009

It's the solutions you build with it !

I`m gonna have to quote Tarus once again :

For years now I’ve been struggling to educate the market on the fact that the business around open source software is not about software. It’s about solutions.

Let me repeat that .. it's not about selling software ...

It's about solutions

And obviously FLOSS is the Ideal platform to build value for your customers

Sep 23 2009

Open Source Business Models

There is once again a lot of fuzz going on about Open Source Business models,

First on my eyballs was the article that Customers don't seem to like openCore what a big surprise ..

So that's not the one that makes the customers happy ,

Then there is the other side of the coin, the people that create open source
Authors realize the dual licensing model comes hunting back at you after a merger or a hostile acquisition, yes they still have the source code to build on but they can't sell commercial licenses to their customers anymore they way they used to.

So that's not the one that eventually makes the authors happy,

Then there is the RedHat model, which tends to please a lot of people, which tends to be something traditional IT resellers can take in their portofolio, but partnering with a RedHat style company as an open source expert consultancy company isn't easy , as the expert consultancy companies have the knowledge themselves and won't push reselling subscriptions.

So that doesn't make the Distribution Vendors happy

Back when XenSource came on the market we asked them if they could help us supporting some of our customers with Xen deployments, they didn't care they wanted to build a product and a fast exit ..

That didn't make us as an integrator nor the customer happy.

You'd think us opensource folks are really unhappy wouldn't you ?
Wrong.. as we are all in it .. Just for Fun

and the money!

Sep 12 2009

Dual Battery Support

About 2.5 months ago while I was on a highspeed Belnet connection at UZA after Amber got born I ran in to some annoyancies with my fresh Fedora 11 and multiple batteries, upon replacing the CD drive with an empty battery (to be charged) while I was on AC power the machine shut down.

I filed a bug , while going trough my post holliday inbox backlog I noticed it got fixed . Thnx Richard !

This is how open source works ..

Aug 20 2009

On Conferences

Somehow this year my schedule really isn't going to get filled with conferences,unlike my 13 speaking engagements last year this year I decided to go for a lot less :)

Froscon together with OpenSQLCamp is convienently scheduled during an already long planned family weekend .. but I really hope to go there nex year

I've been wanting to go south for conferences for ages, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy , Greece are all places I'd love to go and see how the different Open Sourcen conferences play out there. This summer there actually were some different conferences tha took place in Spain, Gran Canaria etc . but I coouldn't make it there for the obvious reasons..

The October conference schedule has another but similar problem , apart from T-Dose which I plan on going to again, I`m doomed to miss LinuxKongress 2009 and the Open Source monitoring conference as they both collide with DevOpsDays

LinuxKongress was initially scheduled for late september which meant it was on my planning but as they rescheduled because of a conflict with the Linux Plumbers Conference at the other side of the ocean , it means that for the 2nd year in row I`ll miss LinuxKongress (last year was on purpose as I had already been to OLS) ,

So I`m on the lookout for some new and exiting conferences to go to :)

There was an OpenSourceWorldConference in Malaga last couple of years , but their site hasn't been updated anymore for 2009 .. anyone knows what's going on there ?

Aug 09 2009

T-Dose 2009 CFP,

Dear MySQL and Drupal , Plone and other Open Source folks, you might want to be interrested in giving a talk at T-Dose 2009 ,

Jean Paul pinged me with the following mail :

Maybe it escaped your attention that the Call For Papers for T-DOSE 2009 is already out. It has been announced on 12th of June 2009. Below you will find the original announcement.

Call for Papers and Projects
Fri, 06/12/2009 - 13:57 — jpsaman

T­-DOSE is a free and yearly event held in The Netherlands to promote use and development of Open Source Software. During this event Open Source projects, developers and visitors can exchange ideas and knowledge. It is held at the Fontys University of Applied Science on 3 and 4 October 2009.

Speakers can send ideas and abstracts to the organisation at abstracts _AT_ The e­mail should contain a short biography of the speaker and description of the talk. All talks will be held in English and last ~50 minutes. The deadline for abstracts ends on 31st of August 2009.

At the event location there is room for Open Source market. Stands and rooms are free of charge. Applications for stands are handled in order.
More information is here;

I hope to see you all at this years T-DOSE.

Kind greetings,

Jean-Paul Saman

T-DOSE Foundation

Jul 30 2009


Rivermuse is the new Fault Management platform tool on the market, their initial relase was lurking around the corner for a while now but since earlier this week it finally arrived

Eager to see what all the fuzz was about I jumped to their dowload page to find an yum repository for Fedora Core 9, that's right .. it's july 2009 and RiverMuse released their platform for a Linux distribution that got it's End Of Life notice last month.

On a fresh Fedora 11 box off course you get a zillion dependency mismatches.
So over to the source code. After installing some build dependencies I managed to build desktop-trunk-8.fc11.noarch.rpm rivermusece-trunk-8.fc11.noarch.rpm

However these depend on extremely fresh versions of rsyslog >= 4.1.6 where as Fedora 11 is only on 3.21 and RHEL is even only on 2.0.6.

The initial checkout I had had no README file yet .. so creating a build wasn't really easy ..

In the meanwhile they have promised builds for other versions.

So the battle is between me getting time to setup an FC9 box somehwere and they releasing fresher RPM's .. I hope they win :)

Jun 02 2009

Told Ya sooo

By now everybody and their neigbour has realized that indeed Everything is a funky dns problem, Frank is giving talks about it at ZooCamp, and Serge figured out the hard way the downtime of was due to a dns problem :)

But I told you different things before ... and some of you listened others are still reinventing the wheel as we go ...

Matt A. points out that the OpenBravo folks realized that one should try to build on top of Open Source projects rather than modify core code ..

Wonder where he read that before :
Some projects are prepared for local contributions, they have a modular framework that allows you to build on top of the project while not having to touch the core of a project, Drupal and openQRM are great examples of those, but not all projects are that smart. Needless to say that when you have such a modular framework you really shouldn't be modifying the core part of the platform, unless you are fixing a real bug.

Over at the MySQLPerformance blog, Peter points out that Open source projects don't do big fat marketing campaigns and the community doesn't appreciate features being developed in a corner then being released with a big bang ... we prefer our releases Early and Often...

On Automating Software installations, a Tom Limoncelli about how we install software and debug setups, with a nice quote "Oh my god. Is that why nobody uses the GUI we spend millions to develop?".
Well Luke said it before .. If my computer can't install it .. the installer is broken

Stephen Walli has some good toughts on how Open Source vendors should setup their partner programs, indeed with their eyes wide open ..

I ranted on Open Source Vendors thinking they should still work with partners models and the channel the traditional way before

However I have to admit that over the last month I did talk to people that do understand our Love / Hate relation ship with the Open Source Vendors that want to partner with us .. and that some of the newer Open Source Vendors are actually attracted by our different way of tackling partnerships.

Oh well.. as Tarus says .. my 3 readers understand..