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OSS

Openwashing: Altair, Microsoft and SmartBear

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5 Open-Source Trends to Watch

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Open-source software use in business has come a long way since the first LinuxWorld Conference & Expo was held in San Jose, California, in March 1999. Linux had been around as an operating system since its invention in 1991 by Finnish-American developer Linus Torvalds, but its use in business computing was just beginning to germinate by the early 2000s.

Fast-forward to 2018. Open-source software powers the internet, much of the world’s cloud computing infrastructure, thousands of companies around the globe and a wide range of technologies, including software used in motor vehicles, consumer devices, in-home systems and more. Channel partners are increasingly involved in open source today, selling services, offering advice and helping clients use open source effectively.

And despite that phenomenal growth, millions of developers continue to devote countless hours to projects. By the end of 2017, more than 24 million developers in more than 200 countries had contributed to some 67 million GitHub project repositories. Many more projects are also used by more developers on code repositories offered by GitLab, Bitbucket, SourceForge and others.

For almost every customer software need, there is likely an open-source project working on the problem.

With all of this activity around the world, some open-source trends could become even more important to partners in the future.

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Create and publish video with open source Kaltura editor

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Video has long been an integral part of education—back in the day, movies shown on huge reel-to-reel projectors were wheeled into classrooms to supplement teaching. Today, even the youngest students demonstrate their knowledge with multimedia video presentations recorded and edited on smartphones or Chromebooks, the "flipped classroom" (where students watch video lectures for homework and do assignments in class) is taking hold in K-12 schools, and professors make live video recordings of their classes available online for motivated students who want to review a lecture they attended (or for lazy learners who can't quite make it to their morning biology class).

Video software-as-a-service provider Kaltura offers a platform that helps businesses, cloud TV providers, and—increasingly—educators make video available to their audiences. The company started in 2006 as a business-to-consumer (B2C) platform for open video collaboration. Of the company's beginnings, Zohar Babin, Kaltura's vice president of platform and growth, says, "we built a platform where people from all around the world could collaborate to create online video shows. The platform would enable anyone to integrate video into their show and have the ability to edit and publish episodes all via the browser."

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The (awesome) economics of open source

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Consider how changed a world we live in today when The Economist openly questions the bulk behavior of capitalists as evil bureaucratic rent-seekers and suggests that perhaps Karl Marx has something to teach after all. But the world remains stubbornly the same, as expert after supposed expert attempts to argue that open source software makes no economic sense and that a company like Red Hat cannot, therefore, exist (the latest example being this article on Medium.com).

Arrgh!

W. Edwards Deming said "experience teaches nothing without theory," so I'm going to explain the theory that I believe underlies the 30+ years of experience I've witnessed in the world of successful open source software. A disclaimer: I didn't develop this theory. Credit goes to Ronald Coase (Nobel Prize in Economics, 1991), Oliver Williamson (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2009), and others. And indeed, I was unaware of this theory when I started Cygnus Support, the world's first company to provide commercial support for free software back in 1989. But I did joke, in all seriousness, that someday an economist would win the Nobel Prize in Economics for explaining the theoretical basis of that company. Open source exceeded expectations yet again when not one, but two economists were so honored. And so I begin with a lengthy paraphrase of Coase's Nobel Prize lecture to set up the theory.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • linuxdev-br: a Linux international conference in Brazil

    linuxdev-br second edition just happened end of last month in Campinas, Brazil. We have put a nice write-up about the conference on the link below. Soon we will start planning next year’s event. Come and join our community!

  • FreeYourGIS: Open Source or Commercial GIS, or both [Ed: Promoting the fiction (FUD) that "Open Source" and "Commercial" are opposites. They should say proprietary, i.e. secret and untrustworthy.]

    I’m a big fan of open source software, including geospatial software, such as QGIS and GeoServer, and it’s not just because it can be used without paying a license fee. The best thing about open source is the community of users that share their code and support one another through shared applications, documentation, tips, and tricks. This is the same spirit that exists in the Pitney Bowes user community (Li360), ESRI’s GeoNET, and the countless other software communities of practice.

  • Another Open-Source IPO Shows the Market Power of "Free" Software
  • LPGPU2 Tools Aiming For Better Power Efficiency On Low-Power GPUs

    With a multi-API video player, as an example, they were able to deliver performance gains up to 25% and energy use reduced up to 25% as well.

    Their tool suite for analysis is based upon AMD's open-source CodeXL program. The code is open-source on GitHub.

Openwashing and EEE

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  • Altair Introduces Open Source and Free Basic Editions for Model-Based Development Offerings

    Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR) announces the release and immediate availability of free Basic Editions of its Model-Based Development suite and its open matrix language (OML) source code. To help innovators everywhere accelerate the time-to-benefits from Model-Based Development (MBD) and to make MBD more open and accessible, Altair is taking the following steps:

    Building upon its strong reputation of providing open-architecture simulation solutions by open-sourcing its open-source computational programming language, OML. Interested users and contributors can download the source code from the OpenMatrix website.

    Introducing Basic Editions of its MBD suite of software products – Altair Compose™, Altair Activate™, and Altair Embed™ – available to everybody at no cost, with free training videos available online via Altair’s open Learning Center. There are no license fees, nor any subscription or maintenance fees.

  • GitHub Foreshadows Big Open Source Announcements at GitHub Universe
  • Ending PHP Support, and The Future Of Hack [Ed: Facebook EEE]
  • Facebook's Last HHVM Release With PHP Support Set For December

    HHVM that started out as Facebook's project for a high-performance PHP implementation and morphed into the basis of their Hack programming language will cease to support PHP.

    As was decided months ago, Facebook developers will be working on HHVM just for Hack and no longer for PHP compatibility. That's being done in part since PHP7, the official PHP implementation has gotten a lot faster and Facebook has meanwhile migrated more of their internal code to be Hack-based.

Free Software in Businesses

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  • Tips to adopt open source enterprise architecture tools

    If you're a CTO and your head of engineering asks, "Can we say that Docker is production-ready now?" your answer would undoubtedly be: "Yes." If you weren't using Docker already, you would be eager to adopt the technology that now forms the basis of many companies' application architecture.

  • Inside Alfresco's open source faction: the Order of the Bee

    When Thomas H Lee Partners moved to acquire information management business Alfresco, many of its open source contributors inside and outside the company were concerned the new leadership might not appreciate the open DNA of the firm. Enter the Order of the Bee.

    While those fears ultimately were not realised - to the relief of Alfresco employees and the wider open source ecosystem that contributes - the faction of open source advocates with their DIY philosophy is an independent symbol of the company's open source core.

    The Order of the Bee is a group separate to Alfresco that is concerned chiefly about the open source Community Edition and advocacy of this in the open source and wider technical community.

  • Sauce Labs coding lead: how open source contribution should work

    Sauce Labs is known for its Continuous Testing (CT) technology and the company is a devoted adherent to open source — it provides a continuous testing cloud that allows developers to verify that their web and mobile native apps work correctly across a variety of devices using the open source testing protocols Selenium and Appium.

    [...]

    As an end note here, Sauce Labs says it’s also about culture and the firm insists that contributions comes all the way from Charles Ramsay, the CEO, down.

    Murchie has said that this also highlights that open source is not just about lines of code. Every expertise that is useful within a company is also useful in the open source community.

  • Open Source Eases AT&T’s Technical Burden

    AT&T’s embrace of the open source community was echoed by Wheelus’ colleague Catherine Lefèvre, associate vice president for Network Cloud and infrastructure at AT&T Labs, who said the carrier’s work with that ecosystem is very collaborative. AT&T has been central to a number of telecom-focused open source projects housed with the Linux Foundation, including the Open Network Automation Project (ONAP), the Akraino Edge Stack project, and the Acumos artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform.

    “It’s not just thinking about yourself, but what needs to be developed beyond just your own needs,” Lefèvre said of working in the open source community.

Is the ‘commons clause’ a threat to open source?

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Legal

There are discussions on various forums regarding this clause with conflicting views. So, I will try to give my views on this.

Opposers of the clause believe a software becomes propriety on applying commons clause. This means that any service created from the original software remains the intellectual property of the original company to sell.

The fear is that this would discourage the community from contributing to open-source projects with a commons clause attached since the new products made will remain with the company. Only they will be able to monetize it if they choose to do so.

On the one hand, companies that make millions of dollars from open source software and giving anything back is not in line with the ethos of open source software. But on the other hand, smaller startups and individual contributors get penalized by this clause too.

What if small companies contribute to a large open source project and want to use the derived product for their growth? They can’t anymore if the commons clause is applied to the project they contributed to. It is also not right to think that a contributor deserves 50% of the profits if a company makes millions of dollars using their open source project.

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HopHacks at Johns Hopkins

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  • HopHacks participants will pursue solutions for cities

    More than 300 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country will gather at Johns Hopkins University this weekend for HopHacks, an annual hackathon event that challenges students to work intensively on a technology- or software-based design.

    Held every fall and spring on the university's Homewood campus, this year's HopHacks features a new design track: the Civic Hack challenges participants to develop apps aimed at improving urban living.

  • HopHacks adds civic track, using open source platform from Paris

    HopHacks is adding a design track focused building technology to improve city life at its fall event.

    The 36-hour student hackathon is scheduled to be held at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus from Sept. 14-16. Registration is already closed, according to its website, but there’s some news relevant to all of Baltimore to pass along. For the first time in the series, the biannual event will include a Civic Hack design track among the options for building, according to the JHU Hub.

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More in Tux Machines

Vista 10: Embrace, Now Extend

  • WLinux: Windows 10 Gets Its Own Exclusive Linux Distro
    Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali are some of the popular Linux distros available out there for Windows Subsystem for Linux. But, most of these distros contain packages that are irrelevant to WSL and lack development tools. How about a distro that is optimized specially for Windows 10?
  • New Linux Distro Created Specifically for Windows 10
    The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows users to run Linux distributions on top of Windows 10, and at this point, there are already several choices for users who want to try out this feature. In addition to Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali, beginning today, Windows 10 adopters are provided with a new Linux distro that’s specifically optimized for the WSL. Called WLinux, this new Linux distro is focused on the packages that are relevant to WSL, as well as the customizations to take full advantage of this Windows 10 feature.

Review: Bodhi Linux 5.0.0

Sometimes when reviewing an operating system it is difficult to separate the question "Is this a good distribution?" from "Is this a good distribution for me?" Bodhi is one of those projects where the answers to these questions are quite different, mostly over matters of style rather than functionality. On a personal level, I don't think I would ever be inclined to use Bodhi myself because I don't like the Moksha/Enlightenment style of desktop. It does a lot of little things differently (not badly, just differently) from other open source desktops and its style is not one I ever seem to find comfortable. This, combined with the streamlined, web-based AppCenter and unusual settings panel, makes Bodhi a distribution which always feels a bit alien to me. Let's put aside my personal style preferences though and try to look at the distribution objectively. Bodhi is trying to provide a lightweight, visually attractive distribution with a wide range of hardware support. It manages to do all of these things and do them well. The distribution is paying special attention to lower-end hardware, including 32-bit systems, and maintains a remarkably small memory footprint given the amount of functionality and eye candy included. Most lightweight distributions sacrifice quite a bit visually in order to provide the lightest interface possible, but Bodhi does a nice job of balancing low resource requirements with an attractive desktop environment. Bodhi is pleasantly easy to install, thanks to the Ubiquity installer, has a minimal collection of software (in the main edition) that allows us to craft our own experience and, for people who need more applications out of the box, there is the AppPack edition. All of this is to say that, for me personally, I spent more time that I would have liked this week searching through settings, trying to get used to how Moksha's panel works, tracking down less popular applications and re-learning when to use right-click versus left-click on the desktop. But, objectively, I would be hard pressed to name another distribution that more elegantly offers a lightweight desktop with visual effects, or that offers such easy access to both legacy and modern hardware support. In short, I think Bodhi Linux is a good distribution for those who want to get the most performance out of their operating system without sacrificing hardware support or the appearance of the interface. There are a few little glitches here and there, but sothing show-stopping and, overall, Bodhi is a well put together distribution. Read more

Android Leftovers

5 ways to play old-school games on a Raspberry Pi

They don't make 'em like they used to, do they? Video games, I mean. Sure, there's a bit more grunt in the gear now. Princess Zelda used to be 16 pixels in each direction; there's now enough graphics power for every hair on her head. Today's processors could beat up 1988's processors in a cage-fight deathmatch without breaking a sweat. But you know what's missing? The fun. You've got a squillion and one buttons to learn just to get past the tutorial mission. There's probably a storyline, too. You shouldn't need a backstory to kill bad guys. All you need is jump and shoot. So, it's little wonder that one of the most enduring popular uses for a Raspberry Pi is to relive the 8- and 16-bit golden age of gaming in the '80s and early '90s. But where to start? Read more