This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab's series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.
In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Rainey Reitman, Activism Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, about their new EFF Alerts mobile app.
I met Matthew at LinuxCon 2013 and have been hounding him for an interview ever since then. He’s worth the wait, though. He really gets under the hood of his GNOME setup and he has some great things to say about the power of open source software. Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: Fedora has been great for me lately. I know there have always been Fedora fans, but my experience with it was always that there were one or two annoyingly broken things in each release. But 21 is solid. Like Ubuntu solid. And that’s thanks to the work of people like Matthew.
The South California Linux Expo (SCALE) is an annual event aiming to provide educational opportunities on the topic of open source software. This is SCALE13X, and prior to the event I caught up with one of the speakers, Emily Durham, who will give a talk called Human Hacking.
Emily Dunham of Open Source Lab at OSUEmily is currently finishing her final year in computer science at Oregon State University (OSU), where she is the student systems engineer at the OSU Open Source Lab. Previous to that gig at OSU, she helped run the Robotics Club, Linux Users Group, and Security Club. Emily has 7 years of experience in open source communities, and I talked with her regarding her career and life, open hardware, community psychology, and of course, her upcoming talk at SCALE13X.
The other side of community involvement in an open source project is the end users. It's hard to be a successful open source project if no one is using it! But aside from providing documentation and forums, how else can projects and users connect?
Kara Sowles, community manager for Puppet LabsOne way is a users group, a type of club where the members all share an interest in a particular arena. SHARE is one of the oldest computer users group around. The basic idea behind a users group is to provide more resources and share information among a local cell, provide support, encouragement, new ideas, mailing lists, and more. There are some challenges with belonging to a users group, managing a users group, and representing your open source project in a users group.
The Internet of Things is already a reality -- thousands of devices, from home appliances and consumer electronics, to smartwatches and cars already connect to the Internet. The problem is that they don't easily, or simply can't, connect to each other to form an Internet of Everything, says Philip DesAutels, senior director of IoT at the AllSeen Alliance, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
Cloud has become one of the buzzwords in modern computing; there are so many advantages of cloud that it can’t be ignored. It is becoming an integral part of our IT infrastructure. However cloud poses a serious threat to the ownership of data and raises many privacy-related questions. The best solution is to ‘own’ your cloud, either though an on-premise cloud running in a local network disconnected from the Internet or one running on your own secure server. Seafile is one of the most promising, open source-based cloud projects.
Alex Williams: Alex, you have been developing CoreOS, and it has really been on a tear over the past several months. We’re going to talk a little bit about what you’re doing, but also I want to learn more about who is Alex Polvi? How did you get started in programming? Were you in grade school? Were you at middle school?
Facebook has always used and contributed back to open source software. But over the past few years the company has become much more active in the open source community, releasing more of its own internal tools and participating in upstream development on the Linux kernel and many other projects. As a result, the company can more easily attract and retain developers, has increased code quality, and sees faster innovation, says James Pearce, head of open source at Facebook.
I’m all for free-as-in-freedom. Because of the number of interfaces that software has with the world (both human and programmer), it’s very easy to lock people into proprietary software and create monopolies. Not having free competition is a bad way for any economy to run. I’m surprised at how infrequently this economic argument is made.
I’m also all for community-made software. It allows us to have control and fix problems that we find, to share knowledge, and to create professional and personal relationships. I love that I can go to almost any city in the world and meet up with someone who wants to chat about the code we work with.