☞ Open Source Business

☝ Microsoft Bans Its Own License

The rules for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace appear to mean that even Microsoft’s own open source license – the Microsoft Reciprocal License – is banned. Read about it on ComputerWorldUK.

☞ Freedom In A Box


  • Really losing track of the rationale here. As I understood it, Oracle wouldn’t let the community have the name or move to GitHub, but now Hudson has moved there anyway. Confused.

☞ Born Free?

  • Despite all the rhetoric from Microsoft’s evangelists, they just can’t get over their hatred and fear of software freedom. And it’s not just about the GPL as some assert – this sweeping rule ensures they probably can’t even have software under some of Microsoft’s own OSI-approved licenses. Looking forward to the spin explaining why this is all OK.
  • The Document Foundation’s leaders would still like it to be incorporated in Germany, but the rules there require a minimum of €50,000 as a nest-egg. So they’ve launched an appeal to get donations. Five weeks; the clock is running…
  • Rings true to me.

☂ Archives

I’ve not found a way to add a subject index page to my blog that’s automatically generated from the tags or extracts or even a word list, but I have added an archive page so you can at least scan through all the subject lines. It’s also linked at the foot of the Essays page.

☝ Nokia Dooming Windows Phone?

There’s plenty of talk about how Nokia’s embrace of Microsoft’s Windows Phone has doomed Nokia. But has Nokia’s embrace actually doomed Windows Phone? Read my views on ComputerWorldUK.

☆ Is Eclipse Open-By-Rule?


The Eclipse Foundation is home to a family of projects related to enterprise software development. Its Executive Director Mike Milinkovic has very kindly supplied the data for an Open-By-Rule evaluation. In his submission Mike actually scored the first point higher and I reduced his +1 for “open” down to zero because the Board is controlled by paid seats, but otherwise I agree with his evaluation, giving an overall score of +8 on the -10 to +10 scale. Eclipse definitely qualifies as “open-by-rule” according to the benchmark.

Rule Data Evaluation Score
Open, Meritocratic Oligarchy Directors 

Architecture Council

Planning Council

The Board of Directors is a mix of “Strategic Members” and elected members representing the community. There are a total of six elected representatives on a board of eighteen. There are no seats reserved for any company. Each Strategic Member company must re-commit both its dollar and headcount (8 FTE) commitments to Eclipse on an annual basis. Score 0 for pay-to-play-controlled Board that does no harm to the overall community. 

(Mike notes: “Although some may question the notion that there is a meritocracy involved where there Board has many corporate members who are there by virtue of their financial and resource commitment to the community, in practice this works extremely well. What we have ended up with is a mix of large and small companies who are strategically committed to the success of the community. This commitment is tangible and re-evaluated annually.” )

The Architecture and Planning Councils share a similar mix, but the vast majority of members are there by virtue of their activity or leadership of a Project Management Committee. In the case of the Architecture Council, the vast majority of members have been elected by the existing members based on clearly meritocratic basis. Score +1 for meritocratic, +1 for oligarchy,  in the technical leadership.

Modern license Eclipse Public License v1.0 The EPL is an OSI-approved license with a well-written patent license clause very similar to that of the ASL 2.0.  The EPL is a “weak copyleft” license and is particularly well suited as a license for a shared platform for an ecosystem that includes both open source and commercial adopters. +1
Copyright accumulation There are no copyright assignments at Eclipse at all. There are no copyright assignments at Eclipse at all. Every single contributor, no matter how large or small, makes their contributions under the EPL. We have complete symmetry between inbound and outbound licensing. +1
Trademark policy Please see the logo guidelines The trademarks policy keeps the Eclipse name, and the name of all of its projects and their namespaces in trust for the entire Eclipse community. No trademark using entity has any more rights than another. The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit entity which has no commercial motive for the control or exploitation of any of its trademarks.  

(Mike adds: “Caveat: Prior to the creation of the Eclipse Foundation as an independent entity, IBM followed a laissez faire policy towards the Eclipse trademarks and the marks of the various projects inside the Eclipse community. As a result, there are uses of “Eclipse” and other marks which have been grandfathered which would otherwise be in violation of our trademark.”)

Roadmap Roadmap 

Indigo Plan

Helios Plan

The Eclipse Foundation publishes an annual roadmap each year which pulls in the release plans of the vast majority of its projects.Each year the Eclipse community releases an annual release train combining the work of a significant subset of the Eclipse community’s projects. All of the requirements, planning and execution of the release train is done is done in an open and transparent manner. +1
Multiple co-developers Commits 

Active committers

Total committers

Across the Eclipse community there is a very diverse collection of companies and individuals involved in projects.They also transparently publish all sorts of metrics regarding diversity and activity. +1
Forking feasible There are no licensing or copyright assignment barriers to forking. However, the continuing predominance of IBM committers on the Eclipse platform itself means that forking that particular piece of the Eclipse community would be difficult. 0
Transparency Minutes site (includes minutes for Board, Council and Membership meetings) Eclipse publishes minutes of all of its meetings.The Board operates under a mix of Chatham House rules and a requirement that not detailed personnel or financial information be published. All other minutes are made available. +1
Summary (scale -10 to +10) +8

I’m grateful to Mike for the work he’s contributed here – thanks! If you’d like to submit the data to help me test the benchmark on your community, please do.

☞ New Models

  • Excellent and honest account from Cory of his experiment in self-publishing. From reading this it’s clear that there is still a roll for publishing agents – notably in securing volume pricing for physical books and in managing promotion. All the same, it’s early days.
  • This would have been unthinkable as recently as a decade earlier.
  • One point to make about this; MPEG-LA will undoubtedly assert this initiative is encumbered too and attempt to create a FUD-y patent pool arround it.
  • Probably only a temporary setback for the music industry intermediaries though. Their greed overwhelms any attempt to see through the situation and understand there’s a change in society going on rather than malefactors at work, and they will be sure to continue to persecute potential customers until copyright law is changed.
  • About time too. The current “legal cartel” arrangement in Europe is a severe inhibitor to the emergence of the next stage of the connected society as it means people will only risk being mobile and connected when in their own area. I’ll believe it when I see it though, the vested interests here are very powerful and pay many lobbyists.

☝ Why You Need Document Freedom

Document Freedom Day is March 30th this year. Why should you join in? See my article on ComputerWorldUK!

Ⓕ ForgeRock Starts Year Two With A Bang

ForgeRock was started in February 2010 and is now one year old. In its first year:

  • ForgeRock did business with 35 customers in 10 countries
  • Global turnover exceeded $2M US and continues to grow
  • The company has grown to 35 employees who between them speak at least 14 languages
  • ForgeRock has 80 consulting and training partners globally
  • The company is now incorporated in the US, UK, France and Norway and has five office locations
  • ForgeRock joined the Kantara Initiative, working on federated identity standards
  • ForgeRock secured the future of two open source projects, federated access manager OpenAM and LDAP server OpenDJ, and contributed new code and features to produce new releases of both
  • ForgeRock created and launched one new open source project, identity provisioning system OpenIDM

So far, so good – it’s been exhilarating getting to this point. But the coming year looks just as interesting.

To start year two with a bang, I’m pleased to announce that ApexIdentity will be joining ForgeRock effective today, bringing their expertise in identity and access management to the projects that comprise ForgeRock’s I3 platform. In particular, their great work on OAuth 2.0 will be adapted and contributed to the OpenAM project, maintaining its reputation as the leading open source system for access management. Founders Jamie Nelson and Paul Bryan will join ForgeRock’s leadership team with responsibility for the overall I3 platform vision.

The combination is a good fit for our needs and is timely. I hope it will result in our growth – particularly in the US and Canada – accelerating as the ApexIdentity people come up to speed. A warm welcome to the team!

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