Tuesday, November 29, 2005

» if (Windows Rules) then (Linux fails) | Paul Murphy | ZDNet.com

Another study funded by Microsoft comparing it's ease of use and reliability in the server world to Linux. This entry by Paul Murphy is interesting in the way it breaks down the study.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

AJAX Again

There are a couple of interesting articles out on AJAX. One from Paul Graham and the other linked in from The Server Side. I must confess most of my experience is tying things together in the integration layer with various technologies. I can't profess to be an expert on web based gui applications. What interest me is the promise of a richer web based experience. Of course another interesting idea put forth for AJAX is the idea of orchestration of multiple web services from within the client app.

Wired News: Outsourcing to the Heartland

Okay I don't have much of an opinion on this other than it features a fellow pirate (East Carolina University). Go Pirates!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Open-Source Impact on Software Vendors

More and more big vendors are jumping on the open-source bandwagon. Oracle, IBM, Sun and even Microsoft to some extent are releasing pieces or versions of their product in an open-source style of license. In some cases they are simply allowing use of certain versions or pieces for free while not actually offering up the source code. In either case it seems clear that this is a move designed to counter the affect of the growing open-source movement.

What affect will this have on the smaller vendors who are not embracing(or reacting) to the open-source influence. Its probably to early to tell at this point but I think the head in the sand approach could be unwise for certain vendors. Especially the ones where a growing open-source community exists. What do you think? Is the open-source impact real or is it a fad that will die in time?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Google Analytics

Not that I need a whole stats package to track my usage stats on this site, but Google has release a pretty neat package. If you host a website or blog, you should check it out. It gives breakdowns on new vistors versus returning vistors, which pages are being accessed, bounce rates, location of vistors, browser types and capabilities etc.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sun Java Studio Tools - FREE Award-winning IDEs

This is a pretty neat deal, free! If you have never used Java Studio Creator you are missing out on a very easy way to create web apps in java. It makes working with web forms and especially web services very easy to do in java. Check it out, it will only cost you time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gates Memo: We've Got To Get This Services Thing Right - Yahoo! News

If only I had the tapes when Ozzie was bashing Microsoft back in the early 90's while he was at Lotus. My how times change.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Part 2 - What is Proprietary?

So does open-source help with this proprietary question? A common misconception is to lump open standards in with open-source software. They are not one in the same. Open standards is just a common way of doing something that is not controlled by one corporation/vendor and not really specific to a platform or a particular technology. The set of standards behind web services is a good example of this. Open-source provides the user with the source code to a particular application or OS along with a license of some description to use it, modify it, and distribute it. There are multiple types of open-source licenses and results do vary.

So does open-source protect a company from vendor lock-in? I would argue that it really does not completely. The ability to modify the source code or take over the source code is a big step for most companies. After all, if that ability was well established in house, the company probably would have written the software themselves in the first place. In reality the company is probably reliant on a particular distribution agent for the software they use, particularly when it comes to support. Let's look at an example.

Suppose I am a large Red Hat enterprise customer(Red Hat has a very good distribution by the way). Let's say that Red Hat decides it is not charging enough for support and they would like to add a few of their own things into the actual Linux distribution. I'm not happy with Red Hat anymore, their direction and mine are not aligning. I decide to switch my support contract to SuSE(SuSE also has a good distribution of Linux). SuSE informs my company that they do not support my Red Hat distribution but would be happy to support(and sell) a new SuSE distribution at our site. Well now I have a migration project, a big one at that. In turns out that Red Hat already has some stuff in their distribution that is unique to them as does SuSE.

So what does the example mean? It is simple, open-source means the source is open and that is all. It does not mean vendor lock-in cannot occur. Most companies rely on and pay for support for enterprise class software. Assuming that because the source is open, switching from one vendor's version to another will be easy would be a mistake. So how do I avoid or minimize vendor lock-in? Coming up in Part 3.