Bruce Momjian

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Flight Fewer Trips

Monday, December 18, 2006

You might have noticed on my "Conferences" page that I am taking fewer trips. Now that the PostgreSQL community has grown, there are volunteers in most large countries, meaning I don't have to travel as much. I end up traveling to smaller countries where we have few volunteers, or to events where my participation is required.

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Technology Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 7, Licenses User Interface Design

Friday, November 24, 2006

Microsoft has released released Internet Explorer 7, the first major release of the software in five years. It looks surprisingly like Firefox, and has tabed browsing that Opera and Mozilla/Firefox have had for years. Conspiracy theorists say that Microsoft didn't want a rich browser experience because it undermines their application sales. Based on the fact that perhaps the major motivation for the release of Internet Explorer 7 was the growing popularity of Firefox, the conspiracy theory seems plausible.

In another announcement, Microsoft announced it would be licensing their new user interface design to people who want to make applications that look like Office 2007, as long as they don't have similar functionality. Of course, the implication is that unlicensed groups making applications that are similar to Microsoft's user interface could face legal action. Seeing that Internet Explorer 7 looks like Firefox, I wonder if Microsoft should get a license from the Firefox developers. ;-)

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Technology Proprietary And Open Source Business Models Merging

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hegel had a theory that history was made up of cycles of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. That seems to describe the software industry. Proprietary software vendors dominated for twenty years, then pure open source companies became successful, but were unable to generate sufficient profits to grow to a significant size. Now, proprietary software companies are moving toward open source (Microsoft/Novell), and open source companies are restricting the free services they offer (no free downloadable binaries, proprietary enhancements). The company I work for, EnterpriseDB has always taken the middle road of adding proprietary enhancements to PostgreSQL.

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Technology Switched to Firefox

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I have switched to Firefox as my web browser. Firefox is a continuation of Mozilla and Netscape browser development. It has more features and is more flexible than Internet Explorer.

Interestingly, Mozilla was a poster-child for open source development because it had a release roadmap with features and release dates. That road map blinded the project to the needs of its users, and the project was eventually eclipsed by Firefox, which met user's needs for a simple, efficient browser better than the behemoth Mozilla had become.

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Technology Email Backlog

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Though I was able to read my personal email during my 15-day trip, I was too busy to read the 2,500 PostgreSQL community emails I received. Thankfully, the community does a good job covering me while I am gone.

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Flight Returned from Pakistan

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I just returned from my first trip to Pakistan. I was impressed at how warm and friendly everyone was, and the food was great. Many Pakistanis are concerned that their country is associated with terrorism in the West, while the country is safe and orderly. News programs always show the worst, and it seems it is true when covering Pakistan as well.

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Technology Microsoft/Novell Deal

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Microsoft/Novell deal might be a meaningless alliance, but it certainly adds credibility to open source and Linux, and tarnishes the image of Microsoft Windows as an appropriate server operating system for all environments. Most IT professionals had already decided where Windows made sense and where it did not, but it is new for Microsoft to admit it.

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Flight Airline Flights

Friday, November 3, 2006

Strange how I anticipate each upcoming flight will be like the worst flight I have ever taken, while in fact it is more like the average flight, which actually isn't bad once the flight is over.

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Technology Open Source Licenses and Companies

Friday, November 3, 2006

Competition in the open source industry is increasing as open source license loopholes are explored. Oracle has decided to sell Red Hat Linux support for less money than Red Hat charges. This article says the Oracle move is "... sort of like using a person's own hands to choke them with". MySQL is creating an "Enterprise" product that is only distributed as a binary to paying customers, and includes closed-source tools. And of course Red Hat has Red Hat Enterprise, which is subscription-only. The trend is that it is hard for a company to sell open source without some value-add beyond support. Technical support or GPL-only distribution isn't enough to sustain a company. One interesting corollary of that is that the BSD license makes it easier to value-add, as we find at EnterpriseDB.

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Technology Start

Friday, November 3, 2006

I have avoided blogging long enough. Time to get started. I don't claim any great relevance in these entries.

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