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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Is free software too good?

    The average free software (free hardware still being too new for trends to be obvious) has always had the same obsessive-compulsive drive to perfection that was so common in the 19th Century. Just as Charles Darwin was obsessed with establishing the case for evolution beyond any doubt, or Richard Francis Burton sought to write the definitive book on swords, so the developers of Krita or the GNOME Shell have always done their best to be be as thorough and complete as they could.

    The same perfectionism also explains why so many pieces of free software include plugins or extensions -- needs vary, and change with time, and free software users and developers are unwilling to wait until new features are fully incorporated into the code. Perfectionism, you might say, has made free software what it is, and, personally, it is one of the traits I admire most in its developers as they satisfy their own sense of fitness to make sure that their code is the best it can be. It is free software's freedom of economic constraints such as the cheapness of plastic compared to hard wood, allows developers to concentrate on excellence.

  • A 100-year-old organization's journey from mainframe to open source to DevOps

    A first step out of this impasse was to look at virtual servers as a way of saying, “How can we get more bang for our buck?” Our server room represented a lot of very pricey real estate, but it only seemed to keep growing. We asked ourselves, why did additional growth have to mean a new electrical circuit and adding new cooling? Within about three years we were 90 percent virtualized, and we got very comfortable with running virtual machines.

  • Attending technical conferences: What's the big deal?

    Law and technology are becoming increasingly entwined, and many technical folks don't or can't make time in their regular schedules to stay on top of the issues. Conferences are a great place to learn about upcoming legislation, important court cases, and the organizations that are keeping an eye on the developments that affect both the FOSS community and the broader tech industry.

  • Award for Ireland building regulations software

    Ireland’s Building Control Management System has won the 2016 eGov ‘Open Source Award’. The document work-flow solution was developed in 2014 for the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), and is now used by all 31 local authorities in the country.

  • Hacking the farm with low-cost, open source tool designs

    After starting his own farm in Missouri, Marcin Jakubowski quickly discovered it's an expensive business. The tools he needed to start and maintain a sustainable farm didn't exist, so he set out to design them himself.

    Marcin published a collection of his open source designs, called the Global Village Construction Set, to the Open Source Ecology wiki. Soon, just as in open source software, others from around the world began to collaborate with him in designing these new machines.

    According to the wiki, "Global Village Construction Set is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that enables fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts."

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