Open Source Icon

Open Source

All things open source.
294 Stories
All Topics

The Changelog The Changelog #515

ANTHOLOGY — Advocating for and supporting open source

This week we’re taking you to the hallway track of All Things Open 2022 in Raleigh, NC. Let’s set the stage, here’s what we like do when we go to conferences — we setup our podcast studio at our booth where all the other vendors are and we talk to everyone we can. We give out t-shirts, stickers, pins, high fives…and it’s a blast.

Today’s anthology episode from ATO features: Arun Gupta (VP and GM of Open Ecosystem Initiatives at Intel), long-time friend Chad Whitacre (Head of Open Source at Sentry), and Ricardo Sueiras (Principal Advocate in Open Source at AWS).

The common denominator for each of these conversations is advocating for and supporting open source. Special thanks to Todd Lewis and team for inviting us to come back to ATO. We enjoyed meeting long time fans and new ones too.

Open Source github.com

Openblocks is an open source alternative to Retool

As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the software world, an open source alternative is the sincerest form of imitation. Well, Retool (a Changelog sponsor) can consider themselves flattered, because Openblocks sets out to do openly what they’ve been doing proprietarily. Here’s why:

It’s cumbersome to create a single app. You had to design user interfaces, write code in multiple languages and frameworks, and understand how all of that code works together.

Low-code/No-code platforms are fast to get started with but quickly become unmaintainable and inflexible. This creates more problems than it solves.

Retool-like solutions are great for their simplicity and flexibility, but they can also be limited in different ways compared to frameworks like React/Vue.

Openblocks wants to take a step forward. More specifically, Openblocks is

  • An all-in-one IDE to create internal or customer-facing apps.
  • A place to create, build and share building blocks of web applications.
  • A domain-specific language that UI-configurable block is the first-class citizen.

Gaming github.com

Open source game console/engine built by teenagers

This is so cool! Shout out to Zach Latta (Founder of Hack Club) for giving me a call today to tell me about Sprig — this awesome new Hack Club project is built by teenagers for teenagers.

Sprig is a game console where every user is a creator. It can only be obtained by building a tile-based game in the web-based game editor and shipping it in the community gallery. It’s made by Hack Club.

… Fall of 2022, we are giving a Sprig (valued at over $100 in components alone) to every teenage hacker that successfully shares a game they create in our community gallery.

Open source game console/engine built by teenagers

Matthew Butt­erick githubcopilotlitigation.com

We've filed a lawsuit challenging GitHub Copilot

A couple weeks back, Adam logged some news that linked to githubcopilotinvestigation.com. Well, There’s a new website now: githubcopilotlitigation.com

Matthew Butterick:

By train­ing their AI sys­tems on pub­lic GitHub repos­i­to­ries (though based on their pub­lic state­ments, pos­si­bly much more) we con­tend that the defen­dants have vio­lated the legal rights of a vast num­ber of cre­ators who posted code or other work under cer­tain open-source licenses on GitHub. Which licenses? A set of 11 pop­u­lar open-source licenses that all require attri­bu­tion of the author’s name and copy­right, includ­ing the MIT license, the GPL, and the Apache license.

The Changelog The Changelog #511

The terminal as a platform

This week we’re talking with Will McGugan about using the terminal to not just build software, but also to deliver software. Will is a few months into his journey of building Textualize, a company he started around his open source projects Textual and Rich. When combined Textual and Rich give you a Python framework to build beautiful full-featured TUIs for the Terminal. We talk with Will about his big idea of the terminal as a platform, how he got here from first principles, what it takes to build Textual apps and whether or not they can replace not so good web admins, building, launching, and distributing Textual apps, why Python was his choiice of language, the big picture and business model behind Textualize, and why he’s building this as open source and in public.

Matthew Butt­erick githubcopilotinvestigation.com

GitHub Copilot Investigation

Is GitHub Copilot an AI parasite trained in the realms of fair use on pub­lic code any­where on the inter­net? Or, is it a much needed automation layer to all the reasons we open source in the first place?

When I first wrote about Copi­lot, I said “I’m not wor­ried about its effects on open source.” In the short term, I’m still not wor­ried. But as I reflected on my own jour­ney through open source—nearly 25 years—I real­ized that I was miss­ing the big­ger pic­ture. After all, open source isn’t a fixed group of peo­ple. It’s an ever-grow­ing, ever-chang­ing col­lec­tive intel­li­gence, con­tin­u­ally being renewed by fresh minds. We set new stan­dards and chal­lenges for each other, and thereby raise our expec­ta­tions for what we can accom­plish.

Amidst this grand alchemy, Copi­lot inter­lopes. Its goal is to arro­gate the energy of open-source to itself. We needn’t delve into Microsoft’s very check­ered his­tory with open source to see Copi­lot for what it is: a par­a­site.

The legal­ity of Copi­lot must be tested before the dam­age to open source becomes irrepara­ble. That’s why I’m suit­ing up.

What are your thoughts on this investigation and “poten­tial law­suit” against GitHub Copi­lot?

The Changelog The Changelog #508

A guided tour through ID3 esoterica

This week we turn the mics on ourselves, kind of. Lars Wikman joins the show to give us a guided tour through ID3 esoterica and the shiny new open source Elixir library he developed for us. We talk about what ID3 is, its many versions, what it aims to be and what it could have been, how our library project got started, all the unique features and failed dreams of the ID3v2 spec, how ID3v2 and Podcasting 2.0 are solving the problem differently, and how all of this maps back to us giving you (our listeners) a better experience while listening to our shows.

JS Party JS Party #245

Launching Platformatic DB 🚀

Patformatic co-founders Matteo Collina & Luca Maraschi join Amal & Chris to discuss their just-announced (and we mean just announced) open source database tool: Platformatic DB!

It’s a daemon that can turn any PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, or SQLite database into a REST and GraphQL endpoint. What makes it special is that it allows massive customization thanks to the flexibility of Fastify plugins.

Hardware spectrum.ieee.org

MNT's Reform is an open source PC that fits in your pocket

MNT Research… is going small for its next project. The MNT Pocket Reform has a seven-inch screen with a clamshell design that, when closed, will be less than five centimeters thick. If its perky purple facade looks a bit retro, that’s no surprise; the Pocket’s inspirations read like a ‘greatest hits’ list of pocketable computers.

They’re taking open source seriously:

MNT’s open-source promise is not limited to an open source operating system or select internal components The Pocket Reform, as with MNT’s full-size Reform laptop, will provide mainboard schematics, 3D models for physical components, and open source drivers, among other things.

Coming soon to a crowd fund near you.

MNT's Reform is an open source PC that fits in your pocket

iliana etaoin iliana.fyi

There is no “software supply chain”

iliana etaoin:

There is a lot of attention on securing “software supply chains.” The usual approach is that you want to try to avoid security issues in your underlying components from impacting customers of your product; and when they do, you want to be able to respond quickly to fix the issue. The people who care about this class of problem are often software companies. The class of components that are most concerning these companies are ones where unpaid hobbyist maintainers wrote something for themselves with no maintenance plan.

This is where the supply chain metaphor — and it is just that, a metaphor — breaks down…

I think we all know this intrinsically, but it’s easy to forget. iliana goes on to describe feelings I’ve heard expressed by a few maintainers recently:

I just want to publish software that I think is neat so that other hobbyists can use and learn from it, and I otherwise want to be left the hell alone. I should be allowed to decide if something I wrote is “done”. The focus on securing the “software supply chain” has made it even more likely that releasing software for others to use will just mean more work for me that I don’t benefit from. I reject the idea that a concept so tenuous can be secured in the first place.

The Changelog The Changelog #506

Stable Diffusion breaks the internet

This week on The Changelog we’re talking about Stable Diffusion, DALL-E, and the impact of AI generated art. We invited our good friend Simon Willison on the show today because he wrote a very thorough blog post titled, “Stable Diffusion is a really big deal.”

You may know Simon from his extensive contributions to open source software. Simon is a co-creator of the Django Web framework (which we don’t talk about at all on this show), he’s the creator of Datasette, a multi-tool for exploring and publishing data (which we do talk about on this show)…most of all Simon is a very insightful thinker, which he puts on display here on this episode. We talk from all the angles of this topic, the technical, the innovation, the future and possibilities, the ethical and the moral – we get into it all. The question is, will this era be known as the initial push back to the machine?

The Changelog The Changelog #505

Typesense is truly open source search

This week we’re joined by Jason Bosco, co-founder and CEO of Typesense — the open source Algolia alternative and the easier to use ElasticSearch alternative. For years we’ve used Algolia as our search engine, so we come to this conversation with skin in the game and the scars to prove it. Jason shared how he and his co-founder got started on Typesense, why and how they are “all in” on open source, the options and the paths developers can take to add search to their project, how Typesense compares to ElasticSearch and Algolia, he walks us through getting started, the story of Typesense Cloud, and why they have resisted Venture Capital.

Nitasha Tiku washingtonpost.com

Signal hired one of Big Tech’s sharpest critics and wants your donations

Nitasha Tiku writes on The Washington Post:

The only way to escape technology that makes money off your data is by paying for products that don’t, Whittaker says. An alternative to data collection only exists if the community of people who rely on it “kick in a little bit,” she said.

Signal is one of the few successful tech products, like the Firefox browser, led by vociferous critics of Big Tech. The app offers end-to-end encryption on group text, voice and video chat, does not collect or store sensitive information and does not store backups of your data on its servers — a viable alternative to relentless data gathering at the center of tech industry critiques.

In the world of messaging (today), you have behemoths like WhatsApp and iMessage, and they are “backed by some of the richest companies in the world.” And then there’s Signal. It’s run by a nonprofit and pretty much operates as the exact opposite — they are committed to end-to-end encryption, does not collect or store sensitive information, or backups of user data.

This post from Nitasha Tiku on The Washington Post gives a detailed backstory on Meredith Whittaker, former Google manager, and her arrival to Signal as President (and board member since 2020), as well as why Signal “hopes to support itself with small donations from millions of users.”

The Changelog The Changelog #502

Fireside chat with Jack Dorsey ♻️

This week we’re re-broadcasting a very special episode of Founders Talk. Adam was invited by our friends at Square to host a fireside chat with Jack Dorsey as the featured finale of their annual developer conference called Square Unboxed. Jack is one of the most prolific CEOs out there. He’s a hacker turned CEO, often working at the very edge of what’s to come. He’s focused on what the future has to offer and an innovator at scale. He’s also a Bitcoin maximalist and has positioned himself and Block long on Bitcoin.

GitLab dissociatedpress.net

GitLab’s the latest punching bag for entitled users

This post reacting to other people’s reaction to GitLab’s recent free tier changes starts kinda rant-y:

Lots of users expect to get things for free, forever, from for-profit companies that don’t answer to them. Those users contribute almost nothing1 to the bottom line for the for-profit companies, and actively drive up costs for them. Yet, somehow, with no skin in the game, they feel entitled to complain and badmouth the companies because they’re not getting as much value for their monthly contribution of nothing at all.

But it ends with a pretty strong call to build things for ourselves:

Create a business case, get the funding, stand up the infrastructure, and pay people to work on it rather than expecting for-profit companies to prioritize (what you see as) the public good over profit. Whether that’s how things should be or not, it is how they are and that isn’t going to change as long as the only movement in the direction of change is people hectoring for-profit companies to do better.

The Changelog The Changelog #499

Long live RSS!

This week we’re joined again by Ben Ubois and we’re talking about RSS. Yes, RSS…the tech that never seems to die and yet so many of us rely on it daily. Ben is the creator of Feedbin, which is self-described as “a nice place to read on the web.” Ben is also the maker of a new app on iOS for people who like podcasts. It’s called Airshow and you can download it at airshow.fm. Ben catches us up on the state of Feedbin, we discuss the nine lives of RSS and its foundational utility for the indie web, the possibilities and short-comings of RSS, we get deep in the weeds on the Podcast 2.0 spec and the work being done on <podcast:chapters>, and Ben also shares the details on his new app called Airshow.

The Changelog The Changelog #496

Oxide builds servers (as they should be)

Today we have a special treat: Bryan Cantrill, co-founder and CTO of Oxide Computer! You may know Bryan from his work on DTrace. He worked at Sun for many years, then Oracle, and finally Joyent before starting Oxide.

We dig deep into their company’s mission/principles/values, hear how it it all started with a VC’s blank check that turned out to be anything but, and learn how Oxide’s integrated approach to hardware & software sets them up to compete with the established players by building servers as they should be.

The Changelog The Changelog #495

Actual(ly) opening up

Adam and Jerod are joined once again by James Long. He was on the podcast five years ago discussing the surprise success of Prettier, an opinionated code formatter that’s still in use to this day. This time around we’re going deep on Actual, his personal finance system James built as a business for over 4 years before recently opening it up and making it 100% free.

Has James given up on the business? Or will this move Actual(ly) breathe new life into a piece of software that’s used and beloved by many? Tune in to find out.

  0:00 / 0:00