Dave Winer today tells a story about seeing someone floating by his beach house window who waved at Dave.
I had a, um, geekier experience. I walked into Peet's coffee in
Petaluma. There a really tall guy kept staring at me like he was trying
to figure out who I was. I stared back. Eventually he said something
like “I think I've met you before.” Then it dawned on him: “you're a
blogger.” Heh. Yup. Guilty as charged. “You're the Scobleizer.”
Yeah. But now I was in the embarrassing place of having someone recognize me that I didn't recognize back.
“What do you do?” I asked, hoping to figure it out.
Turned out it was Doug Cutting. Developer of Open Source search software.
An honor meeting him. We had a nice chat about the projects he's worked on (Lucene,
which was the engine in LookOut, a desktop search tool I used in
Outlook before Microsoft bought it and rebuilt it for MSN Toolbar
Suite), his new project, Nutch, which is an open source search project being done with Apache.
We also chatted about the Apache license and various business models
that can be used in the open source model. He wants Microsoft not to be
afraid of the Apache license. His business model is a consulting one.
He gives away the code, but charges companies (and he's worked for many
of the big companies) a consulting fee to integrate his software into
companies' other systems.
Oh, Doug wasn't the only open source guy I met today. After leaving Petaluma (I was there to pick up my son) I had lunch with Joe Hewitt,
one of the developers of Firefox. Shel Israel and I wanted to get the
inside story of how Firefox got the large adoption it has gotten.
Joe's a really great guy. Shel took notes and will post those over on the Red Couch later next week.
It's great to get to talk to these two open source leaders. I have a feeling you and I will both be hearing more from them.
Oh, you think they are working to bring down Microsoft, right? Well,
both made the point that that isn't driving them at all and that both
wondered if there were a way for Microsoft to work with the open source
community in the future.
That's an excellent question and one that I've been hearing a lot
this week thanks to having the Linux and Java folks on campus. By the
way, JavaLobby posted a report of the last day of the competitive influentials summit.
One thing I came away from is that there's a lot that I need to
learn from the larger community. These two guys opened my eyes to the
open source world and hopefully these relationships will grow stronger.
How should Microsoft work closer with the open source community?
Even deeper: how can we help the open source community? [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]