Daily Archives: September 27, 2006

On Blogging: Summary of recent comments from our readers

I ran a story on the 10th anniversary of IBM’s alphaworks (aW). It was prompted by a post on Steve O’Grady’s blog, a post I read late at night on the day before the event. So I tried to put something togerher in less than an hour.

There were comments by Steve, his colleague James Governor, and Peter Coffee, a columnist — though that word doesn’t do him full justice — mentioned in the post. I hadn’t had time to properly quote his article as I had recently moved offices and hadn’t yet unpacked. It was good to hear from Peter, and the offer I made still stands: the offer was that I would arrange a visit to Research if he were in the area. I’m now in Somers but I still have friends at Research. And come to think of it, I’d be happy to meet with anyone in the area with an interest in the volunteers project.

Steve later wrote a post about the event. It had several keen insights. I’ll be writing about it shortly.

I made a few posts on TWITs, and got responses from Ken Coar. I assume everyone knows about Ken; if they don’t write a comment and I’ll tell you more about that “Rodent of Unusual Size.” By the way, that handle reveals the name of one of — if not THE — his favorite movies.

Chris Abbey has been a pal since the Jikes days. He worked for a time at developerWorks after Philippe and I stopped working on, then did much work on his own time, only stopping that role earlier this year. I’m officially the project admin now, though the project has remained dormant since Chris left. Chris also recruited Rob Eggers, someone you’ll probably be hearing about soon.

Chris and Ken offered to set up a site for the TWIT stuff. I almost got a URL early this morning, but there is no rush today. Our readership is still small, though it’s gone up to 70-80 reads/day.

We add new readers and project members to the blogroll. This week’s additons at Ken,Steve, and James. Chris gave the URL of our new project, and thanks for the offer, but I’ll put off adding that for a bit.

Steve asked about a study back in 2004. It was about commoditization (c13n). I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about this back then. Clayton’s work is especially insightful. But as it happens, c13n is the least of worries in the non-profit and gov’t space. How can s/w be a commidty if none exists?

Thanks for your comments, dave.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

On Sahana: “No innovation matters more than that which saves lives.”

The phrase “collaborative innovation” can be found everywhere these days. I even used it in a talk in St. Louis given two years ago. The above quote, from an official in the Philipines, makes an essential point. As I write I don’t have a reference, but I will add one soon. But going forward always think when you read these posts about how the following relate to each other:

No innovation matters more than that which saves lives.
Take no unfair advantage.

Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

Take No Unfair Advantage

I made several mistakes in the last few days. I messed up; I screwed up; I took unfair advantage. Mea Culpa.

I’ll write about them in more detail soon. Looking back the main cause was that I did some things out of public view, and thus in doing things in private denied some information from some that everyone had a right to no.

I apologize and I am going to attempt to put into place procedures that will lessen the chance of happening again.

I ran the Jikes project for a year. I begain as the “King” or “Kindly Dictator” and along the way spent more time than I care to admit sorting things out. It was a real-time, slow-time education in open source governance.

I will write this up in detail in the future. When it was all over, I gave a talk about my experiences during that year to a Linux group in NYC in December ’99. At that time I summarized the key principle as:

No member of the OSS community shall take adavantage of another member of the OSS community.

This was based on the Caltech Honor Sysem: It is used to run Caltech: staff, faculty, everybody:

“No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.”

I have trimmed it down so it can work for any community, or for all communities. But you know what, someone expressed this in a single word:



Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

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