Serdar Yegulalp - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Serdar Yegulalp

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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in July 2008

rBuilder: DIY Open Source Appliances

I blogged earlier about the growth of open source virtual appliances, which now includes outfits like Jumpbox who create value-added appliances for popular open source packages. Now comes rBuilder, for those with a bit more do-it-yourself spirit.

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Fighting Siloing In Open Source

Another major theme recurring through the notes I took at OSCON, something echoed by many people there, is "siloing" -- or, rather, how to recognize it and do something about it.

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An Open Source Software Police?

I'm still sorting through the last bits of my OSCON trip notes, but one striking conversation I had was with Byrne Reese of SixApart about people who violate the end-user licensing of for-pay editions of OSS apps. Do we sic the open source cops on them? I'd like to think not.

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OSCON, Pt. 5.0: Sam Ramji's Wonderful, Terrible Job

There's a part of me that thinks Sam Ramji, director of Microsoft's Open Source Lab, has the worst imaginable job at Microsoft. But he doesn't see it that way: Where other people would see such a position as being crushed between two wholly opposed forces (Microsoft and open source), Sam sees it as a way to build a bridge that didn't exist before -- and maybe to transform Microsoft all the more from within.

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OSCON, Pt. 4.2: openSUSE's Eleventh Hour (And Twelfth, And Thirteenth...)

Aside from having one of the niftier names in the industry, Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier has a pretty nifty job, too: He's the openSUSE Community Manager at Novell, where he oversees the folks that help make what will ultimately turn into the next version of SUSE Linux Enterprise. I grabbed a few minutes of his time to follow up on things I'd talked to him about back at the Red Hat Summit.

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OSCON Pt. 3.2: OpenOffice.Org's 'Meaningless' Community Manager

Right after my chat with Zack of MySQL, I sat down with Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager for -- a project that's probably every bit as important to Sun as MySQL, if not more so. Our conversation rambled a bit (he's a Philip K. Dick fan, same as me), but I was able to touch on the most important things on my mind -- and the first thing I learned was that Louis's job description is, in his words, "m

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OSCON, Pt. 3.1: MySQL's Day In The Sun

On Wednesday I sat down at OSCON with a slew of people from Sun Microsystems to talk about key parts of their empire, both new and old. First up was Zack Urlocker of MySQL (whom I'd observed at the Monday Participate 08 panel), one of the newest additions to the Sun galaxy, and an acquisition that's caused a great deal of worry amongst existing MySQL users.

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OSCON, Pt. 2.2: Participate 08 (Sponsored By ... Microsoft?)

Let's rewind a bit. My Monday afternoon at OSCON 2008 was taken up by "Participate 08," a Microsoft-sponsored discussion panel chaired by a whole panoply of folks -- including, yes, an open source liaison from Microsoft. The whole thing was neither a "corporate apologia" (as one wag put it from the audience) nor a pile-on where Microsoft got the worst of it. Their approach was only one of a diversity of perspectives, and sometimes not even the most eyebrow-raising.

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OSCON, Pt. 2.1: A Few Words With Mark Shuttleworth

For many people, Ubuntu is Linux, and Mark Shuttleworth is Ubuntu. It might come as a surprise to learn that the prime mover behind one of the most successful and visible Linux distributions out there isn't entirely comfortable with that. I jumped at the chance to sit down with Mark for an hour on Tuesday morning while at OSCON and ask him about that, and many other, things.

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Dell's Ubuntu Gets A Hardy Upgrade

Dell's commitment to Ubuntu Linux grows, like Topsy. According to a post on the Direct2Dell blog, Ubuntu 8.04 (the "Hardy Heron" edition) will be coming to the XPS M1330N and Inspiron 1525N notebooks, as well as the Inspiron 530N desktop. Stick the "grandma-approved" label on it, too, as DVDs will play back out of the box (as they did in Dell's 7.10).

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ActiveState Debunks Open Source Myths

There's two major classes of open source myth: the "Open source is evil and strange" myth, and "Open source makes everything perfect forever" myth. It's easy to see how notions so far off-center are far from being universally true, but I'm heartened whenever someone debunks myths on both sides by taking a more moderate stance. Such is the case, intriguingly enough, with a paper entitled "Ten Myths About Runni

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Why You Can't Be Half-Open

Back when I was at the Red Hat Summit in Boston a few weeks ago, one of the panelists commented that the open source community takes a very exacting view of openness. You can't be half-pregnant, he quipped -- and you can't be half-open, either. Google's recent gaffe with the Android SDK (pending a more benign explanation of events) stands out as an example.

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Many Eyes, But How Many Brains?

I've written before about how the "many eyes" philosophy of open source security is only a starting point. Now a post at InfoWorld's Open Sources blog asks a parallel question, in the wake of two security holes being unveiled in the Spring Framework. If anything, this reinf

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When Is A Phone Not A Phone?

When it's the OpenMoko, that's when. In fact, its own creators are hesitant to call it a phone, but that's been one of the easiest ways to get it into the public eye. Their plan isn't to compete with juggernauts like the iPhone, but to take a much earlier cue from Apple's playbook: the Apple I.

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JumpBox: Instant Open Source, Just Add Virtualization

I love how open source projects are inherently malleable things. Easiest example: the plethora of Linux distributions and hardware ports. Beyond that there's the endless ways open source applications can be repackaged and delivered -- in Linux distro repositories, as a BitNami stack or some other standalone unit ... and now, JumpBox.

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VMware's Woes Are Just Beginning

The other week when I talked to Xen's chief architect Ian Pratt, he was quite firmly of the opinion that VMware's days were numbered. Then came VMware's shuffling of CEOs (and convulsing stock prices), and what seemed like doomsaying now seems like a grimly realistic prediction. And there's plenty of signs open source is the reason why, but it's also part of a

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The GPLv3, One Year On

It's been a year since the GPLv3 was introduced to the open source world -- so how's it doing? That's the subject of two surveys currently being conducted to track open source license usage and conversion.

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