Here's an interview with Nicolas Pujol who has written an excellent new book called "The Mind Share Market." Nicolas and I were colleagues at MySQL for several years and we often discussed the role of our free open source product as a way to gain market share in the commercial sector. In MySQL's case, our goal was to be the #1 choice for web developers worldwide both in the free and the commercial market. Over the years, the notion of having a free product has transcended Open Source and now has many more applications in other markets. It can be quite …[Read more]
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I recently received a question from Robin Schumacher at Calpont, the makers of the InfiniDB analytics database engine for MySQL: "How would you recommend we try and get bundled in with the various Linux distros?"
Since this question has come up several times before, I thought it might make sense to blog about my take on this.
First of all, please note that there is a difference between "being part of the core distribution" and "being available from a distributor's package repository". The latter one is relatively easy, the former can be hard, as you need to convince the distributor that your application is worth devoting engineering resources to maintain and support your application as part of their product. It's also a space issue – distributions need to make sure that the core packages still fit on the installation …[Read more]
So you're a small startup company, ready to go live with your product, which you intend to distribute under an Open Source License. Congratulations, you made a wise decision! Your developers have been hacking away frantically, getting the code in good shape for the initial launch. Now it's time to look into what else needs to be built and setup, so you're ready to welcome the first members of your new community and to ensure they are coming back!
Keep the following saying in mind, which especially holds true in the Open Source world: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression!". While the most important thing is of course to have a compelling and useful product, this blog post is an attempt to highlight some other aspects about community building and providing the adequate infrastructure. This insight is based on my own experiences and my …[Read more]
UPDATE: The final vote is in and a winner has been declared, with Matt Asay and his arguments for the GPL taking the prize. You can see the debate or follow links to the other judges’ votes and thoughts here.
This is my assessment as a judge of the recent open source license debate held by the FOSS Learning Centre. We’ll have to begin with some qualifications and definitions, starting with the fact that there is no ‘best’ open source software license. Still, a star-studded open source software panel provided a lively, informative debate on the merits of some top open source licenses. For that, I congratulate and thank the panelists, Mike Milinkovich from the Eclipse Foundation arguing for the Eclipse Public License, Matt Asay of Alfresco arguing in favor of the GPL and David Maxwell from Coverity arguing for …[Read more]
XtraBackup is an Open Source online (non-blockable) backup solution for the InnoDB and XtraDB storage engines. It works with both MySQL 5.0 and 5.1 (and possibly 5.4 as well) and is distributed under the GPLv2.
Some weeks ago Vadim announced the availability of xtrabackup-0.7, stating that they consider it stable enough now to label this version a "Release Candidate". I've been maintaining RPM packages of xtrabackup on the fine openSUSE Build Service for quite some time now, RPMs of 0.7 for a number of distributions are now …[Read more]
As consumer spending slows across the world, a variety of "brick and mortar" retailers are clearly feeling the impact. Foot traffic is slowing, and it's getting harder to balance debt laden real estate portfolios and fickle consumer trends.
For consumer product manufacturers, retail distribution is key - it's how you get in front of a customer. It's why the big PC manufacturers are all working hard to score deals with big retailers (or build their own retail outlets) around the world.
But making money on PC's is tough - for most PC makers, you're remarketing someone else's operating system and someone else's microprocessor - it's not for the faint of heart (or faint of balance sheet). For Sun, our retail distribution concerns don't surround consumer hardware (we don't make PC's) as much as consumer software - the popularity of which defines our market opportunity. …[Read more]
Tomorrow (Thursday, 11th of September) at 9:00 PST/16:00 UTC/17:00 GMT/18:00 CET, there will be an new free MySQL University Session. MySQL University started as an internal training program for MySQL engineers, to share and spread knowledge about their areas of expertise and has been available to the public for quite some time now. It covers a wide range of technical topics around the MySQL Server and usually takes place once per week.
For the first time, the presentation will not be performed by (former) MySQL employees/developers, but by two of our "Sun Classic" colleagues: Jyri Virkki (OpenSolaris Web Stack community lead) and Murthy Chintalapati (Sr Engineering Manager, Web Stack development) will talk about the …[Read more]
I recently added two new packages to my repository on the openSUSE Build Service:
- Maatkit is a collection of essential command-line utilities for MySQL. Each is completely stand-alone, without dependencies other than core Perl and the DBI drivers needed to connect to MySQL, and doesn't need to be "installed" - you can just execute the scripts. This makes the tools easy to use on systems where you can't install anything extra, such as customer sites or ISPs.
- protobuf - Protocol Buffers - Google's data interchange format. Protocol Buffers are a way of encoding structured data in an efficient yet extensible format. Google uses Protocol …
In a recent article, Matt Asay was musing about the aspects of hosting an Open Source project by yourself vs. using a public project hosting service like SourceForge, GitHub or Launchpad. He concluded that it's important for commercial/sponsored open source projects in particular to do the hosting by themselves, so they can maintain full control and can gain more insight, which hopefully will turn into more revenue at some point.
However, Matt seems to reduce "hosting" to "providing downloads" only:
Control and visibility. Given the importance of customer conversions, it becomes hugely valuable information to know that it takes, say, eight months on average for someone to buy the "Enterprise" version of …[Read more]
While we're on the topic of Bazaar - this week I got informed by the organizers of the FrOSCon 2008 conference that they accepted two of my talk proposals: one session will be an introduction to this source code management system (what a coincidence), the other one will be an introduction to OpenSolaris for Linux users, explaining some of the underlying technologies and how they differ from what a seasoned Linux user may be accustomed to.
And no, I have not given up on using Linux - quite the contrary! I have been very impressed by the latest OpenSUSE 11.0 release and already run it for since quite some time on several of my work systems. In fact, I already convinced several colleagues of mine to …[Read more]
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