Friday, June 13, 2008

New Blog, New Beginning

I have switched location of my blog to

As Carlos Castaneda said, “Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

Following the acquisition of, an increasingly larger community of Black Duck customers and our expanding presence in the open source software development community, we have decided to make my blog a communications hub by (1) establishing it as a separate website, (2) adding more analytics for us, and (3) connecting it to social media sites which have user-generated news links such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. These changes are more than superficial. It turns out that all my efforts to increase traffic actually helped BlogSpot more than it helped bring readers to my Blog.

In addition, I have changed the name of the blog to “Open Source Adoption” to reflect the change in the focus of my blog to more of a focus on open source software, software development, and business related concerns.

These changes are designed to help bring together Black Duck’s and’s communities.

It is important to note, however, that I will maintain the personal writing style, stories and insights into culture and life. For example, I hope to update my blog posting on tomatoes this year. This blog will therefore not be strictly about business.

Gentle reader: Let me make the following recommendations:

  • Please update your bookmarks. This blog’s new URL is
  • Please update RSS feeds. The links have changed, so you have to update your RSS feeds.
  • If you don’t like RSS feeds, subscribe by email. We have added this email subscription feature based on reader requests.
  • Please use Digg,, Reddit and StumbleUpon user-generated news and blog links. You may need to create an account on these services, but it’s well worth it.

I'll see everyone on the other side.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Software development gets agile

Agile software development is a conceptual framework for software development that promotes development iterations, open collaboration, and adaptability throughout the lifecycle of the project.

There are many agile development methods; most minimize risk by developing software in short amounts of time. Software developed during one unit of time is referred to as an iteration, which typically lasts from two to four weeks. Each iteration passes through a full software development cycle: planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, and testing.

Agile software documentation is no different than software design and coding. It too is produced as required by stakeholders. An iteration may not add enough functionality to warrant releasing the product to market but the goal is to have an available release (without bugs) at the end of each iteration. With the conclusion of each iteration, stakeholders re-evaluate project priorities with a view to optimizing their return on investment.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that agile software development is on the rise. There are documented case studies of BMC, Lockheed, Litle, and others that demonstrate their adoption of agile development and the resulting expansion. It also turns out that companies using open source software tend to use an agile development methodology.

We believe that one of the “demand drivers” of Black Duck products is agile development. Agile is not a requirement for Black Duck adoption, but if a company is doing software releases in short iterations, they have strong incentives to accelerate development through reuse – from either source code management systems, open source code repositories, third parties, or various combinations of all three – and they will look to automate their development processes.

See, recycling is never a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GPL and Related License Adoption Rates

Black Duck led the industry by introducing an accurate depiction of GPLv3, LGPLv3 project adoption and usage in graphical and tabular formats.

For those of you who may not have noticed Black Duck has expanded our Open Source License Resource Center by introducing AGPLv3 adoption and usage. Once again, the numbers displayed are accumulated month-to-month. The data is updated daily and the current month's statistics are to date only.

Tracking AGPL is important because it represents a separate platform for Web and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. It is relatively new, approximately half the age of the GPLv3, but if broadly adopted will expand the reach of FOSS licensing to many places it has not impacted before: Web and SaaS applications, portals, e-commerce and search sites, and others.

It’s worth watching.

What do you think about AGPL as an OSS license?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Black Duck Named to SD Times 100

Black Duck Software has been named to the 2008 SD Times 100 and we are honored to be included on this prestigious list and to be recognized as a company meeting the ever- expanding and ever-evolving needs of developers worldwide. The list recognizes the leaders, innovators and influencers in software development. Black Duck was honored in the Tools category, which acknowledges companies that help developers “churn out functional and usable code.”

In short, at Black Duck we help developers, attorneys and company management work together – especially on a geographically distributed basis -- to find, select and use open source and third party components. This results in greater efficiencies.

Alan Zeichick, Editorial Director of BZ Media's SD Times, said "The software development industry is led by innovation. When choosing the 2008 SD Times 100, we carefully considered each organization’s products and services, reputation with development managers, and the new ideas and thought leadership that it has brought to the industry. Thanks to the SD Times 100 winners, like Black Duck, the art and science of software development continues to advance at a rapid pace."

SD Times is written for software development managers, has more than 60,000 subscribers in more than 131 countries.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Black Duck in the SDTimes 100

SD Times bestowed another distinction on Black Duck naming us one of 100 “companies, tools and open-source projects that made December 2007 a far more productive and efficient time to code than January 2007”.

Team Black Duck: Nicely done!

Corporate Application Development in NA & Europe

Summary from Forrester Research survey of 526 North American and 270 European companies (multiple responses accepted)

“For custom-developed applications, which development platforms do you use?”

N.A. % Europe %
Microsoft .NET 68% 52%
Mainframe or midrange platforms 45% 34%
Proprietary 4GLs 27% 19%
Java, Java EE, J2EE 48% 47%
Rich interface in a browser 38% 36%
Open Source frameworks 15% 16%

Source: Forrester Research, Enterprise And SMB Software Survey, North America And Europe, Q3 2007

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Microsoft's mesh-ianic complex

Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Both Nietzsche and Kanye West famously used these words.

That was the message that came across loud and clear during Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie's talk on Wednesday at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. Ozzie argued that competition from Google and free and open source software (FOSS) have forced Redmond to innovate instead of resting on their Windows/Office laurels. A cynic might reply that Microsoft has little choice in the matter if it wants to stay in business.

But what I found most interesting about Ozzie's talk was what he said about the future of computing. In a word: mesh. As May Jo Foley blogged at, Ozzie continued to talk up distributed, mesh-like operating systems, possibly beyond Windows. To make that happen, Ozzie stressed the need for software development kits (SDKs) that can be used across many different devices. Just coincidentally, Microsoft is moving in this direction with its much-discussed Live Mesh and accompanying Live Mesh SDK.

Software developers are taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding Live Mesh, but remain hopeful in part because of the success of Visual Studio. As one of them wryly commented to BBC News technology reporter Maggie Shiels, “The proof is in the pudding but at the moment it's all demo-ware and advertising.”

Microsoft has a huge opportunity to earn some serious street-level support in the years to come by meshing well with the likes of Apple, Google and YouTube. An open mesh sandbox – supporting open standards and FOSS – will go a long way to deliver the hearts and minds of developers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Open source software on Windows? You bet.

A few weeks ago I blogged about Microsoft's new if-you-can't beat-them-join-them attitude towards open source software. But have you noticed how much open source software already runs on Windows?

Sure, everyone knows about Firefox, now used on nearly one-fifth of all corporate (mainly Windows) desktops, but there's so much more on offer than just Firefox these days. Surf over to Open Source Windows, and you'll see what I mean. Here are a few categories you'll find: Instant Messaging, Email, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Sound Recording, FTP, IRC, Security, and even Accounting. It's a whole new world out there for Windows desktop users – and I haven't even mentioned open source SaaS.

IP is no laughing matter ... or is it? is a humorous outpost on the Web that catalogs the latest and greatest of the oddball patents that get awarded in the U.S. each month. Reading about these actual patents is great -- the Weed Cutting Golf Club and Pet Operated Ball Thrower are two of my recent favorites. is a little like The Onion, but for real.

And that brings me to my main point: developing software as a corporate asset and intellectual property is serious business. At Black Duck, we've built our entire company around empowering organizations that engage in component-based software development – that is, almost every company that builds software – to successfully navigate the IP waters by managing licensing issues for all the open source code they find and reuse.

Without the threat of lawsuits hanging over their heads, these companies can focus on what's really important – planning the next corporate weed golf.

Have a great holiday weekend even if you don't play golf.