O'reilly is further towards the position to be the chief evangelist of leading Information Technologies in the world. They realized knowledge distribution is the best way to promote such a goal and their press business already one of the best. By setting up Safari U, organizing series gathering for top technical names such as Perl, Apache and Linux, O'reilly already gained enough credit. Quite like a professor in a Ivy league university, nothing but reputation and good life.
OSTG's slashdot and sourceforge are just like IBM and Intel in the computer industry. While their mother company, VA software, became very silent for a long time after their astonishing IPO back to 2000.
And comes Sun Microsystems. Once another evangelist and warrior of the Freedom of Technology, now paying more attention to survive instead of leading. Java is becoming a successful kid of the whole IT industry but contribute so few to Sun's P&L sheet. By acquiring those storage firms, Sun is struggling to find the right position for itself. Seems another long way to go.
The relationship and contribution of Slashdot and sourceforget for VA is very the same compare with Java and Sun. So what's a possible path for those two once-prominent players? IMHO, one not-that-bad approach is to merge those three companies together to form an enterprise that focus on providing anything to promote IT around the world. This new entity will have community, sufficient expertise, infrastructure, money, credit and experience. It could make sourceforge 10 times better to host, promote and help individuals and SMEs across the world to leverage their intelligence to explore every possibility, it would lower the cost, faster the R&D-to-market process and broader arena. It could create a online Wal-mart for Software and Service. It could make any start-up or individual save more time by avoiding painful CVS setup, server hosting whatsever. It would be the best place to name top 10, top 100 of technologies in the world, instead of so many other rankings. For anyone interested in IT, it's the one-stop place to visit.
If Sun doesn't want to be another DEC, do it.
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