OSS

Free/Open Source software (FOSS)

What Got You Involved in Open Source?

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OSS

If there is a "right way" to come in to open source, then surely this is it. So many people answered to say that their first brush with open source projects was that they spotted a problem somewhere in a tool they were using, and offered a fix. Open source is the combined effort of countless humans doing exactly this, and I was pleased and encouraged to find this as the biggest chunk of responders.

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Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

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Interviews
OSS

Microsoft eventually used SCO as a proxy to achieve what it disclosed to HP that day. I'd been warned long before that happened, and could do nothing until SCO announced their damaging but ultimately unsuccessful jihad against Linux.

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Extremadura health care has switched to open source

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GNU
Linux
OSS

The desktop computer systems of government healthcare organisations in the Spanish region of Extremadura all rely on free and open source software solutions. Over the past year, close to 10,000 computer workstations in public health care organisations have migrated to a customised version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.

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OpenStack Designate Brings DNS as a Service Into Incubation

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Server
OSS

I've been following the Designate project, which provide OpenStack DesignateDNS-as-a-Service for OpenStack for some time. It's a project that seems painfully obvious to me, enabling DNS features within an OpenStack cloud deployment.

DNS is a critical network service and without it, I really don't understand how OpenStack service providers could possibly properly scale a business. If DNS isn't inside OpenStack it's outside of it, with a more manual and more painful, less 'cloudy' approach.

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16 FOSSisms all educators should know

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OSS

Ellis, who co-coordinated POSSE with Drexel professor Greg Hislop, told a crowd of nearly 20 faculty members from colleges and universities across the country that embedding their computer science students in open source communities could facilitate a kind of engagement traditional classroom experiences just can't offer. But, she said, students and professors alike should be prepared for a bit of culture shock if they aren't prepared to embrace the open source way.

So Ellis derived 16 maxims from free and open source culture—what she calls "FOSSisms"—to explain how open source values might transform computer science education.

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Here's What's Missing from the 'Technology Manifesto'

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OSS

Although it's good to see open standards in there, it's disappointing that the Policy Exchange did not go further and call for open source, which is the most effective way of implementing those open standards. Simply mandating open standards allows lock-in through inertia - the argument being that the re-training costs etc. etc. make moving to new implementations of open standards too expensive. That's a ridiculous way of looking at things, because it pretty much ensures that the status quo is maintained. What the Manifesto should have called for was a default use of open source software throughout government, unless there are compelling and clearly-articulable reasons not to take that route.

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Open Source Persistence: Resistance Is Futile

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OSS

One problem is that the GitHub generation does not seem to care as much about code vetting as did coders in earlier years. In the time span from 2007 to 2010, open source became very popular. Enterprises tried to manage it, according to MongoDB's Assay.

"My sense is that developers do not really look at licenses any more. They are not even looking at which license is applied and does it comply. I think these are issues that attorneys look at, though. I do not think the developers are thinking a lot about the licenses anymore," he said.

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Why Your Project Doesn't Need a Contributor Licensing Agreement

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OSS

For nearly a decade, a battle has raged between two distinct camps regarding something called Contributor Licensing Agreements (CLAs). In my personal capacity, I've written extensively on the issue. This article below is a summary on the basics of why CLA's aren't necessary, and on Conservancy's typical recommendations to its projects regarding the issue.

In the most general sense, a CLA is a formal legal contract between a contributor to a FLOSS project and the “project” itself0. Ostensibly, this agreement seeks to assure the project, and/or its governing legal entity, has the appropriate permissions to incorporate contributed patches, changes, and/or improvements to the software and then distribute the resulting larger work.

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Voice of the Masses: Free Software vs open source – what do you use?

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GNU
OSS

RMS argues that “open source” misses the point, but a counter argument is that the name “Free Software” can sound like “free as in beer” – like malware-ridden Windows freeware. So we want to hear from you: which term do you use? Is it really important to you? Do you think RMS should have chosen a better word than “Free” originally, such as “Libre”?

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Tiny open-source module aims to make IoT apps easy

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OSS

WeIO is sampling a tiny open source board, running OpenWRT Linux on an Atheros/MIPS module, that enables IoT applications controlled entirely via HTML5 code.

Billed as “The Web of Things for Creators,” the fully open source, GPL3-licensed WeIO module is notable for its HTML5 programming interface and Python-based Tornado web server. Together, these let you connect and control objects from any device using only a web browser, says Paris-based WeIO. Designed for low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices, WeIO lets developers easily connect objects so they communicate with each other, or hook up to Internet services like social networks, says the company.

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DARPA gamifies open-source software testing

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OSS

Secret-squirrel military tech bureau DARPA has designed a series of computer games which can help to verify open source software.

It is working on the games under the auspices of its Crowd Sourced Formal Verification programme.

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VLC reveals it is working on Chromecast support for iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac

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Linux
Google
OSS

Most everyone, at least the tech-savvy who read this, are familiar with VLC Player -- the Video LAN Client. It's a jack-of-all trades media player, that is capable of handling pretty much any format you can throw at it, no matter how obscure it may be.

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Australian government will go Drupal

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OSS
Drupal

Tender documents issued this morning have confirmed that the Australian government will push ahead with seeking to build a whole-of-government content management system based on the open source Drupal platform.

The Department of Finance has made an approach to market seeking request for proposals for ‘GovCMS’, which the RFP states will be based on Drupal and delivered via a public cloud service.

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Red Hat's CEO Sees Open Source Cloud Domination

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Red Hat
OSS

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst sees the business opportunity of a generation in what he calls a computing paradigm shift from client server to cloud architectures. “In those paradigm shifts, generally new winners emerge,” says Whitehurst and he intends to make sure Red Hat is one of those winners. His logic is sound and simple: disruptive technologies like the cloud that arise every couple decades level the playing field between large, established firms and smaller, innovative challengers since everyone, from corporate behemoth to a couple guys in a garage, starts from the same spot and must play by the same unfamiliar and changeable rules. With the cloud “there’s less of an installed based and an opportunity for new winners to be chosen,” Whitehurst adds. His mission is “to see that open source is the default choice for next generation architecture” and that Red Hat is the preferred choice, particularly for enterprise IT, of open source providers.

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Diving into FOSS

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KDE
OSS

Before sometime I got in touch with KDE community and was overwhelmed by it. Then I became a member of this community and started exploring about open source environment. The most fascinating thing about KDE community members is how committed they are to open source technology. Through IRC I would be able to contact with genius coders all over the globe. It’s been quite a time that I am using open source software. It is very much important to aware people about open source. We can have access to all robust and efficient soft wares for free. After being a part of KDE it interested me to use open source systems and I am really enjoying this.

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Nine Advantages of Open Source Software

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OSS

While it initially seemed revolutionary, open source software is actually rooted in traditional IT processes. Technology, after all, has always been about collaboration and continuous improvement. (In the early days of the ARPANET, for example, researchers established a "request for comments" procedure to improve the project.) Of course, there have been trepidations raised about open source. But the always-active open source communities are more than happy to address any concerns. As a result, more than one-half of the software acquired over the next several years will be open source, according to industry research.

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An open-source robotics OS is moving from the lab to farms and even into space

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OS
OSS

They’re routine activities for people, but this was a Willow Garage PR2 alpha robot. By navigating through eight doors and using nine outlets, it notched an important milestone—using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to accomplish its complex mission.

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Help Labour Get Its Digital Policy Right This Time

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OSS

Long-time readers of this column may remember the great Digital Economy Bill saga back in 2010, which culminated in one of the most disgusting episodes in recent Parliamentary history, with the Bill being approved by a near-empty House of Commons in the dying hours of the last government, and with no substantive debate whatsoever. The result was an appalling piece of legislation, whose putrefying corpse is still polluting the UK's digital landscape, acting as an ever-present reminder of just how badly the Labour treated the online world when it was in power.

Labour is now out of power, and trying to get back into power. I leave readers to decide for themselves whether it would be better or worse than the present incumbents. Instead, I want to concentrate on two initiatives that the Labour Party is taking to help it come up with some decent policies for the digital world.

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Weatherman’s best friend: How Australia used open source for its supercomputing network

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OSS

How did Australia scale up to cope with all of its public research agencies at the same time? FutureGov spoke with Allan Williams, Associate Director, Australian National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) to find out how they did this.

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Natron 0.92 released with new roto and keying nodes

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OSS

The project is a free (Mozillla Public License v2) node-based compositor that relies on OpenColorIO for color management, OpenImageIO for file formats support, and Qt for user interface. It also works with 32bit float per channel precision and supports OFX plugins, both free and commercial.

Natron was started last year at Inria, a public science and technology institution that unites several research centres in France. Alexandre Gauthier, the lead developer of Natron, got the required funding from the institution, and last December he additionally won a “Boost Your Code” contest at Inria that offered him 12 months of paid development. In May this year, Alexandre presented the project at Libre Graphics Meeting in Leipzig.

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