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Is SFLC Shooting Open Source in the Foot?

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The academic article by SFLC about ZFS is troubling and may unintentionally shoot free software licensing in the foot.

When I was at Sun (as part of the team that released the Java Programming Language by starting the OpenJDK project) I often heard community concerns about the CDDL license. At the time the big complaint was about the "Choice of Venue" clause.

I got involved because Sun had developed many essential Java libraries and distributed them under CDDL. The community requested a more permissive license and I was able to convince internal project leaders (and Sun's lawyers) to make a licensing change for a handful of these projects. And there was much rejoicing.

Based on my experience in helping Java to become open source I came to appreciate the legal hacks on copyright which make open source possible. It's the free software license which uses copyright to enable sharing (vs. the default of disabling sharing).

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Open Source Evolution: From Making Better Code to Making Better Business

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Today, open-source software is thriving in the Cloud, with a whole new generation of projects – such as Docker, Heroku, Open Stack and others. Cumulatively, GNU is still the leading license, but MIT, Apache and other licenses are among the top licenses used in open-source projects.

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An open-source alternative to Android Wear OS for smartwatches emerges

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Can the Android Wear and Tizen operating systems on smartwatches be challenged? French computer science student Florent Revest believes so.

Revest has developed AsteroidOS, a flavor of Linux for smartwatches, still in early beta. It has been tested on LG's smartwatches and a port is under way to Asus' Zenwatch 1.

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UK open source drive ‘encourages citizens participation’

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The push by the UK government to use more free and open source software for its eGovernment services is helping to get citizens more involved, says Bernard Tyers, a user experience researcher working for the UK’s Home Office. “Everyone can see how the design and research process works, and users are helping to test our prototypes.”

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How to choose the right brand architecture for your open source project

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Most people who start an open source software project aren't sitting around waiting for someone to discuss brand architecture models with them, but many of them do have long term goals for their project that include eventually seeing it becoming a paid product or even the basis of a company built around servicing and supporting the project code.

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Acquia adapting to future needs as web trends change

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The Boston-based open source firm Acquia is dabbling in several technologies to ensure that, down the road, it stays as big a player in the market as it is now.

Acquia uses the Drupal content management system to build websites for companies around the world and has produced and powered roughly 12 per cent of all Drupal implementations, according to Chris Stone, the head of engineering and chief product officer.

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Transmission 2.90 Open-Source BitTorrent Client Released After Two Years of Work

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We never thought that we will see a new, major stable version of the Transmission open-source and cross-platform BitTorrent client, ever, but what a surprise, Transmission 2.90 arrived on February 28, 2016.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • Reading comprehension is a big problem in open-source

    Houston, we have a problem. Linux users can't read good [sic]. Zoolander reference. Word. What am I on about, and where can you buy some of the stuff, you be asking? You can't, it's all au naturale, Dedoimedo freerange extract.

    To be serious, this topic is about the flow of information in the Linux world. After having a rather horrible autumn season of distro testing, I happened to come across commentary about my reviews on various forums and portal. It's always when the negative is being discussed, because articles that praise products never ever get any reaction from the wider community. To put it bluntly, the message was not coming across.

  • Cloud Explorer is back with v7.1

    Cloud Explorer is a open-source Amazon S3 client that works on any operating system. The program features a graphical or command line interface. Today I just released version 7.1 and hope that you give it a test drive. Feedback and uses cases are always encouraged.

  • How to land your first open source contribution, from your browser, in 15 minutes

    Mullenweg — a political science dropout whose software (Wordpress) now powers nearly a quarter of all websites — says that you can “100% compensate for a lack of professional experience” by proving your abilities through open source contributions.

  • Java finally gets microservices tools

    Lightbend, formerly known as Typesafe, is bringing microservices-based architectures to Java with its Lagom platform.

    Due in early March, Lagom is a microservices framework that lightens the burden of developing these microservices in Java. Built on the Scala functional language, open source Lagom acts as a development environment for managing microservices. APIs initially are provided for Java services, with Scala to follow.

  • documentation first

    I write documentation first and code second. I've mentioned this from time to time (previously, previously) but a reader pointed out that I've never really explained why I work that way.

    It's a way to make my thinking more concrete without diving all the way into the complexities of the code right away. So sometimes, what I write down is design documentation, and sometimes it's notes on a bug report[1], but if what I'm working on is user-visible, I start by writing down the end user documentation.

FOSS in Networking

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  • Manufacturers start to lock down Wi-Fi router firmware. Thanks, FCC.

    Curious. The FBI wants Apple to open up its own software while the FCC wants wireless router manufacturers to lock theirs down. And both demands are unacceptable, misguided, and will ultimately fail. Why? When it comes to the former, well, we don’t have time to wade through that quagmire, but as to the the latter, we have to go back to 2015 …


    Why is this lockdown a bad idea? Because there are thousands of private users, academic researchers, and developers who rely on having wireless routers that are capable of modification. These modifications are to add functionality, fix bugs in the original product (all too common in consumer devices), and improve performance. However, the new FCC rules as written place a complex technical burden on manufacturers to comply and the only way to comply cheaply, is for the manufacturer to lock down their products completely rather than just the wireless components.

  • TP-LINK WiFi Router Firmware Locked Down Due to New FCC Rules

    Last year the FCC rules issues new rules that would prevent installing OpenWRT, DDWRT, or other firmware, but it went viral, and finally the commission launched a consultation with the community which ended by the FCC issued a statement “Clearing the Air on Wi-Fi Software Updates” last November, making the rules more accurate saying that the rules were now “narrowly-focused on modifications that would take a device out of compliance”.

  • Telecoms Band Together to Virtualize and Open Source their Network Stacks

    A group of telecommunication companies and their software providers have come together to bring Network Functions Virtualization to their data centers. NFV is an industry-developed framework to virtualize telecom networks.

    The group, formed under the umbrella of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is called OSM, which stands for Open Source MANO. MANO, which stands for Management and Orchestration, is the part of the NFV framework consisting of orchestrator software, virtualized network functions manager (VNFM) and Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM).

Leftovers: OSS

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  • Mirantis joins new global Open Source community to orchestrate production NFV deployments

    Mirantis, the pure-play OpenStack company, has announced that it is a founding member of Open Source MANO (OSM), a community focused on delivering Open Source Management and Orchestration (MANO) aligned with ETSI NFV Information Models.

  • ETSI taps open source software for MANO specs

    The European Telecommunications Standards Institute this week said it have begun work on using open source software for management and orchestration of network functions virtualization in connection with its NFV Industry Specification Group.

  • OSI Director Paul Tagliamonte's Testimony to NYC Council Contracts Committee

    The OSI was invited to provide commentary on New York City Council's consideration of the Free and Open Source Software Act and the Civic Commons Act, both proposed by Council Member Ben Kallos. These bills would increase the use of free and open source software by New York City departments and agencies.

    On February 23rd, 2016 OSI Board Director Paul Tagliamonte, speaking on the OSI's behalf, presented the following testimony to the City Council. We would very much like to thank the New York City Council, the Contracts Committee, and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos for the opportunity to speak.

  • The Value of ‘Freedom’ in the Open Source Space

    On a recent article on Forbes, technology journalist Adrian Bridgwater pointed out what the term “free” truly means when it comes to open source software. “Free” here does not mean a lack of monetary value. It means that users have the liberty to run, change, distribute and copy the software as they wish. It is not like “free beer”; it’s more like “free speech”. The true value of free software then, lies not on any price but in the liberty; in the way open source software can continuously develop through the unrestrained contributions of the community.

  • ReactOS The Perfect Windows Alternate – Review and Installation

    Microsoft’s Windows dominance in the Desktop PC space has been a thing for decades now and the 30years old OS — although has made some significant strides in the industry — is undoubted a monopoly. Thank God for options like OSX and Linux Desktop of course, we would all have been choking on – and continue to choke on whatever the Redmond company decides to throw at our faces.

  • Linux Top 3: Tiny Core Linux 7, Webconverger 34 and ReactOS 0.4
  • What to expect from I ♥ APIs Europe 2016

    I ♥ APIs Europe 2016 is an event dedicated to APIs and digital business strategy for developers, IT experts, and business strategists.

  • T-Dose Conference Eindhoven NL

    T-DOSE is a free and yearly event held in The Netherlands to promote use and development of Open Source Software. During this event Open Source projects, developers and visitors can exchange ideas and knowledge. This years event will be held at the Fontys University of Applied Science in Eindhoven.

  • There's Interest Again In Embeddable Gecko To Better Compete With Chromium CEF

    Mozilla platform engineer Chris Lord is trying to make the case for developers to put greater focus on making Mozilla's Gecko layout engine more embed-able friendly so that it can be more easily deployed for new use-cases.

  • Use Your Database!

    I love high-level, dynamically typed languages, such as Python, Ruby and JavaScript. They're easy—and even fun—to use. They let me express myself richly, and they lend themselves to code that easily can be reused and maintained. It's no surprise that interest in such languages is on the rise, especially when creating Web applications.

  • LibreOffice Gets GTK3 Native Context Menus & More

    Developer Caolán McNamara who has been doing much of the GTK3 integration work for LibreOffice was also responsible for this week's improvements. LibreOffice is finally now making use of the GTK themeing APIs to draw elements like they do in GTK+ rather than LibreOffice drawing everything itself, which results in a better looking office suite integrated with your desktop.

  • Additional NHS trusts look to open source EPR adoption

    Healthcare organisations in Ramsay, Wye Valley and Blackpool areas expected to adopt non-proprietary solutions as Github-hosted code is further updated

    Ramsay Health Care, Wye Valley NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are set to go live with open source electronic patient record (EPR) solutions during 2016, building on ongoing work by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

    After first uploading EPR code on the web-based hosting service Github in June 2014, supplier IMS Maxims has sought to provide the open source software free to NHS and wider healthcare organisations.

  • Zephyr Project for Internet of Things, releases from Facebook, IBM, Yahoo, and more news
  • Will open-source farming topple agribusiness giants?

    Agriculture is the backbone of human civilisation, but it's about to snap under our weight. The world is on the brink of a food crisis in which our current industrial models of agriculture will not support the projected population of nine billion by the year 2050. Our best hope for farming in the future lies with advances in technology: sensors, big data and networks. These advances will move us into an agricultural revolution that will feed more people, feed them more effectively and feed them sustainably.

  • Should your NGO go open source?

    He said he is skeptical that there is any value in keeping most data private. The Sunlight Foundation, among others, has pushed for organizations to set the default to open. And this belief that information is a public good, and that making that data available is a public service, seems particularly relevant to anyone working to address global poverty, he said.

  • Beaverton schools win salute from feds for use of open-source teaching material

    The Beaverton school district is among 31 districts nationwide, and the only one in Oregon, hailed Friday by the U.S. Department of Education for their commitment to replace at least one textbook with openly-licensed educational resources within the next year.

    Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John King said the use of open-source teaching material is important because it helps give all teachers and students access to tools, content and expertise.

    His department is trying to use the hashtag #GoOpen to promote the trend.

  • exiii Offers Lineup of Affordable 3D Printed Robotic Prosthetics, Including Open-Source HACKberry

    As the world of 3D printing technology evolves faster than most can keep up with, the impacts it offers to humans in need are powerful, life-changing, and deeply inspiring. The days of having a prosthetic and feeling ashamed or embarrassed are quickly fading as these medical devices are becoming both a triumph in themselves and for those wearing them—and often, showing them off.

  • The smart, open-source router we deserve

    Lylo is open-source so you can modify it, improve it, and profit if you like.

  • Icestudio: An Open Source Graphical FPGA Tool

    If you’ve ever worked with FPGAs, you’ve dealt with the massive IDEs provided by the vendors. Xilinx’s ISE takes about 6 gigabytes, and Altera’s Quartus clocks in at over 10 gigs. That’s a lot of downloading proprietary software just to make an LED blink.

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More in Tux Machines

Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Nautilus, a LTS and desktop icons

If you are following closely the news of various tech websites, one of the latest hot topic in the community was about Nautilus removing desktop icons. Let’s try to clarify some points to ensure the various discussions around it have enough background information and not reacting on emotions only as it could be seen lately. You will have both downstream (mine) and upstream (Carlos) perspectives here. Read more

Programming: Perl, JavaScript, Ick, PowerFake, pylint-django, nbdkit filters

  • An Open Letter to the Perl Community

    Some consider Perl 6 to be a sister language to Perl 5. Personally, I consider Perl 6 more of a genetically engineered daughter language with the best genes from many parents. A daughter with a difficult childhood, in which she alienated many, who is now getting out of puberty into early adulthood. But I digress.

  • Long Live Perl 5!

    While not mentioned in the original Letter, a frequent theme in the comments was that Perl 6 should be renamed, as the name is inaccurate or is damaging.

    This is the topic on which I wrote more than once and those who have been following closely know that, yes, many (but by no means all) in the Perl 6 community acknowledge the name is detrimental to both Perl 6 and Perl 5 projects.

    This is why with a nod of approval from Larry we're moving to create an alias to Perl 6 name during 6.d language release, to be available for marketing in areas where "Perl 6" is not a desirable name.

  • JavaScript Trends for 2018
    Trying to bet on how many new JavaScript frameworks will be released each month, is, the best software engineer’s game in the past 5 years.
  • Ick: a continuous integration system
    TL;DR: Ick is a continuous integration or CI system. See for more information.
  • Introducing PowerFake for C++
    PowerFake is a new mini-framework/tool to make it possible to fake/mock free functions and static & non-virtual member functions in C++. It requires no change to the code under test, but it might need some structural changes, like moving some parts of the code to a different .cpp file; or making inline functions non-inline when built for testing. It is useful for writing unit tests and faking/mocking functions which should not/cannot be run during a test case. Some say that such a feature is useful for existing code, but should not be needed for a code which is written testable from the beginning. But, personally I don’t agree that it is always appropriate to inject such dependencies using virtual interfaces or templates. Currently, it is not supposed to become a mocking framework on its own. I hope that I can integrate PowerFake into at least one existing C++ mocking framework. Therefore, currently it doesn’t provide anything beyond faking existing functions.
  • Introducing pylint-django 0.8.0
    Since my previous post was about writing pylint plugins I figured I'd let you know that I've released pylint-django version 0.8.0 over the weekend. This release merges all pull requests which were pending till now so make sure to read the change log.
  • nbdkit filters
    nbdkit is our toolkit for creating Network Block Device (NBD) servers from “unusual” data sources. nbdkit was already configurable by writing simple plugins in several programming languages. Last week Eric Blake and I added a nice new feature: You can now modify existing plugins by placing “filters” in front of them.

Moving to Linux from dated Windows machines

Every day, while working in the marketing department at ONLYOFFICE, I see Linux users discussing our office productivity software on the internet. Our products are popular among Linux users, which made me curious about using Linux as an everyday work tool. My old Windows XP-powered computer was an obstacle to performance, so I started reading about Linux systems (particularly Ubuntu) and decided to try it out as an experiment. Two of my colleagues joined me. Read more

Security: TPM, Yubikey, Holes, Bricking and Uber

  • Trusted Computing
    The Trusted Platform Module on your computer's motherboard could lead to better security for your Linux system. The security of any operating system (OS) layer depends on the security of every layer below it. If the CPU can't be trusted to execute code correctly, there's no way to run secure software on that CPU. If the bootloader has been tampered with, you cannot trust the kernel that the bootloader boots. Secure Boot allows the firmware to validate a bootloader before executing it, but if the firmware itself has been backdoored, you have no way to verify that Secure Boot functioned correctly.
  • Locking the screen when removing a Yubikey

    I have my Yubikey on my key ring, so whenever I leave my computer, I have to remove the Yubikey. So why not lock the screen automatically?

  • Corporate cultural issues hold back secure software development

    The study of over 1,200 IT leaders, conducted by analysts Freeform Dynamics for software company CA Technologies, finds 58 percent of respondents cite existing culture and lack of skills as hurdles to being able to embed security within processes.

  • Stop installing our buggy Spectre CPU firmware fixes, Intel says
  • Uber shrugs off flaw that lets hackers bypass two-factor authentication

    Security researcher Karan Saini found the bug in Uber's two-factor authentication process, which has yet to be rolled out widely to Uber users. The flaw relates to the way an account is authenticated when users log in, meaning hackers [sic] with someone's username and password can drift pass the 2FA with ease.