Suppose I wasn't the CEO of the iText Software Group. Suppose I didn't have to attend meetings. Suppose I wouldn't have to tell people what to do. Suppose I didn't have any responsibility. What would I do? I'd do the things I like! I'd do the things I'm good at! Three things jump to mind: write code, write documentation, answer questions. I've also gotten a taste for building business models.
But that's not what this blog is about.
When o when will LinkedIn stop providing the message "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" by default? Now I always have to reply like this:
Sometimes I get frustrated when people ask me to tell them more about my business. I always hesitate: Should I start with the past, or should I start talking about the future?
Thirteen years ago, on February 14th of the magical year 2000, I published version 0.30 of a library I had been writing in my spare time. This library allowed developers to enhance their applications with simple PDF generation functionality without having to know anything about PDF syntax.
Being a fan of Donald Knuth, I was looking for a name that sounded like TeX, but that was different enough for people not to confuse it with TeX. As the first versions of my library were only able to process text —images weren't supported until the summer of 2000—, I experimented with variations on the words TeX or TeXt. At that time, everything was "e-": e-mail, e-marketing, e-Business,... My first idea was to call my library "eTeXt", but I didn't like the sound of that word, so I changed it into iText.
I often get the question if I was inspired by Apple's product line, but I've never been a Mac-user, so I didn't think of the iMac (1998), and the other devices that made the "i-" popular are from a much later date: the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010).
Tomorrow, exactly 13 years after the first use of the name iText and the first official iText release, I'm releasing iText 5.4.0.
Who still checks his Klout-score? Is it still relevant to anyone?
Money is to society what blood is to your body. Blood delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Money is the means to buy food and clothing, and it's what you pay if you parked in the wrong parking spot. Once we die, we no longer need money, nor blood for that matter. Except if you're a vampire, in which case you need blood in order to live eternally.
Vampires are a product of an author's imagination, but we often see people act as vampires when it comes to money: they just can't get enough of it.
Last year I gave a couple of interviews and journalists are now sending me what they made of it. Last friday I tweeted: Ouch... I'm reading a transcript of an interview taken a couple of months ago. The complete text needs to be rewritten. I didn't say that! The copy I received today is more accurate:
I only needed 6 sticky notes and 4 other annotations to add corrections and remarks ;-)
I've just submitted a proposal for OSCON on July 22-26 in Portland, Oregon. After yesterday's alienating experience at FOSDEM, I decided to submit a talk I usually give at BarCamps or BizCamps, instead of submitting a technical talk on some technical iText-related topic. This is my intro:
I used to write code for fun. My software was 'free as in free beer' and I lived and loved the live of a F/OSS developer. Then suddenly disaster hit: my son was diagnozed with Cancer. Companies who had been using my software for free for years dropped me like a hot potato. The ground under my feet collapsed. That was 5 years ago. Today I want to share what saved me: faith and business models.
Last year was fabulous: 750,000 unique visitors to itextpdf.com, almost 4,000 people filling out the sales form and 1,000 customers! Now we're starting a new, exciting year. Metrics will be different, because we're planning to start a new site next to itextpdf.com. More news about that new site will follow later this year. Let's take a look at the results of the first month: