Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Tue, 05 Aug 2003
Software development and foundations
Serendipity can happen even in your own house.

Tonight Julie blogged Luke Timmerman's article in yesterday's Seattle Times: Progress, not profit: Nonprofit biotech research groups grow in size, influence, which is about the rise of non profit organizations as driving forces in Seattle's biotech industry.

In software, we are starting to see some similar ideas. We have some foundations: the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the Mozilla Foundation (MF), the Open Software Applications Foundation (OSAF), the Python Software Foundation (PSF), and the Jabber Foundation (JF) come easily to mind. The foundations vary. OSAF and MF are actually supporting staff to work on their projects (I think FSF is doing some of thus but not as much). The ASF and PSF are not doing this -- the ASF does have companies contributing developers but that's not quite the same, and Guido van Rossum has to keep changing day jobs to put food on the table.

Could such an idea work for software? It will be interesting to watch the OSAF and MF over the next few years. In software, we have a culture of "he who has the idea should get rich off it". But that also leads to short term thinking about many of the problems that we are facing. Is this article pre-figuring the future of software foundations?

[01:58] | [computers/open_source] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
New Releases
Today's (okay, really yesterdays) new software releases:
[01:46] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Faceted classification != backlinks
Kim explains why Wiki backlinking isn't as rich as faceted classification:
First, wikis don't suggest refinements (other categories which could be intersected with the current category in order to narrow the search). Second, wikis don't do hierarchical categories. The combination of both of these features enables a qualitatively different kind of site.
[01:35] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
"Maybe they'll fix it in the next release, and it will be worth what I paid for it"
[via Andy Oliver] Konrad Bloor helped me have a "well, duh" moment:
The misnomer of having a company to yell at when things go wrong seems to be widely held. After you've yelled at them, what do you next? The software you are using is still not fit for purpose and you've got to wait for the next release, if not forever.
Just because the company is there to "back it" doesn't mean they'll do what will help you. Or that they'll help you in a timeframe that matters.
With closed source software, if things turn against you (your business changing, your understanding of the software being deficient), all you have is superstition to back you up. 'Maybe they'll fix it in the next release, and it will be worth what I paid for it.' - Maybe.
[01:33] | [computers/open_source] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
How to WikiWork
Bill deHora and Don Park each posted suggetions for how to clean up the Atom Wiki. Leaving the issues with Atom aside, it was instructive to hear a little bit about how Wiki's can be used effectively.
[01:27] | [computers/internet/www] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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