SINCE A MASSIVE 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, over 7,000 people have died, and many more have been injured or left stranded in rural areas. Aid groups like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders have deployed teams to help those left behind in the districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk. But there are plenty of people who are contributing from thousands of miles away—on their lunch break, after work, or on the weekend. They’re part of an online community of volunteers from all over the world who are mapping Nepal from their laptops, creating data that’s critical to on-the-ground relief.
The results from the annual Future Of Open Source survey are in, and they confirm everything we already knew: Open source is now the default.
The survey reports that 78 percent of its respondents are now running their businesses with open source software, and two-thirds are building software for their customers that’s based on open source software. More significant, the percentage of respondents actually participating in open source projects has increased from 50 percent to 64 percent, and 88 percent say they expect to contribute to projects within the next three years.
In order for an open source project to have a truly global reach, it must reach its users in their native tongue. OpenStack is no different. In order to bring open source cloud computing to countries around the world, a dedicated team of individuals helps translate both the project itself and its documentation into the native language of numerous peoples.
One of the translators working on that effort is Łukasz Jernaś. Jernaś is a software engineer for the Allegro Group doing internal tools development in Python, but he is a systems administrator by heart. He started working on OpenStack around the Grizzly release, when the company he works for deployed its first private cloud. Striving to keep his environment in his native language, translating Horizon (the web-based interface to OpenStack) seemed a natural thing to do.
Bitcoin startup Bitseed has announced it is open-sourcing the creation of its new plug-in node.
The company, which launched its first node in March, is asking contributors to help evolve its product by completing tasks and solving bounties in exchange for rewards.
Bitseed's project is hosted on Assembly, a collaborative platform that tracks contributions to projects with coloured coins on the bitcoin blockchain.
My favorite part about our open source project, PencilBlue, is that I get to interact with people from all over the world. When we first started, there were just two of us, but as the months progressed we saw our contributors begin to grow. It got me thinking about what it takes to be a good maintainer and how my team will make sure the project continues to run smoothly for years to come.
How many people across the world contribute to open source software? If GitHub's user base is any indication, the open source community is more than 8.5 million. That's a massive number of people that have the capacity and desire to contribute. These numbers don't even take into consideration those who clone or download distributions anonymously. Now that we know how many people we can potentially engage, how do we get them interested in our projects?
Nervana Systems, one of a handful startups focusing on a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, today is announcing that it has released its Neon deep learning software under an Apache open-source license, allowing anyone to try it out for free.
The startup is pointing to benchmarks a Facebook researcher recently conducted suggesting that the Nervana software outperforms other publicly available deep learning tools, including Nvidia’s cuDNN and Facebook’s own Torch7 libraries.
Software projects in health care would benefit from increased collaboration, using open source, exchanging know-how and open documentation, say experts from IsfTeH, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. “Most important is the sharing of best practices, but reusing common software components also reduces costs”, the experts say.
Gecamed, an open source Electronic Health Record system developed in Luxembourg since 2007, is already used by more than 10 per cent of all general practitioners in the country. It is also the first EHR system in Luxembourg to achieve interoperability with the health records management system used by eSanté, the country’s national eHealth agency, says Guido Bosch, a research engineer at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.
Political commitment and innovative individuals are crucial to get public administrations to switch to open source software, conclude researchers at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University (Netherlands). The potential cost savings or the size and complexity of the public administration “have no discernible effect”, the researchers write in Government Information Quarterly.