What a Hoot!

12 03 2008

Open source is a way for all of us to get better at listening. Instead of large companies imposing closed solutions on the market; customers, individual developers and partners can all take part in conversations that lead to the next best thingamabob. By listening and sharing we stand to build better solutions. One example of this is in the development of industry standards. Quite a few years ago I was Sun’s representative on a standards association. Members met every six weeks to push the particular spec we were working. The process was excruciating – lots more talking than listening. At a point theoretically near the end of spec definition, we vendors would start our own implementations, only to have to go back and negotiate changes in the spec that just didn’t work in implementation.

Now take the example of NFSv4.1 – the latest version of the NFS spec being worked in the IETF. In opensolaris.org you can find an NFSv4.1 client that anyone (yup, anyone from any company) can use to help get their NFSv4.1 server implementation going. Which helps advance what shows up at Bakeathons and Connectathons. Which helps advance the spec more quickly. Which should help get better solutions into customers hands earlier. All enabled by an open source community of developers listening to each other in order to get to a common goal.

This little guy really hangs out in the shrubs at the Broomfield campusOn a slightly different note, check out this pic of a baby owl nesting at our Sun Broomfield campus. Thanks to my pal Steve G for letting me know I was walking past some shrubbery where the little one hangs out. And mucho thanks to the guy in Building 6 who pointed to mama owl eyeing me from up above as I quickly snapped the picture… I got away with my head intact. Remember the wise old owl poem? “A wise old owl lived in an oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”

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