I just did a tweet saying that I thought the number of news stories about open source seems to have slowed down quite a bit in the last month or so, outside of the major projects and companies. Indeed, the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 was big news.
Perhaps I’m thinking that because I myself haven’t blogged much lately. The main reason for that is that I’ve been exceptionally swamped with work and, in particular, have been doing a lot of writing. (If you haven’t tried it, the no-charge Lotus Symphony word processor is quite nice, by the way.)
So let’s consider why the news might be slowing down:
- The Software Foundation vs. Oracle events are dominating the news cycles (as Tony Baer tweeted back to me, and I agree with him).
- Students are busy with final exams (per Brian Proffitt on ).
- End of the year exhaustion (I’m certainly feeling some of that), coupled with that strange period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US.
- There are so many open source projects that it is harder for them to get much traction in the media.
- Many of the big projects have done minor releases lately (I installed 3.0.3, but it is not big news).
- Open source is become a common part of mainstream software discussions, and so doesn’t stand out as much as it used to do.
- People associated with commercial open source ventures have their heads down trying to close end-of-year deals.
Note I’m not basing my slowdown theory on any sort of formal measurements, just a feeling based on what I’ve been seeing on Twitter and in the news.
So it is December and things always pick up again in January. I love January announcements around products and industry efforts, especially if they surprise people. They are especially fun if people spend a lot at the end of one year doing detailed planning for the next, only to have an unexpected industry announcement cause them to rethink everything.
This is not to say I like having that happen to me, but it adds excitement to the IT industry, and that includes open source.