Executive Briefing : Welcome

Welcome and Opening Remarks: Open Source 2.0
Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.  
Tim opens with a quick recursor of how he got to Web2.0 which leads to

Five Big Ideas About Open Source

  • Architecture of participation
  • Open source licenses are obsolete
  • Asymmetric competition
  • Operations as a competitive advantage
  • Open data – open data wars (zoomr tried to import all flickr) http://www.movemydata.org

These become a recurrent theme of Tims through the rest of the conference I found out.

Web2.0 in a nutshell :

“when the best leader leads, the people say “we did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu

Web2.0 = systems that harness network effects that harness the power of user creativity
Through an architecture that is open – (the slides are flying by but it’s the same principles as before)

Quick recap of del.icio.us – simply changing where people kept their bookmarks (an architectural choice) made the social aspects possible and new value created

Web2.0 apps provide challenges to traditional thinking

Software above the level of a single device means there are new rules and new thinking is required

How do we reinvent “open source” for a world in which

  • Software is performed rather than distributed

New face of open source:

  • mashups and web services – quick stats on mashup & api use – Google maps rule of course (from programmeableweb.com)
  • Frameworks – Ruby , 37 signals made proprietary app basecamp and then extracted it through API
  • Clonable web apps – like Ning

Proprietary applications with an open api

Proprietary applications can become open source

– in the future being on someone’s platform will mean being hosted on their infrastructure
News From the Future – Tim tries to predict the future constantly

We don’t know yet

  • What the platform will look like
  • What the new business opp
  • What the sources of lock in and comp advantage will be
  • What it means for a web service to be open
  • What it means for data to be truly free

We move to:

The Ghost in the Machine: The Impact of Open Source on Web 2.0
Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Jim Buckmaster, President, CEO, and Programmer, craigslist
Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager, Google, Inc.
Jeremy D. Zawodny, Technical Yahoo, Yahoo! Inc. Google only has 12 servers for open source, very little Apache use but they get more out of their custom web servers

Google reckons Y! uses more open source then they do – Y! runs a lot of FreeBSD and other open source code – python again for example

Tim asks “you all use OS software and change it but what do you do to give back”

Y! we give bug fixes back but mostly they hire people to help progress projects (like FreeBSD), they have creator of PHP there (rasmus)

Craigslist – biggest thing they do is keep the service free and ad-free

Y! things are changing now with AJAX as there is a lot of code coming down to the client, so they have started bundling up libraries and releasing OS for people to use – in the old days it would have been proprietary

Tim “where do you put your contributions – sourceforge?” Y! not really, on Y! same with Google with their labs

<seem to be struggling to get the conversation going, or even to make it interesting past simple what they are doing, nothing about plans etc>

Why not OS all of craigslist? – its too specific, not well documented, too embarrassing to show off – the last 1% to get to perfection takes too long

Some stuff HAS to remain prop – like Pagerank , I.e. the secret sauce but it may not be a problem as a major competitor wouldn’t rip out what they had and replace it with something else, plus it is probably too hard to support if they release it (as in its ok to have crappy code in-house)

Tim “when the architecture of systems change, new web architecture is vastly dif from what we grew up with on OS”

Y! despite all the architecture stuff etc, the lawyers still have to sort out the “whose it who did it etc”

JavaScript is helping due to view source nature as it spreads

Tim quips about needing OS ppt (there’s sites that sort of do that now)

Tim “why couldn’t Google or Y! run with only 22 people”

Craigslist – they have a lot of people that deal with sales and marketing etc – i.e. too much bloat – they get chased out of colo due to too much traffic 150K page views per KwH, another big headache is using open office and it not being 100% word compatible

Google – data and protocols are not open enough and as data is manipulated and mashups the GPL licence starts to get into problems

Y! – going round a large org trying to convince internally is a problem as it is hard to clearly quantify the benefit and you need to keep shareholders happy, what would have been the cost of building Y! with no OS software?

Tim “what constitutes an Open API?”

Google – if you (audience) can’t run the code on your own server it isn’t open and is bad for protocols

Y! – support becomes an issue, when you used to download and run software it was ok when a new release came out as you could keep going with the old version, with the programmable web you can’t so easily as it affects everyone

Q&A from audience – “what are you doing for the community?”

Huslage “what do you derive from others using your API s you get no money” “have some of your API become defacto and they front end services”

Google – sometimes they don’t and don’t worry about it, the more actual answer is that they want you to like them and have a positive impression of them. They do worry about disintermediation however and they aren’t interested in people using the API and stripping away the brand from it, then they get nothing at all”

Tim “how do the rules change when someone gets platform dominance”

Google – hasn’t happened yet

SixApart “when will see a Y! app that’s OS rather than an API”

Y! to have an open app wouldn’t make a lot of sense as you’d have to have either all open or none, too many systems involved in Y! secret sauce for it all to be open. For example they could give you the data that is returned from a call but not how it is done, they do try and spread knowledge by exposing what they’ve tried etc

Craigslist – all three are in an Arms race with Spammers who are too clever and Jerks..

Times up for the morning session, I found it a little strained at times and not quite what I expected from an ‘executive’ briefing, perhaps the afternoon session will be more fulfilling?


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