Thursday Jul 17, 2008

Sun OSCON & Party

Sun is a sponsor of OSCON again this year. Lots of sessions on PostgreSQL, MySQL, AMP, OpenSolaris etc.  I'll be giving a lightning talk on GlassFish at 11:45 in room 252 on Thursday (along with a host of other open source communities). We will also have our trademark "couch potato" booth - several couches and internet connections so come by and take a load off.

Party - the Sun/MySQL/Zend joint party is Wed at 8 pm in the DoubleTree hotel. Stop by for a drink and some food and some games as well - although I can't speak for those.

Monday Aug 27, 2007

Marketing Thoughts on Java vs. Sunw

Ok so now Sunw is Java what does this really mean or do?  In my mind (and I am not an official spokesperson for Sun) I think it is a way for Sun to capitalize on our consumer touch point and connect with those folks who are already our customers and those who we want to be our customers.  All tech companies want and need a consumer touch point because they have all the money!  We all remember the "Intel Inside" campaign which made microprocessors cool by depicting guys dancing in clean room suits - even I have one of their dolls (I used to have to work in those things and, trust me, you no be wantin' to dance in them!).  Since then we've seen Adobe and .pdf (although I don't think anyone makes that association well) and many other examples.  For each of these very expensive marketing campaigns, the companies have benefited from increased consumer awareness, better brand recognition and ultimately more sales.  Why? I won't go into details, but basically people buy what they are familiar with and these branding campaigns are designed to make people (remember engineers and purchasing agents are people too!) familiar, comfortable, aware of products and technologies.

For Sun, our consumer touch point is Java - Java ME specifically, Java on phones but it is our technology and corporate felt (IMHO) a need to remind consumers (and the stock analysts) that Java = Sun.  Now there are 2 ways to do this.  One way is the Intel way and spend upwards of $100 million on branding, dancing bunnies/cleanroom suits etc and Sun just doesn't have the money to do that (remember we've just made it out of the "nonprofit"category of companies).  The much less expensive way is to change the ticker symbol - this costs much less than $100 million and is a creative way to remind people that Sun does make things that are familiar and relevant to them and their lives.  The more people associate Sun with Java and Java with things they do everyday (mobile phones, settop boxes, BMWs) the more likely they are to "buy" things that are Java branded which means more revenue to Sun.  So I am positive to neutral on this move, but do think it is not a bad idea.  Let's hope that other companies like BEA don't follow our lead as the Fake Steve Jobs suggests here.

Wednesday May 23, 2007

Microsoft and Novell, together, one more time at OSBC

OSBC, San Francisco.  Today, there was a panel to discuss the Microsoft Novell deal and the Fortune magazine article at the OSBC meeting.  The general discussion went like this:

Sam Ramji (Microsoft rep) - the deal with Novell was good for open source because it helps interoperability, grows the software ecosystem and helps Microsoft engage with conversations w/ the open source community.  We did not do this to sue the Linux community, Red Hat or their customers.  We don't plan to sue anyone.

Justin Steinman (Novell rep) - this deal is good. Our Linux business grew 650% qtr/qtr in the first quarter that we signed this deal with Microsoft and we grew the Linux community by selling licenses to Wal Mart & Nationwide. 

 Allison Randal (OReilly rep) -The deal is neither good nor bad, it seems to be just a standard collaboration agreement.

 Jonathan Corbet (JWN rep) - If I can no longer ship my code due to a threat from MSFT then this is very bad for the community and I think this is a bad deal for the community

 After these brief opening statements, the session was opened for questions.  MSFT/ Novell defended their positions against a somewhat incredulous audience that packed the room.

I think the key statement was that Sam said Microsoft was not intending to sue Red Hat or their customers and has no intent to sue anyone.  The real question is why did they tally up the 235 patents?  Was this just a coffee break exercise - "Hey, lets spend an hour and find out how many patents those open source geeks are violating" ?  No, this took considerable effort on the part of a number of very good, highly paid Microsoft lawyers under the direction of their boss who did this for a reason.  We all assume it is a reaction to the open source community posing a credible theat the Microsoft OS / Office monoploy but no one really knows.   With Dell distributing Ubuntu, Java being open sourced and distributed by Ubuntu and the state of MA adopting the ODF format there is a clear and present danger to Microsoft's current software strategy.

 Sam was consistent over the course of the 2 day meetings with their statement that they did not intend to sue anyone as a result of this investigation into infringing patents, but that remains to be seen.  We will all learn more at the end of May when Microsoft files their next 10K in which their legal rep stated they will include the details of the Novell agreement.

Sam did a great job in the face of harsh questioning, but at the end he broke the room up with this comment (seriously) " we disclosed the number of patents as a result of the call for increased transparancy by the open source community and this was as far as we could go. "  His legal rep said that they did not disclose which patents the community infringed on because "we didn't have the staff to do this and were not prepared to accept all the calls that would result (sic)" (my paraphrasing of his smarmy response). As if Microsoft doesn't have sufficient legal staff? Well, we can give the legal guy some slack for this response because he is, well, a legal guy and they always do that.

Finally, on closing the moderater took a poll of the room asking what they thought of the deal now that they had heard as many details as they could get. 

20% thought it was a good deal for open source
20% thought it was a bad deal for open source
60% were not sure.

Clearly, the jury is still out and we have to wait until the end of May for the next chapter to unfold.





Monday May 21, 2007

Java One Recap

What I learned at Java One:

Twitter- a great way to locate the best parties

Open source - If you have a brand name company donate software to your project you generate A LOT of interest (Ericsson and GlassFish). And in case you missed it Portal 7.1 announced it was open source.

Parties- The best one I attended was the open source unBOF @ the Thirsty Bear (best because of the people (Geir being pinned to a dart board by Juggy - video in production) and the great conversations and the minimalist(read recruiting party) was Google.

Open Source Panel - Simon's salon on open source was well attended with lots of dicussion about licenses which was a prelude to Microsoft's big announcement to extend full employment to more lawyers

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Open Source @ Yosemite

Post Java One a group of us from the open source group decided to spend the weekend in the car and head to Yosemite. This included Simon and members of his extended staff from Brazil, Germany, Menlo Park and the state of Texas (does this count as a separate country) and oh yes, Juggy. Now, most people would wonder why I would consider a weekend with my coworkers and a stuffed finch, but after Java One any chance to get off the grid was welcome! So on Friday we trundled off to rejoin at the Wowona hotel and step back in time to the 1800s when there was no TV, no phone, no internet, no in-suite bathrooms. I was a bit worried about the Wawona as we had shared baths, no electronics to keep the kids entertained and it was run by the park service (expections were set very low). The hotel was a great experience and I would stay there again - off the grid was nice so the kids had to worry about catching frogs in the front pond, the bathrooms were just fine, the beds nice and food was good. The service, however, was not good, but this was a National Park so I guess it was as expected. Next time I go I'd make reservations for every meal in advance as they aren't so good at accomodating large numbers of people in the dining room.

Juggy the Java Finch shared a room with Bruno and followed us everywhere so we photographed him (her? it?) at all the classic spots in the park - overlooking the falls, half dome, El Capitan (photo above), admiring a wayward skink - great fun. In fact we became Juggy's posse and followed him (her, it?) around the park for an entire day of fun. I"ll update this post when the videos are online.

Tuesday May 15, 2007

Microsoft sees a clear and present danger

Lets review - The State of Massachusetts adopts the .ODF format. Michael Dell installs Ubuntu Linux on his laptop and Dell computer offers Ubuntu Linux as an OS option. Ubuntu distributes open source Java. Microsoft seeing a clear and present danger then claims Open Office and Linux violates its patents. As Warren Zevon said "Send lawyers, guns and money" we are all going to need them!

Tuesday May 01, 2007

Open Source get together @ ApacheCon Amsterdam

If you happen to be in Amsterdam next week (and why not be there the week before Java One?) the open source group is sponsoring a drink and snack event - something to come to hit before you really start to party!

Sun Toasts Apache
Thursday, May 3rd, 19:00-23:00
@ The Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy (platform 3 / 3rd floor), Oostelijke Handelskade, Amsterdam

Come for a drink with Sun and Apache folks after the lightning talks at one of the hippest venues in Amsterdam. The Lloyd Hotel is 10 minutes' walk from the Moevenpick, straight East along the waterfront, or take tram 26 (to Ijburg) stop Rietlandpark.

For more info and pix of the very cool venue:

I won't be there but representatives from JavaDB, Roller, the JCP and Sun's open source group will be there.

Friday Apr 06, 2007

Open Source Software as a Service

The comments about GPL V3 continue and adding to the din is Fabrizio's blog (CEO Funambol) about license issues for software-as-a-service. I think he's on the right track w/ his comments. Fabrizio's blog

Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Update to GlassFish Beta Contest - Blog About it!

Someone asked "if they blogged about the GlassFish V2 Beta would that count as a contest entry"? Well yes, but you still HAVE to fill out the official form to enter. For the entry to be valid either enter a permalink to the blog entry (so we can find it) or copy and paste the blog contents into the form. Contest details are here

Monday Mar 26, 2007

Test a Fish, Win an iPod

The GlassFish V2 (Java EE 5) beta is up and running. It's been up for 2 weeks and we've got only 50 entries so far - not many - so the chances of winning one of the iPods is pretty good. It's simple, just go and download the Beta Bits, enter the contest, Contest Rules (it's a link off the Admin console - we need something to make sure you've downloaded and installed the bits) then fill in the form with your opinion. It's pretty easy, but beware, answers like "I like it" are not likely to win. We are looking for insightful, compelling comments so it might take you a few minutes to write your entry. I"ll be blogging about some of the comments this week and we'll pick our first winner (from the 1st 2 weeks of the contest) this week!

Wednesday Feb 07, 2007

Free Open Source from France

French authorities will give out 175,000 USB memory sticks loaded with open-source software to Parisian high-school students at the start of the next school year. The sticks will probably contain the Firefox 2 Web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client, an office productivity suite such as 2, an audio and video player, and software for instant messaging, he said. Details InfoWorld article.

Monday Nov 13, 2006

GlassFish and Ubuntu

UBUNTU is the most wildly popular GNU/Linux distribution (according to and last week we announced that GlassFish would be distributed with Ubuntu. One of the benefits of dual licensing GlassFish is that it makes it easier to distribute w/ Ubuntu as they prefer the GPL license to the CDDL. Both are OSI approved licenses and both allow distribution and redistribution of code, but the Ubuntu, and ultimately the Debian community, prefers the GPL license. So now that GlassFish and all of Java (ME, SE and EE) are available under GPL look for several benefits: It will be easier to download and use GlassFish with Linux as they are under the exact same license and look for us to get much wider distribution of Java . Look for the distribution to be available in the 1st quarter of 2007.

I'll comment on the differences between GPL and CDDL and Ubuntu's objections to the CDDL license in an upcoming blog.

Wednesday Oct 04, 2006

GlassFish will be at ApacheCon, Austin

We'll have GlassFish reps at the Sun booth and leading a "GlassFish for TomCat Users" BOF at ApacheCon, Austin.

[Read More]

Tuesday Sep 05, 2006

Open Source Community Session at Tech Days Seattle Sept 7

If you are attending Sun Tech Days in Seattle Sept 6 & 7, I am hosting a community session entitled "Everything Open Source" Thursday evening the 7th from 6:10 PM to 7 ish. This happens just after the cocktail reception starts so... grab your drink, a snack and come with your questions about open source at Sun. We'll be able to answer your questions about Project GlassFish (application server), what and when Sun is open sourcing their middleware products and technologies and where to get the latested information on open source (hint: Hope to see you there.

Tuesday Feb 21, 2006

GlassFish vs. JBoss you decide

If you have not yet groked why there are multiple open source communities developing application servers - the answer is that choice is good for developers and keeps suppliers innovating. Here is a great thread on discussing the GlassFish and JBoss communities and thier relative merits. The one missing piece of information in this is that the application server developed by the GlassFish community is used by Sun, to create our documented and supported application server (SJSAS PE 9) which will be a robust, commercial product when the Java EE 5 spec is finalized and the app server is finally released by early Summer of this year.



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