Coaching the Next Generation of FOSS Developers

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| Each year it seems that there are more and more grumblings about how
| commercial Open Source conferences are moving further and further away from
| Free Software and Open Source communities. Incongruously, some of the loudest
| (or at least most noticed) complaining comes from some of the most consistent
| participants on the conference circuit. I myself have joined in the guilty
| pleasure of kvetching about how this year's iteration of a given conference
| just doesn't have the same soul as some previous year.
| I got talking about this very topic with Allison Randal when we were both at
| the SCALE 6x conference in Los Angeles at the beginning of this year. Many of
| you reading this blog know Allison either personally, or through her work on
| Perl, as the architect of Parrot or in her role as the co-chair of OSCON.

Commercial, Professional, and Community Open Source: Resolving the Naming

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| Historically, as far as I know, commercial open source was first practiced by
| MySQL, even though the term was only invented later by SugarCRM. A core
| go-to-market approach is the dual-license strategy. Only commercial open
| source can apply this strategy. The term professional open source was
| invented by Marc Fleury of JBoss to give open source a better reputation;
| mostly it refers to the provision of services around some particular open
| source software.
| Both commercial and professional open source are go-to-market approaches and
| core strategies of a firm’s business model. Community open source is not a
| business model.


No Justification Need

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| What's at the forefront of my crabbiness is the almost-complete capture of
| the Open Source Business Conference's news cycle by Brad Smith's presence at
| that conference left me wondering who else was even there this week, other
| than Smith, Matt Asay, and a few pundits and luminaries. In a nicely done
| spin for the media, OSBC suddenly became about how Microsoft braved the
| lion's den, instead of the real progress a lot of companies are making in
| open source development and business. * * *

All That Got Stolen Was Microsoft's Thunder

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| The best response I've seen was from Jonathan Corbet at a panel at the Open
| Source Business Conference in San Francisco last May. Corbet is a Linux
| kernel developer himself and executive editor of the Linux Weekly News. *
| "I feel I've been called a thief," he said levelly during a panel at the
| event, and pointed out that Microsoft was one of the companies that had
| patented "thousands of trivial functions ... There's no way to write a
| nontrivial program that can't be claimed to infringe on someone's patents." *

Brad Smith continues its FUD spreading, wants to tax RedHat

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| Brad Smith continues its FUD spreading, wants to tax RedHat. The only
| solution for Microsoft to tax linux is software patents. Microsoft wants to
| render GPL free software non-free. The message is clear. *
| [...]
| Microsoft needs to be sued more often, because in their current position they
| still believe too much in a patent system where no software developer has
| ever used a patent to write a computer program. *

Microsoft's dilemma: The importance of the downstream

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| To work within the open-source community, which Microsoft will absolutely
| have to do if it wants to remain relevant in the 21st century of the Web,
| Microsoft must stop polluting the downstream with patent encumbrances.
| Period. Full stop. Microsoft is not alone in being threatened by open source.
| Everyone is to a greater or lesser extent, including open-source companies.
| MySQL's biggest competitor is not Oracle. It is fee-free use of MySQL. Ditto
| for other open-source companies. * * *

Feeling the heat at Microsoft

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| A couple of years ago you reiterated that IBM was Microsoft's biggest
| competitor and you said not just on the business side, but overall. If I ask
| you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be? *
| Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have
| to go with that.