Simon Phipps

Columnist

Simon Phipps is a well-known and respected leader in the free software community, having been involved at a strategic level in some of the world's leading technology companies and open source communities. He worked with open standards in the 1980s, on the first commercial collaborative conferencing software in the 1990s, helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM and as head of open source at Sun Microsystems opened their whole software portfolio including Java. Today he's managing director of Meshed Insights Ltd and president of the Open Source Initiative and a directory of the Open Rights Group and the Document Foundation. All opinions expressed are his own.

20 years of open source: Its world-changing history in brief

Sad day for developers: SCOTUS denies Google's appeal on APIs

Supreme Court's decision is bad news for developers targeting the U.S. market, who will now have to avoid any API not explicitly licensed as open

Oracle v. Google: We're not screwed yet

Superficially, the Solicitor General's advice to SCOTUS to find against Google and reject its appeal looks like bad news, but Simon Phipps says it's not over yet.

Untangling the intense politics behind Node.js

The bitter politics around Node.js certainly needs sandboxing, but so does the desire of developers to drive the agenda.

Is Pivotal's Cloud Foundry open enough?

A year ago, Pivotal announced its intent to set up a foundation for the open source Cloud Foundry project, but issues lurk in the bylaws and ownership of the name.

Walmart's investment in open source isn't cheap

While proprietary vendors want us to focus on price, innovators focus on the flexibility and business value of open source.

Don't be fooled by phony 'open source'

Companies that try to use open source fakery to generate a contributor network effect are deluding themselves. Here's why they need to really commit, or get out of the game.

GitHub finally takes open source licenses seriously

The Internet's favorite source code host launches choosealicense.com, where developers can learn about and apply an open source license to software hosted on GitHub.

Oracle switches Berkeley DB license

Oracle had the right to change the BerkeleyDB license to AGPL, but many will view the switch as a betrayal of trust.

MySQL mistake is a wake-up call on open source ownership

Contributor agreements grease the funding wheels of many open source projects, but they can also endanger a project's health and stability. Simon Phipps uses the Oracle-MySQL scare to illustrate.

Here's to 20 years of the Web -- may it stay open and free

CERN first made available the Web's source code 20 years ago. Simon Phipps discusses what we can still learn from that spirit of openness today.

Red Hat's Java leadership grows as Oracle's wanes

Red Hat steps up to provide continuity for OpenJDK 6 after Oracle's decision to focus on Java 7 and 8.

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