web-archive-it.com » IT » C » CONECTA.IT

Total: 359

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Economic Free Software perspectives « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    coupling clause of the GPL that requires derivative works or software directly linked to be covered under the same license Companies not willing to release their own software under the GPL can obtain a proprietary license that provides an exemption from the distribution conditions of the GPL which seems desirable to some parties The downside of dual licensing is that external contributors must accept the same licensing regime and this has been shown to reduce the volume of external contributions which are limited mainly to bug fixes and small additions Open Core previously called split Free Software proprietary or proprietary value add this model distinguishes between a basic Free Software and a proprietary version based on the Free Software one but with the addition of proprietary plug ins Most companies following such a model adopt the Mozilla Public License as it allows explicitly this form of intermixing and allows for much greater participation from external contributions without the same requirements for copyright consolidation as in dual licensing The model has the intrinsic downside that the Free Software product must be valuable to be attractive for the users i e it should not be reduced to crippleware yet at the same time should not cannibalise the proprietary product This balance is difficult to achieve and maintain over time also if the software is of large interest developers may try to complete the missing functionality in Free Software thus reducing the attractiveness of the proprietary version and potentially giving rise to a full Free Software competitor that will not be limited in the same way Product specialists companies that created or maintain a specific software project and use a Free Software license to distribute it The main revenues are provided from services like training and consulting the ITSC class and follow the original best code here and best knowledge here of the original EUWG classification DB 00 It leverages the assumption commonly held that the most knowledgeable experts on a software are those that have developed it and this way can provide services with a limited marketing effort by leveraging the free redistribution of the code The downside of the model is that there is a limited barrier of entry for potential competitors as the only investment that is needed is in the acquisition of specific skills and expertise on the software itself Platform providers companies that provide selection support integration and services on a set of projects collectively forming a tested and verified platform In this sense even GNU Linux distributions were classified as platforms the interesting observation is that those distributions are licensed for a significant part under Free Software licenses to maximize external contributions and leverage copyright protection to prevent outright copying but not cloning the removal of copyrighted material like logos and trademark to create a new product 1 The main value proposition comes in the form of guaranteed quality stability and reliability and the certainty of support for business critical applications Selection consulting companies companies in this class are not strictly developers but provide consulting and selection evaluation services on a wide range of project in a way that is close to the analyst role These companies tend to have very limited impact on the Free Software communities as the evaluation results and the evaluation process are usually a proprietary asset Aggregate support providers companies that provide a one stop support on several separate Free Software products usually by directly employing developers or forwarding support requests to second stage product specialists Legal certification and consulting these companies do not provide any specific code activity but provide support in checking license compliance sometimes also providing coverage and insurance for legal attacks some companies employ tools for verify that code is not improperly reused across company boundaries or in an improper way Training and documentation companies that offer courses on line and physical training additional documentation or manuals This is usually offered as part of a support contract but recently several large scale training center networks started offering Free Software specific courses R D cost sharing A company or organization may need a new or improved version of a software package and fund some consultant or software manufacturer to do the work Later on the resulting software is redistributed as open source to take advantage of the large pool of skilled developers who can debug and improve it A good example is the Maemo platform used by Nokia in its Mobile Internet Devices like the N810 within Maemo only 7 5 of the code is proprietary with a reduction in costs estimated in 228M and a reduction in time to market of one year Another example is the Eclipse ecosystem an integrated development environment IDE originally released as Free Software by IBM and later managed by the Eclipse Foundation Many companies adopted Eclipse as a basis for their own product and this way reduced the overall cost of creating a software product that provides in some way developer oriented functionalities There is a large number of companies universities and individual that participate in the Eclipse ecosystem as an example As recently measured IBM contributes for around 46 of the project with individuals accounting for 25 and a large number of companies like Oracle Borland Actuate and many others with percentages that go from 1 to 7 This is similar to the results obtained from analysis of the Linux kernel and show that when there is an healthy and large ecosystem the shared work reduces engineering cost significantly it is estimated that it is possible to obtain savings in terms of software research and development of 36 through the use of Free Software this is in itself the largest actual market for Free Software as demonstrated by the fact that the majority of developers are using at least some Free Software within their own code 56 2 Indirect revenues A company may decide to fund Free Software projects if those projects can create a significant revenue source for related products

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/economic-free-software-perspectives/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive


  • 04 « May « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    have adopted business models in which the revenue streams are not tied to proprietary software model licensing conditions Economic incentives of Free Software adoption The broad participation of companies and public authorities in the Free Software market is strictly related to an economic advantage in most areas the use of Free Software brings a substantial economic advantage thanks to the shared development and maintenance costs already described by researchers like Gosh that estimated an average R D cost reduction of 36 The large share of internal Free Software deployments explains why some of the economic benefits are not perceived directly in the business service market as shown by Gartner Gartner predicts that within 2010 25 of the overall software market will be Free Software based with rougly 12 of it internal to companies and administrations that adopt Free Software The remaining market still substantial is based on several different business models that monetize the software using different strategies A recent update february 2009 of the FLOSSMETRICS study on Free Software based business model is presented here after an analysis of more than 200 companies the main models identified in the market are Dual licensing the same software code distributed under the GPL and a proprietary license This model is mainly used by producers of developer oriented tools and software and works thanks to the strong coupling clause of the GPL that requires derivative works or software directly linked to be covered under the same license Companies not willing to release their own software under the GPL can obtain a proprietary license that provides an exemption from the distribution conditions of the GPL which seems desirable to some parties The downside of dual licensing is that external contributors must accept the same licensing regime and this has been shown to reduce the volume of external contributions which are limited mainly to bug fixes and small additions Open Core previously called split Free Software proprietary or proprietary value add this model distinguishes between a basic Free Software and a proprietary version based on the Free Software one but with the addition of proprietary plug ins Most companies following such a model adopt the Mozilla Public License as it allows explicitly this form of intermixing and allows for much greater participation from external contributions without the same requirements for copyright consolidation as in dual licensing The model has the intrinsic downside that the Free Software product must be valuable to be attractive for the users i e it should not be reduced to crippleware yet at the same time should not cannibalise the proprietary product This balance is difficult to achieve and maintain over time also if the software is of large interest developers may try to complete the missing functionality in Free Software thus reducing the attractiveness of the proprietary version and potentially giving rise to a full Free Software competitor that will not be limited in the same way Product specialists companies that created or maintain a specific software project and use a Free Software license to distribute it The main revenues are provided from services like training and consulting the ITSC class and follow the original best code here and best knowledge here of the original EUWG classification DB 00 It leverages the assumption commonly held that the most knowledgeable experts on a software are those that have developed it and this way can provide services with a limited marketing effort by leveraging the free redistribution of the code The downside of the model is that there is a limited barrier of entry for potential competitors as the only investment that is needed is in the acquisition of specific skills and expertise on the software itself Platform providers companies that provide selection support integration and services on a set of projects collectively forming a tested and verified platform In this sense even GNU Linux distributions were classified as platforms the interesting observation is that those distributions are licensed for a significant part under Free Software licenses to maximize external contributions and leverage copyright protection to prevent outright copying but not cloning the removal of copyrighted material like logos and trademark to create a new product 1 The main value proposition comes in the form of guaranteed quality stability and reliability and the certainty of support for business critical applications Selection consulting companies companies in this class are not strictly developers but provide consulting and selection evaluation services on a wide range of project in a way that is close to the analyst role These companies tend to have very limited impact on the Free Software communities as the evaluation results and the evaluation process are usually a proprietary asset Aggregate support providers companies that provide a one stop support on several separate Free Software products usually by directly employing developers or forwarding support requests to second stage product specialists Legal certification and consulting these companies do not provide any specific code activity but provide support in checking license compliance sometimes also providing coverage and insurance for legal attacks some companies employ tools for verify that code is not improperly reused across company boundaries or in an improper way Training and documentation companies that offer courses on line and physical training additional documentation or manuals This is usually offered as part of a support contract but recently several large scale training center networks started offering Free Software specific courses R D cost sharing A company or organization may need a new or improved version of a software package and fund some consultant or software manufacturer to do the work Later on the resulting software is redistributed as open source to take advantage of the large pool of skilled developers who can debug and improve it A good example is the Maemo platform used by Nokia in its Mobile Internet Devices like the N810 within Maemo only 7 5 of the code is proprietary with a reduction in costs estimated in 228M and a reduction in time to market of one year

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/05/04/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • 06 « May « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    single company it takes a significant effort to create an external support pyramid core contributors marginal contributors lead users that adds value If that happens like in Linux or the ObjectWeb consortium the external contributions can be of significant value we observed even in very specialized projects a minimum of 20 of project value from external contributors I still believe that by leaving the underlying idea of community undefined Matt does collate together many different collaboration patterns that should really not be placed together In the mentioned example the 20 was the result of an analysis of contribution to the OpenCascade project a very specialized CAD toolkit As I mention in my guide In the year 2000 fifty outside contributors to Open Cascade provided various kinds of assistance transferring software to other systems IRIX 64 bits Alpha OSF correcting defects memory leaks and translating the tutorial into Spanish etc Currently there are seventy active contributors and the objective is to reach one hundred These outside contributions are significant Open Cascade estimates that they represent about 20 of the value of the software In a similar way Aaron Seigo listed the many different ways 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/05/06/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • 08 « May « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    revenues margins long term sustainability and so on despite the many papers and blog post that claim that the hybrid model is the clear winner but unfortunately without any data or proof So I believe that Tarus is clearly upset of the fact that hybrid proponents are claiming the superiority of a model against the others and the fact that by claiming that everyone is open source the vendors are effectively diluting the indentification capability of such a tag and then OpenNMS as a company will lose one of the differentiating tools in its commercial proposition On the other hand I clearly understand the fact that Matt clearly feels right in claiming to be part of an open source company as the majority of the code is clearly OSS and the recent introduction of non OSS parts is limited So I believe that both are rights and the problem will disappear with time for economic reasons I will try to explain by using some of my previous words There is however a point that I would like to make about the distinction between pure OSS and open core licensing a point that does not imply any kind of ethical or purity measure but just a consideration on economics When we consider what OSS is and what advantage it brings to the market it is important to consider that a commercial OSS transaction usually has two concrete partners the seller the OSS vendor and the buyer that is the 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/05/08/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • 13 « May « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    RedHat services you can go with Oracle or the many companies that provide additional support contracts If Matt has a substantial example of withheld code that is sold for 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/05/13/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Helping OSS adoption in public administrations: some resources « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    experts that provide most of the informal IT help some of those users may felt threatened by the change of IT infrastructure as it will remove their skill advantage So a simple and effective practice is to search for them and for passionate users and enlist them as champions Those champions are offered the opportunity for further training and additional support so they can continue in their role without disruptions Perform a real cost analysis of the actual proprietary IT infrastructure sometimes huge surprises are found both in contractual aspects and in actual costs incurred that are hidden under alternative balance voices If a migration requires a long adaptation time make sure that the management remains the same for the entire duration or that the new management understands and approves what was done One of the most sad experiences is to see a migration stop halfways because the municipality coalition changes and the new coalition has no understanding of what was planned and why no one remembers the reasons for the migration was one of the phrases that I heard once Create an open table between local administrations sometimes you will find someone that already is using OSS and simply told no one We had a local health agency that silently swapped MS Office with OpenOffices in the new PCs for hospital workers and nobody noticed Have an appropriate legislative policy informative campaigns and mandatory adoption are the two most efficient approaches to create OSS adoption while subsidization has a negative welfare effect We show that a part from subsidization policies which have been proved to harm social surplus supporting OSS through mandatory adoption and information campaign may have positive welfare effects When software adoption is affected by strong network effects mandatory adoption and information campaign induce an increase in social surplus Comino Manenti Free Open Source vs Closed Source Software Public Policies in the Software Market Also in the TOSSAD conference proceedings Gencer Ozel Schmidbauer Tunalioglu Free Open Source Software Human Development and Public Policy Making International Comparison Check for adverse policy effects In one of my case studies I found a large PA that was forced back to commercial software because the state administration was subsidizing only the cost of proprietary software while OSS was considered to be out of procurement rules and thus not paid for This does also have policy implications and require a careful choice of budget voices by the adopters administration We found that by presenting some exemplar OSS projects that can be used immediately the exploration phase usually turns into a real adoption experiment The tool that I use as an introduction are Document management Alfresco It is simple to install easy to use and with good documentation and can be introduced as a small departmental alternative to the poor man repository that is a shared drive on the network Start with the file system interface and show the document previews and the search functionalities more complex activities like workflow can be demonstrated

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/helping-oss-adoption-in-public-administrations-some-resources/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Sorry, not right. An answer to Raymond's post on the GPL « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    its own punishment open source will capture ever larger swathes of industry as investors chase efficiency gains So Raymond concludes the GPL is either unnecessary or worse anti economical The problem lies in the assumption that the market is static that the end equilibrium will always be optimal that imbalances in the market are not relevant only the end result is and so on I will start with the easy ones the market is NOT static The fact that one production model is or is not more efficient is something that can be modelled easily but is not really relevant when all agents are able to change their own interaction model at will Many researchers demonstrated for example that in a simple two actor market one OSS and one proprietary even in the assumption that OSS is superior in every aspect there are situation where the pre existing network effect will actually be able to extinguish OSS as soon as there is sufficient pricing discretionality by the proprietary vendor End equilibrium in real life markets are not always optimal the existence of monopolies is the most visible example of this fact and the fact that there is a company that has been found guilty of multiple abuse of monopoly markets should make this clear The process is as important as the end result you can become rich after a life of poverty and receive all your money your last day of life or have a generally well off life constantly increasing and spending what you obtain What life do you prefer So among all the paths that lead to an OSS in this case a FLOSS world the one that enforces in a constant way an increase of the FLOSS component is preferable to one that in an hypothetical way will lead in the end to market domination In general of all the aspects of OSS that are interesting and there are many I find the GPL family of licenses as the brightest examples of law engineering and I believe that a substantial reason for the successes of OSS are dependent on it Of course there are other economical aspects that are relevant and I agree with the fact that OSS is in general more efficient as I wrote here here and here I disagree with both the premise and the conclusions however as I believe that the set of barriers created by the GPL are vital to create a sustainable market here and now and not in an hypotetical future This entry was posted on Monday April 27th 2009 8 12 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 your own site Comments 1 Trackbacks 2 1 by Don Marti April 27th 2009 at 16 34 Companies don t make economically rational decisions for companies People make decisions And people are lazy It s often easier for

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/sorry-not-right-an-answer-to-raymonds-post-on-the-gpl/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • The procurement advantage, or a simple test for "purity" « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    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 I believe that this advantage is significant and largely hidden I started thinking about it while helping a local public administration in the adoption of an OSS based electronic data capture for clinical data and discovered that for many authorities and companies procurement selecting the product tendering tender evaluation contracting etc can introduce many months in delays and substantially increase costs For this reason we recently introduced with our customers a sort of quick test for OSS purity The acquired component is pure OSS if eventually after an initial payment the customer is allowed to perform extensions to its adoption of the component inside and outside of its legal border without the need for further negotiation with the vendor The reason for that eventually after an initial payment because the vendor may decide to release the source code only to customers this is something that is allowed by some licenses and the inside and outside of its legal border is a phrase that explicitly includes not only redistribution and usage within a single company but also to external parties that may be not part of the same legal entity This distinction may not be important for small companies but may be vital for example for public authorities that need to redistribute a software solution to a large audience of participating public bodies a recent example I found is a regional health care authority that is exploring an OSS solution to be distributed to hospital medical practitioners and private and public structures Of course this does not imply that the vendor is forced to offer services in the same way services and software are in this sense quite distinct or that the adopter should prefer pure OSS over open core in fact this is not an expression of preference for one form over the other We found this simple test to be useful especially for those new OSS adopters that are not overly interested in the intricacies of open source business models and makes for a good initial question to OSS vendors to understand what are the implication

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/the-procurement-advantage-or-a-simple-test-for-purity/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive



  •