Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 29, 2009

Greetings, OStatic community! I'm pleased as punch to have the privilege of blogging here. So, by way of introducing myself, here's a bit about me and the sorts of things you'll read in my blog posts.

A long time ago, I was employee #70 at this venture-funded startup called VA Linux Systems. You may have heard of us - had an IPO in December, 1999 with the largest 1-day gain in NASDAQ history. Equally historic was the long demise of VA as it scuttled its hardware business to focus on SourceForge Enterprise, which it eventually scuttled to focus on its web sites:, Slashdot, et al. By that time, I had long been kicked off the VA train, which incidentally is no longer called VA but SourceForge, Inc. 

Since then I've remained in the Open Source arena as a writer, agitprop, Monday morning economist and general community guy. I've spoken at OSCON, OSBC, LinuxWorld, OpenSource World, LISA, SCALE and a few user groups in between. I've had the privilege of working with some great people and companies as well as.... well, some not-so-great people and companies.

Defining Open Source and Free Software paved the way for the current regulated market that is the Open Source ecosystem, and I worry about how we are going to create a similar phenomenon to accomplish the same with web-based products and services. What does it mean to protect developers' and users' rights within the context of business and commerce in a Cloud-y, SaaS-y world? 

I love the term Free Software, but not GNU. I haven't forgiven Google for undermining the GPL v3 process, and I wish more people would demand that companies make use of the Affero GPL. But don't accuse me of being anti-business - on the contrary. I believe creating self-regulated markets is a great way to promote business, creating a lasting, healthy ecosystem in which to conduct business. 

In this blog, I'll give my $.02 on what's going on in the commercial Open Source space, and add my thoughts on clouds and other technologies as appropriate. 

Full disclosure: I provide community consulting services for a number of clients, including at the moment Microsoft and Groundwork. You will see me comment on my work from time to time, and I will always disclose who's paying me.