Open BlueDragon Steering Committee Interview Series - Nitai

We are proud to introduce you to a new member to the Open BlueDragon Steering Committee, Nitai.

Tell us a little about your background?
I was born in Zurich, Switzerland, but since then traveled around the world quite a lot. Lived in Italy up until I turned 6. When I was 10 years old I started with skateboarding. Skateboarding has been good to me. I used to be sponsored by Alva Boards, Tracker and then Independent Trucks, Spitfire Wheels and Vans Shoes. During that time, I became Swiss and European skateboard Champion and traveled around the world a lot. Until 21 my "home" was sorta the world and I spent a lot of time in Huntington Beach, California.

After I stopped skateboarding (due to knee problems), it became evident for me to start into "anything related to computers". My really big experience with developing was when I was building one of the first Online-Stores for selling Hard- and Software in Switzerland. After 4 years off selling Apple's I sold my business and started a development shop developing E-Commerce applications (because my Online-Store was successful a lot of people asked me to do the same for them).

As always with the Web there has been some changes and E-Commerce applications were not "hype" anymore after some time. Luckily, I saw this coming a long time ago and already started developing a Content Management System called "Redakto CMS", which is still in use by a lot of customers today.

4 years ago I started developing a Digital Asset Management System, which is used by some big companies in Europe. The reincarnation of it will be "Razuna" and will be released soon as open source. What has began as an idea to manage all kinds of digital assets in an easy and intuitive way, has now grown into a full blown System with an integrated Content Management System and Document Management.
Why are you interested in Open BlueDragon?
There are different aspect that Open BlueDragon brings to the table;
  • it is Open Source
  • Being Open Source it brings the CFML Community a real benefit in that it is a very mature product. I mean BlueDragon has not been build recently. It is a very stable product with years of development. If we remember correctly, BlueDragon has always had tags in advance then any other Adobe current ColdFusion release.
  • I honestly feel that I can make a difference in supporting Open BlueDragon. Not only because I became part of the Steering Committee, but as a proactive developer.
  • The huge potential behind this project
You have been very active on the public mailing list, particularly when it comes to your VMWare image. How did that come about and has it proven popular?
Simply put, I just like to help. If I don't know something, I will try to point the people in the right direction. Share the knowledge! That is one of the best paradigms I have adopted in my life.

We have been totally blown away by the mass interest in our Open BlueDragon VMWare image. As of today, there have been 1100 downloads of the image, alone from our server.

Actually, the image just came as a idea to give something to the community. I saw that a lot of people liked the idea of BlueDragon going Open Source, but at the same time, saw that a lot of people held back because the adoption curve (J2EE Server and deployment is not such an easy thing for the majority) was bigger then simply a ColdFusion installation that hooked into Apache/IIS.

Again, I am just sharing the knowledge and trying to help.
Why do you think moving BlueDragon to an open source license is good for the CFML community as a whole?
BlueDragon has always been (at least for me) the alternative for ColdFusion. But to say it frankly, why would I bother with it, if there was no other difference then the price?

With BlueDragon going Open Source, we now have a REAL alternative and one that costs you nothing to try and compare. This gives you as a developer a complete different approach to the world.

As an example, we used to sell and license our Digital Asset Management System (DAM), because the Application server itself (ColdFusion) was not open source. So it did not really make sense for us to go open source with our application. Open BlueDragon changed this all completely for us. We can now bundle the Runtime Engine (Open BlueDragon), OS (Linux), Database (MySQL) in one bundle and offer it as open source.

Now for the first time, the Community has a CFML based alternative to Alfresco or any other DAM-System out there. BlueDragon going open source made it possible for us. I think it will open the door for other applications as well.
What point, regarding the whole open source model, do you think most people forget?
I personally think that a lot of people just see the "free" part behind the whole open source model. Of course this is the most apparent one. But looking behind (sort of like follow the rabbit, Matrix anyone?), we can see that open source is not only a "giving away for free" thing, it is a movement, it is a lifestyle.

It reminds of my skateboard time. Skateboarding is not only a sport, it is a lifestyle. We used to wear shirts and pants, that at that time, no one wore. Some of my friends saw that and opened a fashion store around skateboarding/snowboarding and are millionaires today. That's all out of a "punk" movement!

I see the very same potential with open source. We, here and now, have the tools in our hands to shape the future. Look what open source has done to the economy and the companies in general. People love to join and help for a good cause. Anybody who has engaged in a open source project can attest that the energy and the movement behind it can be addictive and spreads like a virus.

Another important factor is that most developers tend to forget that the customers that they want to win for their open source software, are still in need for support, documentation and most importantly need a number to call.

I therefore founded my new company "SixSigns" to offer a professionally backed application and our customers can call in and get support (btw: for Open BlueDragon deployment as well).
Where would you like to see Open BlueDragon being taken in the future?
If we keep the movement of this project going strong, as it happened the last couple of weeks, then the future for Open BlueDragon looks bright.

As far as taking it somewhere, I am more the guy that thinks we should work on the here and now. Meaning, we have a great release. There are some things (code wise) that needs to be adjusted to make it 100% compatible with the "standard". I think this is important for the adoption rate.

Once that is achieved, we can work on the next level.
What are you hoping to bring to the Steering Committee?
I think I have a common business sense and know what people (customers) would like to see. I know my fair bit of CFML, databases (Oracle a lot) and marketing. I hope I can bring some other aspects (then technical) to this group.

That said, I know that I can bring a lot of energy and excitements to this project. Open BlueDragon opens a whole lot of possibilities for everybody. I mean, CFML is by far one of the easiest languages out there and could have a massive adoption rate. Everybody is looking for an easier way to develop. Wouldn't you want to write the same code with less effort?

Well, we got the answer. Use CFML with Open BlueDragon and you got a perfect RAD-Environment.
What are you benchmarks for success for Open BlueDragon?
I look at it from upside-down. Open BlueDragon is already a success. We could adopt all of our application to Open BlueDragon with very small adoptions to the code. I feel that most others will agree with this.

All we need to do now is to spread the word and give the developers a easy method to simply add Open BlueDragon to their tool belt.

Open BlueDragon will shake up the already deployed installations. Because the next time, an update stands in your door, the responsible persons will likely first test if Open BlueDragon can handle it, if so there will be no reasons why they will continue using the other product.

With that in mind, we will see massive deployment of Open BlueDragon in the months to come. If I could help with this success a little bit, I call my endeavors and the endeavors of the steering committee a success.

Contact Nitai @ nitai@openbluedragon.org


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