Thursday Jan 07, 2010

Hashtags in Twitter

About hashtags and their use in Twitter -

Wednesday Dec 09, 2009

Thoughts on Agile Software Development

Posted on my blog -

Friday Oct 30, 2009

Social media and networking

My journey on the social media and networking highway continues. It has been based around linkedin, facebook and my blogger plus Sun blog accounts. Pretty recently, i have begun twittering and hope to make twitter a regular part of my social networking repertoire.

If you are on twitter and would like to join me, i am at


- John

Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

CDDL notes

CDDL  (Common Development and Distribution License) is an OSI approved, Open Source license. CDDL builds on the Mozilla Public License (MPL). CDDL follows file based licensing which means that files derived from commons must use the same license, while files added may use any license. Similarly, changes made to sources licensed under CDDL are expected to be shared, any new files need not be made public.

In terms of patent grant, CDDL provides explicit patent license which would make it easier for businesses to use the software without worries around patents. There is also a provision to discourage patent litigation also referred to as the “patent peace” provision which is about termination of rights in response to patent claims. If anyone initiates a patent claim that involves CDDL software, all rights which they have received to the software from everyone in the community is terminated.

CDDL is flexible in that it allows mixing of CDDL open source files with files licensed differently, including proprietary source files. This flexibility allows licensing new IP created in new files differently and even with a non-open source license. This could be useful in situations where we have third party code that cannot be open sourced and should remain proprietary or we wish to work with the open source base and build some custom extensions.

Friday Apr 03, 2009

GPL, LGPL notes

Some notes on the GPL vs LGPL licensing. For a detailed look at the individual licenses, visit the GNU website.

When a GPL licensed library is used along with a program that is under a proprietary or non-GPL license, the combined entity (program plus library) would be considered as a derivative work. If this combined entity is distributed under a non-GPL or proprietary license, it would be a violation of the GPL. Essentially, when a program is linked with a library (under GPL) either statically or otherwise, the combination is expected to follow the terms of the GPL.

The LGPL is more permissive with regard to linking code with the library and is normally used to permit linking libraries licensed under the LGPL with proprietary and non-free programs. Per GNU, “using the LGPL permits use of library in proprietary programs; using the ordinary GPL for a library makes it available only for free programs”

With the LGPL, there is the distinction between a derivative product that is based on the library vs work that links to the library or the library being used by a program. In the former case of being a derivative work, the similar set of rules as imposed by the GPL would apply. Moving across licenses (LGPL to GPL) is allowed. For example, a library licensed under LGPL may have its licensing changed to GPL.  The reverse is however not permitted.

Generally, you would want to go with the LGPL when you wish to promote and enable wide adoption of your library. For this to happen, you would want to permit non-free and proprietary programs to also use it besides the free programs. Also, when you wish to provide your library as a viable alternative to an existing commercially licensed component which would be the case when your free library is a reasonable substitute for available commercial components.  

Sunday Sep 21, 2008

Teams ...

Reflecting back on the kind of team members I have worked with over the years, i recall a quote that i came across a while ago that says, "Team builders are like tea leaves. They perform best in hot water." Personally, I have had (and still have!) the "good fortune" to work with some truly wonderful team members who perform very well across different types of situations; more so, when the chips are down and the only way to give seem to be - to either give-in or give-up. What kind are you ?

Wednesday Aug 20, 2008


Our team's been faithfully taking a break every once in a while to do something off-work. This week we decided to continue our now fairly regular intra-team bowling competition. We got together and after a quick lunch together, went for a round of bowling at the alley nearby.

One fact that bears mention is - for the sake of bowling, we've split our team into two sub-teams and compete against each other at regular intervals. Scores for each match are tracked on an internal wiki page by the respective team captains. There is a lot of cheering (and booing) while the game is on. I must admit, we tend to take our fun, seriously. Here are a couple of pictures of some folks in action.

Saturday Aug 16, 2008


People turn into commodities, when they are considered as inter-changeable units and when employees are valued equally regardless of their individual talents and abilities.

A good description of commoditization, was given by Thomas L. Friedman who states, "A commodity is any good, service or process that can be produced by any number of firms, and the only distinguishing feature between these firms is who can do it cheapest. Having your product or service turned into a commodity is no fun, because it means your profit margins will become razor thin, you will have dozens of competitors and all you can do is every day make that product or service cheaper and sell more of it than the next guy, or die."

This description can very well be applied to professionals. Technological advancements are one of the factors contributing to commoditization. Today's jobs, or at least elements of today's jobs will be commoditized by tomorrow's advancements in tools & technologies. At this juncture, reflect back on some of the hot jobs of yesteryears, their relevance and importance today. When organizations transform from entrepreneurial innovation & value creation to bureaucratic structures, employees transform from creative innovators to non-creative members who are trained to  operate within processes and structures to think and act in terms of defending what already exists.

In such a situation, what are you doing to differentiate yourself and avoid the commoditization trap ? The smart ones reinvent themselves, are constantly watching the trends, riding the winds of change, taking the opportunities that come along to learn, unlearn and relearn. Importantly, do not assume the value of your current skills will continue to increase or even hold the same level.

Saturday Mar 29, 2008

Life and times ...

I realize its been ages since i last posted anything here ... i did travel a bit ... some interesting trips to Wayanad (yes, again! with the super team that i'm part of), Chennai (to attend to a good friend's wedding) and Singapore (generally on a sudden trip!) ... hopefully i can now keep adding more content here in the days ahead.

For this post, i thought i'd write a few words about an interesting experience I had while coming back from Singapore. So, here goes ... Would you ever have imagined that a single stray dog can bring an entire airport to its knees, preventing all international and domestic flights from either landing or taking off ... the airport was virtually closed for couple of hours and incoming flights were diverted to another city ! Well, i'd never have thought such a thing could happen until i had the luck to be part of this event. Here're the details ...

I was aboard a Singapore Airlines flight traveling from Singapore to Bangalore. The flight was due to land in Bangalore Airport at ~ 9:30 - 9:45 PM. Just as we were hovering above the city, the pilot announced that our flight was being diverted to another city (Chennai) due to some problem at the Bangalore Airport. We did not then have much other information on happenings. After having landed in Chennai airport all we could do was stay in the plane and were not allowed to come out of it. Again, i did'nt have much to complain about, as a matter of fact i'm glad i got to go through this experience. I got to know the cabin crew much better, very nice folks working extremely hard to make sure the needs of the passengers were met. Since the plane wasn't too full, many of the passengers chose to occupy multiple adjacent seats and lie down for a nap. Also, none knew when we would reach Bangalore - so sleep seemed to be a good option with nothing much else possible. To me, sleep did'nt seem like the best thing to do especially when I was in such an interesting situation. As the saying goes ... When life gives you lemons ... make lemonade !

Decided to stroll around the plane and doing so, got to sit & chat with some of the cabin crew. We talked about the nature of their work, Indian and Singaporean cultures, etc. and shared some soft drinks and small eats. We were soon joined by a few other interesting passengers. Before we realized it, all of us were talking like old friends, joking, laughing (in the process waking up a few passengers who did'nt seem too amused with the boisterous proceedings) and generally having a great time ! After what seemed like a short while, the captain announced that the Bangalore airport was now open and we would be leaving to Bangalore. I did a quick time check .. it was 2 AM on a bright beautiful new day ... we'd spent nearly four hours on the plane at the Chennai airport ... having a nice time !

We returned to the now crowded Bangalore airport and after landing we had to wait a while to disembark. Finally, got out of the airport by ~ 4 AM. Looking back, it really seemed like a nice ending to a good trip. During that short stop at Chennai, made friends with an industrialist from Indonesia with a good knack for communicating & connecting with people, a friendly and cheerful Equity Researcher from HSBC and an IT professional from Infosys who along with his wife were returning from Hong Kong via Singapore. On hind sight I would'nt have minded a little more delay in returning to Bangalore, especially if I could meet with and connect with a few more such wonderful people !

Oh ! lest I forget, the reason for the delays at the Bangalore airport was - apparently a domestic flight hit a stray dog that wandered onto the run way just when the plane was about to take off.  This resulted in the plane's landing gear getting damaged and the entire airport had to be closed for domestic and international operations until the runway was cleared. Whoever said that every dog has its day, was right. This one's had its day and what a day its been !

Anyways, that to me was an interesting experience, but not an isolated one though ... i've been through similar interesting experiences. The last time i had a similar kind of an experience was during January this year, when I & my colleague Kalyan landed at London's Heathrow airport. At that time a British Airways plane crash landed just minutes before our flight reached there. Fortunately for us, this did not affect our onward journey out of London. We did however hear a lot about it on the news & from fellow passengers.

Anyways, looking forward to more interesting experiences in the days ahead !

Signing off this post with a quote by Alexander Woollcott, "There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day."

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Friday Feb 29, 2008

An interesting "Chat with God"

Its been a while (well, sadly thats how i've been starting my posts these days !) since i posted anything in this area.

Recently came across a message that my colleague, Swetha, sent my way. I found this interesting and thought i'd share it here.


God : Hello. Did you call me?

Me: Called you? No.. Who is this ?

God : This is GOD. I heard your prayers. So I thought I will chat.

Me: I do pray. Just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I am in the midst of something.

God : What are you busy at? Ants are busy too.

Me: Don't know. But I can't find free time. Life has become hectic. It's rush hour all the time.

God : Sure. Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you results. Activity consumes time. Productivity frees it.

Me: I understand. But I still can't figure out. By the way, I was not expecting YOU to buzz me on instant messaging chat.

God : Well I wanted to resolve your! Fight for time, by giving you some clarity. In this net era, I wanted to reach you through the medium you are comfortable with.

Me: Tell me, why has life become complicated now?

God : Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.

Me: why are we then constantly unhappy?

God : Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That's why you are not happy.

Me: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?

God : Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.

Me: But then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty. .

God : Pain is inevitable able, but suffering is optional.

Me: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?

God : Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don't suffer. With that experience their life become better not bitter.

Me: You mean to say such experience is useful?

God : Yes. In every terms, Experience is a hard teacher . She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.

Me: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can't we be free from problems?

God : Problems are Purposeful Roadblocks

Me: Frankly in the midst of so many problems, we don't know where we are heading..

God : If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Looking outside, you dream. Looking inside, you awaken. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides insight.

Me: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do?

God : Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than knowing you rode ahead. You work with the compass. Let others work with the clock.

Me: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?

God : Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

Me: What surprises you about people?

God : when they suffer they ask, "why me?" When they prosper, they never ask "Why me" Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Me: Sometimes I ask, who am I, why am I here. I can't get the answer.

God : Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.

Me: How can I get the best out of life?

God : Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

Me: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.

God : There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is NO.

Me: Thank you for this wonderful chat.

God : Well. Keep the faith and drop the fear . Don't believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live. " Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that took our breath away! "

Hope you find this message useful !

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John Morrison


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