Mike Milinkovich on Open Source Consortia @mmilinkov

Mike Milinkovich’s talk at OSS 2015 on “How the Eclipse Community Works”


  • Trend #1: Software über alles (ref: Software is eating the world)
  • Software is becoming the value-creating differentiator (impl: hardware is getting commoditized faster than software)
  • Trend #2: Quoting Immelt (GE): Every industrial company will become a software company
  • Milinkovich: Then, every company is becoming an open source company; also, software avg unit cost approaches zero
  • Many companies will not be able to pivot fast enough from license sales to new business models; they will fail Continue reading “Mike Milinkovich on Open Source Consortia @mmilinkov”

Open Source for the Energy Sector (in German) [ew Magazine]

A progress report towards an open source foundation for the energy sector (in German) that I initiated and am currently guiding. The article dates back to February already, but I got a hold of it only now.

Konsortiale Open-Source-Softwareentwicklung im Energiesektor

Christof Heinritz, Peter Herdt, Stephan Janeck, Gerhardt Regenbogen, Dirk Riehle, Frank Rose, Michael Roth, Detlef Thoma, Michael Tuchs.

Der Ausbau der Energie- und Wassernetze, neue Steuerungskonzepte für eine verstärkte Einspeisung von erneuerbaren Energien (EEG) sowie erhöhte Anforderungen an die IT-Sicherheit als Bestandteil der kritischen Infrastruktur sind einige der Themen, welche die Netzbetreiber mit ihrer technisch orientierten IT in naher Zukunft meistern müssen.

Continue reading “Open Source for the Energy Sector (in German) [ew Magazine]”

Open-Up Camp in Nuremberg February 14-16, 2014 (in German)

On Feb 14-16, 2014, the OpenUp Camp about all things open (practitioner) will take place in Nuremberg. Feb 14 is the “business day” and it will have a focus in open source user foundations, to which I’ll make a contribution:

Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, FAU, berichtet über aktuelle Forschung zum Thema Open-Source-Anwenderkonsortien. Er geht hierbei auf die zugrunde liegenden wirtschaftlichen Strukturen und das zu etablierende Ökosystem ein. Am Beispiel der Kuali Foundation, welche seit 10 Jahren die Software für amerikanische Universitäten entwickeln lässt, wird Motivation und Gewinn für Anwender und Hersteller gleichermassen diskutiert.

Looking forward to the event and see you there!

A Model of Open Source Developer Foundations [OSS 2012]

Abstract: Many community open source projects are of high economic relevance. As these projects mature, their leaders face a choice of continuing the project as is, making the project join an existing foundation, or creating their own foundation for the project. This article presents a model of open source developer foundations that project leaders can use to compare existing foundations with their needs or to design their own. The model is based on a three-iteration qualitative study involving interviews and supplementary materials review. To demonstrate its usefulness, we apply the model to nine foundations and present their organizational choices in a comparative table format.

Keywords: Open source; open source developer foundation; developer consortium; user foundation; user consortium; software industry

Reference: Dirk Riehle, Sebastian Berschneider. “A Model of Open Source Developer Foundations.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2012). Springer Verlag, 2012. Page 15-28.

The paper is available as a PDF file.

Community Open Source as the Raw Material of Computing Utility Providers

It’s April 2nd, so the Apache Software Foundation’s 2010 April Fools’ joke is over. Here is why I liked it a lot. It represents a hypothetical: What if the ASF and its projects could be bought? Or, if not bought, then put under control or strong influence of corporate interests like in traditional open source consortia? It would put the very software infrastructure we take for granted under partisan control and there is no guarantee that those partisan or corporate interests would be in the interest of the public good.

Continue reading “Community Open Source as the Raw Material of Computing Utility Providers”

The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations [Computer Magazine]

Abstract: An open source foundation is a group of people and companies that has come together to jointly develop community open source software. Examples include the Apache Software Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, and the Gnome Foundation. There are many reasons why software development firms join and support a foundation. One common economic motivation is to save costs in the development of the software by spreading them over the participating parties. However, this is just the beginning. Beyond sharing costs, participating firms can increase their revenue through the provision and increased sale of complementary products. Also, by establishing a successful open source platform, software firms can compete more effectively across technology stacks and thereby increase their addressable market. Not to be neglected, community open source software is a common good, creating increased general welfare and hence goodwill for the involved companies.

Reference: Dirk Riehle. “The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations.” IEEE Computer, vol. 43, no. 1 (January 2010). Page 86-90.

Available as HTML or as a PDF file.