If you've been missing my entries here, it's because you've been missing my entries in the developerWorks SXSW 2012 Adventure blog. In fact, I just wrote another entry. I'll be back here next week, but in the mean time you should catch up with me there. Also, don't miss the live video broadcasts that I've been doing from my Android phone. I'm going to move those over here at some point, so be sure that you are following me on Twitter (@cmw_osdude) to keep up.
[The ideas stated here are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.]
Legal trials of using Open Source
Now that open-source software is making it past technical acceptance we are starting to hit speed bumps from legal. (Is the first class a lawyer takes in college "No! 101"?) I hear time and time again that I can't use a specific open-source project at IBM because there are problems with the license. In some cases these are real issues as developers specifically license their software to discourage commercial usage (a noble sentiment, I'm sure, but detrimental to wide-spread use). In most, cases, though, I think that the project creators unwittingly create obstacles to adoption by just not knowing the legal ramifications of their licenses and how they might be interpreted by a corporate lawyer.
If Open Source is going to forge ahead, this has got to be tackled. At FOSDEM 2012 (Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting) there was a DevRoom to discuss the legal issues of Open Source led by Richard Fontana from Red Hat. You can see details about who was involved in his blog entry, "The first FOSDEM Legal Issues DevRoom". Recordings may become available through Karen Sandler's Free as in Freedom podcast.
I'm going to SXSW 2012
I just got my pass to SXSW, the awesome music, film and interactive conference held each year in Austin, Texas. I am really psyched about seeing how everything transitions from one area to another and who checks in and out of the experience and who floats through the whole thing. Most of the technical focus will come through the Interactive conference. However, technology is going to bleed into everything throughout the event from a very practical perspective. I'm going to keep my eyes open and share everything I can. I'll have more information on where to look as things get closer. If you're going to SXSW, let me know!