John Mark Walker

See the following -

'Open Source' Is Not 'Free Software'

In the open source universe, using terms such as FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) is common and represents a casual conflation of the terms open source and free software, which are often used interchangeably. I would be remiss if I didn't also admit that I have been guilty of same. I won't be doing that anymore—or at least I'll try not to—for a simple reason: Using the terms interchangeably is dangerous to the goals of free software and open media advocates (read "anti-DRM"). To continue this practice is to undermine beliefs that are fundamental to free software and associated movement...

4 Big Ways Companies Benefit from Having Open Source Program Offices

In the first article in my series on open source program offices, I took a deep dive into what an open source program office is and why your company might need one. Next I looked at how Google created a new kind of open source program office. In this article, I'll explain a few benefits of having an open source program office. At first glance, one big reason why a company not in the business of software development might more enthusiastically embrace an open source program office is because they have less to lose. After all, they're not gambling with software products that are directly tied to revenue...

Challenges to Expect When Open Sourcing your SaaS Business

In my previous article, I walked through scenarios to help you determine whether to open source your SaaS solution, and discussed the cost-benefit analysis that goes along with this decision. From an open source point of view, there's no point in just chucking code over the wall, slapping on an open source license, and calling it a day. You want to create an inviting community where people want to collaborate and spend time-even socialize!-with you. Chucking code over the wall accomplishes nothing, besides giving others insight into how you do things. Although that may be interesting and beneficial for them, you don't get much benefit unless you create the pathways of collaboration and communication that unlock a thriving community. Thus, you have an inherent interest in doing this The Right Way™.

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Dell EMC to Join Open Source OpenSDS Project to Advance Storage Interoperability, Contribute Code

Press Release | The Linux Foundation | December 19, 2016

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today welcomed Dell EMC to the OpenSDS Project. The OpenSDS community is forming to address software-defined storage integration challenges with the goal of driving enterprise adoption of open standards. As part of its support for the open source project, Dell EMC is also contributing its first project to OpenSDS, the CoprHD SouthBound SDK (SB SDK), to help promote storage interoperability and compatibility...

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How to Decide Whether to Open Source Your SaaS Solution

Should a SaaS provider open source its primary platform, and if so, what is the best way to do it? The decision to open source code requires a fair bit of planning if you want to do it right, especially when it comes to user support and documentation. In the case of SaaS, the required planning is different, although it shares some factors with any open source effort. In my series, How to Make Money from Open Source Platforms, I focused on software that exists solely to be deployed on a computer, whether on a local machine, in a data center, or in a cloud platform (yes, I know the last two are redundant).

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It's the Ecosystem, Stupid

I've been writing for a while on topics related to product and supply chain management in the context of open source communities, and I've noticed a few consistent themes in my articles and blog posts. Most notable is the call for companies to move from the "not invented here" syndrome to a more externally focused view. After all, if so much innovation is taking place in open source projects, why not take advantage of it to the fullest extent possible? You can see this theme manifested in the following ways:

Krampus Adopts One Free Software Tool for Each Month in 2017

Curious how Krampus is doing this year? Well, as the recently hired manager of Krampus's open source programs office, I'm excited to tell you that we have an ambitious plan to adopt one free software tool during each month of the coming year. Our story might be useful for other non-software-focused businesses (Krampus, Inc. doesn't currently produce any software) who are also are curious about open source alternatives and want to follow a similar path. To get you in the spirit, I've included all the links that made us feel like 12 months of free and open source software adoption is possible...

Learn the Secrets of Building a Business with Open Source

Today, if you’re building a new product or service, open source software is likely playing a role. But many entrepreneurs and product managers still struggle with how to build a successful business purely on open source. The big secret of a successful open source business is that “it’s about way more than the code,” says John Mark Walker, a well-known voice in the open source world with extensive expertise in open source product, community, and ecosystem creation at Red Hat and Dell EMC.  “In order to build a certified, predictable, manageable product that ‘just works,’ it requires a lot more effort than just writing good code.”...

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Open Source and the Software Supply Chain

Grasping the nuances of hardware supply chains and their management is straightforward—you essentially are tracking moving boxes. Managing something as esoteric as resources for building software with a variety of contributions made by the open source community is more amorphic. When thinking about open source platforms and supply chains, I thought of the supply chain as a single process, taking existing open source components and producing a single result, namely a product. Since then, I’ve begun to realize that supply chain management defines much of the open source ecosystems today. That is, those who know how to manage and influence the supply chain have a competitive advantage over those who don’t do it as well, or even grasp what it is...