Monday, February 26, 2007

Founders at work

After reading the first 3 chapters of "Founders at work" by Jessica Livingston, I can't help but recommend this book. Compared to many other books where the fluff in the narrative ends up diluting the content, the direct language of the various founders is both refreshing and inspirational. Each story if filled with unsophisticated yet brilliant ideas, each resembling a small gem.

I can't wait to read the remaining chapters.

Friday, February 09, 2007

SLF4J and logback gaining traction

It does not mean much me saying so, but the SLF4J and logback projects are gaining traction. The project mailing lists are showing real signs of life and community interest, whereas the download statistics are showing significant upward trend.

We are not at the same levels of popularity as commons-logging or log4j. Nevertheless, it is very encouraging to see users responding favorably to our work. It feels like the early days of log4j, and that's pretty damn exciting.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Advantage of open source

I recently had to use two very comparable products, one open-source and the other closed-source. While the closed-source product had more verbose documentation, but I actually managed to get the open-source product running and not the closed-source product.

More importantly, the API of the closed-source product, while very similar and accomplished the *identical* task, felt awkard. I guess that bouncing ideas off users and listening to what they have to say makes a real difference at the end.

Although clearly at a commercial disadvantage, an open-source project has a structural advantage at creating a better product. Of course for really large products where the combined efforts of dozens of programmers are needed for prolonged periods, closed-source remains a valid alternative.