Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, February 8. 2008 in Junk Drawer

With my transition to Leopard, I've gone ahead an pretty much dropped Fink. Except for all those packages I compile and build myself, I'm baselining MacPorts. For one thing, it was getting problematic supporting 2 porting implementations and for another, well, Fink's kinda been slipping for awhile, as far as the timeliness of some updates. So right now, I'd say about 75% of my local additions are home-built , 20% via MacPorts and the remaining 5% are some one-off builds of some standard tools (like Wireshark). Oh, yes... I am very much looking forward to OS X 10.5.2... The various bugs and "issues" in 10.5.1 are starting to get quite annoying...

The real interesting merger-acquisitions

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, February 5. 2008 in Open Source

Over the last several weeks, M&As have been the main news of choice. IMO, the Oracle/BEA, Sun/MySQL and even SpringSource/Covalent aren't the most "interesting" ones regarding what-it-all-means-for-open-source. The reason is simple: for the most part, the mindsets of the companies are very, very similar. Look at Oracle/BEA. Here you have a large proprietary company buying a smaller proprietary one. I mean come on, how much more boring can you get? What about Sun/MySQL? Well, here you have a company (Sun) who is really trying hard to "be" the open source company, buying a company that is an open source company. Again, as far as alignment of philosophies behind open source and how it relates to your business, the two mesh relatively well. Same with SpringSource and Covalent, except the alignment is very, very meshed at the get-go. So when proprietary buys proprietary, or open source buys open source, it's really a big yawn-fest. The believers keep on believing, and the non-believers keep on being skeptical. That's why the Nokia/Trolltech and, even more importantly, the Microsoft/Yahoo scenarios are, at least for me, the ones worth their weight in popcorn. When a company perceived as "closed source" or "proprietary" takes a huge interest in open-source based (or "open source friendly") companies, then it makes me sit up and take notice. Of course, those whose existences thrive on FUD look at all this as an attempt to destroy open source by these companies; that a commercial proprietary company's only reason for obtaining an open source company is to divide and conquer. But maybe, just maybe, these companies are finally figuring out which way the wind is blowing, and want to re-align themselves, to see open source not as competition, per se, but as complimentary. At least, that's the optimist in me talking... PS: Of course, ALL of the mergers/acquisitions are interesting in other ways as well... but I'm just looking at them from an open source PoV.

SpringSource and Covalent Follow Up

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, February 1. 2008 in Work

Ever since the announcement of the SpringSource acquisition of Covalent on Tuesday, I've been following along all the various blogs, articles, speculations and threads regarding What It All Means. Needless to say, I've also received quite a sizable number of Emails, IMs and calls about it as well. In general, the variety and range of thoughts and perceptions did not disappoint. Many people "got it", most people got "most of it", a few were completely off-base and others simply used the news as an opportunity to spread FUD about just about any topic they wanted to... It was all quite amusing. Now that things are settling down, I thought it would be a good time to clear up a couple of the most common and interesting misconceptions (as well as answer some of the most common questions) regarding this. As one would expect, this is mostly to address those familiar with Covalent (any myself), and looking at it from that point of view... First of all, both Covalent and SpringSource are very excited by this combined company. Although transactionally it was an acquisition, it really is closer to a merger and a marriage than anything else. The two companies combine to compliment each other, to grow together, not to grow one side at the expense of the other. To do otherwise would be pretty stupid. So this leads me to what has likely been the most common question (and misconception): "If I don't use Spring or even Java, is the combined company still interested in me?" Absolutely!! We understand and appreciate non-Java architectures; in addition to the Java-side, this has been a major strength of Covalent. With the combined company, this does not go away. In fact, we will now be able to grow it even more. So if, for example, you are a LAMP/SAMP environment (or potential partner/provider), SpringSource/Covalent is still uniquely qualified to provide support and services for you. And will always be. If your architecture is a blank page, then certainly we can provide valuable insight on how it should be designed. But if your architecture uses any of the codebases and software that we support, no matter what, you can be guaranteed that you will never feel like a second-class citizen, no matter what the technology it is. Another common question has been whether the combined company will continue Covalent's long-term support of the ASF. YES! SpringSource knows, understands and, even more importantly, appreciates the close relationship between the ASF and Covalent, as well as the "pure ASF work" done by Covalent employees. This will not change and, again, will even now be able to be expanded even more. But to be 100% clear, SpringSource knows and will always know that ASF projects are handled, controlled and directed by the ASF, not anyone else... Our involvement in the ASF will not change. You see, the combined company increases the breadth of technologies that are now supported, but with the same depth of expertise that both companies have been known for. Because of this, the company can grow faster combined, than either one could have separately, a point which some people missed completely. And not only can we grow the company, but we can also continue to grow the usage and uptake of open source! And anyone who knows me, knows how key that is to me. So I'm very excited by this opportunity. Without exception, the SpringSource folks have been nice, honest, smart and noble people, and I feel like the afterburners have just kicked in. It's going to be fun.

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