Open Source Journal on Ulitzer
The November 2009 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM) has a very
interesting article by Paul Stachour and David Collier-Brown entitled “You
Don’t Know Jack About Software Maintenance”. The authors argue
energetically for using versioned data structures and “continuous
upgrading” to improve the state of the art of software maintenance.
The piece got me thinking about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and
“continuous upgrading”. Here are seven observations on FOSS software
maintenance that occurred to me as I reflected on the CACM article:
FOSS projects “continuously” apply bug fixes and feature enhancements at
no additional cost to their users. By applying these improvements
“continuously”, the user reaps a steady stream of “interest payments”
providing ever-improving security, performance, and functionality. Since FOSS
incurs ... (more)
Last week I read a good article on cloud computing, Cloud ROI: A Grounded
View. It seems that even with all the hype (or because of it?) most are not
“running blindly” to adopt “the cloud”. I must admit the cloud
metaphor has a powerful poetic charm to it.
That is probably why it has grabbed the attention of so many over the past
few years. Everything in our world is ephemeral, so there is an aptness to
the concept of a “cloud”. Moreover, I too like and use cloud analogies.
But I am now looking for clearer skies!
Here is a short list of my gripes about "the cloud":
What does “... (more)
Mary Hayes Weier wrote an interesting article in this week’s edition of
InformationWeek on "Alternative IT: CIOs are more receptive than ever to new
software models". What is great about her article is how she captured the
divergent views on IT models (such as SaaS, cloud computing, etc.) and gave
nice vignettes of different organizations trying different parts of various
models. I especially valued her use of cognitive dissonance to leave the
reader thinking … better informed but without a firm conclusion.
There are so many parts of the article that I could blog about, but the on... (more)
Open Web Journal
Last weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at the Central Pennsylvania
Open Source Conference on the topic of Contributing to FOSS (slides available
In the talk I explored the many ways individuals can get involved in FOSS
(Free and Open Source Software), briefly covering everything from programming
to artwork to documentation. As diverse as these contributions are, the
common thread is close collaboration with the project itself. In particular,
following the procedures in place for contributing to the project is
essential. The talk also reviewed some... (more)
Although I haven’t seen a thoroughly researched study, I figure there must
be at least 250,000 FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) tools available to
every systems administrator on the planet (230,000 at SourceForge + 15,000 at
Launchpad + 12,000 at CodePlex + 5,000 at Google Code and that doesn’t
count the Linux kernel or any of the myriad other self-hosted projects).
These 250,000+ resources comprise the full “toolbox” that admins can use
for building solutions with FOSS; they represent the FOSS equivalent of COTS
(Commercial Off-The-Shelf). Of course, if you add open source b... (more)