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Liberal Licensing: FRAND Not Compatible, FOSDEM Talk and 3-D Printing

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OSS
  • FOSS vs FRAND is a collision of worldviews

    Of late there have been a number of interventions sponsored by the world’s largest and most profitable tech patent holders to muddy the waters about open source and FRAND licensing of patents in standards by arguing contentious minutiae like the intent of the authors of the BSD license. This is happening because of the clash of industries I wrote about in 2016, with companies fundamentally based on extracting patent royalties unable to imagine any other way of doing business so mistaking the issue of FRAND as being about license compliance rather than as it being an obstacle to the very purpose of open source in commercial software — collaboration with others.

  • Motivations and pitfalls for new "open-source" licenses

    One of the bigger developments of the last year has been the introduction of licenses that purport to address perceived shortcomings in existing free and open-source software licenses. Much has been said and written about them, some of it here, and they are clearly much on the community's mind. At FOSDEM 2019, Michael Cheng gave his view on the motivations for the introduction of these licenses, whether they've been effective in addressing those motivations, what unintended consequences they may also have had, and the need for the community to develop some ground rules about them going forward.

    In the past year we have seen several unusual new licenses, the Server Side Public License (SSPL), the Commons Clause license addendum, the CockroachDB Community License, and the Confluent Community License among them. All either perturb the historical copyleft norm of "you must distribute derivative works under the same license" by extending the scope past what's covered under the definition of a derivative work, or they exclude some historically permitted form of activity such as building similar works or making money. These developments have been of concern to many; talks at FOSDEM and the immediately-following Copyleft Conference with titles like "Redis Labs and the tragedy of the Commons Clause", "Who wants you to think nobody uses the AGPL and why", and "What is the maximum permissible scope for copyleft?" leave little room to doubt how many people are mulling over them.

  • Ender 3: Open Source 3D Printer Reviewed By A 3D Printing Noob

    3D printing has been all the rage lately with both professionals and prosumers accomplishing incredible things from printing patient organs for surgery practice to printing robotic arms and quad-copters. As with all things, there has been a trickle-down effect that’s led to even the most inexperienced being able to obtain this revolutionary technology.

    Here we will explore my adventure from having never touched a 3D printer to assembling and operating my own Creality Ender 3.

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Debian: Salsa, Promoting Debian LTS and Debian Patch Porting System

  • salsa.debian.org: Postmortem of failed Docker registry move

    The Salsa admin team provides the following report about the failed migration of the Docker container registry. The Docker container registry stores Docker images, which are for example used in the Salsa CI toolset. This migration would have moved all data off to Google Cloud Storage (GCS) and would have lowered the used file system space on Debian systems significantly. [...] On 2019-08-06 the migration process was started. The migration itself went fine, although it took a bit longer than anticipated. However, as not all parts of the migration had been properly tested, a test of the garbage collection triggered a bug in the software. On 2019-08-10 the Salsa admins started to see problems with garbage collection. The job running it timed out after one hour. Within this timeframe it not even managed to collect information about all used layers to see what it can cleanup. A source code analysis showed that this design flaw can't be fixed. On 2019-08-13 the change was rolled back to storing data on the file system.

  • Raphaël Hertzog: Promoting Debian LTS with stickers, flyers and a video

    With the agreement of the Debian LTS contributors funded by Freexian, earlier this year I decided to spend some Freexian money on marketing: we sponsored DebConf 19 as a bronze sponsor and we prepared some stickers and flyers to give out during the event. The stickers only promote the Debian LTS project with the semi-official logo we have been using and a link to the wiki page. You can see them on the back of a laptop in the picture below.

  • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2019

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Jaskaran Singh: GSoC Final Report

    The Debian Patch Porting System aims to systematize and partially automate the security patch porting process. In this Google Summer of Code (2019), I wrote a webcrawler to extract security patches for a given security vulnerability identifier. This webcrawler or patch-finder serves as the first step of the Debian Patch Porting System. The Patch-finder should recognize numerous vulnerability identifiers. These identifiers can be security advisories (DSA, GLSA, RHSA), vulnerability identifiers (OVAL, CVE), etc. So far, it can identify CVE, DSA (Debian Security Advisory), GLSA (Gentoo Linux Security Advisory) and RHSA (Red Hat Security Advisory). Each vulnerability identifier has a list of entrypoint URLs associated with it. These URLs are used to initiate the patch finding.

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Open source locks down standards in code and makes sure it is interoperable, Rice said. “That’s why it’s symbiotic. Standards are options but they come together because they are built on one another.”

And, similar to standards bodies, where delegates work side-by-side with competitors to develop global specifications, the same occurs in open source groups.

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