05 December 2008

Only you can prevent forest fires

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
-- John Lennon, The Beatles

Ted Tso has a blog post commenting about the market capitalization of Sun (stock ticker: JAVA) being 'underwater' relative to its cash on hand:
Sun’s current market cap: $2.40 billion USD. Sun’s cash on hand: $2.63 billion USD
and advancing a concern that a firm hostile to Software Freedom might purchase and kill it. [A bit ironic, thinking about the Cobalt Qube; a PFY I trained a few years ago moved to Portland to work supporting the Qube software, only to have Sun functionally kill the Cobalt product within the year ... oops]

Not surprisingly, there is a maze of intellectual property rights to navigate in considering using an asset so valuable that a company renames its Wall Street 'nickname' from 'SUNW' ("Stanford University Network Workstation") to JAVA

Hopefully, Ted Tso was just playing 'Devil's Advocate' earlier this year in a thread of debate surrounding a proposed adoption of a java (Sun's 'Java' or otherwise) into the Linux standards base upcoming ver. 4.0 release stirred concern

Reviewing the bidding;
  • LSB weekly conference call chair Jeff Licquia stated the non-Free (OSI or FSF wise) Java Test Conformance Kit concisely in the post call minutes
Jeff: summary, Ted: do a checkpoint two weeks from now, to see that the features are getting in. Jeff: agenda item for August 13th call? Ted: yes. Mats: Java is also an issue. Ted: issues with Java? Mats: which spec? Required methods, classes, etc. Test suite question is also a big deal. Ted: should follow up on these issues before Ron gets back
LSB Committee work happens in part on the mailing list. Note: If one wants the flavor of the thread, read the posts by Tso, Cox and Herrold out of the pipermail archive for August 2008. At one point in that thread, I was asked: Why do you care. I care because FOSS culture matters and needs defenders to stand up and advocate for it. I can live with the balloting results for the 4.0 release

Software Freedom issues are an 'elephant in the room' at the Linux Foundation (current 'owners' of the LSB), and they try to thread a delicate balance to draw the commercial into the FOSS world

My personal opinion is that LF need not worry so: The 'should we have a FOSS strategy' discussion is over; 'of course,' being the outcome. Market forces will solve adoption because the firms in an given industry NOT using FOSS properly will have higher cost structures, and go extinct

Oh, and you too can make a difference; by showing up, participating with considered intent, doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly, all the while remembering that "politics ain’t beanball"