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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

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There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal.

Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it!

Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it.

One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk.

This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing.

Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time.

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LaunchKit Now FOSS

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  • Google acquires LaunchKit to make life easier for Android developers
  • LaunchKit team heads to Google and open-sources its tools for helping devs launch their apps

    The team behind LaunchKit, a set of tools that helps developers launch their apps, is heading to Google and joining the Developer Product Group.

    It doesn’t look like LaunchKit’s products are moving over to Google, so the team decided to open-source its products and make them available on GitHub. LaunchKit’s hosted services will be available for the next 12 months. After that, they will be discontinued.

    LaunchKit currently offers four tools and developers will now be able to take them and run them themselves: Screenshot Builder for easily creating annotated screenshots for Apple’s and Google’s store, App Website Builder for creating responsive landing pages for new apps, Review Monitor for — well… — tracking reviews in Apple’s App Store, and Sales Reporter for keeping track of sales. The team has also written a couple of how-to guides for developers, too.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Google's Open Source Spatial Audio Tool Joins its Virtual Reality Offering

    The digital photography and digital audio arenas have been going through a renaissance for some time now, with 360-degree photo tools arriving that provide panoramic and immersive views of locations and SurroundSound-like audio experiences. On the photography and virtual reality front, Google recently announced that it open sourced VR View, a tool that lets developers tembed 360-degree photo and video content into sites and native apps. The images can be viewed on Cardboard viewers or through a single-lens viewer.

    Now, Google has announced that it has open sourced Omnitone, a software tlibrary hat developers can use to integrate spatial audio with websites. The software is available now on GitHub under an Apache license.

    Google has posted two videos featuring the spatial audio dynamics that you can achieve with Omnitone. The videos depict musicians that you can listen in on from various spatial angles.

  • Apache Software Foundation Serves Up Mesos Version 1.0

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), which incubates more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, has announced the availability of Apache Mesos v1.0. In case you missed it, Mesos and related efforts from companies such as Mesosphere have already made a mighty impact on clustering, data center resource management and emerging data center operating systems.

  • Why you should avoid vanity metrics and measure what matters

    In February 2011 we were "dinged" for what was clearly a slowdown in registrations. Something was very wrong, they said. The ship was clearly on fire, they said, and the community manager was at the helm. Not surprisingly, my LinkedIn activity picked up quite a bit that month. So what happened? Funny story—it turns out, in February we enabled a CAPTCHA on our registration form and started blocking spammers rather effectively, drastically depressing the new registration count. A few months later, after the analyst report, spammers figured out a way to get around the CAPTCHA, and things returned to "normal".

  • Koding open-sources its cloud IDE, integrates it into GitLab

    Koding, a startup with technology for operating a cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) for collaborative programming across devices, is announcing today that it’s open-sourcing its core technology and making it a part of GitLab, the open-source source-code repository service.

    With the push of a green button on GitLab repository pages, developers will be able to run any software on GitLab, with all the necessary dependencies already in place. “It almost feels like a part of GitLab,” Koding cofounder and CEO Devrim Yasar told VentureBeat in an interview.

  • Astronaut Achieves 14 Consecutive Months of VistA Features and Fixes

    One of the most prolific VistA developers on Earth Astronaut, LLC has just completed its 14th consecutive month of releasing new VistA features that are clinically tested and in production.

  • OpenBSD 6.0 pre-orders up

    In addition, one of the six release songs has been released early. There will be another compilation CD titled "The songs 5.2 - 6.0" alongside the release.

  • Photos: School-minded Faculty Brewing Co. will be Vancouver's first open source brewery

    "We want people to criticize and comment on them," Lozano explained. "People will be able to submit recipes that we can later brew and post online too, and then we can create open source recipes."

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 6
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 7
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 8
  • Which Programming Language Is Most Important To You In 2016?

Linux and FOSS Events

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32-bit Arduino Leonardo clone maker offers “ChipKIT Lenny” preview

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“chipKIT Lenny” is a PIC32-based Arduino Leonardo clone with more RAM and flash, and a multifunction microUSB port. Sneak preview boards are now available.

Majenko Technologies has built an Arduino Leonardo compatible board supported by the open source chipKIT project, which like all chipKIT boards features a MIPS-based Microchip PIC32 microcontroller unit instead of an ATmega32u4. (See farther below for more on chipKIT.) The chipKIT Lenny was teased by the chipKIT project in late June, and is now being released by Majenko in a preview version priced at 19 UK Pounds (currently about $25).

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ura and the Challenges of Open Source Design

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Elio Qoshi is the person behind ura, a fascinating design studio dedicated to improving design in free and open source projects. As part of that mission, ura works with projects of all budgets. When we talk about open source, we’re usually talking code first and then—maybe—documentation second. Design is often an after-thought. But as designers like Elio get involved in open source culture, that order could eventually change.

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Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

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  • Wal-Mart Proves Open Source Is Big Business
  • Keeping the FCC and Open Source Happy

    The FCC is worried. You and they spend all this time and energy getting your radio certified, and then some bozo hacks in, changes how the radio works, and puts you out of spec.

    And so, back in early 2015, the FCC issued some guidelines or questions regarding WiFi devices – particularly home routers – in an effort to ensure that your radio isn’t hackable.

    The result has been that some router makers have simply locked down the platform so that it’s no longer possible to do after-market modifications, and this has caused an outcry by after-market modifiers. The reason why it’s an issue is that these open-source developers have used the platform for adding apps or other software that, presumably, have nothing to do with the radio.

    In an attempt to find the magic middle way, the prpl organization, headed by Imagination Technologies (IMG) and featuring the MIPS architecture, recently put out a proof of concept that they say gives both assurance to the FCC and freedom to open-source developers.

    Questions from the FCC

  • Wire open-sources messaging client, woos developers

    Communications startup Wire has open-sourced the full codebase for its Wire app, so it's easier for developers to build their own encrypted messaging clients.

    Wire open-sourced the rest of the client base that wasn't initially publicly available, including components related to the user interface, the web and native clients, and some internal developer tools. The company always planned to open-source the codebase, but didn't start out that way initially "because we were still working on other features," Alan Duric, co-founder and CTO of Wire, wrote in a Medium post.

  • TUG 2016 – Day 1 – Routers and Reading
  • OpenStack Pico and Questa set to Debut in 2017 and 2018.

    Members of the OpenStack Foundation have been voting on upcoming release names and the results are now in.

  • Partnerships Ensure That OpenStack's Future is Running Containers on Kubernetes
  • Open source & cloud computing

    Today’s interview is with David Egts, chief technologist, North America Public Sector at Red Hat. Red Hat has been around for twenty-five years and has hit over two billion on annual revenue. Topics range from open source to partnering with Microsoft to the up and coming DevNationFederal.

    In the federal government circles, Red Had made a big splash years ago by working with NASA to have incredibly fast systems. Red Hat has expanded so much in the past decade that the conversation with Egts didn’t even get to NASA.

  • Open source project on Facebook will allow you to design apps [Ed: React is NOT "open source", Facebook maintains or reserves rights to revoke licence from competition]
  • Austria awards 'Open Data Oscars'

    Last month, the Austrian State Secretary Muna Duzdar handed out the 'Oscars of the Open Data Community'. The awards were part of the ' challenge 2016' organised earlier this year. The annual challenge aims to bring open data and ideas together in innovative and creative solutions.

  • Open data platform on Emilia-Romagna reconstruction

    After the two earthquakes that caused multiple casualties and widespread damage in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna in 2012, multiple programmes were launched to reconstruct the affected areas. To make these efforts more transparent, a team from the Gran Sasso Science Institute last week presented an Open Data platform that will provide all information on who is responsible, which company is doing what, and how the money is being spent.

    The 'Open Data Ricostruzione' initiative was presented last week at the Italian Festival of Participation. The platform will bring together all the numbers, figures and information on the reconstruction, and allow visitors to visualise, filter, track and map the available data. All information will be made available as open data, in the original database format as well as JSON.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Updates, Synopsys/Black Duck FUD, and Software Security Over Convenience

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • With Much of the Data Center Stack Open Source, Security is a Special Challenge [Ed: Black attacking FOSS again in order to sell its proprietary products; does proprietary software have no security issues? Which cannot be fixed, either?]
  • Synopsys reveals its open-source rookies of the year [Ed: Anti-FOSS company Black Duck, which markets its proprietary software by attacking FOSS (it admitted being anti-GPL since inception, created by Microsoft employee), wants the public to think of it as a FOSS authority]
  • Software security over convenience
    Recently I got inspired (paranoid ?) by my boss who cares a lot about software security. Previously, I had almost the same password on all the websites I used, I had them synced to google servers (Chrome user previously), but once I started taking software security seriously, I knew the biggest mistake I was making was to have a single password everywhere, so I went one step forward and set randomly generated passwords on all online accounts and stored them in a keystore.

MIPI-CSI camera kit runs Linux on Apollo Lake

Congatec’s rugged, Linux-driven “Conga-CAM-KIT/MIPI” camera kit combines its Intel Apollo Lake based Conga-PA5 SBC with a MIPI-CSI 2 camera from Leopard Imaging and other components. Congatec announced a Conga-CAM-KIT/MIPI camera kit, also referred to as the MIPI-CSI 2 Smart Camera Kit. The kit runs a Yocto Project based Linux distribution on Congatec’s Conga-PA5, a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel’s Apollo Lake Atom, Pentium, and Celeron SoCs. Also included is a MIPI-CSI 2 camera (LI-AR023Z-YUV-MIP) from Leopard Imaging based on ON Semiconductor’s AR0237 HD sensor. Extended temperature ranges are supported. Read more

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