GDT::FLOSS::Electronic Rambler::Archive::Year 2005

Google and Sun Microsystems Support OpenOffice
Google and Sun Microsystems provide strong support for OpenOffice.

[Extra] 2005 was a good year for Open Source and Business Week does an okay job pointing out some 2005 FLOSS highlights. { A Watershed for Open Source }

[28 December 2005, top]

ZNet Posts Interview With RMS (Richard M. Stallman)
FLOSS is a key enabler of social networking in the 21st century. It is always a learning experience with Stallman's speaks. Free Software as a Social Movement

[24 December 2005, top]

Sun Microsystems Does More FLOSS; GPLv3 Under Review
Jonathan Schwartz, President of Sun Microsystems, posted a blog entry about Sun's decision to get more serious about FLOSS. Sun Microsystems announced during late November 2005 that they were going to "combine Java Enterprise System into Solaris, and to deliver it all as free and open source software."
	"Betting against FOSS is like betting against gravity. 
	 And free software doesn't mean no revenue, it means 
	 no barriers to revenue. Just ask your carrier."
	 -- Jonathan Schwartz

What does Schwartz mean--"just ask your carrier?" Free Grows Revenue - Just Ask Your Carrier

[Extra] A major new version (#3) of the GNU GPL (General Public License) is under review. The GNU GPL has remained unmodified, at version level 2, since 1991. The GNU GPL defines Free Software. GPLv3 Process

[10 December 2005, top]

The Open Invention Network is Established
Just what we need... YAFLOSSO (Yet Another FLOSS Organization). The Open Invention Network makes sense and in this case we accept the need for YAFLOSSO. [Note: we learned about the OIN via ZDNet.]
   "A new organization hopes to eliminate one of the major 
    obstacles to adoption of open source technology: concern 
    over patent and royalty disputes over shared code. The 
    Open Invention Network (OIN), which includes IBM, Sony, 
    Royal Philips Electronics, and Linux distributors Red Hat 
    and Novell, will acquire and freely share patents that 
    organizers hope will encourage broader adoption of open 
    source tools, particularly Linux.  Any organization that 
    agrees not to assert its patents over those who have licenses 
    with OIN will be permitted to use OIN patents for free. The 
    business model for OIN represents a new arrangement in which 
    patents are shared to promote the underlying Linux technology." Press Release

[03 December 2005, top]

The Open Source World May Be In a Bubble-Stage
Typically the word "bubble" implies something good is about to turn bad (e.g. dot-com bubble, real estate bubble, etc.). It is hard to imagine that Open Source is at a bubble-stage in its history, but I agree that Open Source projects are doomed to fail without a strong and persistent community behind them.
   "For an open source business to work well, a start-up needs 
    a number of attributes that a closed-source software company 
    doesn't, executives said.  In particular, they have to combine 
    their pursuit of profit with active involvement in a vibrant 
    'community' of open source users, some of whom are not paying 
    customers. Not all open source companies are hitting the right 
    balance between commerce and community."

   "Too many of these companies [now forming] are being funded 
    without a community," said David Skok, a venture capitalist 
    at Matrix Partners. "If a community doesn't form and form 
    fast, then they're going to burn through their venture capital, 
    and they're going to be disasters." Is open source a bubble ready to burst?

[26 November 2005, top]

O'Reilly Publishes Open Sources 2.0
I have not gotten a copy of this book, but I am looking forward to reading it. It was refreshing to see then have dropped using the word revolution when talking about Free Software and Open Source. I like the term evolution much better. Open Sources 2.0 [The continuing evolution.]

[Extra] Speaking of O'Reilly... The BBC posted part one of a two part interview with Tim O'Reilly in which he speaks a lot about Free Software and Open Source. Tech guru O'Reilly mashes it up

[19 November 2005, top]

Oregon is an Open Source Leader
The state of Oregon has the potential to be a world leader in the world of computing FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software).

   "Governor Ted Kulongoski announced the contribution of 
    $350,000 by search technology leader Google Inc. to a 
    joint open source technology initiative of Oregon State 
    University and Portland State University.  With the grant, 
    the universities will collaborate to encourage open source 
    software and hardware development, develop academic curricula 
    and provide computing infrastructure to open source projects 
    worldwide.  The universities will also help provide a bridge 
    between Oregon's universities and Oregon's growing open 
    technology industry."

Google is coming to Arizona. Google will appreciate Crow being at ASU. TGen... Biodesign Institute at ASU... Bio5 at the UofA... Google. Google is a fan of FLOSS. In the 20th century, "father knew best." In the 21st century sometimes "Google knows best." The next era of computing is happening. Amazing discoveries by scientists all over the world will be enabled thanks to high-performance computing and 21st century Informatics.

Kudos to the state of Oregon and Google. Google in Oregon connects them to Torvalds and the ever increasingly critical Linux operating system. Governor Announces New Open Source Technology Initiative by Oregon Universities

[05 November 2005, top]

Sun Microsystems Using FLOSS To Enable The "Participation Age"
Scott McNealy is the CEO of Sun Microsystems. McNealy recently spoke at an EDUCAUSE and here are some quotes.
   "Barriers to education, whether cultural, economic, 
    or physical, are being broken down by the confluence 
    of education content and technology."

   "One such trend is the use of open-source software, 
    to make educational materials freely accessible to 
    everyone on the Internet." 

   "The emergence of communities that interact, collaborate 
    and share on a global scale is a hallmark of what we call 
    'The Participation Age'."

McNealy calls the "next wave" of computing the "participation age" and I agree with him. McNealy Keynotes at EDUCAUSE 2005

[Extra] Sun Microsystems announced it will "spin off the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) as a nonprofit organization serving the needs of the education community." { Global Education Learning Community }

[22 October 2005, top]

Some Question Massachusetts Switch To OpenDoc
As previously posted in the FLOSSER, the state of Massachusetts has announced they are going to start using OpenDocument; however, not everybody thinks this is a good idea. The following two quotes appear reasonable.
	"The main advantage to using Microsoft products in an 
	 office environment is that, in large measure, these 
	 products provide very reliable interoperability and 
	 rich functionality. Since most of our users are not 
	 IT experts, such interoperability and functionality 
	 are critical to the day to day operation of our offices."

	"We are unaware of any organizations with which we exchange 
	 documents that use products such as OpenOffice or StarOffice." Massachusetts Should Close Down OpenDocument

[08 October 2005, top]

FLOSS Usage From Brazil To Peru In South America
Brazil is a user of FLOSS and now it appears so is Peru. Peru's eastern border is adjacent to some of Brazil's western border. Peru's western border is a shoreline with the South Pacific Ocean. Peruvian congress approves law in favor of free software

[Extra] Brazil adopts open-source software [2 June 2005]

[01 October 2005, top]

License Simplification is Not Simple
One thing is for sure, simplifying the plethora of Free Software and Open Source licenses is not going to be simple.

[24 September 2005, top]

Open Standards Becoming Increasingly Important
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society is doing some great stuff. One part of their mission is to "explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development." The center is a "network of faculty, students, fellows, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and virtual architects working to identify and engage with the challenges and opportunities of cyberspace." The Berkman Center recently reported the following about open-standards.
   "Government officials from 13 countries have developed a report to the
    World Bank on economic growth, efficiency, and innovation in which they
    argue for the establishment of open technology standards."

It is important to note that "open standards" does not have anything to do with "open source." "Open standards" is a "set of standards, available to anyone, that allow various applications, whether proprietary or open source, to exchange information."

Adoption of open-standards will allow governments to "mandate technology choice, not software development models." Berkman Center for Internet and Society

[17 September 2005, top]

Massachusetts May Require OpenDoc Usage
The state of Massachusetts may start requiring all state documents to be compliant with the Open Document format rather than requiring proprietary software. The Open Document format is part of Open Office 2.0. The goal is to ensure records will "remain accessible far into the future, regardless of the comings and goings of various vendors and their products." Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy

[10 September 2005, top]

VA Software (and Augustine) In the News
If headlines were stories... two headlines, two different stories.
	VA Software posts gains (Tue 8:31pm)

	Market Pulse: Va Software quarterly loss widens
	MarketWatch (Tue 6:34pm) 

VA Software reported so-so quarterly results. Wall Street was not impressed, but LNUX shares were up 4.7% for the week during which the results were announced. If Wall Street had been impressed, LNUX shares would have probably experienced double-digit gains.

[Extra] VA Software co-founder, Larry Augustine is now CEO of a company named Medsphere. {CNET Linux entrepreneur tries again }

[03 September 2005, top]

Open Source as a Marketing Ploy
VA Software is a Open Source company, yet their popular SourceForge Enterprise Edition is closed-source. posted the following.
	"This is the latest twist in the evolution of the 
	 free and open source (FOSS) movement. What began 
	 as a revolution has now become just another marketing 
	 slogan. Startups are latching onto the hype around 
	 'open source' to gain interest from venture capitalists 
	 and earn street credibility with the FOSS community, but 
	 then proceed with a business model predicated on making 
	 money by selling closed source code." is correct stating that Open Source is a movement, but it was never a revolution. is also correct stating that Open Source has become a marketing slogan. Bottom-line: the business world has seen that money can be made in Open Source; therefore, it is only natural that it has become a popular buzzword. quotes Free Software founder Richard Stallman in their article about VA Software. RMS is always goods for a few good quotes.

	"Non-free software is always wrong. There is no excuse for 
	 trampling other people's freedom. Having shareholders who 
	 hope to make some money doesn't excuse doing something 
	 that is wrong." mentions that in time VA Software may create an Open Sourced version of SourceForge, but they will do so only if they feel it benefits their shareholders.

Stallman may be wrong when he says, "non-free software is always wrong." Has Open Source Become A Marketing Slogan?

[27 August 2005, top]

Open Source Risk Management and Lloyd's of London
Linux indemification is morphing into Open Source Risk Management (OSRM). Lloyd's of London is "close to offering independent insurance protection worldwide against potential IP litigation involving Linux and open source software." The OSRM, which is vendor independent, "will become Lloyd's sole US representative." According to OSRM, there are "15,000 patent issues in the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/Python (LAMP) stack."

It is not clear what is happening at the OSRM these days (mid-August 2005) because their latest press release on is dated 08 November 2004. Lloyd's taking on open source IP risk

[20 August 2005, top]

Open Source Tools Continue to Proliferate
Once again SpikeSource makes the technology news world.
   "Carnegie Mellon University, Intel, and SpikeSource are 
    developing a system to help IT departments determine 
    which open-source tools they should be adopting."

A strong collaboration: CMU, Intel, and SpikeSource.

   "Quite simply, there's too much choice, and too much uncertainty, 
    for IT managers to take risks on open-source applications they 
    don't know much about and that are constantly changing."

The proliferation of Open Source tools keeps going and going and going. Freedom of choice is good, but sometimes being free to choose from a "limited" number of choices is better.

   "The Business Readiness Ratings, for which information can be 
    found at, will give developers tools they can 
    use to tune their code, thus beefing up the weak spots in 
    open-source apps. 'Open-source developers more than anything 
    want to see their users using what they're writing,' Polese 
    says. 'This is a way to ensure that.'"

Kim Polese is a member of the GDT::DreamTeam. New Rating System Aims To Take Mystery Out Of Open-Source Tools

[06 August 2005, top]

Oregon Becoming an Open Source Leader
The state of Oregon is becoming a leader in the advancement of Open Source software. Last year the city of Beaverton opened the Open Technology Business Center and it currently is hosting four startups companies. Oregon is also home to the OSDL (Open Source Development Lab), which now has over "75 member companies and organizations around the world." { Oregon mounts an open-source push }

[30 July 2005, top]

Bill Joy Joins SpikeSource Board of Directors
Kudos to Kim Polese for getting Bill Joy to join the Board of Directors of privately-held SpikeSource. Joy is quoted saying: "It's evident that open source applications have progressed to the point they are ready for widespread enterprise adoption and that SpikeSource offers a suite of services that will help enterprises effectively and efficiently adopt and maintain open source software." Polese and Joy are both members of the GDT::DreamTeam. { Bill Joy Joins SpikeSource Board Of Directors }

[23 July 2005, top]

Open Source News from BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems, and IBM
BEA Systems, Inc. announced plans to "develop the industry's first J2EE application environment that is designed to fully support all major open source frameworks." The new BEA tools will be "designed to allow developers to write to one or more leading open source Java frameworks and then easily deploy their blended applications on BEA's high-performance application server." [J2EE is the Java 2 Enterprise Edition.]

[Extra] Sun Microsystems, Inc. said that it will "publish the source code of its software used as the foundation of Web services, such as online banking, in a bid to spur sales of its computer services and other offerings."

[Extra] From BEA Systems to Sun Microsystems to IBM, more and more large computer companies see the benefits behind creating and using open source software. { IBM Turns to Open Source Development }

[09 July 2005, top]

State and Local Governments Looking at FLOSS
Government Computer News posted an article on 17 June 2005 that start as follows.
   "State and local governments are giving more consideration 
    to use of open-source code as another way to help relieve 
    continuing budget pressures, according to market research 
    firm Input Inc."

Bottom-line: state and local government should not purchase any type of computer system without making sure they examine Open Source alternatives and solutions. If the proprietary system is the "best" buy, then buy it; otherwise, using FLOSS is often a good decision. State local governments warm to open source research firm finds

[Extra] EBay "launched an online forum for open-source developers interested in accessing source code for various tools and sample applications for adding EBay services to web applications." The EBay Community Codebase is "availalable at no charge to all members of the EBay Developers Program and the PayPal Developer Network." { EBay Launches Site For Open-Source Developers }

[25 June 2005, top]

VA Software Shareholders Want To See Profits
VA Software, the owner of the OSTG (Open Source Task Group) and, is under fire from shareholders to start making money. The tiny company continues to lose money and its stock remains stuck in the $1-$2 range (sometimes it becomes a penny stock falling below $1). Some shareholders are mad and as a result they have established a petition demanding VA Software to turn a profit. As of 11 June 2005, there were 10 signatures on the petition. The Unofficial Home Of "LNUX" Shareholders - And We Mean Business!

[11 June 2005, top]

Apache Web Server Continues to Gain In Popularity
The Apache Project continues to be one of the most successful Open Source projects. Accoring the May 2005 survey by Netcraft, the Apache web server software runs almost 70% of all websites. Microsoft is a distance second at 21%.

[30 May 2005, top]

SourceForge Exceeds 100,000 Open Source Projects® recently surpassed 100,000 hosted Open Source projects. As of 18 May 2005, the website had 1,074,830 registered users. VA Software issued a press release in which they indicated IBM, Google, Microsoft, NASA, and have recently started SourceForge-based Open Source projects. { }

[21 May 2005, top] Needs Contributors; UK Open Source Academy
ComputerWorld reports there are claims that is having problems with the "pace of development and adoption of new features." The posting also states development is "being slowed by a 'monolithic' code base and a developer community still largely controlled by Sun Microsystems Inc." Although I consider the "line of code" metric to be useless, an OpenOffice developer says the office suite totals 10 million lines of code. The developer also claims some of the code is almost 20 years old. [The 10 April 2005 FLOSSER posting was about problems with the Firefox development team.] { Lack of Developers Delays }

[Extra] The United Kingdom is forming Open Source Academy to support open source usage and development by the UK 'public sector.' { U.K.-funded initiative to push open source }

[23 April 2005, top]

Friendster Does Open Source
MitchG exposed us to Friendster a few years ago. The Internet enables group formation; it does not, however, ensure group success. Free Software and Open Source enables many to take advantage of the Internet in a never ending stream of ways and Friendster provides us with a currently true example. { Friendster Scales the Network with Open Source }

[16 April 2005, top]

Some Open-Source Contributors Go AWOL (or MIA)
One of the risks associated with many open-source projects is that they are "community" based and member participation can be inconsistent. For example, Zelmo Zeroman may be an unemployed programmer who joins an open-source project and becomes a contributor. Zelmo eventually gets a job and the time he allocated to the open-source project goes away with his contributions falling to zero.

The following are two quotes from a discussion concerning the Firefox open-source project.

	"Of the six people who can actually review in Firefox, 
	 four are AWOL, and one doesn't do a lot of reviews."

	"Discussion on the newsgroup focused on the fact 
	 that nobody was currently taking responsibility 
	 for the suite."

[10 April 2005, top]

The Novell Open Source Technology Center
Novell continues to become a strong participant in the Open Source movement. Novell has established the Novell Open Source Technology Center to "provide a launching pad for new ideas, products and solutions, in a state known for its contributions to technology." Novell has allocated 25,000 square feet of office space in Provo, Utah, to help "start-up and early stage open source software companies." { Open Source Technology Center }

[26 March 2005, top]

Google Initiates Some Open Source Projects
Google has started some open source projects. Google's FAQ states their initial FLOSS code is "targeted at professional software development engineers who work with multi-threaded templated C++ code or who want functional features in python." Google has released the code under the BSD 2.0 license. { Google Code}

[19 March 2005, top]

Michael Tiemann Takes Over OSI Leadership
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has announced that Michael Tiemann will become President and that its board will be expanded from 5 to 9 members. Tiemann is a computing guru given the following short biography.
	"Tiemann comes to the position of president with a strong 
	 technical background and experience with Open Source, having 
	 co-founded Cygnus Solutions, a provider of support for free 
	 and open source software. After Cygnus Solutions was acquired 
	 by Red Hat in 2000, Tiemann became Red Hats Chief Technical 
	 Officer. Last year, Tiemann became Red Hats first vice president 
	 of Open Source Affairs, a position he maintains today. His hacker 
	 credentials include having authored the original GNU C++ compiler, 
	 along with numerous ports of other GNU software to a variety of 
	 microprocessors and operating environments."

The OSI press release is not kidding when it states: "Licensing is perhaps the most important issue facing Open Source today." OSI Announces New Interim President

[12 March 2005, top]

IBM Continues To See the Value of Open Source
IBM is contributing more than 30 projects to [ has one million registered users and over 96,000 projects. ]

IBM is making its Life Science Identifier (LSID) Open Source. [The LSID helps "developers in healthcare build life sciences applications by automatically scanning networks for biologically significant data."]

IBM is also adding support for the PHP language which is popular tool for implementing web-based applications.

[05 March 2005, top]

GOCC: Government Open Code Collaborative
On 30 June 2004, the Government Open Code Collaborative (GOCC) was established with the task of "encouraging the sharing, at no cost, of computer code, developed for and by government entities where the redistribution of this code is allowed." During early 2005, code has been posted to the GOCC. { Software }

[26 February 2005, top]

There are Too Many FLOSS Licenses
One of the major problems facing FLOSS today is the reality that there are too many licenses. Using FLOSS "legally" almost requires having a lawyer or buying FLOSS exclusively from vendors who offer idemnification programs. reports "open-source software makers are concerned that a proliferation of licenses could hurt the spread of open source by creating compatibility problems and complicating potential sales." To date, there are approximately 50 approved licenses. It is too bad that the Open Source community allowed this to happen, but it is good that they are working hard to do something about it. GDT has proposed that the "CSC061: Primer on Licenses: Free Software, Open Source, Creative Commons" be added to the MCCCD course bank. { Open-Source Board Eyes Fewer Licenses } { Licensing}

[Extra] An Open-Ended Future for Open Source

[19 February 2005, top]

Software Freedom Law Center Established
The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has been established to "provide free legal advice to nonprofit developers of open source applications in an effort to anticipate and avoid future intellectual property disputes." The SFLC will be headed by Columbia University law proferssor Eben Moglen. The Open Source Development Lab has provided seed funding of $4 million. { Software Freedom Law Center}

[13 February 2005, top]

Working On Open-Source is Different
Quotes from the 2005 OSDL Enterprise Linux Summit.
   "A career path is not a motivation." 
   -- Linus Torvalds

   "In open source, you have to be a better communicator 
    and to be able to defend yourself." 
   -- Brian Behlendorf Open Source is Not a Career Path

[05 February 2005, top]

Open Source To Grow In 2005
"I think open source falls in the top 10 technologies and movements we are seeing overall," Benson said. "I don't think it falls in the top three, but it is gaining importance, and I think 2005 will be a critical year for open-source technologies in the entrepreneurial community." Investors See Open Source Software Potential

[29 January 2005, top]

Five Humorous Predictions for Open Source in 2005
Open Enterprise Trends (OET) states that SCO is an example of a bad trend -- "patent monsters," but they feel patents will be a non-issue in 2005. [IBM recently announced they are releasing 500 patents to the computing world.] OET also considered lots of Open Source to be "cheap and pretty good" and that this becomes a realistic option in 2005 -- it's not. The days of "pretty good" software must end. I like OET's idea that Slashdot start an "Open Source for Execs" section. { 5 Humorous Predictions for Open Source in 2005 }

[14 January 2005, top]

Richard Stallman Interview by
Richard Stallman (RMS) is the founder and leader of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. Stallman is a computing guru who is currently working on version three of the GPL (GNU General Public License). In a recent interview RMS is quoted saying the following about proprietary software: "Proprietary software is unethical, because it denies the user the basic freedom to control her own computer and to cooperate. The problem with proprietary software is that a specific developer controls its development--you, the user, do not." Just about everything that comes out of Stallman's mouth is controversial; however, Open Source would not exist if it weren't for Free Software and the computing world will always owe RMS a Thank You. { Freedom, Innovation and Convenience: The RMS Interview }

[07 January 2005, top]

Welcome to Year 2005
Happy New Year! welcome to 2005. The 2004 FLOSS E-Rambler has been archived.

[01 January 2005, top]

Author: Gerald D. Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:37 MST

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