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OSS

Four major advantages to using open source software in the enterprise

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OSS

With WordPress, Firefox and Linux now the virtual infrastructure for many millions of Internet users globally, and the likes of Apache and database management system MySQL widely embraced by corporations, open source (OS) software has long since passed a tipping-point moment. Yet despite growing familiarity with what OS means -- and usage even by the EU and the US government -- doubts among many businesses about the quality and reliability of OS software persist.

Such concerns tend to cluster around three perceptions. The first is that because many OS products were built by the wider developer community -- projects and foundations without the resources of a software giant with a history of producing proprietary programs -- they cannot then be truly enterprise grade; indeed, they must be of inferior quality and reliability.

That, in turn, feeds a second perception that because an OS product is usually free, or low-cost, to use, then the organization or team behind it will inherently lacks the economic basis to offer the sort of 24/7 "real time" customer support enterprises expect, especially during the implementation process and its aftermath. In particular, they fear that the project or team in question may vanish into the shadows a couple of years down the line, leaving them at the mercy of bugs and hackers.

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Award for Latvian Archives’ use of open source

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The Latvian National Archives have won the “Most Open Organisation” award for their extensive use of free and open source software for their online audiovisual archive. The system combines (Red Hat) Linux servers, the Apache web server, and content management system Drupal to offer access to Latvian documentaries, newsreels, cartoons and feature films from 1910 to the present day.

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FOSS Databases in the News

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OSS
  • Postmortem of database outage of January 31

    This incident caused the GitLab.com service to be unavailable for many hours. We also lost some production data that we were eventually unable to recover. Specifically, we lost modifications to database data such as projects, comments, user accounts, issues and snippets, that took place between 17:20 and 00:00 UTC on January 31. Our best estimate is that it affected roughly 5,000 projects, 5,000 comments and 700 new user accounts. Code repositories or wikis hosted on GitLab.com were unavailable during the outage, but were not affected by the data loss. GitLab Enterprise customers, GitHost customers, and self-hosted GitLab CE users were not affected by the outage, or the data loss.

  • SQLite Release 3.17.0 On 2017-02-13
  • SQLite 3.17 Released With More Performance Improvements

    SQLite 3.17.0 was released today as the newest version of this widely-used embedded database library.

    With many recent releases we've seen a focus on performance improvements and with SQLite 3.17 it is no different. SQLite 3.17 features approximately 25% better performance when using the R-Tree extension, which was achieved by using more compiler built-ins and other optimizations. SQLite 3.17 also features more general performance improvements and uses around 6.5% less CPU cycles.

What's your favorite open source animal?

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OSS

Open source brands and logos often feature animals. In the image above you might be able to think of one or a few open source projects those animals might represent.

In one of Jeff Macharyas's latest articles, he highlights six open source projects with iconic brands, with some background on what the animal is and where it came from.

In this poll, we came up with a few more to add to his list for you to vote on: Which is your favorite?

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Unleashed: Open source tech for pets and animals

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OSS

I was discussing open source technology with my cat this morning and he brought up a good point: "Why don't you do an article on open source tech for animals?"

You know, Donald's right. Animal open source tech deserves a spotlight. Afterall, animals appear in many open source brands, and pets, like mine at least, lend lots of support while I'm trying out new software, building gadgets, or just writing about this stuff.

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What is Open Source?

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Open source software is everywhere. It underpins virtually the entire technology sector, with every single element of IT relying on at least one open source component.

For those who aren't aware, free and open source software (commonly abbreviated to FOSS) is software and tools that are made freely available online. Not only are they free to download, install and use, the creators also publish the source code for these programs - their 'DNA'. This means anyone can recreate, tweak, improve or modify them as they see fit.

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Growing Your Open Source Community With Twitter

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Interviews
OSS

Engagement in an open source community leads to collaboration, says Jason Hibbets, community evangelist at Red Hat. And social media is one good tool that projects can use to help increase engagement in their communities, he adds, “because you can reach a broad audience at pretty much no-to-low costs.”

Hibbets will discuss how Red Hat has increased engagement with one such social media tool, Twitter chats, in his talk at Open Source Leadership Summit in Lake Tahoe on Feb. 16, 2017. Here, he shares with us some of his reasoning behind why engagement is important, some best practices for increasing engagement, and a few lessons learned from Red Hat’s Twitter chats.

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Open source human body simulator trains future doctors

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SOFA an open source human body simulator used for training medical students and for preparing medical interventions, is being used by an increasing number of research centres and companies, says Hugo Talbot, coordinator of the SOFA consortium. He demonstrated SOFA (Simulation Open Framework Architecture) last week at Fosdem, Europe’s largest free software conference, in Brussels (Belgium).

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Open Access

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OSS
  • A $100,000 grant would help the University System of Maryland promote open-source textbooks

    Some students spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks every semester, but the Textbook Cost Savings Act of 2017, sponsored by Maryland state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, could help students save a lot of that money.

    The bill would provide a $100,000 grant to the University System of Maryland's William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation to promote the use of open source materials in place of traditional textbooks. The money would be used to foster the use of open education resources, or OERs, among the system's 12 institutions, said MJ Bishop, director of the Kirwan Center.

  • The Met Goes Public Domain With CC0, But It Shouldn't Have To

    The ongoing digitization of the vast wealth of material sitting in museums and archives around the world is one of the greatest projects of the digital age — a full realization of the internet's ability to spread knowledge and culture to all. Or it would be, if it weren't for copyfraud: for every museum genuinely embracing open content and the public domain, there's another claiming copyright on public domain images and being backed up by terrible court rulings.

    And so it's fantastic to see The Metropolitan Museum of Art joining the former camp with a new Open Access policy that is putting images of 375,000 works online with a CC0 public domain declaration. The Met actually partnered with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Pinterest and others to help make this happen, and has even announced its first Wikimedian-in-residence who will head up the project to get these images into Wikimedia Commons and onto Wikipedia.

    This is all great, but here's the annoying thing: it should be totally unnecessary. These are digitizations of public domain works, and there's no reasonable basis for granting them any copyright protection that would need to be divested with a CC0 mark in the first place. They are not creative transformative works, and in fact they are the opposite: attempts to capture the original as faithfully and accurately as possible, with no detectable changes in the transfer from one medium to another. It might take a lot of work, but sweat of the brow does not establish copyright, and allowing such images to be re-copyrighted (in some cases hundreds or even thousands of years after their original creation) would be pointless and disastrous.

  • The Met Makes 375,000 Public Domain Images Available

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Tuesday that more than 375,000 of the Museum's "public-domain artworks" are now available for unrestricted use.

    "We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years," said Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the Met, in a statement. "Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care."

    The image collection covers photographs, paintings, and sculptures, among other works. Images now available for both scholarly and commercial purposes include Emanuel Leutze's famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware; photographs by Walker Evans, Alfred Steiglitz, and Dorothea Lange; and even some Vincent van Gogh paintings.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • What is Open Source?

    Open source software is everywhere. It underpins virtually the entire technology sector, with every single element of IT relying on at least one open source component.

    For those who aren't aware, free and open source software (commonly abbreviated to FOSS) is software and tools that are made freely available online. Not only are they free to download, install and use, the creators also publish the source code for these programs - their 'DNA'. This means anyone can recreate, tweak, improve or modify them as they see fit.

  • ToaruOS 1.0 Released, Hobby OS/Kernel Written From Scratch Over 6+ Years

    In the past on Phoronix we have mentioned ToaruOS a few times. It's a "hobby" kernel and operating system written mostly from scratch yet supports Mesa, GCC, Python, and more. It's been in development since 2011 while now the operating system's 1.0 release finally took place.

    The ToaruOS developer wrote in about the Toaru 1.0 release that took place at the end of January. He wrote, "After six years of development, I am very happy to finally announce the 1.0 release of ToaruOS. While I would not consider this "complete" - there is still much work to be done - it is time to refocus my development, and with that comes the time to declare a stable release. ToaruOS 1.0 has been the result of over half a decade of effort, with contributions from a dozen people besides myself."

  • Opening the Software Heritage archive

    We posted this while I was keynoting with Roberto at FOSDEM 2017, to discuss the role Software Heritage plays in preserving the Free Software commons. To accompany the talk we released our first public API, which allows to navigate the entire content of the Software Heritage archive as a graph of connected development objects (e.g., blobs, directories, commits, releases, etc.).

    Over the past months we have been busy working on getting source code (with full development history) into the archive, to minimize the risk that important bits of Free/Open Sources Software that are publicly available today disappear forever from the net, due to whatever reason --- crashes, black hat hacking, business decisions, you name it. As a result, our archive is already one of the largest collections of source code in existence, spanning a GitHub mirror, injections of important Free Software collections such as Debian and GNU, and an ongoing import of all Google Code and Gitorious repositories.

  • 13 best free and open source inventory management systems 2017: How to save money and improve service for your customers

    Inventory management is the process of specifying and quantifying the shape and percentage of goods you hold in stock. By knowing what you have, and where, you can save money and improve your service to customers.

    There are myriad free inventory management software systems to choose from, many of which are free to use. We have highlighted 13 that are worth considering for your business.

  • Raptor Engineering Hopes To Bring OpenBMC To An ASUS Motherboard

    While Raptor Engineering was unsuccessful with their Talos Secure Workstation effort to build a high-end, libre POWER8 workstation, they are now backing a more realistic effort: opening the Baseboard Management Controller of an ASUS server motherboard still on the market.

    They are hoping to replace the proprietary baseboard management controller firmware with an open-source solution using OpenBMC. They are hoping to do this not only for the sake of having a fully-free server/workstation motherboard but also for addressing security holes in the proprietary firmware and add missing features while also allowing Coreboot to interact with this BMC.

  • The Call for Papers for LIBER’s 2017 Annual Conference in Greece — from 5 to 7 July — is now open.

    Implicit in the concept of access to knowledge is the idea of sustainability. As the idea that we should move towards a more open approach to conducting and disseminating research takes hold it is incumbent on libraries to ensure that in this shifting environment that the accessibility, usability, and long term availability of research outcomes are taken care of. This is a proactive role requiring leadership, vision, innovation and a flexible approach to partnering with researchers and infrastructure.

  • Mozilla Had A Crazy Week Landing Servo, WebRender & More Into Firefox Repo

    This was one of the busiest weeks in Firefox's history with having more than ~10,000 change-sets affecting ~97,000 file changes.

    Landing into the mainline codebase of Firefox Nightly's mozilla-central repository was vendoring the Servo project, WebRender, the ECMAScript ECMA-262 conformance test suite, and various Rust dependencies.

  • How We Talk About Free Software Legal Tools

    Companies are using more free software than ever, but often with little or no understanding of the licenses or the community norms that are part of the package. When it comes to talking about free software legal tools, we need to control the message. This talk will offer ideas on how we should craft and deliver our message around the adoption of free software legal tools.

    Companies are using more free software than ever, but often with little or no understanding of the licenses or the community norms that are part of the package. When it comes to talking about free software legal tools, we need to control the message. If we let other entities fill in the gaps in our outreach strategy, a lot of context and nuance will be lost. A poor or incomplete message hinders our ability to gain more widespread acceptance of free software tools and practices.

  • Baofeng Handy Talkie Meets GNU Radio

    There was a time when just about every ham had a pricey VHF or UHF transceiver in their vehicle or on their belt. It was great to talk to friends while driving. You could even make phone calls from anywhere thanks to automatic phone patches. In 1980 cell phones were uncommon, so making a call from your car was sure to get attention.

  • Understanding The Complexity of Copyleft Defense

    After 25 years of copyleft enforcement and compliance work, is copyleft succeeding as a strategy to defend software freedom? This talk explores the history of enforcement of the GPL and other copyleft licenses, and considers this question carefully. Attendees who have hitherto not followed the current and past debates about copyleft licenses and their enforcement can attend this talk and learn the background, and can expect to learn enough to provide salient and informed feedback of their own opinions about the processes behind upholding copyleft.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Debian SunCamp 2017 Is Taking Place May 18-21 in the Province of Girona, Spain
    It looks like last year's Debian SunCamp event for Debian developers was a total success and Martín Ferrari is back with a new proposal that should take place later this spring during four days full of hacking, socializing, and fun. That's right, we're talking about Debian SunCamp 2017, an event any Debian developer, contributor, or user can attend to meet his or hers Debian buddies, hack together on new projects or improve existing ones by sharing their knowledge, plan upcoming features and discuss ideas for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  • Pieter Hintjens In Memoriam
    Pieter Hintjens was a writer, programmer and thinker who has spent decades building large software systems and on-line communities, which he describes as "Living Systems". He was an expert in distributed computing, having written over 30 protocols and distributed software systems. He designed AMQP in 2004, and founded the ZeroMQ free software project in 2007. He was the author of the O'Reilly ZeroMQ book, "Culture and Empire", "The Psychopath Code", "Social Architecture", and "Confessions of a Necromancer". He was the president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), and fought the software patent directive and the standardisation of the Microsoft OOXML Office format. He also organized the Internet of Things (IOT) Devroom here at FOSDEM for the last 3 years. In April 2016 he was diagnosed with terminal metastasis of a previous cancer.
  • foss-gbg on Wednesday
    The topics are Yocto Linux on FPGA-based hardware, risk and license management in open source projects and a product release by the local start-up Zifra (an encryptable SD-card). More information and free tickets are available at the foss-gbg site.

Leftovers: OSS

  • When Open Source Meets the Enterprise
    Open source solutions have long been an option for the enterprise, but lately it seems they are becoming more of a necessity for advanced data operations than merely a luxury for IT techs who like to play with code. While it’s true that open platforms tend to provide a broader feature set compared to their proprietary brethren, due to their larger and more diverse development communities, this often comes at the cost of increased operational complexity. At a time when most enterprises are looking to shed their responsibilities for infrastructure and architecture to focus instead on core money-making services, open source requires a fairly high level of in-house technical skill. But as data environments become more distributed and reliant upon increasingly complex compilations of third-party systems, open source can provide at least a base layer of commonality for resources that support a given distribution.
  • EngineerBetter CTO: the logical truth about software 'packaging'
    Technologies such as Docker have blended these responsibilities, causing developers to need to care about what operating system and native libraries are available to their applications – after years of the industry striving for more abstraction and increased decoupling!
  • What will we do when everything is automated?
    Just translate the term "productivity of American factories" into the word "automation" and you get the picture. Other workers are not taking jobs away from the gainfully employed, machines are. This is not a new trend. It's been going on since before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Industry creates machines that do the work of humans faster, cheaper, with more accuracy and with less failure. That's the nature of industry—nothing new here. However, what is new is the rate by which the displacement of human beings from the workforce in happening.
  • Want OpenStack benefits? Put your private cloud plan in place first
    The open source software promises hard-to-come-by cloud standards and no vendor lock-in, says Forrester's Lauren Nelson. But there's more to consider -- including containers.
  • Set the Agenda at OpenStack Summit Boston
    The next OpenStack Summit is just three months away now, and as is their custom, the organizers have once again invited you–the OpenStack Community–to vote on which presentations will and will not be featured at the event.
  • What’s new in the world of OpenStack Ambassadors
    Ambassadors act as liaisons between multiple User Groups, the Foundation and the community in their regions. Launched in 2013, the OpenStack Ambassador program aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.
  • Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news