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".
  • OSS business models « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.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 3 Comments Random bits and pieces Matt Asay Tarus Android and more Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models divertissements on May 13th 2009 As I prepare for a long tour of Europe for various EU project evaluation I would like to provide some snippets and comments on some debates and discussions for which maybe a long post would be not appropriate starting of course with the ping pong like debate between Matt Asay and Tarus Balog on what constitutes an OSS company I already have wrote too much about it but I would like to point out two errors at least in my view in Matt Asay post in particular in the phrase Red Hat is an example of free done right following analysis from TechDirt We ve moved beyond the business models that insist that every line of software be open source they couldn t scale and tended to treat openness as an end in and of itself rather than as a means to an end The first point is that RedHat is a perfect example of an OSS company under almost any definition of the terms There is little or no code that is unreleased and actually most of those cases are for code that was recently acquired and thus still not vetted for release I know that Matt disagrees with this because the service contract is more restrictive but the point is that you acquire all source code and after removal of the trademarked logos you are allowed to do whatever you want with it If you don t like 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 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 other environments like Maemo do exist and are stable the App Store and the enlarging software ecosystem may become a differentiating element As I already wrote in the past I believe that VoIP applications and in a more general sense social and interaction applications will become the real differentiating element in the future I believe that as 3 5G wireless data contracts start to become common the phone will become more and more a modem for connecting with a separate and non carrier controlled MID where VoIP and IM applications will join the web browser as the most frequently used applications FLOSS open source 1 Comment Why we still debate open core and why it will not matter anymore Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models on May 8th 2009 There is an interesting blog debate between Tarus Balog of OpenNMS fame Matt Asay of Alfresco and Matthew Aslett on the relative good and evil of open source business models and more in relations to whether open core companies are really open source or not and of course I could not resist in chiming in Before rolling your eyes in disgust for the continuous discussion that should enter now its 10th year more or less I would like to give you my impression on why this has continued to be debated and why I believe it will be gradually less and less important to the point that it will be no more than background noise Tarus starts with a very good analysis of why the open source definition and the free software definition can be considered to be equivalent and thus creates an equivalence between open source and free software that is something that I believe is valid from the legal point of view Then he extends the concept of open source to companies and presents his view of what he calls fauxpen source companies that is companies that are not distributing all of their software products under an open source license I understand perfectly the reasons behind Tarus words but I equally understand why Matt Asay is so vitriolic about them they talk about different things I will state my position in advance so as to provide some transparency I have nothing against open core models where part of the code is not available as OSS and I perfectly understand why some companies may be more interested in adopting such a model instead of a pure model where the entirety of the code is available under one or more OSS licenses On the other hand I found no proof of the fact that the open core or hybrid model is superior in terms of 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 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 5 Comments On OSS communities and other common traps Posted by cdaffara in OSS adoption OSS business models on May 6th 2009 Matt Asay just published a post titled Community is an overhyped word in software where he collects several observations and basically states that Most people don t contribute any software any bug fixes any blog mentions or any anything to open source projects including those from which they derive considerable value They just don t Sure there are counterexamples to this but they re the exception not the rule While true to some extent the way the post is presented seems to imply that only commercial contributions are really of value as he states later So if you want to rely on a community to build your product for you good luck You re going to need it as experience suggests that hard work by a committed core team develops great software whether its Linux or Microsoft SharePoint not some committee masquerading as a community This is somewhat true and somewhat false and this dichotomy depends on the fact that community is an undefined word in this context Two years ago I gave an interview to Roberto Galoppini and one of the questions and answer was What is your opinion about the community Alessandro Rubini is right in expressing disbelief in a generic community there are organized communities that can be recognized as such Debian or Gentoo supporters are among them but tend to be an exception and not the rule Most software do not have a real community outside of the developers and eventually some users of a 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 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 5 Comments Economic Free Software perspectives Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data on May 4th 2009 How do you make money with Free Software was a very common question just a few years ago Today that question has evolved into What are successful business strategies that can be implemented on top of Free Software This is the beginning of a document that I originally prepared as an appendix for an industry group white paper as I received many requests for a short data concrete document to be used in university courses on the economics of FLOSS I think that this may be useful as an initial discussion paper A pdf version is available here for download Data and text was partially adapted from the results of the EU projects FLOSSMETRICS and OpenTTT open source business models and adoption of OSS within companies COSPA adoption of OSS by public administrations in Europe CALIBRE and INES open source in industrial environments I am indebted with Georg Greve of FSFE that wrote the excellent introduction more details on the submission here and that kindly permitted redistribution This text is licensed under CC by SA attribution sharealike 3 0 I would grateful for an email to indicate use of the text as a way to keep track of it at cdaffara conecta it Free Software defined 1985 is defined by the freedoms to use study share improve Synonyms for Free Software include Libre Software c a 1991 Open Source 1998 FOSS and FLOSS both 200X For purposes of this document this usage is synonymous with Open Source by the Open Source Initiative OSI Economic Free Software Perspectives Introduction How do you make money with Free Software was a very common question just a few years ago Today that question has evolved into What are successful business strategies that can be implemented on top of Free Software In order to develop business strategies it is first necessary to have a clear understanding of the different aspects that you seek to address Unfortunately this is not made easier by popular ambiguous use of some terms for fundamentally different concepts and issues e g Open Source being used for a software model development model or business model These models are orthogonal like the three axes of the three dimensional coordinate system their respective differentiators are control software model collaboration development model revenue business model The software model axis is the one that is discussed most often On the one hand there is proprietary software for which the vendor retains full control over the software and the user receives limited usage permission through a license which is granted according to certain conditions On the other hand there is Free Software which provides the user with unprecedented control over their software through an ex ante grant of irrevocable and universal rights to use study modify and distribute the software The development model axis describes the barrier to collaboration ranging from projects that are developed by a single person or vendor to projects that allow extensive global collaboration This is independent from the software model There is proprietary software that allows for far reaching collaboration e g SAP with it s partnership program and Free Software projects that are developed by a single person or company with little or no outside input The business model axis describes what kind of revenue model was chosen for the software Options on this axis include training services integration custom development subscription models Commercial Off The Shelve COTS Software as a Service SaaS and more These three axes open the space in which any software project and any product of any company can freely position itself That is not to say all these combinations will be successful A revenue model based on lock in strategies with rapid paid upgrade cycles is unlikely to work with Free Software as the underlying software model This approach typically occurs on top of a proprietary software model for which the business model mandates a completed financial transaction as one of the conditions to grant a license It should be noted that the overlap of possible business models on top of the different software models is much larger than usually understood The ex ante grant of the Free Software model makes it generally impossible to attach conditions to the granting of a license including the condition of financial transaction But it is possible to implement very similar revenue streams in the business model through contractual constructions trademarks and or certification Each of these axes warrants individual consideration and careful planning for the goals of the project If for instance the goal is to work with competitors on a non differentiating component in order to achieve independence from a potential monopolistic supplier it would seem appropriate to focus on collaboration and choose a software model that includes a strong Copyleft licence The business model could potentially be neglected in this case as the expected return on investment comes in the form of strategic independence benefits and lower licence costs In another case a company might choose a very collaborative community development model on top of a strong Copyleft licence with a revenue model based on enterprise ready releases that are audited for maturity stability and security by the company for its customers The number of possible combinations is almost endless and the choices made will determine the individual character and competitive strengths and weaknesses of each company Thinking clearly about these parameters is key to a successful business strategy Strategic use of Free Software vs Free Software Companies According to Gartner usage of Free Software will reach 100 percent by November 2009 That makes usage of Free Software a poor criterion for what makes a Free Software company Contribution to Free Software projects seems a slightly better choice but as many Free Software projects have adopted a collaborative development model in which the users themselves drive development that label would then also apply to companies that aren t Information Technology IT companies IT companies are among the most intensive users of software and will often find themselves as part of a larger stack or environment of applications Being part of that stack their use of software not only refers to desktops and servers used by the company s employees but also to the platform on top of which the company s software or solution is provided Maintaining proprietary custom platforms for a solution is inefficient and expensive and depending upon other proprietary companies for the platform is dangerous In response large proprietary enterprises have begun to phase out their proprietary platforms and are moving towards Free Software in order to leverage the strategic advantages provided by this software model for their own use of software on the platform level These companies will often interact well with the projects they depend upon contribute to them and foster their growth as a way to develop strategic independence as a user of software What makes these enterprises proprietary is that for the parts where they are not primarily users of software but suppliers to their downstream customers the software model is proprietary withholding from its customers the same strategic benefits of Free Software that the company is using to improve its own competitiveness From a customer perspective that solution itself becomes part of the platform on which the company s differentiating activities are based This as stated before is inefficient expensive and a dangerous strategy Assuming a market perspective it represents an inefficiency that provides business opportunity for other companies to provide customers with a stack that is Free Software entirely and it is strategically and economically sane for customers to prefer those providers over proprietary ones for the very same reasons that their proprietary suppliers have chosen Free Software platforms themselves Strategically speaking any company that includes proprietary software model components in its revenue model should be aware that its revenue flow largely depends upon lack of Free Software alternatives and that growth of the market as well as supernatural profits generated through the proprietary model both serve to attract other companies that will make proprietary models unsustainable When that moment comes the company can either move its revenue model to a different market or it has to transform its revenue source to work on top of a software model that is entirely Free Software So usage of and contribution to Free Software are not differentiators for what makes a Free Software company The critical differentiator is provision of Free Software downstream to customers In other words Free Software companies are companies that 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 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 not directly connected with source code or software One of the most common cases is the writing of software needed to run hardware for instance operating system drivers for specific hardware In fact many hardware manufacturers are already distributing gratis software drivers Some of them are already distributing some of their drivers specially those for the Linux kernel as Free Software The loss leader is a traditional commercial model common also outside of the world of software in this model effort is invested in a Free Software project to create or extend another market under different conditions For example hardware vendors invest in the development of software drivers for Free Software operating systems like GNU Linux to extend the market of the hardware itself Other ancillary models are for example those of the Mozilla foundation which obtains a non trivial amount of money from a search engine partnership with Google an estimated 72M in 2006 while SourceForge OSTG receives the majority of revenues from ecommerce sales of the affiliate ThinkGeek site We found confirming previous research from the 451 group that at the moment there is no significant model with companies more or less adopting and changing model depending on the specific market or the shifting costs For example during 2008 a large number of companies shifted from an open core model to a pure product specialist one to leverage the external community of contributors According to the collected data among Free Software companies the Fully Free Software approach is still prevalent followed by the Open Core and the Dual Licensing mode 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 companies have more than one principal model and thus are counted twice in particular most dual licensing companies are also selling support services and thus are marked as both Also 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 Another relevant consideration 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 Many researchers are trying to identify whether there is a more efficient model among all those surveyed what we found is that the most probable future outcome will be a continuous shift across model with a long term consolidation of development consortia like Symbian and Eclipse that provide strong legal infrastructure and development advantages and product specialists that provide vertical offerings for specific markets This contrasts with the view that for example mixed models provide an inherent advantage for example Matthew Aslett of the 451 group one of the leading researchers in Free Software business models wrote The Open Core approach is mostly though not exclusively used by vendors that dominate their own development communities While this provides benefits in terms of controlling the direction of development and benefiting from the open source distribution model there are also risks involved with promoting and managing community development or not In fact many of these companies employ the majority of the developers on the project so they are actually missing out on many of the benefits of the open source development

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/category/oss-business-models/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • OSS data « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    who want large law firms to provide patent services for fees ranging from 3 500 to 7 000 per application This is forcing many large patent law firms to simply not offer patent drafting and prosecution services any longer There are major law firms that are seeking to outsource such work hoping to still keep the client for litigation purposes and to negotiate business deals Dear writer this is called competition And as before it is not a race to zero as you will never find an attorney doing this kind of service for free without any attachment or if they do they will probably go out of business leaving the market Does anyone really think that paying 1 400 for an allegedly complete patent application is a wise business decision I can t imagine that if you say that to yourself out loud it would sound like such a goo d idea Well IF the author can prove that application quality and price are correlated then this becomes a decision based on economics principles and depends on the hypothetical future value of the patent measures of indirect value and so on If the correlation is not strict then any rational actor would simply seek the lowest possible price Likewise Fortune 500 companies that are pushing prices down and wanting to pay only 3 500 for a patent application can t really expect to get much if any worthwhile protection Do they I suppose they do but the reality is that they don t The reality is that when you are drafting a patent application you can ALWAYS make it better by spending more time But to think that you can force a patent attorney or agent to spend the same length of time working on a project whether you pay under 3 500 7 000 or 10 000 is naïve Everyone inherently knows this to be true but somehow convinces themselves otherwise So Fortune 500 companies are managed by morons that don t understand the value of spending more time I suspect it is for a lack of culture or a lack of perception of value both can be cured by promotion and dissemination of information Still this does not applies to Open Source As companies continue to look for the low cost solution quality is sacrificed Ah Here s the connection As for patent applications software has the same correlation quality price Now I full well realize that much of the open source software is better than proprietary software and I know that it can be much cheaper to rely on open source solutions than to enter into a license agreement for proprietary software but I can t say it loud thinks the author or they will burn me alive So let s change the subject again B ut where is that going to lead us Once mighty Sun Microsystems is hanging on for dear life and is that who you want to be relying on to provide service for your customized open source solutions What if Sun simply disappears Can you trust a company like Sun that by using OSS is destroying itself Or are you thinking about using OSS and take the risk of being such a dying corpse yourself So let s make sure that the poor moron that thinks that OSS can save money understand the risks by bringing another example gyms I remember years ago I joined a gym and purchased a yearly membership only to have the gym close less than 2 months later A similar thing happened to my wife several years ago when she bought a membership to a fitness and well being company who shall remain nameless Eat better and get exercise counseling and support what a deal Of course it was a deal only until the company filed for bankruptcy and left all its members high and dry Luckily I put off joining myself otherwise we would have been out two memberships after less than 30 days Of course the parallel between gyms and software companies is not so strict and is not related to OSS at all examples abound of what happens in all sectors At least with OSS you have the source code and you can do something yourself With once mighty companies falling left and right do you really want to bet the IT future of your company or organization on an industry whose business model is the race to zero So dear author the race is not to zero and yes I would bet it on open source so at least I am free to continue to use your gym even after it has closed 4 Comments The new FLOSSMETRICS project liveliness parameters Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data blog on April 2nd 2009 While working on the final edition of our FLOSSMETRICS guide on OSS I received the new automated estimation procedures from the other participants in the project and the QUALOSS people namely Daniel Izquierdo Santiago Dueñas and Jesus Gonzales Barahona from the Departamento de Sistemas Telemáticos y Computación GSyC of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos The new parameters will be included soon in the automated project page that is created in the FLOSSMETRICS database here is an example for the Epiphany web browser and will feature a very nice colour coded scheme that provides an at a glance view of the risks or strengths of a project A nice feature of FLOSSMETRICS is the fact that it provides information not only on code but on ancillary metrics like mailing lists committers participation and so on and all the tools code and databases are open source Now on with the variables ID Measurement Procedure Idea New Indicators CM SRA 1 Retrieving the date of the first bug for each member of the community we are able to know if the number of new member reporting bugs remains stable Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM SRA 2 Retrieving the date of the first commit for each member of the community we are able to know if the number of new member committing remains stable Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM SRA 3 CVSAnalY looking for the first commit of each detected committer in the SCM whose commit is not a code commit for instance ignoring source code extensions MLS Each new email address detected and its monthly evolution Bicho We measure monthly the first bug submitted by registered people Retrieving the evolution of the first event in the community by a person and if it remains stable can give an idea of how it evolves and how many people are coming inside the community Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM SRA 4 Check the core group of developers those with the 80 of the commits Now check the first commit of each new member who starts working on the core group Retrieving this information gives an estimator of how the core contributors is evolving Thus we can see if there is a natural regeneration of core developers Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM SRA 5 Core Team people with the 80 of the commits After this any number of people who disappears from this core team is counted as one Taking into account this metric we can estimate if there is a dramatic decrease in the number of core developers and so a risk in the regeneration Green There are no members leaving the project Yellow There are some people leaving the project one or two each year Red A high number of people leave the project The evolution shows an increase or even a stable period Black The number of people leaving the project is extremely high CM SRA 6 Number of people who left the core team minus number of new members of the core team Monthly analysis Green The balance shows an increase in the number of people coming to the project Yellow The balance is equal to 0 Red The balance shows an increase in the number of people leaving the project Black The balance shows a really high number of people leaving the project CM SRA 7 Average age of people working on a project This metric is focused on the average of years worked by each developer With this approximation we are able to know of members are approaching this limit and we can estimate future effort needs Green The longevity is older than 3 years Yellow The longevity is older than 2 years and younger than 3 years Red The longevity is older than 1 year and younger than 2 years Black The longevity is younger than 1 year CM SRA 8 Evolution of people who contribute to the source code and reporting bugs A way to retrieve this data is to analyze those committers and reporters with the same nickname Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM SRA 9 Same metric than above but this is the sum of all of them and not the evolution General number We can measure the size of a community Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM IWA 1 An event is defined as any kind of activity measurable from a community Generally speaking posts commits or bug reports Monthly analysis will provide a general view of the project and its tendency Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM IWA 2 Monthly analysis will provide a general view of the project In this way an increase or decrease in the number of commits will show the tendency of the community Taking into account the slope of the resultant line y mx b while measuring the aggregated number and periods of one year Green if m 0 Yellow if m 0 Red if m 0 Black if there are no new submitters for several periods CM IWA 3 Number of people working on old releases out of total work on the project We can determine how supported are the old releases for maintenance purposes Green More than 10 Yellow Between 5 and 10 Red Between 0 and 5 Black Nobody CM IWA 4 Looking at the number of committers per each file This metric shows the territoriality in a project Generally speaking most of the files are touched or handled by just one committers It means that high levels of orphaning may be seen as a risk situation If a developer leaves the project her knowledge will disappear and all her files are totally unknown by the rest of the developers team Green Less than 50 of the files are handled by just one committer Yellow More than 50 of the files are handled by just one committer Red More than 70 of the files are handled by just one committer Black More than 90 of the files are handled by just one committer CM IWA 5 Number of people working on the project out of number of people working on the whole project and taking into account the whole set of activities to carry on High number of SLOC e mails or bugs to be fixed per active developer may mean that they are overworked In this case the community is clearly busy and they need more people to help on it Green Less than 30 000 Lines per committer and less than 25 bugs per committer Yellow Between 30 000 and 50 000 lines per committer and between 25 and 75 bugs per committer Red Between 50 000 and 100 000 lines per committer and between 75 and 150 bugs per committer Black More than 100 000 lines per committer and more than 150 bugs per committer CM IWA 6 Relationship between committers and total number of lines or files With this absolute number we are able to check the number of lines per committer Thus just regarding to the source code we can say if they need more resources on it Green Less than 30 000 Lines per committer Yellow Between 30 000 and 50 000 lines per committer Red Between 50 000 and 100 000 lines per committer Black More than 100 000 lines per committer CM IWA 7 Knowledge of the current team about the whole source code measured in number of files touched by all committers out of the total number of files This metric gives an approximation of the number of files touched by the whole set of active committers High percentages will show a high level of knowledge of the current developer team over the whole set of files Green Less than 50 files Yellow Between 50 and 200 files Red Between 200 and 500 files Black More than 500 files per committer CVSanaly Bicho MLS are some of the tools that extract information from the various databases that we keep for every project so for multidimensional data we extract variables from more than one source The evaluation becomes quite simple if there is any red or black metric you are looking at a high risk project because there is a significant part of the code managed by a single or a very small group of people We will estimate the number of yellow parameters that can be associated with a medium risk project by comparing our previous QSOS estimates with the new ones it will be published directly in the guide As a side note I am really grateful for the many researchers that are sending me their works within other open source related EU projects after all we are all working for opennness 1 Comment Random thoughts TomTom Alfresco Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data blog on March 31st 2009 Just a quick note on two relevant events in this beginning of week first the TomTom settlement and the change in strategy of Alfresco moving to an open core strategy As for TomTom I am sorry for all the people that believed that the Dutch company could have been turned into a white knight of Linux but it was clear from the start that the counter suing was designed to create a level field for negotiation There could be no CEO that would have fought the patent fight understanding that in the eventuality of losing the amount of damages and remedial actions would have effectively killed the company And you don t know in advance what your chances are and this is really one of the most dangerous aspects of patents As for those that claimed that the FAT32 specification was effectively public the reality is that courts rejected the patents on the original FAT implementation but not its extensions and that the free to use specification of FAT32 released by Microsoft are limited to the following areas e Each of the license and the covenant not to sue described above shall not extend to your use of any portion of the Specification for any purpose other than a to create portions of an operating system i only as necessary to adapt such operating system so that it can directly interact with a firmware implementation of the Extensible Firmware Initiative Specification v 1 0 EFI Specification ii only as necessary to emulate an implementation of the EFI Specification and b to create firmware applications utilities and or drivers that will be used and or licensed for only the following purposes i to install repair and maintain hardware firmware and portions of operating system software which are utilized in the boot process ii to provide to an operating system runtime services that are specified in the EFI Specification iii to diagnose and correct failures in the hardware firmware or operating system software iv to query for identification of a computer system whether by serial numbers asset tags user or otherwise v to perform inventory of a computer system and vi to manufacture install and setup any hardware firmware or operating system software So hardly useable for anything within Linux At the moment probably the safest choice would be for embedded vendors to remove the FAT32 specific portions from the code and use only the traditional 8 3 FAT allocation eventually extending the use of filesystem in file strategy commonly used in games like ID software s PAKs As for Alfresco first of all I wish all the best for Alfresco and their product It is always one of my favourite examples of successful commercial OSS system and so I am happy to see that they are getting substantial increases in their turnover including a nearly doubling of revenue year over year On the other hand I understand perfectly the frustration that some of the biggest enterprises in the world and I mean Fortune 50 and even Fortune 10 are only using the open source version of the product It seems to me that the choice of what features should be available to enterprise customers vs open source ones is a good initial choice and I hope them every possible success However I am perplexed if the OSS Alfresco is doing so well doubling revenues is there really a need for a change in approach And given that RedHat is doing quite well even with CentOS being used in many large scale companies is it really necessary If the need to increase adoption was effectively so strong I would probably have adopted a timed release for the bug fixes effectively introducing a RHEL Fedora like split and spun off the plugins for connecting to the proprietary systems as a completely different offering this way the distinction between what is enterprise and what is open source would be clearer Anyway good luck Alfresco And continue to be my hero No Comments I respectfully disagree Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data blog on March 25th 2009 Microsoft has recently published a white paper on Microsoft and OSS called Participation in a world of choice It s a nice 16 pages pdf with kind words on the role of OSS in the modern IT landscape the fact that It is important to acknowledge that the relationship between open source and Microsoft has at times been characterized by strong emotions and harsh words some of which were from Microsofties themselves like the infamous cancer and that the future will be nice and warm and fuzzy Despite the fact that for probably the first time a white paper contains a significant bibliography that includes academic papers I have to say that I am not impressed by the content that basically tries to reposition free software and open source in a context that is not entirely appropriate and selectively presents a view of the market that is not in my opinion accurate A note of warning this post is not written out of hate of Microsoft I am old enough to remember when IBM was the death empire and its legal team was called the nazguls because they were unstoppable fearless and devoid of human emotions when Sun claimed that linux was a bathub of code and sometimes what floats in it is not pleasant and at the same time I recognize the great advances that both companies made in recent years in open source It would be my greatest pleasure to see Microsoft participate in OSS fully in the same way but as it was for the companies I mentioned before they have to prove themselves and be slightly less schizophrenic in their message on OSS End of note So I would like to point out a few things that I found in the paper page 1 and increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create by combining community oriented open source with traditional commercial approaches to software development First of all not all open source is community oriented here Microsoft implies that all open source is developed in a community oriented way something that is not true for example for dual licensed software that has a much lower external participation rate or for vendor dominated consortia Then the use of commercial is wrong free software and open source can be as commercial as software from the proprietary world I would say that the copywriter here tried to suggest that OSS is noncommercial something that our study while the reality is that FLOSS in nonproprietary Then we have the table in page 4 What the present is a very limited view both of the constituencies and the motivations for using OSS There are many studies that present the reason for developers to participate in OSS among them ethical reasons practical reasons what is called here scratching an itch self improvement signaling demonstrating capabilities in development to increase employment opportunities and roughly 50 of the developers are paid to work on OSS Assuming that transient reasons are the real motivations of OSS development provides a negative view because as those personal interests may be short lived the software itself may be short lived too In the same table the author places IT Administrators End Users Entrepreneurs in a single cathegory Ok this is not a research article but even a novice would probably find differences among them If the tags identify endogenous use then having as a single advantage ease of acquisition is clearly a way to downplay the additional advantages of OSS Among them the reduced lock in that casually is never mentioned in the document or reduced costs as mentioned previously in my work on OSS myths for example in the surveys by CIOinsight or our work in the COSPA project If the mention is for companies that use OSS inside their software both for internal use or for commercialization there are other demonstrations that OSS has substantial economic advantages And where are the OSS companies Those cannot be included in the last line about established ICT vendors They even mention themselves an example that does not fit 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 is aimed squarely at those governments that are trying to estabilish pro OSS policies and ignores the fact that in many cases the inherent market situation with a de facto monopoly is not a balanced market in itself Recently it was found that Software tenders by Eu ropean public adm in istration often may not comply with EU regulations illegal ly favour in g proprietary applications so the advantage is at the moment squarely for proprietary software vendor and the recent guidelines from the EU are designed to provide a more balanced market My own suggestion is to evaluate the whole cost of an IT adoption using metrics that cover the full lifetime of an application my favourite is the German WiBe model Page 9 A second key principle is a balance that preserves constructive competition and healthy incentives when individuals and companies are rewarded for creative differentiation customers benefit from a dynamic marketplace that offers more product choices Incentives for commercial investment in new innovation should coexist and coevolve alongside practical mechanisms for sharing intellectual property IP with the overarching focus on a dynamic industry that continues to bring great ideas to customers And this is for those that are asking for the abolition or the reduction in scope of software patents and the invocation of open standards that are non IPR encumbered I already wrote in the past against software patents and I believe to be not alone in claiming that the hypothetical advantage of software patents seems to pale in comparison to the extensive damage that it is causing to the industry And no claiming that the thriving software ecosystem that we see now happens because of software patents should be rephrased in the thriving software ecosystem that we see now happens despite of software patents Page 10 We have long sought to contribute to the growth of an open ecosystem whether through publicly documenting thousands of application programming interfaces APIs It took the European Commission and a record fine for violation of EU monopoly laws to abtain the release of crucial APIs Page 10 More than 500 commercial IP agreements with companies from a wide range of industries including companies building their businesses around OSS Again I would not claim that after the substantial brouhaha in the Novell patent pact considering that it does not covers things like OpenOffice Page 10 And we have stated broad openness to noncommercial OSS development through the Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers Nice despite the fact that noncommercial OSS is an oxymoron as placing additional redistribution limits make it non OSS The paper ends with a very promising phrase We recognize that in the future Microsoft s relationship with OSS may be punctuated by strong emotions and the possibility of interests that at times will be in conflict But we are profoundly optimistic will surface new opportunities for Microsoft and open source to grow together in purposeful and complementary ways I would be very happy to have Microsoft as a good OSS citizen even with the recognition that their path may sometimes conflict this is true also of other fellows like IBM or Sun as well But I would start with a more balanced introduction or at least one that has not such a significant percentage of hidden ideas Openness is before everything else in the mind if your ideas are strong enough they will survive and thrive 8 Comments Another data point on OSS efficiency Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data on March 18th 2009 I already wrote something in response to Savio Rodrigues post on the lack of differentiation in R D expenditure between RedHat OSS and Microsoft and Tibco proprietary Savio found in the similar spending in R D an indication that OSS companies are not implicitly more efficient while I believe that the differences appear outside balance sheets both in stronger offering and in competition efficiency both not apparent in R D spending A recent research from Venice University s TEDIS seems to match at least part of my hipotesis Infine confrontando i singoli dati relativi alle 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 Estimating savings from OSS code reuse or where does the money comes from Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data Uncategorized on March 17th 2009 We are approaching 100 of usage within other software that is every software system contains some OSS code inside Why There is a perfectly sound reason and this reason is related to a long standing tenet of software engineering doing software takes time and money and code needs to be maintained for a long time adding additional costs on top In one of the most widely known article in software engineering no silver bullet essence and accidents of software engineering Frederick Brooks exposes some fundamental reasons behind the inherent difficulty of making software especially large scale software systems He also coined his law the no silver bullet law There is no single development in either technology or in management technique that by itself promises even one order of magnitude improvement in productivity in reliability in simplicity Despite many trials and many technologies better languages OOP formal methods automatic programming and many others the law has remained true until now In the same article however Brooks marks some potential attacks on the inherent difficulty of making software buy don t build that is if possible don t code at all requirement refining rapid prototyping incremental building great designers It is quite easy to make a parallel with open source style development that 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/category/oss-data/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Index of /tag
    Apr 2015 08 54 public administrations 28 Apr 2015 08 54 paas 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oss migration 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oss licenses 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oss business models 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oss adoption 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oraclegoogle 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oracle 28 Apr 2015 08 54 oracle google lawsuit 28 Apr 2015 08 54 open source 28 Apr 2015 08 54 open source economics 28 Apr 2015 08 54 naughton 28 Apr 2015 08 54 libvpx 28 Apr 2015 08 54 jpeg 28 Apr 2015 08 54 image quality 28 Apr 2015 08 54 iaas 28 Apr 2015 08 54 html5 28 Apr 2015 08 54 gpl 28 Apr 2015 08 54 gpl laundering 28 Apr 2015 08 54 google 28 Apr 2015 08 54 fosspatents 28 Apr 2015 08 54 floss 28 Apr 2015 08 54 everydesk 28 Apr 2015 08 54 economics 28 Apr 2015 08 54 droid 28 Apr 2015 08 54 conferences 28 Apr 2015 08 54 conference 28 Apr 2015 08 54 clouds 28 Apr 2015 08 54 cloud computing 28 Apr 2015 08 54 chromiumos 28 Apr 2015 08 54 chromium 28

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/tag/?C=N;O=D (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • open source « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    the code that is touched by the patents from the OpenJDK within Dalvik compile it and make a connecting shim include it in a way that is GPLv2 compatible The idea just an idea and IANAL of course is that through the release of the GPL code Sun gave an implicit license to embedded patents that is connected with the code itself So if it is possible to create an aggregate entity of the Dalvik and OpenJDK code the Dalvik one would become a derivative of the GPL license and would obtain the same patent protection as well That would be a good use of the GPL don t you think What will be the result of the lawsuit First of all the open source credibility of Oracle already damaged by the OpenSolaris affair is now destroyed It is a pity they have lots of good people there both internal and through the Sun acquisition after all they are among the 10 largest contributors to the Linux kernel That is something that will be very difficult to recover Second Google now has a free quite important gift the attention has been moved from their recent net neutrality blunder and they are again the David of the situation I could not imagine a better gift Third with this lawsuit Oracle basically announced the world that Java in mobile is dead This was actually something that most people already knew but seeing it in writing is always reassuring Update Miguel de Icaza claims that The Java specification patent grant patent grant seems to be only valid as long as you have a fully conformant implementation but that applies only to the Standard Implementation of Java not OpenJDK Sorry Miguel nice try More luck next time Update 2 cleaned the language on the phrase on patents ideas and implementation that was badly worded ù Update 3 clarified the Dalvik OpenJDK idea FLOSS open source software patents 34 Comments Estimating source to product costs for OSS an experiment Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data on August 10th 2010 One of my recurring themes in this blog is related to the advantages that OSS brings to the creation of new products that is the reduction in R D costs through code reuse some of my older posts on reasons for company contribution Why use OSS in product development Estimating savings from OSS code reuse or where does the money comes from Another data point on OSS efficiency I already mentioned the study by Erkko Anttila Open Source Software and Impact on Competitiveness Case Study from Helsinki University of Technology where the author analysed the degree of reuse done by Nokia in the Maemo platform and by Apple in OSX I have done a little experiment on my own by asking IGEL to which I would like to express my thanks for the courtesy and help for the source code of their thin client line and through inspecting the source code of the published Palm source code available here Of course it is not possible to inspect the code for the proprietary parts of both platforms but through some unscientific drill down in the binaries for IGEL and some back of the envelope calculation for Palm I believe that the proprietary parts are less than 10 in both cases for IGEL less than 5 there is a higher uncertainty for Palm The actual results are Total published source code without modifications for IGEL 1 9GB in 181 packages total amount of patch code 51MB in 167 files the remaining files are not modified Average patch size 305KB Patch percentage on total publisheed code 2 68 Total published source code without modifications for Palm 1 2GB in 106 packages total amount of patch code 55MB in 83 files the remaining files are not modified Average patch size 664KB Patch percentage on total published code 4 58 If we add the proprietary parts and the code modified we end up in the same approximate range found in the Maemo study that is around 10 to 15 of code that is either proprietary or modified OSS directly developed by the company IGEL reused more than 50 million lines of code modified or developed around 1 3 million lines of code Without OSS that would have costed more than 2B required a full staffing of more than 700 people for an effort duration of more than 20 years Through OSS the estimated cost using the more appropriate semidetached model is around 90M with an average staffing of 150 people and an estimated project duration of 5 years Palm has a similar cost the amount of modified code is quite similar but starting from a smaller amount of reused code to recode everything would still require 12B 570 people and 18 years of work We have to add some additional costs for an explanation you can check my previous post on the proper use of COCOMO II and OSS using the model by Abts Boehm and Bailey that would bring the total cost to a little less than 100M still substantially less than the full cost of development from scratch Open Source allows to create a derived product in both case of substantial complexity reducing the cost of development to 1 20 the time to market to 1 4 the total staff necessary to more than 1 4 and in general reduce the cost of maintaining the product after delivery I believe that it would be difficult for anyone producing software today to ignore this kind of results Addendum I received some requests for specific parts of source code from people willing to check the kind of modifications performed For Palm the website provides both original source code and patches For IGEL I requested the access to the source code and was kindly provided with a username and password to download it Since the single most requested file seems to be the modified rdesktop I have linked the GPL sources here FLOSS open source OSS business models 3 Comments About contributions Canonical and adopters Posted by cdaffara in blog divertissements on July 30th 2010 It is always strange to see the savage infighting that sometimes happens in the free and open source world sometimes like red in front of a bull the net suddenly lights their flame throwers and decides to roast someone Today s target is Canonical makers of the Ubuntu distribution accused of being leeches and stealing from the open source communities giving little or nothing back and profiting from that The issue emerged from the publication of the Gnome census where it emerged that Canonical As Sam Varghese writes Canonical derives the base for Ubuntu from the Debian project It takes liberally from many free and open source software projects to produce a distribution While this distribution is available for free download Canonical is also basing a business on it and developing ways and means of making money off Ubuntu which is probably a crime He wrote something similar before and Greg DeKoenigsberg has an even more vitriolic argument in his post Red Hat 16 Canonical 1 that happily buries under the ground Canonical Ubuntu and most Ubuntu fanboys Well you re all wrong Not because the percentages are wrong but nearly useless as Canonical is relatively recent and RedHat is not because Gnome is only one of the projects and there are many others etc but because they measure too little I already wrote in the past about the enormous effort that goes to non code contributions and that no one measures as for OpenOffice there are more contributors in non code parts than in code there is also a substantial effort in creating a product out of contributions And Ubuntu certainly invested in product engineering marketing even engineering less than Red Hat So what Large IT consulting companies are getting paid millions for open source based systems and I never saw a contribution at all When Matt Asay claims that bringing Ubuntu to million of people is a contribution he is claiming an absolute truth every time Canonical manages to bring a press release out it is making a huge contribution Maybe less code than others but this is not a beauty contest this is a cooperative effort for building a better future not a race to see who is the nicest or worked harder It is true that Canonical I hope profits from OSS well it is one of the most important thing for OSS as it demonstrates that OSS is sustainable that people can live off OSS services and products all the while improving our world I repeat maybe someone at Red Hat is not happy of the visibility of Canonical given all the contributions they do I am sorry and I am quite happy to show at all my talks that Red Hat is an incredibly good and well managed company that has open sourced all the proprietary products it acquired and invests an incredible amount of effort in engineering in the open I like them a lot no I don t work for them and never did use one of their services but I like Canonical as well because they are investing heavily in the desktop market a market that is not the focus of Red Hat any more and that I believe is quite important This is not a contest We should be happy for every small large strange or different contributions that we receive Should it be more Maybe But don t overlook all those things that are being done some of them outside of pure code Because as I wrote in the past there is much more than code in an OSS project open source 2 Comments The basis of OSS business models property and efficiency Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models on July 26th 2010 It is now time to write the closing part of our long multi part look at open source business models After all the discussion on how to look at the various parts of a model and how to improve it I will try to summarize a bit on how to look at an OSS business model and what implications can be made from a specific choice for once without mentioning open core The basic idea behind business models is quite simple I have something or can do something the value proposition and it is more economical to pay me to do or get this something instead of doing it yourself sometimes it may even be impossible to find alternatives as in natural or man made monopolies so the idea of doing it myself may not be applicable There are two possible sources for the value a property something that can be transferred and efficiency something that is inherent in what the company do and how they do it With Open Source usually property is non exclusive with the exception of Open Core where part of the code is not open at all Other examples of property are trademarks patents licenses anything that may be transferred to another entity through a contract or legal transaction Efficiency is the ability to perform an action with a lower cost both tangible and intangible and is something that follows the specialization in a work area or appears thanks to a new technology Examples of the first are simply the decrease in time necessary to perform an action when you increase your expertise in it the first time you install a complex system may require lots of effort and this effort is reduced the more you experience the tasks necessary to perform the installation itself Examples of the second may be the introduction of a tool that simplifies the process for example through image cloning and it introduces a huge discontinuity a jump in the graph of efficiency versus time These two aspects are the basis of all the business models that we have analysed in the past it is possible to show that all of them fall in a continuum between properties and efficiency Among the results of our past research project one thing that we found is that property based projects tend to have lower contributions from the outside because it requires a legal transaction to become part of the company s properties think for example at dual licensing to become part of the product source code an external contributor needs to sign off his rights to the code to allow the company to sell the enterprise version alongside the open one On the other hand right handed models based purely on efficiency tends to have higher contributions and visibility but lower monetization rates As I wrote many times there is no ideal business model but a spectrum of possible models and companies should adapt themselves to changing market conditions and adapt their model as well Some companies start as pure efficiency based and build an internal property with time some others may start as property based and move to the other side to increase contributions and reducing the engineering effort or enlarging the user base to create alternative ways of monetizing users This is the last post in our little mini serie on OSS business models I hope that my archetypal three readers will have enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing them Of course I will be happy to read and respond to any comment even negative ones open source OSS adoption OSS business models 6 Comments The relationship between Open Core dual licensing and contributions Posted by cdaffara in OSS adoption OSS business models on July 21st 2010 Open Core continues to receive substantial bashing both after the announcement of the new SugarCRM 6 and after the recent OpenStack intitiative Sugar introduces a new interface that is not available in the open source edition they are not the first in this actually Open Xchange did it before them making the javascript code for the new AJAX interface not usable for commercial activities but despite this they claim We are an open source company In the OpenStack announcement The Register reports that it was not possible for NASA to introduce the changes to Eucalyptus because that would have undermined the capability of the company to make users pay for the enterprise edition I already wrote in the past that Open Core is not evil per se but that it does introduce difficulties in encouraging external participation both because there is a very thin line in feature selection between the community and enterprise edition and because open core naturally hampers participation I had some readers asking me why and I will respond with a subset of my LinuxTag slides Open core is usually built by a set of internal open source components held together by a dual licensed wrapper plus proprietary modules on the outside One of the best examples of this is Zimbra an excellent product on its own but MySQL in recent editions can be included in the same group As discussed in previous posts dual licensing hampers contributions because it requires an explicit agreement on ceding rights to the company that employs it in order to be able to relicense it for the proprietary edition This means that Open Core companies in itself will have an easier time in monetizing their software but will receive much less contributions in exchange As I wrote before it is simply not possible to get something like Linux or Apache with Open Core Again open core is not bad per se but I would have been more cautious in calling Sugar an open source company for whatever definition you have of that But it is a tradeoff monetization versus contributions And my bets are on contributions as OpenStack demonstrates you need leverage and external resources to go beyond what a single company can do open source OSS adoption OSS business models 5 Comments The new EveryDesk and EveryDesk MED health care desktops Posted by cdaffara in EveryDesk on July 19th 2010 We have finally released the new version of the linux on USB EveryDesk system both in the plain version and the Medical release that includes an IHE certified DICOM medical image browser a complete R based statistical environment and OpenOffice enhanced with a complete medical dictionary The new version is faster should be more compatible with older hardware and in general was found by our beta testers to be fairly complete Its main appeal is that it can be tested without any installation just download the image copy it on the key and try It boots fast it is totally modifiable provides local applications Prism for web apps Chromium and several remote computing applications like the VMware View client clients for IBM mini and mainframes a full Java environment for Citrix and much more The medical version still misses the final DICOM certification you will see in the startup splash screen that it does have no CE marking we are working towards the final release that will be certified and significantly improved The R environment is also missing some modules specific to bioengineering that were not ready in time for release we expect to have a beta 2 version ready for the mid of august We have also a completely new website http www everydesk org where we added a substantial amount of material and will be used to publish the training videos that we are preparing to help companies in adopting the desktop for their own internal use We have introduced a new policy we offer unlimited and free support and helpdesk services for all users commercial or not To receive private answers we only as for an introductory email that provides details of the institution contact points and the actual or expected number of EveryDesk installations We will provide a separate customer ID and it will be used for issue tracking Large scale customers can request a private

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/tag/open-source/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • OSS adoption « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    be obtained simply by providing a simple 1 hour welcoming session to help users in understanding the changes and the reasons behind it as well as providing some information on OSS and its differences with proprietary software In most public administrations there are 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/category/oss-adoption/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • FLOSS « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    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 5 Comments On OSS communities and other common traps Posted by cdaffara in OSS adoption OSS business models on May 6th 2009 Matt Asay just published a post titled Community is an overhyped word in software where he collects several observations and basically states that Most people don t contribute any software any bug fixes any blog mentions or any anything to open source projects including those from which they derive considerable value They just don t Sure there are counterexamples to this but they re the exception not the rule While true to some extent the way the post is presented seems to imply that only commercial contributions are really of value as he states later So if you want to rely on a community to build your product for you good luck You re going to need it as experience suggests that hard work by a committed core team develops great software whether its Linux or Microsoft SharePoint not some committee masquerading as a community This is somewhat true and somewhat false and this dichotomy depends on the fact that community is an undefined word in this context Two years ago I gave an interview to Roberto Galoppini and one of the questions and answer was What is your opinion about the community Alessandro Rubini is right in expressing disbelief in a generic community there are organized communities that can be recognized as such Debian or Gentoo supporters are among them but tend to be an exception and not the rule Most software do not have a real community outside of the developers and eventually some users of a 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 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 5 Comments Economic Free Software perspectives Posted by cdaffara in OSS business models OSS data on May 4th 2009 How do you make money with Free Software was a very common question just a few years ago Today that question has evolved into What are successful business strategies that can be implemented on top of Free Software This is the beginning of a document that I originally prepared as an appendix for an industry group white paper as I received many requests for a short data concrete document to be used in university courses on the economics of FLOSS I think that this may be useful as an initial discussion paper A pdf version is available here for download Data and text was partially adapted from the results of the EU projects FLOSSMETRICS and OpenTTT open source business models and adoption of OSS within companies COSPA adoption of OSS by public administrations in Europe CALIBRE and INES open source in industrial environments I am indebted with Georg Greve of FSFE that wrote the excellent introduction more details on the submission here and that kindly permitted redistribution This text is licensed under CC by SA attribution sharealike 3 0 I would grateful for an email to indicate use of the text as a way to keep track of it at cdaffara conecta it Free Software defined 1985 is defined by the freedoms to use study share improve Synonyms for Free Software include Libre Software c a 1991 Open Source 1998 FOSS and FLOSS both 200X For purposes of this document this usage is synonymous with Open Source by the Open Source Initiative OSI Economic Free Software Perspectives Introduction How do you make money with Free Software was a very common question just a few years ago Today that question has evolved into What are successful business strategies that can be implemented on top of Free Software In order to develop business strategies it is first necessary to have a clear understanding of the different aspects that you seek to address Unfortunately this is not made easier by popular ambiguous use of some terms for fundamentally different concepts and issues e g Open Source being used for a software model development model or business model These models are orthogonal like the three axes of the three dimensional coordinate system their respective differentiators are control software model collaboration development model revenue business model The software model axis is the one that is discussed most often On the one hand there is proprietary software for which the vendor retains full control over the software and the user receives limited usage permission through a license which is granted according to certain conditions On the other hand there is Free Software which provides the user with unprecedented control over their software through an ex ante grant of irrevocable and universal rights to use study modify and distribute the software The development model axis describes the barrier to collaboration ranging from projects that are developed by a single person or vendor to projects that allow extensive global collaboration This is independent from the software model There is proprietary software that allows for far reaching collaboration e g SAP with it s partnership program and Free Software projects that are developed by a single person or company with little or no outside input The business model axis describes what kind of revenue model was chosen for the software Options on this axis include training services integration custom development subscription models Commercial Off The Shelve COTS Software as a Service SaaS and more These three axes open the space in which any software project and any product of any company can freely position itself That is not to say all these combinations will be successful A revenue model based on lock in strategies with rapid paid upgrade cycles is unlikely to work with Free Software as the underlying software model This approach typically occurs on top of a proprietary software model for which the business model mandates a completed financial transaction as one of the conditions to grant a license It should be noted that the overlap of possible business models on top of the different software models is much larger than usually understood The ex ante grant of the Free Software model makes it generally impossible to attach conditions to the granting of a license including the condition of financial transaction But it is possible to implement very similar revenue streams in the business model through contractual constructions trademarks and or certification Each of these axes warrants individual consideration and careful planning for the goals of the project If for instance the goal is to work with competitors on a non differentiating component in order to achieve independence from a potential monopolistic supplier it would seem appropriate to focus on collaboration and choose a software model that includes a strong Copyleft licence The business model could potentially be neglected in this case as the expected return on investment comes in the form of strategic independence benefits and lower licence costs In another case a company might choose a very collaborative community development model on top of a strong Copyleft licence with a revenue model based on enterprise ready releases that are audited for maturity stability and security by the company for its customers The number of possible combinations is almost endless and the choices made will determine the individual character and competitive strengths and weaknesses of each company Thinking clearly about these parameters is key to a successful business strategy Strategic use of Free Software vs Free Software Companies According to Gartner usage of Free Software will reach 100 percent by November 2009 That makes usage of Free Software a poor criterion for what makes a Free Software company Contribution to Free Software projects seems a slightly better choice but as many Free Software projects have adopted a collaborative development model in which the users themselves drive development that label would then also apply to companies that aren t Information Technology IT companies IT companies are among the most intensive users of software and will often find themselves as part of a larger stack or environment of applications Being part of that stack their use of software not only refers to desktops and servers used by the company s employees but also to the platform on top of which the company s software or solution is provided Maintaining proprietary custom platforms for a solution is inefficient and expensive and depending upon other proprietary companies for the platform is dangerous In response large proprietary enterprises have begun to phase out their proprietary platforms and are moving towards Free Software in order to leverage the strategic advantages provided by this software model for their own use of software on the platform level These companies will often interact well with the projects they depend upon contribute to them and foster their growth as a way to develop strategic independence as a user of software What makes these enterprises proprietary is that for the parts where they are not primarily users of software but suppliers to their downstream customers the software model is proprietary withholding from its customers the same strategic benefits of Free Software that the company is using to improve its own competitiveness From a customer perspective that solution itself becomes part of the platform on which the company s differentiating activities are based This as stated before is inefficient expensive and a dangerous strategy Assuming a market perspective it represents an inefficiency that provides business opportunity for other companies to provide customers with a stack that is Free Software entirely and it is strategically and economically sane for customers to prefer those providers over proprietary ones for the very same reasons that their proprietary suppliers have chosen Free Software platforms themselves Strategically speaking any company that includes proprietary software model components in its revenue model should be aware that its revenue flow largely depends upon lack of Free Software alternatives and that growth of the market as well as supernatural profits generated through the proprietary model both serve to attract other companies that will make proprietary models unsustainable When that moment comes the company can either move its revenue model to a different market or it has to transform its revenue source to work on top of a software model that is entirely Free Software So usage of and contribution to Free Software are not differentiators for what makes a Free Software company The critical differentiator is provision of Free Software downstream to customers In other words Free Software companies are companies that 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

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/tag/floss/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Index of /tag/oss-business-models/page
    business models page Name Last modified Size Description Parent Directory 2 28 Apr 2015 08 54 3 28 Apr 2015 08 54 Apache 2 2 15 CentOS Server at carlodaffara

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/tag/oss-business-models/page/?p=372 (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive

  • OSS business models « carlodaffara.conecta.itcarlodaffara.conecta.it
    efforts For those that already viewed the previous editions chapter 6 was entirely rewritten along with a new chapter 7 and a newly introduced evaluation method The catalogue has been expanded and corrected in several places also thanks to the individual companies and groups responsible for the packages themselves and the overall appearance of the PDF version should be much improved compared to the automatically generated version I will continue to work on it even after the end of the project and as before I welcome any contribution and suggestion FLOSS open source OSS adoption OSS business models OSS migration 8 Comments Freeriding participation and another modest proposal Posted by cdaffara in OSS adoption OSS business models on June 10th 2009 There has been in the past several articles related to freeriding that is the use of OSS without any apparent form of reciprocal contribution be it in a monetary form or in terms of source code I am not sympathetic to this view in general because it masks an ill posed question that is if you use someone code are you required to give something back It is in my view an ill posed question because it mixes at the same level ethical and economic questions and because it clearly avoids all the potential non code contributions that are implicit in use even in absence of back contributions First of all about ethical participation open source code is available for all without any form of implicit additional moral burden the only rules that govern it are those that are laid out in the license itself So if the license for example allows for unconstrained use of a binary product derived from OSS code for example Eclipse than it should not be expected from the majority of use any incremental contribution of any kind it is simply not realistic to imagine that suddendly all the Eclipse users should start contributing back because they are feeling guilty It is different when we think in economic terms that is in terms of R D sharing in this frame of reference every user and potential contributors has an implicit model that gives a reason or not to contribute something for example when there is an opportunity for reducing the cost of future maintenance by making it part of the official code base This is a much more complex activity because it requires first of all a high level of comprehension of the distributed development model that underlies most OSS projects and then 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 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 that an independent structure can increase the contribution process by providing social skills what is the proper contribution form What groups and networks should be contacted technical skills what is the proper form Is the contribution fulfilling the project internal rules for

    Original URL path: http://carlodaffara.conecta.it/tag/oss-business-models/page/3/index.html (2016-02-18)
    Open archived version from archive



  •