A month ago we announced the Core Infrastructure Initiative, a project to help fund critical open source projects that we all rely upon but that are in need of support. We moved quickly to organize the initiative and the industry reaction was swift and enthusiastic. I am proud to report on significant progress that I believe matches the quality of the reaction to the formation of the project.
First order of business was electing the Advisory Board, which will help the Steering Group (made up of funders and The Linux Foundation) determine which projects to fund. We are fortunate to have assembled many of the brightest minds in open source, web technology and computer security. I am thrilled to work with these individuals.
The OSS Watch blog has been on our radar for a while now as a great resource for open source commentary. We've looked to their team, including development manager Mark Johnson, for thought leadership on how open source software is being used and to gauge the pulse of the open source movement. I wanted to find out more about what Mark does day-to-day to promote better understanding of open source. He's got a knack for communication: concise with impact.
The Linaro Digital Home Group, or LHG, follows other working groups from Linaro, a not-for-profit company owned by ARM and many of its top licensees. Linaro develops standardized open source Linux and Android toolchain software for ARM-based devices. Previous groups have included the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), the Linaro Networking Group (LNG), and most recently, the Security Working Group (SWG).
As usual, the goal is provide standardized software and requirements for relevant upstream open source projects. In this case, Linaro defines digital home applications as media-centric devices including set-top boxes, televisions, media players, gaming, and home gateway devices. Home automation does not appear to be a central focus.
A group of nine research institutes, software development firms and IT companies are building Ossmeter, a platform to evaluate and compare open source software packages and the communities involved in them. The platform will be available as a public service, but the software will also be shared using an open source licence. A study on Ossmeter was published earlier this week by Joinup's OSOR community.
Cities and states around the country such as San Francisco, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire have passed bills to require municipalities to use open source software when possible. Why not a tech hub like New York City?
On Thursday, Council Member Ben Kallos will introduce the Free and Open Source Software Act that, if passed by the City Council, would bring the requirement to New York. The law would require the City to look first to open source software before purchasing proprietary software. In addition, Kallos, chair of the Council's government operations committee, will introduce a Civic Commons bill to create a central site to store all of the open source software the City uses which could promote sharing among cities.
PathScale, the company behind the EKOPath compiler and other compiler technologies for both CPUs and GPGPU solutions, is looking to hire one or two kernel developers to work on improving the open-source AMD Linux graphics drivers... Particularly, to improve the GPGPU/OpenCL compute support in the driver, improve the Hawaii GPU and APU support, and potential optimizations for GPUs with 4GB+ of video memory.
The Met Office has selected PostgreSQL specialists 2ndQuadrant to provide training, support and consultancy as the weather service bids to shift from proprietary database solutions that require a licence fee to other alternatives.
The selection of 2ndQuadrant comes after two pilot projects went into production in April when the Met Office's locations management database (Strabo) and LIDAR (light detector) data capture system were implemented again into object-relational database management system PostgreSQL and open source software program PostGIS.
Flash, the ubiquitous media framework for the Web, soon will no longer work for Linux users of the Chromium browser, the open source version of Google Chrome. Is it time for the Linux world to panic? Not at all.
Here's what's happening: Soon, the means by which Flash support was traditionally implemented in Chromium, via a plugin originally designed for Netscape, will no longer work. Instead, Flash support will come in the form of a new API called Pepper, which Google has created for Chrome.