Sunday, May 19, 2013

WhyTo: Boston (apache) Barcamp 2013 Enterprise Open Source

So far there is nothing on the Barcamp Boston site apart from ("spring 2013") If +Gregg Bedard hadn't dug around, I might have missed that the related (?) Apache Barcamp event today (2013-05-19).

Apache Barcamp this year had fewer people than past year's plain Barcamps. (30 vs 300) and less diversity (no rubber stamp art, just java, java and java) Still it was worth a 7:00am train to sit around with 30 developers who are not like me.

The big, practical work related, take away for me was that a goal for the Apache 2.5 httpd server is to be as fast and resource friendly as Ngnix . --I've been looking at Nginx as a way to shoehorn my group's MVHub application into the no dollar cost Amazon virtual machine. Maybe if I focus on other projects the resource thing will fix itself.

The big emotional take away was that the Open Office part of the Libre /Open Office fork wasn't as politically compromised as I'd thought. For example, the Libre people can use the Open Office code because the Apache License is not very restrictive. However the Open Office people can't use the Libre office code. Oracle no longer controls Open Office.

I think I am supposed to take away "the apache way", an official, required talk at all apache events. Trivializing the Zen thing, the apache way is to favor community over code, (because without community you have no code) and pragmatism over ideology. Most Apache Foundation projects are powered by Volunteers paid by their corporate day jobs to work on Apache stuff. For example Apache Board Member Ross Gardler works for Microsoft.

The crowd was solidly Enterprise/Corporate ( Mitre, IBM )"open source" (make money with open software) rather than "free software" ( un-break the world) and solidly Java. (me, 2 sys admins, a .Net guy & 26 Java developers) There was a guy from Carbonite, (backup software). They pay Microsoft 1.5 million dollars per year to use MS software on the 1,000 servers they use to support 2 million people's backups. They are thinking of open source to save money.

There was a **tiny** little bit of stupid Java snobbery. For example Hippo talked about their Java based open source product. A few people in the group down-talked PHP / Drupal & Aquia  Acquia has about 300 employees and many more customers than Hippo. Just a little snobbery though, I've seen a lot worse at most Perl meetings.

The not good/bad, just different take away was that there is another world of coders that I had not visited before. These guys work in small groups, for large corporations (IBM, MITRE, SugarCRM , Google ) on projects that effect hundreds of thousands of or millions of users. For example see: Open Social Rave and Shindig

If I understand correctly, OpenSocial was created by Google around 2006 partly to make Orkut work better and partly to go after Facebook. Right now Google isn't publicly involved with OpenSocial.

Shindig lets you make social widgets (Profiles, relationships, shared applications). It is the reference implementation of OpenSocial. Google is apparently using a private fork of Shindig in most of their products.

Rave lets you combine Shindig and other widgets.

The goal is corporate social (IBM 400,000 employees) and mashups. So you can check your email or tweets in the ticket system or handle tickets in your email without switching applications. Or (presumably) you can deal with your calendar in Gmail For flesh or fictional corporate people, answering a specific tag in Facebook inside another Application focused on your paid workflow might be a win.

Assuming I understood it all.