Earlier this month, I spent a day working in the throwback world of DOS. More specifically, it was FreeDOS version 1.1, the open source version of the long-defunct Microsoft MS-DOS operating system. It's a platform that in the minds of many should've died a long time ago. But after 20 years, a few dozen core developers and a broader, much larger contributor community continue furthering the FreeDOS project by gradually adding utilities, accessories, compilers, and open-source applications.
All this labor of love begs one question: why? What is it about a single-tasking command-line driven operating system—one that is barely up to the most basic of network-driven tasks—that has kept people’s talents engaged for two decades? Haven't most developers abandoned it for Windows (or, tragically, for IBM OS/2)? Who still uses DOS, and for what?
Making money from open source. To many in the corporate world, that seems like a contradiction in terms. How are you supposed to make money from something that you give away? they ask. It can be done. A number of companies, large and small, have done quite well in the open source space over the years.
Just ask Patrick McFadin. He’s the chief evangelist for Apache Cassandra at DataStax, a company that’s embraced the open source way. He’s also interviewed leaders at a number of successful open source companies to gain insights into what makes a successful open source business.
When I first started The HeliOS Project, I was using Librenet on my personal computer. Libranet had a per-user licensing agreement in order to make the effort pay and a single user license was for 69.00 If I remember correctly. Jon Danzig and I worked out a multiple licensing agreement that we could both live with. The fact is, Jon almost gave those licenses away because he believed in what we were doing. Jon's untimely death in 2005 eventually resulted in the Libranet venture striking their tents and moving on.
When it comes to surfing the web, our options are limited: the market is dominated by three or four mainstream web browsers, all of which share major similarities in design and function. Unless you want to build your own browsing program, you're stuck with their modern browsing paradigms. For San Francisco programmer Stanislas Polu, that wasn't good enough, so, he created Breach -- an open source modular web browser designed to allow anybody to tweak and modify it on a whim.
UK councils are so far failing to tap into the full money-saving potential and speed of open source web service tools, but moves are underway to address this, delegates heard at yesterday's 'Building perfect council websites' conference in Birmingham.
Although most councils still run a Microsoft-based ICT infrastructure, almost all do also now run at least some open source software, Kevin Jump, director of digital services firm Jumoo, told delegates.
Jump is former web manager at Liverpool City Council, which migrated to open source CMS Umbraco in 2011.
What do the numbers behind an open source project tell us about where it is headed? That's the subject of Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona's OSCON 2014 talk later this month, where he looks at four open source cloud computing projects—OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and OpenNebula—and turns those numbers into a meaningful analysis.
And Gonzalez-Barahona knows analytics. As co-founder of Bitergia, he is an expert in the quantitative aspects of open source software projects. Bitergia's goal is to analyze software development metrics and to help projects and communities put these numbers to use by managing and improving their processes.
OpenBSD developers have announced their first release of LibreSSL portable.
LibreSSL 2.0.0 is the release and is tested to build on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD systems. Bob Beck of OpenBSD explains, "This is intended as an initial release to allow the community to start using and providing feedback. We will be adding support for other platforms as time and resources permit."
A content management system (CMS is a computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as
well as maintenance from a central interface. CMS’s are often used to run websites containing blogs, news, and shopping. Many corporate and marketing websites use CMS’s. CMS’s typically aim to avoid the need for hand coding, but may support it for specific elements or entire pages.
We’ve heard a bit on BitPay’s doings in the open source field, and today, the company announced on their blog that they’ve got a multisig, open source wallet in the works called Copay.
We’ve heard of Copay previously, but now it’s got its own website at Copay.io, and has launched in beta.