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.
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.