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December 2009

Monty Responds

Michael “Monty” Widenius wrote a nicely-worded response to my previous post “Oracle, Mysql and the GPL: don’t take Monty’s word for it”, and I thought it deserves more visibility, so I’m quoting it below. For the record, I’m not an Oracle “fan” and am in agreement with Steven O’Grady, who wrote that Monty mostly just wants to get the band back together and is pursuing the shortest path to that destination. I can’t fault him for that. What I objected to was what I felt was a conflict of interest that hadn’t been seirously reported. That, and I really dislike how this brouhaha has resulted in unfair attacks on the GPL and dual-licensing in general.

Oracle, MySQL and the GPL: don’t take Monty’s word for it

In the continuing soap opera of Oracle’s battle against the European Commission for the right to acquire Sun, and with it, MySQL, we have had to rely on the bloggers and analysts to get it right, because the media surely has not. Before you read any further, stop right now and read Matthew Aslett’s excellent summary of Oracle-MySQL through last week, Pamela Jones’ excellent piece on the matter (and her later update), and Matt Asay’s highlighting of Monty Widenius’ conflict of interest in opposing the Sun acquisition.One of the more damaging consequences of this case is the opportunistic piling on against the GPL license. Every BSD Tom, Dick and Harry with an axe to grind about Richard Stallman, the GPL, and GNU has stepped up to the plate, on cue, to deliver unsubstantiated rants against the GPL. I suggest that readers follow the money and look into the reasons why each party takes the stance it does. Oracle’s bias and intent in all of this is pretty clear, but the opposition has not been so forthright.Read more below:

in reference to: Oracle, MySQL and the GPL: don’t take Monty’s word for it (view on Google Sidewiki)

Have an iPod? Use Windows? Get Songbird

Following up on my last article about using your iPod with Ubuntu, I decided to take a crack at what open source tools are available for those iPod owners who use Windows. As it turns out, there isn’t much. While a download of Amarok for Windows is available, good luck getting it to recognize or sync with your iPod.

But what I did find was the latest version of Songbird, and that might just be all you need. Songbird is built on the Mozilla platform and has an extensive list of community-contributed addons. The last time I checked out Songbird, it was probably still 2007, and while interesting, it didn’t strike me as particularly useful. That is, until I started using Windows. What seems rather mundane and just one of many options on Linux becomes a rock star on Windows.

Read the full article on

On CNET: The VA Linux Systems IPO Retrospective

I wrote a guest post on Matt Asay’s The Open Road blog, over at CNET. December 9, 2009 marked the 10 year anniversary of the VA Linux IPO, and I wrote a piece marking the anniversary and noting the significance, such that there is any, of the IPO and its aftermath.Read the piece here.

Using Your iPod with (K)ubuntu 9.10

After a rocky beginning, I’ve been able to do many neat things with my Black iPod Classic with 120 GB, but it hasn’t been without its trials and tribulations. In this post, I’ll write about the tools I use to sync music, add photos, and transcode videos to the correct format. Being a Kubuntu user, note that my bias is towards KDE tools. If you use others, please list them in the comments. As with many things on Linux, there’s more than one way to do it. (Apologies to Larry Wall)Those who know me well are familiar with my unhealthy dislike for all things Apple. Perhaps it’s the way they attach DRM to everything they touch. Or maybe it’s the cult of Steve. Or maybe it’s because they make shiny, overpriced goods that they push to the gullible. Naturally, when my wife looked for something to give me on my birthday, she purchased an iPod. To her credit, she told me what she was thinking before the purchase, and I made a mad dash to Google to see about alternative, friendlier devices. In all honesty, I couldn’t find a better device for the money, and so an iPod it was.Read the whole post:

in reference to: Using Your iPod with (K)ubuntu 9.10 (view on Google Sidewiki)

SugarCRM Gets a True Open Source Visionary in Larry Augustin

I was pleasantly surprised to read that Larry Augustin had been named SugarCRM’s full-time CEO. After spending much of the last decade as an investor and board member extraordinaire for many (most?) companies grouped in the commercial open source category, it is good to see Larry back in the CEO saddle. This is a vindication of sorts for Larry and his vision of an open source future. After years of attempting to explain just how ubiquitous open source was going to be, he can now take the reigns of a company at a time when most customers and vendors take as a given that a substantial portion of any solution will consist of open source code. This was not always the case, especially when Larry was still CEO of VA Linux Systems, at the time the premier vendor for servers running Linux.To give you an idea of what SugarCRM is getting, Larry is a guy who saw the value in building a center of gravity for open source developerment before most; a guy who counseled LinuxWorld Expo to look to the developer audience and eschew the bad advice they were receiving from their vendors. That they ignored him and subsequently failed is a testament to his vision.Perhaps the best example of this vision was a move he made almost 10 years ago that many, including yours truly, openly questioned at the time: the acquisition of by VA Linux Systems. Some of you may remember that was the media company that had purchased and VA was then still gleaming with post-IPO sparkles, which had taken place just two months prior to the Andover acquisition.

(follow the link below to see full post.)

in reference to: SugarCRM Gets a True Open Source Visionary in Larry Augustin (view on Google Sidewiki)

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