Rise of Polyglot report is out

We recently wrote about a disruptive trend we are following along with cloud computing, devops and open source software in the enterprise. Our 451 Research subscribers also got a preview of our findings in a recent spotlight report.

Polyglot programming is the use of many different languages, frameworks, services, databases and other pieces for individual applications. The trend takes today’s developers and IT shops beyond .NET and Java to node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, Spring and further still to Erlang, Scala, Haskell and others. Also in the mix are widely used API Web services, such as JSON, REST and SOAP, which are increasingly significant to building applications, as well as developer and user communities. There is also polyglot disruption present at the database layer with MySQL still being popular, but with ample use of the growing number of alternatives (NoSQL, PostgreSQL, NewSQL, etc.), including virtual and cloud-based services. Don’t forget today’s applications will likely pull in effective user-interface technologies such as Javascript, XML and HTML5, whether for internal enterprise, Web, mobile, consumer or converged audiences.

Although there is added pain in programming with multiple languages, benefits such as scalability, interoperability and concurrency increasingly necessitate it for optimal efficiency and quality.

Now we are pleased to present our latest special report, ‘The Rise of Polyglot Programming.’ The report investigates the drivers, disruption, challenges and opportunities from the trend. We also present market sizing and growth implications for polyglot programming, drawing on data and analysis from our Market Monitor service to show how polyglot programming will be part of a growing opportunity worth more than $35bn by 2015.

Open APIs are the new open source

We’ve seen the rise of open source software in the enterprise and also beyond the IT industry, but the real keys to openness and its advantages in today’s technology world — where efficient use of cloud computing and supporting services are paramount — exist in open application programming interfaces, or APIs.

Open source software continues to be a critical part of software development, systems administration, IT operations and more, but much of the action in leveraging modern cloud computing and services-based infrastructures centers on APIs. Open APIs are the new open source.

Read the full story at LinuxInsider.

Open source in the clouds and in the debates

We continue to see more evidence of the themes we discuss in our latest CAOS special report, Seeding the Clouds, which examines the open source software used in cloud computing, the vendors backing open source, the cloud providers using it and the impact on the industry.

First, as usual, we are seeing consistencies between our own research — which indicates open source is a huge part of today’s cloud computing offerings from major providers like Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Terremark and VMware — and that of code analysis and management vendor Black Duck. In its analysis of code that runs the cloud, Black Duck also found a preponderance of open source pieces, in many cases the same projects we profile in our report.

Indeed, open source software is an important part of the infrastructure, data and application layers of today’s cloud computing stacks with significant use of Linux, open source hypervisors KVM and Xen, open source data technologies such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Hadoop, NoSQL and memcached and open source languages such as Java, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails.

There will be plenty of users and customers content to use non-open source options that serve as the defacto standards, but we do see a move to higher-level, production and mission critical use, which represents continued commercial opportunity for open source and other vendors.

One of the more subtle effects of all this open source in the cloud, as covered in Seeding the Clouds, is the impact on discussions, debates and downright fights in the market. There is much scrutiny on claims of being open, technical aspects of open and what ‘open cloud’ means. A prime example is the Twisticuffs that have gone on between Simon Crosby of XenSource and Citrix, discussing OpenCloud and the response from Open Cloud Initiative co-founder Sam Johnston, who claims this is misuse of the open label.

We already saw open source playing a role in the discussions and debates about open clouds, open APIs and open data, and this latest confrontation is evidence that role continues to be significant. We still wonder though about the question of open enough as we contemplate openness in the clouds.

451 CAOS Links 2010.02.06

Matt Asay joins Canonical. Paula Hunter joins the CodePlex Foundation. 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.”

# Matt Asay joined Canonical as chief operating officer.

# Paula Hunter was named executive director of the CodePlex Foundation.

# Actuate recorded $6.5m in BIRT-related business for Q4; annual BIRT-related business of $18.2m up 18%.

# Glyn Moody outlined The Great Oracle Experiment.

# The Symbian Foundation confirmed the 100% open source Symbian platform.

# Zarafa’s Collaboration Platform is to be packaged for Ubuntu and Fedora.

# Jaspersoft 3.7 Community release is now available.

# Oracle updated its Oracle Enterprise Pack plug-ins for Eclipse.

# CBR published an interview with Novell CEO on the company’s new strategy.

# Nuxeo released its open source Digital Asset Management offering Nuxeo DAM.

# Oracle is discontinuing access to Project Kenai, Sun’s open source project-hosting site.

# Jonathan Schwartz explained his departure from Sun: “Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more.”

# Funambol released version 8.5 of its mobile data sync and collaboration platform.

# Sauce Labs added a number of Python and Jython core committers to its team.

# OSOR.eu is offering public administrations access to more than two thousand free and open source applications.

# INSIDE Contactless is making its Open NFC protocol stack available using the Apache License.

# Bradley M Kuhn provided his views on copyright assignment.

# Black Duck Software was awarded a patent for automatically resolving software license obligations and conflicts.

# Greg Kroah-Hartman published Android and the Linux kernel community.

# Monty Widenius’s view on what to expect next from Oracle-MySQL. Parts one and two.

# Facebook released HipHop, a source code transformer for PHP.

451 CAOS Links 2010.01.21

EC approves Oracle-Sun. Google patents MapReduce. 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.”

EC approves Oracle-Sun

The European Commission cleared Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems. While Larry Ellison is set to unveil Oracle’s Sun strategy on January 27th, Monty Widenius said he will go to the Court of First Instance to appeal the decision.

# Pro-open source political party formed in Hungary.

# Google patented MapReduce, but GigaOm argued users have nothing to fear.

# The London Stock Exchange began a twelve-month migration to its new trading platform, based on Linux.

# Sauce Labs announced Sauce IDE for Selenium tests and raised $3.1m Series A.

# Zenoss partnered with Lina Software for open source monitoring for Microsoft Windows.

# Digium launched AsteriskExchange, a community marketplace for the open source telephony project.

# Sangoma expanded its sponsorship of the FreeSwitch open source telephony project.

# Jeremy Allison warned of patent traps in Mono.

# Mark Hinkle named eleven open source cloud computing projects to watch.

# Jedox is now offering support for the open source versions of Palo for Excel and Palo Suite.

# Liferay reported 80% customer growth and 50% revenue growth in 2009.

# Jonathan Corbet said 75% of Linux code is now written by paid developers.

# Millennium Global Investments (MGI) standardized on Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

# SugarCRM appointed former SAP and Salesforce exec Chuck Coulson as VP of business development.

# VMware announced Java and Python open-source SDKs for the VMware vCloud API.

# GroundWork Open Source released GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.1.

# EnterpriseDB was selected by Genscape for energy industry inventory database.

# The H reported that Mozilla’s Bespin cloud IDE project is getting a re-boot.

# Fonality named Dean Mansfield as CEO.

# SendMail unveiled its new Sentrion Application Store.

# Matt Asay explained why Novell is never going to be a better Red Hat than Red Hat and should focus on being a better Novell.

Could Google be stymied by a lack of openness?

It seems almost churlish to wonder whether Google could be even more successful than it already is with a different strategy, but the company’s approach to open source and open development has come into focus in recent weeks.

On last week’s podcast we discussed whether the company should see the AGPL as more of an opportunity than a threat following Jay’s post about the company releasing more code under open source licenses.

Nik Cubrilovic over at TechCrunch, meanwhile, has written an interesting article about Google’s acquisition strategy and whether its apparent insistence that acquired companies migrate to its technology platform (C++, Java and Python/MapReduce/Big Table/Google FS) causes the acquired projects to stagnate.

“One of the first main challenges for a company that has been acquired by Google is adopting the proprietary technology stack used within the company. Google does use Linux and open source, but their core technologies are all internal to the company,” states Nik.

“Because of the difference in technology, it can take a company anywhere from a year to three or more years to move over to the Google infrastructure and architecture,” he adds while detailing how the likes of JotSpot, Blogger, Dodgeball, GrandCentral and MeasureMap have lost ground during the move.

As he notes this issue isn’t unique to Google (it’s one of many problems associated Microsoft’s pursuit of Yahoo) but the widespread use of .NET and the Win32 API make it less of a problem for Microsoft in most cases. Meanwhile a significant number of the companies Google is targeting will be based on the likes of MySQL, Apache, Python, and PHP.

In concluding his article, Nik states: “The solutions for Google are either to adopt a more open stack in parallel to what they currently use, or to open source their internal technologies (as Facebook and Yahoo! are doing) in the hope that they will spread and gain adoption from more developers.”

However, Google has been open with the concepts behind technologies such as MapReduce and Big Table, if not the code, and the release of App Engine should help create a new generation of projects that are much easier to integrate into Google’s portfolio. It could be that the problem is a matter of the platform’s maturity and ubiquity, rather than its openness.

Then again, the company’s attitude towards openness related to the development of Android has also come in for some stick this week. Could it be that the company is about to find out that there is no such thing as being half-open?

Babies, grandmas and Linux

It’s not often that I can go to a friend or community gathering and get the chance to talk open source with new people. Some of them work in tech or related industries and know at least what Linux or open source is, vaguely. But last weekend, while attending a baby shower, it went beyond the usual, flimsy open source familiarity. I met a man who actually uses Linux.

Amid talk of baby sign language, gifts of tiny clothing and footwear, we were talking Linux. Yep. I finally ran into someone who can truly understand why it can be so limiting to work in Windows without multiple workspaces. He was a Kubuntu user, and while he had forced is wife to run some Linux in the past (a couple years before it was as easy as it is today by the look on her face), she was on Windows and it was working, ‘for now.’

His grandmother, however, was a completely different story. She had to send out a mass mailing to a few hundred people or so. Despite a nice desktop computer with 24-inch screen, she was still struggling with Outlook. The multiple blind CCs were read as spam, and all of her grandmotherly greetings were bounced back. She was left sending them individually, when my new friend realized he could do that a lot easier in Linux. Being a former software engineer, he figured if he couldn’t do it by default in Linux, he could just write the code he needed to get the job done. Pretty amazing, I thought.

With a fresh Linux install, a little CLI and a dash of Python, Grandma was up and running with a simple procedure for her mass mailing. The bonus was the tech-savvy grandson was no longer dealing with Windows support issues. Instead, Grandma now lets him know about any issues (like the time the bootup selection somehow served up the text mode :0), and he can more efficiently handle them with his own Linux know-how and machine.

It’s just another demonstration that Linux is making some headway on the mainstream desktop, and how making the switch can make computing a bit more rewarding and, dare I say, more fun. I couldn’t help but think that the new baby we were there to celebrate would probably be running a Linux desktop computer before too long.