Topic: Open Source
Jean-Pierre Laisne is the chairman of ObjectWeb's board of directors. He speaks to the Open Source Business Conference about his organization, what it does and where it is headed. He outlines some of ObjectWeb's more popular projects, and discusses what, he thinks, it takes to keep an open source community alive and thriving in Europe, and throughout the World.
Some users of the open source PBX, Asterisk, are frustrated when they try to extend it beyond the scope of a traditional PBX. A new project called FreeSwitch may be a useful alternative. Brian West, an Asterisk platform core developer, introduces the FreeSwitch development library. He explains what the new platform has to offer and why he hopes it will become the successor to Asterisk.
Stephen O'Grady, analyst for RedMonk, argues that the trend in web technology, as well as other products, is gearing toward simplicity. Clients often demand more features and functionality, but successful products continue to be characterized by simplicity in design and simplicity in function. O'Grady argues that PHP is a language that inherently supports simplicity in coding creating simpler, lighter programs with less code.
In a fascinating synthesis, Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz polishes up his exposition on the evolving meaning of the term 'open source'. This intellectual joy-ride draws on some of the key ideas in artificial intelligence to probe the role of language, meaning and context in computing and the software development process. Like Wittgenstein's famous thought experiment, the open source 'beetle in a box' can represent different things to different people, bearing interesting fruit for philosophers and software creators alike.
Hyperic HQ, a platform for managing web infrastructure, was released under an open source license this summer. With 15,000 downloads in two months, the move is already helping improve software quality in unexpected ways. Hyperic CEO Javier Soltero talks about moving his product from a perpetual commercial license to the GPL plus subscription-only proprietary extensions for enterprises.
Tracking the chicken-vs.-egg debate through the past, the present, and the future of Web services, Adam Bosworth offers some insight about the success of your next online application. A VP of engineering at Google, Adam explains why community comes before content, and that successful web applications follow shortly thereafter. He speculates on how future Web applications will transform industries like health care into enterprises that may not be recognizable by today's standards.
Charles Macmillan, Open Source Project Officer for the European Commission's Information Society Technologies Unit, gives an overview of IST as a research program, what the commission's software tech unit is doing and what might come next. Europe's software industry is very limited, and IST is therefore working to support the development of more open and competitive software in Europe. From the 2006 Open Source Business Conference,
PHP is progressing from the typical small- and medium-sized business project to the enterprise. Panelists discuss the reasons why companies like PayPal, Filemaker and StepUp Commerce are choosing PHP for in-house and customer application development. The recurring theme throughout is time to market. The true value in using PHP is the speed with which a solution can be created and released. Development time is reduced to a fraction of what is required by the more complex, proprietary development platforms such as Java/JSP and .Net.
Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution, brought together a team with strong experience in building communities, fast-paced project growth, and getting things done - the open source way. At the 2006 Open Source Convention, Jeff Waugh describes how Ubuntu, one of the fastest growing projects in the world, dealt with building its community. Amongst the subjects covered are the importance of shared core principles and the value of a benevolent dictator.
What is an open standard? Vendors and standards bodies are currently free to promote any definition they wish, but the legal costs of dealing with the confusion are rising. Now, the open source community is sparking a broader discussion aimed at a new consensus on the defiinition of the term open standard. Danese Cooper explains the Open Standards Requirement, an attempt to define five key criteria, and how they will evolve through public discussion.