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  • 03 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    software so Windows is a safe bet The appearance of Apple OS X demonstrated that this reasoning can be modified for example by presenting a nicer user experience OS X owners get in contact with other potential adopters are shown a different environment that seems to be capable of performing the most important talks and so the diffusion process can happen For the same process to be possible with Linux we must improve the knowledge of users to show them that normal use is no more intimidating than that of Windows and that software is available for the most common tasks This requires two separate processes one to show that the basic desktop is capable of performing traditional tasks easily and another to show what kind of software is available My favourite way for doing this for in store experiences is through a demo video usually played in continuous rotation that shows some basic activities for example how Network Manager provides a simple one click way to connect to WiFi or how Nautilus provides previews of common file formats There should be a fast 5 minute section to show that basic activities can be performed easily I prefer the following list web browsing showing compatibility with sites like FaceBook Hi5 Google Mail changing desktop properties like backgrounds or colours connecting to WiFi networks printer recognition and setup package installation I know that Ubuntu or OpenSUSE or Fedora users will complain that those are functionalities that are nowadays taken for granted But consider what even technical journalist sometimes may write about Linux It booted like a real OS with the familiar GUI of Windows XP and its predecessors and of the Mac OS icons for disks and folders a standard menu structure and built in support for common hardware such as networks printers and DVD burners Booted like a real OS And icons So much for the change in perspective like the Vista user perception problem demonstrated So a pictorial presentation is a good media to provide an initial fear reducing informative presentation that will not require assistance from the shop staff On the same side a small informative session may be prepared we suggested a 8 page booklet for the assistants to provide answers comparable to that offered for Windows machines Usability of modern linux distribution is actually good enough to be comparable to that of Windows XP on most tasks In a thesis published in 2005 the following graph was presented using data from previous work by Relevantive The time and difficulty of tasks was basically the same most of the problems that were encountered by users were related to bad naming of the applications The main usability problems with the Linux desktop system were clarity of the icons and the naming of the applications Applications did not include anything concerning their function in their name This made it really hard for users to find the right application they were looking for This approach was substantially improved in recent

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  • 06 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    2006 when we started collecting data on OSS models when companies were performing in a more or less undifferentiated way all those activities We believe that this specialization will continue with the enlargement of the commercial OSS market We removed the badgeware category from the list We found that some of the vendors that originally followed this model disappeared and for those remaining protection from freeriding and overall model was more or less morphed into a open core or split oss commercial As the visibility clause can now be included in the GPLv3 I believe that the remaining few badgeware licenses will disappear quickly We have added an experimental section related to the advantages for the vendor and for the adopters of OSS models This section is in my opinion quite important in making this a sort of cheatsheet for companies that will be interested in using an OSS business model in the future but is still subject to some revision I would be grateful for any suggestion or correction to it Anyway here is a link to the table in ODS format and in html format 17 Comments You are currently browsing the archives for Friday March 6th 2009

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  • 09 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    within the same class in terms of market capitalisation In fact only startups that rarely can go to the stock market have an higher than average R D Other companies with similar properties are companies in the biochemistry and drug design firms that have a long incubation period to create a product and for this reason have a high R D share Then the balance sheet is in itself not a good way to measure the productivity or savings in development compared to same class companies In fact as I wrote some days ago savings due to the adoption of OSS are not inherently visible in balance sheets but appear as better quality product or as the capability of producing goods at a lower price point In fact just thinking of comparing RedHat with a company that is 55 times larger should provide an idea of how big an advantage is OSS in terms of efficiency Many companies are helped by the existence of a trialable product and in this sense there may be a core of truth in the idea that cost for customer acquisition may be lower I am not convinced that cost reduction is so significant at least not to the same extent of R D advantages that are clearly easier to measure and that tend to be significant I agree with Savio that competition should not happen exclusively on pricing but it may be a part of a larger strategy but I contend that by looking just at two balance sheet breackdowns can give us information on whether OSS is more or less efficient in terms of product creation I continue to believe that in many markets OSS provides a substantial advantage after all Rishab et al estimated the average R D advantage at 36 my

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/03/09/index.html (2016-02-18)
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  • 13 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    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 buy a commercial license that is in a sense an exception to the binding clause by those that value the free as in speech idea of free libre software this is seen as a good compromise between helping those that abide to the GPL and receive the software for free and make their software available as FLOSS and benefiting through the commercial license for those that want to maintain the code proprietary 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 that becomes mainly limited to bug fixes and small additions Open Core previously called split OSS commercial this model distinguish between a basic FLOSS software and a commercial version based on the libre one but with the addition of proprietary plugins Most companies adopt as license the Mozilla Public License as it allows explicitly this form of intermixing and allows for much greater participation from external contributions as no acceptance of double licensing is required The model has the intrinsic downside that the FLOSS product must be valuable to be attractive for the users but must also be not complete enough to prevent competition with the commercial one 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 a purely open source way thus reducing the attractiveness of the commercial version Product specialist s companies that created or maintain a specific software project and use a pure FLOSS 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 It is based on 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 Linux distributions were classified as platforms the interesting observation is that those distributions are licensed for a significant part under pure FLOSS 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 The main value proposition comes

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  • 16 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    classified also as product specialists With the actual numbers Model name companies product specialist 131 open core 52 Indirect 44 dual licensing 19 R D sharing 6 training 5 aggregate supp 5 legal cert 5 platform providers 4 selection consulting 4 Some important considerations product specialists are counted only when there is a demonstrable participation of the company into the project as main committer otherwise the number of specialists would be much greater as some projects are the center of commercial support from many companies a good example is OpenBravo or Zope The distribution of revenue approximate as most companies are not publishing revenue data seems to match that of average IT sector with the vast majority of companies of small size less than 5M around 10 are medium sized 5 to 20M and very few can be classified as large Another observation is the fact that platform providers while limited in number tend to have a much larger revenue rate than both specialists or open core companies Overall there seems to be no significant difference in revenuse comparing same class companies between product specialists compared to open core companies but this is based on uncertain estimates of relative revenues and should be taken as purely speculative What seems to be constant is the reported increase in visibility and sales leads experienced by companies that adopted a pure open source model be it dual licensing specialists or based on indirect revenues as before it is possible to check this kind of increase only through web based metrics that are in many cases unreliable and by indirect measurements like user participation in forums or dedicated conferences 4 Comments You are currently browsing the archives for Monday March 16th 2009 blog divertissements EveryDesk OSS adoption OSS business models OSS data Uncategorized March

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  • 17 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    promotes the same ideas reuse components and source code from other projects release early release often or allow anyone read access to CVS for making their own version meritocracy small group of respected core developers and many smaller contributors In the software engineering world the reuse of code coming from the external world is commonly called COTS Commercial Off The Shelf and has been studied for many years Boehm and others created a model for mixed development that can be graphically presented as As can be seen in the image there are costs that are related to the integration of COTS in our case OSS within a newly developed product These costs are related to the evaluation and searching of OSS tailoring the adaptation of the code for the project needs and development of glue code the layer of code between OSS modules and between OSS and internally developed code I would like to present some results based on the COCOMO II model adapted to a model where a varying percentage of code is developed or reused from OSS First of all some assumptions The average company cost of a developer is fixed at 25 per hour It should be a reasonable approximation of european costs in particular costs in mediterranean areas like Spain France Italy Greece we know that it is considerably lower than other estimates especially US ones but this way we provide a lower bound for savings instead of averages The tailoring of code is performed on 15 of the OSS code percentage comes from several separate projects with estimates ranging from 5 for mature projects with structured and well documented interfaces to 20 for complex deeply interlocked code like that found in embedded systems Tailoring cost is higher than traditional coding for this reason the COCOMO complexity index is increased to 6 compared to new code development Volatility is based on our own model for cost estimation and data from literature on COTS Empirical observations on COTS software integration effort based on the initial COCOTS calibration database Abts C Boehm B W Bailey Clark E and it can be approximate with an average effort equivalent to 1 5 to 2 5 full time person year This is the result Project size lines of code of OSS total cost Keuro Savings duration years avg staffing 100000 0 1703 0 1 7 20 5 100000 50 975 43 1 3 15 4 100000 75 487 71 0 9 8 6 1000000 0 22000 0 3 3 141 7 1000000 50 12061 45 2 6 103 2 1000000 75 3012 86 2 32 10000000 0 295955 0 7 5 818 10000000 50 160596 46 5 9 631 2 10000000 75 80845 73 3 8 421 In the case of 10Mlines of code the saving is estimated at more than 210M that is consistent with previous estimates of savings by Nokia in reusing open source within Maemo Even for the small project of 100000 lines the savings are estimated at

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  • 18 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    sole imprese con fatturato inferiore ai 500 000 euro con la variabile relativa alle classi dimensionali delle aziende clienti per numero di dipendenti si può ipotizzare una correlazione tra l utilizzo di software Open Source e la capacità di attrarre clienti di dimensioni relativamente più grandi A parità di fatturato insomma le aziende solo Open Source sembrano avere maggiori chances di ottenere commesse da aziende con oltre 50 dipendenti quindi medio grandi rispetto al nostro universo di riferimento my english translation Finally comparing the individual data on firms with turnover of less than 500 000 euros with the variable on size classes of customers by number of employees one can hipotesize a correlation between the use of software Open Source and the ability to attract customers of relatively larger scale At the same turnover in other words companies Open Source only seem to have more chances to obtain work orders from companies with more than 50 employees ie medium large compared to our universe of reference This given the relative similarity of other data like revenue per employee of the cluster provide at least an hint that OSS gives leverage in the kind of activities that a small company can create or propose to the market As I wrote in my previous post In the smallest example 100000 lines of code still substantial the average staffing is reduced from more than 20 developers to slightly less than 9 bringing this project within reach even by small companies and in my personal view it explains the exceptional take up of OSS by new and innovative companies that even before external sources of capital like VCs are capable of creating non trivial projects with very limited resources 2 Comments You are currently browsing the archives for Wednesday March 18th 2009 blog divertissements

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  • 25 « March « 2009 « carlodaffara.conecta.it
    in the table Apple shifted to what has been called an embrace and layer strategy for its consumer operating system by leveraging permissively licensed open source BSD code for functionality such as networking infrastructure while focusing its commercial R D on building a proprietary graphical user interface GUI on top and licensing the resulting product as a whole under a traditional commercial license In my classification that would fit within the R D cost sharing Page 5 Another industry analyst firm the 451 Group identified more than 100 ICT companies who rely on OSS to generate a significant portion of their revenue At the same time it found the majority of open source vendors utilize some form of commercial licensing to distribute or generate revenue from open source software Of course The error is the same already mentioned that is the confusion between proprietary and commercial Page 7 OSS approaches tend to be relatively more successful when the end users of a technology are themselves developers as opposed to nontechnical end users The phrase is incorrect and arise from the identification of OSS developers as volunteers that scratch an itch From a logical point of view there are two errors first of all there are many technical users that are not developers system administrators are a good example In fact the very high penetration of OSS in server environments is not strictly related to developer participation Second the assumption that OSS is inherently difficult to use implied in the phrase is easily dispelled by the great success of FireFox and OpenOffice both of which require no developer in sight Page 7 Windows Server product strategy continues to focus on offering a product that IT administrators will choose over alternatives including Linux because it is highly manageable with readily available skills supported by a wide range of third party applications and offers the lowest total cost of ownership TCO This is marketing not research first of all the TCO debate is still not solved in favor of Microsoft and after reviewing the TCO numbers for COSPA I suspect that that would not be an easy win for them Then it implies that OSS skills are not readily available again something that is unproven and it implies that OSS alternatives have a limited range of third party applications look at RedHat certified applications list for a good counterexample Page 8 For developers the entire NET Framework is available as a reference source to enable them to debug against the source code And since it is not open source this should probably not be mentioned here Page 9 One key supporting principle is respect for the diverse and continually evolving ways that individuals and companies choose to build and market what they create No efficient effective technical solution should be precluded or advantaged because an individual a vendor or a development community has chosen a particular business model whether based on software licensing service and support advertising or increasingly some combination thereof This

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/2009/03/25/index.html (2016-02-18)
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