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by Peter Galli on November 20, 2009 02:42pm
As you know, Microsoft recently committed to making the source code as well as binaries for the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool available this week, under the terms of the General Public License v2 as described here.
While we worked extremely hard to try and get the code ready for release by today, we still need to test and localize it. Our goal is now to release the tool in all languages on the same day in the next few weeks.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to make the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool available once again.
by Peter Galli on November 19, 2009 06:40pm
The Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) team announced today the release of Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP, a PHP accelerator that is used to increase the speed of PHP applications running on Windows and Windows Server. This is a production-ready release that is provided under an open source BSD license, with the source code hosted and maintained here, and the documentation hosted on php.net. You can find more details on this release on IIS team Product Unit Manager Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec's blog. WinCache extension is a significant open source contribution from Microsoft to the PHP on Windows community. The extension code is hosted and maintained on PHP Extensions Community Library (PECL) and is available for everyone to view, branch, compile, and contribute to. The IIS team also invites the PHP development community to join it in development of this caching extension for PHP on Windows. There have already been some contributions from the community whileWinCache was in the pre-release mode, and IIS team is looking forward to having others join this new PHP on Windows caching project. Also, in time for this release, an independent PHP company - Ibuildings - has conducted a benchmark test with the WinCache RTW bits and published the results. The release of this production-ready PHP accelerator for Windows is an important step towards making the Windows operating system an even better platform for hosting PHP applications. WinCache extension significantly improves performance of PHP applications and lowers CPU load on the server. This, together with the fact that no application code changes are necessary to take advantage of the caching, makes WinCache a must have extension when running PHP on Windows. More information about the WinCache extension for PHP can be found as follows: The PECL documentation on WinCache The PHP on Windows feature team blogs (Kanwal, Ruslan, and Don) The WinCache community forum The IIS.NET documentation on WinCache The WinCache on PECL source code, licensed under BSD How to file bugs on WinCache in PECL
The Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) team announced today the release of Windows Cache Extension 1.0 for PHP, a PHP accelerator that is used to increase the speed of PHP applications running on Windows and Windows Server.
This is a production-ready release that is provided under an open source BSD license, with the source code hosted and maintained here, and the documentation hosted on php.net.
You can find more details on this release on IIS team Product Unit Manager Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec's blog.
WinCache extension is a significant open source contribution from Microsoft to the PHP on Windows community. The extension code is hosted and maintained on PHP Extensions Community Library (PECL) and is available for everyone to view, branch, compile, and contribute to.
The IIS team also invites the PHP development community to join it in development of this caching extension for PHP on Windows. There have already been some contributions from the community whileWinCache was in the pre-release mode, and IIS team is looking forward to having others join this new PHP on Windows caching project.
Also, in time for this release, an independent PHP company - Ibuildings - has conducted a benchmark test with the WinCache RTW bits and published the results.
The release of this production-ready PHP accelerator for Windows is an important step towards making the Windows operating system an even better platform for hosting PHP applications.
WinCache extension significantly improves performance of PHP applications and lowers CPU load on the server. This, together with the fact that no application code changes are necessary to take advantage of the caching, makes WinCache a must have extension when running PHP on Windows.
More information about the WinCache extension for PHP can be found as follows:
by Peter Galli on November 18, 2009 11:59am
The beta for Silverlight 4 was released today, Scott Guthrie, a Corporate Vice President in Microsoft's Developer Division, told attendees at the annual Professional Developers Conference here in Los Angeles.
The final verison of the product will be shipped in the first half of 2010, he said, noting that the release of the beta means that developers can begin testing the capabilities of Silverlight 4 to plan for the great applications and rich, compelling user experiences to come, both on and off the Web.
Some 90% of the most commonly requested features were incorporated into Silverlight 4, which is currently installed on 40% of all internet devices and more than 50% of US broadband PCs, Guthrie said.
A number of customers, including Snapflow, Seesmic and H&R Block, as well as numerous Microsoft properties such as Xbox, Bing and MSN, are all already using Silverlight to create compelling user experiences.
The Silverlight 4 beta extends beyond the browser, and brings new out-of-browser capabilities, enabling new experiences that reach deeper into the desktop without additional code or runtimes required.
Webcam and microphone with local recording capability opens new possibilities for innovative interactive media experiences, while native multicast support enables efficient enterprise-wide training and internal communications behind the firewall.
Full support for Silverlight in Visual Studio 2010 gives enterprise developers a tried and trusted development environment and languages that scales for mission-critical enterprise scenarios, while integration with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint bring the benefits of Silverlight interactivity to a broad enterprise install base, Guthrie said.
Enhanced printing, networking, databinding, reporting and charting capabilities satisfy common business needs, while Silverlight has a growing library of over 60 customizable controls to create rich, interactive applications to rapidly build attractive, functional business applications.
Microsoft also has extended support for Google's Chrome browser with Silverlight 4.
Microsoft is also working with the open source community to ensure that Silverlight content is available to them. Earlier this year, Moonlight 1.0 was released. Moonlight is an open source project that gives Linux users access to Microsoft Silverlight content, and is available for all major Linux distributions, including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat, and Ubuntu.
by Peter Galli on November 17, 2009 12:14pm
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, used the company's annual Professional Developers Conference here in Los Angeles to announce the availability of the Windows Azure platform.
That platform consists of Windows Azure, the operating system as-a-service, and SQL Azure, a fully relational database in the cloud. The Service Bus and Access Control services, formerly known as the .NET Services, now run directly within Windows Azure and are known as Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service.
Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Azure as a Community Technology Preview until the end of this year, after which it will switch to a production service under which Azure's cloud services will be made available to enterprises. But users will get a fee pass in January, since charges will only start accruing in February.
In his opening keynote, Ozzie also announced that a small number of customers will go into production today, including Automattic, Inc., the maker of WordPress, which is now live on Azure. Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic, Inc., took the stage to demonstrate MySQL, PHP, and Apache support on Windows Azure, as well as to announce that his company is launching a new site that runs on SQL Azure.
Ozzie also used his keynote to made clear that reaching all developers was top of mind for Microsoft.
"To most developers, to developers like you, Windows Azure appears as a model based extension to Visual Studio, enabling you to build apps that leverage your skills in SQL, IIS, ASP.NET, and .NET Framework. Alternatively, and of course it's your choice, you might leverage your skills by using MySQL and PHP within Azure, or you might instead take advantage of our new Azure tools for Java and Eclipse. Reaching all developers is incredibly important to us," he said.
Windows Azure now supported any kind of Windows code and programming model, and any kind of multi-role, multi-tier service design pattern, supporting extremely flexible binding and arbitrary relationships between roles, Ozzie said.
"Because you wanted it, we've broadened far beyond just the .NET programming model, and the Web role, worker role service design pattern. We added support for FastCGI, enabling high scale Web apps to be written in any of a variety of programming languages. And, in sessions this week, you're going to see the Windows Azure team quickly building and deploying Java apps, running under Tomcat. You'll see PHP apps under MySQL," he said.
Earlier this year, Microsoft enabled .NET full trust and native code applications. This functionality allowed developers to spawn xcopy deployable processes. As a result, Java applications can now be packaged and run.
Today, we announced that we are delivering a solution accelerator for Tomcat, an open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, as well as launching a Java SDK for Windows Azure Storage (tables, blogs, and queues). External endpoints (inbound traffic) to worker roles have also been enabled, which enables applications that receive internet traffic that aren't running under IIS.
During his keynote Ozzie also introduced Vivek Kundra, the Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House, who spoke via live feed from Washington D.C., and who encouraged developers to take advantage of the vast amount of public data to create applications using this new Microsoft technology.
"I'm really excited about what NASA is doing in cooperation with Microsoft with the launch of the Pathfinder Innovation Challenge ... anybody can participate and look at the data that has been democratized through NASA on the Azure platform, that allows people to look around the red planet, slice and dice, and cube, and create information, and advance our understanding of the universe," Kundra said.
This commitment to all developers is not new. When Ozzie first announced the Windows Azure platform at PDC last year, Sam Ramji blogged that developers will also be able to choose from a range of open source development tools and technologies, and be able to access Azure services using a variety of common internet standards, including HTTP, REST, WS* and Atom.
"The Azure platform's goal is to support all developers and their choice of IDE, language and technology. We are also providing programmable components that can be consumed by other applications, and Microsoft is funding and sponsoring open source software development kits to enable Java and Ruby developers to take advantage of Azure. This is significant as this is the first time we are delivering cross-platform software development kits at the same time as Microsoft Developer Network software development kits," he said.
And, earlier this year, Microsoft introduced the PHP SDK for Windows Azure, an open source effort for which Microsoft has provided funding, with development by RealDolmen, whose goal is to provide high-level abstractions that enable PHP developers to interoperate readily with Windows Azure.
The PHP SDK for Windows Azure focuses on REST and provides PHP classes for Windows Azure blobs, tables and queue, helper classes for HTTP transport, AuthN/AuthZ, REST and error management, as well as manageability, instrumentation and logging support.
Next up at PDC 2009 was Bob Muglia, President of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, who noted that Microsoft is converging on a common developer platform for both servers and services, that will enable developers to continue using familiar .NET Framework and Visual Studio tools and technologies, as well as third party tools such as Eclipse, to create and monetize applications that run on the server and as services in the cloud.
Muglia also announced the company's plan to offer Windows Server Virtual Machine support on Windows Azure, enabling customers to more easily support virtualized infrastructure across the continuum of on premises and cloud computing.
In addition, Muglia announced the new release of ASP.NET MVC beta 2, a free, fully-supported framework that enables developers to rapidly build standards-based Web applications through rich AJAX integration and enhanced extensibility.
In other related news, SugarCRM, a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management software, today also announced that it will offer its CRM applications on Windows Azure to enable its customers and value-added resellers to benefit from the real-time scalability, high availability and on-demand infrastructure of Azure.
"With Windows Azure, Microsoft has built a true cloud computing platform going well beyond the simple hosted infrastructure that most service providers offer today. Windows Azure enables SugarCRM value-added resellers to create and deploy unique solutions for customers around the globe. This new service is another key component of the Sugar Open Cloud, the SugarCRM cloud strategy for delivering simple, affordable CRM anywhere based on customer need," said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, in a press statement.
by Peter Galli on November 16, 2009 09:16am
I have great news to announce. Today, at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference (PDC) here in Los Angeles, we announced not only the release of version 4.0 of the.NET Micro Framework, but also that we are open sourcing the product and making it available under the Apache 2.0 license, which is already being used by the community within the embedded space.
The .NET Micro Framework,a development and execution environment for resource-constrained devices, was initially developed inside the Microsoft Startup Business Accelerator, but recently moved to the Developer Division so as to be more closely aligned with the overall direction of Microsoft development efforts.
The result of this is that the .NET Micro Framework has become a seamless development experience, bringing a single programming model and tool chain for the breadth of developer solutions, all the way from small intelligent devices, to servers and the cloud. There are also no more time-limited versions.
Including the source code for almost all of the product also ensures that developers now also get access to the Base Class Libraries that were implemented for .NET Micro Framework and the CLR code itself.
However, both the TCP/IP stack and Cryptography libraries are not included in the source code. Program Manager Colin Miller told me this was because the TCP/IP stack is third party software that Microsoft licenses from EBSNet, so we do not have the rights to distribute that source code. If someone needs to access the source code for the TCP/IP stack, they can contact EBSNet directly.
As for the Cyptography libraries, they are not included in source code because they are used outside of the scope of the .NET Micro Framework. Customers who need to have access to the code in the cryptography functions will find that these libraries can be replaced, Miller said.
I asked Miller what the future plans for the .Net Micro Framework were, and he made clear that Microsoft intends to remain actively involved in its ongoing development, working alongside the community. While the license will allow customers to take the code and make specialized versions to fit their needs, customers told us they wanted Microsoft to stay involved to avoid any possible fragmentation of the platform.
"As such, we are planning on establishing a core technology team that is made up of both Microsoft and non-Microsoft contributors that continues the goals of producing a high quality product for very small devices. This group will act as the gateway to community contributions while, at the same time, Microsoft Developers will continue add functionality and coordinate with the overall .NET team," he said.
Microsoft is also in the process of forming a community of interested and involved members to help shape the future direction of the product. There will be a core technology team that is composed of Microsoft and external partners, and people will be encouraged to propose projects, which will be vetted before they are accepted.
"The site will also support people building extensions that exist alongside the platform rather than being integrated into it, " Miller told me.
by Peter Galli on November 13, 2009 11:24am
As you've likely read and as was originally reported here, we've been investigating a report that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, might contain GPLv2 code. The WUDT is a free tool that was offered by the Microsoft Store and which enabled customers to create bootable USB drives or DVD backup media from the electronic software (ESD) edition of Windows 7 that comes in an ISO format.
After looking at the code in question, we are now able to confirm this was indeed the case, although it was not intentional on our part. While we had contracted with a third party to create the tool, we share responsibility as we did not catch it as part of our code review process. We have furthermore conducted a review of other code provided through the Microsoft Store and this was the only incident of this sort we could find.
When it comes to our attention that a Microsoft component contains third party code, our aim is to be respectful of the terms under which that code is being shared. As a result, we will be making the source code as well as binaries for this tool available next week under the terms of the General Public License v2 as described here, and are also taking measures to apply what we have learned from this experience for future code reviews we perform.
We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this has caused.
This post was updated to include the link to the original article.
by Peter Galli on November 12, 2009 04:33pm
As you probably know, Microsoft was both a sponsor and active participant at ApacheCon 2009 in Oakland, California last week.
But what you might not know is that we also showed our lighter, more fun side, when we participated in the Lightning Talks, which were held on Thursday evening, November 5, during a reception with plenty of popcorn, beer and wine.
As my colleague Jas Sandhu noted in his blog about this - and where you can also find the song's lyrics - the talks are a lively, spontaneous ApacheCon tradition with speakers getting about 5 minutes to poke at each other, the projects, technology, community etc ... and have a bit of fun!
The singing and dancing Microsoft team was led by Kent Brown, the Product Manager for Windows Communication Foundation, who was not only the singer, songwriter and guitar player, but also the author of 'Them Incubator Blues,' which is very tongue-in-cheek and loosely based on his experience participating in the Stonehenge Project and working with the community.
He was joined by me, Microsoft's open source community manager; Tanya Young, our chief cat herder at the conference; and Jas Sandhu, a Senior Technical Evangelist. It was great fun and we hope you enjoy it!
Video courtesy of Mladen Turk from Red Hat.
by Peter Galli on November 09, 2009 01:19pm
Today, Microsoft and Novell marked the third anniversary of the collaboration agreement during a gathering of IT executives at the Society of Information Management SIMPosium 09 conference in Seattle.
As many customers are running heterogeneous IT environments and are looking to their software vendors to address their interoperability needs, over the past three years Microsoft and Novell have been working together to help these organizations future-proof their IT operations by optimizing mixed source IT infrastructures to better support today and prepare for tomorrow.
This collaboration and the resultant joint solutions have already enhanced reliability and efficiency within mixed IT systems environments. These technical solutions help customers centralize or streamline management functions, reduce internal support requirements, and enable greater interoperability without having to dedicate time and resources to devise workarounds.
The Microsoft-Novell Interoperability Lab also remains focused on addressing our customers' priority interoperability concerns, and this technical collaboration has already produced real-world solutions spanning Virtualization, Systems Management, Rich Media and Server Workload Validation.
Those customers who choose to use Windows and Linux together can leverage not only SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell, but also its support offerings, to ensure business continuity, while customers have added peace of mind as a result of the intellectual property (IP) provisions of the agreement between the two companies.
The success of this relationship is also underscored by steady sales, even in the current difficult economic environment: as of July 31, 2009, Novell has invoiced $226 million in certificate revenue, or 91percent of the total $247.5 million investment.
Microsoft and Novell have jointly recruited more than 475 new customers to receive certificates from Microsoft for three-year priority support subscriptions for Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) since the agreement was formalized in November 2006.
To date, more than 20 of these joint customers have also opted to take advantage of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) Subscription with Expanded Support, which offers upgrades, updates and technical support for customers' existing paid and unpaid Linux deployments, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), while they transition to Novell SLES. Customers most commonly cite value and quality as key factors driving their choice of Novell over Red Hat.
Migration from Red Hat and other Linux offerings to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server also helps these customers optimize the capabilities of their IT systems for the future by allowing them to leverage real-world solutions like Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.
You can read more about all this in an article published to Microsoft PressPass, while a number of customer case studies are also available.
by Sandy Gupta on November 05, 2009 09:25am
I am blogging from ApacheCon here in Oakland, where the Apache Software Foundation its celebrating its 10th anniversary. Congratulations to the Apache community and cheers to the next ten!
Our focus at Microsoft is to make Windows Server a platform choice for both closed source and open source solutions. Many of our customers who run open source on our server platforms pick open source built in the "Apache Way". And so, participation in the Apache communities is important for us and we continue to support the Apache community through our ongoing platinum sponsorship of both the ASF and ApacheCon.
Microsoft also has a sizeable contingent on the ground here at ApacheCon that is delivering technical talks, presenting at BarCamp Apache, giving Lightening talks, participating in MeetUps and, more importantly, learning more about the projects in the Apache community so we can identify opportunities for greater participation.
Yesterday, I participated on a business panel titled: "The Business of Open Source - Power, Prestige, and Propulsion," which was moderated by Sally Khudairi and included Hewlett-Packard's Scott Lamons, Progress Software's Debbie Moynihan, and RedMonk's Michael Coté. The panel was incredibly engaging - in fact, one of the best panels I have ever participated in.
It was very dynamic, there was great audience interaction, and a range of interesting topics were covered. There was consensus on how customers are taking a pragmatic approach and using a mix of closed and open source software based on the value it has for their business and not based on a religious choice.
We also talked about how there is a lot of open source happening on Windows Server, and there is an opportunity to improve on best practices/understanding of open source development on Windows Server and sandbox infrastructure for all Apache projects. We also had a vibrant discussion regarding release cycles: how can open communities make it more attractive to corporations to offer project manager time so as to help move the project along, keep to deadlines, etc. I hope to be able to participate in more panels like this as there is so much to discuss!
As you know, Microsoft is already participating in many ASF projects like HBase, Stonehenge, QPid, and POI, and we are giving demos around these projects at our booth here as well as on the Eclipse plug-ins for Azure and Silverlight announced at the recent Eclipse Summit.
Enabling our customers to run open source solutions on Windows Server is important for us. It is great to see many business groups in Microsoft are now participating in Open Source projects in areas where they see there is a common value for our customers.
Congratulations once again to the entire Apache Community for a great decade, and here's looking forward to the next one!
by Peter Galli on November 03, 2009 01:35pm
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation, which is being celebrated at the annual ApacheCon U.S. event. Microsoft is proud to be a platinum sponsor of both the ASF and ApacheCon 2009.
The Apache community is an important one for Microsoft and, as ASF President Justin Erenkrantz noted recently, Microsoft is now contributing to at least four Apache projects: HBase, Stonehenge, QPid, and POI.
"This really continues the significant sea change from within the organization - Microsoft now isn't afraid of having their employees contribute to Apache projects on Microsoft's time. Committers from Microsoft sign the same legal agreements that we require from all of our contributors. Microsoft's involvement in these specific communities range from having their employees being core contributors driving the project, to having folks contributing patches or ideas on our mailing lists, to even commissioning a third-party to contribute to our project as a work-for-hire. In other words, Microsoft is now actively participating within Apache projects in a broad range of way," Erenkrantz said.
A number of Microsoft folks representing the Interoperability, App Plat, DPE, Open Source Technology Center and Platform Strategy teams will be on-site and participating in a number of events.
We will also have a booth and be demoing:
In addition, Sandy Gupta, the Director of Platform Strategy, will participate in a Business Panel today, titled: "The Business of Open Source - Power, Prestige, and Propulsion," while Kent Brown and David Ingham will be giving a technical session on Project Stonehenge and Qpid.
Garrett Serack from the Open Source Technology Center gave two BarCamp sessions earlier this week ("How the heck do I get help from Microsoft?" and "The Road Less Travelled" about the new CoApp he has developed,) while David gave a BarCamp presentation on AMQP and Qpid and Kent did one on Stonehenge.
David also led a MeetUp about Qpid on Windows on Tuesday night; while Kent and the team will give a Lightening Talk on Thursday.
We look forward to meeting those of you attending ApacheCon, and please feel free to stop by the booth.
by Peter Galli on November 02, 2009 03:01pm
This week the Apache Software Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary at its annual U.S. ApacheCon 2009 event in Oakland. As such, I though it would be interesting to chat with ASF President Justin Erenkrantz about the past 10 years and what's still to come going forward.
Peter Galli: Tell me about ApacheCon, who the audience is, what the goal of the event is.
Justin Erenkrantz: Since The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is so globally distributed, with almost 2,000 Committers around the world working on over 100 different projects, we do all of our work virtually, via public mailing lists.
As such, ApacheCon presents a unique opportunity for our community - users, contributors, and developers - to get together face-to-face. We typically try to run at least two shows a year: we're currently holding our upcoming U.S. show in Oakland, and we held ApacheCon Europe in Amsterdam earlier this year.
At ApacheCon, we have a range of trainings, talks, and MeetUps. We have half-day, full-day, and two-day trainings typically led by key developers in the project. This immersive environment allows interested parties to dive down into tremendous detail about Apache projects - popular trainings include Hadoop, Solr, Tomcat, ActiveMQ, Wicket, Lucene and, of course, our well-known HTTP Server.
In addition to the trainings, we have three days of session tracks (usually hour-long talks) covering broad topics such as: Content Technology (content management systems including Sling and Jackrabbit, as well as CouchDB and POI), Web Services (Axis and other SOA tools), OFBiz (our Enterprise Resource Planning solution), Tomcat (our popular Java servlet engine...well it does much more than that these days!), Felix (our implementation of the OSGi framework) and, of course, some talks about the HTTP Server.
One thing that we're really excited about this year is our expansion of free MeetUps in the evening. These are a great opportunity to mingle with the community in a very low-key unstructured environment focused on a single topic. You can think of a MeetUp as an all-night "birds of a feather" (BOF) sessions. In addition, we will be holding BarCamp Apache -- our two day un-conference to talk about whatever folks are interested in, as well as the Hackathon, where participants can collaborate on various code bases alongside Apache Committers. The great thing about the MeetUps, BarCamp, and Hackathon is that they're open to the public, free of charge. All are welcome!
Peter Galli: You always hear a lot about the "Apache Way." Explain this to me.
Justin Erenkrantz: As an all volunteer, non-profit organization, the ASF is regularly praised for its consistent, repeatable, open development model. This model, affectionately dubbed by some as "the Apache Way", is behind the ASF's success in scaling from a single project to 70 primary projects today.
One of our biggest challenges, as the ASF has grown to nearly 2,000 Committers, is how to teach the Apache Way to those interested in bringing new Open Source projects to the Foundation. The way to address this on a formal level is through the Apache Incubator, created to "mentor" new projects and to assist in their learning how to operate as an ASF project. ASF Members who find the candidate technology (called a "podling") worth pursuing, they can then volunteer to be a mentor to the project.
Rather than overseeing its technical development, the mentor's main responsibility to a podling is more social, by helping to pass down the traditions and culture of other projects. Over time, once the podling has demonstrated that it has learned the Apache Way and can govern itself successfully, it can become a full-fledged ASF project and graduate to a top-level project.
Anyone can submit a podling proposal to the Incubator for consideration as a new ASF project. If you have an existing Open Source project and would like to join the ASF, we encourage you to check out the Incubator, and submit your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Galli: Microsoft has been working closely with the Apache Community for some time now. Can you talk to how that works and why our participation is important?
Justin Erenkrantz: As you know, last year Microsoft announced its Platinum Sponsorship of the ASF, which it continued this year. While we are delighted to have Microsoft's financial support as a sponsor of the Foundation, I think the more important aspect of Microsoft's relationship is that they are now contributing to a variety of Apache projects.
Since we announced the sponsorship last year, Microsoft is now contributing to at least four Apache projects: HBase, Stonehenge, QPid, and POI. This really continues the significant sea change from within the organization - Microsoft now isn't afraid of having their employees contribute to Apache projects on Microsoft's time. Committers from Microsoft sign the same legal agreements that we require from all of our contributors.
Microsoft's involvement in these specific communities range from having their employees being core contributors driving the project, to having folks contributing patches or ideas on our mailing lists, to even commissioning a third-party to contribute to our project as a work-for-hire. In other words, Microsoft is now actively participating within Apache projects in a broad range of ways.
In recent conversations with the Port25 team at Microsoft, it sounds like there are even more Apache projects that Microsoft is interested in getting involved in. We look forward to Microsoft's continued and increased contribution and participation within Apache.
As a public charity, we rely on donations from the public. Our policy is not to provide direct funding for our projects (we do not pay for contributions to any of our projects), however there are a number of indirect needs to support our projects. The biggest chunk of our budget goes towards maintaining our servers - we maintain SCM systems (currently Subversion-based), mirror distribution system (seeding a large number of volunteer mirrors), build farms, Web sites, and mailing lists.
We have key data centers at Oregon State University's Open Source Lab and SURFnet in the Netherlands. Since we have a growing number of contributors in the Pacific Rim, we're looking to expand our server presence in those regions. Through our Travel Assistance Committee, we also use our funds to help community members (typically college students) who could not otherwise attend our events - this has been a fantastically successful project in helping to encourage further participation. Finally, we also use some of funds to help spread our message - so many folks still think that the ASF is just about the HTTP Server - it's not! It's only 1 of 70 different top-level projects - so we realize we still have to do some education on that front!
Peter Galli: What are some of the most exciting projects that have been developed by the Apache community, or are currently being worked on?
Justin Erenkrantz: There are so many exciting projects that it's hard to choose from! As before, some folks think that the ASF is just about the HTTP Server: we have projects ranging from Atom/RSS parsers/producers (Abdera) to generating high-quality printable graphics via XML (XMLGraphics). Some folks don't often connect the dots and realize that projects like CouchDB, SpamAssassin, and Hadoop are all Apache projects. And, it's important to know that via our Incubator and Labs projects that we're open to shepherding even more projects.
As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, we've established ourselves as an important player in the ecosystem. We were founded on pragmatic principles, but that hasn't meant that we shouldn't have a leadership position: our Apache License version 2 is the flag-bearer for permissive Open-Source licenses and we have been a strong advocate for openness and transparency within the Java standards process. Over the next ten years, it'll be an exciting ride!
We should also point out eWeek's recent story on eleven Apache technologies that have changed computing in the last 10 years.
Peter Galli: What do you hope to see coming from the community over the next years?
Justin Erenkrantz: Our purpose in founding the ASF ten years ago was to bring the "Apache Way" to a broader community than just the initial HTTP Server. Our goal is to continue that process: we realize that developers are best at coding and shouldn't have to worry about the gnarly details - be it setting up servers, distributing files, accepting donations, handling legalese, organizing events, etc. - and just focus on creating terrific code. So, we hope to see more ideas for projects come our way through our Incubator and Labs!