For my fellow academics, the question is: Can open source get you a job? My answer is: By itself it probably won't get you a lectureship, but all my group have been able to get good jobs in the high-tech industry, or science. I think the public exposure of the open source way has helped. I'm very proud of them.
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.
So, Oracle is pushing the limits but apparently is legally doing so. Whether FLOSS can legally be embargoed by government is beyond me. After all, the source is out there and can’t be put back in the bottle. Further, if every country in the world had a random set of embargoes against every other country in he world, FLOSS could not be international at all. That would be a crime against humanity. If Java, why not Linux, itself? If such embargoes apply, Russia, Iran, Cuba etc. could just fork everything and go it alone. They certainly have the population to support a thriving FLOSS community behind their own walls.
A few years ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst made the prediction that open source software would soon become nearly pervasive in organizations of all sizes. That has essentially become true, and many businesses now use open source components without even knowing that they are doing so.
For these reasons and other ones, it is more important than ever to know your way around the world of laws and licenses that pertain to open source software. Leaders of new projects need to know how to navigate the complex world of licensing and the law, as do IT administrators. Here is our latest collection of resources to help you navigate in the arena of law and licenses.
"Code is the next resume." These words by Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation tell profoundly about how our technology industry, and the many businesses that depend on it, are transforming. The unprecedented success of open source development methodology in the recent past raises some fundamental questions about the way the businesses are designed, the structure of the teams, and the nature of work in itself.
Almost immediately after moving to the US, I was flown back to the UK for a meeting about tools for computational chemistry at the Daresbury Laboratory, and it was there that I met a wider community of scientists interested in approaches to working with computational chemistry codes. During my postdoctoral work, I had the opportunity to continue some of the open source work I had done as well as work on some new software for data acquisition and some simulation code looking at the roles of defects in electronic transport. I enjoyed my postdoctoral work, but in many ways it served to solidify in my mind that I needed to find a career where I could work with scientists to enable their research, and I became more passionate about open access, open source, open data, and open standards. Above all, I wanted to be a part of the solution, to help scientific research to use software to enable reproducibility, and to get back to showing all of the working.
The Department of Immigration has showed what a cash-strapped government agency can do with just $1 million, some open source software, and a bit of free thinking.
Speaking at the Technology in Government forum in Canberra yesterday, the Department's chief risk officer Gavin McCairns explained how his team rolled an application based on the 'R' language into production to filter through millions of incoming visitors to Australia every year.
The General Services Administration last week announced a new policy requiring open source software be given priority consideration for all new IT projects developed by the agency. And while some may question whether open source software will be as effective as its conventional, proprietary counterpart, Sonny Hashmi, GSA’s chief information officer, is confident this new IT model will put the agency in the best position to procure and develop software in the most cost-effective manner.
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.