This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit
Productivity a subsidiary of Collabora focusing on LibreOffice support and
services for whom I work.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Failing that, there are all manner of interesting things to read on
the LibreOffice Planet news
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Mail chew; partner call, lunch, interview, partner call.
Amused to read more about the supposed panacea that is distro-less
Also read RedHat
Open Source commitment. I have a number of thoughts:
- First what we do: Collabora Online source code is open - our releases are tags
in a public git repo, which we also link from help->about - that helps us support
people better, and makes everything super transparent.
- But - I have huge sympathy with this sentiment; emphasis mine:
"The generally accepted position that these free rebuilds are
just funnels churning out RHEL experts and turning into sales just isn't
reality. I wish we lived in that world, but it's not how it actually
- One of the troubling things about being in business is having to live in
the real world which can get extremely and painfully
real. It is
particularly annoying at such times to be told - that making it ever easier
for people not to pay is the only true solution.
- The risks of people taking your hard-work, slapping their brand on it, and
not contributing significantly are ones we all have long and disappointing experience
with too. Of course the FLOSS licenses allow it - but to feel entitled to have
this made extra easy for you is unfortunate.
- My take is a simple and perhaps radical one: Making it easy for everyone not
to pay to support development is profoundly counter-productive. Put
another way: someone needs to pay for something scarce. We can try to work
out who that someone should be eg. "very large IT organizations" are a traditional
favourite, and what is scarce (traditionally signed enterprise binaries), but some degree
of compromise is inevitable - I have a long write up on various different compromises
in the space here: Sustained
Freedom from slide sixteen.
I have even more sympathy with the rationale, because RedHat is a pure-play FLOSS
company. If you are part of the Proprietary periphary mob (also known as
OpenCore) - then you have your own proprietary stuff that allows you to make it arbitrarily
hard for people not to pay to support development. As such - ironically - as a
community it seems we're once again focusing our criticism on those who differ
least from FOSS orthodoxy, and who are doing the best job of up-stream contribution.
However - this rationale as presented:
"Simply rebuilding code, without adding value or changing it in any
way, represents a real threat to open source companies everywhere. This is a
real threat to open source, and one that has the potential to revert open source
back into a hobbyist- and hackers-only activity."
simultaneously seems contrived. Surely that is what Linux Distros do: they
dis-intermediate FLOSS projects - but it is perhaps also an opportunity, let me explain:
One of the significant concerns around commercially funded FLOSS projects is
that of being dis-intermediated: having their latest code bundled into a Linux distro
where it is simultaneously extremely hard to get leads (which drive sales) from
downloaders -and- long-term support guarentees are met by that distributor; often
without any feature contribution back. The same dis-intermediation threat is there
around cloud provision of pure-play FLOSS products.
Sometimes creator companies are simply acquired to get the support team in-house;
while fair - that seems far from optimal. I see a potentially lucrative opportunity
for the first enterprise distro that can build a wider partner ecosystem of contributing
open-source companies by - including them into their enterprise products via some
transparent business and support co-development model. We have lots of excellent,
standard FLOSS licenses for code, but few successful open-agreements for go-to-market
FLOSS collaboration - building a more diverse and widespread Open Source business
Can you imagine the power of the possibilities of RedHat/IBM's scale and experience
helping to bring their extraordinary reach into enterprises to a snowballing set of
businesses built around the RedHat platform with some turbo-charged mutual partnership
model? The volume of FLOSS that could be written & improved, and the niches we
could fill and sustain?
Either way, it will be interesting to see where this goes long term. For those
with very long memories I believe that Cygnus tree used
to be distributed only to their customers - in the 1990s.
My content in this blog and associated images / data under
data/ directories are (usually)
created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under
the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0
license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for
themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes /
improvements / corrections by private mail.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Collabora, SUSE,
Novell, The Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International),
or anyone else.
It's also important to realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)