Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Business around AGPL software? Oh yeah.....

I've heard many times to executives say that AGPL is a license incompatible with business. This is a well spread idea specially in the web world.

A few years ago a friend of mine, a visionary, Gonzalo Aller, from Fotón SI, the oldest Spanish Free Software company,  told me that AGPL is the GPL of the web world. He tried to convince me to put that license in a web project I was involved with. I thought he was crazy, like many times before (and later). I was one of the ignorants who used to see AGPL as business unfriendly.

Like many times before, little by little, I changed my mind and I got convinced, once again, that license define conditions but never determine business. Business is more related to having good ideas, taking smart decisions, execute them correctly and put your hart on it, and not so much about license.

This statement is backed up by many examples. The following projects:
  • CiviCRM
  • Zarafa
  • Gitorious
  • Launchpad
  • ProcessMaker
and many more are AGPL based Libre Software projects run by companies that build services around the product, successfully.

We have a new example, announced just today. OwnCloud Inc is born to support OwnCloud, a KDE project based on AGPL. Good luck and happy business!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Libre Software Communities and Universities: talk at La Laguna University

On September 19th I planned to give a talk in La Laguna College, Tenerife, Canary Islands. The idea was to promote involvement in Free Software Community projects, like KDE, among students and teachers.

Due to a problem on my trip to Tenerife from La Palma (my mom's car decided to stay in La Palma instead of taking the ship to Tenerife with me) I had to cancel the talk the day before.

Since I visiting my family for Christmas in the Canary Islands, I will be able to give the talk next Monday, December 19th, at 18:00 hours (local time), at the ETSIIT of La Laguna College. Once again, the Libre Software Office of La Laguna College organices it.

You can check the slides of this talk, which I also did in Malaga's college a few weeks ago.

Link to the official announcement done by the ULL Free Software Office.

Remember that this college have about one thousand KDE desktops deployed in their computer labs for students. Their maintenance is done by the Free Software Office (ULL's OSL).

OpePyME (OpenSME) is the most relevant Free Software applications catalog for companies published in Spanish. It is also a OSL project. Their technicians receive the requests, test the applications, categorize and publish them in the catalaog. They also have a Linkedin group (OpenPyME) with almost 800 members to answer questions.

Monday, December 05, 2011

My experience in an install party.... after so long.

Yesterday I went to an Install Party in Málaga. It's was back in 2005 when I attended to the previous one. It took place in La Casa Invisible, a well know place because of the activities organized there related with free software, and free culture, among others. I friend of mine, Gabriel Ochoa, was the main organizer.

I went there with a friend of mine who wanted to try GNU/Linux for the first time in her PC. Since the Party goal wasn't to install Ubuntu, I didn't push my friend to install KDE. It would be unpolite. But it wasn't necessary.

I took my netbook with me (Acer Aspire One, the first model with 512 MB RAM and 8 Gb HD) with Debian + KDE (Plasma Netbook) and it was a huge success. Nobody knew about it so I ended up explaining to a couple of people how to install it.

It was my first experience with Unity and I must confess that I liked it, which it is not a surprise since I'm a big fan of clean desktops and shortcuts. My friend loved it to. Somehow the Party took me back to previous days where I used to screw up my computer trying all kind of things, since I had technicians hired who fixed my computer every time. Oh man, poor guys. I used to torture them so frecuently ....

So my conclusion is that we need a lot of promo actions (no news here right?) because our desktop is pretty and attract a lot of attention instantly. Here in the south of Spain GNOME and Ubuntu are very popular so there's a lot to do. My second conclusion is that Unity is a good competitor so I guess we have a third player in this business. Welcome Unity. Let's kick some proprietary desktops ass.