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Linux Server Revenues Growing Faster Than Windows, Hit $2.4 Billion in 1Q12

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 31, 2012

Linux From the 'Linux = $$' files:

IDC is out with its first quarter 2012 global server stats study and the numbers look good for Linux.

While overall global server revenues were down, Linux server revenues were up.

According to IDC, Linux servers generated $2.4 billion in revenue for vendors in the first quarter of 2012. That's a 16.0 percent growth rate, which is better than the 1.3 percent revenue growth rate for Windows servers.

Linux still has a lot of room to grow, as Linux servers now account for 20.7 percent of global server revenues. In contrast, Windows revenues account for 50.2 percent of global server revenues. Unix represents 18.3 percent.

That's right, Linux server revenues are greater than Unix (and yeaah Unix servers are a whole lot more $$).

The fact that Windows still holds the majority of the server market (by revenue) is a fact that I'd bet is likely to change inside of this calendar year as Linux continues to grow fast.  

Remember of course, that IDC can't track servers that have been 're-purposed' as Linux server or those servers where companies put Linux on it themselves, so the true numbers might be larger. Revenue numbers also cannot account for 'free' deployments of Linux, such as CentOS which are extremely common on hosting infrastructure.



Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Why Doesn't Fedora 17 Linux Have a Beefy Miracle Theme?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 30, 2012

fedora 17 Beefy Miracle

From the 'Sacred Cows' files:

For the most part, Fedora Linux releases have had names that weren't particularly controversial. For instance, Fedora 16 was named Verne and the default desktop wallpaper had a submarine type theme (an hommage to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea). With Fedora 17, which was officially released on Tuesday the codename is Beefy Miracle. It's a theme that has its own mascot and it's a fun one.

Yet despite that, the default Fedora 17 desktop has no Beefy Miracle.

That's right, there is no 'obvious' connection between the name Beefy Miracle and the default desktop wallpaper/theme.

Why is that?

I asked Fedora Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron and this is what she told me:

What we do have is the fireworks wallpaper which is derived from the background on the Beefy Miracle site. Part of the reason why we don't have a default Beefy Miracle wallpaper is because there was some discussion that perhaps in some cultures beef is not appreciated and there was some back and forth about that.

Beefy Miracle is cute, but I don't think that everyone wanted his beady eyes staring at them all day.

The whole Beefy Miracle name has led to further discussion in the Fedora community about the future of naming for the Linux distribution. Fedora 18 is currently set to be called : Spherical Cow.  Bergeron told me that the discussions are ongoing and whether or not Fedora sticks with hits current naming policies remains to be determined.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Open Source WordPress Turns Nine as 3.4 Release Nears

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 29, 2012

wordpressFrom the 'Little Blog Software That Could' files:

The open source WordPress blogging platform turned Nine years old on Sunday (first WordPress release was May 27, 2003). It's hard to believe that it has been that long isn't it? (I've been a user for the last 8).

WordPress started out as a 'simple' blogging platform that valued the user interface and ease-of-use over fancy knobs and deep features.

The focus on usability and adherence to standards has been the hallmark of WordPress in every release since. It's a focus that has propelled WordPress to become one of the most widely used open source projects on the web today, powered over 10 percent of all websites.

WordPress as a platform has also evolved beyond just being a hobbyist blogging platform. Today it's a feature rich Content Management System used by companies big and small.

WordPress has always been and remains to this day, one of the easiest ways possible to publish content on the web. Sure there have been (and are) competitors, but where is Moveable Type today? Sure Blogger is around but it's still not an open source platform.

Open Source has fueled WordPress' adoption and success for nine years and hopefully will do so for many more years to come.

Looking forward, WordPress developers are working on version 3.4 which is currently at the first release candidate stage. As has been the case over the last nine years, this is an evolutionary release providing incremental feature improvements. Users will benefit from new custom header control and an improved theme customization and picking engine.

WordPress 3.4 will also be more stable than its previous release, with over 500 fixed bugs. That's also the key to WordPress' nine years of success, with a track record of eliminating bugs that makes this 'blogging' software best of breed and choice of millions around the world.

Skip Internet Explorer for Web Dev. Save $100,000

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 28, 2012

Microsoft Internet ExplorerFrom the 'Saving Money by Avoiding IE' files:

For years, web developers have had to build sites that work on Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. It's something that at one time, held us Linux users in a bind as sites big and small claimed to only work on IE.

The tides are turning my friends and IE-only sites are now a shunned splinter group. The strong showings for Firefox and Chrome (both of which are Linux friendly) means IE first isn't always the way things are done today.

Case in point - I read an interesting story today in Canada's National Post about a new startup that is avoiding developing for IE since it costs more money.

"To save more than $100,000, 4ormat decided to skip Internet Explorer, opting to only allow users to access its service through Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome browsers," the article states.

Even better is the fact that the company got few complaints -- meaning that IE support isn't a big deal anymore.

This is fantastic news for Linux users (who can't run IE) and good news overall that the hegemony of IE is now a thing of the past. Reality of course is that today, desktop users run multiple browsers and developers go mobile first (WebKit/iOS/Android) first in many instances.

It's also interesting to see how much more it costs to build an IE website. It's shocking that it could cost $100,000 more isn't it?


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Cisco Kills Cius

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 25, 2012

Cisco CiusFrom the 'Cisco Fail' files:

In June of 2010, Cisco announced their entry into the tablet market with the open source Android powered Cius. As is the case with all Cisco announcements, there were bold predictions about how it would change the market yadda, yadda yadda.

In June of 2011, Cisco finally opened up a bit more about Cius, with plans for an app store and full software support.

Now a year later, it's all over.

The Cius is dead.

"Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today," Cisco stated in a blog post. "However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases."

This is really not a surprise is it?

Cisco has no business selling 'personal' devices. They failed at the Flip camera which was also discontinued.

The Cius was however an interesting idea - a pure business tablet. But with Cisco's inability to keep pace with Google Android development and the dominance of iPads, the Cius never really had a chance.

I write about Cisco alot, and go to my fair share of conferences and I've never actually seen a Cius, ever. Cisco just didn't get this one right.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Apache Wookie Delivers Open Source Widgets

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 25, 2012

Apache Wookie

From the 'Let the Wookie Win' files:

As all geeks know, today is the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Wars (and it's also Towel Day too). What you may not have known is that today also marks the release of Apache Wookie 0.10.0.

Yes, Star Wars' cultural relevance extends deep, all the way into open source.

Apache Wookie is still a young project at the incubation phase, but it's an interesting one. The project is a Java Application Server, for widgets. The widgets can be W3C compliant and work with the OpenSocial effort (that is yes, still alive).

According to the Wookie project page:

"Administrators can upload Widgets packaged according to the W3C Widgets specification. Wookie makes these available to applications using a REST API. These widgets can then be hosted in a container application such as Drupal, Wordpress, Moodle, Elgg or any other web based system. Container applications may have a plugin that communicates with the Wookie server and enables users to pick widgets from a gallery. These are then added to user pages by the container application."

The new 0.10.0 release includes new API key management, support for JSON APIs and a new JQuery demo application that can be used to test widgets. Wookie now also has a feature extension to support OpenAjax Hub, which means you can have widgets communicating with other widgets with the use of the Apache Rave project.

Now what do widgets have to do with Wookies? Not much I suspect. Chewbacca however was a talented mechanic and without him the Falcon likely wouldn't have made the Kessel run as fast as it did...


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Oracle Java Claims Defeated by Google. What About Microsoft?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 24, 2012

Android LogoFrom the 'Bigger fish to Fry' files:

Oracle's patent claims against Google's use of Java in Android have been defeated in a California courtroom jury trial. It's a victory for Google. It's a victory for Android and it's a victory for the open source model.

But it's not the end of the fight.

For one, Oracle will appeal. The other issue, is that Oracle really isn't the only patent pariah out to get Android. There is still Microsoft.

Oracle's Samurai CEO Larry Ellison elected to go with the full frontal assault against Google in a fair courtroom fight. Google responded in kind to give us a real stand-up out front contest.

With Microsoft there is no such justice or fairness.

Microsoft has solicited every major Android vendor and claimed that there is alleged patent infringement in Android that violates Microsoft IP. Microsoft has never brought its claims to trial, there has never been a fair fight. Microsoft's route is far more insidious, taking money from Android without ever actually proving a claim.

Now that Oracle has been defeated once, Microsoft should be plenty worried. Then again, Microsoft doesn't settle in courtrooms.

Still, wouldn't it be great if Google could get Microsoft into a court of law to force them to prove their allegations? That would serve the Android (and open source) ecosystem well as the FUD that Microsoft continues to allege could finally be put to rest.

That's not likely to happen though. Oracle, for all of its stupidity in the Android trial, to its credit did see their case through, they followed through and didn't rely on FUD alone. Google correctly challenged them and that's why we have a result today.

When it comes to patents, personally I prefer the courtroom model if there needs to be a dispute. It's expensive, but it puts all the cards on the table and exposes the fallacy on inane arguments for public ridicule.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Facebook IPO could still be a good thing for Open Source

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 23, 2012

facebook logoFrom the 'Greed Doesn't Conquer All' files:

Facebook's IPO has been hammered in the mainstream press as a disaster because of NASDAQ troubles as well as a precipitous decline in the value of the stock. While that's kinda/sorta interesting, I'm an open source guy, so I'm interested in other stuff.

For one, whether Facebook is a $100 Billion company or just a $70 Billion company, they are a company built on open source software. Yes Facebook uses the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/ PHP) stack but they've done so much more and contributed a lot of it back to the community too.

Instead of just being a PHP user, Facebook created their own HipHop PHP runtime project. Facebook officially announced HipHop as a way to speed up PHP operations and efficiency. At the database tier, Facebook stores user data is in the MySQL open source database. In addition to MySQL, Facebook leverages a pair of NoSQL type databases as well including Cassandra</A> and HBase which is part of the Apache Hadoop project.

In order to help enable the data analysis, Facebook uses an open source technology called scribe. And the list goes on and on.

From a hardware perspective, Facebook helped to launch OpenCompute, which could end up revolutionizing the server hardware business. Already the group has come up with the OpenRack spec which could improve data center efficiencies.

Sure, it's easy to focus on the greed when it comes to Facebook, and there is no shortage of that to go around. But the IPO has likely made millionaires out of some very talented open source developers too.

Let's hope that the IPO shenanigans do not distract Facebook's Hacker Way, especially in terms of open source. Facebook can continue to be a positive force in the open source community, or they could tighten up and close up as quarterly financial targets get in the way. Considering that there current success in terms of user adoption is based on open source, I hope they remember their roots.



Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Apache OpenOffice. Windows Users Dominate Downloads

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 17, 2012

Apache OpenOfficeFrom the 'I told you so' files:

When Apache OpenOffice 3.4 was released last week -- the first OpenOffice release under Apache - I *guessed* that it was likely a better fit for Windows and Mac users than for Linux users.

As it turns out, after a week of availability, that's exactly the case.

The Apache OpenOffice project today announced that after a week of availability they have had over 1 million downloads. Not a bad number, except for the fact that:


87 percent of downloads were for Microsoft Windows and 11 percent for MacOS. Yes, I know, Linux users could potentially have downloaded OOo from a different repo as opposed to just getting it from Sourceforge. Still, the numbers are telling, OpenOffice is a great alternative for Windows and Mac users to the proprietarylock-in of Microsoft.

Linux users however, know better. They know that while OpenOffice is good software, LibreOffice is better. Time will tell if the Linux numbers improve for OpenOffice, but I strongly suspect they won't.



Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Apache Isn't Just About HTTP Anymore

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 16, 2012

From the 'Most Successful Open Source Foundation' files:

For many, the name Apache is synonymous with the most successful open source project of all time - the Apache HTTP Web Server. The Apache Web Server has dominated the web server landscape for the majority of the Internet Era, even as rivals (open source and otherwise) have attempted to make in-roads.

While the Web Server is primary to Apache, it's important to remember that it's only one project out of MANY. The Apache Software Foundation today issued a momentum release highlighted just how many project it has now and how large an impact it now has on a wide range of technologies.

There are no 104 Top Level Projects (TLPs) at Apache. That's a record number of actively developed projects for the foundation. For me, the big names are Tomcat which dominates the Java Application Server space and of course Hadoop, which is now the standard by which all other Big Data technologies are measured.

Looking beyond the 104 TLPs are 51 incubated projects (or Podlings) including big names like Wave (formerly Google Wave) and OpenOffice (formerly Oracle/Sun). The Apache Way provides a lifeline for those cast-off corporate effort to find new vibrancy and grow in a way that they would not be able too, anywhere else.

And let's not forget about the Apache HTTP Server, the one that I still think of as just 'Apache' after 17 years, it's still going strong. The Apache 2.4 release came out in February and it's just made of pure awesome.


The Apache Software Foundation is THE great open source success story. Yes Eclipse and the Linux Foundation are fine efforts as well, but the sheer volume and influence of the ASF is undeniable. From web serving, to apps serving to Big Data to office applications, the ASF is where open source development projects thrive.

"There's no stopping the interest in Apache-led projects --from the number of innovations in the Incubator, to best-in-breed solutions powering mission-critical applications, to the widespread popularity of the Apache License," ASF President Jim Jagielski said in a statement. "The Apache community at-large is driving this momentum by providing code, documentation, bug reports, design feedback, testing, evangelizing, mentoring, and more. There’s always a way to contribute!"

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Google Chrome 19 Syncs Your Life. Didn't Firefox Do that Last Year?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 15, 2012

Google Chrome 19

From the 'I miss Mozilla Weave' files:

For those of you keeping score in the open source browser numbering acceleration, Google is now out with Chrome 19. As always, lots of security fixes, but what Google chose to highlight in their announcement blog post is a feature many of us have enjoyed for some time now - tab syncing across machines.

"When you’re signed in to Chrome, your open tabs are synced across all your devices, so you can quickly access them from the 'Other devices' menu on the New Tab page," If you’ve got Chrome for Android Beta, you can open the same recipe tab right on your phone when you run out to the store for more ingredients."

Now if I'm not mistaken, we've had sync across Google Chrome for some time. In fact, I first wrote about Chrome sync in August of 2009, a staggering 16 Chrome browser releases ago...

Yes, I know, the magic bit here is the syncing with Chrome for Android which is new. Firefox has kinda/sorta done the same thing on Firefox for Android for over a year.

That's right. Mozilla is ahead of Google on syncing for Android.

Aside from that, I see nothing of note in Chrome 19 in terms of user-facing features. Of course there are also a slew of security fixes including:

  • [112983] Low CVE-2011-3083: Browser crash with video + FTP. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
  • [113496] Low CVE-2011-3084: Load links from internal pages in their own process. Credit to Brett Wilson of the Chromium development community.
  • [118374] Medium CVE-2011-3085: UI corruption with long autofilled values. Credit to “psaldorn”.
  • [$1000] [118642] High CVE-2011-3086: Use-after-free with style element. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
  • [118664] Low CVE-2011-3087: Incorrect window navigation. Credit to Charlie Reis of the Chromium development community.
  • [$500] [120648] Medium CVE-2011-3088: Out-of-bounds read in hairline drawing. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
  • [$1000] [120711] High CVE-2011-3089: Use-after-free in table handling. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [$500] [121223] Medium CVE-2011-3090: Race condition with workers. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
  • [121734] High CVE-2011-3091: Use-after-free with indexed DB. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).
  • [$1000] [122337] High CVE-2011-3092: Invalid write in v8 regex. Credit to Christian Holler.
  • [$500] [122585] Medium CVE-2011-3093: Out-of-bounds read in glyph handling. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [122586] Medium CVE-2011-3094: Out-of-bounds read in Tibetan handling. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [$1000] [123481] High CVE-2011-3095: Out-of-bounds write in OGG container. Credit to Hannu Heikkinen.
  • [Linux only] [123530] Low CVE-2011-3096: Use-after-free in GTK omnibox handling. Credit to Arthur Gerkis.
  • [123733] [124182] High CVE-2011-3097: Out-of-bounds write in sampled functions with PDF. Credit to Kostya Serebryany of Google and Evgeniy Stepanov of Google.
  • [Windows only] [124216] Low CVE-2011-3098: Bad search path for Windows Media Player plug-in. Credit to Haifei Li of Microsoft and MSVR (MSVR:159).
  • [124479] High CVE-2011-3099: Use-after-free in PDF with corrupt font encoding name. Credit to Mateusz Jurczyk of Google Security Team and Gynvael Coldwind of Google Security Team.
  • [124652] Medium CVE-2011-3100: Out-of-bounds read drawing dash paths. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).

If you look closely at the is list above you will see that vast majority of all these errors are memory related flaws. These are the same type that Google fixes every patch cycle. No they are not diminishing in number either, which leads me to speculate that there is a never ending fountain at the Googleplex that spews out memory flaws for researchers to pluck for cash rewards. Either that, or Chrome's underlying memory management is just insecure by architecture.


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Is Mozilla Punting on Web Apps for Linux?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 14, 2012

firefoxFrom the 'Mozilla Isn't a Linux Vendor' files:

While Mozilla is a leading light in the open source community, every so often I'm reminded that the same isn't always true in the Linux community.

There has been an ongoing thread over the course of the last week about Mozilla's lack of initial support for the Web Apps Marketplace on Linux.

That's right folks, the same group that is now (rightly) attacking Microsoft over the initial lack of access for browsers on Windows RT, isn't initially supporting Linux for Web Apps.

Mozillians have tried to defend, Mozilla lack of initial support for Linux.

"Linux support for apps is a nice to have because most of our users are not running Linux," Mozilla staffer Dan Mills wrote. "I think we're supportive and absolutely willing to accept patches to make something work on Linux, but it's just not something that affects the 80% (I don't think it's even 10%, though I don't have any data handy). By definition, this is a nice to have, not a stop-ship feature. Remember that we are making software for a lot of people, and staff and community are actually a tiny slice of the userbase. I know it's hard, but we need to focus on the userbase at large, not on us."

Thankfully, I'm not the only one that finds that view somewhat -- distasteful. Mozilla community member Ruben Martin wrote: 

Linux is not another platform, it's the platform which shares our values about being open and the reason most people gets involved with mozilla, because they believe in libre software and in the open web. Not supporting linux is not supporting a big group of people that empowers mozilla, and not supporting them/us is not supporting mozilla.

The discussion led to an equally disturbing comment from Mozilla's Asa Dotzler who seemed to imply it's a resource issue that Mozilla (with its millions of Google dollars) doesn't have the people to allocate for Linux development. Dotzler wrote:

What we need most, I suspect, is available Linux coders, people who know Gnome, Unity, GTK, etc. to do the platform integration work. I don't know who those people are. Looking around the sub-set of community members employed by Mozilla who could help on this, I don't see any available resources or even any resources I would move from their current work to this work.

Thankfully, Mozilla is not made up of people that share the same world view of Linux as Dotzler. Mozilla CTO, Brendan Eich knows how important Linux is to Mozilla's wider efforts and in my view he has been the voice of reason on the subject of Linux support. Eich wrote:


Indeed the whole apps, marketplace and web runtime plan is too large to do at one step, or even with platform parity at the first step. That does not mean we give up our cross-platform commitments.

We support
Linux as you say, because of our cross-platform principles first, and because of lead users in the Linux community and among our top Gecko hackers. There's a nexus: B2G is based on Linux and Gecko, but of course without any Linux desktop (and without X-Windows. This is a good thing!).

So what does this all mean?

It means that Linux is not the number one priority for Mozilla (today) and it's likely a third class citizen behind Windows and Mac. That said, I know full well that Red Hat (and likely other Linux distros too) have some dedicated resources that are focused on Firefox as it is the primary browser in use by default on Linux today. I just wish that Mozilla, instead of focusing on the world as it is, also took aim at helping to advance Linux for the open desktop world that we want. Perhaps with B2G, that will happen...


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Juniper Qfabric. Does Proprietary Matter? #interop

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 11, 2012

From the 'When Proprietary Doesn't Matter' files:

I'm a big believer in open source and open standards, which is why Juniper's QFabric is something that I have struggled with. QFabric is Juniper's proprietary fabric for data centers, one that kinda/sorta compete against Shortest Path Bridging and TRILL.

The fear with anything proprietary is always the lack of choice and vendor lock-in.  It's a fear that I heard in at Interop this year in a multi-vendor panel about alternatives to Spanning Tree in a loud and clear way.

That's why my discussion with (former IDC analyst) Juniper's Abner Germanow was such an eye opener for me. Sure QFabric is proprietary but it doesn't necessary inhibit or preclude openness on top.

VIDEO: Dan Pitt Exec Chair, Open Networking Foundation #Interop

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 10, 2012

At Interop 2012, there was one theme that dominated all others - Software Defined Networking (SDN). At the center of the SDN revolution is OpenFlow and the center of that is the Open Networking Foundation. I got the chance to catch up with Dan Pitt, Exec Chair of the ONF at Interop, where there was a high-activity OpenFlow lab.


#Interop Goes YoYo

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 09, 2012

f5 claw InteropFrom the 'Yo Yo Network' files:

There is never a shortage of interesting things that show up on the show floor of a conference, Interop 2012 is no exception.
While there is no boxing ring with fighters this year (thnx Xirrus!), there were some interesting 'shenanigans' that vendors had to try and entice people.

F5 had THE CLAW as a way to grab your schwag, which was kinda neat. There are always the magician types, the hot cars and motorcycles. This year, vendor ExtraHop has the U.S. YoYo champion.

And yes, for the record it did get me stop at the ExtraHop booth.

Lucky for you dear reader, I also recorded it so you too can enjoy the intersection of the YoYo and enterprise IT.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4 Arrives. Does Anyone Care?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 08, 2012

Apache OpenOfficeFrom the 'Too Little, Too Late' files:

The first release of the 'new' Apache OpenOffice project is out today.

Forgive me for my lack of excitement.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is however a milestone as it does mark the successful transition of OpenOffice to Apache. It's a process that began in June of last year. I wasn't particularly fond of that move at that time either (yes I'm consistent in this opinion).

Oracle and/or Sun no longer run OOo, it is (in theory) a fully open source project run under the standard rule of Apache governance. This means there is proper governance and oversight and a commitment  to the Apache Way of developer meritocracy. It's important to note that Apache is still an incubated project at Apache and isn't yet a full project.

 "The release of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 shows just how successful the project has been: pulling in developers from over 21 corporate affiliations, while avoiding undue influence which is the death-knell of true open source communities; building a solid and stable codebase, with significant improvement and enhancements over other variants; and, of course, creating a healthy, vibrant and diverse user and developer community," Jim Jagielski, ASF President and an Apache OpenOffice project mentor said.

While I'm a huge fan of the ASF and Jagielski in particular, the divergence between LibreOffice and OOo at this point is very clear. Others (read Michael Meeks) have done a far better job than I ever could at actually comparing the codebases. From my own personal user perspective Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is a step up from its' legacy Oracle/Sun releases, but as a Linux user it's not a choice for me anymore. LibreOffice is simply faster and is directly tied to all of the leading Linux distros, something that OOo can no longer claim.

That said, for Windows and Mac users and those that don't yet know about LibreOffice and have only ever heard the name OpenOffice - as well as for IBM's Symphony users - Apache OpenOffice 3.4 (download link here) is a worthy alternative to proprietary office suites.



Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Forrester Analyst: Big Data isn't about Size #Interop

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 07, 2012

Big Data Interop - Forrester Analyst Vanessa AlvarezFrom the 'Size Matters Not' files:

LAS VEGAS. Among the most hyped terms in IT today is Big Data. While there are those that might debate how large a data set need to be before it is Big Data, Forrester Analyst, Vanessa Alvarez is not among them.

At the Interop conference today, Alvarez took the stage in a session about Big Data and pronounced that the reality of Big Data is that the size of the data doesn't matter. Big Data in her definition is mostly unstructured with data streaming in from disparate sources.

"Big data means big value," Alvarez said.

Going a step further, while IT people and technology journalists (guilty!) might harp on definitions of what Big Data is, when it comes to line of business people, it doesn't matter.

"I ask CIO's what  big data means to them and none can tell me," Alvarez said. "For them any data that can add to their top line is valuable data. I don't feel like a line of business person needs to know what Big Data is.  All they need to know is what value they can extract from the data."

Alvarez of course has a very valid point. In IT, we frequently agonize over definition and technology implementation. For the business, that doesn't really matter. What matters is the bottom line and how IT can be an enabler instead of a bottleneck.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

OpenOffice Moving to Sourceforge

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 04, 2012

Apache OpenOfficeFrom the 'Does Sourceforge Matter Anymore?' files:

There was a time when I would go to Sourceforge first to find any open source project. That hasn't been the case in years for me, as first Google Code and more recently GitHub have become the primary places for me (and many others) to find and host open source projects.

That's why I was a little surprised to see that Apache OpenOffice is going to Sourceforge.

OpenOffice (OOo) is Oracle's castoff project, backed strongly by IBM. The bulk of community and ALL major Linux distros have moved on to LibreOffice.

To be accurate Sourceforge is hosting the serving downloads for the Extensions and the Templates sites, as well as the upcoming Apache OpenOffice 3.4 Release. This is a change from the Sun/Oracle based hosting, so it's good to see another part of the open source community stepping up to keep this effort around.

Even though I personally no longer use OOo, choice is always a good thing. It's also good to see Sourceforge trying to re-assert its relevance in the age of Github's popularity. The forge/dev space is one thing, but Sourceforge was originally a great repository for open source software and perhaps it will be that again.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Fedora 18 Linux will be a Spherical Cow

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 01, 2012

fedora 17 Beefy MiracleFrom the 'Open Source Bovine Addiction' files:

How do you follow-up a name like Beefy Miracle? (the name of the upcoming Fedora 17 Linux release).

With another Cow of course.

The Fedora community has voted on the name for Fedora 18 and the winner is:

Spherical Cow

My personal favorite was Tandoori Chicken which actually placed fifth in the voting. The final official vote tally was:

Votes :: Name

1359 :: Spherical Cow
1087 :: Halva
1072 :: Chamoy
1035 :: Pamukkale
964 :: Tandoori Chicken
930 :: Frankfurter
821 :: Pop Soda
536 :: Ketchy Ketchup
If i'm not mistaken, this will be the first time that Fedora has had an animal release name. Time will tell however, if the Fedora naming process will now change and we will have a numbered only Fedora 19 release.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Linux Rings the Bell in New York

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 01, 2012

Linux Foundation OpenMAMA NYSEFrom the 'Solaris and Windows? at NYSE? Ha!' files:

In New York's Financial District, Linux is your MAMA. The Linux Foundation (that's Greg Kroah-Hartman in the center and to his right is Jim Zemlin) rang the closing bell at the NYSE yesterday.

The Linux Foundation is in NYC for their End User conference, which also served as a backdrop for an OpenMAMA announcement.

OpenMAMA (Middleware Agnostic Messaging API ) is an effort to standardize and simplify the MAMA APIs that have been in use since at least 2002. The project was first announced in October of last year, and has now 'grown up' according to the Linux Foundation.

The new 2.1 version of OpenMAMA now has broad financial industry support and add new features. One of those new features, is the cornerstone of trillions of dollars of transactions that NYSE powers.

The Middleware Agnostic Market Data API (MAMDA) is a framework that has support for trades and quotes and is set to be the reference implementation for the entire NYSE data model.

NYSE also has its own Open Data Model Project, which is now being integrated with OpenMAMA to provide a complete open platform for market data.

While the NYSE itself is a Linux shop (specifically Red Hat Enterprise Linux), there are traders that run on Windows too, so OpenMAMA is now reaching out to them as well with support for application deployment on both Linux and Windows.

 "The OpenMAMA project represents what all Linux Foundation Labs projects represent: collaboration at its best," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation in a statement. "OpenMAMA and open source software are accelerating for the messaging layer of the stack what Linux is doing for the OS-level of the software stack: driving innovation to support the largest number of complex transactions in real-time."

So, to recap, not only is NYSE using Linux as its base operating system, but it has now widely embraced the Linux Foundation (and open source) approach to collaborative development. Financial service firms are interested in primarily one thing -- money, but what OpenMAMA proves is that money, open source and Linux can all be part of a profitable equation.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.