Must read – Open Source – Sustainable Development by Nick Allott

Nick Allott writes a great blog (and it’s very long but well worth a read) on his blog about Open Source sustainable development

A synopsis is:

New software technology, whether PC or mobile, is now dominated by open source. Android, Chrome, Symbian , Webkit, Apache, Eclipse, Meego, Linux, Limo, Ubuntu, Mozilla, QT, Phonegap collectively and individually are powerful forces that determine not only the future directions of technology, but by implication the future successes of companies involved in any of the industries touched by these projects.

This article has a singular purpose: to explore what the shape and structure of a successful open source project looks like. And by success I mean not only, where is it today, but are the incentives there to sustain interest and development in the platform. For every open source success, there are many stagnating in a source code repository graveyard

In the context of webinos, the project I am currently working on, this is relevant for two reasons

1. We need to build on top of other open source operating systems. When we make the selection of which platforms to prioritise, we need to be aware of the risks and benefits of different open source project configurations
2. Webinos will itself be and open source project. When we construct the mechanics of its operations, we want to do so based upon best practice.

The reality of open source projects is that they require significant investment: hundreds of thousands of man hours in many cases. And this investment is in most cases corporately sponsored. Corporates require a return on investment; whether you can see it or not the company investing effort into a collaborative initiative such as an open source project is doing so for financial gain. Moreover, corporates are “compelled” to compete; shareholders expect returns above the market norm.

These considerations are essential if we are to build a sustainable healthy, open source community.

A successful, sustainable open source community requires that multiple competing companies must continue to invest, on and ideally equal basis, into the collaborative activity.

In this article, therefore I am going to cover several points.

1. Go over some of the theoretical background on and why companies do (and don’t) invest in open source, and also look at the principle dimensions of how they are legally constructed
2. Business models: an effective collaborations of corporates, more so than individuals, requires that all parties are comfortable with each others motivations. Why am I engaged? Why are you engaged?
3. Finally, Ill look at some evaluation metrics – can we establish the parameters by which we can evaluate the probable sustainability of an open source project. And to validate this look at how different platforms measure up.

The full post at: Open Source – Sustainable Development

Carnival of the Mobilists #135: Olympics of the Mobilists !

Great title!

Carnival of the Mobilists #135: Olympics of the Mobilists !

Classic Ray Charles – Hit the road Jack ..

Watched this song more times than I can remember. Enjoy! rates OpenGardens blog 8/10.


I had an email from Amy at blogged saying that they rated OpenGardens blog 8/10.

Often this is a good way to get attention – so I was a bit sceptical at first. Still I had a look at

And I liked it ..

Not because they rate me 8/10 :) .. and techcrunch has a mixed review(but some comments are positive) ..

But there is a more subtle reason ..

And at first I struggled to find it .. and the best way I can express it is by saying that it does one thing very well.

A good list of blogs is indeed valuable .. and although it exists in other places on the web(technorati and mybloglog for example) .. I like the simplicity and scope of this site along with a singular focus.

Certainly a valuable resource ..

A landmark: The opengardens blog completes more than 800 posts in less than 3 years ..

Hello all

We have reached a bit of a landmark .. The OpenGardens blog now has more than 800 posts – and considering some of my posts are extensive(more articles than blogs), there is a lot of content here!

Thanks for all your support over the years – both online and offline where I have met various readers of OpenGardens blogs at conferences but also at airport lounges and hotel lobbies etc when people have stopped me to thank me / discuss this blog !

I know large companies who read it regularly and distribute some blogs internally and many small startups – both Web and Mobile – who also follow it

It all started with this post – Beatles to BT? would it work? way back on 26th May 2005 when I asked ..

Would ‘Beatles to BT’ work? i.e. If the Beatles had been starting out – would they have approached BT to sell their music? What would happen if they did? Would there be a Beatles – in the first place?

This set the tone for the whole blog – a balanced, human, personal and often extremely detailed view of the Mobile data industry with an emphasis on Open Gardens(opposite of walled gardens). It is an ‘outsider’s view’ i.e. with a bias towards the Web and as the Web and the Mobile Web converge – with companies like Nokia, Opera, Google and Apple leading the way – there are many more interesting things to cover!

Along the way, various personal preferences like Tom and Jerry, ZZ Top, Tintin, Asterix, Snoopy and Pink Floyd have kept it interesting as have my personal ethos about Individualism, human rights, the free market economy and the belief that technology will enrich the lives of people and overcome poverty

Thanks for your support again!

Please subscribe to the OpenGardens blog at OpenGardens

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year!

Thanks for all your support over the years!

kind rgds



Image source:

Leopard, spots change – Verizon ..

Verizon has opened up! What do we say? At this rate, my blog ‘OpenGardens’ will become redundant

But seriously .. Like Om Malik, I am sceptical a bit .. But .. I am also an optimist ..

This is clearly a significant move ..

However, it should be looked at in context of the broader market .. iPhone, Google, Android, 700 Mhz auction etc etc ..

The walled gardens model is truly dead and a mixture of regulatory, competitive and customer led changes are the winners here ..

In many ways, such moves should be encouraged – like I blogged about Three’s about turn ..(Three was one of the closest operators in Europe at one time and now goes to the other end of the spectrum)

The bottom line is: Operators have little choice .. The customers are driving this change and history has always dictated this change(for instance in the case of AOL)

The real question we have to ask is: Is the phone a creation device(Web 2.0/Mobile Web 2.0) or is it a consumption device? That’s the difference between OpenGardens and Walled Gardens ..

As we go into an era of creation, openness is inevitable

Tony Fish rated Top 10 for science and innovation by the Observer ..

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The observer rates Tony Fish Top 10 for science and innovation / heading for the top

The entry reads as below

Congarts Tony for this!

Tony Fish, author and founder, AMF Ventures, London Fish is involved in technology, media and telecoms industries, building hi-tech companies since 1994. He is the founder of AMF Ventures, a strategic consultancy focused on the move to 2.0. He sits as a non-executive director at Chronos Technology, Hartwood, dotnet and C2G, chairman at Dot Mobile, and partner at MashUp Events LLP, a formal gathering of professionals who meet to discuss the digital world. Mobile Web 2.0, Fish’s second book, focuses on the changing relationships between mobile, TV, web and print, and the uniqueness of mobile metadata.

Today’s internet communities are a fad, social networks will dominate

Jouko Ahvenainen of xtract has this fantastic post at forumoxford

The basic premise is: Communities / Social networks as we know them today are a fad – However social networks (as a philosophy) will dominate

Jouko’s post below ..


There has been an active discussion whether social communities are a fad. I also asked here a couple of weeks ago, what is the relationship of real social networks and communities people create around them in the Internet. Finally I have come to some conclusions in my thinking.

Here is my prediction: Internet communities as we know them today are a fad, but social networks and communities will be a fundamental part of all Internet and mobile services and marketing.

I just flew from London to San Francisco and had time to read some articles and really think this question. Communities like Facebook and MySpace are now very popular, but I see they are only the first step and still quite artificial social networking between people. Advertisers have seen the value already today. Individual community services comes and disappears but the phenomenon itself will live. And we have already seen that people are not always loyal to a community service.

But this is only a starting point. People have many other services they use daily in the Internet. They live with their mobiles 24/7. It cannot be so that your social activities and at the same time community marketing intelligence is limited only to certain web sites. Social network awareness will be a fundamental part of everything people develop for the Internet and mobile in near future. And community marketing intelligence will live inside all services and platforms in the future to offer better usability and more relevant and effective advertising.

This is also why mobile data is so powerful if we want to know the real social networks for advertising and better usability. Today it is operators’ data to analyze social networks as Xtract already does but in the future it will be much more data from handset and also from Internet and Mobile Internet usage. And those who own the data and powerful tools to find relevant out from the data will be the big winners.


I agree .. and I said once at a presentation ..

Content may be king – but metadata is King Kong! i.e. he who owns the metadata about the customer will be the real winner. Operators have potentially a strong case here – definately. Assuming they use the right tools and have the right mindset

Jonathan Marks added ..

I asked the CEO of Flickr if she could guarantee me access to my own photos in 2012. In fact she couldn’t. Since I keep a copy of what I upload to Flickr, if I lost access to my photos it wouldn’t matter so much. But all the effort put into labelling material, building sensible collections, tagging etc which builds value to a collection, I see no guarantee that I would be able to download that at any time in the future. My time, my effort, but apparently not my data.

and as I said in the last blog .. Google’s answer to facebook .. I totally agree with Dave ..

Standardization across handsets, OMTP, 2D barcodes, Micro USB

Here is a practical way for operators to jump start the mobile web ..

I believe that there could be a role for bodies like OMTP

It came from a suggestion from Daniel Rosen (Head of AKQA Mobile)’s presentation’s at the Mobile Web 2.0 events(Daniel is a good friend whose views I like and respect)

Daniels’ suggestion was in a nutshell; Operators should standardise across 2d barcodes (also called QR codes)

I fully agree with this!

2d barcodes are ubiquitous and they are a key driver to the mobile web uptake because they can be in magazines and other publications and can be linked directly to a mobile web site

Others like Tomi Ahnonen also rave on about QR codes

This could be a role for an organization like OMTP which could undertake standardization which helps jump start the industry.

Recently, OMTP took the same role with standardisation on micro-USB – a positive step in my view

This form of cross synergy which help developers/customers is most welcome and indicate a role which a cross industry body can play