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OSS

Openwashing With APIs

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OSS
  • Why libraries need to get with apps and APIs

    As an open education supporter, I've been following the progress of FOLIO, a community effort built around the idea that "the future of libraries is open" (a phrase that also forms the group's acronym, FOLIO). FOLIO is a partnership between libraries and vendors that is developing an open source library services platform (LSP). FOLIO's platform is built on the idea that library management software should be flexible, modular, extensible, modern, and affordable, and it's gathered a number of partners and contributors to help make that vision a reality.

    These partners have grown to include leading academic research libraries including the Open Library Environment (OLE) which is part of the Open Library Foundation, which also hosts the FOLIO project; library and research services provider EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO); library software and services providers including Index Data, Stacks, Qulto and @CULT; and library IT solutions and support provider ByWater Solutions.

  • Open identity APIs avoid lock-in
  • Open Source API to Harmonise Government ID Systems

    A staggering 1.1 billion people worldwide cannot officially prove their identity, according to the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Global Dataset.

    It’s an issue that can result in real challenges securing finance and healthcare, to name just two examples. But governments, particularly in emerging markets, face siloed data repositories and fear of vendor lock-in.

Cities and companies combine for open source

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OSS

An international alliance of market leaders from across the smart city, smart energy and IoT network sectors have announced plans to develop an open source, multi-transport wireless networking technology and data model with the aim of eliminating dependency on proprietary solutions.

Smart Internet of Things (IoT) projects for managing streetlights, parking, traffic, waste collection, power grids, metering and other applications are introduced continuously by cities or utilities around the world.

But according to the newly formed uCIFI Alliance, despite this proliferation of projects, network owners face a hurdle to either integrate multiple proprietary systems and APIs or deal with a dependence on single-source suppliers for network hardware or software layers.

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Events: LF Events, The Perl Conference 2018, and OSCON (Open Source Convention)

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OSS
  • Last Chance to Speak at Open Source Summit and ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe – Submit by July 1

    Submit a proposal to speak at Open Source Summit Europe & ELC + OpenIoT Summit Europe, taking place October 22-24, 2018, in Edinburgh, UK, and share your knowledge and expertise with 2,000+ open source technologists and community leaders. Proposals are being accepted through 11:59pm PDT, Sunday, July 1.

  • The Perl Conference 2018 Session Videos Are Now Online

    Taking place last week in Salt Lake City was The Perl Conference 2018, the annual conference devoted to this popular programming language. There were around 300 Perl developers in attendance and a host of presentations by key Perl developers like Larry Wall.

    If this is your first time hearing about The Perl Conference, you can learn more about the event via their conference site.

  • Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Open Source at OSCON

    OSCON (Open Source Convention) has been the focal point of the open source movement. The inception of OSCON came from an event focused on Perl and grew to cover the other scripting languages. It has since evolved into the destination for all things free and open. The event has also provided a platform for the launch of major initiatives such as Kubernetes 1.0 and OpenStack—both announced at OSCON.

    This is a special year for OSCON, as the event will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary. OSCON will take place in Portland, Oregon, with training and tutorials happening July 16-17, and the conference happening July 18-19.

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

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OSS
  • Jos Poortvliet: Working at Nextcloud

    I've been around in communities like KDE, openSUSE, Mandrake/Mandriva and others... and various open source and closed companies. Seen some do a good job. Seen others be mismanaged. This one: the most fun. Serious.

    Working at Nextcloud is special. For one, we're a distributed company. Is it hard? Well, yes and no. Working from home is great with such a motivated team with very little management overhead and good communication. Our company is entirely built on it, that is why it works.

    [...]

    But we connect in person: roughly every second month, at a company-wide meeting in a single place, usually Stuttgart, for a full week of coding and having a great time. And once a year we go to Berlin for our conference, happening the last week of August! All those meetings are open, with often lots of community members participating in the whole process of designing and deciding around our software.

    And yes, the sales people join there, too. I have NEVER worked in a company where the sales people, the marketing team and the engineers were so good with each other. Respect between these three departments is extremely rare, as I'm sure every one of my readers knows from experience.

  • Bentley delivers web-based open source geospatial front-end to leading road and rail asset management system
  • Adjust Unveils Open Source Performance Benchmarking Tool for App Publishers
  • Adjust launches open source performance benchmarking for app publishers
  • How to build a professional network when you work in a bazaar
  • Top 6 Arduino robots of 2018 (so far)

    Since its development in the early 2000s, Arduino products like the Uno and Nano have revolutionized what people can make at home with inexpensive and easy-to-use components. Robotics and automation are no longer solely in the realm of engineers; anyone willing to spend the time to learn how these devices work can create their own inventions.

    This has led to an influx of practical and innovative projects, and the technology to share them via video and social media has only accelerated the growth. We may be only halfway through 2018, but we’ve already seen a wide variety of innovative projects.

    Here are a handful of our favorites so far—we can only imagine what else we’ll see in 2018!

Article 13 – An Existential Threat to Free Software

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OSS
Legal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a letter from more than 70 leaders in the emerging meshed society (including me) which criticises Article 13 of the European Union’s proposed new copyright regulations. This Article starts from the assumption that the only role of an individual is to consume copyrighted works and hence deduces that any act of publication on the part of an individual must be infringing the copyrights of a corporation unless proven otherwise. The text doesn’t state things that clearly, but the effect is unmistakeable. It’s as if a politician was proposing to ban syringes because addicts use them, without considering that hospitals do too.

The regulations go on to use the power of “safe harbour” – an increasingly popular legislative device that grants delay or immunity from prosecution as a party to an offence to a company if it can demonstrate it has taken specified actions. For example. it’s “safe harbour” that induces YouTube to take down your videos when a copyright holder asserts the bird song in the background is in fact a song they published. Getting that video re-posted involves you, an individual, taking on terrifying potential liability in the event the copyright holder litigates so YouTube can be absolved of it.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Open source communities and standards bodies are starting to hit their stride

    Open source communities and standards organizations, are, for the most part, starting to march in unison across the telecom industry.

    The push to hybrid networks using network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) initially led to fractured ecosystems as service providers and the legacy vendors pondered how to move to a software, cloud-based world while still serving millions of customers without any noticeable hiccups.

    In some cases, carriers took proprietary solutions from single vendors in order to implement some sort of virtualization on their network architectures, which led to vendor lock in. Also, some legacy vendors dug their heels in when it came to losing hardware-based revenue in the new world of SDN and NFV.

  • Open Source Project Particl Partners with Changelly
  • Another Older ASUS Board Now Works With Coreboot, Can Be Found Refurbished $50~70

    The ASUS P8H61-M PRO is now the latest motherboard working with mainline Coreboot.

    Landing in Coreboot this weekend is support for the P8H61-M PRO. The P8H61-M PRO with the H61 B3 revision chipset dates back to the original Sandy Bridge LGA-1155 days. This ASUS board is a micro-ATX design with USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, and the various other usual ASUS extras.

  • How to Unit Test WebExtensions

    We all know that unit-testing is a good software engineering practice, but sometimes the hassle of setting up the testing environment will keep us from doing it in the first place. After Firefox 57, WebExtension has become the new standard for writing add-ons for Firefox. How do you set up everything to start testing your WebExtension-based add-ons?

    In the earlier format of the Firefox add-ons, namely the Add-on SDK (a.k.a. Jetpack), there is a built-in command for unit-test (jpm test). But for WebExtension, as far as I know, doesn’t have such thing built in. Luckily all the technology used in WebExtension is still standard web technology, so we can use off-the-shelf JavaScript unit-testing frameworks.

  • Toyota donates $100,000 for open-source self-driving simulator

    Toyota plunked down a good chunk of money to get further along with CARLA, which sounds a little creepy but is actually a worthy cause.

    Toyota Research Institute (TRI) announced this week that it will donate $100,000 to the Computer Vision Center to further development of CARLA (Car Learning to Act), an open-source simulator for autonomous driving. CARLA's code is hosted on Github, in case you're interested in poking around.

  • Japan NetBSD Users Group 20th annual Meeting and BoF 2018
  • Booting OpenBSD kernels in EFI mode with QEMU
  • Software Design for Persistent Memory Systems

    Howard Chu’s work has spanned a wide range of computing topics, including most of the GNU utilities, networking protocols and tools, kernel and filesystem drivers, and focused on maximizing the useful work from a system. He founded Symas Corp. with 5 other partners and serves as its CTO. His current focus is database oriented, covering LDAP, LMDB, and other non-relational database technologies.

  • Bitcoin Car Talk: Mike’s Car Stalled by Stallman

    HUMOR: Are you planning to watch Mikeinspace’s latest Bitcoin Car Talk interview? Then shame on you — free (as in speech) software advocate Richard Stallman does not approve of your viewing habits. Wait… Stallman is telling you not to watch a video where he himself tells you why you shouldn’t watch it? We’re confused. Mike’s confused. Watch the full episode to find out why. Or don’t. Hmm, we could have a problem here.

  • Open source sustainability

    No one wants open source to disappear, or for maintainers to burnout. Yet, there is a strong cultural force against commercial interests in the community. Money is corrupting, and dampens the voluntary spirit of open source efforts. More pragmatically, there are vast logistical challenges with managing money on globally distributed volunteer teams that can make paying for work logistically challenging.

  • SiFive Releases Smaller, Lower Power RISC-V Cores

    Today, SiFive has released two new cores designed for the lower end of computing. This adds to the company’s existing portfolio of microcontrollers and SoCs based on the Open RISC-V ISA. Over the last two years, SiFive has introduced a number of cores based on the RISC-V ISA, an Open Architecture ISA that gives anyone to design and develop a microcontroller or microprocessor platform. These two new cores fill out the low-power end of SiFive’s core portfolio.

    The two new cores included in the announcement are the SiFive E20 and E21, both meant for low-power applications, and according to SiFive presentations, they’re along the lines of an ARM Cortex-M0+ and ARM Cortex-M4. This is a core — it’s not a chip yet — but since the introduction of SiFive’s first microcontrollers, many companies have jumped on the RISC-V bandwagon. Western Digital, for example, has committed to using the RISC-V architecture in SoCs and as controllers for hard drive, SSDs, and NASes.

  • New Google Podcasts app: who needs data portability anyway?

    Google introduced a new app for podcasts this week called Google Podcasts. Unlike most other podcast apps that are built on open standards; Google focuses on “content discovery” and curation, and a complete lack of interoperability and data portability.

    You might not thing about podcasts in these terms, but the podcasting ecosystem is built on open web standards where any listener can subscribe to any podcast. Anyone can publish a podcast and there is a diverse ecosystem of tools for podcast publishing. This openness is parts of what makes podcasts so great and why there are so many different podcasts to choose from.

    Google have decided to take their app in another direction. Before I get into that, I’d like to quickly talk about the “new app” itself.

Events: DebCamp, openSUSE Conference, OSSummit Japan 2018

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OSS
  • Yes! I am going to...

    Of course, DebCamp is not a vacation, so we expect people that take part of DebCamp to have at least a rough sketch of activities. There are many, many things I want to tackle, and experience shows there's only time for a fraction of what's planned.

  • Dates, Location set for openSUSE Conference 2019

    The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the location and dates for the 2019 openSUSE Conference.

    The openSUSE Conference 2019 will return to the Z-Bau in Nuremberg, Germany, and be Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26.

    Planning for the 2019 conference will begin this summer and community members are encouraged to take part in the planning of the conference through the organizing team. The openSUSE Board proposed the idea of having organizing team for openSUSE Conferences last month at oSC18. An email about the organizing team was sent out to the openSUSE-Project mailing list.

  • OSSummit Japan 2018

    Some Debian developers (Jose from Microsoft and Michael from credativ) gave a talk during this event.

Will Microsoft’s Embrace Smother GitHub?

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Microsoft
OSS

Microsoft has had an adversarial relationship with the open-source community. The company viewed the free Open Office software and the Linux operating system—which compete with Microsoft Office and Windows, respectively—as grave threats.

In 2001 Windows chief Jim Allchin said: “Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer.” That same year CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer.” Microsoft attempted to use copyright law to crush open source in the courts.

When these tactics failed, Microsoft decided if you can’t beat them, join them. It incorporated Linux and other open-source code into its servers in 2014. By 2016 Microsoft had more programmers contributing code to GitHub than any other company.

The GitHub merger might reflect Microsoft’s “embrace, extend and extinguish” strategy for dominating its competitors. After all, GitHub hosts not only open-source software and Microsoft software but also the open-source projects of other companies, including Oracle, IBM, and Amazon Web Services.

With GitHub, Microsoft could restrict a crucial platform for its rivals, mine data about competitors’ activities, target ads toward users, or restrict free services. Its control could lead to a sort of surveillance of innovative activity, giving it a unique, macro-scaled insight into software development.

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Why Open Source Matters to Alibaba

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Interviews
OSS

At present, Alibaba has more than 150 open source projects. We work on the open source projects with the aim to contribute to the industry and solve real-life problems. We share our experiences with the rest of the open source enthusiasts.

As a long-time contributor to various other open source projects, Alibaba and Alibaba Cloud have fostered a culture that encourages our teams to voluntarily contribute to various open source projects, either by sharing experiences or helping others to solve problems. Sharing and contributing to the community altogether is in the DNA of Alibaba’s culture.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • Take your computer on the go with Portable Apps

    Portable Apps lets you access all your go-to apps anywhere, anytime—regardless of whether you are using your own computer or not.

    With more than 400 apps, 980 million downloads, and available in 55 languages, Portable Apps allows you to access your favorites via a USB flash drive, a cloud folder, or just about any portable storage device. Portable Apps is like having your computer without having your computer.

    Portable Apps is released under the GPL and MIT licenses, and it is compatible with Windows XP through 10, or Linux and MacOS via Wine or CrossOver. Developed by John T. Haller, a computer science major at Binghamton University and the developer of Portable Firefox, Portable Apps launched in November 2006 and has been in development since 2004. The current version, 15.0.2, was released on May 17, 2018. Plus, Portable Apps is supported by 200 volunteers and 220,000 community members.

  • 7 tips for promoting your project and community on Twitter
  • Software Heritage Archive Goes Live

    The importance of preserving software, and in particular open source software, is something I've been writing about for nearly a decade.

  • How Tech Enterprises Handle Big Data On Open Source And Ensure User Privacy
  • Cheaper textbooks and better access for higher ed students

    Recently at the Texas Linux Fest, Ross Reedstrom introduced me to OpenStax. I've heard of a lot of open educational resources (OER) but not this particular one. It's certainly a project I'm going to follow now.

    OpenStax was founded by Rice University engineering professor Richard Baraniuk in 1999 under the name Connexions. It started like most open source projects: To scratch an itch and address a problem. In this case, Rice University wanted to do something on the web related to education. A grad student suggested that they take the model used to develop Linux and apply it to create textbooks, and Connexions was born. They decided on a license that allowed for reuse with attribution—in essence, this was the first use of the Creative Commons license even before the license existed.

  • MIT to conduct an environmental scan of open source publishing

    The MIT Press has announced the award of a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct a landscape analysis and code audit of all known open source (OS) authoring and publishing platforms. By conducting this environmental scan, the MIT Press will be providing a comprehensive and critical analysis of OS book production and hosting systems to the scholarly publishing community.

    As noted by Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press, “Open source book production and publishing platforms are a key strategic issue for not-for-profit scholarly publishers, and the wide-spread utilization of these systems would foster greater institutional and organizational self-determination. The MIT Press has long been a leader in digital publishing. We are very grateful for the generous support from The Mellon Foundation for this project.”

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