February 2008 Archives
Scoble visited MySpace this week and reports on his trip. I am not a MySpace fan I use it just enough to understand how it works and occasionally to find old friends but I don't rely on it like I do some other social networking sites. I was impressed by their philosophy though.
Last week the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) put out a legal primer for free and open source software issues. The thirty seven page document is a nice reference for someone who wants to get up to speed on the legal pitfalls and nuances of open source software. For those not familiar with the Software Freedom Law Center they were founded in 2005 to provide legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software.
I have been watching the Linux laptop market for a while now. I used Linux on a Dell for over six years and was reasonably happy until I discovered EVDO. There simply wasn't good support for the cards so I switched to Mac OS X.
One thing's for sure: the announcement of the FOSSology and FOSSbazaar projects has certainly done a lot to stir up the niche market of open source search/governance firms that are out there. In the last couple of weeks, I have gotten a real education in who's doing what in this surprisingly competitive field.
Let's recap: in the beginning, there was Black Duck, a company dedicated to providing information and services to assist company with license (open or otherwise) management. And it was good. About a year later, Palamida came along and touted the same services. And there was competition.
But it's hasn't stayed with just two companies. This arena has grown, and HP and partners' FOSSology entry has only served to highlight who's who and who's doing what.
The world of technology journalism is a dangerous, seamy place, full of threats and malice. Everywhere you turn, a new danger awaits: a dangling participle, a misquoted subject, and the ever-present threat of your competition.
Sure, a bunch of middle-aged men and women might not seem dangerous, but the media community still speaks in whispers when they recall the LinuxWorld Press Room Rumble of 2005. Vaughan-Nichols still won't talk about it, though he certainly dealt enough pain that day with his reporter's notebook.
So it was with great relief when I heard that one of us was getting out, freeing himself to enter the much saner world of commercial-community Linux relations. Because we know nothing controversial ever happens in a job like that.
When Palamida was first founded in 2003, their business model seemed rather... familiar.
After all, it had only been a year since another IP license management service, Black Duck, had been created with the goal of helping companies identify open source software in a customer's organization and then provide resources to allow customer's to manage the complexities of license management for open and proprietary licenses. At the time, I must admit, Palamida seemed like a bit of an also-ran.
Now, five years later, Palamida is still going strong... albeit under a cloud of increasing concern from the open source community.
On the Open Sources blog, Savio Rodrigues goes to great lengths to basically say "It's proprietary Open Source! Not that there's anything wrong with that..." Savio's point is to define as "proprietary open source" when you cannot post your modifications upstream into the canonical project. He uses the following example to illustrate his point...
Is 2008 going to be the Year of the Acquisition? Activity in 2007 was on the rise but now things seem to be at full speed.