Archive for the ‘1’ Category

“SEO” another money making tool ?

March 6, 2011

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is supposed to be a process of improving websites visibility in search engines through un-paid or algorithmic search results. SEO target different kinds of search this gives website web presence. Webmaster began optimizing their pages in mid-1990’s as the very first search engines were cataloging the early web,  all the webmaster needed to do was to submit the address of a page to the search engines which would send a spider to crawl that page. In early age of SEO it was an art and the artist (webmaster) suppose to craft his work, by making keyword rich text on pages or HTML (headers, pages, index etc) The skill level of webmaster really counts on SEO.

But what it’s become now is nothing more than a Money Making Tool for “search engines” companies are making profit of over 400+ $ (mill) each year, by replacing their paid client pages on top and turning down genuine relevent pages at the bottom. SEO has now become SEM (search engine marketing) where you can pay and get the target audience in large numbers. There are some measures that can be taken regarding such issue’s, Webpages should always reflect the creativity of a webmaster as every page is an art work of some artists.

I don’t mind seeing my pages on top of list of any search engine but only if they are real and actual results, every second of someone’s is precious and we should alway try to divert the user to the very specific page which they want, not to our paid client pages. The issue is not very open but still one should seriously think about it, internet is changing and we should consider being as ethical as we can with this change, we must take every opportunity to excel and advance our skill and bank balance but while doing it we must also encourage skilled hackers or programmers who are doing a great work.

Open Source Philosophy

March 9, 2010

Open_Source_Programming

The Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) movement began in the “hacker” culture of U.S. computer science laboratories (Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the 1960s and 1970s.

The community of programmers was small, and close-knit. Code passed back and forth between the members of the community–if you made an improvement you were expected to submit your code to the community of developers. To withhold code was considered gauché–after all, you benefited from the work of your friends, you should return the favor.

It was in this environment that Richard Stallman began his Computer Science career in 1971, as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence lab. Stallman worked primarily on ITS, the Incompatible Timesharing System, an operating system homebrewed at MIT to run on the DEC PDP-10. In this collegial environment, Stallman and his colleagues built an enormous array of software tools for the PDP-10.

However, by the early 1980s, the hacker community began to break down at MIT and other universities. DEC discontinued the PDP-10. As a result, the ITS software became obsolete, because it was written specifically for the PDP-10 hardware architecture. The PDP-10’s replacements, such as the VAX or the 68020, had their own operating systems, but none of them were free software: you had to sign a non-disclosure agreement even to get an executable copy. (DiBona, et al. 1999)

Moreover, many of the hackers were hired away by commercial companies who sold proprietary systems. One of the first to break ranks was a student named Brian Reed at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1980, Reed wrote Scribe, one of the first text-formatting programs to incorporate semantic markup. However, Reed “….then surprised everyone by selling it to a company, instead of sharing it with the community. The company was very proprietary about it, and very obnoxiously put time bombs into it. Somebody I know spent hours debugging why our copy had ceased to work. Eventually he came across the time bomb which had been put in there purely for profit-insuring purposes. He was extremely angry that he had wasted all that time on a bug that had been deliberately created. From the view point of people in the software sharing community, anything artificially put in to stop people from running a program is simply a deliberate bug.

The problem was that nobody censured or punished this student for what he did. He got away with it. The result was other people were tempted to follow his example. Many years later he stated that he believed that his own program was much less used as a result of his decision, that it would have become far more popular and influential if he had shared it as was normal.” (Bennahum, 1996 and King, 1999)

A another major blow also came in 1980, when two companies were formed to sell MIT’s Lisp Machine technology. Richard Greenblatt, a senior Lisp machine project hacker at the AI lab, formed a company called Lisp Machine, Inc. (LMI). Another group of hackers, including David Moon, Howie Shrobe, and Howard Cannon got backing to found Symbolics. Between the two companies, they hired away most of the AI lab’s staff. The prospect that all future improvements to the MIT Lisp system and MACSYMA (an artificial-intelligence based math engine based on Lisp) would be proprietary angered Stallman. So for a year, he attempted to match feature-by-feature the improvements in the proprietary Lisp systems in the MIT Lisp system. Eventually he gave up, because as talented and dedicated a hacker as Stallman was, he could not keep up with the combined efforts of a team of equally talented hackers. (Lemon, 1997 and Siska, 1997)

“I was faced with a choice.

  • One: join the proprietary software world, sign the nondisclosure agreements and promise not to help my fellow hackers.
  • Two: leave the computer field altogether.
  • Or three, look for a way that a programmer could do something for the good.

I asked myself, was there a program or programs I could write, so as to make a community possible again?” (King, 1999)

Determined to recreate the community of cooperative hackers he enjoyed in the 1970s, Stallman decided to devote himself to creating free software. According to Stallman, truly free software must allow every user the right to:

  • Run the program, for any purpose.
  • Modify the program to suit their needs. (To make this freedom effective in practice, they must have access to the source code, since making changes in a program without having the source code is exceedingly difficult.)
  • They must have the freedom to redistribute copies, either gratis or for a fee.
  • Distribute modified versions of the program, so that the community can benefit from your improvements.

In January 1984, Stallman resigned from MIT so that the university would have no claims on the software he created. (With the blessing of Dr. Winston, the head of the AI lab at that time, he continued to use his office and MIT hardware.) (Stallman, 1999) Stallman devoted his first efforts towards developing an operating system. Without an operating system, a computer is just a hunk of worthless metal, glass, and plastic. The most commonly used and powerful operating system at the time was the UNIX system, first developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs. Since a lot of software already existed for UNIX, Stallman decided to make his operating system UNIX-compatible in order to make the transition from proprietary software to his libré software as easy as possible. He called his project GNU (Gnu’s Not UNIX), to distinguish his software from the proprietary versions.

In 1985, Stallman created the Free Software Foundation (FSF), a tax-exempt charity, to support his work and that of his collaborators. Stallman personally created an enormous body of software: GCC (C compiler), GDB (debugger), Emacs (text editor), and a number of other tools.

Stallman’s efforts were neither the first nor the only libré software development efforts. The X consortium, for example, developed the X windowing system. Perl, the most commonly used scripting language for websites, was developed by Larry Wall while working on a government sponsored-project at Burroughs. Another free version of UNIX was developed by a group based at the University of California at Berkeley. However, the Free Software Foundation’s efforts were probably the most extensive, and the most visible.

To ensure that his code would always be freely modifiable and distributable, Stallman created the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL specified that users of the source code could view, change, or add to the code, provided that they made their changes available under the same license as the original code. He founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to promote the development of GNU and other GPL’d software. For the creation of the GNU system, the GPL license, and the Free Software Foundation, Stallman was awarded the MacArthur fellowship in 1990.

Now the only thing that the GNU system lacked was a kernel, the heart of an operating system. In 1990, Stallman’s team began work on HURD, an OS based on the MACH microkernel architecture, which was first developed at Carnegie Mellon. (According to Thomas Bushnell, principal architect of HURD, HURD is the first piece of software to be named by mutually recursive acronyms: HURD = HIRD of UNIX-Replacing Daemons. HIRD = HURD of Interfaces Representing Depth). However, work on the HURD progressed very slowly, and the kernel was incomplete as of 1991.

Enter a 21 year old, second year graduate student at the University of Helsinki named Linus Torvalds (Ghosh, 1998). Torvalds wrote a UNIX-like kernel based on Minix, a small Unix clone used as a teaching tool. Torvalds submitted his kernel, called Linux (Linus + UNIX) for review to various newsgroups and mailing lists. Several other programmers began to modify and tweak the code, sending their improvements back to Torvalds for inclusion in the next release of the kernel. Eventually, Linux became the de facto kernel for the GNU operating system.

In 1997, Eric Raymond published an essay entitled “The Cathedral and The Bazaar”. In the essay, Raymond articulated the reasons why he believed that open source licenses–licenses that allowed anyone to freely view, modify, and distribute the code–resulted in higher quality, less expensive software. The essay spread quickly throughout the programming community. Around the same time, Netscape was involved in a fierce struggle with Microsoft to see whose browser would become the dominant browser on the desktop: Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. Microsoft’s decision to give away Internet Explorer, combined with their control of the Windows operating system, led to the increasing erosion of Netscape’s market share. Netscape feared that Microsoft’s dominance would shift web protocols from open to proprietary standards that only Microsoft’s servers would be able to service. Influenced by Raymond’s essay, several managers at Netscape believed that the best way to keep web protocols open would be to release the code to the Netscape browser.

On January 22nd, 1998, Netscape announced that it would open the sources code for Netscape Navigator 5.0. Their announcement gave the Free/Open Source Software community a great boost in credibility in the eyes of the business community.

Shortly afterward, a coalition of individuals, led by Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, and Tim O’Reilly, decided that the the free software community needed better marketing. They formed the Open Source Initiative (OSI) to:

  • Promote the pragmatic benefits to the business community
  • Certify Free/Open Source Software licenses that meet the Open Source Definition.

The Open Source Iniative’s evangelism paid off. Following Netscape’s announcement, several additional vendors announced support for Linux, including Oracle, IBM, and Corel. Intel and Netscape invested in Red Hat, the largest English language Linux distributor. (Raymond, 1999)

A statistically insignificant presence in 1997, the popularity of Linux and the Free/Open Source Software movement exploded. The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that Linux has 25% of the server market, second only to Windows NT which has 38%. With 4% of the market, Linux is also the the third most popular desktop after Apple. Moreover, IDC estimated that commercial shipments of Linux will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 25% from 1999 to 2003, compared to 10-12% growth rates for other operating systems. (Note, however, that Linux’s installed base was quite small–it’s much easier to have high growth percentage rates when your starting absolute numbers are small.)

In August 1999, Red Hat Linux went public. The stock price soared to $72 dollars the day after the IPO, giving Red Hat a market capitalization of $4.8 billion–a remarkable valuation for a company with a $5,787,945 net loss on $33,031,682 million in revenues for the fiscal year ending in February 1999. VA Linux, a vendor of hardware with Linux pre-installed, netted the largest first day run-up in IPO history, giving VA Linux a $7 billion dollar market capitalization. Other successful Linux IPO’s include Cobalt Networks ($3.1 billion) and Andover.net ($712 million).(Scannell, 1999) Other more recent successes:

  • IBM recently announced that the company would devote almost $1 billion dollars to support Linux. (Burke, 2000)
  • Forrester Research estimates that more than 55% of the world’s 2,500 biggest firms use open source software, with almost a quarter using the software in production systems. (Connor, 2000)
  • Sun recently released Star Office, an office suite similar to Microsoft Office, under the GPL license. (Proffitt, 2000)

Free/Open Source Softwaree still faces challenges. Both Red Hat and VA Linux, two of the most prominent corporate supporters of Linux, still lose money. Even if they become profitable, it would be difficult to imagine that VA Linux or Red Hat will justify their IPO valuations within the next 10 years. Software patent law threatens to strangle Free/Open Source Software developers with threats of lawsuits. And dotcoms, early adopters of Linux, continue to shut down their businesses. Despite the challenges, Free/Open Source Software will, nevertheless, likely increase in influence and popularity.

For further reading:
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) – A General Introduction
By Kenneth Wong and Phet Sayo
http://www.iosn.net/foss/foss-general-primer/foss_primer_print_covers.pdf

P.S: Opensource Programming Ebook can be a good kickstar 🙂

Top 5 O/S List !

March 8, 2010

i was reading a linux distro watch web so thought whynot share my top 5 O/s

Well my top 5 list is: 1.fedora 2.freebsd 3 hp-ux 4.solaris 5.xp(as i really love to play Games 😛 )

but am sure about many other people whom i know personally will prefer a list something like .

1.fedora 2.fedora 3.fedora 4.fedora 5.fedora :))

P.s: Wondering if i could Share some ebooks ? (networking, o/s, programming etc etc? :P)

FOSS Reality Bites!

February 28, 2010

FOSS CIO predictions from 2003 now becoming a reality by 2010?

Christopher Koch predicted possible scenarios in the CIO Magazine
Dec. 15, 2003 Issue titled “The Future of Software” that by the year 2010,
the world will make a major shift towards Free and Open Source Software
(FOSS) due to the fact that government and enterprise Chief Information
Officers (CIOs) probably would find themselves hostage to a few monopolistic
vendors that keep software expensive and complex. Many of Koch’s predictions
are becoming a reality today and this analysis takes into account such
various emerging FOSS trends within both the Public and Private sectors
worldwide.

Koch presented the case that Free and Open Source Software will not
be the answer to integration problems and instead will drive down prices in
selected areas of the software infrastructure with the possibility of OSS
turning expensive databases such as Oracle and IBM’s DB2 into commodities by
2010. Today the scenario is relatively different since integration is no
more a dream in the FOSS based products and services ecosystem as platform
independence, virtualization and distributed services are at the forefront
of information technology strategies. It has also been seen major enterprise
vendors are introducing new FOSS products and services in today’s global
marketplace. A significant move has been made recently by Oracle Corporation
releasing its Unbreakable Enterprise Linux Support programme thus
commoditization of FOSS technologies and platforms by enterprise vendors are
hitting mainstream business activity.

It was also predicted that smaller vendors will move toward the FOSS
model keeping in view opportunities for low-cost market entry further
lowering marketing costs building a user base through word of mouth and then
sell services and add-ons thus simply giving it away. This too has been the
trend for the past few years and many Silicon Valley, European and South
Asian technology startups have adopted this FOSS model opportunity. FOSS
provides the opportunity to immediately enter target markets providing
consultancy, training and support services while the core product
development is carried on in parallel. This helps develop an adequate
customer base before actually releasing the core product into the market.

At the enterprise level, FOSS will enter into corporate
infrastructure and emerge as a major rival to existing dominant software
models if the integration issues are covered effectively and this too has
proven true with more advancement on the Linux front and major players Red
Hat, Novell, Canonical and even Google moving in towards providing
customization and integration with round the clock technical support and
training for Linux, this is also proving to be very valid. Moreover, for
developing economies or economies in transition, FOSS has appeared as an
alternative tool to combat software piracy encouraging protection of
intellectual property.

In terms of business and investment return issues, Koch predicted
that CIO’s at Enterprise level will find them stuck in an outdated economic
model for purchasing, installing and maintaining software and fewer dominant
vendors will do business at much higher prices proving fewer choices with
very high migration costs and increasing vendor lock-in. In light of this
concern, vendors will sell applications as specific, configurable components
that upgrade automatically and integrate with any type of system at no
additional costs incorporating minimal effort thus buyers would pay only
when employees use these applications. However Koch also stated that this
model would not prove to be a major revenue generating model for major
vendors and won’t buy in interest or stability on the Stock Exchange from
investors but it seems the other way around as the buy-as-you-use model is
now in practice widely and is also termed as the On Demand Services Business
Model widely employed by IBM and major vendors.

It was also predicted that CIOs focusing on establishing low-cost
infrastructure that would be easily maintainable and less reliant on a
handful of vendors to function will have the upper hand in price
negotiations with vendors and the ability to adopt innovative new solutions
more quickly and easily than those CIOs locked in to a vendor’s software
release schedule. This too has been made possible by companies investing in
the development of their in-house technical support teams employing the FOSS
model since updates are being made available for free and require reduced
vendor support for FOSS Linux distributions including the facility to
customize FOSS while benefiting from optimal IT infrastructure performance.

In the second scenario Koch predicted the possible Public sector
market responses towards vendor lock-in and open standards compliance that
by 2010, European and Asian governments will lead the way towards the
adoption of FOSS while American CIOs will be following their footsteps with
the risks identified that reliance upon a handful of vendors for their IT
would prove dangerous. Governments in Europe and Asia would shift their
purchasing and development dollars to FOSS and this has been evident within
the last three years with more joining in on the FOSS alternative. Once
again the most important risk mitigation will be seen towards reducing
vendor lock-in; defeating vendor dominance models, security of information,
compliance to open standards with calls for compliance to vendors should
they be interested to continue doing business with governments. Such a trend
would force vendors to comply towards creating FOSS within Open Standard
specifications.

Open Standards compliance has been evolving at a very fast rate
including the prominent case of the Open Document Format and Massachusetts
scenario. A dominant company like Microsoft has now included Open Document
Format support within their office and business productivity tools due to
compliance and further similar activity is predicated from other vendors who
had ignored such issues in the past. The trend is to continue within the
Public sector sharing the surge with the Private sector where governments
continue to mandate FOSS for communication with vendors forced to comply
with the new FOSS market trends. It may also be possible that governments
and enterprise CIOs have had enough of endless complex licensing agreements
and upgrades on enterprise software and instead opt for FOSS alternate
licensing models turning everything they’ve paid for out to the market for
free. Such a trend has been seen recently on SourceForge.net and
e-government websites worldwide where public and private sector
organizations are continuously making their FOSS technologies and platforms
available for free encouraging inspection of source code and extensive
testing before considerable use by stakeholders.

Koch’s prediction regarding Europe’s largest manufacturing companies
deciding to freeze all spending on enterprise software until vendors agree
on a standard set of truly open, free integration technologies to hook their
packages together also seems to be becoming a reality with the example of
Microsoft’s ban in the EU marketplace until it paid huge sums of fines and
made compliance to such standards as set forth by the EU. Adding to it, the
EU has been investing heavily into FOSS research and adoption by both Pubic
and Private sectors within all member countries and each of them making back
considerable contribution to the development of FOSS.

Another successful prediction presented a strong case for enterprise
level availability of FOSS technologies and platforms by 2010 emerging from
all corners of the globe with major vendors backing and supporting such
solutions. Key factors would be customer unhappiness combined with FOSS
based commodity threats forcing major vendors to completely revamp their
licensing, pricing, sales, installation and technical support models. Many
vendors have already initiated the process of releasing two models of
software, one freely developed and distributed by FOSS communities and the
other as enhanced derivations from the latter. As an exception in some
cases, some vendors are also making available older versions of their
software free-of-cost while selling paid support.

The predicted services model is also present today where smaller
vendors are also making money by selling paid supplementary consultancy,
training, deployment, migration and technical support services around FOSS
technology and platforms developed by larger enterprise vendors thus an Open
and Inclusive open standards based ecosystem is in evolution. This is also
helping CIOs changing their role into architecture experts taking hands-on
roles creating cheap, standards-based IT infrastructures building highly
customized IT-enabled business processes based on FOSS standards as
predicted by Koch. The “Don’t pay for the software but pay only for
services” business model is in full play today.

Nick Gall, SVP and principal analyst for Meta Group has also
predicted that “Open source and commoditization is a bottom-up process. It
will move slowly up over the next 20 years to the top of the stack. It will
be a slow, painful process for vendors.” This may also be true since no one
model for FOSS business fits all and every entity has to explore which
services model suits its product. Some FOSS business models have not made
money with respect to pay for service and instead have relied on Venture
Capital supporting their sustainability. It has also been witnessed that
many online businesses provide all sorts of services free to their members
but make money out of targeted opt marketing strategies.

Koch also predicted an emerging market for FOSS based ERP and CRM
solutions opposed to the expensive ERP solutions from major vendors but the
fact remains there are only a few FOSS based ERP solutions in the market.
This prediction is still valid and very beneficial in terms of ERP solutions
being developed under FOSS and open standards complying with international
GAAP, financial, electronic data interchange and transaction procedures. The
market may prove to be really big and fruitful. Various companies that have
attempted to use FOSS based ERP and CRM solutions have invested in custom
development projects to add functionality to these packages freely
incorporating the new code into future releases as a contribution back to
the FOSS development communities.

As already mentioned, Koch also referred to the individual software
developer or developer groups that they would be paid for coding as well as
servicing and supporting their work thus if their clients decide to make
such code available for incorporation into a FOSS package for
redistribution, they will be able to sell services to other companies that
adopt that distribution. FOSS will develop into an immediate preference for
startups, small and medium enterprises as well as Venture Capitalists and
Brokers.

So what does it take to get out there and cash from the FOSS
ecosystem? According to Jeremy Allison, developer of Samba software, “All
you need is one good set of code out there” to act as a foundation for
building the complex software systems. FOSS avoids the biggest barrier to
entering the software industry: marketing and sales. FOSS needs no sales and
marketing budget, only a good development leader, quality software and word
of mouth for adoption. The FOSS enterprise software is not free, but it is
cheaper, and services vendors that install and run it for customers are
happy to contribute paid developers to the cause.

He further adds that innovation will flower because it will be much
easier to get new projects going and to sell add-ons for existing open
source. To separate the promising software from the bad, good CIOs will be
more in demand—and more valued—than ever! 

Disclaimer:
The above information has been analyzed on a non-commercial basis
for information purposes only from an article written by the author
Christopher Koch published in CIO Magazine online dated Dec. 15, 2003 titled
“The Future of Software, A Land Where Giants Rule” at the website address
http://www.cio.com/archive/121503/softfuture.html thus proper copyright
attributions as informed by CIO Magazine should be made where necessary. The
author takes no responsibility whatsoever of the views and material
presented within the references provided and readers are encouraged to
research the facts on their own where deemed necessary.  

Online references for further reading:

Koch, C. “The Future of Software, A Land Where Giants Rule”, CIO Magazine.
(Dec. 15, 2003) http://www.cio.com/archive/121503/softfuture.html

Ohloh: Explore Open Source. Mapping the open source world by collecting
objective information on open source projects. http://ohloh.net/ 

Source Forge Free and Open Source Software Foundry
http://www.sourceforge.net

FOSS in South Asia http://www.bytesforall.net/aggregator/sources/11

European Working Group on Libre Software http://eu.conecta.it/

E.U.-Funded Project to Test Open-Source Viability
http://www.cio.com/blog_view.html?CID=25904

IDABC Website, dedicated to Free/Libre/Open Source Software to encourage the
spread and use of Best Practices in Europe
http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/chapter/452

Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Linux
http://www.oracle.com/technologies/linux/index.html

Canonical and Ubuntu Linux http://www.canonical.com

RedHat Enterprise Linux http://www.redhat.com

Suse Enterprise Linux SLE http://www.novell.com

The Economic Majority against Software Patents
http://www.economic-majority.com/testimony/silicide/index.en.php

Starting with Linux ZDNet
http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/whitepaper.aspx?docid=166160&promo=590&tag=nl.e
590

Microsoft Vista gets criticism before its launching in Europe
http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number4.18/vista

EU threatens Microsoft with Vista ban – vnunet.com
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2152965/eu-threatens-microsoft-vista
Free Software Foundation http://www.fsf.org

Could the EU ban the Windows desktop from Europe?
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=12684

Adobe and Symantec seek EU ban on Vista bundling – ZDNet UK News
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/windows/0,39020396,39283555,00.htm

Open Source Initiative http://www.opensource.org

UNDP-APDIP-IOSN International Open Source Network http://www.iosn.net

International Free and Open Source Software Foundation iFOSSF
http://www.ifossf.org

BytesForAll Network South Asia http://www.byetsforall.net

FOSSFP: Free and Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan
http://www.fossfp.org