I'm interviewed today on Radio Vega at 16:00, or not...

I may or may not be interviewed on the Swedish language Radio Vega. The background to this confusing statement is that the Finnish government today publishes a report on the use of open source in Finnish companies and associated risks related to that. I was a contributor to the report since Monty Program is a Finnish open source company. I guess since I speak Swedish, the reporter had scheduled a telephone interview with me after the press conference.

The problem was that when she came back from the press conference, she didn't feel she had understood much of what had been said, and was doubtful that a sensible report could be made out of it anyway, as most listeners would have no clue about open source.

She then proceeded to interview me anyway, focusing on the part of what risks are there in using open source if you don't understand things like the licenses.

I gave the simplest example I could think of, that since open source code can be easily found on the internet, a developer developing his own program might find some code and copy it if he sees that it does exactly what he needs his program to do. But while open source licenses do not restrict copying and do not require you to pay something, they have their own requirements too that you must follow.

The most common example is with the GPL license that "you can copy my code but then you also have to share your code back". I explained that for a company like us, where we want to produce open source code, this is not a problem (well, we still need to worry about license compatibility, to be strict) but if the developer was doing something that is supposed to be a closed source program, he is obviously in trouble.

To this the reporter said it was the first time she understood clearly what it was about. At this we stopped and I didn't even get started on software patents yet! The reporter herself admitted that it is a bit weird to interview someone when they don't even know if they will broadcast the story at all :-)

The first question was kind of funny too: Why has your company chosen to use open source?

Well gee, I don't know, all of us have used open source since the mid-90's, Monty I think from the late 80's. And we were quite successful with MySQL, you know, so continuing from there seems like natural.

Btw, the report claims that 85 percent of Finnish companies now use open source, and the last 15% intend to do so within the next year. Seems like Phase I of World domination is going well!

So in 90 minutes we'll see if her producer understood it too, or if they scrapped the news story as unintelligible.

Ville Oksanen (not verified)

Fri, 2010-06-04 12:35

En siis ilmeisesti onnistunut puhumaan kovin selvästi aiheesta julkaisutilaisuudessa. Tosin avoimen lähdekoodin taustan ja oikeudellisten riskien läpikäyminen alle puoleen tuntiin tietotasolta hyvin heterogeeniselle yleisölle nosti kyllä vaikeuskerrointa...

Palautti itsenikin hyvin maan pinnalle. Yritäpä sitten kertoa ihmisille mitä pahaa on ohjelmistopatenteissa, kun oikeasti lähdetään liikkeelle perusasioista. Hyvä muistaa että ihmiset jotka päättävät näistä laeista ovat varmaan keskimäärin samalla tasolla ko. toimittajan kanssa lähtötiedoissaan.

Sain esimerkiksi sen kuvan, että toimittaja ei todennäköisesti ihan suoraan ymmärrä mitä on vaikkapa lähdekoodi, ja "avoimen lähdekoodin ohjelmisto" esiintyi joskus yksikössä ikään kuin kyse olisi jostain tietystä yhdestä ohjelmistosta.

Tuo aloituskysymyskin oli loistava muistutus siitä missä maailmassa yleisesti mennään vs allekirjoittanut: Miksi yrityksessänne käytetään avointa lähdekoodia? Jaa-a... yritäpä siinä sitten perustella sitä. Viimeksi käytin Windowsia töissä 3 vuotta sitten, ja silloinkin pidin sitä poikkeuksena jota piti perustella, ei toisin päin. (Sitä ennen olin käyttänyt Linuxia jo vuosia, mutta Symbian ohjelmointi ja Exchange kalenteri ei nyt vaan taipuneet Linuxille kovin hyvin.)

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Cookie & Privacy Policy
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • External and mailto links in content links have an icon.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Use [fn]...[/fn] (or <fn>...</fn>) to insert automatically numbered footnotes.
  • Each email address will be obfuscated in a human readable fashion or, if JavaScript is enabled, replaced with a spam resistent clickable link. Email addresses will get the default web form unless specified. If replacement text (a persons name) is required a webform is also required. Separate each part with the "|" pipe symbol. Replace spaces in names with "_".
About the bookAbout this siteAcademicAmazonBeginnersBooksBuildBotBusiness modelsbzrCassandraCloudcloud computingclsCommunitycommunityleadershipsummitConsistencycoodiaryCopyrightCreative CommonscssDatabasesdataminingDatastaxDevOpsDrizzleDrupalEconomyelectronEthicsEurovisionFacebookFrosconFunnyGaleraGISgithubGnomeGovernanceHandlerSocketHigh AvailabilityimpressionistimpressjsInkscapeInternetJavaScriptjsonKDEKubuntuLicensingLinuxMaidanMaker cultureMariaDBmarkdownMEAN stackMepSQLMicrosoftMobileMongoDBMontyProgramMusicMySQLMySQL ClusterNerdsNodeNoSQLodbaOpen ContentOpen SourceOpenSQLCampOracleOSConPAMPPatentsPerconaperformancePersonalPhilosophyPHPPiratesPlanetDrupalPoliticsPostgreSQLPresalespresentationsPress releasesProgrammingRed HatReplicationSeveralninesSillySkySQLSolonStartupsSunSybaseSymbiansysbenchtalksTechnicalTechnologyThe making ofTungstenTwitterUbuntuvolcanoWeb2.0WikipediaWork from HomexmlYouTube