There’s a groundbreaking new book out…
If you’re as big a fan as I am of the comedy “What About Bob,” surely you remember the moment where “Dr. Leo Marvin” scans his shelf for “…a groundbreaking new book that has just come out”–of course referring to the entire row of his bookshelf filled with his own new book. My brother-in-law and I have joked about that for 20 years since first seeing the movie, and he has since been able to fill shelves with his authored books and re-enact the scene several times over–in jest, of course. (He’s way more humble than the fictitious Dr. Leo Marvin)
Well, I’ve now co-authored my first book, but instead of filling shelves, it will remain as a sequence of bits within your favorite eReader or Kindle app or PDF viewer in eBook form. Now, to be honest, this was an interesting book to write as a software developer. There is no pseudo-code, no architecture diagrams, and no “deep technical content.” Instead, this book is a fast-paced overview of the history of open source, including the “commercialization” and growth of both use of, and participation in, open source from corporations large and small. Following this history and overview is a look at the rise of foundations, all the way back to the Apache Software Foundation and the Linux Foundation, and how these open foundations have kept commercial interests in check from either stifling, controlling, or introducing vendor lock-in in these open communities.
Our view is that open source is only becoming more critical as the lifeblood of almost every key cloud technology in use today. We also believe that true openness and these related open governance bodies are only becoming more vital to unify both independent and corporate-funded players around solving the next set of challenges in cloud computing. Our main thrust is that being “open by design” is more than just a catch-phrase, but rather a critical path to greater collaboration and open and interoperable cloud architectures for today and the future.
And if you made it through those couple of paragraphs without falling asleep, then you’ll have no trouble getting through the quick 35+ pages of our “Open by Design: The Transformation of the Cloud through Open Source and Open Governance” O’Reilly research report. For now it’s a free download at our IBM eBook download site after filling in some basic details (and no we won’t spam you unless you ask us to!)
P.S. Many thanks to Doug Davis, my IBM co-worker who also works in the upstream Docker community, who graciously agreed on very short notice to co-author this book with me.