Showing posts from January, 2008

Quickies #5: GPL or BSD?

Now enjoying my status as a sage of the industry, which is to say I am older than 20, but alas, not a billionaire, God fuck-it; people are all the time asking me for nuggets of wisdom from my vast experience at the top.

Quickies from MF: #5 GPL or BSD?

D.B writes in. "Marc, I am about to launch a project in open source, we have invested a good man year in developing it and I want to know what license I should use for the project."

Answer. D, you can't imagine how many versions of this question I have seen over time. It is also a polarizing question. People care about their licenses and many a flame war have resulted from passionate debate about the benefits of each.

The quick answer however is that IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER.

The longer answer is that it doesn't really matter because the ultimate license scheme for OSS is still RHEL/Fedora: a proprietary distribution of OSS software. It doesn't matter if the software inside is GPL/BSD or whatever. Realisticall…

Spring Source merges with Covalent

I wish we (JBoss inc.) had acquired Covalent back when they split into Covalent and Hyperic back in 2004. JBoss inc had just raised the money from the investors and Covalent was going out of business and was being sold for a mere $500k. I jumped on that deal. But I was late to that party. Both executives, Mark Brewer and Javier Soltero, knew what each independent branch was worth and were hell bent on pursuing those paths. I was mad with my investors and myself for missing the deal.

4 years later, Covalent, the HTTPD/Tomcat support branch, is merging with Spring Source, they are still not making much money but they are merging. From a distance the deal feels like a natural fit, since they are complementary stacks and Tomcat is the preferred runtime with the Spring development framework.

Spring was perceived by JBoss as a competitor, on the development side, in the early days. Indeed the EE programming models were competing with the POJO/IOC approaches. We took care of the quirkiness …

Techno-Fetichisme 6: This is Electro-Tech

The podcast is here. I was a little surprised recently when young friend of mine, Warren, mentioned that “Dave Seaman is coming to town, and you know he is a great electro-DJ”.

Funny. I love Dave Seaman ever since his 96 set on Renaissance and not so much since the 2000 trance progression. But for me that 1996 CD was the pinnacle of “House” not Electro. I remember it being head-heavy candy, almost Deep Dish style, not necessarily the bumpy, dirty, speedy sound of a good electro track.

So Warren obliged and made a set available for me and, while very good, it was more Trance than anything else. Progressive Electro at most but really lacking in that airy quality that I remember electro as having.

But then again, 80’s electro was a definite sound that may have no parallel for my twenty something younger friends. So I decided I needed to share my definition of “Electro” I needed to recapture that urban speed and sexy intensity that characterized it for me. I needed to educate.

The f…

Martin Lukes Goes to Jail

My father is always criticizing me for not reading the Atlanta newspaper and keeping up with the local news. I blame it on the fact that I grew up here in the eighties. My memories of local news coverage run something along the lines of "Atlanta Zoo initiates program where local children can come and 'Watch TV with (local gorilla) Willie B'." Lately, my hometown and the surrounding 'burbs (OTP) have proven nationally newsworthy with such diverse personages and events as the Mansion Madam, the Runaway Bride and the Michael Vick dog-fighting charges.

Nevertheless, it never occurred to me that I would pick up the pages of the Financial Times, that daily broadsheet of the dismal science, and realize that I had missed out on the daily goings on of a juicy trial taking place in my own back yard. Today, I was introduced to "the great chief leader" of Atlanta-based multi-national a-b global, the iconic thought leader and world-class communicator, who re-defined…

I am going to JBoss World Orlando

(That's Gavin pointing North, Emmanuel pointing North too but with a few more vodka tonics and me not really knowing what North is)

After complaining that other conferences didn't invite me formally, my pals over at Red Hat have sent me a nice invitation complete with flowers and decorum.

So I will be heading down to Orlando for the festivities. It is feb 13 through 15. There is a great line-up of talks from JBossians, partners and customers. All the innovation that has been going on since I have been gone will be on display. The grand-mass of JBoss is always a great occasion to get up to speed and meet the community. I will try to sit in the back of the rooms, incognito, and soak the knowledge as I am losing my edge on the pure tech here.

I have been told by the folks at Red Hat that the show is selling great and there is 3 weeks to go. So here is my little plug for the show, go register

But really I am just going there for the party. Ah... the parties... they are always go…

SUN acquires MySQL, Day2

I am trying really hard to get it.

So I have retreated to my batcave, I have put on my thinking cap, I have closed off the door so I could think more than 23 seconds without being interrupted by the kids. I have reach that inner zen point where the walls are transparent and I can see, I can see where the industry is headed. I have called good friends in the industry to get their perspective, I have expensed great brain power to analyze the implications SUN/MySQL merger. I have come up with this:


I must be getting old and out of touch, the dark side, everything clouds, because you know $1B is a billion dollar and Pony Tail Boy is no dummy. SO I read his blog, someone explained the transcript to me but I feel like Harry Seldon in "The Foundations" series when the diplomat visits: 30 minutes of words later and I still don't have any signal. I recheck my equipment but sorry, I come up with ZILCH.

So I will repeat the party line as if I had understood it.


I respond to Matt's response to my response to his response to my response

And you would think we are running what is popularly known as a "blog circle" to google ourselves up but there is a genuine debate and lack of understanding, mostly on his part. :) Anyways, in his latest Matt basically tries to frame the discussion in "more open vs less open".

I was being more subtle really. First off I was violently reacting to the broad claim that "the future of software is services" with The proprietary model is alive and kickingThe future of Open Source Software may be services
I am not losing religion as some commentators have been quick to claim. After all, dudes, I invented Professional Open Source, have you heard of it? No, it is clear that OSS is EVERYWHERE and gaining momentum. But at the same time, from a financial standpoint, the most successful OSS model so far (RHT) is a proprietary distribution of OSS software. That is a lot of open software sold under closed licenses. Please separate the software from the license. Als…

SUN acquires MySQL for $1Gazillion

So Pony Tail Boy woke up a couple of month ago and decided he had nothing to lose in software and that he might as well go out and spend a bunch of money on Open Source.


Second. I undersold.

Third. There will not be an open source company that goes public for the foreseeable future. Liquidity is too good and too hard to pass up. The players are too big with too much at stake. That's a shame... I wanted to see an ecosystem of independent companies.

Fourth. SUN goes with MySQL, BEA is acquired by ORACLE. When the music stops there is only one chair left, RHT. The music stopped this morning.

I need a Xanax

Oracle acquires BEA for $19.5 a share

And that is that.

Now Alfred and I can hang around and share war stories. If he wants tips on integration of companies, I have nothing to offer, but I can mix a mean Margarita.

Ruby company raises $3.5 from Benchmark

Thank God for Matt Asay and his real time coverage of all things OSS. This morning he beat the wire to blog about the Series A investment of Benchmark in a company called Engine Yard. They have raised $3.5M with revenues of $3M (!). Mitch Lansky seems to be the principal investor and Peter Fenton will be joining the board as well. Wow, 2 board members for the price of half, lucky you!

The one thing I wanted to really comment on is a sentence thrown out there by Matt:

The investment, however, is very telling. When one of the top venture capital firms on the planet puts hard dollars behind a support model, it's significant. It becomes doubly so when the firm (or its investors) in question previously invested in JBoss, MySQL, SpringSource (Interface21), and other support-based open-source companies.
It may mean that Benchmark knows something that the rest of the industry seems determined to ignore: services-based businesses may well be the future of the software industry.

a/ A point…

Meeting the DJ: Laurent Garnier

I met Laurent Garnier a couple of weeks ago when he came to ATL. Laurent Garnier (LG) is one of the longest standing european techno DJs. Laurent is almost single-handedly responsible for kick starting the electronic scene in France in the early 90's. LG was living in Manchester, working at the Hacienda, during the late 80's acid house explosion. Coming back from the UK, infused with evangelical zeal, he started "wake-up Paris". His residency was the "Rex club", a mainstay of the Parisian night. Finally, he was the head of the influential "F communications" label, "what comes after E" was their slogan.

Where guys like "Daft Punk"are now touring the US and filling stadiums, Laurent manages to get booked in a underground club on a Tuesday night. To balance this, the crowd is good, many know who Laurent is and have showed up, many folks from the ATL scene, I recognize. I had never heard of the place called WETbar. After aski…