It just isn't the holidays without "A Christmas Story," and Ralphie's quest for his decoder pin and Red Ryder BB Gun. Like Ralphie, the Free Software Foundation understands the benefits of membership and they have a unique hook for prospective new members: A bootable membership card.
Joe Brockmeier reports on the intersection of commercial interests and communities, and offers information and advice about bridging the gap between companies and communities.
If any company desperately needs a clueful community manager, it's Apple. I've written before about the company's issues with the App store and the way it treats developers (as have many others) but it looks like they're still having a hard time getting a handle on developer relations.
Stephen O'Grady has an interesting post about the past, present, and future of MySQL over on Redmonk, including how its dual-license strategy may limit its community:Generally, this model has served MySQL fairly well. By controlling the intellectual property, they retain the rights to relicense the code, thus protecting a revenue stream.
A new report says that large IT vendors are responsible for open source's accelerated adoption and change.From the report:While open source software is omnipresent, and its presence is growing more rapidly than previously estimated, the basic nature of open source software is changing from project-based, developer-driven community initiatives to vendor-driven, and vendor-owned, software.
A few Linux distributions emphasize license freedom as a goal, but Tom "Spot" Callaway says that there's no such thing as a free Linux distro.Callaway, Fedora's engineering manager, writes that "you'd need to do an incredibly thorough audit of every file in the system to be sure that every single file is under a known license," and the evidence says that most distros haven't actually done it.
In case you're interested in more detail on the Free Software Foundation's suit against Cisco (but don't want to wade through the entire complaint), the FSF has a post up explaining the situation in plain language. According to the FSF, it's been a "five-years-running game of Whack-a-Mole" with Cisco.
If 2008 has a buzzword, it's probably "community." I've seen a lot more interest lately from many companies (not just mine) in learning how to work with a community.
If Cisco really wants to woo Linux developers, it might want to work on license compliance before worrying about code bounties and contests. The Free Software Foundation announced today that it's suing Cisco for violating the GPL, which is a sure-fire way to put off contributors.
Matt Asay chimes in on Monty's reaction to MySQL 5.1.
Amazon is taking a new approach to public relations -- it's farming out some of its PR work to a "Holiday Customer Review Team," made up of Amazon customers who've written a lot of reviews on the site. (Talk about making community work for you...