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OSS

5 reasons professors should encourage students to get involved in open source projects

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OSS

I've been supporting student participation in humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS) projects for over a decade. I've seen students get motivated and excited by working in a professional community while they learn and mature professionally. Out of the many reasons for supporting student participation in open source, here are five of the most compelling reasons.

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Release management in Open Source projects

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Development
OSS

Open source software is widely used today. While there is not a single development method for open source, many successful open source projects are based on widely distributed development models with many independent contributors working together. Traditionally, distributed software development has often been seen as inefficient due to the high level of communication and coordination required during the software development process. Open source has clearly shown that successful software can be developed in a distributed manner.

The open source community has over time introduced many collaboration systems, such as version control systems and mailing lists, and processes that foster this collaborative development style and improve coordination. In addition to implementing efficient collaboration systems and processes, it has been argued that open source development works because it aims to reduce the level of coordination needed. This is because development is done in parallel streams by independent contributors who work on self-selected tasks. Contributors can work independently and coordination is only required to integrate their work with others.

Relatively little attention has been paid to release management in open source projects in the literature. Release management, which involves the planning and coordination of software releases and the overall management of releases throughout the life cycle, can be studied from many different aspects. I investigated release management as part of my PhD from the point of view of coordination theory. If open source works so well because of various mechanism to reduce the level of coordination required, what implications does this have on release management which is a time in the development process when everyone needs to come together to align their work?

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FarmBot, the open-source CNC farming robot

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OSS

The FarmBot structure fixes directly on top of any standard raised planter box. You can think of it like a 3D printer, but instead of extruding plastic, the tool head deposits seeds, delivers water and rids the box of weeds, all by moving across a gantry. Powered by a Raspberry Pi 3, an Arduino Mega and a motor control shield, the FarmBot brings agricultural automation within the reach of the committed hobbyist.

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The Philosophy of Open Source in Community and Enterprise Software

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OSS

Open source software is alive and well, backing most of the systems we take for granted every day. Communities like Github have paved the way for more open collaboration and increased contributions. More software today is branded with the marketing gimmick of being moved “into the cloud”, and into subscription models were people perpetually rent software rather than purchase it. Many of the websites we use are walled gardens of free services that are not open, and which make it intentionally difficult to move your data should you become unsatisfied with the service provider. Much of the opens source software being released today is backend technology or developer tools. We are still a far cry away from having the day to day software we use being truly free, not only in cost, but being able to modify it to our needs and run it anywhere we want.

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Open365 – Clouding with style

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OSS

Office, suite, cloud. Sounds familiar. Google Docs. Yup. Microsoft Office 365. Yup. LibreOffice. No. Wait, what? Buzzwords around modern technology concepts are all too easy to ignore, but this one actually caught my attention beyond the almost-too-cliche dotIO domain, the blue design very reminiscent of Docker (hint), and optimistic text that promises wonders.

Anyhow, Open365 is an all-in-one productivity suite, based on KDE, Seafile, LibreOffice, Docker, and Jitsi. That’s enough buzz to keep you warm till 2020, but is it any good? Or rather, can it compete with the proven giants out there? I decided to explore and see what gives.

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Also:

Microsoft Embrace and Extend

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Microsoft
OSS
  • initialsession: remove curl and wget aliases [iophk: “MS hobbles curl and wget unapologetically, and probably other tools too”]

    ...you do not create programs which intentionally have the same names as well known programs, especially when your programs do not provide exactly the same functionality as the originals. There is no way to view that sort of behavior in a positive light.

  • More Open Source is Good Open Source [Ed: openwashing is a problem (trying to make Windows look open), but some Novell/Red Hat staff disagrees]

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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OSS
  • [New page] Open source alternatives
  • AT&T: What Is 'Open Source,' Anyway?

    Companies evaluating open source technology need to be careful that they get all the open source benefits. That's sometimes tricky, which is why AT&T has defined "three key characteristics of open source software that we consider paramount," says Greg Stiegler, AT&T assistant vice president of cloud.

    AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a leader among big network operators making a big open source commitment, with involvement in multiple projects and aggressive code-sharing. Last month, it released its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) for network management and orchestration (MANO) as open source. (See AT&T Offers 'Mature' ECOMP as Open Source MANO, AT&T Makes Case for Open Source Sharing and AT&T's Chiosi: Unite on Open Source or Suffer.)

  • Mozilla Spurring Tech Project Development with Sprints and Grants

    At Mozilla, there is momentum gathering around new open source projects and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company is hosting an IoT sprint development weekend this September. Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga, in collaboration with The Company Lab, is hosting 48Hour Launch: Internet of Things (IoT) Edition, on September 9-11. 48Hour Launch is a weekend-long competition that challenges teams of entrepreneurs and specialists to spend 48 hours transforming a startup concept into a viable business model, prototype, policy proposal, or piece of curriculum.

    The experience culminates with a Demo Night, where participants debut their work for a chance to win cash prizes, free business services, and a free trip to MozFest in London.

  • Crowdfunding closing on $5 Linux + Wifi tiny IoT compute module

    Omega 2 is a Linux compute module designed specifically for building connected hardware applications. It combines, say its designers Onion, “the tiny form factor and power-efficiency of the Arduino, with the power and flexibilities of the Raspberry Pi.”

  • FSFE summit 2016

    Imagine a European Union that builds its IT infrastructure on Free Software. Imagine European Member States that exchange information in Open Standards and share their software. Imagine municipalities and city councils that benefit from decentralized and collaborative software under free licenses. Imagine no European is any longer forced to use non-Free Software.

  • Google's new OS, Intel's open source VR headset, and more news
  • How to build your own maker workbench

    Maker projects can be tough if you don't have a good workspace. For a long time, mine was an ESD mat on the dining room table. But as my projects (and family) grew, I was under increased pressure to find somewhere else to work. Really, the 3D printer is what put my wife over the edge (and rightfully so).

  • Dutch consider mandatory eGovernment standards

    The Dutch government wants to make the use of open standards mandatory for public administrations, to provide business and citizens with easier access to eGovernment services. The government is developing a generic digital infrastructure, and its services and standards are to be used by all public administrations, writes Henk Kamp, the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs in a letter to Parliament.

Tips on adding Linux to Your Developer Skill Set

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GNU
Linux
OSS

The time when developers and administrators can get by with only Microsoft in their bag of tricks is over. With Linux's continuing dominance and growth in server space and with Redmond now embracing open source with actions as well as words, even those who develop exclusively for the Windows platform are almost certain to find times when they need to wrap their heads around an aspect of the Linux kernel or some open source application.

If you've been following tech news, you know that across the board there is an increasing need for people with Linux skills, which has pushed the salaries available for those with certifiable Linux talents to record highs. This opens an opportunity in traditional Windows shops where fully certified Linux people might not be necessary, but where certified Windows people with good Linux skills have extra value.

In other words, you can increase your value as an employee simply by honing your Linux and open source skills, without the need to necessarily shell out big bucks to Red Hat or the Linux Foundation for certification. There are plenty of educational opportunities available online, some free and others offered with a very low price tag.

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Also: Talent remains the biggest issue for deploying open source in the enterprise

Trump’s campaign donation website used open-source code sloppily, risking ridicule and worse

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OSS

Like tens of millions of other websites, the campaign donation website for US presidential candidate Donald Trump relies on open-source software called jQuery. But it seems that the software is being used in a sloppy way, which could put Trump supporters at risk of identity theft or worse.

Trump’s website uses a jQuery plug-in, or a bit of ready-made code, called jQuery Mask Plug-in to handle how donors fill in their name, address, and other information. The mask plug-in restricts the types of information users can enter in forms. This is useful because it increases the chances of accurate data being submitted for payment processing, and for the campaign’s records. It’s also free and available for download from GitHub, the popular platform for open-source software.

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Openwashing

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OSS
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FreeOffice 2018 Release is Seamlessly Compatible With MS Office on Linux

FreeOffice 2018 has just been released and it provides even better support for Microsoft Office documents on Linux. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's howtos

Doxyqml 0.4.0

After almost two years, here comes a new version of Doxyqml, the QML filter for Doxygen. This new version adds a new command-line option: --namespace to wrap the generated C++ in a namespace, and makes the parser more robust. Nothing ground-breaking, but some nice changes nevertheless. What's interesting with this project is that I don't use it these days, but it still receives contributions from time to time. This puts me in the unusual position (for me) where most of my contributions to the project are reviewing code, cleaning things, a bit of infrastructure (I just added code coverage checks: 88%, not too bad) and release management. Surprisingly, I like doing this, I am happy to see this little tool remains useful enough that others keep it alive. Read more