James Dixon’s Blog

James Dixon’s thoughts on commercial open source and open source business intelligence

Archive for May 5th, 2009

12+ Ways To Contribute To Open Source

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Writing code is one way to contribute to open source. There are many more ways.

Here is a list:

  1. Create a new project – start a new open source project around something you are interested in – ‘scratch an itch’
  2. Use Cases – use open source software in new domains, see if it works or not.
  3. Peer Review – review specs, designs, architectures, user interfaces, and code and provide feedback
  4. Testing – provide any kind of testing assistance – including usability testing
  5. Documentation – create documentation where it is missing or lacking
  6. Translations – translate not only documentation but also web sites, wikis etc
  7. Features – create new features or plug-ins
  8. Forum Help – Learn how to use an open source package and then help out people who are new to the project
  9. Bug Fixes – take bug cases from the case tracking tool and fix them
  10. Scalability – perform soak testing, load testing etc and publish the results
  11. Configuration Diversity – test and use the software in less common configurations
  12. Tell the world – use press releases, blogs, twitter, conference presentations, barcamps etc  to let people know that you are using open source software and that it works for you.
  13. Building and packaging (thanks AHinMaine) – build the software for your platform and make it available

Written by James

May 5, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Posted in open source

Nimsoft: Another proprietary company, same old story

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Gary Read at Nimsoft has commented on the recent acquisition of Hyperic by SpringSource under the title ‘No Surprise – Hyperic Falls‘. Maybe he knows something about the terms of the deal that we don’t but acquisitions and consolidation don’t normally mean failure.

But the interesting thing is his anti-open source statements. Anyone following open source for a long time will recognize these kind of statements.

They are the kind of things that Microsoft used to say about open source – before they partnered with Novel, shared their source, started CodePlex, and put open source components into Windows.

They are the kind of things that Oracle used to say about open source – before they acquired InnoDB and Sun.

Red Hat has a great video that they created on this topic – Truth Happens

I guess Nimsoft is lucky enough to be only at stage 2 in their competition with open source. The still have fighting and losing to go.

Update – May 5th 2009:

Gary Read responded to my post with a comment that included this statement:

We compete overwhelmingly with HP, IBM, CA, BMC – not with companies like Hyperic, Groundworks, Cittio etc.

This statement is very telling.

  • They think they don’t compete with open source because they are never up against them in sales situations.
  • The reason they don’t see them in sales situations is that many people are choosing an open source solution before they even call Nimsoft. They lose the opportunity before you know about it.

This is why Nimsoft is in the ignore/ridicule phase.

Written by James

May 5, 2009 at 2:04 am