Papyrus Industry Consortium now fully formed and running!

I know I’ve blogged before about the Papyrus Industry Consortium in recent postings. But we are now staffed and up and running, as seen in the official Eclipse press release from Embedded World.

And this is not a small, developer community around Eclipse offerings. Just look at the founding members, from both user and supplier companies: AdocusAirbus Defence & Space, Airbus Helicopters, Atos, CEA ListCombitech/Saab, EclipseSourceEricsson,  Flanders makeFraunhofer Focus,OneFact, and Zeligsoft (where I currently work). There are some big names in there! And there may be more announcements coming…

I don’t want to rehash what is already stated in the press release, on the web site, or in the charter. I’ll just summarize that the Papyrus Industry Consortium is a group of users and suppliers who pool their resources to create, promote, and use open source modelling tools for systems engineering. In a way, you could say that the Papyrus Industry Consortium is “leading open source modeling for industry!”

But asides from OneFact and Zeligsoft, where are the companies from the Americas? We certainly need more representation in the open source modelling world! I know there is a lot of modelling usage in the systems space in North America, there must be some interest… Even the US DoD’s CIO stated in “Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software (OSS)“:

To effectively achieve its missions, the Department of Defense must develop and update its software-based capabilities faster than ever, to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements. The use of Open Source Software (OSS) can provide advantages in this regard.

I know, having worked at IBM Rational, that many US DoD funded projects use modelling, could they be interested? Let us know if you are!

So for all my friends and colleagues in North America: if you or your company in interested in knowing more, get in touch with me! It will be my pleasure to talk about the Papyrus Industry Consortium and what we are doing and planning to do in the future.

I will be at EclipseCon between March 6 and 11. If you happen to be attending or are around Reston, VA (or Washington, DC), we could even meet in person!

By the way, if you are at Embedded World this week, go to Hall 4, Booth 160 and talk to the PolarSys people there – the Papyrus IC being an industry group under Eclipse PolarSys.

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IBM Fire Sale?

In a recent conversation, a friend pointed out that IBM® has been selling (sorry, “divesting”) some of their products to UNICOM® recently. So I had a quick look and found the following:

OK…The “fire sale” title may be a bit strong, but some of these products were already not getting all the love they deserve from IBM, so this may be a good thing (for IBM, maybe less for the users).

Given the history UNICOM® has with IBM products, many of these should not be a surprise and I hope my Cognos friends are in a better position to move them forward.

I will admit that having worked in Rational, I’m a bit sad about seeing some of the tools change hands. I remember System Architect from the Popkin days (way before I was part of IBM) as one of the first commercial modeling tools I’ve used. I’ve worked a lot with PurifyPlus in the past both prior to and at IBM and, though it is rather old, it was a very good tool.  And as a product manager at IBM, I enjoyed using Focal Point (which came over with the Telelogic acquisition). I do hope that they have found a good home an that the development teams have been well taken care of.

On the other hand, such acquisitions do offer the potential for competition to get in there, as Corso seems to be doing for System Architect. Do check these guys out – Corso is run by really good guys who are undeniable experts in their field! And no, I am not getting a cut…

This also begs the question as to whether other Rational tools could be divested. I can certainly see that the tools directly related to cloud or IOT, such as Rhapsody, are probably safe, being well aligned with the direction IBM seems to be taking. But some of the other modelling tools might be considered if that business worsen, especially given that very decent lower cost and, especially, open source alternatives exist that are backed by industry (OK, I will admit to having an interest in that one…).

And maybe IBM will repeat their Eclipse experiment and contribute some of these tools to open source…

One can only hope, but the future will continue to be interesting.


[2016.01.13] Update: Check out Gartner’s analysis of the Rational System Architect acquisition by UNICOM®!

BridgePoint now open source!

I’ve been talking about open source modelling tools for the last little while, mainly about Papyrus and promoting Papyrus-RT (with which I am, obviously from my posts, involved). Well another company has seen the open source light: Mentor Graphics has now formally released its BridgePoint tools to open source. A new company, OneFact, staffed with ex-Mentor Graphics employees, is taking over the mantle for the maintenance, support, and consulting for the tool.

You can read the announcement here and the accompanying presentation (Prezi) here.

This good news. First, it is further indication that there is a business case around open source modelling tools, so our own efforts are validated. Second, the approach taken by Mentor Graphics does not leave existing customers wondering what is happening or will happen (there have been questions about Mentor Graphics’ intentions for BridgePoint for quite a while) and ensures continuity.

Congratulations and good luck to the folks at OneFact!

Tesla going Open Source?!?

Elon Musk posted All Our Patent Are Belong To You [1] in the Tesla Motors blog.

His arguments are familiar with those of the software open source industry: You can’t rely on big companies to truly advance technology. In the software industry, many modeling tools are still based on mid-1990s approaches and technologies, which is similar to Big Auto’s continued preference for gasoline (or diesel) powered vehicles.

What that in mind, and to promote other companies in producing zero-emission cards, he removed all the patents from Tesla Motors’ patent wall and stated:

Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

I also really liked another quote he made:

I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

And finally:

We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

This must say something about the strength of the open source movement and its potential business possibilities!

Go read the blog post. It’s not too long and informative!

[1] See this wikipedia entry if you don’t get the reference.