Saturday, March 24, 2007

I’m In Colorado This Week

I'll be in Colorado this week. Mostly in Boulder, but likely down to Colorado Springs for a quick stop.

Drop me a note if you are a reader of my blog and would like to get together for a face-2-face chat!

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Zooomr Offers FREE Pro Account to Bloggers

Zooomr is offering 12 months of FREE Zooomr Pro account access to Bloggers. This FREE upgrade includes 4GB of photo uploads each month. Plenty for me. Thanks, Zooomr!

All you have to do is follow these instructions. I like that Zooomr support OpenID authentication and that they are implementing the Flickr API for uploading photographs to their site. And, that they are giving me some FREE photo storage. Very cool.

Here's my first photo (required to get the FREE account):


Best of luck to the Zooomr folks.

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Final Thoughts on EclipseCon 2007

So, EclipseCon 2007 has wrapped up today. Some final thoughts.

  • The conference was well attended and organized. Near as I could tell, everything went off without a hitch. There were some problems accessing wireless from the Hyatt, but I was only out there once. The food and booze was good. And, yes, I packed on a couple more pounds with the ever-present cookies and brownies. Ugh. Conferences. Sheesh.

  • Eclipse used to be just an IDE for developing Java applications. Now, it's so much more. It's now a really, really good IDE for developing Java applications. It's also a platform for applications to run on top of (see Eclipse RCP) used by tools like Azureus and the Actuate BIRT Report Designer. Even more, the Eclipse Foundation brings together all the projects and makes sure that everything is legal and structures. When you say "Eclipse", you really are saying a mouthful.

  • The conference had the expected amount of talk focused on Eclipse and a variety of the extension work being done either directly in Eclipse, or as a plug-in, or on the platform.

  • All 3 of the Keynote talks were very good and entertaining. None of them focused on Eclipse or the Eclipse ecosystem, but they were all very good nonetheless.

  • Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised to see all the focus on OSGi at the conference (OSGi was formerly the Open Services Gateway initiative, and is now the OSGi Alliance). There were numerous really good sessions talking about the current progress of the OSGi Alliance and related projects. This stuff is finally maturing. Lots of Open Source technologies available now, like Equinox, Knopflerfish, Apache Felix, and Newton. There is even talk about getting Spring and OSGi working together with the Spring-OSGi project.

  • Looking downstream, however, it may make the most sense to combine OSGi, Spring, and SCA (the Service Component Architecture) to form the best-balanced service fabric. Paremus appears to be leading the charge here, and announced such a product, Infiniflow, at the conference. Very cool.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Scott Adams on Dilbert at EclipseCon 2007

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Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, did a great job with the EclipseCon 2007 Keynote talk on Tuesday.

While the talk was certainly entertaining, the thing I liked most about his talk was the focus on things like "failure", "timing","luck", and "persistence".

Scott pointed out that his "list of failures" got to 29 items before he stopped counting. Of those 29 failures, most would have been successes had they been shifted forward or backward in time by as little as 5 years. As I've said before, timing is everything. Startups are often too early to market. Lots of VC-backed startups do not have the patience to wait for the market to catch up to them. Patience.

In addition to his 29 failures, Scott did recognize 3 successes. And, certainly, a bit of luck played a part in the successes.

However, Scott's spin on "lucky" and "unlucky" people was interesting. Lucky people are those that expect success to happen to them and, as a result, they have a broader perspective of the world around them. Unlucky people do not expect success and often miss the signs that would otherwise drive them toward the right opportunity. Interesting. Don't forget to look around.

Finally, don't ever give up. Be persistent. Create a "product". Create lots of products. Something will eventually stick, perhaps with that component of "luck" playing its part when you least expect it.

Nothing in here about Eclipse or EclipseCon 2007. Still, very well done, informative and entertaining.

Be sure to take a look at the Dilbert Blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Open Source Business Models at EclipseCon 2007

Brent C. Williams, an independent Equity Research Analyst, gave a quick-paced ride through some Open Source Business Models and key activities from 2006 at EclipseCon 2007.

Some takeaways about a couple of big activities in 2006:

Case 1:

  • Oracle decides to "clone" Red Hat Enterprise Linux in October 2006, and to offer it for half the price of Red Hat. Stats: First 90 days, about 9,000 downloads of the product. Compare that to 1,000,000 people who downloaded Fedora Core 6 from Red Hat in its first 90 days.

  • Red Hat ignored the move by Oracle - no price reduction, no individual deal discounting. Red Hat has a premium brand. Software is not price-competitive at the market level.

  • Oracle announced that they will join the Eclipse board and donate a number of technologies. This is a good, smart move for them, however not big enough to overcome the blowback from the cloning experiment gone bad.

Case 2:

  • Novell - Microsoft licensing deal.

  • Novell recently reported $91M of invoicing for Linux subscriptions, up 650% over the previous year. However, $73M of that was from existing customers. Sounds like small change to me.

  • Novell thinks their problem is trying to catch up to Red Hat. Novell needs to build a brand identity for SuSe that is something other than "We're not Red Hat".

Brent's Prediction: If Microsoft sues anybody for patent infringement in 2007, that there will be an Open Source community response such that each of Microsoft's existing software patents would receive prior-art petitions filed against them with the patent office (and 70% of such petitions are accepted by the Patent office).

What do investors care about for 2007?

  • Simple. More revenue. Either "Economies of Scale" revenue (sell copies to more customers in existing markets) or through "Agility" revenue (open source companies are more agile and can branch out into adjacent markets easier).

  • Example: Actuate and their BIRT efforts have helped to boost their stock price.

Miscellaneous points:

  • Software Market is not a Commodity Market.

  • Open Source Software market is even more of a branded market than proprietary software (strong emotional preferences found in the Open Source community).

  • Interface Standards do not affect pricing. Implementation of the "standard" interfaces is what customers are buying.

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IP Issues - Mixing Commercial and Open Source Software at EclipseCon 2007

Panel of Palamida, OpenLogic, Black Duck Software, IBM, and BEA Open Source licensing experts at EclipseCon 2007.

Some takeaways:

  • Lots of organizations have no idea how to make the risk/reward analysis of when they should use Open Source Software and when they should not.

  • Some companies go so far as to have policies that forbid the use of Open Source Software within their products, or even block access to from the office. None of these tactics work to stop the developer from bringing the code in anyway.

  • Most organizations really have no idea how much Open Source Software they are using in their product, or which licenses those products are using.

  • TiVo, Linksys, and Progress Software/MySQL case identified as some big/well-know cases of companies using Open Source with some kind of legal action taken against them with respect to their use of Open Source Software, Check out for more information (at least within Germany).

  • Companies should have Open Source areas of expertise. An individual or group that understands these IP and licensing issues and can communicate with executive management, engineering,and the legal department effectively. Or, companies should use an Open Source consulting firm, like the Olliance Group.

  • The major Open Source communities have gotten really good at certifying the originality of the work that is contributed. Buyer must still beware, however. There is risk associated with any software that is developed through an open, community process.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

At EclipseCon 2007 - Look Me Up!

I'm at EclipseCon 2007 this week, in sunny Santa Clara, CA. I'm very much looking forward to the event. Lots of great sessions lined up and this year's conference looks to be bigger than ever.

The ecosystem that has developed around Eclipse is remarkable. Definitely shows the power of Open Source within the developer community (something I was lucky enough to contribute to with CVS).

If you'd like to chat/meet, please drop me an email.

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