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"The Myth of Open-Source"

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OSS

In February, 2000, the Internet bubble was just about to burst and Paris-native Marc Fleury was in Silicon Valley hitting the venture-capital circuit, trying to get funding for his fledgling open-source startup. When one VC after another told him it was a horrible business plan, he packed up his PowerPoint slides -- along with his bruised ego -- and moved into his in-law's house in Atlanta, setting out to build his startup the old fashioned way -- with his own money.

Fast-forward to 2004, and Fleury is having the last laugh. His company, JBoss, has decided to go for its first outside investors, sewing up a tidy $10 million in funding from VCs clamoring to get in on one of the hottest open-source companies in high tech. JBoss, along with a handful of others, such as MySQL, have proven that big corporate customers have an interest in free software that extends beyond Linux (see BW Online, 10/19/04, "Redemption for JBoss's Boss").

JBoss makes application-server software -- the kind of that's responsible for running mission-critical Web programs, such as JBoss client Travelocity's reservation engine. It's a market that has been dominated by BEA Systems (BEAS ) and IBM (IBM ), but analysts say JBoss is posing a serious threat by offering free software licenses while charging for support, maintenance, and training.

In 2004, Forrester Research surveyed 95 open-source-friendly tech companies and found 15% were already using JBoss software and 8% more were planning on it. While just 3% or so of JBoss users are paying customers, almost 6 million companies have downloaded its software.

Despite his success, Fleury is skeptical of the new generation of open-source startups now being funded by VCs. BusinessWeek Online Silicon Valley reporter Sarah Lacy caught up with Fleury on a recent trip to San Francisco to talk about making money in the world of open-source software -- and why it may not be as easy as JBoss and others have made it seem. Following are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Full Article.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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