Archive for Tag ‘OSCON‘
Published on Tuesday, July 24 2007
Very interesting set of conversations this morning at the O’Reilly Executive Briefing.
Tim O’Reilly interviewed Dave Morin from Facebook – they’re building on a LAMP stack, and have contributed some things back, but clearly the main core of facebook is not an open source project.
His basic response was that “We will continue to release as much as we can, when it makes sense.”
Two reasons why it might not make sense came up:
- The functionality the code offers is so tied to your services as to not be useful to outside folks
- The codebase isn’t mature or professional quality enough – not “ready” to be released
For example, he said “we want to make sure that when we release something it is something of value, and something that the community can use.”
Then O’Reilly interviewed Mike Shaver from Mozilla, along with Matt Gertner from AllPeers and Garrett Camp from StumbleUpon, talking about the Firefox platform for extensions.
The Mozilla approach, as I suppose one would expect, is entirely different: release everything.
We don’t provide a tightly controlled API we let people access a lot. If you write an extension, it is as though you were writing code in the browser itself.
What we did was we gave people possibility.
What you get with source access is a very rich, and sometimes messy, set of points of contact with the overall platform.
I wish O’Reilly had gone further down the path of this question. Rather than deciding on behalf of the community which pieces they are likely to find valuable, Firefox takes the approach of allowing the community to determine what is valuable. Rather than waiting for code to be “mature” to release it, they let the community help make it mature.
It’s the difference between a platform designed to be extensible – which really means developers can write applications to run on our platform, as in Facebook, and designing a platform to be an open platform for anyone to do anything.
Is the difference just that the Mozilla foundation is a non-profit community, and Facebook a for-profit company?
Published on Tuesday, July 24 2007
Tim O’Reilly kicked off the O’Reilly Radar Executive Briefing this morning by talking about the need to “rediscover the values of free and open in a new context.”
He talked about a number of different freedoms, beyond the “free as in beer” and “free as in speech” dichotomy:
- Freedom to use
- Freedom to build on and adapt
- Freedom to participate
- Freedom to fork
- Freedom to switch
And then asked a series of thought-provoking questions.
How to we maintain these freedoms in a world in which “runnung the program” requires a data center? (It isn’t about programs I can run on my machine but global web services with enormous data needs)
How do we maintain these freedoms when applications are delivered as services and don’t distribute code?
Published on Sunday, July 22 2007
Lots of great conferences going on right now – wish I could be at all of them.
This weekend is WordCamp, in San Francisco. Chz and Tofu from ICanHasCheezburger, one of my favorite blogs, will be there. (Yes, I have a doctoral degree in English and ICanHasCheezburger is one of my favorite blogs. Deal with it.)
The full schedule is online, and it many folks will use trackback to add their blogging about sessions they attended to the session’s page in the schedule.
Some sessions which look to me like highlights I will be sorry to miss:
Definitely a high powered set of speakers and in a relatively intimate forum. I’ll definitely add WordCamp 2008 to my “hopefully attend list.”
Starting this morning is Ubuntu Live, which runs this morning through Tuesday in Portland. Their schedule is also online and also impressive.
(A Sunday morning keynote trifecta with Mark Shuttleworth, Stephen O’Grady, and Jeff Waugh, as the first session of teh conference? Impressive. In fact, O’Grady’s already posted his slides and script.)
Finally, the rest of the week will be OSCON 2007, which I will be attending.
As usual, OSCON is enormous (check out the schedule – there are literally 15 parallel tracks much of Wed and Thurs), and that’s just the official sessions, not to mention the parties and events.
Drop me a line if you’ll be in Portland next week too.