FLOSS Weekly: Zalando

Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 412 this week, interviewing leaders from European fashion retailer Zalando and asking questions about their many open source projects on Github and their use of Agile and Inner Source methodologies.

Microsoft & Linux & Patents & Tweets

Fact-checking some tweets about Linux Foundation’s newest member and their harvesting of other members’ money.

unicorn

Microsoft recently joined the Linux Foundation while still asserting its patents against the rest of the membership. As I found that odd, I tweeted some casually-calculated statistics  about Microsoft’s patent revenues that seemed to me to simply be the aggregation of common knowledge. But maybe people have forgotten the details; at least two respondents asked me to substantiate the figures. Having struck a nerve, this post is by way of explanation. Continue reading

The SEOscerers Apprentice

SEO can quickly get out of control if it involves gaming open source communities. Don’t risk your site becoming a jailbird.

jailbird

Have you ever considered hiring an “SEO expert” to “improve your Google rankings”? I don’t mean the type that advises you how to ensure all the express and implied metadata on your web site is correct. That seems a reasonable thing to do, and it shouldn’t take a magician to help you get it right, and can almost be automated. Continue reading

Wix and WordPress Explainer

When you breach the terms of the GPL, the best plan is to put things right straight away, not misdirect away from the problem and condescend to the authors.

gpl-sign

Many were surprised when one of the pioneers of the open web accused a competitor of theft1. Matt Mullenweg complained on October 28 that the new mobile app Wix has released uses a big chunk of code from WordPress, namely the WordPress Mobile Editor Component. Matt is the original creator of WordPress and now CEO of the company successfully monetising it, Automattic, Inc.

Continue reading

How Can Open Source Become User-Centric?

Including design and UX in a true community project is a challenging matter of balance because of the motivational model behind open source projects.

Mexican Hat rock

According to The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the key motivation for participants in open source projects is “scratching their own itch.” One consequence of this is co-ordination of contributions to support user-centric design is inherently an optional extra in a true open source project with multiple independent participants.  We all wish there was a way to get genuine user experience quality as a key dynamic of open source projects. But there are two big reasons that is challenging. Continue reading

Large-Scale Governance – 10 Apache Lessons

Starting a large-scale open source project? The Apache Software Foundation is the benchmark against which you will be measured.

Santa Cruz surfer

We’re now well beyond the point where open source has “won”. We’re seeing the open source idea starting to mature beyond even adolescence into adulthood. As it does so, our understanding and expectations of open source communities need to expand. Continue reading

Six Pathologies of Organisational Maturity

Maturing, successful organisations have recurrent, emergent patterns of failure that can sometimes be predicted and perhaps avoided.

Tree trunk absorbs spear tips of the fence next to it

Everything has a season, and as organisations age – communities, charities, companies, churches and more – they face similar diseases of time. These are emergent patterns of failure that arise not from mistakes but from the consequences of earlier success. In open source, we are seeing the same patterns emerge; this should not be a surprise. Continue reading