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  • Roberto Galoppini 12:38 am on June 5, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Blogs: Commercial Open Source Software partners with OpenBusiness! 

    Christian Ahlert, project lead of Creative Commons England and Wales, few days ago kindly asked me to join OpenBusiness, a space aimed at sharing Open Business ideas built around openness, free services and free access.

    I am glad to contribute to an online resource of innovative business models, and I am looking forward to share knowledge and lessons from the commercial open source world.

    Join the club Join the club by WAXY

    Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, Open Business

  • Roberto Galoppini 11:24 am on May 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Italian Open Source developers: Michele Sciabarrà 

    Michele Sciabarrà is an Italian Technical Writer and Consultant, he wrote two books and many articles and tutorials. He specialized in Java, Linux and Symbian Technology and he is running his own firm. I asked Michele to answer few questions because sharing his story he might help other programmers might develop their attitude toward open source.

    How did you get involved with Free Software?

    I really started loving floss very early. My first experience with the concept was at the university, in 1991 or 1992 I believe. At the time I was a Computer Science student, very frustrated with the lack of hackable machines.
    There was an Unix machine (an Ultrix Vax to be precise) I was using for an AI exam where I found a lot of GNU software installed on.
    I poked around, used the software, read the licenses, and understood the philosophy. In the academic environment it really made sense. Later when I enjoyed the business side of the thing, the collaboration was not the first step, but the last one, when everything else failed.
    At the time I had at home a PC IBM (8086) but I did know that there was no way (at the time) to run the GNU software. But eventually I got Minix, installed it, run it, read all the Tanenbaum book (the same book that read Linus Torvalds), including the source code, and dreamed to have at home all that godsend running in the Ultrix machine.
    That dream became true a few years later, when finally I got the money to buy a 486 PC where I installed an ancient (now extinct) Linux distro (SLS).
    Then I never stopped using free software. After graduating I made almost all the jobs using Linux.

    What does it mean to you being an Italian Open Source Entrepreneur?

    I would to make clear that I never intended to became an Open Source entrepreneur, my focus was the net as the new medium, with the endless opportunity and problems that poses.
    But in the end, I have to say that the business activity I did was the same that many others “open source companies” does: installing and customizing open source systems.
    When you offer to your clients a super-powered website, that they call, depending on their mood, CMS, portal, e-commerce, but in the end is always a some form of a web application, you are involved in providing them all the pieces, not only the software but also the machine, the operating system, the database and so on.

    Due to my background, I was never able to provide them a “windows-based” solutions and feeling myself comfortable (and also I never liked windows as a server solution, although I appreciate it as a client platform). I always provided open source and free software based systems. But I did it for technical, not philosophical reasons. So I became familiar with all the licensing and legal questions related. But what I always liked, was the benefit of being able to change the software if it was needed.

    Two real-world examples: in a project I developed, I had to make a special processing of a file uploaded by ftp. If I was not able to change the code of an open source ftp server, I had to rewrite the FTP server software. In another case, I had to generate a DBF files that was to be compatible with a particular buggy software. The format required was not standard, and I fixed things patching the open source library used to generate those DBFs. These are real advantages, you can only dream of them if you are using proprietary software.

    Monitoring the activities of many Italian “open source” companies, I never found they where really open source. Providing services based on open source software is not different from providing services around proprietary software. The main advantage is that clients buy your services because you do not charge licenses. The drawback is that the client does not get this, you are only “the cheaper one”, and being the cheaper one is NOT advantage that you can sustain in the long run.
    In fact, a lot of similar companies popped up recently, and the price war made the service model of open source absolutely unsuitable. Nowadays the open source companies in Italy are “the php kids”, that provide at very low fee “absurd” web sites full of functions that really no one needs but the clients wants, just because they think it is cool (and cheap) to have; so they want everything in their site, in order to look better than their competitors. I saw recently a lot of request for web sites with lots of functionalities (forum, cms, shop and many other things) that are sold for rate so low that you can only install the software, and you cannot even afford to have the time to check if everything works, not to mention any sort of customization.

    Also the sad part of many “open source” companies is that, when they develop something (often something very simple), they tend to DO NOT release it to the public, even when they should do it to comply to the license of the original work they modified. Nevertheless I know some companies that have a real open source model and they understand what this mean. But they usually do not work for Italian customers. The average italian customer is not even able to understand that the modification you made for it HAVE to be redistribuited, so often you simply do not say nothing.

    I am not used to deliver web applications for SMBs, and I am willing to report others’ experiences. About respecting open source license I believe that we should educate customers and users, as OpenOffice.org volunteer I often reply to questions raised by users and firms about licensing issues. It is a dirty job, but somebody has got to do it! 😉 (More …)

  • Roberto Galoppini 12:28 pm on May 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Commercial Open Source is a Juggling act (part II) 

    Commercial Open Source has a lot in common with Juggling, and once you have broken the problem down into simpler steps, it is up to your discretion what to do next.

    Juggler Absentmindedly juggling by T Bell

    In juggling balance is an essential skill, but it doesn’t equal to stillness.

    The downside of balance is that you don’t want things to change. The moment you’ve achieved balance, you’d better be ready and willing to get rid of it. Because if you stay with what you think is perfect balance, you’ll be far from in control. Remember, there is no perfect balance; there’s only the approach to it.

    Open sourcing your software – throwing the balls – it is just the very first step, then you started playing you need to continuously refine your technique. Look at Funambol, now playing with two “balls” (community and carrier edition) instead of three: they are keeping moving and refining their business model. So does Alfresco, GPLing its software in order to give its new hybrid community a chance – and here I see a need for major adjustments, if they really want it to be a multiple vendors’ project.

    Juggling is also about being flexible to the unexpected:

    flexible to mistakes of any kind, like the wrong music coming up.When the unexpected flares up, you have to have a sense of humor — to know that your position has been compromised. It’s not the end of the world.

    May be at Novell they didn’t expect what’s going to happen because of the so-called nefarious deal, but it took ages for them to “catch” it, and the public get annoyed by not-so-humorous tricks. They were not proficient also in the “show-ending“, eventually.

    Open Source firms have to juggle different types of things, and the different characteristics of the objects affects your business game.

    Worse than dropping objects is letting them collide in the air and fall in random patterns. To prevent this, you need to create a separate flight path for each object. This comes from training and from knowing how objects move. A ring is a thin planar object that can slide through the air. A club creates a much bigger planar area as it revolves on its axis, and it takes up a lot more space. Then there’s the ball — the easy one that flits in and out of space. But the funny thing is that it’s usually the ball that screws everything up.

    Persons are like balls, if your business is based upon a community-based resource you really need to pay a lot of attention to retain them: a weak intellectual property asset need care.

    Customers are like clubs, the Internet it is just to small, and customers’ satisfaction gets more and more important when (and if) the exit cost is small. Despite the buzz can greatly help to get new users and eventually customers, but then you need to keep listening them.

    Partners are like rings, quite difficult to throw, but once in the air they are consistent with the original trajectory, unless you try to juggle them under wind conditions. Once you get partners, they tend to stay.

    And you better know that numbers jugglers do their best just with rings!

    Michael Moschen, one of greatest living jugglers, was interviewed by Anna Muoio, a Fast Company‘s journalist who wrote an inspirational article entitled “Life is a Juggling act“. I grabbed some idea from the original article – that I would recommend if interested in the subject – to talk about Commercial Open Source and Juggling.

    Technorati Tags: commercial open source, juggling, moschen

  • Carlo Daffara 6:40 am on May 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Blueprints: replicable experiments in open source adoption 

    Is there a better way for helping companies and public administrations in the OSS adoption process? Most adoptions are based on a few different paths, for example by grassroots adoption, from consultancy intervention, by trying to replicate a known success story. In this sense, the concept of “best practice” can be considered as a way to tell others of something that worked well, but in the past it has not been successful in replicating the experience.

    Best Practices Best Practices by andai

    So, considering that most public administrations are pushing for initiatives to help the adoption process (even if it mainly means creating another forge – like the Italian one just launched – I would like to propose the concept of the “implementation blueprint” as an
    extension of the best practice model. The idea came out of our experience in the
    Open TTT project, that is trying to leverage the technology transfer process used in the IRC network to facilitate the match between technology demand and offer in OSS.

    A blueprint is a replicable and complete description of a set of tools and processes that satisfied a specific need. In this sense, a complete blueprint must contain the following items:

    • a complete description of the needs; this should include a complete textual
    • description of what was requested, including mandatory and secondary requests
    • a description of the context of the needs, for example within a public
    • administration, with specific legal requirements, an SME, etc
    • the set of technologies used
    • the process implemented
    • criticalities or additional constraints appeared during the implementation process
    • an estimate of the human effort invested in the migration process.

    Why so much detail? Because replicability requires a significant amount on information not only on the technological means, but also on how those tools were used to create a complete solution.

    As these mapping efforts are already under way – for example the Italian Open Source Observatory has a listing section, called “vetrina” that provides short summaries of public administrations’ experience with open source – it may be interesting to propose a collaborative writing process, maybe wikipedia-based, to turn nice-to-know stories into replicable experiences.

    [tags] Open Source Observatory, OpenTTT, best practice [tags]

  • Roberto Galoppini 11:33 pm on May 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Government: Italy launches its Forge 

    The Minister of Reform and Innovations in Public Administration, Luigi Nicolais, and the President of the Center for the application of Italian Ministry of Innovation and Technology Politics (CNIPA), Livio Zoffoli, today announced the latest initiative of the Italian Open Source Observatory.

    The Collaborative Development Environment (ASC, Ambiente di Sviluppo Cooperativo) offers Italian Public Administrations a medium to co-develop open source applications with other public administrations, market players and research institutes.

    Public Administrations need software aimed at addressing specific needs, and the collaboration platform has been designed to help them to involve partners in developing software public goods.

    Luigi Nicolais commented:

    Public Administrations will benefit of the advantages of open source software now, beyond software customizing they will learn how to share it easier, eventually opening a market for software services and reducing time-to-market and costs of acquisition.

    He also added that:

    Among e-Government’s strategic lines it is necessary to study and define a model to use open source software assuring economic sustainability, within a market where Public Administrations and software firms play their respective roles.

    About ASC

    ASC is a collaborative development environment based on GForge, to help public administrations to collaborate, using message forums , mailing lists and tools to create and control access to Source Code Management repositories.

    Related post:

    Italian Government: funds to sustain open source innovation

    Technorati Tags: Open Source Government, Italy, CNIPA

  • Roberto Galoppini 7:32 pm on May 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Business models: to be or not to be community-driven 

    While Seth Grimes was in Rome we took a chance to have a nice chat talking of open source business models, and we happened to discuss about differences between proprietary and open source business models.

    How old is your community? by Insane Zamboni

    Characterizing Open as Altruistic and Closed as Profit-driven is, agreed, too black-and-white to explain the many businesses that seek to profit from open source. But on reflection, I like my table as-is. Open-source businesses are universally hybrids, whether they seek to profit from their altruism – those companies such as CentricCRM and Pentaho that sell support for software offerings that are completely free, open source – versus those such as SugarCRM and JasperSoft that are altruistic only to the point where they can attract paying customers for the closed parts of their software stacks. Open-source businesses span the table columns. Whether Open or Closed predominates in a given case depends on the particular business model.

    Reading Seth’s back thoughts on what characterizes open and closed business models, I got back to the idea that classifying Open Source production models is not a mere academic curiosity. On the contrary it makes a lot of sense, since it affects at large the software life-cycle.

    Corporate Open Source

    Hybrid Open Source


    An Open Source firm

    A multi-stakeholder entity

    Product development

    Driven by corporate economics

    Driven by product functionality


    Limited numbers, all employed by the supplier, not reachable from outside the organization.

    Varies from a small to very large group of developers. Often permanently employed by the original author or other firms, volunteers or sponsored.


    Commonly not organised, every user maintains – if any – direct contact with the supplier independently from other users.

    Users participate in virtual communities and discuss among themselves and with the developers about the product, potentially influencing its development.

    The original version (edited) was extracted by the Open Source Maturity Model document

    While I can’t agree with Dion Almaer that if a company open sources its software it is a token gesture, I believe he raised some very important issues, describing what he meant for community driven open source – or hybrid production model, in my words.

    If you don’t have any committers from outside of your company. You probably aren’t community driven.

    If you didn’t spend time cleaning up documentation for the community when you opened it up. You probably aren’t community driven.

    If your users haven’t helped with the documentation if it is lacking. You probably aren’t community driven.

    If you do not have some kind of forums/lists where people help each other out. You probably aren’t community driven.

    If you aren’t willing to put in a lot of effort to build your community to get true benefits. You probably aren’t community driven.

    I don’t think an Open Source firm has to fulfill all of these requirements to proudly call itself community-driven, but if they can’t positively answer any of them I doubt they are taking part of a so-called community.

    I warmly suggested Carlo Daffara to take into consideration also this aspect when describing open source business models within FLOSSMETRICS.

    Is your Open Source Firm different?

    Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, community-driven, flossmetrics, grimes, almaer

    • Chris Marino 1:18 pm on May 17, 2007 Permalink

      Tony Wasserman at CMU West has done some research into this and has developed a framework for organizing the different methodologies.

    • Dominic Sartorio 2:16 am on May 18, 2007 Permalink

      Thanks for raising this excellent topic. At the OSA (Open Solutions Alliance), we have a diverse membership and are often asked what we consider to be “open” business models. So, we track this issue with great interest.

      Inevitably, discussion goes down the path of licensing, or how strong each member’s community it. What isn’t discussed enough, IMO, is what best meets customer needs. Ultimately that should determine which business models are best. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Customer requirements can vary greatly, depending on industry, their IT best practices, the type of solution in question, and the skills and know-how required to implement it. Companies that serve different market segments must evolve their business models to best meet the requirements of that segment. Some may be more services-intensive, requiring frequent code customization for example, while others aren’t necessarily best served by purely OSD-compliant management and licensing of source code, but benefit from “open-ness” in other ways. Because open source, especially in the applications space, is still relatively new, we think there is much room for experimentation regarding what business models are best for the most customers. Consequently, we don’t limit our membership based on some preconceived notion of business models we think ought to be the best. Let customers decide that, not us.

      However, there is one notion that we don’t compromise. There’s a difference between “old guard” proprietary organizations and more open, collaborative organizations. The former hoard know-how, act unilaterally, and are always trying to “manage” how customers and partners perceive their products and solutions, as if yielding as little real information as possible is the key to business success. The latter instead share know-how, and act collaboratively with their customers and within their industry, and they compete based on their ability to make customers successful. We fundamentally believe that open and collaborative behavior is consistently superior to closed and unilateral behavior. This difference go beyond how the source code is managed, to how the company fundamentally operates; How it engages with its customers and partners, its corporate marketing, and even corporate culture and internal politics. A company’s DNA is either one or the other; these don’t mix.

      This is hard to quantify, but you know it when you see it when interacting with the management. There are some typical markers… GPL-licensing is a good sign. So is having public forums for customer feedback. (A closed company would never want the rest of the world to see an unfiltered view of what its customers think about its products.) But there are multiple ways a company can operate and still be “open”.

      Your thoughts are welcome. I’m not sure it’s possible to form a comprehensive taxonomy of open business models, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    • Roberto Galoppini 8:53 pm on May 18, 2007 Permalink


      I have been a strong advocate for the Open Source Maturity Model, and I thought that the Business Readiness Rating could be considered its evolution.

      None of them became a standard yet, before them even the GRAM/GRAS list had not much success indeed.

      Apparently consultants did not succeed by these means in producing definitive answers on which open source software is best suited to cover a particular need. Why? Once again one size doesn’t fit all.

    • Roberto Galoppini 5:48 pm on May 20, 2007 Permalink


      I appreciated very much that you came over to comment my post and I am glad you at the Open Solutions Alliance are taking seriously this issue.

      While how strong each member’s community is, it is partially due to members’ choices, licensing on the contrary is totally under their control.

      I wrote about “false positive” talking about OSA’s decision to accept members not using open source licenses.

      You are right saying that there is room for experimentation regarding what business models are best, but pretending to sell open source while selling proprietary software is misleading.

      If you don’t compromise (only) on the degree of openness

      We fundamentally believe that open and collaborative behavior is consistently superior to closed and unilateral behavior. This difference go beyond how the source code is managed, to how the company fundamentally operates; How it engages with its customers and partners, its corporate marketing, and even corporate culture and internal politics.

      you should be clear about it, and tell everyone OSA has decided not to talk about open source (while not it is even under the logo, reporting “open source at work”). Then you might consider to make some changes to your website, that says:

      From time to time, the OSA may use the term “open source solutions” or “open source based solutions.” We do not mean to confuse this with the OSI’s Open Source Definition, which includes requirements not included in our open solution definition.

      This way OSA is contributing to make open source definition uncertain, don’t you agree?

      Your opinion is always welcome.

    • Dominic Sartorio 11:24 pm on May 20, 2007 Permalink

      Hi Roberto, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Yes, we had our own “false start” through sloppy use of the term “open source” when we originally launched last winter. Open Source (capital ‘O’, capital ‘S’) means something very specific, as defined by the OSI, and the OSA intends to cover broader ground, for the reasons I described in my previous post. Our collective experience has been that customer value can be achieved in a variety of ways, and some of them don’t always fit a strict definition.

      You found other parts of our website that we overlooked. Thanks for finding this, and we will fix this. We don’t intend to cause further ambiguity around what it means to be “open source”, but rather clarify an issue that we believe hasn’t received enough attention: focus on customer needs. In an effort to avoid confusion, we came up with our own term, “Open Solution Definition”.

      Rest assured that our continuing work on this issue will be done in fully open and collaborative ways. Just like open and collaborative development has led to great Open Source products, we believe that open collaboration by the vendor community on various business issues is the best way to achieve customer success.

      Many vendors are incapable of this behavior. Some grew during the pre-WWW time when business success depended on unilateral behavior and “knowledge hoarding” than the collaborative behaviors that modern technologies now enable. Take a look at a more recent blog re: the Microsoft patent issue as an example.

  • Carlo Daffara 6:51 pm on May 15, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Trust networks, consultancies, and why proprietary market leaders are still leaders 

    Expanding the idea of peer conversations as basis for IT decisions, I would like to extend a little bit the reasons for my belief that this trend will probably continue, and lend to some unexpected results.

    Let’s start by thinking as a CIO that has to decide on a new technology, or in integrating a new software system in the company’s infrastructure. The only thing that the CIO knows is the fact that creating software from scratch is costly and requires a significant ongoing maintenance cost, so shifts the decision to a software platform from some vendor, and seeks advice on a company that may provide the necessary integration.

    Using this limited information, what the CIO knows is that:

    • there is a large number of potential platforms to choose from
    • some may be more appropriate than others, and that choosing the wrong one may cause significant delays and added cost
    • just browsing through the advertising material is not sufficient to choose in an appropriate way
    • that the long-term viability of a company can only be guessed.

    So, what is the best strategy? We can try to imagine what a perfectly rational CIO would do, that is it would create a probability tree and try to guess at the potential events, their probability, and their impact. So, for example, if we choose by ourselves, the probabilities may be:


    In this scenario, the CIO has to give an initial estimates at the probability of succeeding. How can she do it? By looking at similar tasks, for example. As most people uses Microsoft, or IBM, or SAP, she is fairly confident that she can use those too, and as those companies are still alive, they are probably doing it right. This is of course a false assumption, as there is limited information on failed or delayed project (outside the largest ones, like some government IT nightmares), but it is the only information that the CIO does have. Given this information, she knows that by choosing wisely, the potential cost of vendor A is 1.5, with vendor B is 2.4, with vendor C is 4. But she does not if the selection is appropriate, or if all the vendors have been included in the list.

    We have also not considered what happens after the end of the project, like what happens if the company leaves the market, or decides to change the platform without giving enough time for a migration strategy, and so on; but we will leave this for a later post.

    Now, let’s say that the CIO has already tried some projects, and discovered that she is unable to estimate probabilities with reasonable accuracy. At this point, she would probably go to a consultancy, that is an independent party with better information on the products, that has demonstrated to be able to select with more accuracy the appropriate probabilities. This is always advantageous, as long as the consultancy has an information advantage on the CIO; the price that she pays goes in a commensurate reduction in the risks associated with the project.

    But what happens when the consultancy seems no more able than the CIO to select the platform, or when it is suspected that the suggestions are not entirely independent? Then, the CIO has no alternative than trying as much as possible to remain on the “tried and tested”, and hope that everything will continue to be fine.

    What happened recently? The change is that the idea of openness and the availability of open forums allowed users to exchange information (sometimes even in an anonymous form), giving the CIO insight on what really works and what does not. This first hand information is for example what allowed many open source server projects to be deployed in a grass-roots fashion; because system administrators were exchanging information about them, and the best ones succeeded. Now this process is starting to be used at higher levels, and this goes back to the death of generalists conferences: as those do not allow for a venue for information exchange in a bilateral way, the users started feeling that it was not useful anymore when compared to web, second life, traditional marketing and so on.

    So we suppose that users (CIOs) are more interested in conversations. But can a CIO base her own opinion on talking with strangers? The reality is that in a way similar to how Google PageRanks adjusts relevance, the user networks created on blogs, digg-like social sites, or unconferences are adjusting themselves for relevance, and allows trust to emerge from seemingly untrusted parties.

    The concept is simple: let’s say that a user talks on a blog about his experience with a product, and other read about it. Around this post, may additional links may be created, some criticizing, some praising the text; and eventually, some users that share information often may become “daily reading material”. The usefulness, and reliability of the source can be inferred easily, by reading at the text itself, if the reasoning or the experience seems reasonable, and how others react to the post.

    While it may be imaginable that one blogger may be paid for talking in a positive way about a product, it is difficult to imagine that *every* user is biased or unreliable, and we can read and verify even the dissenting views with ease. This way, “reliable” writers and experts can emerge for free, and the CIO can verify everything without paying a consultant to get the same information. Of course this does not means that errors do not happen – only that errors are public, and that it is possible for everyone to check any step or any information against public sources.

    This is the real value that is arising from “web2.0” networks, that is the spontaneous creation of networks of peers, that can be trusted thanks to their transparency and willingness to cooperate. I can only guess that this form of value will be probably not be judged in a positive way by sellers, as this negates some lock-in advantage (the push for unified single-company platforms, for example); but this may be the only potential way to exit from a “lemon market” and giving back to the user the power to choose among products in an unbiased way.

    [trust networks, peer discovery, open source]

  • Carlo Daffara 7:03 pm on May 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Conferences, knowledge dissemination and the discovery of peers 

    As seen the traditional process used by companies to disseminate information and collect potential customers is becoming less and less useful; i is just the beginning of an overall transformation of how companies look at external information sources (like consulting companies).

    In the beginning of the commercial computer era, most users were connected through user clubs, since most software was developed in-house, and the software market was still in its infancy. Groups like SHARE, the first unix communities, VAX users groups and such provided the essential knowledge technicians needed, and were centered on the idea that software and hardware vendors were few, and user experiences were centered on real and concrete evidence.

    Unconference Unconference by MichaelBee

    With the consolidation of the shrinkwrapped software market and the multiplication of deployable technologies, the need for directions and information was not satisfiable with user conferences, and the consultancies were born – fundamentally, people with deep knowledge of a specific sector, reselling this knowledge to reduce the risk of implementation of a new technologies, or the time necessary to implement it. This period marked the beginning of comparison tools (like the infamous Quadrant), necessary in a world where one solution was exluding all the others.

    Open standards, open source and the substantial opening of IT architectures changed everything again; this, and the fact that consultancies were no longer current or reliable on trends that change in a very short time (anyone remembers the “push web” craze? the original Microsoft internet killer, Microsoft network? WAP?) and were found to be not so impartial after all.

    This void is being filled by a new generation of knowledge disseminator, be it small and efficient consultancies like RedMonk (that show that openness can be effective) and vertical conferences, that are less trade shows and more conversations. This resurgence of exchanging information as peers is what is really innovative, or maybe a return to the roots; the fact that customers are being treated less as passive suppliers of money, and more as partners in a long-term strategy, in a way that is strikingly similar to the kind of partnership that OSS companies create with their customers.

    Technorati Tags: Open Source conference, peers discovery, redmonk, knowledge dissemination

  • Roberto Galoppini 5:24 pm on May 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Source Website: SWiK by SourceLabs 

    Cybernote weekend website article is dedicated to SWiK, a community-driven website created by SourceLabs aimed at allowing people to share all kind of information about open source projects.

    SwiK is a kind of Newsvine about software development and open source projects, aimed at helping people to organize the world of open source. SwiK it is an open source wiki and it uses Ajax, JavaScript and Textile, making editing easy and straightforward, try it out by yourself.

    In Ashley‘s words:

    It’s like Wikipedia, Del.icio.us, and Digg all mixed into one, but it’s just for anything related with Open Source projects. The great thing about SWiK is that it showcases all of the hard work that people have put into their Open Source projects. If you’re unfamiliar with Open Source projects and you’d like to find and discover new ones, this is the perfect place to start.

    Anyone can contribute, writing anything related to open source, in any language, where English is the default one.

    Looking for some hystorical background I found a long post by Alex Bosworth about SWiK first “birthday”, a reading that I recommend to whom interested in social software.

    Alex says also that Spikesource SourceLabs is using SWiK internally:

    I don’t think there’s any reason it can’t be used for various purposes beyond driving swik.net, and in fact for the past 6 months internally at SourceLabs we’ve repurposed SWiK-Source to run as our internal wiki to help organize our internal projects. People write weekly status reports in the blog pages, describe design policies in wiki pages, and use tags to avoid a disorganized wiki.

    I am willing to give it a try, I’ll keep you posted about it.

    Technorati Tags: Open Source, SWiK, SourceLabs, social software

    • Vin 5:38 pm on May 7, 2007 Permalink

      Did you mean ‘SourceLabs’ when you said “Spikesource is using SWiK internally” ? Because the title and content do not match.

    • Roberto Galoppini 5:54 pm on May 7, 2007 Permalink

      Vin thank you, I promptly corrected my mistake!

  • Roberto Galoppini 5:48 pm on April 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Second Life: the practical developers’ guide to Second Life Client 

    With the new year Linden went (partially) Open Source releasing its Second Life client with a GPLv2 license with a FLOSS exception. In the meanwhile later was created the first “open source” Second Life server. Few days ago Peter Seebach wrote an insightful post on hacking Second Life client that I warmly recommend to anyone interested in the subject.

    started!10, 9, .. ignition! by bryan campen

    NASA within the CoLab initiative is taking second life seriously, with a classroom-course facilitated virtual build of the International Space Station in Second Life. The project is aimed at catalyzing the volunteer community, and teach them about the ISS, space sciences, and technical skills.

    If you are interested just in knowing more about on line virtual worlds read this mini-guide.

    Technorati Tags: virtual world, second life, open source, NASA, floss exception

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