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Yochai could probably tell you better himself, but it means that commerce is moving away from its home in the marketplace. The power to purchase is taking the place of the authority of institutions.
It means that a basic kindergarten tenet is coming into its own in our economy: sharing. The freedom to socially share is undermining Microsoft, the government and most centralized authorities’ ability to determine the course of events and money. Listen to Professor Benkler above to determine whether you agree.]]>
As the VAR Guy noted in a recent blog post on the upcoming Red Hat Summit, Red Hat has some gumption. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company has crossed the Mason-Dixon line to hold its annual event in Boston, the territory of its rival, Waltham, Mass-based Novell: What chutzpah!
Not to be outshined, Novell has made its presence known, posting some conspicuous advertising in the Hynes Convention Center, the location for this year’s Red Hat Summit, the VAR Guy reported.
But whether Red Hat’s choice of venue is a real shot across the bow or not, there’s little doubt that that over the past several years, the Red Hat/Novell rivalry has gotten pretty heated. One could date the boiling tensions to 2006, when Novell signed an agreement with Microsoft to share product patents. In 2007, the two companies agreed to work toward interoperability and have even dedicated a lab to that purpose.
By joining forces, Microsoft and Novell aim to gain an even stronger foothold in the open source market, though some data indicates that both the Red Hat and Ubuntu distributions have made strides against Novell SUSE. A new survey on open source adoption may support these findings.
The VAR Guy also noted Cisco’s expected prominence at the Summit and wondered whether it might signal an upcoming Cisco/Red Hat partnership, much like Microsoft’s with Novell. Or maybe Cisco’s “cozying up,” as the VAR Guy characterized it, is more a case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Consider this user comment in response to the Var Guy’s musings:
“Cisco now views Microsoft as its #1 threat in unified communications and other areas,” the user wrote. “I think they are just solidly placing themselves on the other side to be honest. They see a cost/competitive advantage and want to help set the ‘other’ standard.”
Stay tuned from the frontlines for more Red Hat Summit coverage.]]>
I talked with Perens recently, and our topic was what IT managers need to know and do about the state of open source software. Perens says that IT managers are in the best position to lobby proprietary software vendors to protect and not attack the OSS community. IT shops are those vendors’ customers, after all, and have some clout; whereas, the large majority of open source developers — mostly self-employed or volunteers — are poorly equipped to stand up to major corporations that are trying to grab ownership of OSS.
Proprietary software vendors are both co-opting open source and, as stealthily as possible, trying to destroy OSS with software patent threats. If proprietary software vendors succeed in stymieing OSS development, technology innovation will slow down, and interoperability in heterogeneous environments will be difficult, if not impossible, to attain.
Protecting OSS will help IT organizations retain the ability “to purchase software without becoming tied to that [software vendor] for other software” to manage or complement it, Perens told me.
The protection of open standards should also be on IT pros’ agenda. Once a proprietary software vendor gets hold of rights to software standards, there are few obstacles to that vendor expanding those rights. Perens urges IT organizations to support the International Standards Organization (ISO). Established to govern the process of patent distribution, ISO working to adapt standards to the reality of the current marketplace. Most companies need interoperable software for many functions, from exchanging Microsoft Office documents to sharing databases across systems. The ISO needs the support of IT leaders in order to support the development of software interoperability amid pressure applied by proprietary vendors.
“Software patents are a problem especially for open standards, because they may prevent a standard from being usable by everyone,” Perens told me. ” If there’s a royalty or discriminatory licensing to the patent, that usually rules out open source implementations.”
With ISO/IEC 26300, Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0., the ISO did address business software interoperability in 2006. This requires all office documents to be able to be sent from one software system to a competing software system without having to be re-formatted.
In the U.S., it has been hard to stop software vendors from filing or expanding software patents that lack integrity and bankrupting OSS startups with lawsuits. U.S. “lawmakers are so in thrall to big-media lobbyists that they do not even realize that counterarguments to copyright extensions exist,” said Professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the Center for Internet and Society Lawrence Lessig.
U.S. antitrust suits have gotten few results; but, in 2007, the European Commission filed the largest antitrust suit against Microsoft yet, for withholding information that would let rival vendors defend themselves from product integration, rolling out a penalty of $1.3 billion.
But, Perens pointed out, this was merely one step forward in a larger struggle.]]>
Well, even if you don’t, here’s an update from Palamida about the 50+ OSS projects that have moved to version 3.0 of the GNU Public License over the past two weeks.
Since many people will be off next week, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving early. But onto non-food related issues, as of November 16th 4pm PST, our list has grown to 1151 GPL v3 projects, which is a growth of 56 new GPL v3 projects from last week. Our LGPL v3 count has increased by 1 project, bringing the current count to 95 LGPL v3 projects. The GPL v2 or later list has also passed a large milestone of 6000 GPL v2 or later projects. Over the last week, 76 new GPL v2 or later projects have been added, bringing the count to 6034 GPL v2 or later projects.
This thing keeps on chugging along. Suffice to say, I haven’t heard the same levels of rhetoric and back-and-forth that I heard about the GPLv3 over the summer. Whether that’s just information overload, vacation time, or genuine acceptance remains to be seen.]]>
Well, there’s one thing, if you stretch it really thin: October. The World Series, obviously, will begin tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. The hype, no thanks to FOX and those Dane Cook promos, has reached a fever pitch (pun intended). The GPL, on the other hand, saw above average adoption rates among open source developers and their projects.
Palamida gives us the details:
As of Oct. 19, 1pm PST, our database contained 898 GPL v3 projects, as compared with last week’s number on October 12th of 833 GPL v3 projects. This is a larger-than-average increase of 65 GPL v3 projects which puts us on the brink of 900 GPL v3 projects and closer to the important milestone of 1,000 GPL v3 projects.
As much as I’d like to think baseball had some kind of profound effect on the adoption rates of the GPLv3, I don’t think that’s the case. In fact, I’m betting that with the cold weather there are probably just a lot more geeks inside coding than there were in August and September.]]>
At the beginning of the month, I cited a Palamida report that had tracked the number of GPLv3 adoptions among open source projects at a 15-20% increase month-over-month. Today? The numbers have cooled slightly, although the GPL’s younger brother the LGPL has taken up some of the slack.
Again, Palamida provides some of the licensing numbers they’ve been tracking for the period of September 10 through the 21rst:
Wow for the LGPL v3 (Relatively)
The last two weeks have seen a 17% increase over last in the number of projects that have adopted GPLv3. As of 3pm PDT, September 21, 2007, our research indicates that 683 projects have officially adopted GPLv3, as compared to 585 projects on September 7th. A whopping 31 new projects have adopted LGPLv3 bringing the total LGPLv3 projects to 76.
Palamida is also pretty good at keeping people up to date on some of the specific projects being converted to the GPLv3 (they aren’t just about statistics, people!).
Some of the latest conversions:
I assume the last one has no relation to Becks.
Bonus link: More on the FSF lawsuit against Monsoon Multimedia.
UPDATE: Hate to kick you while you’re down, buddy, but InformationWorld is reporting that developers are shunning GPLv3.]]>
August appears to be a watershed month for GPLv3 adoption. Last week I mentioned that the new license saw 14% growth week over week. This week? 19%.
This week has seen a 19% increase over last in the number of projects that have adopted GPL v3. As of 1pm PDT, August 24th, our research indicates that 450 projects have officially adopted GPL v3, as compared to 378 on August 17, 2007. An additional 6 projects have adopted LGPL v3, brining the total to LGPL v3 projects to 27.
Palamida has also been pretty good about informing the masses about which prijects are jumping on board with GPLv3. New project conversions this week include:
GnuPG: GnuPG is the GNU project’s complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard as defined by RFC2440 . GnuPG allows to encrypt and sign your data and communication, features a versatile key management system as well as access modules for all kind of public key directories.
GNU CPIO: This project is part of the GNU Project. GNU cpio copies files into or out of a cpio or tar archive. The archive can be another file on disk, a magnetic tape, a pipe, etc.
SIWT: Sudo inventory web-tool (SIWT) is a web interface to view and administer information related to /etc/sudoers files on multiple servers. The database contains data on servers, users, aliases, dates, etc. This tool is helpful for internal audits
August is hot for GPLv3 news, but will it last?]]>
In an interview with the EFYTimes, Torvalds continues to poo poo all over the GPLv3, much in the same way as he has done for the better part of the past year. “In the absence of the GPLv2, I could see myself using the GPLv3,” he said. “But since I have a better choice, why should I?”
Some big proponents of the GPLv3 have been our friends over at Boycott Novell, a blog that came to be as a result of the Microsoft-Novell partnership formed last November. For the positives of the GPLv3 I encourage you all to visit that site on occasion to get an impassioned take on why the world needs version 3. For a negative take, well, I’m sure you’ve heard of Google and Linus Torvalds. Combine the two to find a trove of information from the detractors. Is that fair? Maybe not, but the GPLv3, for all its success thus far, still has an uphill climb ahead of it.]]>
In the mailing, entitled “Get ready — it’s ramping up,” Palamida’s Melisa LaBancz-Bleasdale details the growth of the GPL’s third incarnation, which went live last month.
“This week has seen a 14% increase over last in the number of projects that have adopted the GPLv3. AS of 3pm Pacific time, August 17, our research indicates that 378 projects have officially adopted GPLv3, compared to 3332 projects on August 10, 2007. An additional 8 projects have adopted the LGPLv3 bringing the total LGPLv3 projects to 21.”
Then Palamida goes and makes my day with a handy chart. Charts, as anyone who reads Digg.com can tell you, make things easier to understand, digest, and therefore flame (if you don’t agree with them, usually by means of another chart that shows the exact opposite of what the first says). See also: Pictures.
Palamida also takes the time to mention some of the latest GPLv3 conversions. They include:
libchart: a chart creation PHP library that is easy to use. It can generate bar diagrams or pie charts. It is compatible with PHP4/5 (compiled with GD and FreeType) and has no other dependencies
itools: a collection of Python libraries which provides a wide range of capabilities, including an abstraction over directory and file resources, a search engine, type marshallers, datatype schemas, i18n support, URI handlers, a Web programming interface, a workflow interface, and support for data formats such as (X)HTML, XML, iCalendar, RSS 2.0, and XLIFF
librapiddev: a collection of helper classes and tools to speed up your development of SDL/OpenGL projects
Additionally, Palamida notes that there are currently 4,748 projects with licenses that now read “GPL v2 or LGPL v2.1 or later.” For a complete list of projects that have adopted GPLv3 and LGPLv3, see http://gpl3.palamida.com.
Honorable mention: There are now over 5,000 GPLv3 (and related) projects (as a combined number from: GPLv3, GPL v2 or later, LGPL v3, and LGPL v2.1 or later). Not too shabby.]]>
Watching and reading all of the commentary from this week, and witnessing the almost meteoric unraveling of SCO’s stock price, I am reminded of a game from my childhood that puts the entire process in a much more understandable — and humorous — light. Mouse Trap. The past four years (this all began in 2003, can you believe it?) have been nothing but the setting up of a series of various trials and motions — much like Mouse Trap’s rickety stairs and bathtub bowling ball — that have built and built the tension year over year until finally that plastic man jumped and tripped the trap that fell onto the unsuspecting mouse. I mean onto SCO. I’m mixing things up here, forgive me.
Or maybe it was a suspecting mouse, depending on who you talk to. Court filings suggest SCO knew all along that its claims were, well, dead wrong. Hit that link to read more on that.
Analyst Charles King, founder of Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research, said in a research note released today that Judge Kimball’s ruling, which firmly supported Novell’s ownership of the UNIX and Unix-Ware copyrights, “quite simply eviscerated SCO’s hopes and dreams.” I’m inclined to agree. The trap is sprung, the cage is down, and the mouse is caught. Game over. There are no little pieces of cardboard cheese left with which to barter, plead or use as an attack. I think Pamela Jones has most of them now, but I’m sure that Novell and IBM have a few pieces too. SCO’s stock reflects this and has bottomed out at a few dimes or so in value per share.
King notes that SCO posted “a brave statement claiming that the court determined or did not dismiss a number of technical points in its favor.” Keeping with my mousy analysis, it was at this point in my reading that I imagined the mouse sliding a tin cup across the bars of his new cage, making a ruckus to distract observers from the fact that he was helplessly locked away. The fact that a mouse would know how to do that would be distracting enough to begin with, so we’re talking about being really distracted here.
And speaking of Groklaw’s Pamela Jones… she also dissected the SCO letter and her post positively drips with Schadenfreude. Can you blame her though? As I loosely followed this trial for the past three years I’ve observed SCO using almost as much elbow grease in fighting IBM and Novell as it did when it tried to discredit Jones and Groklaw.
Jones seems to think there might be one last breath in SCO’s legal/business team, but in the same breath she doesn’t sound too impressed with what they’ll come up with. King agreed:
SCO’s plans to “continue to explore our options” sounded as hollowly optimistic as a conventioneer in Las Vegas who, upon emerging from the casino where he has squandered his life savings, declares how lucky he is that the pit boss let him keep his Fruit of the Looms and Rotary pin.
Not only did Judge Kimball favor Novell concerning the copyright issues, he also granted the company the right to direct SCO to waive its claims against IBM and Sequent and stated that SCO is obligated to recognize that waiver. Kimball also found that SCO is obligated to pay Novell for license fees the company collected from Sun and Microsoft in 2003. As much as 95% of those fees, which total some $18.3 million, could be due to Novell. However, since SCO has only a fraction of that amount on hand, it remains to be seen how much Novell will ever collect.
And though SCO will still be with us for the time being, King said the case seems close enough to a resolution that it’s worth considering a few lessons learned:
“Without the possibility of a legal pay day, how long will SCO be able to function as a commercial company? If it is headed for destruction, is a partnership or acquisition in SCO’s future, and if so, by who? How will SCO cope with owing potentially millions in licenses fees to Novell, and how far will Novell go in pursuing payment? Will Novell follow Judge Kimball’s lead and order SCO to waive its legal claims against IBM? Will the resolution of these legal cases have any tangible impact on Linux of the Open Source movement? As the SCO melodrama winds toward its sad if predictable dénouement, these are points we will be watching carefully,” King said. All good questions, and they’ll probably all have answers sooner rather than later.
On that note however, it sounds like we’re about ready to play a new game with SCO. Any ideas out there? Oh, I know what we could play. How about Sorry!?]]>