javivazquez at Zentyal

Contribute by self interest

September 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments

As you already know, eBox has changed its name to Zentyal, so eBox Platform Zentyal 2.0 is just around the corner. Actually, after Lenovo announced a couple of days ago its eBox game console name, we all have re-agreed that the name change was a (very) good idea :-)

As you are very well informed on our new name nature and meaning (even on the pronunciation ;)), I would like to highlight other shift announced by our CEO -Nacho Correas- a few days ago: the opening up of the eBox Zentyal development.

Nacho referred to the new Localization Teams (or i18n, internationalization), a big success given the number of volunteers already gathered, and I want to talk about the development itself.

First of all, let me make clear that it is not that the development of eBox Platform has been closed from the beginning. The project is GPL since 2005 and the community has helped a lot in its evolution, mainly with feedback, testing and i18n. However, although there was a pretty good documentation for developing new modules, only a couple of guys from the community offered themselves to start coding (nothing happened though).

I know, we are a privately funded company, eBox Zentyal is not a foundation and the company is investing time and money with the idea of getting that amount N times in the future. Why anyone should collaborate in making us “rich”?

Well, actually, as you know, money is not the only issue we human beings care of. Moreover, there a lot of good articles out there explaining our reasons to collaborate and contribute to, e.g., open source projects, even when they are ruled by a private company. For this post, I just want to talk about one of them: self-interest.

The good thing of open source products is that anyone can download your software and build a new product, or just offer services on top of it. Honestly, we do it with Ubuntu Server and a bunch of open source modules, so we understand and support that others do it with eBox Zentyal as well. Open source is a source of innovation and business, it is good by itself.

Having said that, there are more than 3,600 members currently registered in our forum. Additionally, at least other 100 companies worldwide are offering services around eBox Zentyal. Even more, there are many public and private organizations customizing eBox Zentyal Server for their own needs.

So, the good news is that we are more open than ever to accept your contribution, share the IP and take care of it for your self interest, whether:

* You are a student who wants to get introduced in the open source world and, who knows, make a living of it…

* Your company is selling eBox Zentyal with some new small/big new modules, but you are busy enough giving services to invest more time in maintenance and evolution…

* Your organization is customizing eBox Zentyal for hundreds/thousand of schools/councils and, glup, it is going to be a mess to merge it with our new brand new version…

Then, be brave and start/continue developing the Zentyal module you always wanted to have, inside our community.

Contribute, we will be keen of helping and supporting you to do so, by self mutual interest.

Tags: community · foundations

3.000 members in eBox forum

May 18th, 2010 · No Comments

Exactly 6 months ago, November 18th, I wrote a post with the title “2.000 users registered in the eBox forum”. If you read it, you will find the following sentence:

“[…] We hope to reach 3.000 members in the following 6 months […]”

And guess what, today, exactly 6 months later, May 18th, we have reached 3.000 users registered in the eBox forum… Should I try now guessing the lottery numbers? :-)

However, I am afraid the 2.000 number given 6 months ago was not precise, by then we haven’t found out how many (SEO and the like) spammers  were hidden among our real registered users.

We did an important cleaning during December, and we kept continuously doing it since then. Therefore, our current +3.000 users are for real.

In the medium term, as soon as the forum software we are based on (SMF from Simple Machines) releases its new version, a revamped SMF 2.0, we will migrate and install some extra plugins to keep spammers out, or at least put it more difficult to them.

On the other hand, would any of you guess when the eBox Forum will reach 4.000 registered members?

Tags: community

2.000 users registered in the eBox forum

November 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment

As of today, November 18th, eBox forum has reached the number of 2,000 users registered.

2.000 members is not a small amount for a Linux small business server such as eBox Platform. It’s more impressive if you know how the numbers have evolved lately though.

The eBox forum was originally set up in May 2007, more than 2 years and half ago. However, 58% of the users registered during 2009 only, and 30% in the last 4 months and a half, since we released eBox 1.2.

Whether as Gateway, UTM, Infrastructure manager, Office Server or Unified Communication Server, it’s good to know than eBox Platform has become one of the most used server-side  products out there.

We hope to reach 3.000 members in the following 6 months, or even less if we have into account the number of improvements and new features already being tested for eBox 1.4:  Active Directory sync, remote backup, webmail, support for Master-Slave LDAP, PPPoE support, usability enhancements, …

The bigger is our community, the better will become eBox Platform, and also faster.

My sincere thanks to all our eBox community members!

Tags: community

Open source, global by design

April 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

This evening some of the eBox’s staff  -Javier Uruen, Isaac and myself- have been interviewed by the guys of Debug Mode On, an on-line community for IT professionals. The edited conversation will be the second podcast of a serie dedicated to innovative Spanish companies, to be published in the next few days.

What has most shocked them, according to their own words, is how internationally focused is eBox Technologies, despite of being a small company based on Zaragoza. However, an open source company  should have a global aim to be successful, because open source is global by design. For us, it’s the natural and only way to be. Some examples:

First, talking about our community, by visiting eBox forums anyone could easily realize how globally spread is our community: guys from South and North America, everywhere in Europe, Asia and Africa sharing concerns and knowledge about eBox Platform issues.

Secondly, referring business opportunities, during the last couple of days I have been speaking with people interested in professional support from US, Ecuador, Perú, Portugal (my speaking -Galician/Portuguese- is better that my listening :)), Italy and (of course) Spain.

Finally, regarding to companies interested in becoming eBox’s partner, we are in negotiations with ~20 candidates from 4 continents, after having initially received more than 40 signs of interests…

But it’s not us, it’s free software, which is global by design. Our challenge is to fulfill that huge demand, and that’s we are working on, and the key during the following months.

Tags: foundations