Category: OSS

I noticed an article in Slashdot today, promoting the fact that Comcast is moving to Zimbra, an “open source” groupware product designed to compete with Microsoft’s exchange.

I spent a decent chunk of time evaluating “open source” groupware optionsa few months ago. None of the major “open source” groupware options are truly open source. Both Zimbra and Scalix are a category of software I like to describe as “dual source.” The bulk of the code for both products is released under a software license that is semi open-source. Any of the juicy features that make the product interesting are proprietary.

If you want to use any of the additional features, a per-seat license is needed. How is that exactly open? “Dual Source” products might as well be proprietary in my book. With “open source” licensing designed to prevent anyone from actually using the code in a real product, and restrictive licensing for the real enterprise ready product, what is the real benefit of the source release?

For me, real open source is not the partial release of code under a restrictive license. Real open source is where the open source code, and the enterprise product, are one in same. No handcuffs, no restrictions, just freedom.

Nexenta

Its been over year since the start of the OpenSolaris project, so I decided to take a look at where the various derivatives are at this point in time.

I managed to download and install Nexenta, in less than an hour. It’s still only an Alpha at this point, but the install process was certainly the easiest time I’ve ever had with Solaris.

Think of Nexenta as Ubuntu running on the Solaris kernel. The look is very similar, and of course it has apt, but it also has a lot of Solaris features that are either not seen on Linux, or poorly imitated. Nexenta has ZFS, zones, and dtrace. which are the most appealing Solaris features for me personally.

What impressed me about Nexenta was the speed of bootup, and the overall speed of the OS. Its hard for me to compare it to other operating systems when running it under VMware, but it seems to be lot quicker than say the Solaris builds I ran in VMware a few months ago.

This could really take off, especially looking at it from server perspective. If I could run this on standard hardware without device issues, and get the major attractions of Solaris in a Debian like package, I would definitely use it.

Last year, there were several announcements for open source tools designed to become Microsoft Exchange alternatives. Novell’s Hula Project and Zimbra, are the two most high profile efforts for a viable Exchange alternative.

While developing an exchange replacement is a valiant pursuit, I have not seen a project that can function as a calendar alone. Today, I installed Zimbra, since it seems to be the most mature product on the market.

Zimbra is really slick, its a combination of a bunch of open source tools in to one easy to manage solution. If I were setting up e-mail and calendaring for new company, Zimbra would be high on my list. The problem with Zimbra is that it will not function as a standalone calendar.

A lot of organizations do not want to replace their e-mail solution, they are simply looking for a calendaring solution that is interoperable with outlook and the popular open source calendaring clients.

Thats what I stirred up, by asking a simple question on Ubuntu’s forums.

In short, the bug tracking and software management system for Ubuntu is called launchpad.net. Ubuntu is a product of a company called Canonical, founded by Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical’s mission statement reads:

Canonical Ltd. is committed to the development, distribution and promotion of open source software products, and to providing tools and support to the open source community.

Well why is launchpad.net, the software that is enabling the development of Ubuntu, proprietary? It seems very strange to me that a company that is supposed to be committed to the development and distribution of open source software would have closed source in-house project.

A lot of Ubuntu users are not happy about the situation, but then there are also quite a few users who attempt to rationalize Ubuntu’s actions in the typical manner of the Apple apologist.

I hope Canonical releases the launchpad source soon, because this situation could become a thorn in what is otherwise a great project and a great product.

Thats what I stirred up, by asking a simple question on Ubuntu’s forums.

In short, the bug tracking and software management system for Ubuntu is called launchpad.net. Ubuntu is a product of a company called Canonical, founded by Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical’s mission statement reads:

Canonical Ltd. is committed to the development, distribution and promotion of open source software products, and to providing tools and support to the open source community.

Well why is launchpad.net, the software that is enabling the development of Ubuntu, proprietary? It seems very strange to me that a company that is supposed to be committed to the development and distribution of open source software would have closed source in-house project.

A lot of Ubuntu users are not happy about the situation, but then there are also quite a few users who attempt to rationalize Ubuntu’s actions in the typical manner of the Apple apologist.

I hope Canonical releases the launchpad source soon, because this situation could become a thorn in what is otherwise a great project and a great product.

Linux ITMS

A few weeks ago, SharpMusique 1.0 was released, allowing Linux users and others to purchase songs from the iTunes music store. While I’ve avoided ITMS like the plague because of the encode quality and DRM, SharpMusique is a great for people looking to buy songs from the ITMS without switching to OSX or windows. SharpMusique was written by Jon Johansen, who is best known for DeCSS.

SharpMusique 1.0