Thursday, June 14, 2007

Visible Source Software

I spent the last three days at Gartner's Application Architecture, Development, and Integration (AADI) Summit in Nashville. I had attended the AIWS conference in December and many of the themes were similar but there was some new information and predictions made that was great to hear.

I also had a chance to talk with several analysts, one of which, Mark Driver, has open source software as one of his focus areas. Something we talked about and he subsequently presented on is that many companies are positioning themselves as building open source software but that it isn't always the case that it is really open source. In fact, he says that Gartner will be changing their identification of some from open source to something else. This is because companies are using open source licenses that aren't truly open, either through not being able to use and extend the code or not being able to contribute back in any way.

Mark liked to think of this as accessible source software (doesn't result in a good acronym, although perhaps appropriate) and I suggested we talk about this kind of software as visible source software. In his presentation he talked about this as gated source software.

I like visible source as I think it properly distinguishes between those companies that are truly open, have a community, and opportunity for "outsiders" to join the community and contribute, and those that simply make their source available and try to benefit from the open source label but don't really allow for anyone to directly participate or become a contributor or committer. For all intents and purposes, the software is simply "visible" to others.

At Sun, we clearly believe in true open source software and this is evidenced by the contributors and committers in Project Open ESB. There are 7 companies listed as Community Partners, many of which are building components for the platform and several of those in open source with commit rights to the project, plus a growing number of individuals with commit rights that are building and contributing to components being developed in the project and community.

If you are interested in joining a truly open source community, come join Project Open ESB.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

2016 Olympics

I was reading the Track and Field News website and saw a link to an article about whether the US should nominate Chicago or Los Angeles as the host city for the 2016 Olympics.

Now I wasn't expected an unbiased and rational story since it is in a Midwest newspaper, but the support for Chicago to be the host isn't even close and frankly isn't that strong. And not that I'm terribly unbiased either, but there are many reason Los Angeles would make a much better host city:

  • Successfully hosting the games twice before with the 1984 games perhaps the most successful and model for future games since.

  • Absence of heat and humidity; this is an athletic event after all. And to the rebuttal that the smog will kill the athletes, smog levels are way down from 20 years ago when they weren't nearly as bad as expected for the 1984 games.

  • If you are concerned with the "experience", how can you beat sandy beaches and the Pacific Ocean?

  • And as far as sports history goes, I don't even know why the article tried to justify Chicago beating Los Angeles in this regard. Just to name a few:

    • The aforementioned Olympic games, including Carl Lewis' 4 golds in 1984.

    • The Lakers 9 championships spanning many years and different superstars from Wilt to Kareem to Magic to Shaq to Kobe and more.

    • The Dodgers 5 World Series including 1988 with Gibson's memorable home run. And many stars from Koufax to Fernando to Hershiser and more.

    • The Angels of all teams winning the World Series in 2002.

    • The dynasty that is UCLA with basketball during the Wooden era and beyond (11 championships and 2 straight trips to the final 4 the last 2 years) but across all sports with more national championships than any other NCAA institution with 99.

    • The history of USC football and 7 Heisman trophy award winners from the school.

And when it comes right down to it, who really thinks the Cubs are going to win the World Series by 2016? :)

In the end, the right choice for the USOC would be to submit Los Angeles as the candidate, but the right choice isn't always made.

Routers in Space

Since Infoworld has gone online only, I was reading their site and one of the headlines was about putting routers in space. It certainly makes sense as a way to cut down on the traffic, but it makes one think, when will we ultimately put servers in space too? Wouldn't that cut down the traffic and improve performance even more?

It probably isn't going to happen, or at least be widespread, in the next couple of years but I don't doubt it will happen. Who will be the first Space Web/App Hosting Provider (SWAHP)?