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OSS

A brief history of text-based games and open source

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The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation (IFTF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of technologies enabling the digital art form we call interactive fiction. When a Community Moderator for Opensource.com suggested an article about IFTF, the technologies and services it supports, and how it all intersects with open source, I found it a novel angle to the decades-long story I’ve so often told. The history of IF is longer than—but quite enmeshed with—the modern FOSS movement. I hope you’ll enjoy my sharing it here.

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Open source code worth $600m contributed to Apache

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Open source code valued at over $600 million was delivered by volunteer project contributors to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in a single 12-month period.

That's according to the Apache Software Foundation's (ASF) annual report for its 2018 fiscal year, which ended on 30 April. The report was released last week.

ASF was established in 1999 and claims to be the world's largest open source foundation with more than 300 freely available, enterprise-wide projects that serve as the backbone for some of the most visible and widely used applications in computing today.

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RIP, Printrbot

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Hardware
OSS
  • Printrbot has shut down

    Printrbot, a popular Kickstarter-backed 3D printer company, has shut down, leaving only a barebones website and little explanation.

  • Pioneering desktop 3D printer maker Printrbot closes it doors
  • Printrbot Closes Doors, Saddening 3D Printing Fans Everywhere

    In a competitive market, it’s hard for any company to stay ahead of the others, and it’s a sad fact that even some of the most popular and long-lived companies succumb to heavy weather. Printrbot, founded in 2011, had legions of fans who loved its printers’ affordability, ease of assembly and use, and open source freedom. Printrbot 3D printers were 3D printers for the people – only a few hundred dollars, they provided access to 3D printing technology for people who hadn’t been able to afford it before, and although they were simple, they were high quality. Best of all, you could make them your own, tinkering with them and creating new and unique machines, as so many users did. The company was ethical, direct and honest. Some open source 3D printer companies just download files and don’t share. Printrbot dutifully shared its source files and was a rare true open source company.

  • 3D Printing Community saddened by closure of Printrbot 3D printers

    Open source 3D printer manufacturer Printrbot has announced the close of its business, citing poor sales as the reason for the decision. A simple statement on the Printrbot website from founder Brook Drumm reads:

    “Printrbot is closed. Low sales led to hard decisions. We will be forever grateful to all the people we met and served over the years. Thank you all.”

    For the time being, Drumm will reportedly be “unreachable” for comments, and plans to share his views and plans for this “final chapter” in due course.

    The 3D Printing Community however has take to social media in mourning of the company, with figures including Joel Telling (YouTube’s 3D Printing Nerd), Thomas Sanladerer, and Dr. Adrian Bowyer himself weighing in on the close.

  • Printrbot Shuts Down After Seven Years of Creating Open Source 3D Printers

    Printrbot, the 3D printing manufacturer which was founded in 2011 with the launch of its original Printrbot printer on Kickstarter, has announced that it's now sadly closing its doors.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Oasis Loss Modelling Framework Offered Open Source, Free of Charge

    Not-for-profit catastrophe modeling platform Oasis Loss Modelling Framework announced that all components of its catastrophe modeling software are now open source and downloadable from GitHub, free of charge.

  • Open source adoption key to fintech sufes: FINOS

    Is there a place for open source, and open source collaboration in particular, in the financial services industry, with its strict security, governance, regulatory and privacy requirements?

    According to the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), the answer is an emphatic "yes".

    FINOS, an independent non-profit organisation, believes that as the financial services sector is going through a period of unprecedented technological transformation, organisations that embrace open source software development and common standards will be best positioned to capture the growth opportunities that this transformation presents.

  • The Open Source Initiative: Worth the Hype?

    The popular internet advertisement blocker Adblock Plus — originally built with open-source code — is partnering with the OSI.

    Along with funding, innovation is underway. Google is opening an AI research center in France, with all code and results open to the public, according to Tech Crunch. As noted by FossBytes, Facebook used open-source technology to develop a new unit of time known as a Flick, which is short for frame-tick and is exactly 1/705,600,000 of a second. It allows videos at certain hertz to represent single-frame durations as integer quantities rather than decimal places. Flick should make it easier for companies and content creators to keep their videos in sync regardless of their encoding frequency.

  • 5 questions to answer before building a community

    I've talked to a number of business leaders recently about building communities for their company or product. While everybody recognizes the benefits of having a vibrant and active community, many are unsure about what it means and how to build it. Not knowing these details can mean wasting time and money on things that will not give you the results you want.

    While interviewing for community management roles, I started asking for these details to determine whether company leaders understand why they want a community and what they want it to do for them.

  • Hackers on Planet Earth, Here We Come!

    Dating all the way back to 1994, HOPE is an excellent collection of people and ideas. I was lucky enough to attend two years ago (my first time) and had a fantastic time meeting Cory Doctorow after his rousing talk about DMCA 1201, I got to hear Richard Stallman discuss why all software must be free, the talent show was off the hook, and there were fun people to hang out with at every turn.

  • Huawei makes prominent showing at open source event

    For a company that is supposed to be down and out (of the U.S. telecom space), Huawei made a relatively prominent showing at OSCON 2018, where it sponsored a keynote Wednesday morning and made its presence known throughout the convention center’s halls and on the exhibit floor.

    Such a showing by Huawei is nothing new. The company has sponsored events and plastered banners at wireless industry events in the past. But the moves are notable given the wrath that Huawei has seen in the nation’s current political climate and heightened scrutiny concerns it continues to get in the telecom space.

  • A guide: The incorporation of OpenStack and Open Source MANO for NFV deployments

    As we know, OpenStack is mainly known to be the largest pool of open source projects which collectively form the software platform for cloud computing infrastructure. This infrastructure is used widely in private cloud use cases by many enterprises. After an introduction of NFV by ETSI, OpenStack has emerged as a key infrastructure platform for NFV. In most of the NFV deployments, OpenStack is used at VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Manager) layer to give a standardised interface for managing, monitoring and assessing all resources within NFV infrastructure.

    Various OpenStack projects, such as Tacker, Neutron, Nova, Astara, Congress, Mistral, Senlin) are capable of managing virtualised infrastructure components of NFV environment. As an example, Tacker is utilised to build a generic VNF Manager (VNFM) and NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) which helps in deployment and operation of VNFs within NFV infrastructure. Additionally, integration of OpenStack projects introduces various features to NFV infrastructure. Features include performance features like huge pages, CPU pinning, NUMA topology and SR-IOV; service function chaining, network slicing, scalability, high availability, resiliency and multi-site enablement.

  • The changing role of DBAs in an "as-a-service" world

    Over the years at Percona, we have seen this shift as well. The types of issues we face daily have evolved along with the database environment (and the role of the DBA). Currently, more than 50% of the support tickets our customers open are related to application design issues, query performance, or database infrastructure design. Five years ago, help requests and support tickets around issues like these represented less than 20% of our overall caseload.

    This makes sense when you think about the maturity of open source databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL and the technological advances that impact the database. More stable databases, coupled with advances in either homegrown automation or cloud-based infrastructure, reduce the likelihood of general crashing bugs due to the core database software. Often, today's causes of outages and issues are design decisions, bad code, or odd "edge cases" that weren't considered in the initial planning.

    All of this means that the role of the DBA is moving away from simply "keeping it up and running" to a much more strategic position: The DBA is one of the experts that helps enterprises reach their strategic business goals.

  • GCC 8.2 Release Candidate Arrives For Compiler Testing

    GCC 8.2 as the first point release to the stable GCC 8 compiler is tentatively set to debut next Thursday, 26 July, but available now for testing is the release candidate.

    Available today is 8.2.0-RC-20180719 as the release candidate to GCC 8.2.0.

  • FSFE Newsletter - July 2018

    On July 5, The European Parliament rejected the mandate to fast-track the controversial legislation intended to reform online copyright.

  • g2k18 hackathon report: Florian Obser on rtadvd(8) -> rad(8) progress (actually, rewrite)
  • Python post-Guido

    There were two main areas that Van Rossum called out for governance: how PEPs are decided and how new core developers are added. The latter seems to already be based on a vote of the existing core developers. They are the only ones allowed to post to the core-committers mailing list, which is where Van Rossum posted his resignation, presumably to avoid wading through hundreds of messages—nearly all undoubtedly positive and grateful, though surely there would have been some trolls as well.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Four top open source SIEM tools you should know

    With open source SIEM tools, organizations can test out certain capabilities and reduce cost barriers before expanding their product investments. Depending on what functions you're interested in, there is a variety of software to choose from.

    [...]

    Another choice for open source SIEM tools is Apache Metron. ELK Stack is a general purpose log and data parsing tool; Apache Metron focuses squarely on security.

    Apache Metron provides four main capabilities. First, it offers long-term, cost-effective storage of telemetry data through its security data lake feature. Second, it features an extensible framework that collects data from a variety of sources and supports any future endpoints. Third, Metron performs normal SIEM tasks, such as data ingest and threat alerts. The fourth capability is threat intelligence driven by machine learning-based anomaly detection.

  • Open Your Own Front Page Using Firefox New Tab

    Did you know Firefox has a unique page full of great links and ideas curated just for you? In one simple click, we’ve made it faster and easier for you to find things that are important to you whenever you open a new tab in Firefox.

  • pfSense Gold Free with 2.4.4-RELEASE

    Starting with the upcoming release of pfSense® 2.4.4, all of the services previously offered under “pfSense Gold” will continue, but will be free to all pfSense users. Read on for more detail.

  • Google Fined by EU for Antitrust Violations, Qt Creator 4.7.0 Now Available, New ownCloud Version 10.0.9, pfSense Gold to Be Free with the 2.4.4 Release, Kobol Relaunches Helios4

    Netgate announces that pfSense Gold will be free with the 2.4.4 release, including all services previously offered under the pfSense Gold subscription, such as the pfSense Book and monthly online Hangouts (video conferences). In addition, AutoConfigBackup (ACB) also will be free and will conform to GDPR best practices. The 2.4.4 release is planned for September 2018.

  • Emacs & TLS

    A recent query about the status of network security (TLS settings in particular) in Emacs led to a long thread in the emacs-devel mailing list. That thread touched on a number of different areas, including using OpenSSL (or other TLS libraries) rather than GnuTLS, what kinds of problems should lead to complaints out of the box, what settings should be the default, and when those settings could change for Emacs so as not to discombobulate users. The latter issue is one that lots of projects struggle with: what kinds of changes are appropriate for a bug-fix release versus a feature release. For Emacs, its lengthy development cycle, coupled with the perceived urgency of security changes, makes that question even more difficult.

  • nanotime 0.2.2

    A new maintenance release of the nanotime package for working with nanosecond timestamps just arrived on CRAN.

Openwashing Latest

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3 big steps toward building authentic developer communities

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As more software businesses are selling open source products, we've seen a corresponding rise in the emphasis of building out developer communities around these products as a key metric for success. Happy users are passionate advocates, and these passionate advocates raise overall awareness of a company's product offerings. Attract the right vocal influencers into your community, and customers become more interested in forming a relationship with your company.

Doing community building the right way, however, is a delicate balance. Undercut the needs of your user community in favor of driving sales, and your company will face a decrease in adoption and unfavorable brand awareness. Meanwhile, too little focus on the bottom line isn't good for the company. So how can this tension be balanced effectively, especially in a world in which developers are the "new kingmakers" and meeting their sensibilities is a cornerstone of driving corporate purchasing decisions?

Over the past year, I've thought a lot about how to do effective community building while building the business bottom line. In this article, I'll outline three big steps to take toward building authentic, productive, sustainable developer communities.

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Also: A 4-step plan for creating teams that aren't afraid to fail

Amid the 20th anniversary of open source, Tim O’Reilly warns that platform companies built on open-source software have lost their way

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OSS

It’s rare to hear Chinese philosophy quoted on stage at a software-development conference. But O’Reilly Media founder and CEO Tim O’Reilly invoked the words of Lao Tzu Wednesday morning during the opening keynotes at OSCON 2018 in hopes of convincing those in attendance — many of whom work for the big internet platform companies of our time — that the tech industry needs to return to the spirit of openness and collaboration that drove the early days of the open-source community before it is too late.

“We have an opportunity with these next generation of systems, to rebuild, to rethink the future, to discover what does it mean to get these systems right,” O’Reilly said. If the first era of the internet was dominated by open protocols, and the second era was dominated by the rise of huge platform companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, the third era we’re about to enter presents a chance to get it right again.

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Public money, public code? FSFE spearheads open-source initiative

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Last September, the non-profit Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) launched a new campaign that calls for EU-wide legislation that requires publicly financed software developed for the public sector to be made publicly available under a free and open-source software license.

According to the ‘Public Money, Public Code’ open letter, free and open-source software in the public sector would enable anyone to “use, study, share, and improve applications used on a daily basis”.

The initiative, says the non-profit, would provide safeguards against public sector organizations being locked into services from specific companies that use “restrictive licenses” to hinder competition.

The FSFE also says the open-source model would help improve security in the public sector, as it would allow backdoors and other vulnerabilities to fixed quickly, without depending on one single service provider.

Since its launch, the Public Money, Public Code initiative has gained the support of 150 organizations, including WordPress Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, and Tor, along with nearly 18,000 individuals.

With the initiative now approaching its first anniversary, The Daily Swig caught up with FSFE spokesperson Paul Brown, who discussed the campaign’s progress.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Medellín WordPress User Group Celebrates Open Source CMS Platform’s 15th Anniversary

    Medellín is well known for its innovative technology scene, with many active software and information technology user groups. One of those is the user group centered around open source content management software WordPress. A year ago the user group hosted Colombia’s first Wordcamp function, supported by the global WordPress community, and the user group recently gathered to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first WordPress open source software release that took place May 27, 2003.

    WordPress is an free, open source software platform that allows amateur and professional users to create websites without writing programming code. Over the years it has grown into a powerful platform robust enough to run enterprise websites in many cases. For example, Finance Colombia runs on WordPress software.

  • Training: Embedded Linux and Security training day – Reading

    Providing detailed hands-on training, it is targeted at embedded engineers looking for an introduction to key embedded Linux and Security topics.

  • Amazing solar panel device that could change the world goes open source

    An innovative and simple solar panel efficiency device has just gone open source in order to get renewable energy to those who need it most.

    When you picture solar power, you might think of the enormous Ivanpah solar power plant in California (the largest in the world) or huge tracts of land in other sun-drenched parts of the globe.

    But not everyone has access to such enormous grids and particularly in remote villages in developing nations, there is only a need for a single or small group of solar panels that could maintain maximum efficiency to sustain a family or the village itself.

  • Meet the man in charge of Arduino

    I went to visit the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea – a school that was started just six months before I went to visit them – and they asked me if I knew someone who could teach electronics to designers and to ask this question to my colleagues at the Politecnico.

    I went back and they said “No! Teaching electronics to designers? For us?” Those were guys working on highly sophisticated FGPAs, so they didn’t care about designers. I thought about Massimo – he had a real passion for electronics and he worked as a CTO for an internet provider at that point in time. I said, “Massimo, you could be the right person for this type of engagement – they’re designers, you love design, and you know electronics.” I introduced Massimo to the school and they hired him. That’s how the story started. When he was teaching at the Design Institute of Ivrea, they started the Arduino project as a way to standardise the electronics projects the students were doing. I introduced Massimo to the school and they invented Arduino, so I’m sort of the great-grandfather to some extent.

  • pinp 0.0.6: Two new options

    A small feature release of our pinp package for snazzier one or two column vignettes get onto CRAN a little earlier.

    It offers two new options. Saghir Bashir addressed a longer-standing help needed! issue and contributed code to select papersize options via the YAML header. And I added support for the collapse option of knitr, also via YAML header selection.

    A screenshot of the package vignette can be seen below. Additional screenshots of are at the pinp page.

  • OpenMP 5.0 Public Draft Released

    The public draft of the OpenMP 5.0 SMP programming standard is now available for review ahead of the specification's expected stable release before the end of 2018.

    OpenMP 5.0 is expected to succeed the OpenMP 4.5 parallel programming standard in Q4'2018, but for ironing out any last minute issues and allowing more compiler developers to begin implementing the standard, the public draft is now available.

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More in Tux Machines

Debian Development and News

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, June 2018
    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.
  • PKCS#11 v2.20
    By way of experiment, I've just enabled the PKCS#11 v2.20 implementation in the eID packages for Linux, but for now only in the packages in the "continuous" repository. In the past, enabling this has caused issues; there have been a few cases where Firefox would deadlock when PKCS#11 v2.20 was enabled, rather than the (very old and outdated) v2.11 version that we support by default. We believe we have identified and fixed all outstanding issues that caused such deadlocks, but it's difficult to be sure.
  • Plans for DebCamp and DebConf 18
    I recently became an active contributor to the Debian project, which has been consolidated throughout my GSoC project. In addition to the great learning with my mentors, Lucas Kanashiro and Raphäel Hertzog, the feedback from other community members has been very valuable to the progress we are making in the Distro Tracker. Tomorrow, thanks to Debian project sponsorship, I will take off for Hsinchu, Taiwan to attend DebCamp and DebConf18. It is my first DebConf and I’m looking forward to meeting new people from the Debian community, learn a lot and make useful contributions during the time I am there.
  • Building Debian packages in CI (ick)
    I develop a number of (fairly small) programs, as a hobby. Some of them I also maintain as packages in Debian. All of them I publish as Debian packages in my own APT repository. I want to make the process for making a release of any of my programs as easy and automated as possible, and that includes building Debian packages and uploading them to my personal APT repository, and to Debian itself.
  • My DebCamp/DebConf 18 plans
    Tomorrow I am going to another DebCamp and DebConf; this time at Hsinchu, Taiwan.
  • Things you can do with Debian: multimedia editing
    The Debian operating system serves many purposes and you can do amazing things with it. Apart of powering the servers behind big internet sites like Wikipedia and others, you can use Debian in your PC or laptop. I’ve been doing that for many years. One of the great things you can do is some multimedia editing. It turns out I love nature, outdoor sports and adventures, and I usually take videos and photos with my friends while doing such activities. And when I arrive home I love editing them for my other blog, or putting them together in a video.

32-Bit Vs. 64-Bit Operating System

This has really been confusing to some people choosing between 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Head over to any operating system’s website, you will be given a choice to download either versions of the same operating system. So what is the difference? Why do we have two different versions of the same OS? Let us solve this mystery here, once and for all. Read more

Convert video using Handbrake

Recently, when my son asked me to digitally convert some old DVDs of his high school basketball games, I immediately knew I would use Handbrake. It is an open source package that has all the tools necessary to easily convert video into formats that can be played on MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms. Handbrake is open source and distributable under the GPLv2 license. It's easy to install on MacOS, Windows, and Linux, including both Fedora and Ubuntu. In Linux, once it's installed, it can be launched from the command line with $ handbrake or selected from the graphical user interface. (In my case, that is GNOME 3.) Read more

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