Category Archives: Open Source

Alfresco Releases 2.0

Alfresco is an enterprise content management system that also happens to be open-source. Today they came out with their 2.0 release and changed their licensing — they’re now fully GPL. You can read details about the release on John’s blog or download the bits yourself here.

I just started advising these guys so the timing couldn’t be better. I’m looking forward to coming up to speed on the new release.

A MySQL IPO in 2007?

Link: GigaOM » MySQL prepping for an IPO.

"Long a favorite of web developers, MySQL saw serious growth in 2006 and added 2,500 new customers, and also introduced MySQL Enterprise. There seems to be a renewed interest in open source IPOs….For starters, the corporations have taken a shine to the open source3 software.

Secondly, most companies with IPO dreams have been around for a while and have been able to build solid businesses around their offerings."

This is very good news for our friends from Uppsala and for open source businesses in general. For years the database market has been ripe for disruption and now it seems like MySQL is approaching a serious tipping point. I’ll be watching this closely.

John on BBC

In a completely bizarre coincidence, John (my wife’s brother) was interviewed on the Beeb about his open-source content management system, Alfresco. I got a recorded version of the interview as a podcast; John’s quote is about 10 minutes in.

This is the second close friend/family member who has been interviewed about their open source product by the BBC in the last week. It is as if the BBC suddenly went bonkers for open source and rifled through my rolodex to find people to interview.

Radio goes the open source route

Link: Radio goes the open source route

Developer Douglas Arellanes told BBC World Service’s Digital Planet programme that as well as playing files, which can be done from any media player, Campcaster adds features specifically for radio broadcasting and uses it for all aspects of a radio station, such as the ability to stored and schedule music, line up news clips and interviews, and preview listen to a record before it is played on air. "You can now pretty much run your radio station off a notebook computer," he said.

Speaking at VSLive in March

I am extremely excited to be making my hopefully-triumphant return to the VSLive conference in San Francisco in March.

I started speaking at VSLive in 1997 (back when it was called VBITS). I spoke at most of the VSLive conferences in the U.S. in Europe through 2001 when I went to work for eBay. I even took time out from my honeymoon in 2000 to speak at the VBITS conferences in London and Stockholm (you can imagine how difficult it was to convince my fiancee to add two European capitals to our trip).

VSLive has been one of my favorite conferences to speak at for a couple of reasons. One is its practical focus — it’s about getting things done in the real world instead of talking in grand strategic terms about what technology means, etc. I also really like the mix of Microsoft insiders combined with the regional directors and other consultants — it seems to keep the agenda honest and grounded.

I’ve also made some great friends over the years at these conferences, particularly Andrew Brust (who I met at VBITS Berlin in 1997, the night before he was carted off to the hospital after suffering a fall onstage), Chris Kinsman, who I co-authored two books on ASP.NET with, and Deborah Kurata, who I had an extremely productive working relationship with for a few years in the late 90s.

I have been pitching talks on open-source tools to VSLive for a bunch of years. In 2001 I tried to get them to let me do a talk on NUnit. I was really passionate about unit testing around this time and I was crushed that they didn’t have room for my talk on the schedule that year. Unfortunately, a lot of Microsoft platform developers didn’t get unit testing religion until a unit-testing tool was included with Visual Studio four years later — and only then if you shelled out the big bucks for Visual Studio Team System. NUnit is still a great tool, by the way, and it’s 100% free — I still use it and highly recommend it.

Anyway, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in the last five months coding an ASP.NET application using MySQL, so I figured it might make sense to share what I’ve learned about the pros and cons of MySQL with VSLive attendees. So I’m delighted to announce that my March VSLive talk will be on Programming MySQL with .NET.

I am not sure if this is the first VSLive talk to cover an open-source product, but I am pretty sure that it will be the first MySQL talk at VSLive, which makes it infinitely more exciting for me. I am going to bust my croutons to make this talk as good as the ASP talk I gave around 1999 (in which I demonstrated a common security flaw in ASP and three or four people in the audience unexpectedly jumped up, opened their cell phones and ran out of the room in a panic — that was pretty fun).

If you’re using MySQL with .NET, or you’re just interested in learning more about it, I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions in comments. My plan is to cover the basics of a data-driven app using ASP.NET and MySQL, hit some of the subtle syntactical differences between MySQL and SQL Server, and then cover some goodies like MySQL stored procedures. If there’s something else on that list you’d like to see, let me know.

Adobe and Mozilla

Frank Hecker of the Mozilla Foundation has an excellent long post with details on what Adobe is committing to open source.

It sounds like this is going to be good news for Yahoo! Widgets developers, since Y! Widgets uses SpiderMonkey, and (according to Frank) future versions of SpiderMonkey will benefit from the performance enhancements provided by the virtual machine technology that Adobe is open-sourcing.

eWeek: Windows + Open Source = Goodness

From eWeek:

"Enterprise IT managers shouldn’t hesitate to look into the option of deploying open-source stacks on a Windows Server platform. For some businesses, this will truly be the best of both worlds."

I’ve always been intruigued by the possibilities of using open-source tools on Windows. Early on I was a huge fan of development tools like NAnt and NUnit, and this year I’ve spent a lot of nights and weekends getting up to speed on MySQL (which works fabulously on Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP). It seems to me like there’s a chasm between between Windows developers and open-source tools and technologies built to make their lives easier, which always seemed like a pity to me.

Delivr: Web Postcards Using Flickr Photos

Delivr is a cool new Web toy that lets you send postcards to your friends using Flickr photos.

It’s most excellent if you’re into the postcard thing, but it’s even cooler when you think of what’s behind all this — a boss API combined with some thoughtful attention to the intellectual property aspects of reuse (all the photos made available by Delivr are provided to the community by their authors under a Creative Commons license, so it’s 100% on the up and up).

Charles, the author, goes into more detail on what’s behind Delivr on his weblog. He says that the vast number of photos on Flickr might make Delivr "the biggest ecard site online."