Open Source writing opportunity

Subject: Open Source writing opportunity
From: Paul DuBois <paul -at- kitebird -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:05:48 -0600

Given that the list has been discussing Open Source writing,
this might be of interest to some. No $$$ pay, however.

Below is the call for papers from Guest Editor,
Jason Matthews, for the May 2003 issue of the
*Cutter IT Journal* on Open Source. Articles are
due on March 10, 2003. We are pleased to offer
Journal authors a year's complimentary subscription
and 10 copies of the issue in which they are
published. In addition, we occasionally pull excerpts,
along with the author's bio, to include in our weekly
Cutter Edge e-mail bulletin, which reaches another
9,000 readers. We'dalso be pleased to quote you, or
passages from your article, in Cutter press releases.
If you plan to be speaking at industry conferences,
we can arrange to make additional copies of the issue
in which you're published available for attendees of
those speaking engagements -- furthering your own
promotional efforts.

Bruce Lynch
Group Publisher, Cutter Consortium
blynch -at- cutter -dot- com

What are the most significant challenges facing the open
source movement that prevent, or at least hamper, its
broad adoption by major corporations? Is open source just
a "community of hackers" and a passing fad, or is it a
fundamental paradigm shift in how software will be
developed in the future? Where do hot topics such as
intellectual property rights, project and process
management, and technical support issues fit into open

As a concept, open source claims its roots date back to
the earliest days of academic information sharing in the
1970s. The success of the open source movement is
underscored by the broad acceptance of many of the most
widely used and reliable software products in use today.
Apache, a powerful Web server, virtually owns 65% of the
Internet server market; Sendmail, the omnipresent mail
system from the 1980s, reportedly handles over 90% of the
mail on the Internet; and Linux, the upstart open source
operating system, has already captured 5% of its market.

With impressive numbers such as these, it is reasonable
to assume that open source is here to stay. So if it is
here to stay, then what is preventing major corporations
from adoption open source software more widely? Why are
corporations continuing to invest millions with commercial
software vendors when alternative, less expensive, open
source solutions are freely available? Will JBoss replace
IBM WebSphere as the application server of choice? What
about Tomcat, OpenLDAP, Eclipse, and mySQL? If they are
used, how will they interoperate with the vendor

Many are claiming that broad adoption is not imminent or
even likely. They claim that, in the eyes of corporate
decisionmakers, a community of hackers has an inherent
lack of credibility and responsibility. How can a
corporation rely upon a "hacker" to provide technical
support? How can you hold a hacker community responsible
as you might a vendor business? How can you ensure open
source licenses do not conflict or place unrealistic
responsibilities on the business?

The May issue of Cutter IT Journal is meant to provide
corporate decisionmakers with insight into both sides of
the argument.

Suggestions for article themes on open source are:

* Not ready for prime time? Open source software is
designed by a hacker community for others in the same
community. Wasn't it? Was open source ever intended for
corporations or only for other software developers? Are
corporations "dreaming" when they try to build mission-
critical applications with open source software?

* Intellectual property and licensing rights. What are
corporations' legal rights with respect to open source?
How can an organization protect its intellectual property
rights when using open source software? How can a corporation
ensure that the open source licenses do not conflict with
vendor licenses or even each other?

* Technical support and help resources. You download the
software, you attempt to install it, and you discover
compatibility problems. So whom do you call to get technical
support? With open source, the community behind the software
provides the support. How can IT managers rely on such an
unstructured support mechanism? Why should they risk their
careers by relying on an unresponsive community of self-
declared hackers?

* Software evolution. How rapidly does open source software
evolve to adapt to new standards and technologies? What can
a corporation do to accelerate evolution to meet pressing
business requirements?

* Software standards. What standards are being used by open
source software to ensure interoperability? Where do leading
standards organizations participate with open source?

* Total cost of ownership. Total cost of ownership is a
much-hyped term with respect to open source; does it truly
hold water? What is the total cost of ownership comparison
between commercial and open source software solutions? How
can an organization develop metrics to determine which type
of solution to use?

* Vendor positions on open source. What are the prevailing
positions of leading software vendors with respect to open
source? By definition, open source should reduce license
fees collected by these vendors. If so, then why do software
companies such as Sun, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and others pour
billions of dollars into the open source community?

* Strategies and policies with open source. What should a
corporation do with respect to establishing policies
regarding open source? How should open source be integrated
into the corporate IT strategy?

* Education, consulting, and documentation. How can a
corporation identify viable resources for ongoing product
education, consulting, and documentation on open source
software? By definition, the creators of the software come
from a broad community. Doesn't this imply that dedicated
support and ongoing services are a fiction?

* Stories from the trenches. Has your organization recently
adopted open source software as part of the corporate IT
strategy? Have you succeeded, or did you fail? What guidance
can you share with others just starting out?

We are inviting articles on the above subjects. We will also
consider articles on other subjects that are related to Open
Source. The deadline for submission of articles is
March 10, 2003. Since we only have room for a limited number
of articles, however, it's important that you contact me as
soon as possible with a description of the paper you have in

Most Cutter IT Journal articles are approx 2,500 - 3,500 words
long, plus whatever graphics are appropriate. If you have any
other questions, please don't hesitate to contact
blynch -at- cutter -dot- com -dot- Editorial guidelines are available at

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