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OSS

Get started with HomeBank, an open source personal finance app

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OSS

There seems to be a mad rush at the beginning of every year to find ways to be more productive. New Year's resolutions, the itch to start the year off right, and of course, an "out with the old, in with the new" attitude all contribute to this. And the usual round of recommendations is heavily biased towards closed source and proprietary software. It doesn't have to be that way.

Here's the eighth of my picks for 19 new (or new-to-you) open source tools to help you be more productive in 2019.

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Boosting Open Science Hardware in an academic context: opportunities and challenges

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Hardware
OSS
Sci/Tech

Experimental science is typically dependent on hardware: equipment, sensors and machines. Open Science Hardware means sharing designs for this equipment that anyone can reuse, replicate, build upon or sell so long as they attribute the developers on whose shoulders they stand. Hardware can also be expanded to encompass other non-digital input to research such as chemicals, cell lines and materials and a growing number of open science initiatives are actively sharing these with few or no restrictions on use.

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Also: The Entire Hardlight VR project is now Open Source

Get free programs to edit photos, send email and more

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LibO
OSS

Even better, LibreOffice can open and edit the documents you made in Office and can save new files in Office formats. LibreOffice is also compatible with the other document formats, like OpenDocument Format (ODF) and PDF.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • The Serverless Show: The Importance of Open Source & Community Involvement

    “I’m also involved with some open source projects. I started with Node community and helping out with some node libraries a long time ago. Now I’m mostly doing serverless-related things. I joined the Claudia.js team a long time ago, almost at the beginning, and helped Gojko Adzic and Alexander Simovich to build Claudia.js. Claudia was and still is a deployment library for AWS Lambda and API gateway. At the beginning, it was really hard to deploy serverless applications. If you tried to do that manually, you need to zip everything, to set the permissions, and things like that. The idea of Claudia was to extend AWS CLI tools and to help users deploy serverless applications easier. We continued doing Claudia and a few other things. We contributed a bit to AWS SAM and we built some other applications that are open source. We’re trying to build tools that we need and that the serverless community needs.”

  • Expect to Hear More About Open Source’s Role in Security [Ed: Security implemented with proprietary software is almost always fake. The Australian back doors ("encryption") bill is a reminder of it. If something is proprietary, one must assume back doors (even mandated from above, hidden in binaries)]

    Will 2019 be the year there is a big push for consolidation between open source and cybersecurity?

    Yes, said Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope, in an email comment. IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat could prove to be the game changer in how organizations approach security.

  • Want to Save Some Money? Check out These Free Software Alternatives

    The list covers drawing and design, animation and film, website building, and others. For example, Ghost Malone presents several free alternatives to drawing, design and post-processing, such as GIMP, Krita, Fire Alpaca, Autodesk Sketchbook, MediBang Paint, and Paint.NET. Another example, for editing vector graphics, is Inkscape, which is free and open source. The list goes on with several choices depending on what you're looking for.

  • A free and open source Bitcoin trading tool has been developed by two students

    University students Jonathan Shobrook and Aaron Lichtman have created a free and open source automated trading bot to use on the Bitstamp exchange.

  • Thank Stanford researchers for Puffer, a free and open source live TV streaming service that uses AI to improve video-streaming algorithms
  • Open Source To Open Newer Avenues For CIOs In 2019

    Open source plays a crucial role in all the top strategic technology trends that are reshaping the IT world. Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Head, SUSE, looks at the key trends for 2019 that organizations need to explore and in explains how open source technologies and practices open up a window of opportunities for the CIOs in the coming days.

  • The High Profile Team of Handshake Looks to Truly Open the Internet with a New Domain Name System

    Unlike other major blockchain based companies like Ethereum, they chose to avoid ICO funding altogether and went straight for private investors. They were able to obtain major private investment funding from companies such as Polychain Capital, A16Z Crypto, and Founders Fund (purchasing 7.5% coin supply of HNS between them at $10.2M) with the idea that they could be responsible for replacing entire layers of Domain Name System (DNS) layering. This removes the need for those who safeguard these layers, saving future companies large amounts of cash up front.

  • Handshake is attempting to make the Internet more open

    Handshake came out of stealth mode last August. The project, which intends to replace various levels of the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, was founded by Joseph Poon (co-creator of the Lightning Network & Plasma), Andrew Lee (co-founder & CEO of Purse), Andrew Lee (co-founder & CEO of Private Internet Access), Boyma Fahnbulleh (Bcoin developer), and Christopher Jeffery (Creator of Bcoin & CTO of Purse).

    Sidestepping the ICO route popularized by Ethereum, Handshake raised private funding from a slew of investors including A16Z Crypto, Polychain Capital, and Founders Fund. These investors purchased 7.5% of the initial coin supply of HNS, Handshake’s native token, for $10.2M, valuing the protocol at $136M.

  • Google remains the top open-source contributor to CNCF projects

    According to the latest data from Stackalytics, a project founded by Mirantis and hosted by the OpenStack Foundation that visualizes a company’s contribution to open-source projects, Google remains the dominant force in the CNCF open-source ecosystem. Indeed, according to this data, Google is responsible for almost 53 percent of all code commits to CNCF projects. Red Hat, the second biggest contributor, is far behind, with 7.4 percent.

    The CNCF is the home of Kubernetes, the extremely popular container orchestration service that Google open sourced, so the fact that Google is the top contributor may not seem like a major surprise. But according to this data, Google would still be the top code contributor to all CNCF projects without even taking Kubernetes into account. In part, that’s due to the fact that Google is also the major contributor to GRPC, a queuing project the company donated to the CNCF, and Vitess, the database clustering system it developed for YouTube.

  • Google Remains Top Open-Source Contributor

    According to a scan of code contributions to projects sponsored by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) remains by far the largest contributor of code across all projects. Using a tool called Stackalytics, the survey conducted by open-source infrastructure vendor Mirantis found that Google accounted for 52.9 percent of code commits to CNCF projects.

  • Johnson Controls to Introduce Open-Source Software for Targeting Retrofits

Server Side Public License (SSPL), Red Hat and Fedora

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Red Hat
OSS
Legal
  • Red Hat/Fedora decide MongoDB’s SSLP doesn’t fit

    MongoDB’s January blues deepened this week as the team behind the Red Hat-backed Fedora Linux distribution confirmed it had added the open source database’s Server Side Public License to its “bad”list.

    The move came as it emerged Red Hat – Fedora’s sponsor – had nixed MongoDB support in RHEL 8.0.

  • AWS Raised Its Hand Lest Of Open Source Platform

    Even though AWS stands by MongoDB as the best the customers find it difficult to build and vastly accessible applications on the open-source platform can range from multiple terabytes to hundreds of thousands of reads and writes per second. Thus, the company built its own document database with an Apache 2.0 open source MongoDB 3.6 API compatibility. The open-sources politics are quite difficult to grasp. AWS has been blamed for taking the top open-source projects and re-branding plus re-using it without providing the communities. The catch here is that MongoDB was the company behind putting a halt to the re-licensing of the open-source tools under a novel license that clearly stated the companies willing to do this will have to purchase a commercial license.

  • Red Hat gets heebie-jeebies over MongoDB's T&Cs squeeze: NoSQL database dropped from RHEL 8B over license

    MongoDB justified its decision last October to shift the free version of its NoSQL database software, MongoDB Community Server, from the open-source GNU Affero General Public License to the not-quite-so-open Server Side Public License (SSPL) by arguing that cloud providers sell open-source software as a service without giving back.

    The following month, and not widely noticed until this week, Red Hat said it would no longer include MongoDB in version 8 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The removal notice came in the release notes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Beta 8.0.

    Under section 4.7, the release notes say, "Note that the NoSQL MongoDB database server is not included in RHEL 8.0 Beta because it uses the Server Side Public License (SSPL)."

  • Server Side Public License struggles to gain open-source support

    MongoDB first announced the release of the new software license in October as a way to protect itself and other open-source projects like it from being taken advantage of by larger companies for monetary gain.

    At the time, MongoDB co-founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz explained: “This should be a time of incredible opportunity for open source. The revenue generated by a service can be a great source of funding for open-source projects, far greater than what has historically been available. The reality, however, is that once an open-source project becomes interesting, it is too easy for large cloud vendors to capture most of the value while contributing little or nothing back to the community.”

    Other open-source businesses have developed their own licenses or adopted others in recent months, citing the same issues. However, the problem with these new licenses is that if they are not approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), an organization created to promote and protect the open-source ecosystem, the software behind the license is technically not considered open source, and it will have a hard time getting acceptance from members in the community.

  • Open source has a problem with monetization, not AWS
  • Why you should take notice of the open source in enterprise suckers conundrum

    In the MongoDB case, AWS is widely regarded as responding to a licensing change MongoDB made in October 2018 that has caused something of a stir among the open source cognoscenti.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-03

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week.

    I’ve set up weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

Second Godot 3.1 Beta

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Development
OSS
Gaming
  • Godot 3.1 Beta 2

    We entered the release freeze last week with Godot 3.1 beta 1, and many high priority bug reports have been fixed since then. We're now publishing a new beta 2 snapshot for testers to work with. This new release fixes various crash scenarios, as well as a performance regression in the GLES backend.

    We're still aiming for a release by the end of the month, so we're under a tight schedule. From now on dev focus is on release-critical issues that would seriously hamper Godot 3.1's usability and features.

    Contrarily to our 3.0.x maintenance releases, which include only thoroughly reviewed and backwards-compatible bug fixes, the 3.1 version includes all the new features (and subsequent bugs!) merged in the master branch since January 2018, and especially all those showcased on our past devblogs. It's been almost a year since the 3.0 release and close to 6,000 commits, so expect a lot of nice things in the final 3.1 version!

  • Godot 3.1 Beta 2 Released With OpenGL ES Performance Fix

    The developers behind Godot, one of the leading open-source game engines, have announced their second beta release for the upcoming Godot 3.1 feature release.

    Godot 3.1 initially entered beta earlier this month as stepping towards the first major release of this cross-platform game engine since Godot 3.0 last year. Godot 3.1 is preparing OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering support, continued work around virtual reality (VR) support, 3D soft body physics capabilities, constructive solid geometry, BPTC texture compression, a new visual shader editor, WebSockets support, and various game developer/editor improvements.

Some Thoughts on Open Core

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OSS

Nothing is inherently anti-business about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In fact, a number of different business models are built on top of FOSS. The best models are those that continue to further FOSS by internal code contributions and that advance the principles of Free Software in general. For instance, there's the support model, where a company develops free software but sells expert support for it.

Here, I'd like to talk a bit about one of the more problematic models out there, the open core model, because it's much more prevalent, and it creates some perverse incentives that run counter to Free Software principles.

If you haven't heard about it, the open core business model is one where a company develops free software (often a network service intended to be run on a server) and builds a base set of users and contributors of that free code base. Once there is a critical mass of features, the company then starts developing an "enterprise" version of the product that contains additional features aimed at corporate use. These enterprise features might include things like extra scalability, login features like LDAP/Active Directory support or Single Sign-On (SSO) or third-party integrations, or it might just be an overall improved version of the product with more code optimizations and speed.

Because such a company wants to charge customers to use the enterprise version, it creates a closed fork of the free software code base, or it might provide the additional proprietary features as modules so it has fewer problems with violating its free software license.

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Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

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OSS
  • Red Hat drops MongoDB over SSPL; MDB -3%

    Amazon responded by launching DocumentDB, a managed database that's compatible with existing MongoDB applications and tools. DocumentDB works with MongoDB version 3.6, which predates the SSPL license.

  • Governance without rules: How the potential for forking helps projects

    The speed and agility of open source projects benefit from lightweight and flexible governance. Their ability to run with such efficient governance is supported by the potential for project forking. That potential provides a discipline that encourages participants to find ways forward in the face of unanticipated problems, changed agendas, or other sources of disagreement among participants. The potential for forking is a benefit that is available in open source projects because all open source licenses provide needed permissions.

    In contrast, standards development is typically constrained to remain in a particular forum. In other words, the ability to move the development of the standard elsewhere is not generally available as a disciplining governance force. Thus, forums for standards development typically require governance rules and procedures to maintain fairness among conflicting interests.

  • Oracle exec: Open-source vendors locking down licences proves 'they were never really open'
  • MoltenVK Sees Big Update To Jump-Start Vulkan On macOS In 2019
  • Facebook 'Likes' (And Open Sources) Better Mobile Image Software
  • Open source Spectrum library enables edge processing of images for faster performance

    Spectrum, an open source image processing library from Facebook, aims to give developers the ability to perform image transformation client-side, with predictable, repeatable results on different platforms. The library can be integrated into Android or iOS apps, and uses C/C++ code for higher performance with Java and Objective-C wrapper APIs for integration ease. Spectrum's API is declarative, allowing developers to define the target output characteristics, leaving the work of formulating settings to achieve that goal to the library itself.

The Best Open Source Software in 2018 (Users’ Choice)

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OSS

LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite written in C++, Java, and Python. It was first released in January 2011 by The Document Foundation and has since known to be the most reliable open source office suite.

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More in Tux Machines

Radio Telescopes Horn In With GNU Radio

Who doesn’t like to look up at the night sky? But if you are into radio, there’s a whole different way to look using radio telescopes. [John Makous] spoke at the GNU Radio Conference about how he’s worked to make a radio telescope that is practical for even younger students to build and operate. The only real high tech part of this build is the low noise amplifier (LNA) and the project is in reach of a typical teacher who might not be an expert on electronics. It uses things like paint thinner cans and lumber. [John] also built some blocks in GNU Radio that made it easy for other teachers to process the data from a telescope. As he put it, “This is the kind of nerdy stuff I like to do.” We can relate. Read more

New Releases: Kodachi 5.8, Tails RC, HardenedBSD Stable, KookBook 0.2.0

  • Kodachi 5.8 The Secure OS
    Linux Kodachi operating system is based on Debian 9.5 / Ubuntu 18.04 it will provide you with a secure, anti-forensic, and anonymous operating system considering all features that a person who is concerned about privacy would need to have in order to be secure. Kodachi is very easy to use all you have to do is boot it up on your PC via USB drive then you should have a fully running operating system with established VPN connection + Connection established + service running. No setup or knowledge is required from your side we do it all for you. The entire OS is functional from your temporary memory RAM so once you shut it down no trace is left behind all your activities are wiped out. Kodachi is a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to:
  • Call for testing: [Tails] 3.12~rc1
    You can help Tails! The first release candidate for the upcoming version 3.12 is out. We are very excited and cannot wait to hear what you think about it, especially the new simplified USB installation method (see below). :)
  • Stable release: HardenedBSD-stable 12-STABLE v1200058.2
  • KookBook 0.2.0 available – now manage your cooking recipes better
    Some people have started talking about maybe translation of the interface. I might look into that in the future. And I wouldn’t be sad if some icon artists provided me with a icon slightly better than the knife I drew. Feel free to contact me if that’s the case. Happy kooking!

Programming: Conway’s Game of Life, py3status and Teaching Python at Apple

  • Optimizating Conway
    Conway’s Game of Life seems to be a common programming exercise. I had to program it in Pascal when in High School and in C in an intro college programming course. I remember in college, since I had already programmed it before, that I wanted to optimize the algorithm. However, a combination of writing in C and having only a week to work on it didn’t leave me with enough time to implement anything fancy. A couple years later, I hiked the Appalachian Trail. Seven months away from computers, just hiking day in and day out. One of the things I found myself contemplating when walking up and down hills all day was that pesky Game of Life algorithm and ways that I could improve it. Fast forward through twenty intervening years of life and experience with a few other programming languages to last weekend. I needed a fun programming exercise to raise my spirits so I looked up the rules to Conway’s Game of Life, sat down with vim and python, and implemented a few versions to test out some of the ideas I’d had kicking around in my head for a quarter century.
  • py3status v3.16
    Two py3status versions in less than a month? That’s the holidays effect but not only! Our community has been busy discussing our way forward to 4.0 (see below) and organization so it was time I wrote a bit about that.
  • #195 Teaching Python at Apple

Games: Protontricks, vkQuake2, System Shock, Dead Ascend, Lord of Dwarves and Panda3D

  • Protontricks, a handy tool for doing various tweaks with Steam Play has been forked
    For those brave enough to attempt to get more Windows games to run through Steam Play, Protontricks is a handy solution and it's been forked.
  • vkQuake2, the project adding Vulkan support to Quake 2 now supports Linux
    At the start of this year, I gave a little mention to vkQuake2, a project which has updated the classic Quake 2 with various improvements including Vulkan support. Other improvements as part of vkQuake2 include support for higher resolution displays, it's DPI aware, HUD scales with resolution and so on. Initially, the project didn't support Linux which has now changed. Over the last few days they've committed a bunch of new code which fully enables 64bit Linux support with Vulkan.
  • The new System Shock is looking quite impressive with the latest artwork
    System Shock, the remake coming eventually from Nightdive Studios continues along in development and it's looking impressive. In their latest Kickstarter update, they showed off what they say is the "final art" after they previously showed the game using "temporary art". I have to admit, while this is only a small slice of what's to come, from the footage it certainly seems like it will have a decent atmosphere to it.
  • Dead Ascend, an open source point and click 2D adventure gameDead Ascend, an open source point and click 2D adventure game
    For those wanting to check out another open source game or perhaps see how they're made, Dead Ascend might be a fun choice for a little adventure. Developed by Lars from Black Grain Games, Dead Ascend features hand-drawn artwork with gameplay much like classic point and click adventures.
  • Lord of Dwarves will have you build large structures and defend them, developed on Linux
    Here's a fun one, Lord of Dwarves from developer Stellar Sage Games is a game about helping a kingdom of dwarves survive, build, and prosper. It's made on Linux too and releasing in Early Access in March. The developer emailed in about it and to let everyone know that it was "developed in Linux using only open source software". You can actually see them showing it off on Ubuntu in a recent video. While it's going to be in Early Access, they told me it's "feature complete with a full campaign and sandbox mode" with the extra time being used for feedback and to polish it as much as possible.
  • A Journey of the Panda3D
    I don’t know why am I still working on Panda 3D despite the failure to export the Blender mesh to the Panda 3D engine but anyway here is a quick update for the development of the Panda3D’s game. Yesterday after the Panda 3D engine had failed again to render the blender 3D mesh together with its texture on the game scene, I had made another search for the solution on Google but again...