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Mourning Dan Kohn

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Obits

The net today carries the sad news that Dan Kohn has passed away. Among other things, Dan played a huge role in the establishment of the Linux Foundation and a number of its initiatives, including the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and LF Public Health. He will be missed.

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An Open Source Leader Is Gone, a Remembrance of Dan Kohn

  • An Open Source Leader Is Gone, a Remembrance of Dan Kohn

    Kubernetes, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and the cloud native computing community will forever be associated with Dan Kohn, who passed away Sunday of complications from colon cancer in New York City. He leaves behind a beautiful family who we will always remember often accompanying Dan on his many travels.

More on Kohn

  • Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Has Died

    Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation's Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has passed away of complications from colon cancer. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin wrote yesterday (via LFPH)...

  • We mourn the passing of Dan Kohn

    To the Linux Foundation Public Health community,

    I write today with tremendous sadness to share the news of a great loss in our midsts. Dan Kohn passed away earlier today of complications from colon cancer. While many of you know him as the founder of Linux Foundation Public Health, this was only his final chapter in an incredible career of using technology to change the world.

  • Remembering Dan Kohn | Kubernetes

    Dan Kohn was instrumental in getting Kubernetes and CNCF community to where it is today. He shared our values, motivations, enthusiasm, community spirit, and helped the Kubernetes community to become the best that it could be. Dan loved getting people together to solve problems big and small. He enabled people to grow their individual scope in the community which often helped launch their career in open source software.

    Dan built a coalition around the nascent Kubernetes project and turned that into a cornerstone to build the larger cloud native space. He loved challenges, especially ones where the payoff was great like building worldwide communities, spreading the love of open source, and helping diverse, underprivileged communities and students to get a head start in technology.

Linux Foundation kingpin Dan Kohn dies

  • Linux Foundation kingpin Dan Kohn dies

    Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation's Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has died of complications while trying to fight off colon cancer.

    Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin wrote that Kohn helped establish the Linux Foundation and oversaw the fastest growing open source community in history, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

    In 1994 he conducted the first secure commercial transaction on the internet after building the first web shopping cart.

Open Source Leader Dan Kohn Passes Away

  • Open Source Leader Dan Kohn Passes Away

    Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation’s Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at CNCF, died of complications from colon cancer in New York City.

    He helped create the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative as an industry-wide response to the security vulnerabilities demonstrated by Heartbleed.

CNCF Statement on the Passing of Dan Kohn

  • CNCF Statement on the Passing of Dan Kohn

    This weekend, we lost a titan of the open source community with the passing of Dan Kohn. CNCF, the foundation Dan helped build as its Executive Director, will always be home to Dan’s legacy as a pioneer and innovator in the world of technology. As a community, we remain humbled and grateful to the tireless effort Dan gave to this foundation, his colleagues, and his friends. His work in creating an inclusive foundation that was welcoming and safe was momentous and beneficial to all. The strong and diverse leadership we experience today stems from Dan’s determination. Dan was unwavering in his passion for and belief in open source. His presence will be severely missed, but never forgotten by those who knew his gentle nature and felt his supportive touch. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kohn family, who so gracefully shared Dan’s light with us for so many years. While it’s almost impossible to imagine CNCF without Dan, we know there would never be a CNCF without him, either, and for that, we are truly thankful. Thank you, Dan.

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Accurate Conclusions from Bogus Data: Methodological Issues in “Collaboration in the open-source arena: The WebKit case”

Nearly five years ago, when I was in grad school, I stumbled across the paper Collaboration in the open-source arena: The WebKit case when trying to figure out what I would do for a course project in network theory (i.e. graph theory, not computer networking; I’ll use the words “graph” and “network” interchangeably). The paper evaluates collaboration networks, which are graphs where collaborators are represented by nodes and relationships between collaborators are represented by edges. Our professor had used collaboration networks as examples during lecture, so it seemed at least mildly relevant to our class, and I wound up writing a critique on this paper for the class project. In this paper, the authors construct collaboration networks for WebKit by examining the project’s changelog files to define relationships between developers. They perform “community detection” to visually group developers who work closely together into separate clusters in the graphs. Then, the authors use those graphs to arrive at various conclusions about WebKit (e.g. “[e]ven if Samsung and Apple are involved in expensive patent wars in the courts and stopped collaborating on hardware components, their contributions remained strong and central within the WebKit open source project,” regarding the period from 2008 to 2013). At the time, I contacted the authors to let them know about some serious problems I found with their work. Then I left the paper sitting in a short-term to-do pile on my desk, where it has been sitting since Obama was president, waiting for me to finally write this blog post. Unfortunately, nearly five years later, the authors’ email addresses no longer work, which is not very surprising after so long — since I’m no longer a student, the email I originally used to contact them doesn’t work anymore either — so I was unable to contact them again to let them know that I was finally going to publish this blog post. Anyway, suffice to say that the conclusions of the paper were all correct; however, the networks used to arrive at those conclusions suffered from three different mistakes, each of which was, on its own, serious enough to invalidate the entire work. So if the analysis of the networks was bogus, how did the authors arrive at correct conclusions anyway? The answer is confirmation bias. The study was performed by visually looking at networks and then coming to non-rigorous conclusions about the networks, and by researching the WebKit community to learn what is going on with the major companies involved in the project. The authors arrived at correct conclusions because they did a good job at the later, then saw what they wanted to see in the graphs. I don’t want to be too harsh on the authors of this paper, though, because they decided to publish their raw data and methodology on the internet. They even published the python scripts they used to convert WebKit changelogs into collaboration graphs. Had they not done so, there is no way I would have noticed the third (and most important) mistake that I’ll discuss below, and I wouldn’t have been able to confirm my suspicions about the second mistake. You would not be reading this right now, and likely nobody would ever have realized the problems with the paper. The authors of most scientific papers are not nearly so transparent: many researchers today consider their source code and raw data to be either proprietary secrets to be guarded, or simply not important enough to merit publication. The authors of this paper deserve to be commended, not penalized, for their openness. Mistakes are normal in research papers, and open data is by far the best way for us to be able to detect mistakes when they happen. Read more

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