There may well be a fair few raised eyebrows at SAP with this headline but there is a seriousness attached to it that is worth exploring. I am not the only one who has thought of this. A few years ago, when SAP Mentor/developers were getting a good amount of attention from SAP’s technical folk, the licensing topic was never very far from people’s minds.
When venture capitalists open their wallets and hand out $3.3 million for a seed round, you have to figure the new company has some industry veterans with startup experience, and such is the case with Minio, an open source cloud storage product being built by veterans from Gluster.
Gluster was purchased by Red Hat in 2011 for $136 million.
Free software, like the web, is promoted by corporations when it is useful to their profit margins. Many disparate organisations collaborate and contribute to GNU/Linux and other free and open source software projects, because they are beneficial to their bottom lines and seldom for altruistic reasons. Contributing to GNU/Linux reduces development costs and encourages open standards. open standards are useful because they reduce barriers to entry for technologies that were ‘not invented here’.
Ships in the Arctic and Antarctic are turning to using open source software that helps them navigate near or in sea ice-infested waters. This year, the tools are to be used by the Swedish icebreaker Oden, and at least one Antarctic tourist vessel. The software solution, part of EU-funded research projects, is being developed by European scientists.
Open source licenses and the software programs that go along with them are critical to bringing great minds together to build great technology that spans boundaries while solving real world problems.
I believe open source licensing will continue to play a part in IoT, and I think it has to given the breadth of what IoT is all about. Today many IoT solutions are proprietary as different startups and companies investigate the technology. This is great for pushing the boundaries of what is possible, what will work, and what won't work. However, each of these proprietary solutions is created in silo of each other. They cannot communicate as there are limited standard protocols for this new generation of technology to adopt. This, by definition, ends up limiting the Internet of Things because it's now "Company A's Internet of Things that can talk to each other, but not to Company B's Internet of Things." This is commonly seen in household consumer products today. I have home lighting automation that can't speak to my home security automation that can't speak to my home TV automation.
The times are changing for open/free/libre software and OSes, and what the words mean. Make no mistake: collaborative, truly open projects are powerful sources of innovation and problem solving. The only way proprietary, corporate models can even survive is through sheer bullying and anti-competition tactics, as have been used for years to keep Linux from wider adoption. Now that that is changing, the tactics are changing too.
The latest trend in this area seems to be bringing disinformation and propaganda tactics into the fray.
Open source communities are often recognized for their constructive debate. There is a commonly held philosophy among open source contributors and developers that the best ideas result from disagreement and smart people discussing the merits of decisions and, of course, code. The Node.js and io.js communities are no different. Node.js, for example, is downloaded more than 2 million times a month and is supporting a new generation of network applications. io.js has a strong developer community innovating at the speed of light.
Razer and a small group of other companies have been trying to standardize how VR headsets work, and today the standard is getting an important update. Razer said this morning that OSVR — the Open Source Virtual Reality platform— now supports Android and position tracking. Position tracking, in particular, was a noted absence from OSVR's initial release back in January. It's something that the biggest VR headsets are using, and OSVR had to eventually get on board with it. Android support is a nice update as well, which should allow developers to start creating mobile VR experiences. Hardware support within OSVR will eventually be added to allow Android phones to take the place of a dedicated VR display.
Razer recently launched its Open Source VR intiative, complete with a virtual reality headset to get more developers into the VR game. The initial launch notably lacked Android support and positional tracking hardware, but it's now filed those holes with its latest OSVR Hacker Development Kit (HDK) 1.2. The IR system is included in the kit price, including the 100Mhz IR LED system and a camera that provides 360 degrees of position tracking. Previously, Razer included IR position tracking designs and templates, but didn't supply the hardware.