Our GnuPG strategy and code isn't ready. We need to either make all that crypto stuff completely seamless, or improve the tools we expose to the user for manual work. Preferably both.
Of course, the last of those is the big one, and goes back to the discussion around Thunderbird last week. As the Mailpile team emphasised, the project is not being abandoned: the beta-testing did what it was supposed to do - winkle out problems - and the team will now use that feedback to address issues and improve things. But it does show once more that crypto is hard - and that's true not just for open source, but for all kinds of software. The big question remains: is it possible to make it easy enough for many more people to use, or is it doomed to be the preserve of those who really need it, or at least think they do?
The source code for France’s income tax software should be made publicly accessible, says the country’s Freedom Of Information authority, the Commission d'accès aux documents administratifs (CADA). Source code for governmental applications is administrative information which should be made publicly available, CADA writes.
Perhaps as recently as a decade ago, open source was still held in a sort of social exile. The sole preserve of server room technology and serious code geeks who knew how to tinker around inside the guts of the operating system, open source software was obviously quite powerful but didn’t seem to come with much of the touchy-feely user interface gloss that we had all gotten so used to.
To realize the full potential of location-based smartphone apps, they should be built to support offline mode and original map graphics. Creating a custom offline map is the best choice. We were faced with this challenge as well, and the solution we came up with was creating a separate library for this purpose. That is how I developed the mAppWidget code library.
We recently decided to open source it, and now mAppWidget is available to anyone in need of a mobile custom offline map solution.
A German university is open sourcing a secure, two-tier Automotive Service Bus for car computers, available on a control unit running Linux on a PandaBoard.
Technische Universität München (TUM) has open-sourced an automotive computer bus design developed as part of its “Visio.M” (Visionary Mobility) electric car project, according a Mar. 10 press release by TUM. Next week at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, TUM will demonstrate the carbon fiber Visio.M prototype, which was backed by the German government with 7.1 million Euros, as well as the car’s newly open “Automotive Service Bus.”
OpenSSL, arguably the world's most important Web security library with its support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) in such popular Web servers as Apache and Nginx, has had real trouble. First, there was HeartBleed and more recently there is FREAK. It's been one serious security problem after another. Now, the NCC Group, a well-regarded security company, will be auditing OpenSSL's code to catch errors before they appear in the wild.
The Spanish town of Figueres is relying on free and open source software to help manage its urban and natural environment. Fisersa Ecoserveis, an environmental company, is using a range of open source solutions to create, update and manage interactive geographic maps, used for monitoring and planning the city’s green spaces.
Governments must have policies that increase their use of free and open source software solutions, says Professor Dr Wolfgang Finke from the Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena (Germany). In many countries, the use of proprietary software might be unsustainable in the long-term, he says, “either from a technical or from a financial point of view.”