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  • Roberto Galoppini 11:57 am on February 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AlanDoucette, DavidMyburgh, , KOI, MarkNoble, mybesinformatik,   

    Open Source CMS Books: Drupal 6 Sites Builder Solutions, by Packt 

    Packt – the publishing company specialized in books on software that have developed vibrant online communities – published ”Drupal 6 Site Builder Solutions”, yet another book on the 2008 Open Source CMS Award Winner.

    (More …)

  • Roberto Galoppini 1:12 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BillFitzgerald, , e-learning, educational software, JoelFarris, , PeterWolanin   

    Open Source CMS Books: Drupal for Education and E-Learning 

    Packt – the publishing company specialized in books on software that have developed vibrant online communities – just published ”Drupal for Education and E-Learning”, yet another book on the 2008 Open Source CMS Award Winner.

    The ”Drupal for Education and E-Learning” book was written by Bill Fitzgerald of FunnyMonkey, a company that recently launched a platform aimed at helping schools to share commons.  The book was reviewed by Joel “Senpai” Farris, COO at WorkHabit, Michael Peacock, founder of a consultancy specialised in web design, and Peter Wolanin, Drupal core developer now employed by Acquia.

    (More …)

    • Michael 4:54 pm on January 25, 2009 Permalink

      Thanks for the mention, Roberto!

  • Roberto Galoppini 6:11 pm on September 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Books: Zenoss Core 

    I spent the last days reading “Zenoss Core,” a book from Packt, the UK based publisher that just announced the finalists of this year Open Source CMS Award, as reported also by one of the judges.

    The book has been written by Michael Badger, who is neither a Zenoss project member nor a Zenoss employee, but one of the many Zenoss community members. The author explains all, starting from installation and finishing with monitoring, and is definitely a good step-by-step for beginners.

    Experienced users might find too little details about MIBs, but a whole chapter is aimed at extending Zenoss with Zenpacks and Zenoss plug-ins.

    Technorati Tags: open source monitoring, commercial open source, book, packt, michaelbadger, open soure cms award, network monitoring

  • Roberto Galoppini 4:15 pm on September 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Sourceforge: About fulfilling End-Users’ needs 

    Understanding Sourceforge stakeholders’ expectations might help Sourceforge to better exploit opportunities and manage challenges ahead, considering also actual and future scenarios in terms of competition.

    End-usersFocusing the camera on end-users by Pete Ashton

    Thinking of mechanisms to capture the value of FOSS Group Forming Networks, Sourceforge today is largely taking advantage of the opportunity to sell advertisements and sponsorships, it is experimenting with transactions through its SF marketplace and sells on demand collaborative development resources. Sourceforge don’t sell individual subscriptions, neither sells information or other value added services for collaborative software production.

    Advertising has increased in recent years, and advertisers and sponsors – ubiquitous stakeholders in the internet era – might be interested to persuade potential customers to buy some services Sourceforge is not selling today. I could go into deeper detail on that, but I will leave that for another post later. Now let’s focus on some stakeholders’ needs.

    End users.

    End-users want just software meeting their needs. Easy to say, harder to put in practice. For example, considering users looking for a CMS. They can step by cmsmatrix and get a clue by searching a CMS for the many available criteria. Unfortunately there are few similar resources on the net, and Sourceforge is definitely in the position to know which are the more frequent searches. Specific whitepapers to help people to make decisions could be sold for a fee or funded by a sponsor.

    Sourceforge top downloads pages could be enriched with rollovers shortly describing the programs, links to pages containing tips&tricks, and a “users who downloaded this program also downloaded” list, as Amazon does.

    Q&A like Yahoo answers or Linkedin questions could really help to effectively build the SF.net community. Despite Google answer failed to accomplish the task to create a knowledge market, the idea to make it only for questions about FOSS could worth some speculations.

    Peer to peer network users.

    In Europe we feel the urgency to take action against the European lobby trying to criminalize P2P usage, and I totally understand this is not Sourceforge’s battle. But I think Sourceforge could find ways to highlight legitimate, professional uses for that technology. Someone from the Sourceforge crew told me that it could be achieve by offering BitTorrent as an alternate download mechanism for SourceForge.net and reporting on Sourceforge editorial sites that Blizzard uses BitTorrent legitimately for World of Warcraft downloads and patches.

    Only World of Warcraft reached 10 million users, so educating communities of gamers to open source software usage seems important to me, considering their average age and social network skills.

    Next I will cover the enterprise side, either from developers’ and organizations’ points of view.

    Technorati Tags: commercial open source, sourceforge, business models, Q&A, market knowledge, yahoo answers, google answer, linkedin questions, world of warcraft, group forming networks, peer to peer

  • Roberto Galoppini 9:39 am on August 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Book: “Blogger: Beyond the basics” 

    The UK based publisher Packt, known to the open source world for its Open Source CMS Awards and to have donated  $100,000 to open source projects, has sent me a copy of “Blogger: Beyond the basics“, a book about using the Google blog publishing platform.

    The book is a pretty good guide to working with Blogger. The author Lee Jordan explains professional uses of the platform, ranging from managing ads to be your own boss to optimizing your blog for search engines.

    If you are using blogger and you want save time to learn how to get out the best from it, have a look at this book.

    Technorati Tags: blogger, book, packt, LeeJordan, open source donations

  • Roberto Galoppini 6:59 pm on January 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Tools: more on HP’s FOSSology anf FOSSBazar 

    The HP’s announcement of the availability of FOSSology, an open source tool to track and monitor the use of FOSS within an organization, and FOSSBazaar, a community platform to discuss best practices related to the governance of FOSS, is getting public attention.

    Martin Michlmayr, recently hired by HP to play the FOSSBazaar Community Manager, introduced me to Phil Robb – Engineering Section Manager in the Open Source and Linux Organization at HP – and I asked him more about the idea behind HP’s initiative.

    HP see’s a lot of fear uncertainty and doubt about FOSS from too many of the customers we work with – said him during a gorgeous dinner here in Rome – the FUD is not in the developers, it’s in the other folks in these companies who are responsible for the governance of the corporate software assets.

    The managers, legal team, procurement folks ,etc in HP have been working with FOSS a long time, and we are confident and comfortable with our use of FOSS and our support and participation in the community. We know there are other organizations like ours out there as well.

    It is obvious to us that if we help to build a “general consensus” across the corporate world as to how to manage FOSS, then many more organizations will also be confident and comfortable with their use of FOSS and therefore it’s adoption and usage will grow (along with the FOSS community in general). We think this is a good thing for both FOSS and the corporate community.

    If HP is recognized as a driving force behind this improved understanding of FOSS, then both the community and these corporate customers will look more favorably on HP, and our capabilities regarding FOSS than they have in the past. HP’s current reputation isn’t bad or negative, but it’s also not that well known. We want to improve that.

    Is HP going to kill Black Duck and or Palamida businesses? Both Black Duck and Palamida are welcoming the initiative, and I believe that HP is in the position to add momentum to the use of open source software without affecting their business.

    HP Open Source Health Check is a set of services HP is offering to its customers. Some of them are using the fixed-time fixed price formula, moving from the classical artisanship approach to an industrial way to deliver open source value. Others, like the Open Source Governance Assessment Service and the TCO Analysis Service, require a deep understanding of both closed and open source platforms in a variety of sectors, and sound pretty difficult to sell worldwide as a “productized service“.

    Matt Asay stressed the fact that HP is not creating a proprietary product, but going open source is probably the only way to get people’s attention in short time, and partnering with many important firms – like Google, Novell and SourceForge just to name a few -for co-authoring FLOSSBazar’s content it is definitely a smart move.

    Talking about FLOSSology, I am looking forward to see if now that Ohloh went open source it will eventually be included at same point. In the meantime I warmly suggest to insert either FLOSSology and FLOSSBazar on Savannah, considering that searching for Open Source Selection on google returns the Savannah’s entry for QSOS project as the very first result.

    Last but not least helping medium to large customers to understand if, within commercial Linux distributions in use by their systems, there are components and modules not supported by the vendor could be a plus.

    Am I right Phil?

    Technorati Tags: HP, FOSSology, FOSSBazar, Ohloh, open source selection, QSOS, Savannah, PhilRobb

    About Phil Robb.
    Phil Robb is Chairman, and General Manager of FOSSBazaar.org; a website and community dedicated to improving the governance and adoption of free and open source software within enterprises, institutions, and governments. Phil is also a section manager at Hewlett Packard leading their Open Source Programs Office. In that role Phil manages several product development teams focused on open source solutions and governance including the FOSSology project. Phil is also responsible for HP’s Open Source Review Board which is the governing body within HP for all open source software usage and deployment. Prior to joining HP in 2001, Phil held senior management and technical positions at Critical Path, Fisher Scientific, Motorola, and Honeywell-Bull. Phil received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Bowling Green State University, and attended Colorado State University toward a Masters degree in Computer Science.

    • Ross Turk 8:31 pm on January 29, 2008 Permalink

      Hey Roberto! Thanks for writing about this story. Over here at SF.net, we’ve been talking with the FOSSology team for a while now, and we’re committed to helping them in any way we can. I’m actually looking forward to meeting them face-to-face during the upcoming season of trade shows to talk about our path forward.

      I think that the location of open source code in a large, heterogeneous codebase is of high importance to everyone involved. From my perspective, this isn’t necessarily proof that companies should fear open source technology, as Dana Blankenhorn suggests (http://tinyurl.com/2xu8q9). This doesn’t have to be seen as an intrusion detection system for wicked alien code.

      Instead, I think this should be seen as a tool that companies can use to be well-educated on the license requirements of any code they utilize, so they can respect them and act accordingly.

      I also think it’s more than a little bit cool that open source code is of such tremendous usefulness that engineers are consistently taking advantage of it to “get the job done”…so much so that it compels business owners to consider the various legal implications. I believe, as Phil does, that providing tools to help business owners better understand just how valuable open source code is to their business will be a good community investment.


    • Roberto Galoppini 11:32 pm on January 29, 2008 Permalink

      Hi Ross,

      it is always a pleasure to receive your feedback!

      Dana is right saying that (medium to large) enterprises need their own internal network of engineers and programmers, but this can hardly be the first step. I see HP now offering services previously offered only by small open source firms, and that is good. The FOSS market need more momentum, and HP can greatly help the process, changing open source perception by large customers.

      As I wrote I see also some space to offer value added services, license compliance it is just one of them.

  • Roberto Galoppini 9:35 am on July 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Book: The Family Guide to Digital Freedom 

    The Family Guide to Digital Freedom,” June 2007 edition is now available for purchase at Lulu.com, have a look at the website to know more.

    Marco Fioretti, the aythor, is a freelance writer living in Italy, he did write also “File Format: Hidden traps in OpenDocument (or any other open standard) and how to avoid them“, an interesting article about problems and issues related to every open standard.

    Below some information about the book and also an excerpt of the book. (More …)

    • patrizia paoletti 11:51 am on September 13, 2007 Permalink

      It’s very interesting and useful to have such a book to read but i think parents and teachers can’t sleep quietly because some tools(i.e smart-phone)let them use individually without any adults’help or presence.
      The following quote:”This book is here to…allow you to protect yourself and the future of your children.”
      is very relaxing but you cannot lower the danger level, because kids aren’t aware or responsible yet.So the solution to solve the problem is Media Education,better the New ME,to give them the chance to be digital citizens

    • mfioretti 9:51 pm on September 27, 2007 Permalink

      It’s very interesting and useful to have such a book to read but i think parents and teachers can’t sleep quietly because some tools(i.e smart-phone)let them use individually without any adults’ help or presence.


      Thanks for your comment. Now, while what you say is certainly true, it is not the focus of my book at all, for a couple of reasons. I do mention the fact that constantly keeping a watchful eye on what children do even in the digital space is essential, but this would have never be a reason to take up such a challenge: first of all because there already are plenty of books and blogs giving practical advice at this level, and then because this is an issue that most parents are naturally able to see by themselves, without any external support. “It is important to monitor your children while they are online and explain the risks of being there” is not so different conceptually from “it is important to monitor your children while they are playing in the street, or at school, and explain etc etc…”, even if the knowledge to handle the former case is much less widespread.

      What the Guide is about is showing to parents and teacher the dangers for the future of their children of which they don’t even realize the existence:

      what are the environmental impacts of the software you install on your home computer?

      why is the very concept of e-voting seriously limited?

      what is the real, practical reason why it is bad that you should pay hundreds of dollars to use a Disney soundtrack in your home movies, even if it is almost impossible that they find and fine you?

      how much is the average family already paying or will pay, in the most different and unexpected ways (from destruction of cultural heritage to already paying fines, many times, for crimes they never committed or the reduction of truly creative and satisfying jobs for adults of tomorrow) thanks to arcane acronums like DRM, IP, ECMA-376 or
      ISO 26300?

      These and many others are all bad things that are already happening and would continue to happen in the same way even if all parents had the ability to never make their children use smart-phones or computers without supervision, or if all children of the world were wise enough to never misuse these tools.

      This is what the Guide is about: explaining in the simplest possible language what these dangers are, why and how they are actually hurting all of us (“your civil rights and the quality of your life heavily depend on how software is used around you”), and how to fight them. And it does this without ever assuming, as several radical FOSS supporters do, that in order to act one should become a software professional or love programming.

      The following quote: “This book is here to “allow you to protect yourself and the future of your children.” is very relaxing but you cannot lower the danger level

      This depends on which danger(s) you are looking at, or on how many dangers today’s average parent and teacher are already able to see. This is what really worries me, this is why I wrote the book. There are many Digital Dangers that can be neutered, and the moment to do it is now: but only if enough people start seeing them.

      kids aren’t aware or responsible yet.So the solution to solve the problem is Media Education,better the New ME,to give them the chance to be digital citizens.

      Of course. But in this specific time and age, it is absolutely
      necessary that parents and teachers have the right information take the matter in their own hands, that they make by themselves the right choices and vote accordingly. Because it’s not a technical decision, it is an ethic one. Otherwise that New Media Education will be one that only benefits a few corporations.

  • Roberto Galoppini 7:08 pm on March 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Users: the Value of a “Free” Customer 

    Keeping in mind the value of non-paying customers I happened to read an Alex Fletcher’s post about the paper “The Value of ‘free’ Customer” mentioned by Nick Carr in another recent post.

    For free - skypeAn application fo free by malthe

    The paper is about so-called two-sided markets, markets in which one or several platforms enable interactions between end-users, and try to get the two (or multiple) sides “on board” by appropriately charging each side.

    While Open Source firms do not play in a two-sided market, the mathematical model created , as suggested also by the authors, might be applied in other areas, hopefully in the OS arena too.

    Gupta, one of the authors, said:

    working on understanding and modeling complex network structures such as those of MySpace. Here the issue that we are grappling with is the tangible and intangible value of customers. In other words, customers provide tangible value to a firm through direct purchases but they also provide intangible value through network effects or word of mouth. It is quite possible that some customers have low tangible but high intangible value. Traditional models would label such customers as low value and would miss a huge opportunity for a firm.

    Technorati Tags: open source, network effect

  • Roberto Galoppini 2:43 pm on January 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Commons and business: Capitalism 3.0 

    Peter Barnes in Capitalism 3.0 talks about the costs and benefits of the free market.

    In his metaphore capitalism is run by an “operating system”, giving too much resources to big corporations, who distribute profits to tiny portion of the population.

    In order to fix capitalism 2.0 “bugs” he suggests to protect the commons by giving it property rights and strong institutional managers named commons trust.

    The book is freely downloadable, but you can also buy it.

    • Savio Rodrigues 12:29 am on February 1, 2007 Permalink

      Thanks for the pointer – sounds like a good read.

    • Roberto Galoppini 12:48 am on February 1, 2007 Permalink

      You’re welcome, let me know what do you think about it.

  • Roberto Galoppini 12:32 pm on January 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Science: Karim Lakhani 

    Professor Karim Lakhani, co-founder of the MIT-based Open Source research community and web portal. He has studied extensively the emergence of OSS communities and their innovation and product development strategies, and investigated how knowledge from outside of the organization can be put to use inside for innovation.

    Reading an interview with Lakhani,I enjoyed the following quotation,

    People often think about open source as a special case, as if such openness can only happen in software.

    Martha Lagace asked him how did he start to become interested in scientific problem solving

    In open source communities we see a vast degree of openness in which everybody can participate, but also the practice of broadcasting your work to everybody else. People continually broadcast their problems, others broadcast solutions, and the person with the problem is not always the one with the solution. Oftentimes, somebody else can make sense of both what the problem has been and what people are proposing as solutions, and can come up with a better answer.

    I also read a book by Dava Sobel about the longitude prize [Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time]. Finding longitude at sea was one of the toughest economic, scientific, and technological problems up until the eighteenth century. Isaac Newton said the only way to solve the problem was through astronomical methods, but he was proven wrong because someone from rural Yorkshire, England, came up with a clock that could keep time at sea. Nobody had anticipated that that kind of invention was practical.

    About the difference between problem solving within OS communities and scientific circles

    Open source software developers are very pragmatic and focused on solving problems. Scientists are focused on problems too, but their priority is often publication and that can sometimes come in the way of openness and sharing. The ideals of science are, of course, openness, sharing, and no restrictions on the free flow of knowledge, but in practice that doesn’t happen much at all. Some scientists, however, are pushing back and many say they need to rethink how they conduct science.

    About risks related to opening problems to people outside the organization

    For firms, the first order risk is the loss of intellectual property, especially if you think about the fact that most firms and scientists believe that the problems they work on are actually their most important things. If you provide hints to competitors, it will reveal a lot of your strategy.

    I think it’s a legitimate concern, although practice doesn’t prove that out in the sense that even if other people know about the problems you’re working on or have seen your solutions, it’s very hard to implement those solutions in other settings. Knowledge is actually very sticky. Even if you reveal everything about what’s going on, there’s tacit knowledge behind a lot of scientific and technological activities.

    And the benefit of opening up your problems to outsiders is that in fact you can get novel solutions—quicker solutions than what the firm or R&D lab might develop. It also opens up new domains for the pursuit of knowledge and activities.

    But it’s still a very counterintuitive way of working.

    If you want to know more about outsiders, reputation and his research read the full story.

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