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OSS

Diversity is a crucial component of meritocracy

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews
OSS

The culture and environment in an open source community makes a big difference, and the same is true for company cultures. A lot has been written about this issue elsewhere, and you can find some great examples of how this happens on the Geek Feminism Wiki FLOSS webpage. In open source communities and at Red Hat, there's a strong desire for meritocracy—letting the best ideas win, regardless of their source. But diversity is a crucial component of meritocracy. How can we be confident that we have access to the very best ideas, if we are missing the perspectives of distinct groups of the population? Including people from many different backgrounds and cultures leads to greater diversity of thought and ideas. Research indicates that diverse groups are more innovative and make better decisions. For the technology industry and for open source communities, the lack of women is particularly concerning, because women represent half of the global population and workforce. In the past few years, I've also become increasingly interested in the role of unconscious bias and how it impacts the job application and interview process. Our human tendency is to instinctively prefer and value people who send unconscious signals that they're one of us—that they share our beliefs, background, or other social interests. It's easy for us to overlook the contributions of someone who comes from a different gender or culture. We don't even realize that we're doing it, and we construct explanations for our preferences that seem rational. Unconscious bias a fascinating topic, and plenty has been written about it, so I encourage everyone to seek out that information and put it to good use. It's something that Red Hat now educates our associates on, as part of our job interviewer training. I think it's equally relevant when it comes to cultural norms within open source communities.

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Gummersbach completes switch to open source

Filed under
OSS

The German town of Gummersbach announced that this summer it has completed its switch to Linux PCs, retiring a decade-old proprietary operating system no longer supported by the IT vendor. The migration has saved the town a five-figure sum, and Gummersbach expects a further reduction of IT costs, a combination of savings on proprietary licences and lower hardware costs.

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Uganda Takes on Free and Open Source Software

Filed under
OSS

On this historic Wednesday, the Government was interfacing with the IT community to discuss among others the draft FOSS and Open Standards Policy and the National FOSS Strategy. This is the very reason that made it indeed historic, finally FOSS has arrived. While a few other African countries make mention of FOSS in their ICT related policies, one can hardly identify those that have come up with specific policies and strategies addressing FOSS. South Africa and now Uganda are going the extra mile to take the bull by the horn with the hope that others may follow.

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The right fit? 4 open source projects evaluated

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OSS

In the guide, I wrote about doing your research by casting a wide net, then evaluating yourself (your skills, your goals, and your time). In this evaluation to find the right fit, I looked at my motivations and skills, made a list of goals, and named a few target projects. Because this isn’t my first rodeo, I take a good, hard look at my track record. What can I learn from the ones that didn't stick to find the one that will? I notice patterns I can avoid and see how they line up against my new list of goals and skills. Then, I evaluate four open source projects and their communities to see if they might be a good fit. See the winner at the end!

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The inside track on Oracle’s open-source strategy

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OSS

“NoSQL is definitely a component of Big Data and is part of the strategy of storing and managing very fast but simple operations over simple data,” Seglau explained to hosts Jeff Kelly and Jeff Frick. Oracle’s namesake relational system has a notoriously difficult time handling that kind of unstructured information, a critical gap that leaves the vendor little choice but to embrace the new paradigm of enterprise data management.

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GSA CIO: Platform Reuse, Open Source Among Guiding IT Principles

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OSS

Platform reuse and open source technology are guiding IT principles being championed by GSA's CIO, Sonny Hashimi. The agency's new IT integration policy requires all new projects that are undertaken within GSA to follow several IT principles. For example, GSA must consider the reuse of its existing platforms before any new investments are contemplated.

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9 things to look for in an open-source project

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OSS

Not all open-source projects are created equal. There are plenty that have not been touched in years -- heck, I probably wrote a few of them. If you're going to rely on a community-contributed open-source project, you'll want to ensure the code is up to your standards and that the community will continue to support it throughout the project's life cycle.

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The Importance of Being FOSS

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OSS

It's a fact of life in virtually every community that there will be countless daily distractions -- news announcements, controversies, squabbles -- that take up the majority of our time and energy, leaving little for the big picture.

The Linux community is no exception.

That's why it was such a relief to see a post over at Linux.com recently that struck directly to the core of all that is FOSS and offered a reminder as to what it's really all about.

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WordPress Foundation Becomes an Open Source Initiative® Affiliate Member

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OSS

The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the WordPress Foundation (WordPress) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member. The WordPress Foundation’s mission, to democratize publishing through open source, has elevated WordPress to not only a globally recognized content management tool, but a vibrant community encompassing the ideals of open source software development, and advocacy for the adherence to the Open Source Definition. Its affiliation with OSI helps enhance and sustain the open software development community, while ensuring that millions of individuals, organizations and businesses can cost-effectively communicate online using a robust set of content management capabilities.

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Open Source GNOME 3 Desktop Environment Wins Back Fans

Filed under
OSS
GNOME

Is there still a future for GNOME 3, the open source Linux desktop that was once massively popular, yet in recent years has seen its preponderance wane in favor of alternatives such as Xfce and Canonical's Unity? Recent indicators say yes.

Full disclosure: I should was an avid GNOME user in the days of GNOME 2, the dead-simple yet elegant desktop environment that powered many Linux desktops for the better part of a decade. But when the GNOME developers switched their focus to the next generation of the platform, GNOME 3, circa 2011, I jumped ship, mostly because I couldn't make sense of GNOME Shell, the developers' attempt to discard everything users have learned to expect from the desktop-computer experience over the last 30 years and impose a radically new metaphor of user interaction in its place.

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers
    The Linux Kernel has a bug that causes containers that use veth devices for network routing (such as Docker on IPv6, Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, and Mesos) to not check TCP checksums. This results in applications incorrectly receiving corrupt data in a number of situations, such as with bad networking hardware. The bug dates back at least three years and is present in kernels as far back as we’ve tested. Our patch has been reviewed and accepted into the kernel, and is currently being backported to -stable releases back to 3.14 in different distributions (such as Suse, and Canonical). If you use containers in your setup, I recommend you apply this patch or deploy a kernel with this patch when it becomes available. Note: Docker’s default NAT networking is not affected and, in practice, Google Container Engine is likely protected from hardware errors by its virtualized network.
  • Performance problems
    Just over a year ago I implemented an optimization to the SPI core code in Linux that avoids some needless context switches to a worker thread in the main data path that most clients use. This was really nice, it was simple to do but saved a bunch of work for most drivers using SPI and made things noticeably faster. The code got merged in v4.0 and that was that, I kept on kicking a few more ideas for optimizations in this area around but that was that until the past month.
  • Compute Shader Code Begins Landing For Gallium3D
    Samuel Pitoiset began pushing his Gallium3D Mesa state tracker changes this morning for supporting compute shaders via the GL_ARB_compute_shader extension. Before getting too excited, the hardware drivers haven't yet implemented the support. It was back in December that core Mesa received its treatment for compute shader support and came with Intel's i965 driver implementing CS.
  • Libav Finally Lands VDPAU Support For Accelerated HEVC Decoding
    While FFmpeg has offered hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding using NVIDIA's VDPAU API since last summer, this support for the FFmpeg-forked libav landed just today. In June was when FFmpeg added support to its libavcodec for handling HEVC/H.265 video decoding via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix interface. Around that same time, developer Philip Langdale who had done the FFmpeg patch, also submitted the patch for Libav for decoding HEVC content through VDPAU where supported.

Unixstickers, Linux goes to Washington, Why Linux?

  • Unixstickers sent me a package!
    There's an old, popular saying, beware geeks bearing gifts. But in this case, I was pleased to see an email in my inbox, from unixstickers.com, asking me if I was interested in reviewing their products. I said ye, and a quick few days later, there was a surprise courier-delivered envelope waiting for me in the post. Coincidentally - or not - the whole thing happened close enough to the 2015 end-of-the-year holidays to classify as poetic justice. On a slightly more serious note, Unixstickers is a company shipping T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, pins, and stickers to UNIX and Linux aficionados worldwide. Having been identified one and acquired on the company's PR radar, I am now doing a first-of-a-kind Dedoimedo non-technical technical review of merchandise related to our favorite software. So not sure how it's gonna work out, but let's see.
  • Linux goes to Washington: How the White House/Linux Foundation collaboration will work
    No doubt by now you've heard about the Obama Administration's newly announced Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). You can read more about it on CIO.com here and here. But what you may not know is that the White House is actively working with the Linux and open source community for CNAP. In a blog post Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation said, “In the proposal, the White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet 'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols and standards.”
  • Why Linux?
    Linux may inspire you to think of coders hunched over their desks (that are littered with Mountain Dew cans) while looking at lines of codes, faintly lit by the yellow glow of old CRT monitors. Maybe Linux sounds like some kind of a wild cat and you have never heard the term before. Maybe you have use it every day. It is an operating system loved by a few and misrepresented to many.

RebeccaBlackOS 2016-02-08 Review. Why? Because it’s Friday.

These are the types of problems found in an independent distro build from scratch. I cannot understand how a system built on Debian could be this buggy and apparently have zero VM support which Debian comes with by default. I can take some solace in the fact that it was built by one person and that one person is a Rebecca Black fan but as far as a Linux Distribution is concerned there is not much here. Some could say “Well its not supposed to be taken as a serious Distribution.” True except it is listed and kept up with on DistroWatch therefor it should be held as a system ready distribution especially when it was not released as a beta or an RC. If this distribution is ever going to be considered a real platform it has a long way to go. I give it about as many thumbs down as the Rebecca Black Friday video. Read more

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