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I don’t like my work to be qualified as “limited“. It occurred twice in the past two weeks and there were some variants.

Shallow judgement.

Most of the questions on open source projects’ forums are about people trying to save time by asking directly instead of reading (and understanding to a certain point) the documentation.
A new generation emerged : those that qualify a project or aspects of a project as ‘limited’ if it doesn’t fit their mindset.

Maybe it’s related to the rise of the commercial open source, the shift from the users of an open source project to consumers of a commercial open source project. Bye innocent ‘newbie’, welcome despised ‘consubie’.

Dark ages ahead. Please put an ‘open source consultant’ between these people and my forums.

Of course, I exaggerate, but it’s “Navidad” and I feel like asking for my share of respect.

[long] P.S.

it’s OK to a certain extent to ask questions without reading too much of the documentation, having to reply to them gives hints about what is not well understood, and the replies themselves increase the amount of ‘searchable online information’.
I have to say though, that each time I’ve said : “hey if you don’t understand the documentation, feel free to ask any question”, I sincerely thought : “that could help me enhance the doc” but it was understood as : “documentation is crappy and any question you might ask will be a proof of this crappiness”.

Further exaggeration.

Written by John Mettraux

December 22, 2006 at 8:18 am

Posted in blahblah, opensource


A link to a great post by Seth Godin.

I have to say I’m glad there are pilots and navigators/instigators. They complement.

A pilot has to deal with unexpected issues, and he’ll still deal with them better than a machine would (yes, my thoughts were wandering along the “let’s automate the boring work” credo of the computer addict).
The instigator will seek the unexpected and deal with it (and call it a “challenge”).

Written by John Mettraux

December 8, 2006 at 3:55 am

Posted in blahblah

BPM-J 2006

The BPM-J group is organizing this event about BPM.

Among the speakers are Keith Swenson, John Pyke and Michael Zur Muehlen.

I plan on attending to this event with Nicolas, we’re looking forward discovering the level of BPM/workflow buzz in Japan and meeting people. Funny, OpenWFE just switched from “Swiss-made” to “Made in Japan” with now 3 developers in Japan.

Unfortunately, I only knew about this seminar today, thanks to this Swenson-san post about BPM 2006 Mainz in Germany.

Written by John Mettraux

October 16, 2006 at 8:37 am

Posted in blahblah, bpm, openwfe, workflow

yet another channel

Some of you might have read ‘snowcrash‘, by Neil Stephenson. His Metaverse conception is becoming a ‘reality‘.

Yet another channel : websites, blogs, and now, we’ll have to devote some online time to enjoy virtual tea with contacts. I think I’d like to delegate that virtual second life to some automated online version of myself : automat{ic|ed} ubiquity.

Written by John Mettraux

October 3, 2006 at 5:07 am

Posted in blahblah


You should really add Matt Asay to your feedreader. He provides a great insight on commercial open source sales.

His last post feels really subversive though :

With open source, we put the code on Sourceforge and the seeds (opportunities) come to us, download it, and do the planting themselves. We then proactively work on extending our footprint within a company through our initial champions within the customer.

Are they piggybacking open source ‘exchange places’ ? Open source as a tool, not an ideal. This quote is scary. But let’s remember that it’s about ‘osb’ : “open source business”, though Matt continuously drops the “business” word. His posts are not targetted at developers, they’re targetted at VCs and white collars, it’s about self-conviction, persuasion, sales. It’s not for the peones.

Remotely, that reminds me of Marc Fleury controversial post about “professional open source“.

The JBoss model isn’t that bad : they pay developers to continue working on the project / set of projects that is the subject of their passion.
But I’d like to meet a developer that got hired by a VC-backed company to specifically join a pseudo open source project. I’d like to challenge his level of ‘passion’.

This whole thing also reminds me of the people complaining on the mailing list of another open source project that I’m interested in : they complained because they felt the company behind the project was making it too commercial, they wanted some Apache-like “community lead”. They should change target.

Written by John Mettraux

October 3, 2006 at 12:53 am

Posted in blahblah, opensource


The OpenWFE mailing lists hosted on Sourceforge are turning into a spam pile.

Before moving to Google Groups and hopefully better spam filtering, I’m trying to get a reply/reaction from the Sourceforge team.

Their [free] services improved lately, but I had to forget about anonymous posting on the forums. I think they won’t care about spam filtering requests, but I asked.

Written by John Mettraux

September 10, 2006 at 11:43 pm

Posted in blahblah, openwfe

community flame

I’m subscribed to a certain number of open source projects mailing lists.

One of those sported a discussion where a user expressed his discontentment with the project being too much ‘commercial open source’. A project with only two full time developers and no VC backup isn’t worth such fire, wrong target.

The ‘user’ complained about the ‘community’ versus ‘enterprise’ edition. There are lots of projects going that way these days, sometimes the enterprise edition spins off the community one. Since when do we have ‘community editions’ ? My first souvenir of it was versus, it isn’t that recent, but my impression is that the ‘community edition’ got refined into some ‘enterprise edition’ not the inverse, I don’t feel like googling sendmail’s history to assert my impression into a conviction.

(Notice how I/we use sendmail with a lowercase, it is/was ubiquitous, millions of mail messages got routes/dispatched by it, but I was glad to switch to Exim).

On the mailing thread, the user complains about the project ‘mocking users’ by providing some migration tools only in the enterprise edition. There’s got to be some added value in that enterprise edition, why not that ? That project is real open source, I would feel mocked if I had to register in any way to download and/or participate in the ‘community edition’ (some [commercial] open source projects do it).

The only acceptable ‘registration process’ is the process of registering to one of the mailing-lists of the open source project.

I don’t like the ‘community edition’ denomination, it’s the flag of the evolution towards the ‘commercial open source’ only. But maybe that’s just [blogo-]noise and I need to tune my filters.

Written by John Mettraux

August 16, 2006 at 8:23 pm

Posted in blahblah, opensource, oss

Back from the USSR

Just got back from St-Petersburg, Russia. What a beautiful city.

Having spent a week (almost) offline, my blog reader was full of niceties. A noticeable piece of news is Google code / project hosting. I’ll prepare something for OpenWFE there, to get ready for sourceforge’s next “big outage”.

Written by John Mettraux

July 29, 2006 at 9:04 pm

Posted in blahblah

less light, blindness

I’ve lost two hours of my life fixing some code someone else wrote. It was done in Eclipse.

Of course, it was just a problem of duplicated code showing up in both the extensions of a class. I use only Vim, no fancy Eclipse. What good using an IDE when you lack the discipline to produce elegant code ? Less code is less danger.

That faulty code is closed source [of course].

And to conclude : my apologies for any code I wrote or will write, closed or open, yielding such problems; I’m just a human being…

Written by John Mettraux

July 16, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Posted in blahblah, coding, eclipse, java

L’armée des ombres

L'armée des ombresNot a workflow/BPM post.

I’ve just finished that book (‘Cien años de soledad’ is waiting, sorry). I really like Joseph Kessel‘s style. I read too much english, I need some french from time to time.

This book is about french resistance (WWII). It asks many questions. Who are you in the light of action ? Who are you in the shade of action ?

Europe changed so much since these days. When thinking back to the two WWs, my inner question is : how many talented youngsters died ?
But since then, haven’t we invented other ways to waste minds ?

Written by John Mettraux

July 3, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Posted in blahblah, books