29 July 2008

Open Domotics

Marc Fleury has already written computer history once when he set up JBoss with a new model of holding all the copyright in the code - hitherto the coders usually owned their own contributions, as is the case for the Linux kernel - and a bold move up the enterprise stack into open source middleware. That paid off very nicely for him - and why not? - and now he's back with what looks like another very interesting move:

I have been studying a new industry lately, it is called Home Automation or Domotics in Europe. It is really a fancy name to describe the age old problem of "why can't my mom operate my remote". Every self respecting geek has one day felt the urge to program his or her house. Home Automation in the field is lights, AV, AC, Security. Today it is a bit of an expensive hobby, even downright elitist in some cases, but the technology is rapidly democratizing, due to Wifi, Commodity software/hardware, the iPhone and the housing crisis.

Although Fleury is a hard-headed business man who speaks his mind, he's also a true-blue hacker with his geekish heart in the right place:

We are an Open Community in Domotics, product design is rather open. We provide a hardware reference implementation on Java Linux it will help us develop but also provides the physical bridge to IR/RS/Ethernet/wifi. On the software side use JBoss actually as the base for our server leveraging packaging and installation. It is an application of JBoss in a way. We use Java to map protocols.

Open domotics - worth doing for the name alone.


Unknown said...

Hey Glyn,

Thanks for the coverage (I was ego-surfing).

Just a small correction, JBoss was not built with copyright transfer and most contributors, actually retained their copyright.

Copyright transfer is necessary for companies that want to pursue dual licensing. MySQL did it, JBoss did it for certain products (Transactions comes to mind). Apache requires copyright transfer as well but without the dual licensing play.

However in the case of OR, we are seriously evaluating the dual licensing model as a good way to grow this software community. This will require copyright transfer. So while it is something well established in the field, it is a first for me.

You are correct, Open Domotics is a catchy phrase.

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks - I stand corrected (that will teach me not to write stuff from memory).

I think this area could really turn into a major success for open source: the dynamics seem perfect. I look forward to hearing more about open domotics....