Mixed signals in IT’s great war over IP

Recent news that Microsoft and Barnes & Noble agreed to partner on the Nook e-reader line rather than keep fighting over intellectual property suggests the prospect of more settlement and fewer IP suits in the industry. However, the deal further obscures the blurry IP and patent landscape currently impacting both enterprise IT and consumer technology.

It is good to see settlement — something I’ve been calling for, while also warning against patent and IP aggression. However, this settlment comes from the one conflict in this ongoing war that was actually shedding some light on the matter, rather than further complicating it.

See the full article at TechNewsWorld.

451 CAOS Links 2011.10.25

Microsoft: “more than half your Android devices are belong to us”. And more

# Microsoft claimed that more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio following its agreement with Compal Electronics.

# Hadapt expanded its board of directors and confirmed its $9.5m series A funding round.

# Appcelerator entered into an agreement to acquire the Particle Code mobile gaming and HTML5 development platform.

# Jaspersoft and IBM are working together to combine InfoSphere BigInsights with Jaspersoft’s full BI suite.

# Karmasphere announced its new Hadoop Virtual Appliance for IBM InfoSphere BigInsights.

# Neo Technology launched Spring Data Neo4j 2.0.

# Opscode extended Chef, Hosted Chef and Private Chef to provide infrastructure automation in Windows environments.

# Sourcefire announced plans to support Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

# Percona added support for MySQL Cluster.

# Avere Systems partnered with Nexenta Systems to combine Avere’s FXT Series of appliances and Nexenta’s NexentaStor open source ZFS technology.

# The Qt project is now up and running.

# Zed A Shaw explained why he has licensed Lamson under the GPL.

451 CAOS Links 2011.03.22

Paranoid Android. Canonical and Gnome. A new OSI. And more.

Paranoid Android
If you are interested in the potential violation of the GPL by the Android kernel you have probably already immersed yourself in the numerous blog posts published on the topic. If not, start with Sean Hogle’s analysis or Bradley M Kuhn’s overview of the original allegations and work backwards from there, not forgetting a detour for the obligatory Microsoft connection. Linus Torvalds said claim “seems totally bogus”. In the meantime, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec for patent infringement by their Android devices.

On the relationship between Canonical and Gnome
Similarly, if you already have an interest in the relationship between Canonical and the Gnome community you will probably have already read the numerous posts written on the subject in the past week. If not Dave Neary’s Lessons Learned is a good place to start, while Mark Shuttelworth’s response is also worth a read, as is his earlier post. If you are *really* interested in the relationship between Canonical and Gnome, look no further than Jeff Waugh’s series of posts on the subject.

A new Open Source Initiative
The Open Source Initiative confirmed its new board appointments and announced plans to move to a representative model that will enable open source communities to become members.

…and relax
Couchbase announced the general availability of Couchbase Server, and the formation of the Couchbase board of advisers, while J Chris Anderson outlined the details of the new release.

Best of the rest
# The Centre for Technology Policy Research published a review of the UK government’s track record when it comes to open source and open standards-related policies.

# As the Drizzle fork of MySQL reached general availability Brian Aker outlined the drivers behind its development and the technical details.

# The Qt team responded to the reporting of the sale of the commercial Qt business from Nokia to Digia.

# JasperSoft reported 50% growth in year-over-year sales, and a 30% increase in average customer contract size.

# Revolution Analytics announced a partnership with IBM Netezza.

# Pentaho announced the worldwide general availability of Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition 3.8.

# Zenoss introduced Zenoss Datacenter Insight, providing analytics on physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT resources.

# 10gen released version 1.8 of its document database, including support for journaling and incremental MapReduce.

# Oracle released an update to MySQL Enterprise Edition, including integration with MyOracle support.

# Red Hat boasted of independent recognition of the strength of its patent portfolio, while it emerged that the company previously paid $4.2m to settle a patent infringement claim.

# Karmasphere and Canonical announced a partnership to support Karmasphere’s Hadoop-related products on Ubuntu.

# The Linux Foundation announced the formation of the MeeGo Smart TV Working Group.

# Amazon is launching an app store for Android applications.

# The results of the 2011 Eclipse board election.

# OpenERP launched its Apps library for open source business apps.

# The Eclipse Foundation launched the open beta of OrionHub.

# The Alembic Foundation was formed to create open source data sharing and management technologies for individuals.

# Juniper Networks joined the Eclipse Foundation.

# The 2011 Future of Open Source Survey, from North Bridge Venture Partners, The 451 Group and Computerworld is now live.

# Rhomobile launched RhoHub 3.0.

# Gluster joined the OpenStack community.

# Sirius launched 24×7 open source support

# eXo introduced eXo Platform 3.5 and launched eXo Cloud IDE.

# Cloud.com released a new version of CloudStack, its open source cloud computing platform.

# Media training will be available for developers at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

# InfoQ asked, What is the future of Apache Harmony?

# Richard Stallman said something mildly controversial about cell phones.

451 CAOS Links 2011.02.04

The DOJ asks for more detail on Novell/CPTN deal. OpenStack releases Bexar. and more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca, and daily at Paper.li/caostheory
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# The DOJ asked Novell and CPTN for more information regarding the proposed patent sale.

# OpenStack announced the ‘Bexar’ code release and new members including Canonical and Cisco.

# Actuate reported $7.3m of BIRT-related business in Q4, up 12%, and $21.2m in FY2010, up 16%.

# Red Hat is among a number of vendors asking the U.S. Supreme Court to amend patent litigation rules.

# Cloudera secured a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel.

# Lucid Imagination claimed 150 customers following doubled sales growth in 2010.

# Simon Phipps rated the new proposed OpenJDK governance against his open-by-rule benchmark.

# MADlib is a new open source library for in-database analytics available with EMC Greenplum CE.

# Simon Phipps assessed the impact of copyright ownership on software procurement negotiations.

# Cloudera and Quest Software announced the availability of OraOop 1.1 and OraHive 1.0.

# Convirture and Eucalyptus are partnering to integrate ConVirt 2.0 Enterprise with Eucalyptus open source and EE.

# Canonical announced the US availability of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on Dell PowerEdge C2100 and C6100 servers.

# eBay launched a new open source projects page and released the Turmeric SOA development platform.

# Sauce Labs introduced Selenium 2 support as part of its cloud application testing service.

# Enea joined the Linux Foundation and formed a new partnership with Timesys.

# Sonatype CEO Wayne Jackson said the company remains committed to Hudson.

# The eZ Publish content management system is now available as SaaS via Granite Horizon.

451 CAOS Links 2011.01.04

Red Hat Q3 results. OSI calls for investigation of Novell patent sale. MPL 2.0. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca, and daily at Paper.li/caostheory
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Red Hat reported third quarter revenue of $236m, up 21% year on year, and net income of $26m, compared to $16.4m a year ago.

# The Open Source Initiative asked the German Federal Cartel Office to investigate the sale of Novell’s patents to CPTN.

# The Mozilla Foundation began beta testing version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License.

# OpenSUSE.org published a Q&A with Jeff Hawn, chairman and CEO of Attachmate by Jos Poortvliet, openSUSE Community Manager at Novell.

# NetworkWorld reported that most Android tablets fail at GPL compliance.

# Monty Program released the first public draft of its MariaDB trademark policy.

# Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly ordered government agencies to move to open source software by 2015.

# WANdisco announced plans to overhaul the Subversion project, prompting a slap on the wrists from the Apache Software Foundation

# Both The Document Foundation and KDE joined the Open Invention Network.

# Oracle released version 4,0 of its Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization software.

# Dries Buytaert shared his perspective on the year gone by for both Drupal, and Acquia. The latter grew by more than 400% and went from 35 to 80 full-time employees.

# Digium announced that Switchvox, its Asterisk-based VoIP unified communications offering for small- to mid-sized businesses, grew more than 30% in 2010.

# CollabNet updated its CollabNet Lab Management cloud-based server provisioning and profile management offering to version 2.3.

# Erwin Tenhumberg published an overview of open source at SAP in 2010.

# Ingres claimed “substantial year on year growth” in 2010.

# The Outercurve Foundation accepted the ConferenceXP project into its Research Accelerators Gallery.

# Canonical and the Ubuntu project released the Ubuntu Font Family.

451 CAOS Links 2010.09.21

Oracle launches Unbreakable Kernel, updates MySQL and Java plans. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca, and daily at Paper.li/caostheory
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Oracle launched its Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

# Oracle announced the release candidate of MySQL 5.5.

# Oracle outlined its plans for Java platform. JavaWorld has the details.

# Novell and SAP have collaborated on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications.

# Mozilla joined the Open Invention Network as a licensee.

# PostgreSQL 9.0 has been released.

# Matt Asay noted that Novell’s patents are complicating its sale.

# Patrick Backman provided some insight into the founding of SkySQL.

# Mageia launched a new Linux distribution, forked from Mandriva.

# Mandriva maintained it is alive and well, and promised an autonomous Mandriva community.

# eXo launched eXo Platform 3.0 and partnered with JasperSoft.

# Ian Skerret published his JavaOne wish list. http://bit.ly/ackLn0

# The H reported that the Swiss Canton of Solothurn is abandoning Linux.

# Scality announced plans to open-source the Software Development Kit of its RING technology.

# Tasktop and Polarion announced a partnership to deliver Eclipse integration as part of an integrated ALM Suite.

# Red Hat is reportedly looking to expand its HQ with a move outside NC.

451 CAOS Links 2010.08.17

Google responds to Oracle’s patent claims. So does everyone else. ClosedSolaris. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

Oracle versus Google
# Google called Oracle’s patent suit a baseless, attack on the open-source Java community.

# James Gosling offered some historical context for Oracle’s patent claims against Google.

# Google/Oracle analysis from Stephen O’Grady Carlo Daffara and Andy Updegrove.

# The 451 perspective: Oracle legal move evokes many questions and Google vs Oracle ≠ open vs closed, or good vs evil.

# Matt Asay argued that Oracle vs Google is about free markets, not free software.

ClosedSolaris
# Computerworld reported: Oracle signals an end to OpenSolaris.

# Garrett D’Amore explained why Oracle may be forcing Illumos to “fork” OpenSolaris.

The best of the rest
# Thoughts on corporate contributions to OSS from Matt Asay and Mike Loukides.

# xTuple introduced xTuple Connect, providing EDI and real-time connectivity to its open source ERP software.

# The Open Invention Network and Arizona State University have started a mobile device identity management research program.

# Red Hat published an overview of its cloud architecture.

# Oracle and Novell filed to block SCO’s attempts to sell its assets in bankruptcy court.

# LogLogic announced plans to open source its new transport and store protocol.

Google vs Oracle ≠ open vs closed, or good vs evil

If there was one thing that could be guaranteed about Google’s response to Oracle’s patent lawsuit, it was that the company would paint the claims as an attack on the open source community.

Ever since SCO launched its ham-fisted legal claims about Linux the response of any OSS-related vendor targeted by legal claims has been to encourage open source developers, users and advocates to leap to its defence.

Google duly obliged with the statement: “We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit. The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place.”

In truth though it needn’t have bothered – the troops were already deployed and the legal claims being positioned as an attack on the whole open source community.

The idea that Oracle is out to get open source is understandable given that it is difficult to understand what it hopes to gain by its actions and also since it has also signalled its disinterest in OpenSolaris (to offend one community may be considered misfortunate, to offend two appears deliberate).

Putting aside for a moment the question of what Oracle hopes to gain from its patent claims against Google (even Stephen O’Grady in his excellent analysis stops short of attempting to answer that question) the issue I want to address is whether Oracle should now be seen as anti-open source.

I believe this theory is flawed. Firstly, because it assumes the open source community is a single, sentient being. As Matt Asay notes: “There is no Santa Claus. No Easter Bunny. And no such thing as an open-source community separate and distinct from the profit-driven free market that drives software development, generally.”

Secondly, because it assumes an emotional relationship between Oracle and open source that is equally non-existent.

As Simon Phipps has explained, corporations are reptiles that react instinctively to survive and thrive. Google’s call-to-arms of the Java open source community can be seen in the same light, especially since Google’s prior relationship with the Java community in relation to Android has been somewhat tenuous (rather than repeat what has been written elsewhere I recommend reading Carlo Daffara for the details).

Carlo also notes that Oracle has always been an opportunistic user of open source, a statement that is no more negative than saying the company acts like a reptile. All software vendors are opportunistic in their engagement with open source – choosing the projects and contributions, and the strategies for engagement, that will give them the most benefit.

As Glyn Moody notes, “there seems little doubt that Google was being quite opportunist in the way that it implemented Android, guessing that Sun wouldn’t complain about Google’s cheeky approach of writing its own “clean room” “Dalvik” virtual machine… rather than paying to use the official one.”

And let’s not forget that Google’s approach to using open source resulted, at least in part, to the creation of a whole new license, one that the company has actively discouraged.

The statement by Oracle’s chief corporate architect Edward Screven, that “Oracle doesn’t really have an open source-specific strategy” must be understood in the context of this opportunism. The company’s engagement with open source is tactical, and changes on a case-by-case basis. It is wrong, therefore, to expect continuity in Oracle’s approach to different open source projects.

Of course, some contributions are more beneficial to a project’s wider community than others and some companies will go out of their way to benefit all participants (although again it must be noted that the company stands to benefit from doing so). And so it is that Oracle’s opportunistic approach to open source stands in direct contrast to Sun’s strategic attempts to re-engage the developer community through open source.

Certainly the legal claim against Google, followed swiftly by the abandonment of OpenSolaris, does not look good. But my sense, as Andy Updegrove suggests, is that Oracle is simply “making sure that it maximizes the return for it’s stockholders on every asset on a case by case basis”.

I’m not trying to excuse Oracle’s actions with regards to either Java or OpenSolaris, but I think each must be considered separately. [update – to clarify] Any Oracle related open source project should be approached with caution but… while we should all be mindful of equally cautious about being encouraged to see the patent claims as a matter of good versus evil or open versus closed.

This is a legal matter between two corporations both of which are opportunistic in their approaches to open source engagement (unless it suits them to be otherwise).

In other words, as Matt Asay explains: “This isn’t about open source for Oracle, really. Nor is it about open source for Google, however much it may want to publicly posture as such.”

451 CAOS Links 2010.07.13

More core. Open source mapping. Sugar 6. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

More core: the open core debate continues (chronologically)
# Groklaw: Open Core and the OSI
# Giuseppe Maxia: Open to the core – The pragmatic freedom
# Henrik Ingo: If you’re selling to your community… you’ve got it backwards.
# Mark Radcliffe: Open Core Debate: Avoiding the Law of Unintended Consequences
# Savio Rodriques: Afraid of open core lock-in? Should you be?
# Carlo Dafarra: An on-vacation post on Open core
# Henrik Ingo: So if I don’t call myself ‘open source vendor’, then everything is fine? (yes)
# Jay Lyman: Do customers want open core?
# Miriam Tuerk: Open Core is Critical to the Future Success of Open Source
# Stephen Walli: Software Freedom, Open Source Software, and Jane Jacobs.

Open source mapping
# MapQuest announced plans to embrace open-source mapping.

# ESRI released an open source add-on for ArcGIS 10 allowing users to contribute data to OpenStreetMap.

# ESRI is also launching Linux-based ArcGIS Server 10 systems via a partnership with Cutting Edge Networked Storage.

The best of the rest
# SugarCRM announced the launch of Sugar 6, with a focus on ease of use, flexibility and openness.

# Monty Widenius is appealing against the EC’s decision to clear Oracle’s acquisition of Sun.

# The SCO Group appealed. Again.

# An interview with Consona’s CEO about Compiere.

# Jorg Janke discussed how Compiere’s approach to development and licensing impacted its community contributions.

# IBM and the EU partnered on open source projects designed to make government run more smoothly.

# OpenGamma emerged from stealth mode.

# The H reported that the OpenSolaris governing board is threatening dissolution.

# Alfresco Enterprise Edition 3.3 is now certified on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition.

# Widespread adoption of open source and expanding M&A activity continued to drive growth for Black Duck.

# Calpont updated its InfiniDB Enterprise Edition analytic database to version 1.5.

# An interview with the CIO of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture on attitudes to and adoption of OSS.

# MuleSoft announced the availability of Tcat Server 6 R3, based on Apache Tomcat.

# Cycle Computing’s CycleCloud now supports access to Amazon EC2’s Cluster Compute Instances.

# Alfresco launched the Alfresco Community Committer Program.

# Todd Lipcon discussed Cloudera’s support for HBase.

# A comparison of Apache Cassandra and Apache HBase database projects.

# Nagios Enterprises launched Nagios XI.

# nSyte Software launched nQuire, a SaaS tool for auditing for inadvertent use of open source software.

# Cloud Linux announced SecureLVE, an extension of its Lightweight Virtual Environment for shared hosting servers.

# Worth a read in a “man bites dog” type way: Why Open Source Stalls Innovation and Patents Advance It

451 CAOS Links 2010.05.11

Linagora explores Mandriva acquisition. OpenOffice.org extensions. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Following reports that Mandriva is up for sale, Linagora confirmed that it is investigating an acquisition of the assets of the Linux distributor.

# The OpenOffice.org Community Council responded to the FSF’s free software extension listing.

# New Relic delivered a version of its performance management software for Apache Solr.

# Dries Buytaert compared the business models and commercial ecosystems of Joomla and Drupal.

# Tibco introduced Business Studio, a business process development tool, based on Eclipse.

# “Microsoft’s Got Nothin’” An analysis of the company’s patent strategy against Linux and OSS.

# Matt Asay explained why fragmenting Linux is not the way to beat Apple.

# Has Motorola acquired Azingo?

# Simon Phipps is joining ForgeRock as chief strategy officer.

# Federal Computer Week reported on how open source is NASA’s next frontier.

# Two UC Berkeley professors have proposed the Defensive Patent License to protect OSS from patent threats.

Tilting at Windows. Why rejecting Microsoft’s OSS contributions is counter-productive

Or: “Don’t be a Cnut.”

Yesterday I had a look at the response of the Joomla! community to the news that Microsoft had signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement and was contributing code to the content management project.

You probably won’t be surprised to find that some people don’t like the idea. The speed and vehemence of their rejection of Microsoft’s involvement in the project is entirely predictable, but none the less depressing for that.

The usual complaints were rolled out:

  • you can’t trust Microsoft
  • when Microsoft contributes a major product to open source, we’ll listen
  • Microsoft is only doing this to sell more proprietary software
  • .
    Taking those in reverse order: yes Microsoft is doing this to encourage Joomla developers to use Windows. Just as IBM supports Linux to sell more servers etc etc. As Linus Torvalds put it: “Of course they picked an area that helps them. That’s the point of open source – the ability to make the code better for your particular needs.”

    And no, Microsoft hasn’t released a major product as open source. Neither had IBM when it started supporting Apache. Holding Microsoft to a different set of expectations is being deliberately difficult – discriminatory in fact.

    But doesn’t Microsoft deserve to be discriminated against? Certainly there are good reasons to mistrust Microsoft, but in this instance Microsoft has signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement, which means it is contributing directly to the Joomla! project using the project’s chosen license (the GPL) and procedures. It didn’t have to do this. The Microsoft of old would sooner have forked the project – or more likely created a competing product based on .NET.

    Perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to praise Microsoft for simply playing by the rules – but equally we should not discriminate against the company for doing so either. There is talk in the comments to the Joomla! announcement of forking the project without Microsoft’s code. To me that attitude contradicts the spirit – although not the precise wording – of the Open Source Definition (No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups). Back to Linus Torvalds: “I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.”

    Last year in a speech at the Open World Forum in Paris I made reference to King Cnut, the Viking King who, legend has it, commanded the tide to halt in order to prove to his followers that the power of kings is worthless compared to those of God (or nature).

    I discussed the fact that over the years it has been easy to see Microsoft as King Cnut without the self-awareness – attempting to hold back the open source waves, while these days it is a description that more accurately applies to certain free and open source software advocates – attempting to hold back the waves of contributions from proprietary software vendors.

    That is their right of course, but it also seems to me that by doing so they are not only acting in a discriminatory manner but also in a counter-productive one.

    Those railing against Microsoft contributing code to open source projects are tilting at windmills. The danger Microsoft poses to open source lies not in the code but in the patents. As I noted in my speech last year, the future battles will not be fought around open source licensing, but patents, open standards, open access and open government.

    Microsoft has been making regular appearances on our CAOS Links posts in recent weeks. On the positive side, the company has taken steps forward as it released the source code of the .NET Framework Client Libraries for OData under the Apache 2.0 license, released its StyleCop source code style and consistency tool as open source, using the MS-PL, signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement, and participated at DrupalCon.

    On the negative side it also took a step backwards when it signed a patent agreement with HTC covering HTC’s mobile phones running Android.

    To be more specific it wasn’t necessarily the signing of the patent deal that was a negative step (we’ll leave the more general discussion of software patents to another post) but the fact that the company once again chose to highlight the fact that the patent agreement related to open source software without providing any details.

    Just as we saw in the announcement of a previous agreement with Amazon, open source software takes center stage, and yet we have no way of knowing if the focus placed on open source software in the announcement is proportionate to the focus placed on open source software in the agreement.

    This is clearly potentially damaging for open source, but it is also potentially damaging for Microsoft as it tries to encourage more open source developers and users to move to its platforms. And make no mistake, Microsoft is aware that it needs more open source developers to move to its platforms if they are to continue to be seen as platforms for innovation.

    That is why we noted in July last year that “in order to convince those FOSS advocates that it is serious about co-existence, Microsoft needs to find a way to publicly communicate details about those 200+ patents in such a way that is not seen as a threat and would enable open source developers to license, work around, or challenge them.”

    We also stated that we believed that the company was aware of this. More accurately, perhaps, we should have stated that we believed a part of the company was aware of it. Another part is busy signing patent licensing deals and shouting about how they relate to open source.

    If Microsoft wants to be taken seriously by open source supporters it needs to find a way to rationalize these two parts of its business. At the same time however, if open source supporters want to defeat the biggest threat Microsoft poses to open source, they need to encourage, rather than attack, when it does do the right thing.

    451 CAOS Links 2010.04.09

    Perspectives on the IBM patent hoo-ha. Karmasphere lands funding. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    # IBM denied breaking its open source patent promise, claimed TurboHercules a member of organizations founded and funded by Microsoft, other competitors. Perspectives on the IBM patent hoo-ha: Florian Mueller, Simon Phipps, Matt Asay, Jim Zemlin, Eric Raymond.

    # Oracle will outline its strategy for MySQL at The O’Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo. As you might expect/hope.

    # Karmasphere, which offers a graphical development environment for Hadoop, raised $5m Series A funding.

    # GroundWork Open Source and Eucalyptus Systems confirmed their cloud monitoring partnership.

    # James Dixon asked “Nuxeo: Open Core or Not?” http://bit.ly/c0NgCM

    # The CodePlex Foundation launched the Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform (CoApp) project.

    # Mandriva announced that its board of directors has named Arnaud Laprévote as CEO.

    # NASA outlined the OSS aspects of its Open Government Plan. A full list of US Open Government Plans is available here.

    # Versant expanded the coverage of its db4o Opensource Compatibility License.

    # Parallels joined the Linux Foundation.

    451 CAOS Links 2009.10.06

    Patents. M&A. Adoption. Business strategies. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    This bumper edition of 451 CAOS Links is brought to you courtesy of the Open World Forum’s temperamental wireless connection.

    Patents
    # Red Hat urged the Supreme Court to to make clear that it excludes software from patentability, while the SFLC and the FSF also filed briefs with the US Supreme Court arguing against software patents.

    Investment and M&A
    # The WSJ reported that EC document suggests Oracle intends to keep MySQL to compete against Microsoft, prompting Matt Asay to report that Oracle’s interest in MySQL has been misread.

    # The OW2 Consortium and the Open Solutions Alliance have merged.

    # Pentaho acquired LucidEra’s Clearview, will be packaged as Pentaho Analyzer Enterprise Edition, while Julian Hyde explained how it will fit into Pentaho’s business model.

    # Intalio raised $1.5 million in equity and debt.

    # Ruby-on-Rails startup FiveRuns has been acquired by WorkThink.

    # OpenLogic explored what has happened to OpenProj following its acquisition by Serena Software. Its questioning had the desired effect.

    # Benchmark Capital hired former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos as an Entrepreneur in Residence.

    Adoption
    # The London Stock Exchange confirmed that it will replace its TradElect platform with a Linux-based alternative.

    # The European Parliament selected Mule ESB as the backbone for its service-oriented architecture (SOA).

    # BT and Unisys implemented the Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite to support their Statistical Data Warehouse.

    # Portland has unanimously approved a resolution to open governmentt data and encourage the use of OSS.

    # Peru’s Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation is now using Red Hat, Alfresco and Zimbra.

    # A survey indicated that 96% of French public sector agencies are using open source.

    Business strategies

    # Truth in labelling: Simon Phipps called for OSI definitions for development and business models.

    # John Mark Walker asked Open-Core or open snore?

    # The real issue is who controls your software. Good, reasoned argument by Carlo Daffara.

    # Tarus Balog weighed in on the free/open source victory debate.

    # James Dixon published Misunderstanding open source #3: applying ‘Free Software’ religion to open source business models.

    # Eric Barroca explained why open source platforms are likely to succeed against proprietary platforms.

    Products and services

    # Cloudera launched Cloudera Desktop including a monitoring client for Hadoop applications, while GigaOM asked, Is Hadoop champion Cloudera the next Red Hat?

    # Funambol launched version 8 of its mobile sync and email software, including new Ajax MyFUNAMBOL portal, while Roberto Galoppini reported on how Funambol is walking a tightrope with its new proprietary approach.

    # Pentaho extended its unlimited usage deal for start-ups to its entire BI suite.

    # Talend updated Talend On Demand, its SaaS data integration platform.

    # Untangle updated its Internet security technology to version 7.0.

    # Zmanda released version 2.0 of its Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB) product as well as aversion compliant with the EU Data Protection Directive.

    # Open-Xchange released OXtender for Business Mobility, which connects with Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile devices.

    # Yahoo’s Zimbra division launched Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 6.0.

    # Microsoft Research unveiled a snapshot of Barrelfish, its multi-core operating system, under the BSD license.

    # AMD and Pixelux announced a joint development agreement around the open source Bullet Physics engine.

    # Objectivity launched an open source developer network to dive interest in Objectivity/DB.

    # The New York Times will release the next version of its Document Viewer under an open source license.

    # Six Apart opened up TypePad API, launches TypePad Motion microblogging application.

    Trends
    # Andy Updegrove took a second, glass-half full, look at the Codeplex Foundation.

    # Cyanogen developer, Steve Kondik, declared himself sympathetic to Google’s position on Android.

    # OSS Watch reported that software sustainability is the result of a combination of openness and strong leadership.

    # Daniel Chalef reported on how language and cultural diversity is driving open source SI growth in Europe.

    # Savio Rodrigues warned against confusing open source with open standards in the context of exit costs.

    # The FSF offered a bounty for finding non-free software in free software distributions.

    # Somewhat inevitably: http://boycott-boycottnovel.com.

    # MonitoringForge.org claimed 1,000 registered members in the first six days.

    451 CAOS Links 2009.09.25

    Red Hat revenue climbs again. The GPL is enforceable in France. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    # Red Hat announced Q2 net income of $28.9m on revenue up 12% to $184m, although Matt Asay maintained that the company needs more JBoss focus if it is to improve its revenue growth.

    # The Paris Court of Appeals found that the GPL is valid in and enforceable in France.

    # Sam Ramji provided some insight into the creation of the CodePlex Foundation and rolled with the punches following the inevitable criticism.

    # Stephen Walli continued the debate on open source business models (or the lack thereof), while Simon Phipps declared Mind Your Own Business (Model).

    # Free Software Magazine asked: “Is free software major league or minor?” An interesting article on ethics and free software vs open source.

    # Allied Security Trust CEO said Microsoft probably knew its “open source patents” would end up with the OIN.

    # Brian Gentile said the open source movement is really nothing less than a renaissance.

    # The Register reported that the UK government ignoring own rules on open source, although arguably the problem is not that the rules are not being followed but that the policy has no rules.

    # Microsoft was unimpressed with Google’s Chrome Frame plug-in for IE.

    # “Let’s keep the eye on the ball.” Carlo Piana warned about the EU and Microsoft.

    # Accenture’s Tony Roby on the second wave in open source.

    # LiMo Foundation announced the first LiMo Release 2 (R2) handset and more planned for 09/10.

    # Intel ported its Moblin Linux netbook OS to desktops and announced that you can now purchase a Dell Netbook running the Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition. .

    # ElementRiver launched Potomac, an open source framework for Flex developers.

    # HP created CommunityLinux.org to support community Linux distrbutions on HP servers.

    # Rivet Logic launched Crafter rivet – an open source Web content delivery framework.

    # Coverity released its 2009 report on the integrity of open source software.

    # Jahia in the Cloud is now available on Amazon EC2.

    # MuleSoft updated its Tcat Server release including iBeans integration software.

    # Internetnews.com published: Why Linux succeeds while other open source projects fail.

    # Mikel Maron provided details of open source social networking at the United Nations.

    # Germany’s minister of the Interior said open source helps avoid lock-in and IT monopolies.

    # Air traffic control radar display published as open source on OSOR Forge.

    WSJ reports OIN to acquire former SGI patents (via Microsoft)

    An interesting story in today’s Wall Street Journal states that the Open Invention Network is “nearing an agreement to acquire 22 patents that Microsoft sold to another organization earlier this year” that could be used to protect Linux from patent attacks.

    If true it won’t be the first time the OIN has acquired patents in the name of protecting Linux: it was formed for that purpose and it previously did so in 2006, and also last month launched its Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program to acquire patents from individual inventors.

    The fact that these patents were previously owned by Microsoft adds a twist to the tale, however. The WSJ cites Dave Kaefer, general manager for intellectual-property licensing at Microsoft, as saying that the patents were acquired from Silicon Graphics and were sold because they weren’t strategic to the company.

    Meanwhile it also cites Keith Bergelt, chief executive officer of OIN, as saying that Microsoft presented the patents to potential bidders in its auction as relating to Linux. The patents were apparently acquired by Allied Security Trust, which is selling them on to OIN.

    So what might the patents relate to? Those of us with long memories will recall that in 2002 it was reported that SGI had sold much of its 3D graphics patents portfolio to Microsoft – a deal that was later confirmed by SGI.

    We await formal confirmation with interest

    451 CAOS Links 2009.08.25

    Terracotta acquires EHCache. SpringSource launches Cloud Foundry. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    Terracotta acquires EHCache

    Terracotta announced that it had acquired EHCache. CTO, Ari Zilka, explained the rationale, while Savio Rodrigues examined the impact on the wider caching market./

    SpringSource makes an acquisition of its own
    Hot on the heels of being acquired by VMware, SpringSource announced its acquisition of Cloud Foundry Inc and launched SpringSource Cloud Foundry, a new public cloud deployment platform for Java web applications.

    Open source versus commercial versus proprietary. Or not.
    As Seth Grimes argued that neither commercial nor proprietary are the opposite of open source, Roberto Galoppini argued that all open source software is commercial and Matt Asay noted that open source is not longer a differentiator. Meanwhile David Dennis argued against Brian Prentice’s asking whether “open source company” is an oxymoron.

    See also:
    “Define ‘open source vendor'”
    “Further thoughts on defining ‘open source vendor'”
    “Define ‘free software vendor’”, “What the OSD doesn’t say about open source”
    “The right and best way to make money from open source”.

    Are licenses relevant?

    Zack Urlocker asked whether the choice of open source license has an impact on the business model. Bill Burke argued that your choice of open source license is “mostly irrelevant”.

    SCO actually wins a court judgment (partially)
    Groklaw reported that a Federal Court had confirmed the district court’s judgment that SCO Group owed royalties to Novell but ruled that the district court’s summary judgment over ownership of Unix copyrights was inappropriate. That is a matter for a jury, but as Novell noted it is not exactly clear what will happen next, given SCO’s bankruptcy.

    The best of the rest
    Novell’s Joe Brockmeier discussed how to build an effective community with Paul Krill, editor-at-large at InfoWorld and Ross Turk, community manager for SourceForge.

    GCN reported that i4i has looked at OpenOffice and found that, unlike Microsoft Word, it does not infringe on its patents.

    The VAR Guy published an audio interview with SugarCRM Interim CEO, Larry Augustin.

    The US Department of Justice approved Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, while SD Times reported on Sun’s end of days.

    The Mono Project announced the beta release of Moonlight 2.

    Matt Asay reported that Linux is booming, but unpaid adoption may hurt vendors.

    Stephen O’Grady asked “Does Copyright Matter? Or, is the End of Dual-Licensing Near?” And “Does the GPL Matter?”

    Bruno von Rotz reported on the Linux Foundation’s latest research on who writes the Linux kernel. While Matt Asay noted that the Linux developer base is up 10% since 2008

    Xconomy reported on Acquia and Drupal’s impact in the content management market and balancing commerce and community.

    Savio Rodrigues asked whether Cloudera is to Hadoop as Kleenex is to facial tissues.

    Brian Aker told Barton George that Drizzle may be production-ready by the end of the year.

    Red Hat announced the launch of its HornetQ messaging middleware system.

    Lucid Imagination launched LucidGaze for Lucene, a free monitoring capability.

    Red Hat updated its partner program.

    Zenoss Core reached the one million downloads mark.

    Nambu announced that tri.im is to become an open source project.

    Levementum announced an alliance with Pentaho.

    451 CAOS Links 2009.08.07

    Monty Widenius dissects MySQL’s dual license. Intuit moves to the EPL. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    # Monty Widenius blogged about the apparent changes to the dual licensing of MySQL.

    # Intuit announced that its code.intuit.com will be moving from CPL to EPL.

    # Matt Asay asked whether Google’s open source advocacy might be a scheme to lower the value of patents.

    # Vision Mobile’s Andreas Constantinou explained the differences between open source licenses and governance models.

    # The VAR Guy reported that HP has provided the Open Source Channel Alliance with appliances to demonstrate OSS to potential customers.

    # UKGovOSS launched to share information and ideas on using open source software and open standards in government and published a report looking at the state of open source software activity in local government.

    # MIPS Technologies is making the source code of its port of Android to the MIPS architecture publicly available.

    # A presentation by Amr Awadallah from Cloudera on how Hadoop revolutionized data warehousing at Yahoo and Facebook.

    # Openbravo released Openbravo ERP 2.50 Professional Subscription for Ubuntu.

    # Bandwidth.com announced Developer Sandbox Program based on FreePBX.

    # Sony Pictures Imageworks selected rBuilder and the rPath Lifecycle Management Platform.

    # V3 published a Q&A with Ingres chief executive Roger Burkhardt.

    # ComputerWorld reported that Microsoft has acknowledged Linux threat to Windows client.

    451 CAOS Links 2009.07.24

    Reaction to Microsoft’s Linux code. Open Source for America. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    Reaction to Microsoft’s Linux code release
    There was a mixed reaction to Microsoft’s release of Linux code, much of it was positive although the company was also criticized for serving its own interests. Linus Torvalds defended Microsoft’s actions. See this post for more on that. Meanwhile it was also widely reported that Microsoft’s apparent altruism was in fact the result of a violation of the GPL. See this post for a round-up on that subject.

    Elsewhere Stephen Walli pointed out that the LinuxIC code is not Microsoft’s first contribution under the GPL, while Microsoft made sure it was not the last by contributing a plug-in for Moodle under GPLv2.

    Microsoft also dismissed Red Hat’s demands that it should “pledge that its patents will never be used against Linux or other open source developers and users”.

    We are the code

    # Open Source For America, a coalition of vendors, individuals, academic and NGOs, formed to record an ensemble charity single promote open source in Government. Roberto Galoppini wondered whether we need Open Source for Europe while Glyn Moody pondered Open Source for Britain.

    Best of the rest
    # The recorded presentations from Red Hat’s Open Source Cloud Computing Forum are now available. In response to the event ITWorldCanada reported on why cloud computing needs open source, while The Register published Open source and the cloud: An unbalanced marriage.

    # Rackspace released the specs for its Cloud Servers and Cloud Files APIs under a Creative Commons license.

    # Kaltura launched Kaltura Community Edition, an open source self-hosted online video platform MindTouch 2009 release added video, application packaging and content staging to collaboration platform, and announced a partnership with Mindtouch, which released MindTouch 2009 with video, application packaging and content staging.

    # Actuate hired Ray Gans as the first community manager for BIRT Exchange.

    # Glyn Moody reflected on the deep, fundamental tension at the heart of FOSS, and its value.

    # Black Duck Software reported a 53% rise in new subscriptions in Q2.

    # Jaspersoft launched Community Edition v3.5, support for MariaDB and JBoss Teiid.

    # Red Hat adopted the BPEL engine developed by Intalio.

    # WSO2 delivered WSO2 Governance Registry 3.0 and WSO2 Identity Server 2.0.

    # Likewise announced support for heterogeneous file sharing via Server Message Block with Likewise-CIFS.

    # UK construction group K&G outsourced its IT systems to open source services firm Sirius.

    # Matt Asay reported on NASA taking open source into space with some cool projects, while the Apollo 11 Command Module code and Lunar Module code transcribed and released as open source.

    # OmniTI released Reconnoiter, a new open Source monitoring and trending system.

    # Chris Messina declared himself sceptical about Adobe (and Microsoft’s) open source intentions.

    # Oracle announced that drivers are available to run Windows guests in an Oracle VM environment.

    # Open source software saved Indian IT@schools program $2 million.

    # Dave Neary published “Barriers to community growth”.

    # Voxeo announced that the Tropo.com cloud telephony service source code will be available as open source.

    # Open Source Database Magazine, issue #1 was published.

    Microsoft contributes to Linux kernel: a CAOS Theory Q&A

    Microsoft has announced that it is to contribute code to the Linux kernel development effort under the GNU General Public License (GPL) v2. What on earth does it all mean? Here’s our take on the situation. With thanks to Jay Lyman for his contribution to the following:

    Flying Pig

    Q. This is a joke, right?

    A. Not at all, although if any announcement is better suited to the image above, we can’t think of one. Microsoft has announced that it is going to contribute code to Linux under the GPLv2.

    Q. What code is Microsoft contributing?

    A. Microsoft is offering 20,000 lines of its own device drivers to the Linux kernel that will enable Linux to run as a guest on its Hyper-V virtualization technology. Specifically, the contributed loadable kernel modules enable Linux to run in ‘enlightened mode’, giving it efficiencies equivalent to a Windows virtual machine running on Hyper-V.

    Q. Why is Microsoft doing this?

    A. Red Hat and Novell’s Linux distributions already support enlightened mode, thanks to the development work done by both in partnership with Microsoft. One benefit for Microsoft of contributing to the kernel is that it reduces duplication of effort and the cost of supporting multiple, unique implementations of Linux. Once the code has been accepted into the kernel, Microsoft will use the kernel tree code as the basis for future virtualization integration development.

    It also means that community Linux distributions will be able to use the code, which opens up more opportunities for Microsoft in the hosting market, where adoption of community Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS is significant. It also therefore slightly strengthens the challenge those community operating systems can make to Red Hat and Novell, which are more direct commercial challengers to Windows.

    Make no mistake about it, Microsoft’s contribution is driven by its own interests. While it must serve and respond to enterprise customers that continue to drive the use of multiple operating systems and mixed environments, Microsoft also benefits by differentiating its Hyper-V virtualization technology from virtualization leader VMware. We believe Microsoft sees an opportunity to make virtualization with Windows more Linux-friendly than VMware.

    Q. What’s in it for Linux?

    A. The interoperability benefits previously reserved for ‘approved’ Microsoft partners will now be available licensed under the GPLv2, and available for all Linux distributions – commercial or community – without the need for a formal partnership.

    The contribution of device drivers to the Linux kernel as been a sticking point for the Linux development community in the past as developers have struggled to encourage vendors to contribute driver code to the kernel. Microsoft is therefore setting something of a precedent and could encourage other vendors that have been reticent to contribute their drivers to do so.

    The seal of approval Microsoft has given to the GPLv2 is also not to be overlooked. If Microsoft can find a way to contribute to Linux projects, many other organisations may also be encouraged to do so.

    Q. I guess Linux is no longer “a cancer” then?

    A. Exactly. Back in 2001 Steve Ballmer told the Chicago Sun-Times* “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That’s the way that the license works.”

    Reviewing the statement in the context of today’s announcement demonstrates how much progress Microsoft has made in the intervening years to understand open source licenses. Contribution to Linux, or to any other project under the GPL, would have been unthinkable at the time, and is still barely believable today. The announcement is likely to challenge perceptions of Microsoft’s strategy when it comes to open source, Linux and the most popular open source license.

    *The original article is no longer available online. Plenty of references are still available, however.

    Q. What does this say about Microsoft’s overall strategy towards open source?

    A. The contribution is a significant sign that Microsoft is now prepared to participate with open source projects on their own terms by using the chosen license of that project and making contributions directly to the chosen development forge of that project. Microsoft continues to use its own CodePlex project hosting site for code releases, but if an existing open source project uses SourceForge then Microsoft has acknowledged that the best way to engage with that community is on SourceForge. Don’t expect this to be the last contribution Microsoft does under the GPL.

    Microsoft is now becoming more proactive in how it engages with open source under a strategy it describes as ‘Open Edge’ (which we have previously mentioned here and here. Whereas Open Core is used by commercial open source vendors to offer proprietary extensions to open source code, Open Edge is Microsoft’s strategy to encourage open source development and application deployment on top of its suite of commercial software: Windows, Office, Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL Server etc.

    The Open Edge strategy is rooted in attempting to ensure Microsoft’s commercial products continue to be relevant to the ecosystem of developers and partners that the company has attracted to its software platform. It is also a continuation of the realization that if customers and developers are going to use open source software, Microsoft is more likely to retain those customers if it helps them use open source on Windows et al.

    For more details on Microsoft’s strategy towards open source, its partnerships with open source vendors, and its contributions to open source projects, see The 451 Group’s formal report on the contribution to Linux (the report will shortly be available via this link ).

    Q. How is the contribution to the Linux kernel being handled?

    A. The contribution is being made via an alliance with the Linux Kernel Driver Project and its maintainer, Greg Kroah-Hartman, who will steward the contribution into the Linux kernel code base. (Greg has a post up about it here).

    Q. What are the intellectual property issues?

    A. The copyright for the code will remain with Microsoft, with the contributor credit going to its engineering lead, Hank Janssen, group program manager at Microsoft’s Open Source Technology Center.

    Q. And patents?

    A. If we were putting money on the most likely conspiracy theory to emerge in response to this news it would be that this is a Trojan horse and Microsoft is contributing code to Linux that it will later claim patent rights over. Whether that is even theoretically possible depends on your understanding of the GPLv2.

    The GPLv2 contains an implicit patent promise that some would say makes a Trojan horse impossible. However, the FSF obviously thought it necessary to introduce a more explicit patent promise with the GPLv3 to remove any doubt.

    Ultimately this is a question for a lawyer, or an eloquence of lawyers (yes it is ironic, apparently). In the meantime, it is our understanding that Microsoft’s understanding is that contributing code using the GPLv2 includes a promise not to charge a royalty for, or assert any patents covering, the code being contributed.

    Q. What about Microsoft’s prior claim that Linux infringes its patents?

    A. Microsoft really dropped the ball on its communication of the suggestion that free software infringes over 200 of its patents, and tensions with free and open source software advocates are likely to continue to be tested by Linux-related patent agreements, such as the one struck with Melco Holdings last week, which have driven scepticism and mistrust of Microsoft among some key open source supporters.

    Absent the company giving up on software patents altogether, we believe that in order to convince those FOSS advocates that it is serious about co-existence, Microsoft needs to find a way to publicly communicate details about those 200+ patents in such a way that is not seen as a threat and would enable open source developers to license, work around, or challenge them. We also believe that the company is aware of this, although finding a solution to the problem will not be easy. But then neither was contributing code to Linux under the GPLv2.

    UPDATE – It has subsequently become clear that there were two important questions that were not answered by our Q&A. Those have been covered by an addendum – UPDATE.

    451 CAOS Links 2009.07.03

    Ubuntu cloud services. PostgreSQL 8.4. And more.

    Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory
    “Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

    # Canonical launched Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services.

    # Progress Software moved internal development of FUSE and related products to its own forge.

    # PostgreSQL 8.4 released.

    # The OpenNMS Group has acquired the copyright to the original OpenNMS code. Tarus Balog explained what it means.

    # The LiMo Foundation explained how it is taking it’s engagement with the community seriously.

    # The Dutch published a full review of the open source the governmentt has adopted.

    # Stephen O’Grady asked what’s going to comprise the LAMP of the cloud?

    # GPL: Getting Pretty Lonely, a perspective from Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software.

    # NASA has used open source sw to create internal “SpaceBook”.

    # Five of the top ten Sourceforge projects are ERP.

    # The H: Ubuntu to continue using Mono.

    # Carlo Daffara finished the final edition of the SME guide to open source.

    # Dave Neary explained why he disagrees with Richard Stallman concerning Mono.

    # ArsTechnica reported on how a ew Linux patch could circumvent Microsoft’s FAT patents.

    # Open source case study: Red Hat has provided the University of Southern Mississippi with time-saving solution.

    # Medicine 3.0: 50 Successful Open Source Projects That Are Changing Medicine.

    # REvolution released parallel packages and functions for R.

    # Case study: Telecom Italia Speeds Delivery of Innovative Prototypes with Spring.

    # Andy Astor explained why he is leaving EnterpriseDB.