Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Nitobi acquired by Adobe; PhoneGap to be ASF

I tweeted on October 1 about how I thought PhoneGap Build was cool. Its an immensely cool service which I’ve wanted to see MoSync do.

On October 2 I just read that PhoneGap was being submitted to the Apache Software Foundation (article, mailing list post). I absolutely loved the commitment, their current license was already good, and I was very excited for Nitobi.

Just yesterday on October 3, Nitobi announced that they entered into an acquisition agreement with Adobe. PhoneGap Build will be closed-source, commercial, and cost money. DreamWeaver CS 5.5 has PhoneGap. However PhoneGap itself will remain open, and will become Apache Callback.

Kudos to Nitobi. Kudos to Adobe. You’re making the right decision. Just don’t screw it up.

Nitobi is pursuing a contribution of the PhoneGap code to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to ensure open stewardship of the project over the long term. As part of that process it will be renamed to a new Apache-branded name Callback. Adobe fully supports this contribution and will continue to host the PhoneGap community site with full participation from its contributors, as well as the PhoneGap Build service. — on why PhoneGap code is being donated to the ASF

MyOSS 2.0 – our first meetup again!

After a hiatus of over a year, MyOSS meetups are back! It starts tomorrow, Tuesday July 12 2011 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm and is held at the awesome Mindvalley offices in Menara UOA Bangsar. We’re clearly moving with the times and we have a Facebook event page for MyOSS Meetup 2011.07: node.js co-creator Tom Hughes-Croucher.

We used to have a mailing list (which has really become and We’re trying to take the reboot further with Facebook Groups – check out!

Jono Bacon speaks to Oracle on the MySQL Community

Jono Bacon recently spoke with Luke Kowalski, Oracle VP in the Corporate Architecture Group, about community in the context of MySQL. I’ve known Jono for sometime now, and I first met Luke at the MySQL Conference & Expo 2010 – I found out that we have a common shared interest: Formula One racing! Jono is somewhat of an expert in online, opensource communities – he after all did write the definitive book that O’Reilly published titled The Art of Community.

The video has made its way online, and Jono wrote a brief (and you can watch the video within his post) about what was discussed. You can also get it as a podcast – just subscribe to Oracle Technology Network TechCasts in your podcatcher.

Its under 25-minutes to watch or listen to, and I’d highly recommend you to take a look if you care about community, MySQL and direction. Choice quote: “Oracle needs to make a firm commitment to acting within the culture and ethos of Open Source to have an effective, fulfilling relationship with the MySQL community”. Definitely watch the video.

Google Summer of Code 2009

After checking with the relevant parties, MySQL has just submitted an application for the Google Summer of Code 2009. We’ve successfully participated in SoC during 2007, and 2008, and we’re hoping to get another shot at SoC, for our third year running.

What is Summer of Code? It means different things to many different people. If you’re a student, it means you get to hack on MySQL and the related products, and churn out code, that over eleven million people use, while you sit on the beach in your bathers! And when successful, you get a nice wad of cash even!

If you’re a mentor, it means having someone to help you write features, you’ve been wanting — someone to spend a good fourty-hours per week, hacking on the feature you most want (and its do-able within 12 weeks or so). As usual, mentors, we have an ideas page up. Mentors, go forth and fill it up.

Students, should also feel free to discuss their ideas, either on the wiki, or via the mailing list. You don’t need to apply yet (in fact, you can’t till we get accepted into the program to begin with!).

Remember, this is the year to Make MySQL Contributor Friendly (MMCF). Check the interview with Masood Mortazavi for more. So much potential for server contributions abound.

If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment, or an email at Now, on toward happy hacking!

Lessons from Mozilla, that apply to other communities

John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla, shares some insights and thoughts on Mozilla, and its a most interesting presentation to go through. The insights are (drizzled with some of my comments):

  1. Superior Products Matter – Without excellent experience and utility, the rest is meaningless. This is true, even with MySQL – our aims and values have always been performance, reliability and ease of use.
  2. Push (most) decision-making to the edges – I understand that as make sure your community has a significant voice (kind of like Wikipedia’s anyone edits policy, but there’s patrolling). He also suggests that on a regular basis, you need to have surprising innovation – things that blow people’s minds. In Mozilla’s case, there are a set of core values that everyone agrees too; decision making is with the module owners (very much like how the Linux kernel, tends to run), after all, groups have different ways of working. Mozilla has decision makers, that are even outside the “official” organisation – i.e. community has a voice. And communication, is key.
  3. Communication will happen in every possible way (so make sure it’s reusable) – this means via Wikis, blogs, the bug tracker, IRC, forums/newsgroups, mailing lists, audio, video, Skype chat, real-life get-togethers, and probably more. Writing notes, and sharing them, might be useful – I’ve found that the Mozilla Weekly Progress Reports on Planet Mozilla (and especially from Zak Greant) to be really useful. I’m thinking of something similar, in the MySQL (and other Sun open source communities) scope. A lot of decisions tend to be taken up on IRC, and people go on hacking on stuff, without writing documentation (worklogs/blueprints), or consulting with the mailing lists – I guess we all have communication improvements in us.
  4. Make it easy for your community to do the important things – Here the highlights are SpreadFirefox, Mozilla QA, localisation and more. A focus “to help others do more” should be the mantra of every community! I see it as very easy to translate Drizzle now, that its on Launchpad, but its not the same with MySQL. Translation, documentation, non-code related tasks tend to increase community contributions – though, what do you do when you already have an excellent manual?
  5. Surprise is overrated – John suggests that surprise is the opposite of engagement, which is true – no one likes surprises, and everyone wants to feel they’re important and had a role to play when something has happened. The “inner circle” needs more participation. I remember back in the days of Red Hat Linux to Fedora… there was something called the “Fedora Merge” group, and this allowed externals to provide significant decisions towards the direction of the Fedora Project. This was eventually eclipsed by fedora-maintainers, and the various boards like FESCO, and so on. As a participant in the Merge group, I felt like I had a voice, and was part of the “cabal” (there is no cabal), or the inner circle, so to speak – decisions I made, mattered. The inner circle grew, so that everyone (a maintainer, i.e. a person who “deserved” a voice) could feel included. Similar things happened for documentation, marketing, and so on, with various members and boards.
  6. Communities are not markets: members are citizens – John stats that citizens are more than consumers, bystanders and stake-holders – we are all citizens in the community (whether you’re a paid staff member, or an external). The best citizens even challenge the status quo, propose improvements and make the conversation richer – I think we have this, via Planet MySQL. The question though is, are we as Sun, listening to the citizens?
  7. The key is the art of figuring out whether & how to apply each of these ideas – John suggests experimenting, trying new things, and then measuring the reaction.

Of course, back to point #6, engaged citizens are noisy is highly true. But the old adage of people complaining because they care, is probably a good thing to remember. Expect noise, demands, threats, contradictions, and more. You can’t please everyone in a healthy community, but they will help you make decisions.

A most interesting presentation, and there’s a lot to learn from Mozilla, for other communities to apply.

Keeping the (content on the) Internet relevant

The Internet is a great tool, but the problem with the Internet is outdated information. I was looking to find the famous Foh San Restaurant in SS2, and while the Internet suggested it did exist, Foh San closed down in SS2 sometime in 2007. The only Foh San Restaurant that exists now is in Ipoh (not SS2), and from what I hear, they plan to open another one in SS2 or the surrounding areas sometime in 2009.

Now, back to the outdated information on The Internet. Look at dineMalaysia. It looks like it was last updated in 2004. A lot can change with regards to restaurants and bars in a period of four years. Their database is also shared with some Expat eatery site. Another catalogue site lists it, but I wonder how many restaurants on that list don’t exist anymore.

The importance of catalogue websites is that they need to be constantly updated. It has to be spurred by someone (maybe the tourism ministry?), and have the capability to be cool enough to have a community built around it. The way I see it, is it should be That’s Melbourne! with a community.

The only clue I got that Foh San in SS2 had closed was from this blog entry – “… the new Korean BBQ shop (formerly Foh San Restaurant branch)”.

This however, didn’t help me, as I had already spent time looking for it. Searching by relevancy, which can also suggest dated content, doesn’t help when there is a lack of information, does it? I see a book about Google’s search algorithms in the bookstore, but I’ve yet to pick it up. I’m just curious, how catalogue information can:

  1. stay updated, constantly
  2. be relevant

(1) is easy to solve… It has to involve a community. I guess that will fix (2) too… so how do you get a community involved in catalogue information? Shouldn’t be too hard considering its food and beverage related. Bottom-line is, there needs to be traction built around it…