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The Changelog The Changelog #385

Pushing webpack forward

We sit down with Tobias Koppers of webpack fame to talk about his life as a full-time maintainer of one of the most highly used (4 million+ dependent repos!) and influential tools in all of the web.

Things we ask Tobias include: how he got here, how he pays himself, has he ever gotten a raise, what his typical day is like, how he decides what to work on, if he pays attention to the competition, and if he’s ever suffered from burnout.

Design gilli.is

Why designing for open source can be so difficult

After being involved with design and open source projects for many years, I’ve noticed a few common reasons why designing for open source projects can be very difficult. Open source projects (especially FOSS) face a lot of issues that more conventional projects don’t because they lack a clear business model, the structure, and the incentives that for-profit proprietary projects have.

This is a hard problem due to many of the factors outlined in the post, but one worth solving.

The Changelog The Changelog #384

Enter the Matrix

Matthew Hodgson (technical co-founder) joined us to talk about Matrix - an open source project and open standard for secure, decentralized, real-time communication. It’s open source, it’s decentralized, it’s end-to-end-encrypted, and it’s also self-sovereign. Matrix also provides a bridge feature to bridge existing platforms and communication silos into a global open matrix of communication. A recent big win for Matrix was Mozilla’s announcement of switching off its IRC network that it had been using for 22 years and now uses Matrix instead.

The Changelog The Changelog #383

From open core to open source

Frank Karlitschek joined us to talk about Nextcloud - a self-hosted free & open source community-driven productivity platform that’s safe home for all your data. We talk about how Nextcloud was forked from ownCloud, successful ways to run community-driven open source projects, open core vs open source, aligned incentives, and the challenges Nextcloud is facing to increase adoption and grow.

The New Stack Icon The New Stack

The rise of RISC-V

John Cassel from The New Stack lays out the quiet-yet-effective push toward open source hardware. We first heard about RISC-V from Ron Evans on Go Time. He was very excited about its potential, saying:

it’s an open source set of silicon designs, so that you can build your own custom chips the same way that we’ve been able to build our own custom operating systems; either pieces of Linux to create their own Linux distros - we’ll be able to do the same exact things with custom silicon

The Changelog The Changelog #382

The developer's guide to content creation

Stephanie Morillo (content strategist and previously editor-in-chief of DigitalOcean and GitHub’s company blogs) wrote a book titled The Developer’s Guide to Content Creation — it’s a book for developers who want to consistently and confidently generate new ideas and publish high-quality technical content.

We talked with Stephanie about why developers should be writing and sharing their ideas, crafting a mission statement for your blog and thoughts on personal brand, her 4 step recipe for generating content ideas, as well as promotional and syndication strategies to consider for your developer blog.

The Changelog The Changelog #381

The dawn of sponsorware

Caleb Porzio is the creator & maintainer of Livewire, AlpineJS, and more. His latest open source endeavor was announced as “sponsorware”, which means it lived in a private repo (only available to Caleb’s GitHub Sponsors) until he hit a set sponsorship threshold, at which point it was open sourced.

On this episode, we talk through this sponsorware experiment in-depth. We learn how he dreamt it up, how it went (spoiler: very well), and how he had to change his mindset on 2 things in order to make sustainability possible.

The Changelog The Changelog #380

Productionising real-world ML data pipelines

Yetunde Dada from QuantumBlack joins Jerod for a deep dive on Kedro, a workflow tool that helps structure reproducible, scaleable, deployable, robust, and versioned data pipelines. They discuss what Kedro’s all about and how it’s “changing the landscape of data pipelines in Python”, the ins/outs of open sourcing Kedro, and how they found early success by sweating the details. Finally, Jerod asks Yetunde about her passion project: a virtual reality film which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Licensing drat.apache.org

An unobstructive approach to large scale software license analysis

DRAT is a Map Reduce version of RAT using Apache Tika to automatically sort and classify the code base files

A well-named solution to an ever-expanding problem. But what is up with Apache projects and their obsession with trademarks?

A distributed parallelized ( Map Reduce) wrapper around APACHE RAT™️ (Release Audit Tool) that goes far beyond RAT™️ by leveraging Apache OODT™️ to dramatically speed up the process.

The New Stack Icon The New Stack

Why Bruce Perens is proposing "coherent open source"

This is a solid (text) interview with Bruce Perens, former member of the OSI:

… a recognized pioneer of the Open Source movement, 62-year-old Bruce Perens is still thinking about ways to protect the freedoms of software users. “Most people who develop open source don’t have access to lawyers” Perens told the Register last month. “One of the goals for open source was you could use it without having to hire a lawyer. You could put [open source software] on your computer and run it and if you don’t redistribute or modify it, you don’t really have to read the license.”

Bruce suggests we all limit ourselves to just three licenses: AGPL 3, LGPL 3, and Apache 2. He’s a fascinating guy with lots to say on the matter. It’s an exciting time in software licensing, which is a sentence I never expected to write in my life.

The Changelog The Changelog #378

Open source meets climate science

Anders Damsgaard is a climate science researcher working on cryosphere processes at the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. He joined the show to talk with us about the intersection of open source and climate science. Specifically, we discuss a set of shell tools he created called The Scholarref Tools which allow you to perform most of the tasks required to gather the references needed during the writing phase of an academic paper. We also discuss climate science, physics, self hosting Git, and why Anders isn’t present on any “social” networks.

Luis Villa blog.tidelift.com

2019 year in review for open source licenses

2019 was a crazy year for licensing in open source. Luis Villa shared his take at what happened last year…

2019 was the most active year in open source licenses in a very, very long time, with news from China to Silicon Valley, from rawest capitalism to most thoughtful ethics. Given all that, I thought it would be worth summarizing the most interesting events, and sharing some reflections on them.

A stand out to me was on the subject of money…

Inevitably, as open source has “won,” money has become ever more central to how it functions. It turns out it is hard to sustain the entire software industry on a part time basis! Licensing has not played a central role in this discussion, but 2019 gave several examples of how licensing and money are entangled.

The Register Icon The Register

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative (OSI)

Extending from topics around open source licensing in this recent conversation with Adam Jacob and this recent conversation with David Cramer, we’re now at a point where Bruce Perens (OSI co-founder) has quit the OSI saying “we’ve gone the wrong way with licensing” regarding the recently drafted Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL).

The debate over whether or not to approve the license, now in its fourth draft, has proven contentious enough to prompt OSI co-founder Bruce Perens to resign from the organization, for a second time, based on concern that OSI members have already made up their minds.

“Well, it seems to me that the organization is rather enthusiastically headed toward accepting a license that isn’t freedom respecting,” Perens wrote in a missive to the OSI’s license review mailing list on Thursday. “Fine, do it without me, please.”

TechCrunch Icon TechCrunch

Hugging Face raises $15 million to build their open source NLP library 🤗

Congrats to Clément and the Hugging Face team on this milestone!

The company first built a mobile app that let you chat with an artificial BFF, a sort of chatbot for bored teenagers. More recently, the startup released an open-source library for natural language processing applications. And that library has been massively successful.

The library mentioned is called Transformers, which is dubbed as ‘state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing for TensorFlow 2.0 and PyTorch.’

If any of these things ring a bell to you, it may be because Practical AI co-host Daniel Whitenack has been a huge supporter of Hugging Face for a long time and mentions them often on the show. We even had Clément on the show back in March of this year.

The Changelog The Changelog #374

Gerhard goes to KubeCon (part 1)

Changelog’s resident infrastructure expert Gerhard Lazu is on location at KubeCon 2019. This is part one of a two-part series from the world’s largest open source conference. In this episode you’ll hear from event co-chair Bryan Liles, Priyanka Sharma and Natasha Woods from GitLab, and Alexis Richardson from Weaveworks.

Stay tuned for part two’s deep dives in to Prometheus, Grafana, and Crossplane.

The Changelog The Changelog #373

Trending up GitHub's developer charts

In this episode we’re shining our maintainer spotlight on Ovilia. Hailing from Shanghai, China, Ovilia is an up-and-coming developer who contributes to Apache ECharts, maintains Polyvia, which does very cool low-poly image and video processing, and has a sweet personal website, too.

This episode with Ovilia continues our maintainer spotlight series where we dig deep into the life of an open source software maintainer. We’re producing this series in partnership with Tidelift. Huge thanks to Tidelift for making this series possible.

InfoQ Icon InfoQ

"Google v. Oracle" to be decided by Supreme Court

The copyright battle that’s been going on since 2010 between these two tech giants will finally reach its conclusion at the highest court in the land.

Google will have just 30 minutes to present its case; Oracle will have 30 minutes to respond… The two tech giants have agreed to the following filing schedule:

  • January 6, 2020 – Google will submit its brief (i.e. argument why they should prevail).
  • February 12, 2020 - Oracle will submit its response brief.
  • March 13, 2020 - Google will file a reply to Oracle’s brief addressing any opposing points raised.

If Google wins, the case is finally closed. If Oracle wins, the damages will be calculated by a California jury. Estimated damages in this case are in the $8-9 billion range.

Twitter Icon Twitter

Twitter wants an open / decentralized standard for social media

Jack Dorsey:

Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. The goal is for Twitter to ultimately be a client of this standard.

Color me surprised and impressed. My first thought was, “why create something brand new when smart people have been working on open standards for a long time already?” Then I read on:

For social media, we’d like this team to either find an existing decentralized standard they can help move forward, or failing that, create one from scratch. That’s the only direction we at Twitter, Inc. will provide.

Verrry interesting, indeed. What do you think will come of all this?

The Changelog The Changelog #372

Building an open source excavation robot for NASA

Ronald Marrero is a software developer working on NASA’s Artemis program, which aims at landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. How Ron got here is a fascinating story, starting at UCF and winding its way through the Florida Space Institute, working with NASA’s Swamp Works team, and building an open source excavation robot.

On this episode Ron tells us how it all went down and shares what he learned along the way.

Matt Asay infoworld.com

How open source changed everything — again

While many of us writing our year-end wrap-ups, Matt Asay saunters into the room, kindly requests that we “hold his beer”, and proceeds to write his decade-end wrap-up.

We’re about to conclude another decade of open source, and what a long, strange trip it has been. Reading back through predictions made in 2009, no one had the foggiest clue that GitHub would change software development forever (and for everyone), or that Microsoft would go from open source pariah to the world’s largest contributor, or a host of other dramatic changes that became the new normal during a decade that was anything but normal.

We are all open sourcerors now as we round out the decade. Let’s look back at some of the most significant open source innovations that got us here.

The Changelog The Changelog #371

Re-licensing Sentry

David Cramer joined the show to talk about the recent license change of Sentry to the Business Source License from a BSD 3-clause license. We talk about the details that triggered this change, the specifics of the BSL license and its required parameters, the threat to commercial open source products like Sentry, his concerns for the “open core” model, and what the future of open source might look like in light of protections-oriented source-available licenses like the BSL becoming more common.

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