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Guido at Google

JB
It seems that our master Guido van Rossum had an offer from google and
he accepted it!!

long life to Guido & Goole ! many things to come ;)

ju˛
Dec 21 '05
108 4624
Steve Holden <st***@holdenweb.com> writes:
Alex Martelli wrote:
Not a bad point at all, although perhaps not entirely congruent to
open
source: hiring key developers has always been a possibility (net of
non-compete agreements, but I'm told California doesn't like those).

California places pretty strict limits on non-compete agreements. I
was at Ingres when their parent company - ASK - got bought by CA. CA
required people choosing to leave the company to sign an agreement
that included *their* standard non-compete clause before getting the
separation cash. Enough people left that found this clause irritating
that it got take to multiple lawyers. Every last one of them declared
it unenforceable in CA.
The essential difference, it seems to me, is that buying the company
gets you control over the company's proprietary technologies, whereas
hiring the developer only gets you access to the development skills of
the people who've been involved open source developments.


But it's not at all clear which of these is the more desirable
outcome. CA bought ASK to get control of Ingres, which their Unicenter
product used as a database. The *entire* server software development
group left, meaning CA had all the sources and technologies, but none
of the talent that created them. We called this the $300 million
source license.

CA pretty clearly got screwed on this deal. They have since
open-sourced the Ingres product.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Dec 23 '05 #101
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> wrote:
Steve Holden <st***@holdenweb.com> writes:
Alex Martelli wrote:
Not a bad point at all, although perhaps not entirely congruent to
open
source: hiring key developers has always been a possibility (net of
non-compete agreements, but I'm told California doesn't like those).
California places pretty strict limits on non-compete agreements. I
Yep, this is roughly what I'd heard, and what I meant above.
was at Ingres when their parent company - ASK - got bought by CA. CA
required people choosing to leave the company to sign an agreement
that included *their* standard non-compete clause before getting the
separation cash. Enough people left that found this clause irritating
that it got take to multiple lawyers. Every last one of them declared
it unenforceable in CA.
Tx for the anecdote, which does appear to reinforce the point. I assume
CA's non-compete clause was fine in NY (I'm guessing that's where their
lawyers would be) and they didn't consider the state differences...

The essential difference, it seems to me, is that buying the company
gets you control over the company's proprietary technologies, whereas
hiring the developer only gets you access to the development skills of
the people who've been involved open source developments.


But it's not at all clear which of these is the more desirable
outcome.


Good point. I guess the only real answer is, "it depends". But because
of this SH's point should be rephrased as, "buying the company ONLY gets
you control", etc, to emphasize the paralellism. Even where non-compete
agreements ARE enforced, by buying a company you're still not assured of
getting *access to the development skills* -- even if those developers
are forced to keep working for you, if they feel they're doing it under
duress because you're legally twisting their arm, it seems very unlikely
that you'll get much of anything USEFUL out of them (and I would be
astonished if strict non-compete agreements still applied if you FIRED a
developer, rather than the developer choosing to leave...).
CA bought ASK to get control of Ingres, which their Unicenter
product used as a database. The *entire* server software development
group left, meaning CA had all the sources and technologies, but none
of the talent that created them. We called this the $300 million
source license.

CA pretty clearly got screwed on this deal. They have since
open-sourced the Ingres product.


I'm not sure the two sentences in your last paragraphs are really as
causally connected as one might think;-). After all, didn't SAP also
opensource their own DB (I believe they now have a partnership with
MySQL to try to commercialize it), although in different circumstances?

IOW, it seems to me that, apart from Oracle, nobody's making money on
databases any more (I believe Microsoft is now giving away SQL Server
for free, although maybe not the largest "enterprise" edition and surely
not in open-source form -- of course, MS can afford a *lot* of money
losing ventures, because Windows and Office bankroll the entire company
to a highly "ca-ching" degree;-); so, companies whose money making
depends on applications sitting on top of the DB (true to some extent of
CA, to an even larger one of SAP) may opensource it both to (they hope)
get some free support for it AND to minimally undermine Oracle (who uses
its DB revenues to bankroll multipronged attacks and acquisitions into
the field of enterprise applications).

Still, I'm not disputing that CA "got screwed"... though it looks like
they did it to themselves -- they didn't stop to consider the need to
WOO developers to actually get them onboard as a part of the overall
deal, just sort of assumed they "came with the package"!-) Bad people
management must be close to the #1 cause of failure of promising mergers
and acquisitions (and I'm not sure the qualifying part of this sentence,
after "failure", is needed;)...
Alex
Dec 24 '05 #102

Alex Martelli wrote:
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> wrote:
Steve Holden <st***@holdenweb.com> writes:
Alex Martelli wrote:
> Not a bad point at all, although perhaps not entirely congruent to
> open
> source: hiring key developers has always been a possibility (net of
> non-compete agreements, but I'm told California doesn't like those).


California places pretty strict limits on non-compete agreements. I


Yep, this is roughly what I'd heard, and what I meant above.
was at Ingres when their parent company - ASK - got bought by CA. CA
required people choosing to leave the company to sign an agreement
that included *their* standard non-compete clause before getting the
separation cash. Enough people left that found this clause irritating
that it got take to multiple lawyers. Every last one of them declared
it unenforceable in CA.


Tx for the anecdote, which does appear to reinforce the point. I assume
CA's non-compete clause was fine in NY (I'm guessing that's where their
lawyers would be) and they didn't consider the state differences...

The essential difference, it seems to me, is that buying the company
gets you control over the company's proprietary technologies, whereas
hiring the developer only gets you access to the development skills of
the people who've been involved open source developments.


But it's not at all clear which of these is the more desirable
outcome.


Good point. I guess the only real answer is, "it depends". But because
of this SH's point should be rephrased as, "buying the company ONLY gets
you control", etc, to emphasize the paralellism. Even where non-compete
agreements ARE enforced, by buying a company you're still not assured of
getting *access to the development skills* -- even if those developers
are forced to keep working for you, if they feel they're doing it under
duress because you're legally twisting their arm, it seems very unlikely
that you'll get much of anything USEFUL out of them (and I would be
astonished if strict non-compete agreements still applied if you FIRED a
developer, rather than the developer choosing to leave...).
CA bought ASK to get control of Ingres, which their Unicenter
product used as a database. The *entire* server software development
group left, meaning CA had all the sources and technologies, but none
of the talent that created them. We called this the $300 million
source license.

CA pretty clearly got screwed on this deal. They have since
open-sourced the Ingres product.


I'm not sure the two sentences in your last paragraphs are really as
causally connected as one might think;-). After all, didn't SAP also
opensource their own DB (I believe they now have a partnership with
MySQL to try to commercialize it), although in different circumstances?

IOW, it seems to me that, apart from Oracle, nobody's making money on
databases any more (I believe Microsoft is now giving away SQL Server
for free, although maybe not the largest "enterprise" edition and surely
not in open-source form -- of course, MS can afford a *lot* of money
losing ventures, because Windows and Office bankroll the entire company
to a highly "ca-ching" degree;-); so, companies whose money making
depends on applications sitting on top of the DB (true to some extent of
CA, to an even larger one of SAP) may opensource it both to (they hope)
get some free support for it AND to minimally undermine Oracle (who uses
its DB revenues to bankroll multipronged attacks and acquisitions into
the field of enterprise applications).

Still, I'm not disputing that CA "got screwed"... though it looks like
they did it to themselves -- they didn't stop to consider the need to
WOO developers to actually get them onboard as a part of the overall
deal, just sort of assumed they "came with the package"!-) Bad people
management must be close to the #1 cause of failure of promising mergers
and acquisitions (and I'm not sure the qualifying part of this sentence,
after "failure", is needed;)...
Alex

Not really in the same vein but " Bad people management must be close
to the #1 cause of failure of promising ..." software projects.
Mind you, sometimes that just mean, minding one's self.

Dec 24 '05 #103
<jm*********@gmail.com> wrote:
...
Not really in the same vein but " Bad people management must be close
to the #1 cause of failure of promising ..." software projects.
Mind you, sometimes that just mean, minding one's self.


Hmmm, I'm not too sure -- though managing software projects is a huge
challenge, yet I would place the #1 cause of failure at *bad specs*...
doing SW that doesn't really meet the target audience's needs, no matter
how well it might be executed...
Alex
Dec 24 '05 #104
In article <86************@bhuda.mired.org>, Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> wrote:

CA pretty clearly got screwed on this deal. They have since
open-sourced the Ingres product.


YM "CA screwed themselves in this deal." HTH. HAND.

(That's my take based on the history of Computer Associates and a few
casual conversations with other ex-Ingres people.)
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"Don't listen to schmucks on USENET when making legal decisions. Hire
yourself a competent schmuck." --USENET schmuck (aka Robert Kern)
Dec 24 '05 #105
Steve Holden wrote:
Far answers to this and all other (as far as I can determine)
hypothetical questions please refer to the license.


But note that no OSI certified open source license will grant the right
to use a trademark. You gain trademark rights by having control over
the quality of the described quantity. If you give up control (which
the OSD requires), you cannot grant the right to use the trademark, or,
if you do, then you will lose the ability to enforce the trademark.

In the case of derived names like JPython, or IronPython, the PSF would
have to claim in court that "everyone knows that Python is only and
exactly Python, and that anything with prefixes or suffixes may be
derived from the PSF-copyrighted work, but is not an official product
of the PSF." That's reasonable, but harder to prove than insisting
that no computer language may contain Python in its name without being
the PSF-copyrighted work.

Dec 24 '05 #106
ru********@gmail.com wrote:
Steve Holden wrote:

Far answers to this and all other (as far as I can determine)
hypothetical questions please refer to the license.

But note that no OSI certified open source license will grant the right
to use a trademark. You gain trademark rights by having control over
the quality of the described quantity. If you give up control (which
the OSD requires), you cannot grant the right to use the trademark, or,
if you do, then you will lose the ability to enforce the trademark.

If by "the OSD" you are referring to the open source definition at

http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

there is nothing in there about trademarks referring to open source
technology. Python is released under an OSI-approved license, but the
Python Software Foundation owns and retains the rights to the Python
trademark.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/

Dec 24 '05 #107
Alex Martelli wrote:
[...]
Still, I'm not disputing that CA "got screwed"... though it looks like
they did it to themselves -- they didn't stop to consider the need to
WOO developers to actually get them onboard as a part of the overall
deal, just sort of assumed they "came with the package"!-) Bad people
management must be close to the #1 cause of failure of promising mergers
and acquisitions (and I'm not sure the qualifying part of this sentence,
after "failure", is needed;)...

In fact one might argue that the poor management of traditional
software development efforts is one of the main reasons why open source
continues to become so popular. One can develop software without having
to deal with pointy-haired types.

Ultimately this will, I suspect, lead to wider appreciation of how
software development can be better organised in a commercial context (as
it appears may already be the case at Google). *Then* I might start to
get interested in management as a career :-)

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/

Dec 24 '05 #108
Robert Kern <ro*********@gmail.com> writes:
[...]
No, it's not a silly idea. Dean Baker, the Co-Director the Center for Economic
and Policy Research, has proposed for the U.S. government to establish a
Software Developer's Corps. For $2 billion per year, it could fund about 20,000
developers to make open source software. Much of that software would be directly
usable by local, state, and federal governments and thus pay back some, all, or
more of the investment (Dean estimates more). In addition, the general public
also benefits directly.

http://www.cepr.net/publications/windows_2005_10.pdf


Given the current balance of power in the USA government, I assume
this proposal is aimed at >= 2008 ;-)
John
Dec 30 '05 #109

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