☞ Exits and Endings

[An expanded version of this posting can be found on ComputerWorldUK]

  • Another of the key Solaris guys quits. A key figure in the development the ZFS storage appliance as well as of DTrace in Solaris kernel engineering, Mike was also the guy that shut down OpenSolaris for Oracle. I’m not sure there’s anyone left from the team of superstars whose new inventions made Solaris 10 so great.
  • “I believe that the JCP is no longer a credible specification and standards body, and there is no remaining useful role for an independent advocate for the academic and research community on the EC.”

  • James Gosling calls Steve Jobs on a serious untruth he’s spreading about the Java port. Truth is we always preferred platform providers to manage the port of Java as it led to a much better developer and user experience all round to have all the twiddly bits (especially the UI) done by the platform owner.
  • “LibreOffice is, after all, and until proven otherwise, a downstream version of OpenOffice.org, and as such deserves inclusion into the OpenOffice.org community. As for the fork itself, and because we’re still a downstream version of OpenOffice.org, forks become forks only when one of the boys refuse to play ball with the others; and the Oracle team of OpenOffice.org just did that.”

    Charles leaves the OO.o Community Council and leadership of the national language team. As someone once said, Rehost And Carry On.


  • I completely rely on TripIt to gather all the diverse information about my travel schedules, and the Pro add-on makes them monitor the flights automatically and keep track of all the points on the frequent travel programmes. Even if they weren’t offering me a miniscule incentive to write about it (which they are – entry in a draw), I would recommend anyone who travels once a month or more to splash out on Pro for TripIt. This link gets you a discount until the start of November.

☞ Shake-out


  • I was actually surprised to find Amazon didn’t have a sandpit for AWS, so this new offering really doesn’t surprise me. They still have no easy-start developer environment that I have found, that’s a serious lack and an invitation to try Node.js
  • This has to be a candidate for an IgNobel Prize.

☞ Who Will Watch The Watchmen?

  • “Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans.”

    Despite promises from both the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems during the election to end the surveillance state, the crazy, abusive idea of making ISPs keep records of every UK internet connection and phone call for at least a year so that they can be used for investigations have been revived. Their earlier promises are still there on the web, and we still remember them, yet they have absolutely no shame. I am disgusted at these hypocrites.

  • “Once again, then, it is clear that the only fair and practical solution for open standards is RF: Restriction-Free licensing.”

  • Given how well-funded the pernicious hydra FSFE (and the rest of us) are fighting actually is, I remain amazed that meaningful opposition is even possible. Huge kudos to FSFE (of which I am a proud member) for keeping this battle going against all odds, even despite Quislings.

☝ License Compliance: Not An Open Source Problem

Logo Open Source Initiative

Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times featured the activities of the GPL enforcement community recently. While there’s a part of me that’s pleased there are people doing this, I’m concerned that their actions – and those elsewhere, such as the Linux Foundation‘s compliance programme – are the focus of public understanding about open source software. Of the many attributes of software freedom that could move to front-of-mind, it strikes me that the minimal license compliance burdens for open source software are actually a comparative strength and having them presented as a feature applies a “frame” that serves only the detractors of software freedom.

License compliance is a major and costly issue for proprietary software, but the license involved in that case is an End User License Agreement (EULA), not a source license delivering extensive liberties. When we compare like-for-like, we discover open source software has no such issues. End-users do not need to have a license management server, do not need to hold audits, do not need to fear BSA raids. No wonder proprietary vendors want to divert our attention! Open source is so much easier!

Read on over at ComputerWorldUK

☞ Gaming The System

  • “When a company says which of these conditions it will accept, that will show you how far it plans to depart from the principles of free software.”

    An interesting discussion by Richard Stallman that indicates he is still willing to tolerate copyright aggregation by corporations. The fact is no corporation will accept these extra clauses he has written, so unless they include them in their standard agreements by default, he might just as well say (as I did) “avoid copyright aggregation.”

  • “lobbyists have attempted to put the focus on “mixed solutions with open and proprietary code” and have FRAND licenses declared compatible with open software”

    The people involved definitely should know better than this. While it is possible to build specific cases of FRAND licensing that can be considered compatible with open source licensing, the class in general never can be and the voices saying otherwise should be ashamed of themselves as they attempt to sell everyone’s freedoms in exchange for corporate marketing dollars.


  • ForgeRock’s training group is now ready for business and pumping out courses on OpenAM and OpenDJ. This page is the new training calendar.

☞ Plus ça change

  • If anyone has forgotten why RAND and RAND-Z terms are a defect awaiting exploitation to undermine software freedoms, this article – from 2005 – ought to jog your memory.

  • You can tell the world has changed when there's a malware alert about a massive rise in malicious exploits of Java flaws, and it's raised by Microsoft. Is the problem here that there's no automated update mechanism for Java on Windows for most users (or it's turned off), I wonder?

☞ Monday Links

  • Stephen Colebourne articulates what I am sure has been on many people’s minds – that it’s time for an independent JCP, and that the only way Oracle would tolerate such a thing would be to remove core Java from the JCP. This is the start of a great proposal and I hope it receives recognition, serious consideration and a response from Oracle.
  • While I agree with the article which I beieve is a well observed reflection on politics and society, I disagree with the title as a general statement as I believe open, meriticractic oligarchy to be the proven and true pattern for open source governance.
  • Mendelbrot is someone I would have loved to have met. We were both at IBM at the same time, so it might have been possible, but we never did. His work has profoundly influenced me. I believe he discovered a new fundamental aspect of reality that we will continue to discover allows us to objectively explore and explain things previously thought to be purely subjective. One of the greats of the 20th century has left our community, and left it immeasurably richer.
  • This could be a profound health breakthrough for men.

☞ Monopolies and patents

  • The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) is still in play, and despite attempts by companies like Microsoft to "own" interoperability and neuter it to become a concept defining a preference for proprietary monocultures, there is still a chance the EU will enact procurement legislation that attacks their de facto monopoly and brings long-term software freedom benefits to European administrations.

  • The fact the BSA supports ACTA tells us more both it in a moment than large quantities of analysis could do in a day. I predict BSA will be a key user of ACTAs provisions in their pursuit of closed software by proprietary vendors and their oppression of those vendors' customers.

☞ Another Kind Of Broken

☞ Turning Point Discussions

  • It was a long session, but the conversation flowed between me, John Newton and Luis Sala of Alfresco and FLOSS Weekly anchor Randal Schwartz.
  • Nothing new to people who understood software freedom from the beginning to mean open collaboration between equal participants, but all the same it’s good to see an analyst saying it. Given previous analysis latency this presumably means we’ll hear Forrester saying it in 2014, VCs investing on the basis of it by 2015 and Gartner inventing it for the first time around 2017 😉
  • Excellent summary of the situation from O’Grady (as usual). The only thing lacking is speculation about the new power distribution in the community. With Oracle winning the bet that might would defeat right, there seems space for some analysis of whether the Java community just became sharecroppers.
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