VMware shares experimental projects on new Web site

This just in from VMware: "Fling is defined as 'a brief casual relationship.'"

That text actually appears on a site VMware created to share internal engineering projects -- software code that is interesting but not yet ready for VMware's flagship virtualization products. 

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The site, VMware Labs, uses the word "fling" to describe the fledgling projects, ranging from a Java application builder to applications designed for the management of existing VMware products.

"Why are they called flings? A fling is a short-term thing, not a serious relationship but a fun one. Likewise, the applications offered here are intended to be played with and explored," VMware says.

VMware will never be confused for an open-source company, but CEO Paul Maritz has said he believes it's important for VMware to create a community around certain types of open-source software. VMware Labs is clearly an attempt to do just that.

The most promising VMware Labs projects are listed as "featured flings" which sound… enticing.

First on that list is VMware Guest Console, which manages guest operating systems installed on a virtual machine, with features such as a task manager, file system explorer and snapshot manager.

It appears that VMware started loading software onto VMware Labs in December but just started publicizing it this week with a Facebook page and Twitter account.

After one Twitter user asked if the fling projects are supported in production, VMware tweeted that "VMware Labs offerings a.k.a Flings are not for production and come with no warranty." The Labs software is offered as a free download under a technology preview license agreement

Other "flings" available for download include Apache Pivot, a platform for building rich Internet applications in Java; Dynamic RIO, a runtime code manipulation system; Onyx, a stand-alone app that serves as a proxy between VMware's vSphere Client and vCenter Server; and vCMA, which lets users manage and monitor VMware virtual resources from mobile phones.

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

This story, "VMware shares experimental projects on new Web site" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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