☞ Changing Horses

Ⓕ Launching OpenICF

I have a firm belief that open source software communities become strong when people with many different reasons for being present are free to meet their needs in a community. If everyone sees the software the same way, it’s very hard for more than one company to participate strongly in the community with the result it tends towards being a user community with few co-developers. As you might guess, I’ve seen a lot of communities like this in my time.

At ForgeRock,  it’s our vision to create a secure and scalable platform for building real-world applications on the web, and the I3 platform that we’re gradually creating uses a range of different open source projects to achieve this. But we’re keen to see the technology base we’re using become more modular, so that differently-motivated uses of the components can find synergy without directly competing. To that end, I’m very pleased to be able to make an announcement about a new community we’re sponsoring – OpenICF.

OpenICF is a community that draws together the many users of the Identity Connector Framework, ICF, which makes it straightforward to create connectors for joining applications together to co-operate.  We’re using ICF connectors in OpenIDM, but you’ll find that community members – and there are more than the press release lists – are using ICF-based connectors in a variety of contexts, including Brinqa who are using ICF with compliance and risk management solutions .

This diversity is very healthy. It means different people will see the software in different ways, bringing fresh, innovative ideas and introducing the opportunity for serendipity. It’s that characteristic that makes the strongest open source communities. For evolution to succeed, there has to be mutation!

⚡ One To Follow

☞ Defects, and fixing them

☝ Special 301

I’ve read the USTR‘s Special 301 report so you don’t have to. The worrying conclusions are over on ComputerWorldUK.

☞ Interference

☞ Bad For You

  • This is an excellent list of reasons why internet disconnection laws are such a bad idea. Although it’s got plenty of specifics of the (very bad) New Zealand law that was created when their government sold out to the US (presumably to avoid appearing in the Special 301 report), it’s full of ideas that are applicable globally.
  • This is an unexpected development and bad news for Mono on multiple levels. There are some exceptional developers working on this (not least Miguel) and I hope they all find great places to land.
  • This surely has to signal a rich auction for Nortel’s patent portfolio. The Android patent war is hotting up.
  • I’ve read plenty of books about the cunning diversionary and alternative intelligence tactics used in the Second World War but these photographs show just how remarkable some of the efforts were.

☝ BT, Set My Music Free!

The Free Software Foundation Europe has a new campaign group in the UK, and their first target is BT’s upcoming music streaming service. Read about it over on ComputerWorldUK.

☞ Reasons to be Open

  • Of course, that’s not the only reason! This is a fine sentiment, but having been involved in end-of-life cases for products I know that it’s often not possible. While it seems to an outsider that all that’s needed is publication of the details, it’s not that simple.

    The company has to make sure it has the rights to do so; has to invest in preparing the details for publication; has to identify an negotiate a home for them; has to explain to executives and/or investors why an asset is being discarded. But I would certainly encourage companies to at least consider it and not just discard the idea before it’s been thought through.

  • Amazingly detailed explanation of Amazon’s cloud outage incident, along with the steps they are taking to prevent it recurring and compensation for affected users. Bravo.

☂ Flattr Is Back

Flattr is a system that allows you to show your satisfaction with things you find on the internet by making tiny gifts to them. If enough people make the tiny gifts, they build up into a more substantial payment, with the result that authors can be rewarded by their readership. Sounds like a great idea.

I used to have a Flattr button on here, but there was a distinct problem. In order to receive gifts, my account had to be reloaded with cash each month so that I could also make gifts myself. But at that stage, there were virtually no english-language web sites with Flattr buttons on them – they were all in German (since Flattr started in Germany). Since my payments would just go to waste, and since without making payment I couldn’t receive them either, I removed the button.

On Sunday, however, Flattr removed this requirement, so I have added the Flattr button back to the web site (it’s down in the bottom right margin) and will be very grateful of any gifts (as well as very interested to see if any happen!)

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