"I often stand in front of audiences filled with people who use storage servers. I ask them if they still name their servers. Inevitably, two-thirds of the people raise their hands. Their servers have names. ... It is definitely a mindset. ... You are not yet building quality applications. All of the innovation in the world is not going to solve that from an infrastructure perspective."
I am constantly looking for ways to make my life easier whether it's keeping track of my kid's school activity schedule or not loosing my grocery list. For this, I often look for open source solutions. Why? Because most of the time the open source solution is simple and doesn't have unnecessary bells and whistles that I don't need, and even if I need those extra bells and whistles, I know that someone else out there also needs it and most likely has coded it already.
We only use free or open source, Linux-based software for our media production. I distinguish between the two because the best video editor we found on Linux is Lightworks, which is free but not open source (yet). Our theme song was written using LMMS, our 3D animations are rendered in Blender, our graphics are all done in Inkscape and GIMP, and our stopmotion is created using Entangle and then compiled with avconv.
It’s been exactly ten years since the launch of OpenStreetMap, the largest crowd-sourced mapping project on the Internet. The project was founded by Steve Coast when he was still a student.
It took a few years for the idea of OpenStreetMap to catch on, but today, it’s among the most heavily used sources for mapping data and the project is still going strong, with new and improved data added to it every day by volunteers as well as businesses that see the value in an open project like this.
To celebrate the project’s birthday, I sat down with Coast, who now works at Telenav, to talk about OpenStreetMap’s earliest days and its future. Here is a (lightly edited) transcript of the interview.
Twitter has shifted its way of thinking about how to launch a new service thanks to the Apache Mesos project, an open source technology that brings together multiple servers into a shared pool of resources. It's an operating system for the data center.
"When is the last time you've seen the fail whale on Twitter?" said Chris Aniszczyk, Head of Open Source at Twitter.
In the 2013 edition, he looked forward to 2014 as "a defining year for the technology industry. In Whitehurst's eyes, cloud computing was ripe for production-scale deployment, and Big Data analysis would start to yield real-world results. Web-based businesses took this step a couple of years ago, but this is where more traditional industries join the cloud-based revolution.
Ancient Greece had its Great Explainers, one of whom was Plato. The open source community has its Great Explainers, one of whom is Michael Tiemann.
Several thousand feet in the air, in a conference room on the 10th floor of Red Hat's Raleigh, NC headquarters, Tiemann is prognosticating. The place affords the kind of scope he relishes: broad, sweeping, stretched to a horizon that (this morning, anyway) seems bright. As the company's VP of Open Source Affairs explains what differentiates an open source software company from other firms in a crowded market, he exhibits the idiosyncrasy that has marked his writing for decades: the tendency to pepper his exposition of open source principles with pithy maxims from a diverse range of philosophers, politicians, political economists, and popular writers. It's a habit borne, he says, of the necessity of finding something that resonates with the many skeptics he's confronted over the years—because necessity, he quips (quoting Plato, of course), is the mother of all invention.