October 31, 2005
So I guess I should admit to TagTagger being a joke, well sort of. Most people (but not all :-)) realized I was only poking a bit of fun at the Web 2.0 hype. I got some interesting emails though and quite a few links, so it was fun. Unfortunately no offers of funding - and in the end I realized I should have added the Paypal button to the page.
Actually the idea of having some way of storing where you used certain tags (for all taggable sites) so that you can go back and find them at a later date doesn't seem that way out really. Delicious already offers something like that for their own site and TagTagger would do that for all your sites.
TagTagger received (is still receiving) some interesting links - such as getting onto ZDNet and also here. It also made Matt laugh and funnily enough a few people thought it must be real because Matt wrote about it. They obviously didn't read his whole post.
Someone also emailed me asking whether it was "either a joke or really good PR", which got me thinking...
Anyway, the page will stay up for a while and I do own the domain, so who knows....
October 30, 2005
Jens - the chinamann
Jens used to work in my group and he's now spending some time in China. If you can read and understand German, then I highly recommend his new weblog - chinamann.net, where he's writing up his stay there.
October 27, 2005
Cashing in on Web 2.0
Today I have decided to reveal one of the projects that I am working on - together with my small team of motivated elves.
TagTagger is a soon-to-be-beta application that allows you to tag your tags. Yes, you read that correctly.
Sounds interesting - you betcha. This is Web 2.0 - everything is possible. So, head over to the site for an exclusive sign of the revolution that's about to take place.
TagTagger - Take back your tags! ™Of course the going-live of the TagTagger site coincides with tagcamp. Viral Marketing.
October 26, 2005
Why do you think we're here?
"For moments like this." (CIC-Episode 1)
October 25, 2005
Google on the bases
Google seems set to launch Google Base. An online way of storing and searching through any annotated data you want to store there. The login page is currently down but some details are here, here and here.
Update: Looks like Google Base is an early-stage project and not yet about to be announced.
October 24, 2005
European Software Association founded
Created in October 2005, the European Software Association is the voice of the European Independent Software Vendor (ISV) community. ISVs comprising the association work with EU policy makers and other European stakeholders to foster an environment that supports innovation and competitiveness within the European software industry, and that supports the needs of other European business communities.
At the moment the list of member companies doesn't exactly make me think that Open Source will be playing a major role in this (but that may change over time I guess).
On a side-note, the ESA website was done by Kellen Interactive, a company based in the US.
Beware the popping sound
David Hornik on the bubble that is Web 2.0.
October 21, 2005
Nokia 770 up for order - nearly
The German order page for the Nokia 770 is up (via #mobitopia). But you can't order yet. 349 € is the price and within 1 € of the price I blogged after seeing the device at LinuxTag in June. First hands-on reviews are starting to trickle into the blogosphere.
My EuroOSCON session gets a mention in an article on the German IT news service Heise. I'm slightly misquoted - but you can't have it all. Also, the article itself paints a rather one-sided picture of the conference. But then, that's only my opinion.
October 20, 2005
[EuroOSCON] Closing thoughts
One advantage of having EuroOSCON in Amsterdam is that my journey home took under three hours. So, now that I've unpacked and sorted all my take-aways (only 2 t-shirts this time), time for some closing comments and thoughts.
As always I come away from a conference like EuroOSCON and my brain feels pickled. So much input both through sessions and hallway-talks, so many really interesting people you can just hang out with and talk to (and hopefully some new friends too). Enough input for a long time I'm sure.
But where is this Open Source business "thing" going? My trip to OSBC earlier this year left me with the distinct notion that our US cousins know exactly where they think it should be going. But here in Europe? My feeling is that the jury is still out on the state of Open Source business. At EuroOSCON there was little sign of European Open Source businesses, I could see no VCs running around hunting for budding Open Source startups. And I also didn't see any of those either.
To me, it seemed that companies like SpikeSource received less attention and interest at EuroOSCON than they do at OSBC or OSCON. Is their business model as interesting over here? Do European organizations want that sort of business offering? And if not - what do they want and do they even know yet?
But even so, I come away from EuroOSCON optimistic that this could be the starting shot to getting Europe back on the Open Source business map. And borrowing one of Tim O'Reilly's phrases: The opportunity is out there - it's just not evenly distributed yet.
[EuroOSCON] Slides uploaded
I uploaded the actual version of the slides I gave yesterday. The version that the O'Reilly site has is a few weeks older and a couple of slides are missing.
October 19, 2005
[EuroOSCON] Surviving the five year itch
I held my talk this afternoon and the room was pretty full. I think most people enjoyed it and quite a few people mentioned afterwards that they found it refreshing to hear the story about how we have developed our Open Source business model over the years. Download my slides from here.
[EuroOSCON] Conference Day 2
The keynotes are underway and Jason Matusow, Director of Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative is announcing new licenses as part of their shared source initiative. The new licenses are: MS Permissive License (Ms-PL), Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL) and Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL).
Paul Everitt's keynote on the Lisbon Agenda and Open Source stood out this morning with a good focus on a European theme and his presentation was spot on for the conference.
I do however think it was a mistake to scale back the keynote length to only 15 minutes. This is something they have started doing this year and I don't think it works. 15 minutes is just too cramped and results in the keynoters either rushing through stuff or overrunning their time. So bring back longer keynotes! (And no, it's not just because I want to see Paula on stage for longer :-)).
Also, I think some praise is in order for the O'Reilly folks. The conference organization is pretty good (from my limited view) and I especially think they have done a great job with WiFi and power sockets. Those perhaps two most important things are everywhere.
And now, on to the sessions.
Matt goes Alfresco
October 18, 2005
[EuroOSCON] Conference Day 1
The first day of the actual conference is about to start with a collection of keynotes. Last night, Damian Conway gave a great talk titled "Fun with Dead Languages", where he started by showing some Lisp and ended up programming in Latin. Fun stuff.
Later: Today was a really intense day. I attended sessions on Apache Derby, Apache Harmony, SmartFrog and Drools. In addition, I had a very interesting hallway talk with r0ml, chatted to the guys from SpikeSource and moderated my BOF. Over 20 people showed up - including Doug Levin from Blackduck and Peter George from Logicalware. We had an interesting discussion on a variety of topics all centered around the Open Source business in Europe/US theme. Thanks to all who came!
October 17, 2005
[EuroOSCON] Meeting people
For me, going to a conference like this is 50% sessions and 50% meeting and talking to interesting people. So far today I've met and chatted with Gina Blaber from O'Reilly, Bob McWhirter (Codehaus), Torsten (who was hanging out in the lobby), Sebastian (briefly) and several of the conference attendees. Not a bad start.
Update: Bob posted a picture.
[EuroOSCON] Scalable Internet Architectures
My second tutorial today is "Scalable Internet Architectures" with Theo Schlossnagle. Although this is not exactly my core competence, I'm finding the talk very interesting and I'm sure there are quite a few good points on building large-scale architectures that I can take back with me.
[EuroOSCON] Ruby On Rails tutorial
Jarkko Laine is giving the Ruby On Rails tutorial. So far he is going swiftly through the standard "How to do a Blog in RoR" example. While I can see the need for doing this type of example, it would be nice to see other examples used in tutorials, as I can grab similar from somewhere else. Jarkko is also not as deeply into Rails as I would like - ok on the standard stuff but he is not so sure with questions that go beyond that.
The second part of the tutorial consisted of testing in RoR, Ajax, Simple RSS feed, caching and routing.
In all the tutorial gave quick insights into each of the topics but lacked the depth in places. Maybe that's calling for too much in a half-day tutorial? But tutorials should give me more than I can get from watching available RoR videos and reading the Rails book. Cheaper too.
[EuroOSCON] The importance of being different
Arrived in Amsterdam last night after an uneventful train ride from Düsseldorf. My hotel is near the train station and although my room is nice, it is about half the side of the bathroom of the room we had over the weekend at the Youth hostel we stayed in.
Today is tutorial day at EuroOSCON and this morning I'll be taking the Ruby on Rails tutorial. I figure I need to get closer again to actual programming and I've been playing with Rails off and on for a while, so I guess this makes sense.
At registration I chatted with Gina Blaber from O'Reilly. She is O'Reilly's conference director and I've spoken with her in the past about the differences between Open Source in Europe and the US. O'Reilly is on a learning curve when it comes to putting on an Open Source conference in Europe and one of the things Gina hopes from this years conference is to get as much feedback as possible from the attendees on where things need fine-tuning. So look her up and make sure you give that feedback on the differences.
October 14, 2005
Web 2.0 article published
I wrote an article on Web 2.0 that appears in todays paper issue of the German IT weekly, Computerwoche.
I'll be spending the weekend away from the computer before grabbing an evening train to Amsterdam on Sunday. See you at EuroOSCON maybe.
I emailed EuroOSCON conference chair Nat Torkington yesterday about posting a more personal writeup of what he expects from the first EuroOSCON. Here's the post.
October 13, 2005
EuroOSCON BOF plug
And while I'm at it, here is a call for the Open Source companies (yes, that means you, you and at least you) to come and share your experiences with us at the "State of Open Source Business in Europe" BOF next Tuesday evening. Also feel free to add your name to the WIki.
My EuroOSCON talk in a quote
Open source is culturally vastly different from closed source. It takes Herculean effort to effect the seachange in corporate mindset necessary to get a closed-source company's employees, partners, and customers behind any such change, however much everyone involved wants to be convinced.
October 12, 2005
Who wants to be a millionaire? Stranger and stranger...
The German version of this popular TV program had some surprises in store in last Monday's episode.
First off, the 10 contestant round consisted of a son and mother (from Paderborn, where I live no less). They had applied independently of each other and only found out when they both arrived for the episodes recording (the son lives away from home). You may think that is pretty strange, but read on. Amongst the other 8 contestants in that round - was someone else the mother and son knew - also originally from Paderborn.
The father of one of the other contestants had been the son's Greek teacher at school!
This contestant managed to make it up to the 500.000 € question but couldn't come up with the right answer, so he quit. The question was: Which of these famous nobel physicists played soccer for their national team: Gustav Hertz, Niels Bohr, Pierr Curie and Henri Becquerel. The correct answer was given later as Niels Bohr.
But wait, now it turns out that in fact none of the listed answers was correct. Only Niels Bohr's brother played for the Danish national team and not Niels himself.
Rumors have been flying for the past few days on whether Apple is set to launch an iPod with "video playback ability" anytime soon. Word is that today's event in San Jose may in fact reveal the real deal. Obviously, Apple is going to have to bring out an iPod with video at sometime in the future to remain in a strong market position. And what better time to do that than October, just before the holiday season swings into action.
Update: iLounge.com has a picture from the new iPod ads.
Later: New iPod with video playback (30GB and 60GB), new iMac and new iTunes. The new iPods (white or black) are thinner than the old ones and the battery life is longer. Prices start at 299$. The iTunes store now sells music videos and will also offer TV series episodes. The German iTunes store is selling the videos for 2.49 €.
October 11, 2005
Cocoon GetTogether session roundup
October 10, 2005
Shiny Happy People
I've been thinking a lot about the state of Open Source business lately and putting together my slides for EuroOSCON - where I want to basically tell the story of what we have been doing for the past five years and in particular detail some of the mistakes we made while getting commercially involved in Open Source. I keep humming some of REM's lyrics when thinking about the sugar coated chrome Open Source business headlines I seem to be increasingly reading:
Throw your love around
Love me love me
Take it into town
Put it in the ground
Where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine
Is it just me or is Open Source business currently in danger of being overly visible through Shiny Happy People and forgetting the virtues that enabled the current success? Nah, I'm just turning into a grumpy old man.
OpenSourceCast - get it now!
I guess that with all the current hype around podcasting I should either start doing something with my domain OpenSourceCast.com or sell it. I was originally going to start an Open Source related podcast but just haven't got round to it yet.
So, anyone interested or anything? Mail me any ideas or offers.
October 08, 2005
Google RSS reader
Just when I was about to head off to bed, Google go and release an RSS reader.
In order to be able to use it you need to have a Google account. The RSS reader supports importing and exporting of RSS feeds via OPML. My first test was to import my Bloglines feeds into the Google reader. To do this, I had to first enable an explicit username in the Bloglines settings and allow public access to my blogroll. That seems to be the only way to get an OPML file out of my blogroll, which is slightly strange - unless I overlooked something (well possible, it's after midnight here). After accessing my blogroll via the public link, I was able to click on Export subscriptions to get my OPML file (in Firefox, I had problems using Safari).
I then imported the OPML file into the Google RSS reader using the "import subscriptions" link - hidden under "Your subscriptions"->"Add a feed". After a short while, my OPML file was imported and my feeds showed up in the new reader.
The user interface has me slightly confused. No, actually that's an understatement - after using the reader for 10 minutes.
- When I go to the Home part of the RSS reader how can I see how many new items are in a particular feed?
- I can't seem to see a grouping of my feeds in the main Home view. The old group (from Bloglines) has now become a "label". I really want to be able to group my feeds in some visible way.
- How can I mark all the items of a particular feed as "read"?
- Is there a mobile version?
So unless I'm too tired to see what I should be doing, I think I'll be sticking to Bloglines for now. Good night.
October 07, 2005
Paid blogging - sure you can!
Steve launches Grepblogs, a technical blogging network. He's looking for technical geeks to join the network and earn real $$ through blogging there. So if your daily dose is all things techie, then now is the chance to join up and start writing.
More on my HP 6515
While away, I used my HP 6515 to pick up my email and it worked fine. The only major quibble I have is that the device is sloooooooow. I mean sometimes you can almost grab a coffee while the screen is being redrawn. I read about the (lack of) performance is a couple of PDA forums but haven't yet had the time to see if there are any fixes or ways of speeding the device up a bit.
I also need to get an offline RSS reader, blog posting application and look for an email-alternative to pocket Outlook. I really liked SnapperMail on my Palm.
AdSense Check arrives - off to Hawaii!
And it's good night from me. Well, not quite, but arriving home from my short vacation with the kids and my first AdSense check was here waiting for me. I've been using AdSense on my individual posting pages since January and this is my first $$ (so do the math). Anyway as it is a US$ check it probably is not worth cashing because my bank will take a huge amount for doing so. I've just seen that AdSense now allows payment via bank transfer but I get an error when trying to switch.
October 03, 2005
October 01, 2005
Tim O'Reilly revealed
A fascinating profile of Tim O'Reilly in Wired.
HP iPAQ 6515 - the Übergadget?
In my quest to find a PDA that I actually need (yeah right), I've got hold of an HP iPAQ 6515 and so far I'm quite pleased with it. In particular I found it to be smaller than I expected from the pictures I'd seen - but the size is actually just right for me. The keys on the keyboard are slightly smaller that the ones on the Sony UX50 - but they seem ok to use. I really wanted a PDA with a keyboard - however small, as I still find that to be the easiest input method for writing longer texts. I hooked up Pocket Outlook to my Gmail account without any problems and so I can now check my emails from wherever I happen to be using GPRS. For me this is a major advantage because I was never able to get my UX50 to work properly with my mobile phone via Bluetooth. I mean this pairing stuff is just such a pain to get to work properly.
The only small problem with the HP 6515 seems to be the "unusual" screen-size as some programs don't yet run properly and you only get to see part of the screen - which is a pain. However it looks as though support for the square screen is growing.
Anyway, if you have any suggestions on software for the HP or tips then just leave a comment - thanks.