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  • Freeriding, participation and another modest proposal « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    of users and non code contributors Most project even our FLOSSMETRIC one measure only code contributions but this is just a small part of the potential contributions that may be provided As the contributors map of OpenOffice org shows There are many non code contributions like native language support documentation marketing word of mouth dissemination and so on Even the fact that the software is used is a value it can be for example used in marketing material for an eventual monetization effort and is indirect demonstration of quality the more users you have the more inherent value the software may be inferred to be valuable for at least a category of users I understand the gripes of commercial OSS vendors that would like to monetize every use of a software product and discover that their software is used in some large company without giving back any monetary contribution I took as an example Alfresco General Electric uses Alfresco s software throughout the company while paying us nothing and yet we re having a banner year While I am sure that Matt Asay would love to have GE as a paying customer even the reference is a proof of quality of Alfresco and can be considered to be a valuable asset Users contribute back in terms of participation in forums in providing direct and indirect feedback and much more Of course only a small part of the users contribute back a phenomenon that was apparent in most social phenomenon well before the internet and should be no surprise to anyone As a side note as a continuation of my previous hypotesis on what may be the most efficient structure for maintaining the advantages of OSS resource sharing and proprietarization I received many comments on the fact that most projects are small and creating a full scale Eclipse like consortium or something like OW2 is not really sustainable But it is possible to imagine a OW2 like consortia that handles under its own umbrella the back contribution to a large number of independent project for each one managing the three core interactions technical social and legal that are prerequisite for every completely verified contribution Think about it imagine yourself as a developer working in a company and after some work the CEO allows for a linux based product to be launched As such you make some patches and contributions and instead of maintaining your own branch you try to send back your patches To who Is it really that easy to discover the kernel mailing list What is the proper form If you need to send back patches to GCC for example for some embedded board processor who do you contact Is it really that easy to do On the side of the project how are contributions managed Each question is a stumbling block for a potential contribution Of course the larger project to have a channel but sometimes it is not that easy to find and manage properly I believe

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/freeriding-participation-and-another-modest-proposal/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Horses, carriages and cars - the shifting OSS business models, and a proposal « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    that in some cases are significant while vendors that select alternative monetization approaches seem to fare better Pure OSS products are in fact more efficient and tend to allow for higher company competitiveness and even vendor backed projects like Eclipse receive significant external contributions IBM has only 25 of the active committers for example About the claims that mixed models or open core approaches are the norm I still stand on my numbers that shows that less than 25 of the companies use this approach to monetization Also the companies are adopting a more softer stance on open core while a few years ago the code available under the non OSS license was a substantial part of the functionality of the full product now the vendors are using many separate non functional product areas and put them together to create the proprietary product like certification stability assurance official support and sometimes additional code for ancillary activities like monitoring and high end features like clustering Alfresco recently announced such a change As the horse carriage and cars example I made at the beginning of this post I believe that these are steps taken in trying to approach and adopt the optimal model in this sense I believe that a better approach is to clearly divide the core and non core groups into separate legal entities with differentiated governance models In particular I believe that a more efficient approach is To have a core Eclipse like consortia that provide clear public transparent management of the central open source part of the project As for Eclipse while initially the vendor dominates in terms of contribution after a while and in the presence of a healthy external ecosystem contributions start to reduce the R D cost in the case of Eclipse over 75 of the code commits are from outside IBM To have a separate independent unit company that provides under a traditional proprietary license the stabilized extended software without any confusion about what is open source and what is not It will not be mixed model commercial OSS or whatever just proprietary software Or if the offer is service based it will be a pure service contract I strongly believe that this model can not only put on a rest the entire mixed model or open core debate but can also provide significant productization benefits by reducing the contribution barrier that so many OSS vendors are experiencing right now By creating an ecosystem of development consortia it will also be possible to increase coordination opportunities that are sometimes stifled by OSS vendors that pursue independent agendas it will also reduce customer confusion about what actually they buy when they receive an offer from such a vendor FLOSS open source OSS business models This entry was posted on Monday June 8th 2009 10 51 am and is filed under OSS business models OSS data You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2 0 You can leave a response or trackback from

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/horses-carriages-and-cars-the-shifting-oss-business-models-and-a-proposal/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 08 « June « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    the same time maintain the easy and clear proprietary licensing model where there is a token based monetization per CPU per user per server and so on that is not related to an inherent limitation of the software but is an artificial barrier introduced to prevent free riding This however introduces the disadvantages of both models into the equation developers working for a commercial company are reluctant to participate in a project that has a clear potential for third party exploitation while non employed developers may be more interested in contributing to more libre projects On the adopter side the user is not allowed to experiment with the full version of the software and may not be interested enough in trying the OSS version if the difference in terms of stability and features is too high That explains why mixed model vendors claim that basically no one contributes code to their project thus neglecting all the non code contributions that in some cases are significant while vendors that select alternative monetization approaches seem to fare better Pure OSS products are in fact more efficient and tend to allow for higher company competitiveness and even vendor backed projects like Eclipse receive significant external contributions IBM has only 25 of the active committers for example About the claims that mixed models or open core approaches are the norm I still stand on my numbers that shows that less than 25 of the companies use this approach to monetization Also the companies are adopting a more softer stance on open core while a few years ago the code available under the non OSS license was a substantial part of the functionality of the full product now the vendors are using many separate non functional product areas and put them together to create the proprietary product like certification stability assurance official support and sometimes additional code for ancillary activities like monitoring and high end features like clustering Alfresco recently announced such a change As the horse carriage and cars example I made at the beginning of this post I believe that these are steps taken in trying to approach and adopt the optimal model in this sense I believe that a better approach is to clearly divide the core and non core groups into separate legal entities with differentiated governance models In particular I believe that a more efficient approach is To have a core Eclipse like consortia that provide clear public transparent management of the central open source part of the project As for Eclipse while initially the vendor dominates in terms of contribution after a while and in the presence of a healthy external ecosystem contributions start to reduce the R D cost in the case of Eclipse over 75 of the code commits are from outside IBM To have a separate independent unit company that provides under a traditional proprietary license the stabilized extended software without any confusion about what is open source and what is not It will not be

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/06/08/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 10 « June « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    a clear and unambiguous path for contributing back something this kind of contribution channel is clearly present only in some very high level and sophisticated projects like the Eclipse consortium The second misunderstanding is related to the hidden role of users and non code contributors Most project even our FLOSSMETRIC one measure only code contributions but this is just a small part of the potential contributions that may be provided As the contributors map of OpenOffice org shows There are many non code contributions like native language support documentation marketing word of mouth dissemination and so on Even the fact that the software is used is a value it can be for example used in marketing material for an eventual monetization effort and is indirect demonstration of quality the more users you have the more inherent value the software may be inferred to be valuable for at least a category of users I understand the gripes of commercial OSS vendors that would like to monetize every use of a software product and discover that their software is used in some large company without giving back any monetary contribution I took as an example Alfresco General Electric uses Alfresco s software throughout the company while paying us nothing and yet we re having a banner year While I am sure that Matt Asay would love to have GE as a paying customer even the reference is a proof of quality of Alfresco and can be considered to be a valuable asset Users contribute back in terms of participation in forums in providing direct and indirect feedback and much more Of course only a small part of the users contribute back a phenomenon that was apparent in most social phenomenon well before the internet and should be no surprise to anyone As a side note as a continuation of my previous hypotesis on what may be the most efficient structure for maintaining the advantages of OSS resource sharing and proprietarization I received many comments on the fact that most projects are small and creating a full scale Eclipse like consortium or something like OW2 is not really sustainable But it is possible to imagine a OW2 like consortia that handles under its own umbrella the back contribution to a large number of independent project for each one managing the three core interactions technical social and legal that are prerequisite for every completely verified contribution Think about it imagine yourself as a developer working in a company and after some work the CEO allows for a linux based product to be launched As such you make some patches and contributions and instead of maintaining your own branch you try to send back your patches To who Is it really that easy to discover the kernel mailing list What is the proper form If you need to send back patches to GCC for example for some embedded board processor who do you contact Is it really that easy to do On the side of

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/06/10/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 23 « June « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    OSS adoption No Comments You are currently browsing the archives for Tuesday June 23rd 2009 blog divertissements EveryDesk OSS adoption OSS business models OSS data Uncategorized June 2009 M T W T F S S May Jul 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Archives August 2012

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/06/23/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Random bits and pieces: Matt Asay, Tarus, Android and more « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    a proprietary license I would happily apologize until that moment I stand my case The second point is related to the fact that OSS companies are unable to scale This is something that I already discussed in our study on business models and it is mainly an organizational problem the reality is the correct phrase should be small companies service based models do not scale as there are several excellent examples of service based companies that are very large Accenture IBM global services HP services CapGemini Fujitsu BT and many others and that are human capital intensive The critical point is that to scale it is necessary to change internal structure and become organized in a more efficient and industrial way there is in this no difference between OSS and non OSS companies On a totally different field it was interesting to notice the great amount of interest for Android based netbooks Many claimed this combination to be the real alternative to XP netbooks or in the near future to Windows 7 netbooks The reality is that Android as a system does not have magical properties the underlying kernel is still Linux and having a set of customized interface reduces greatly the memory consumption but does not provide any significant improvement when compared with lean netbook optimized linux distribution On the contrary the user interface designed for one app per screen and use with imprecise controls like touch screens and trackballs is not exactly ideal for something like a netbook that does have a keyboard and a large enough screen In this sense I would say that Moblin may constitute a much better environment for this kind of applications MID Mobile Internet Devices like the Nokia N810 Archos devices and many more are clearly a better match for Android while

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/random-bits-and-pieces-matt-asay-tarus-android-and-more/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Why we still debate "open core" and why it will not matter anymore « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    user If we look at the OSS world we can see that in both the pure and the open core model the vendor has the added R D sharing cost reduction that as I wrote about in the past can provide significant advantages But R D is not the only advantage the reality is that pure OSS has a great added advantage for the adopter that is the greatly reduced cost and effort of procurement With OSS the adopter can scale a single installation company wide without a single call to the legal or procurement departments and it can ask support from the OSS vendor if needed eventually after the roll out has been performed With open core the adopter is not allowed to do the same thing as the proprietary extensions are not under the same license of the open source part so if you want to extend your software to more servers you are forced to ask the vendor exactly the same of proprietary software systems This is in fact a much overlooked advantage of OSS that is especially suited to those departmental installations that would be probably prohibited if legal or acquisition department would have to be asked for budget The point is that the open core against which Tarus fights is not relevant anymore That is that fake open source product basically useless used just as a leverage to the proprietary one is simply not a good strategy for distribution as it does have none of the advantages of OSS and all the disadvantages of proprietary in fact most of those fake OSS companies are not in the market anymore at least not in the same way If you look at many of the most recent open core propositions you will see that the real differentiating aspects are support availability of stable releases and only in minimal part ancillary non OSS code exactly the kind of model predicted by economic advantage for the buyer The main point is the one I written a few years ago for the model to work the Free Software product must be valuable to be attractive for the users i e it should not be reduced to crippleware If you look at some of the examples I presented to Matthew during our comment exchange projects like TenderSystem DimDim and many others are not using non proprietary parts anymore as the main differentiating aspects but more as complements that enrich a complex mix of services like support binary packaging and testing documentation and much more So I believe that we will still see flames between experts but it will become more and more a playful debate similar to the one between soccer team fans playful heated and ultimately not relevant for business FLOSS open source This entry was posted on Friday May 8th 2009 7 50 am and is filed under OSS business models You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2 0 You can leave a response or

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/on-fighting-grounds-or-why-we-still-debate-open-core/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • On OSS communities, and other common traps « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    contribution are counted in KDE and noticed how those contributions are mostly not code based Artwork Documentation Human computer interaction Marketing Quality Assurance Software Development Translation Or take the contributors area map from OpenOffice org While the yellow area is code related lots of other contributors are outside of that and help in localization dissemination and many other ancillary activities that are still fundamental for the success of a project The Packt survey that Matt mentions is explicit in the kind of contribution it was mentioned Despite this apparent success individual donations play an important role in its development Its team still maintains a page on the project website requesting monetary donations which they utilize for the promotion of phpMyAdmin This highlights the importance of individual contributions and how they still play a vital role in sustaining and opening up open source projects to a larger audience This kind of monetary contribution is the exception not the role and using this data point to extend it to the fact that most projects are not dependent on external contributions or do so in limited way is an unwarranted logic jump I must say that I am more in agreement with Tarus Balog that in his post called humorously sour grapes wrote The fact that marketing people can t squeeze value out of community doesn t mean that communities don t have value OpenNMS is a complex piece of software and it takes some intense dedication to get to the point where one can contribute code I don t expect anyone to sit down and suddenly dedicate hours and hours of their life working on it Plus I would never expect someone to contribute anything to OpenNMS unless they started out with some serious free loader time This resonates with my research experience where under the correct conditions communities of contributors provide a non trivial benefit to the vendor on the other hand as we found in our previous FLOSSMETRICS research monetization barrier can be a significant hurdle for external disengaged participation and this may explain why companies that use an open core or dual licensing model tend to see no external community at all On the other hand when community participation is welcomed and there is no cross selling external participations may provide significant added value to a project A good example is Funambol that has one of the best community managers I can think of and a Twitter post I recently read about them HUGE contribution to funambol MS Exchange connector from mailtrust Way to go community rocks Are commercial OS providers really interested in dismissing this kind of contributions as irrelevant FLOSS open source OSS adoption This entry was posted on Wednesday May 6th 2009 9 32 am and is filed under OSS adoption OSS business models You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2 0 You can leave a response or trackback from your own site Comments 2 Trackbacks 3 1 by Tarus May 6th

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/on-oss-communities-and-other-common-traps/index.html (2016-02-18)
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