Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Rating System Will Evaluate Free Software

Filed under
OSS

Free software, despite the price, can be confusing and costly for corporations to use. A few freely distributed programs, like the Linux operating system and the Apache Web server, have become well known, but most are still unproved.

So companies often have to do their own testing and tweaking to see if such open-source programs - free software available for programmers to modify or enhance - work reliably. That obstacle has slowed the software's advance.

To address the problem, Carnegie Mellon University, Intel and SpikeSource, a company that supports and tests corporate open-source projects, have devised a rating system intended to reduce confusion and guesswork in evaluating such software. The initiative, Business Readiness Ratings, is to be announced today at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Ore.

The rating system, the sponsors say, will employ an open-source model with scores determined by those who use certain programs and contribute their judgments. The idea can be seen as a software version of the Zagat survey of restaurants - rankings determined by customers.

The rating system has 12 categories, including functionality, usability, quality, security, documentation and technical support. Each category is to be rated 1 to 5. There will also be filtering tools so a potential corporate user can specify its most important considerations.

The planned rating system will be described at www.openbrr.org, a site to be created Monday for the purpose of gathering comments.

"We've provided some leadership here, but this will live or die based on community acceptance and participation," said Anthony I. Wasserman, professor of software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University West at Moffett Field, Calif.

The rating system sounds promising, say some corporate users who have been told about it. Fidelity Investments, the big mutual fund company, has used open-source software for more than two years to build tailored software applications, and the testing process has been arduous.

"If there had been an initiative like this two years ago, we could have leapfrogged a lot of what we did," said Charlie Brenner, a senior vice president at Fidelity.

Companies want to spend their engineering time and money building useful software that can help them find customers, improve service and streamline purchasing, and not on evaluating software building blocks by themselves, said Kim Polese, chief executive of SpikeSource, a start-up firm in Redwood City, Calif.

By STEVE LOHR
The New York Times

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • GJS: What’s next?
    In my last post, I went into detail about all the new stuff that GJS brought to GNOME 3.24. Now, it’s time to talk about the near future: what GJS will bring to GNOME 3.26.
  • Sending SMS from Linux Just Got Easier with Latest Indicator KDE Connect Update
    Indicator KDE Connect now has Google Contacts integration, making it even easier to send text messages from the Linux desktop.
  • Cumulus Qt is a Lightweight Weather App for Linux
    Cumulus Qt is a Qt weather app for the Linux desktop. It's lightweight, has a bold, striking design inspired by Stormcloud, and is very customisable.
  • Vivaldi 1.10 Browser Now in Development, Will Introduce Docked Developer Tools
    Vivaldi's Ruarí Ødegaard just informed us a few moments ago that Vivaldi 1.10 will be the next major version of the free and cross-platform web browser based on the latest Chromium technologies, not Vivaldi 2.0 as many of you have hoped. Vivaldi 1.9 just hit the streets the other day as world's first web browser to ship with the Ecosia search engine enabled by default to help reforest the plane, and it now looks like Vivaldi's devs never sleep, and development of Vivaldi 1.10 starts today with the first snapshot, Vivaldi 1.10.829.3, which introduces a long-anticipated feature: Docked Developer Tools!

today's howtos

Fedora: The Latest (Flatpak, Wallpapers, and PHP)

  • Flatpak and Snaps aren't destined for graveyard of failed Linux tech yet
    The world of Linux has long been divided into tribes, or distros as we called them. But what actually makes a distro? The packages it uses? The people who put those packages together? The philosophy behind the choices the people who put the packages together make? The question of what makes a distro is actually very difficult on to answer and it's about to get even more difficult. There's a change coming to the world of Linux that's potentially big enough to make us rethink what a distro is and how it works. That change is Ubuntu's Snap packages and the parallel effort dubbed Flatpaks. While these two projects differ in the details, for the purposes of this article I'll consider them the same thing and use the terms interchangeably.
  • Need a New Wallpaper? Fedora 26 Has You Covered!
    Fedora 26 will ship with a stunning set of community-contributed wallpapers, and as ever, the standard of entries in the contest is incredibly high.
  • Fedora 26 will look awesome with supplemental wallpapers
  • PHP version 7.0.19RC1 and 7.1.5RC1

Tizen and Android