I just want to jot down a few comments here about an open-ed piece by Glyn Moody at the H-online: Why Making Money from Free Software Matters. It is a very good summary of the motivations I had in writing my book Open Life: The Philosophy of Open Source and why I have since also strived to work towards making businesses benefit from Open Source models, and vice versa, making Open Source benefit from the businesses.
Last week I finally uploaded to Drupal.org the Vineyard theme - ie the theme I created and use for openlife.cc. Releasing the theme as open source is something I always planned of doing, but never really got round to it. I'm especially proud of the fact the theme looks different than most Drupal themes I've seen, so I hope others can use this as a basis for creating nice sites.
Well, for Matt Asay, I should start by congratulating you for the new job and nice title! (Also, we learn some intelligence from Matt's blog: apparently Canonical is already close to the size of MySQL AB at the time of the Sun acquisition.)
Usually we are told to "ignore the trolls" and all that. The blogosphere unfortunately seems to be full of commentators who like to have share their opinion - even while they are entirely clueless. Sometimes, like the comments on Slashdot, it is ok and considered part of the entertainment. Sometimes it is harmless, because nobody reads that blog. And sometimes, it is just unacceptable:
Last week Red Hat announced what seems to be a significant effort to bring open source thinking into non-technical areas of life and society. This was very interesting to me, as it is a topic I have also put much thought to in my book. While the welcome announcement is dated last week, it seems the sight has been pre-seeded with posts from different Red Hat employees so that it already looks like an active community site.
One post I stumbled upon is written by Red Hat's Pam Chestek, titled Letting Go:
When I was younger and had lots of free time, I used to do video editing as a hobby. At that time I developed a rule that is true for many projects in general (it was also true for writing a book some years later). The rule is: When you think you are 90% done, you are only 50% done. With video-editing, this meant that when the video was more or less ready, you are still 50% away from the final goal of actually having a master copy on tape. The latter 50% would be spent on checking ending credits, watching through the video a couple of times, and in those time, rendering even simplest of effects. Using a Windows PC for video editing was in those times a shaky effort in itself, so even when mastering you had to sit there and watch through the whole tape to make sure there were no glitches.
Producing a MariaDB release has been a similar process. In our company meeting in August we were discussing "final steps" to produce a final Beta, then Release Candidate, then production release. As I blogged then, the progress has been documented on a daily basis on the askmonty.org wiki.
As mentioned previously, Monty Widenius is starting his new company based on some interesting premises. With Zak Greant they have co-authored a pamflet where they outline a blueprint for Open Source companies. In many ways this could be considered the "Dogme 95" of Open Source businesses:-)