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  • 03 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    so I am not dismissing what I have not read The fact that I am a patent attorney undoubtedly makes many in the open source movement immediately think I simply don t understand technology and my writings that state computer software is not math have only caused mathematicians and computer scientists to believe I am a quack This is totally unrelated to the previous arguments who was talking of software patents anyway We were talking about the role of OSS in terms of competition with the proprietary software market and about potential effects to revenues U nlike most patent attorneys I do get it and that is probably why my writings can be so offensive to the true believers I am not only a patent attorney but I am an electrical engineer who specializes in computer technologies including software and business method technologies I write software code and whether you agree with me or not telling me I simply don t understand is not intellectually compelling Of course being part of a class of people like EE is in itself not qualifying in any way any comment I made up to now would be equally applicable independently of the author claiming to get it or implying that someone don t get it because he works as a patent attorney is silly and here the author falls in the same fallacy By the way I know some patent attorneys that perfectly get it along with others that believe that open source software is made by fairies in the forest As I said being member of a class is in itself useless in deciding the truth of a statement I do get it and the reality is that open source software is taking us in a direction that should scare everyone Here the author uses the fallacy of membership discussed before and uses it as a authority power I do get it I am qualified then I am saying the truth And what I am saying is that OSS is dangerous and the fact that anyone else apart from O Dowd that believes that Linux will be infiltrated by terrorists is not perceiving the problem is due to the fact that they are not looking with enough attention Sun Microsystems is struggling to say the least and the reality is that they are always going to struggle because they are an open source company which means that the only thing they can sell is service Sun Microsystems is struggling for a long time now unfortunately I always loved their products Personally I believe that the new CEO is doing quite a turnaround on the company that has languished for a long time on a shrinking highly lucrative market like SGI did in the past but that is better left to financial analysts Anyway their financial results were not that good even before the OSS turnaround imposed by Jonathan Schwartz and so there is no real linking between the two part of the phrase on the contrary the OSS part is growing nicely while the large scale enterprise server part is decreasing fast It also introduces an additional error that is the fact that being OSS means that you can sell only services The author clearly has not read much on OSS business models but he should not worry I would be happy to send some papers on the subject Whenever you sell time earning potential is limited There are only so many hours in the day and only so much you can charge by the hour When you have a product that can be replicated whether it be a device a piece of proprietary software or whatever you have the ability to leverage which simply doesn t exist when you are selling yourself by the hour Of course this is the reality of consulting This however does not stop companies like IBM Global Services Accenture and friends to live off consulting simply by asking very high prices for a day of a specialized consultant Or you can find groups like the 451 or RedMonk that are more efficient and targeted towards special markets So there is a realistic ceiling on the revenue that can be earned by any open source company and that ceiling is much lower than any proprietary software company So assuming that by the hour services is the only OSS business model possible and that the price per hour cannot match that of large consulting firm then there is a revenue ceiling that is lower than that of proprietary software companies The fact that both parts of the phrase are unsustained by arguments makes the conclusion unproven It is also an undeniable truth that the way many if not most service companies compete is by price When service companies try and get you to switch over they will promise to provide the same or better service for a lower price This should be a supporting argument for the fact that OSS companies charge a lower per hour price of competing companies and uses Sun as an example Of course it continues to be an unsupported argument even considering the fact that the author probably never paid a receipt for a Sun consultant or would have discovered that their pricing is in line with the rest of the market The trouble with freeware is that there is no margin on free and while open source solutions are not free the race to asymptotically approach free is on hence why I say the race to zero is in full swing Now the author switches from OSS to freeware to remind us that Open Source is after all free Probably RMS would say at this point free as in free speech not free as in free beer but his ideas would be probably dismissed The use of free here is made to create the appearance of a logical connection between freeware and open source of course the author acqnowledges that OSS is

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/03/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 06 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    confirm the much higher quality in terms of defect per line of code of the academic research Additional research identified a common pattern the initial quality of the source code is roughly the same for proprietary and open source but the defect density decreases in a much faster way with open source So it s not the fact that OSS coders are on average code wonders but that the process itself creates more opportunity for defect resolution on average As Succi et al pointed out In terms of defects our analysis finds that the changing rate or the functions modified as a percentage of the total functions is higher in open source projects than in closed source projects This supports the hypothesis that defects may be found and fixed more quickly in open source projects than in closed source projects and may be an added benefit for using the open source development model emphasis mine I have a personal opinion on why this happens and is really related to two different phenomenons the first aspect is related to code reuse the general modularity and great reuse of components is in fact helping developers because instead of recoding something introducing new bugs the reuse of an already debugged component reduces the overall defect density This aspect was found in other research groups focusing on reuse for example in a work by Mohagheghi Conradi Killi and Schwarz called An Empirical Study of Software Reuse vs Defect Density and Stability available here we can find that reuse introduces a similar degree of improvement in the bug density and the trouble report numbers of code As it can be observed from the graph code originated from reuse has a significant higher quality compared to traditional code and the gap between the two grows with

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/06/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 08 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    Infection And the closing points Before Jacobsen v Katzer commercial software developers already often avoided incorporating open source components in their offerings for fear of being stripped of ownership rights While software development benefits from peer review and transparency of process facilitated by open source the resulting licenses by their terms could require those using any open source code to disclose all associated source code and distribute incorporated works royalty free Following Jacobsen v Katzer commercial software developers should be even more cautious of incorporating any open source code in their offerings Potentially far greater monetary remedies not to mention continued availability of equitable relief make this vehicle one train to board with caution Let s skip the fact that the law practitioners that wrote this jewel of law journalism are part of the firm White Case that represented Microsoft in the EU Commission s first antitrust action let s skip the fact that terms like infection and the liberal use of commercial hides the same error already presented in other pearls of legal wisdom already debated here the reality is that the entire frame of reference is based on an assumption that I heard the first time from a lawyer working for a quite large firm that since open source software is free companies are entitled to do whatever they want with it Of course it s a simplification I know many lawyers and paralegals that are incredibly smart Carlo Piana comes to mind but to this people I propose the following gedankenexperiment imagine that within the text of the linked article every mention to open source was magically replaced with proprietary source code The federal circuit ruling would more or less stay unmodified but the comment of the writers would assume quite hysterical properties Because they would argue that proprietary software is extremely dangerous because if Microsoft just as an example found parts of its source code included inside of another product they would sue the hell out of the poor developer that would be unable to use the Cisco defence to claim that Open Source crept into its products and thus damages should be minimal The reality is that the entire article is written with a focus that is non differentiating in this sense there is no difference between OSS and proprietary code Exactly like for proprietary software taking open source code without respecting the license is not allowed the RIAA would say that it is stealing and that the company is a pirate So dear customers of White Case stay away from open source at all costs while we will continue to reap its benefits 5 Comments See you in Brussels the European OpenClinica meeting Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data blog on April 8th 2009 In a few days the 14th of April I will be attending as a panelist the first European OpenClinica meeting in the regulatory considerations panel It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet all the other OpenClinica

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/08/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 10 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    this is for another post What I would like to make clear is that the real point is not if the proposed MXM license is OSI compliant or not the important point is why you want it to be open source Let s consider the various alternatives the group believes that an open source implementation may receive external effort much like the traditional open source projects and thus reduce maintenance and extension effort If this is the aim then the probability of having this kind of external support is quite low as companies would avoid it as the license would not allow in any case a commercial use with an associated patent license and researchers working in the area would have been perfectly satisfied with any kind of academic or research only license the group wants to increase the adoption of the standard and the reference implementation should be used as a basis for further work to turn it into a commercial product This falls in the same cathegory as before why should I look at the reference implementation if it does not grant me any potential use The group could have simply published the source code for the reference and said if you want to use it you should pay us a license for the embedded patents the group wants to have a golden standard to benchmark external implementations for example to see that the bitstreams are compliant Again there is no need for having an open source license The reality is that there is no clear motivation behind making this under an open source license because the clear presence of patents on the implementation makes it risky or non free to use for any commercial exploitation Microsoft for example did it much better to avoid losing their rights

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/10/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 16 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    the AV TSx which is poor security practice because among other things it means the same key is used in every such machine in the U S and can be found through Google The result is that in any jurisdiction that uses the default keys rather than creating new ones the digital signatures provide no protection at all No use of high assurance development methods The AccuBasic interpreter does not appear to have been written using high assurance development methodologies It seems to have been written according to ordinary commercial practices Clearly there are serious security flaws in current state of the AV OS and AV TSx software source Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuBasic Interpreter Wagner Jefferson Bishop Of course there are many other reports and news pieces on the general unreliability of the certified GEMS software just to pick the most talked about component The fact is that assurance and certification is a non functional aspect that is unrelated to the license the software is released with as certifications of software quality and adherence to high integrity standards are based on design documents the adherence to development standards testing procedures and much more but not licensing I have already written about our research on open source quality from the software engineering point of view and in general it can be observed that open source development models tend to have an higher improvement in quality within a specific time frame when compared to proprietary software systems under specific circumstances like a healthy contributor community It is possible to certify open source systems under the strictest certification rules like the SABI secret and below certification medical CCHIT encryption FIPS standard common criteria Evaluation Assurance Level EAL4 and in one case meet or exceed EAL5 civil engineering where the product is used for the stability computations for EDF nuclear plants designs avionics and ground based high integrity systems like air traffic control and railrway systems we explored the procedures for achieving certified status for pre existing open source code in the CALIBRE project Thus it is possible to meet and exceed the regulatory rules for a wide spectrum of environments with far more stringent specifications than the current e voting environment It seems that the real problem lies in the potential for competition from OSS voting systems over proprietary ones Legislators who adopt policies that require open source products or offer incentives to open source providers will likely fall victim to a perception of instituting unfair market practices At worst policy makers may find themselves encouraging the use of products that do not exist and market conditions that cannot support competition The reality is that there are some open source voting software the white paper even lists some and the real threat is the government to start funding those projects instead of buying proprietary combinations This is where the vendors clearly show the underlying misunderstanding on how open source works you can still sell your assembly of hardware and software as

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/16/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 17 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    adoption and a presentation of the UTAUT model for estimating the degree of acceptance of OSS From theory to practice the personal desktop linux experiment A long example on how to apply the previously discussed models in a theoretical exercise creating an end user large scale linux PC for personal activities The post was inspired by work done during the Manila workshop along with UN s International Open Source Network for facilitating take up of open source by south east Asean SMEs Rethinking OSS business model classifications by adding adopters value A presentation of the new classification of OSS business models I have to thank Matthew Aslett of the 451 group for the many comments and for accepting to share his work from the CAOS report with us Comparing companies effectiveness a response to Savio Rodrigues A post written in response to work by Savio Rodrigues on the relative shares of R D of OSS companies compared to traditional IT companies Our definitions of OSS based business models A follow up of the rethinking post it outlines the new definitions of OSS business models created for the final part of the FLOSSMETRICS project Another take on the financial value of open source Our estimates of the value of the open source software market and a call for further research on non code contributions OSS based business models a revised study based on 218 companies A post providing the summary of the extended FLOSSMETRICS study on open source companies that increased its number from 80 to 218 with some observation on relative size and usage of the various models Estimating savings from OSS code reuse or where does the money comes from One of my favourite posts provides a long discussion of the savings obtained when using OSS inside of other

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/17/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 20 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/20/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 27 « April « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    universe closed source is 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/04/27/index.html (2016-02-18)
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