The MeeGo Seminar Summer 2010 edition took place on July 26th, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. The event was packed. More than 530 registrants, 21 sponsors, 16 speakers, 3 tracks (Business, Technology, Qt+Atom), multiple demos and the announcement that the GENIVI Alliance has selected MeeGo as its future in-vehicle infotainment center.

 

Below are some pictures from the MeeGo demos.

One of the questions I received as part of the discussion panel was about what makes MeeGo a great platform and diffrentiates it from other efforts. The questions actually came from one of audience members through the panel moderator. I think the answer to this question was the longest answer any panel participant gave to any given question:

MeeGo is an open source project hosted under the auspices of The Linux Foundation with an open governance model, open discussion forums, open mailing lists, open technical steering committee meetings, open roadmap process, and governed by the best practices of open source development. By the way, there are no contributor agreements to sign, either.

MeeGo is aligned closely with upstream projects and combines mobile development resources towards a unified platform that supports multiple device types (handsets, tablets, netbooks, connected-TVs, in-vehicle infotainment systems). It requires that submitted patches also be submitted to the appropriate upstream project and be on a path for acceptance. As a result, a large number of upstream projects will benefit from the MeeGo contribution. MeeGo offers a complete and optimized software stack, from the kernel to the libraries and middleware components up to reference UX implementations, along with a rich cross-platform development environment and tools.

MeeGo offers equal opportunities for all industry players to participate in the evolution of the software platform and to build their own assets on MeeGo and offers differentiation abilities through
the customization and branding of the user experience. Furthermore, it offers the ability to participate in the evolution of the software platform, and other Linux mobile and desktop efforts will benefit from
MeeGo’s work.

MeeGo has an active community that consists of more than 8,000 participants registered at MeeGo.com contributing source code, QA, documentation, translation, etc.

For application developers, MeeGo has a very attractive offering:
– Support for a single set of APIs across client devices –> easily and rapidly create and deploy apps

– Support for five different device types –> create an app and run it on multiple device types

– Support for multiple app stores –> host your app in several stores, or even create your own store

MeeGo also offers a compliance program to certify software stacks and application portability from the get go. Overall, MeeGo has too many unique characteristics and advantages that makes it really easy for me to support it.

Did I answer your question?

It goes without saying that I did not get any questions from the panel moderator for 20 minutes after my long answer on this question. The MeeGo Seminar was quite a success on all fronts. We are planning our next Seminar in Tokyo in December and before that we’d love to see you at the MeeGo Conference in Dublin, Nov 15-17.

Yeah, I’m not talking about the number of burgers McD supplies each second or anything like that. No, I’m talking about our fully automatic coffee maker. I just did a cleaning cycle, and ended up looking up what the coffee count was.

I may have an addiction problem.

Now, admittedly this is a coffee maker that we’ve had for something like 8 years, but that’s still 4.7 doubleshots of coffee supplied every day for those eight years (you can ask for a single or a double, and the counter just counts “events”).

As Novell’s Markus Rex prepares to deliver his keynote at LinuxCon next week, he took a few minutes to share with us Novell’s latest work on its Linux and open source efforts as well as his predictions for 2010 milestones. Rex is Senior VP and General Manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell. 

See Rex speak next week at LinuxCon specifically about “tomorrow’s Linux workloads” – – Wednesday, August 11, at 9 a.m. ET.

Earlier this year, Novell announced that 5000 ISVs are certified for SUSE Linux Enterprise. What is attracting ISVs to the platform?
 
Rex: ISVs are attracted to SUSE Linux Enterprise for a number of reasons. As Linux has entered the mainstream, the breadth and depth of application support for SUSE Linux Enterprise makes it the logical choice for end users who require flexibility and versatility to deploy a variety of applications and workloads on different hardware and across virtual and cloud infrastructures.
 
Novell is deeply committed to enabling ISVs to deliver the applications most in demand by their customers. We have focused on creating the industry’s strongest Linux application ecosystem and developing new tools and programs to support ISVs. Our most well-known ISV program is the SUSE Appliance Program, a comprehensive business and technology program that helps ISVs rapidly build, test, sell and manage software appliances. This includes SUSE Studio, the easiest and fastest way to build software appliances for physical, virtual or cloud deployment.

Other programs for ISVs include the SUSE Cloud Program, which allows ISVs to offer a wide range of software on reliable, fully-supported enterprise Linux platform, backed by flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing. Additionally, partnerships with leading technology vendors means SUSE Linux Enterprise Server works with a wide variety of hardware and software, making it ideal for today’s heterogeneous IT environments.

How are your enterprise customers using Linux today? Are cloud computing and virtualization driving deployments? Tell us about some of your recent news announcements in this area.

Rex: We see Linux as one of the technologies that will bring the potential of cloud computing and virtualization closer to reality. We continue to engage with our customers around these new markets and we are increasingly seeing them deploy critical business services in virtual and cloud environments.

Linux serves as one of the foundations of our strategy to become the leader in Intelligent Workload Management, bolstered by our security and systems management capabilities. Recently, we announced partnerships with Vodacom and Fujitsu, both of whom are partnering with Novell to use SUSE Linux Enterprise to deliver their cloud solutions.

Our SUSE Appliance Program with our appliance building solution, SUSE Studio, is the fastest way for ISVs and enterprises to build virtual appliances and extend their applications to the cloud. More than 4,500 ISVs are members of the SUSE Appliance Program, including IBM, Adobe, GroundWork Open Source and Ingres.

For virtualization, customers are choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise due to its optimized support for the all hypervisors, allowing near-native performance in almost any virtual environment. We have announced an extension of our existing partnership with VMware, where VMware will deliver and support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware vSphere environments. This aligns with our “perfect guest” strategy of optimizing SUSE Linux Enterprise the leading virtualization platforms. 

This year represents the 10-year anniversary of Linux on the mainframe. What’s the significance of this milestone and how have things changed over the decade?

Rex: In early 2000, IBM, based on client demand, expanded use of open source software and enabled Linux to run on IBM mainframe computers. With the mainframe’s reliability, availability and serviceability coupled with a suite of robust virtualization capabilities, customers saw the mainframe as an ideal platform on which to run multiple Linux servers to make more efficient use of their computing resources. This combination of Linux on System z is now an outstanding platform to support cloud computing as well.

Today, Novell dominates the Linux for mainframe market with 80 percent market share. Novell is the only OS vendor to support Linux on IBM mainframe servers for its entire 10-year history and continues to capture market share with new customers and channel partners.

Over the past 10 years we have seen many changes. The Linux for mainframe market has grown with customers using the technology for a wide variety of mission-critical computing needs. Linux and IFL processors have allowed the mainframe to offer a much lower cost of acquisition. The number of supported applications has also changed dramatically over the past decade. More than 1,000 certified third-party commercial applications are available in Novell’s ISV catalog for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z including applications from Chordiant Software, IBM Cognos, IBM DB2, IBM WebSphere, IBM Tivoli and SAP.

Can you give us a Linux industry prediction for this year? What Linux milestone will we see by the end of 2010?

Rex: My prediction for 2010 is more Linux, more Linux, more Linux. We will see the continued march of the penguin as Linux becomes the de facto operating system across a wide range of technologies. Today, Linux can be found in almost every data center and is making progress across a wide range of consumer technologies, including smartphones, netbooks and car entertainment systems. Linux has expanded its ecosystem and is now being deployed in a variety of different environments, including physical, virtual and cloud.
 
You have been very involved with the Linux Standard Base, even spending time as a fellow at The Linux Foundation. Can you give us a brief update on the standard and what the workgroup is focused on today?

Rex: It’s all about not limiting product potential. More than ever, customers want simplicity, flexibility and choice. Yet it’s these wants that typically equate to application developer headaches with complexity, platform-specific customization and configuration, as well as increased testing matrixes and support. This is the very thing that drives the LSB team to continue evolving the standard.

Their mission is to lower the overall cost of supporting the Linux platform. Having delivered the new tool sets and test coverage as LSB 4.0 last year, the LSB team is now working towards a maintenance update release later this year. The update will provide additional test coverage, additional library support and broader platform support. With all the major Linux distributions being LSB certified, including SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, developing and supporting applications on Linux across today’s and tomorrow’s platforms becomes a very compelling proposition.
 

 

 

 

As the conference focused on all matters Linux, LinuxCon brings attention to the most cutting-edge Linux advancements taking place today and the work being done to take them into the future. LinuxCon is the pinnacle for understanding what is happening with Linux at the developer, IT management and business levels of every enterprise.

Since LinuxCon debuted in September 2009, a lot has happened in the Linux and open source space. Android is expected to outship iPhone; MeeGo is being built to power a whole new generation of computing devices; HP acquired Palm and its WebOS. And, that’s just in the mobile computing space! Linux is powering the largest cloud providers in the world, and it’s the foundation for most IT managers’ virtualization strategies. Linux is also the underlying technology for nearly every major web-based company – Facebook, Google and more.

Given this amazing year, we want to hear from you about what you think are some of the most important milestones in the areas that we’re going to be exploring at LinuxCon in a couple weeks – the kernel/development, IT operations, and business. We’ve sprinkled in a few others for fun – including your favorite open source project, best browser for Linux and biggest industry disappointment.

Our Linux.com writers and contributors have given us a starting place for the multiple choice options, but please tell us what we missed. There is a write-in box for each question; you just have to click “other” and write-in your own choice. Write-ins won’t automatically appear in the viewable poll results but will be captured and reviewed during the life of the poll, which runs through August 6, 2010. When we reveal the final results, we will give honorable mentions to the items that received overwhelming write-in votes. If any write-ins exceed the votes for an existing choice, we will claim the write-in the winner of that category.

Hurry, vote now!

Collaborative development has leveled the playing field and given power to the individual. One young man from Finland started a project, invited others to help, and started a computing revolution. Today two people can use cloud services and free software to start businesses that before needed millions of VC funding. Small device manufacturers, by using open source, can now use the same software used by industry giants. There has been one space missing, however: large scale super computing.

We’re pleased to see OpenStack, the new open source project for cloud computing projects from Rackspace and NASA. In the past, only large institutions like NASA had access to super computing functionality to complete large-scale computational projects. NASA has donated the code they have developed to manage their environments to the OpenStack project to allow others to tap into the same power. With OpenStack, “using these components, organizations would be able to turn physical hardware into scalable and extensible cloud environments using the same code currently in production serving tens of thousands of customers and large government projects.”

Imagine the possibilities of scientists around the world able to tap into this computing power. Innovation in cloud computing will impact innovation in such endeavors as climate science, DNA modeling, and medical research. I would argue there is probably no other area of innovation that will garner as much return.

But there is more to OpenStack: it also gets the power of open standards and how this relates to the cloud. Cloud Computing is the wild west of computing right now with competing strategies and technologies fighting for dominance. The Linux Foundation is pleased to see this new entry that is based on open, collaborative development as well as open standards. Without open standards in cloud computing, we could be headed to the same vendor lock that once gripped the industry. Based on what I can see from the Open Stack project, Rackspace’s aim seems to be to eliminate vendor lock in. If so, I think we will see a huge acceleration in cloud uptake by companies small and large who have been hesitant to enter.

This is a bold move by Rackspace, “giving away” what many would see as their proprietary technology and enabling others to compete with them. It echoes previous moves, however, that turned out very well for the companies involved. Just look at the balance sheets of Red Hat or IBM to see the result of embracing open source and collaborative development models. When individuals have the power to start projects and invite others to join them, great things can happen. Just ask that guy from Finland. Let’s keep an eye on Open Stack: I think we all may benefit.

Our latest in the LinuxCon Preview series takes a look at what Forrester Analyst Jeffrey Hammond will be sharing during his keynote at the event in three short weeks. One of the primary trends he will talk about is the level of awareness about Linux and open source at the executive level and how that is impacting who is making the software acquisition decisions going forward.

You were on a panel at LinuxCon last year. This year, you have a keynote slot all to yourself and will be talking about open source adoption trends in enterprise IT. Can you share with us at least one of those trends and the primary drivers for it?

Hammond: Sure – at the risk of tipping my hand a bit, there has been a big change in the awareness of open source at the executive level. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is no more. This changes the opportunities that open source companies have; they’re likely to find the door to the corner office more open than ever. But this also means that the way that we use FOSS in the enterprise will change, as it becomes less about what developers want, and more about what execs need.
 
Forrester has a fairly new Developer Technographic Research tool. Can you tell us more about it and what you’re finding out about development trends?

Hammond: It’s pretty simple – the best opinions about what’s going on in the market are those that are informed by quantitative data. If you believe that developers are leading indicators of technology adoption, then it’s worth analyzing what tools, devices, and operating systems they are using as a long-term predictor of the movement of technology. We try to collect this data on a regular basis so we can look for changes, like the emergence of open source ALM tools, as an example.
 
You recently found that a new generation of developers is choosing to deploy web and enterprise apps on Linux. Why?

Hammond: It comes down to barriers of adoption. As a developer you can download a LAMP stack or Spring and Tomcat and start work, or you can wrangle with purchasing for eight weeks and try to get the licenses you need. Developers generally don’t like spending time sitting on their hands waiting for purchasing agents to make them jump through hoops; they’d rather write code.
 
Your research has also indicated that the choice to deploy Linux and open source is no longer just about cost. What are the primary drivers for adopting Linux and open source today?

Hammond: Long term we see two trends that emerge. One is about flexibility – in sourcing, support, and deployment. The other driver is that over time, the use of OSS tends to change the culture of development shops. It increases developer engagement and tends to attract developers with a higher degree of intrinsic motivation to the shops that use it.

Increasing adoption also means increasing expectations. What do open source vendors and community members need to do to help IT managers deploy these technologies?

Hammond: The focus on easy installation and set-up use cases has to improve. I’d also say that the project structure that requires IT contributions to be assessed and integrated all the way to the committer status must change. Licenses that don’t require IT contribution of changes are also useful, at least until management gets more comfortable so that they can contribute without exposing themselves to additional legal risk.

As part of our LinuxCon Preview series, I recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions of our keynote speaker Stormy Peters. Peters today is executive director for The GNOME Foundation. Her LinuxCon keynote, titled “Your Desktop is Free, But Where is Your Data,” takes place on Thursday, August 12, at 9 a.m. ET.

You’re delivering a keynote at LinuxCon that explores the idea that while your desktop may be free, your data may not be. Can you elaborate a little bit and give us a teaser for your talk?

Peters: Many of us use a completely free and open source desktop. And then we store all our data in the “cloud” in applications like Flickr, Gmail and Facebook. While that’s not necessarily bad, it means it may not be as easy to get as you think. And your data may no longer be just yours!

A number of sessions will discuss the state of the Linux desktop. How do you define the desktop today and what kind of progress still needs to happen?

Peters: I think the GNOME desktop today has realized its mission to be a free desktop accessible to everyone. Now we are working on making it easy to use in today’s context of new devices, web apps and social networking.

How does virtualization and cloud computing impact the desktop user experience? What can we do to ensure freedom on the desktop?

Peters: Many desktop users (if not all of them!) are using web applications. We need to make sure that those feel like extensions of the desktop and that the functionality and data complies with the ideals behind free software.

With the rise in application availability on mobile devices, companies and organizations are placing a lot of emphasis on making their platforms the easiest on which to build apps. What do developers really need and want out of an SDK?

Peters: I think with the rise of mobile apps, developers want tools they are familiar with and a way to start developing *now* so that they can get their app done tomorrow and start making money.

Here’s your chance to plug GNOME. What are the latest from the GNOME community?

Peters: GNOME 3! GNOME 3 is coming out this fall and it will make it easier for you to focus on your tasks and get notified, but not interrupted, by everything happening in your network. We’ll also have better
documentation, more apps, etc.

I love reading your book reviews. What are you reading now?

Peters: I am reading, “Drive,” by Dan Pink. His book “A Whole New Mind” started a lot of my thinking around free software developers and motivations.

I recently finished “Confessions of a Public Speaker,” by Scott Berkun and I really enjoyed it. He gives some good practical advise on public speaking combined with some funny stories.

 

After its sold-out debut last year, LinuxCon in year two is expected to be even better. My colleagues at The Linux Foundation have worked with the community to ensure this year’s program addresses all matters Linux and provides developers, operations managers and business executives with opportunities to discuss the most timely and relevant issues and opportunities for Linux in the enterprise.

The program is littered with the Who’s Who of Linux and open source. One of this year’s speakers truly stands out as a pioneer in helping to protect free and open source software and projects: the chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, Eben Moglen. Eben is also a Columbia University Law School professor and one of the original authors of the world’s most widely used software license, the General Public License (under which the Linux kernel is licensed).

Eben’s perspectives on the legal landscape as it relates to software are highly sought after by the press, students and technology companies and projects of all sizes from around the world. At LinuxCon, he will explore the direction free software is taking over the next five years, a period that he refers to as “Stage 2.” (He speaks on Wednesday, August 11 at 4 p.m.)

I talked to Eben just prior to the Bilski vs Kappos ruling and asked him what the most pressing issue was for software development from a legal perspective. He told me that regardless of the outcome of the Bilski case, the issues between free software and the patent system “remain the most legally complex and strategically challenging part of the landscape.” But he contends that the free software community has demonstrated how copyright law that encourages sharing works and pointed to Creative Commons as an example.

“We have succeeded in showing both developers and commercial distributors that our method for using copyright law to encourage sharing works, legally and commercially. We have profoundly affected not only how software is made and acquired around the world, but also how cultural production of every other kind is distributed, thanks to the close relationship between free software and Creative Commons. In these respects, our legal arrangements are not only workable, they are superior to the much more costly and cumbersome machinery of proprietary exclusive rights. But the misuse of the patent system to produce ‘ownership’ of algorithms and other intangible mental processes continues to threaten our ability to innovate.”

The Supreme Court ruled on Bilski vs Kappos just last week and Eben commented publicly that “the landscape of patent law has been a cluttered, dangerous mess for almost two decades. The confusion and uncertainty behind today’s ruling guarantees that the issues involved in Bilski v. Kappos will have to return to the Supreme Court after much money has been wasted and much innovation obstructed.”

The SFLC filed a brief in the Bilski case arguing that software is not patentable subject matter. It is available on its website. I expect him to fervently use this case as an example when he speaks in Boston later this summer.

Eben has also been speaking and addressing the issues surrounding online privacy. He recently spoke at NYU about this very issue and it was reported that he inspired the Facebook alternative Diaspora. You can see notes from the speech published on the SFLC website, but it’s safe to say that he is concerned about what he calls the “online neighborhood” and the rights to privacy that the global community has so quickly forfeited. I wouldn’t expect a keynote from Eben to not mention this issue, so be prepared for a good mix of intellectual and practical insight on this very important topic at LinuxCon.

The SFLC was founded in 2005 and provides pro bono legal services to free and open source software projects. I worked with Eben when he launched the Center and since then it has seen significant increases in demand for its services. When asked about the Center, Eben focused on the important work that today it’s doing in countries around the world.

“Significant public policy discussions about patent law and competition/antitrust will be going on in the US, Europe, India and China in contexts that immediately concerns the Free World. Our sister organization, SFLC in India, began operating earlier this year and we will continue to expand our activities in the coming year to support burgeoning international free software communities in Russia, China, and elsewhere around the globe.”

Seeing Eben speak is a great opportunity as are the other chances to see insiders discuss the most important topics for Linux and open source this year. If you haven’t registered for LinuxCon yet, you better hurry! The early bird rate of $400 goes up to $500 after July 15. Just click here to register. 

Lastly, pick up your boarding pass for the LinuxCon Boston Harbor Cruise onsite at the Activities Desk. This evening event, sponsored by Intel, is from 7-10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 11th. Space is limited, so don’t forget to grab that pass for your place on the cruise, which includes food and drink. Can you say “party!?”

 

Today is the day! We’re announcing the winning design and designer in our Linux.com T-shirt Design Contest.

Our winning design, with 57 percent of the vote, is “The People’s Product” and was submitted by Said Hassan of Gaza in Palestine.

Linux.com Store merchandise is designed to invoke feelings of geek pride, freedom, fun, eccentricity, and originality. Said’s design touches on all of these qualities, but most of all – on geek pride. His design reads “We Made IT,” demonstrating the collective contributions of a worldwide community working together to produce the most innovative operating system.

Said is receiving travel expenses and a pass to attend LinuxCon in Boston and will also enjoy the fame associated with having his design displayed on T-shirts worn around the globe.

The contest was introduced when we launched the Linux.com Store in March. We received more than 100 submissions, painfully narrowed those original designs down to six finalists, and then put the ultimate decision in the hands of the community and the power of each designer to rally community support behind their creations. Three months after the Store opening, we’re excited to look towards LinuxCon in Boston where the T-shirts will be also be available to purchase.

The Linux.com Store offers an exclusive line of geek apparel that helps us fly our geek flags with pride while supporting the work of Linus Torvalds and the various activities and services provided by The Linux Foundation. Said’s contribution is a unique and important one.

A big thanks to all the people who submitted designs, and a special thanks to the finalists who helped bring new people to the Store by encouraging them to vote. The best ideas always come from the community and this contest was no exception. We’ll look forward to offering other chances to collaborate and win prizes based on promotions for this unique online shopping destination.

Coming out of Computex, there’s been a lot of momentum for Meego,  the Linux-based platform that can power multiple computing devices, including handsets, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. Ibrahim Haddad, the Linux Foundation director of technology and alliances, has just published a new article, “An Introduction to the Meego Project.”
It’s a great introductory piece on the platform, the benefits of the project and the role of the Linux Foundation. Below you will find an excerpt that I find especially interesting. I think Ibrahim captures the important points about MeeGo, many of which we raised in this recent Linux Foundation op-ed in BusinessWeek.

15 Facts You Must Know About MeeGo
1. Full open source project governed according to best practices of open source development: Open
discussion forums, open mailing lists, open technical steering committee meetings, peer review, open
bugzilla, etc.
2. Hosted under the auspices of the Linux Foundation
3. Aligned closely with upstream projects – MeeGo requires that submitted patches also be submitted to
the appropriate upstream projects and be on a path for acceptance (Figure 1)
4. Offers a complete software stack including reference user experience implementations
5. Offers a compliance program to ensure API and ABI compatibility
6. Enables all players of the industry to participate in the evolution of the software platform and to
build their own assets on MeeGo
7. Lowers complexity for targeting multiple device segments
8. Offers differentiation abilities through user experience customization
9. Provides a rich cross-platform development environment and tools
10. Offers a compliance program to certify software stacks and application portability
11. Supports multiple hardware architectures
12. Supports multiple app stores
13. Has no contributors agreements to sign; instead it follows the same “signed-off-by” language and
process as the Linux Kernel
14. Has over 1000 committed professional developers and hundreds of open source developers and a
very a vibrant community of users and developers (~ 8000 subscribed to meego.com)
15. MeeGo 1.0 Netbook release supports the following languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified,
Chinese Traditional, Swedish, Polish, Finnish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Spanish,
Russian, Dutch, English, and British English.

For those of you interested in MeeGo it’s a great place to start. You can also check out http://www.meego.com of course for the latest news and to join the community itself.