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5 Mistakes Open Source Software Companies Make, and How to Avoid Them

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OSS

What does it take for open source software companies -- and their partners -- to thrive? Fifteen years ago, that would have been a tough question to answer. But now, with so many companies already having gone open source, it's easy to look back and identify what makes open source work, and which mistakes open source companies should avoid.

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The one thing Microsoft must do - but won't - to gain open-source trust

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Microsoft
OSS

So, why are people still paying up rather than fighting? Because patent litigation is incredibly expensive. It's cheaper to pay a $5 to $15 per device licensing fee than to pay a small fortune and take even a remote chance of failure in court.

And Microsoft? Come on, back in 2014, Microsoft was already making about $3.4 billion from its Android patents. Samsung alone paid Microsoft a billion bucks to license its Android patents. This is serious money even by Fortune 500 standards.

In its last quarter, between volume licensing and patents, Microsoft accounted for approximately 9 percent of Microsoft's total revenue.

And, that, of course, is why Microsoft is never going to stop charging for its Android patents. So long as the boys from Redmond can milk these patents for billions every year, they're going to keep them.

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DAASI, Collabora team to bring identity management to CloudSuite, LibreOffice Online

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LibO
OSS

Collabora Productivity, the company that offers commercial solutions based on LibreOffice, has partnered with DAASI International, a provider of open source authentication, single sign-on (SSO) and federated identity management products to provide identity management integration solutions for CloudSuite. DAASI will also offer support and implementation services for companies who want to integrate CloudSuite into their IT landscape.

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Linaro Shoots to Simplify ARM for Cloud, Servers and IoT Platforms

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The company, which focuses on open source software for ARM chips, announced the news at its Linaro Connect event this month in Bangkok. Called Developer Cloud, the platform is based on OpenStack, the open source cloud computing operating system, in conjunction with the Debian and CentOS GNU/Linux distributions.

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ownCloud updates coming soon in Fedora

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Red Hat
OSS

If you store or track storage across lots of different places, you may have heard of ownCloud. This open source product lets you manage and share data across locations seamlessly. The project is a popular one, and there’s even a commercial service built around it.

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Leftovers: OSS

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OSS
  • Watch Open Networking Summit This Week via Free Live Video Stream

    ONS has become a recognized forum for major industry announcements and the introduction of open source networking projects. AT&T, Google and The Linux Foundation, among others have announced major networking projects and initiatives at ONS over just the last few years.

  • WhereHows: An Open Source Lineage and Annotation Tool for Data Collections

    Managing the changes made to any given dataset becomes a challenge as the scope of the organization grows, especially at the level of enterprise.

    WhereHows was recently released as open source by its developer, LinkedIn, which manages vast amounts of data (about 50,ooo datasets, 14,000 comments, and 35 million job execution records). The name is a compound of two important attributes of data: "WHERE is the data, and HOW is it produced/consumed."

  • Chef drills dependency policing into DevOps

    Among the purists is Chef, a firm which in fact describes itself as a player in automation for DevOps.

  • Open source encrypted app is key to security for Facebook

    Moxie Marlinspike, a co-developer of the Signal encrypted mobile messages app, is seeing his security technology used by Facebook’s messaging service, WhatsApp.

    Encryption is a key technology for social media websites such as Facebook, and the technology developed by Moxie Marlinspike (the name is a pseudonym) and now marketed by his company Open Whisper Systems in the Signal app, is playing a big part in online community moves to improve security of user data.

  • Faced with FCC regulations on wireless-router capabilities, TP-Link blocks open-source updates | ExtremeTech
  • TP-Link nixes use of open source firmware on Wi-Fi routers to comply with new FCC regulations
  • Live in the US and are looking for a new router? Don't buy TP-Link
  • Google now accepting applications for open source Summer of Code 2016

    If you are a college student, you probably look forward to the summer as a relaxing time away from learning. Yeah, I get it -- school can be very stressful, but sleeping late and vegetating won't result in meaningful growth.

    Instead of wasting your summer, why not learn about open source? If that sounds boring, then maybe it isn't for you. However, if you are excited by the possibility of working on an open source project like Fedora, KDE, LibreOffice or VLC, then you should sign up for Google's Summer of Code 2016.

  • Sponsoring “PAM Mastery”

    While PAM has a potentially wider audience than FM:AZ, that interest isn’t as deep. I’m expecting nowhere near as many PAM sponsors. If you want to really stand out in a list of sponsors, this is your chance.

  • OpenBSD 5.9 Continues Being Readied With New Features

    OpenBSD 5.9 is gearing up for release at the start of May as the next feature release of this BSD operating system.

    Mike Belopuhov of OpenBSD presented at this weekend's AsiaBSDCon in Tokyo about the state of OpenBSD 5.9. There are PDF slides available to those interested.

  • GNU Health security mailing list and team

    GNU Health is growing quite fast, and we take very seriously the security of the implementations around the world that trust us.

  • More federal open source appreciated, if it behaves
  • White House requires agencies to share custom code with open-source community
  • Data mining the Votes of Members of the Polish Parliament

    If we take into consideration all the votings, we will notice that the greatest differences exist between the government and the opposition. It turns out that there are two Members of Parliament on the side of the government (Jarosław Gowin and Jacek Żalek) who usually voted as MPs from PO (the colour on the diagram corresponds to the club that a given Member of Parliament belonged to during most votings), yet their profiles differ considerably from the profiles of the remaining MPs. Besides, that pair migrated from one party to another, what may explain their incompatibility with the stance of PO. As far as PiS is concerned, the least compliant voters were Górski Artur and Tomaszewski Jan (who finally transferred to PO at the end of the year).

  • Should All Research Papers Be Free?

    DRAWING comparisons to Edward Snowden, a graduate student from Kazakhstan named Alexandra Elbakyan is believed to be hiding out in Russia after illegally leaking millions of documents. While she didn’t reveal state secrets, she took a stand for the public’s right to know by providing free online access to just about every scientific paper ever published, on topics ranging from acoustics to zymology.

    Her protest against scholarly journals’ paywalls has earned her rock-star status among advocates for open access, and has shined a light on how scientific findings that could inform personal and public policy decisions on matters as consequential as health care, economics and the environment are often prohibitively expensive to read and impossible to aggregate and datamine.

    “Realistically only scientists at really big, well-funded universities in the developed world have full access to published research,” said Michael Eisen, a professor of genetics, genomics and development at the University of California, Berkeley, and a longtime champion of open access. “The current system slows science by slowing communication of work, slows it by limiting the number of people who can access information and quashes the ability to do the kind of data analysis” that is possible when articles aren’t “sitting on various siloed databases.”

  • Open-source your face and 3D print your own pirate invisaligns

    Amos Dudley, a broke undergrad, casted a mold of his teeth using "cheap alginate powder, Permastone, and a 3d printed impression tray," then 3D printed and vacuformed a series of alingment trays for a fraction of what it would have cost to get name-brand invisaligns.

    Obviously, this only works if you have ready access to "knowledge of orthodontic movement, a 3D scanner, a mold of the teeth, CAD software, a hi-res 3D printer, retainer material, and a vacuum forming machine."

    But if you do, it doesn't look all that challenging to roll your own alignment trays.

  • Radeon's HIP 0.82 Compiler Released

    Released a few days back was the newest version of AMD/RTG's HIP compiler as part of their Boltzmann initiative in porting CUDA code to run on Radeon hardware with their new software stack.

Openwashing

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OSS

A template for creating open source contributor guidelines

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OSS

One of the most important resources that an open source project can provide to potential contributors is contributor guidelines. When eager new contributors rush over to your project to make their first open source contribution, they rely on your contributor guidelines to be their guiding hand. That means that contributor guidelines should be easy to read, thorough, and friendly.

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More in Tux Machines

Software and Games Leftovers

  • LXD Weekly Status #35
    This past week we’ve been focusing on a number of open pull requests, getting closer to merging improvements to our storage volume handling, unix char/block devices handling and the massive clustering branch that’s been cooking for a while. We’re hoping to see most of those land at some point this coming week. On the LXC side of things, the focus was on bugfixes and cleanups as well as preparing for the removal of the python3 and lua bindings from the main repository. We’re also making good progress on distrobuilder and hope to start moving some of our images to using it as the build tool very soon.
  • Performance Co-Pilot 4.0.0 released
    It gives me great pleasure to announce the first major-numbered PCP release in nine and a half years - PCP v4 - is here!
  • Performance Co-Pilot Sees First Major Version Bump In Nearly A Decade
    The Performance Co-Pilot open-source cross-platform monitoring/visualizing stack has reached version 4.0 as its first major version hike in almost ten years.
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  • Sci-fi mystery 'The Station' has released, it’s a short but memorable experience
    What would happen if we discovered the existence of alien life? A question I've often asked and a question many games, films and books have covered in great detail. The Station [Steam] is a sci-fi mystery that sees you investigate The Espial, a space station sent to research a sentient alien civilization.
  • Halcyon 6: The Precursor Legacy DLC released, some good content for a small price
    Halcyon 6: The Precursor Legacy DLC [GOG, Steam] was released earlier this month, adding some really nice content at a small price to an already great game.
  • Parry and dodge your way to victory in 'Way of the Passive Fist', launching March 6th
    Way of the Passive Fist [Steam, Official Site] is a rather unique and very colourful arcade brawler and it's releasing with Linux support on March 6th.

KDE and GNOME Leftovers

  • Kdenlive Café tonight and beta AppImage
    The last months for Kdenlive have been very quiet from the outside – we were not very active on the bugtracker, did not make a lot of announcements, and the 17.12.x release cycle only contained very few minor bugfixes. The main reason for this was the huge work that went behind the scenes for a major code refactoring that was required to allow further developments. So after more than a year working on it, we hope to get ready for the 18.04 release!
  • [Krita] Interview with Christine Garner
    I did Archaeology in University and I love history, mythology, folklore and nature. I’ve always been drawing from an early age. I graduated in 2003 with an archaeology degree. I taught myself digital art and web coding skills for fun and practical reasons. I used to do self-employed web design and admin type jobs, but in 2013 I became disillusioned with my life and had depression. I took a Foundation art course in 2013 deciding to pursue my artistic passions instead.
  • Qt 5.11 Brings New Accessibility Backend on Windows
    Accessibility technology encompasses assistive tools such as screen readers, magnifiers and braille displays, as well as APIs and frameworks that allow applications to expose elements of their UI to such tools.
  • CSS Grid
    This would totally have been a tweet or a facebook post, but I’ve decided to invest a little more energy and post these on my blog, accessible to everybody. Getting old, I guess. We’re all mortal and the web isn’t open by its own. In the past few days I’ve been learning about CSS grid while redesigning Flatpak and Flathub sites (still coming). And with the knowledge of really grokking only a fraction of it, I’m in love.

OSS: Project Names, Events, NSF and Mozilla, ArangoDB, Oracle, Bitcoin and More

  • Choosing project names: 4 key considerations
    Working on a new open source project, you're focused on the code—getting that great new idea released so you can share it with the world. And you'll want to attract new contributors, so you need a terrific name for your project. We've all read guides for creating names, but how do you go about choosing the right one? Keeping that cool science fiction reference you're using internally might feel fun, but it won't mean much to new users you're trying to attract. A better approach is to choose a name that's memorable to new users and developers searching for your project. Names set expectations. Your project's name should showcase its functionality in the ecosystem and explain to users what your story is. In the crowded open source software world, it's important not to get entangled with other projects out there. Taking a little extra time now, before sending out that big announcement, will pay off later.
  • FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom Recap: Simon Phipps & Rich Sands
    It’s been a few weeks now since FOSDEM and if you didn’t have a chance to attend or watch the  livestream of the FOSDEM 2018 Community DevRoom, Leslie my co-chair, and I are doing a round up summary on posts on each of the talks to bring you the video and the highlights of each presentation. You can read the preview post of Rich Sands and Simon Phipps pre FOSDEM blog post here.
  • Scheduling Voxxed Days Zurich 2018 with OptaPlanner
    My name is Mario Fusco and I’m honored to be the Program Committee Lead of Voxxed Days Zurich for the third year in a row. Reading, evaluating, discussing, and selecting from the 200+ proposals that arrive every year is a long and challenging process. I must admit, I largely underestimated the task the first year I started doing it. It’s necessary to evaluate not only the quality of every submission, but also how they fit together. In the end, the worst part is having to reject so many incredible proposals because there are a limited number of slots. However, once all the talks have been selected and all the approval and rejection emails have been sent, the process is still not complete. Now it is time to take all the accepted talks and schedule the actual program. Even for a moderate sized event like Voxxed Days Zurich (the conference lasts only one day and we have four parallel tracks), this is not a trivial task. There are many constraints and nice-to-haves that you may need to consider. For example, some speakers will arrive late in the morning or will have to leave early in the afternoon.  Some talks require different room capacities.  Two talks belonging to the same track must not be scheduled at the same time. There are many more variables to this process.
  • 20 Big Ideas to Connect the Unconnected
    Last year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Mozilla announced the Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) challenges: $2 million in prizes for big ideas to connect the unconnected across the U.S. Today, we’re announcing our first set of winners: 20 bright ideas from Detroit, Cleveland, Albuquerque, New York City, and beyond. The winners are building mesh networks, solar-powered Wi-Fi, and network infrastructure that fits inside a single backpack. Winning projects were developed by veteran researchers, enterprising college students, and everyone in-between. What do all these projects have in common? They’re affordable, scalable, open-source, and secure.
  • ArangoDB publishes industry-wide open source NoSQL performance benchmark
    ArangoDB, a provider of native multi-model NoSQL database solutions, announced the latest findings of its open source NoSQL performance benchmark series. To enable vendors to respond to the results and contribute improvements, ArangoDB has published the necessary scripts required to repeat the benchmark.
  • Can one 'multi-model' database rule them all?
    ArangoDB open source NoSQL performance benchmark series is one such open study.
  • Oracle-Supported Port of DTrace?, Linux Foundation Announces Akraino, New Feral Interactive Game and Qt 5.11 Alpha
    For those of us who have been holding out to see an Oracle-supported port of DTrace on Linux, that time is nearly here. Oracle just re-licensed the system instrumentation tool from the original CDDL to GPLv2.
  • Kernel patch releases, WineHQ, OpenIndiana project, FreeBSD Unix distribution, Xubuntu community contest
    The OpenIndiana project is still alive and well with a recent announcement of migrating the project to GCC 6.4. Unfortunately, this version does not cover the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities, although the next version planned is 7.3 which will cover these hot issues.
  • Satoshi’s Vision? Bitcoin Cash Gets It Wrong, Says Max Keiser
    The movement was formally founded in 1983 by Richard Stallman with the launch of the GNU Project, which was founded on the idea that proprietary software harms users to the benefit of large corporations.
  • Bitcoin's Developers Are Debating A Change To Its Open License
    Ever since its launch last August, bitcoin has had an antagonistic relationship with its offshoot, bitcoin cash. But their battle may have provided a trigger to seek ways to protect bitcoin’s core code from indiscriminate use.
  • A new Maryland bill would allow students to buy textbooks tax-free twice a year [Ed: This is a reaction to open-source (Open Access) books and maybe an attempt to extinguish such state-level initiatives]
    University of Maryland student Kayla Little has wanted to be a doctor since she was 11 years old — but a nationwide rise in textbook prices has proved to be an obstacle to her success. "I've wanted to go into medicine for the longest [time], and I really don't want to give that up for books," said Little, who hopes to go to medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon for a professional sports team.
  • How the Grateful Dead were a precursor to Creative Commons licensing
    From its founding in 1965, the Grateful Dead was always an unusual band. Rising amidst the counterculture movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Grateful Dead’s music had roots in multiple styles and genres but did not lend itself to easy categorization. Was it psychedelic? Folk? Blues? Country? Yes, it was all of these and more. The band frequently performed well-known public domain songs, but they made the songs their own. Members of the band could effortlessly play across traditional and diverse styles. At concerts, they often performed songs that sounded familiar at first but grew and evolved across styles and genres. Songs often turned into lengthy jam sessions in which musicians played off one another, discovering new musical motifs and expanding them together.

Rust things I miss in C and learning to program is getting harder

  • Rust things I miss in C
    Librsvg feels like it is reaching a tipping point, where suddenly it seems like it would be easier to just port some major parts from C to Rust than to just add accessors for them. Also, more and more of the meat of the library is in Rust now. I'm switching back and forth a lot between C and Rust these days, and C feels very, very primitive these days.
  • Learning to program is getting harder

    I have written several books that use Python to explain topics like Bayesian Statistics and Digital Signal Processing. Along with the books, I provide code that readers can download from GitHub. In order to work with this code, readers have to know some Python, but that's not enough. They also need a computer with Python and its supporting libraries, they have to know how to download code from GitHub, and then they have to know how to run the code they downloaded.

    And that's where a lot of readers get into trouble.