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"Open source software can potentially increase EU’s GDP by over $100 billion"

The the OpenForum Europe think tank conducted a study to highlight the potential benefit of embracing open source:

To analyze the impact of open source software in terms of economics, OFE engaged economists who had prior experience illustrating the effect of technology in tangible terms.

Here’s how they calculated said benefit:

the economists estimated that in 2018 there were at least 260,000 open source contributors in the EU. Together they produced a volume of code equivalent to the full-time work of 16,000 developers. In terms of economics, these contributions stood between €65 billion ($77.8 billion) and €95 billion ($113.7 billion).

Based on this, the OFE report concluded that even an increase of 10% could potentially increase the EU’s GDP by almost €100 billion ($120 billion) per year.

Are these numbers 100% accurate? No. Are they provocative when considering open source impact? I think so.

Sam Tuke lightmeter.io

Why we trademark open source software and you should too

In theory, trademarks protect freedom. In practice, trademarks prevent abuse.

Neither the terms “Open Source” nor “Free Software” are themselves trademarked, which unfortunately allows anyone to use them to describe anything – companies regularly exploit this to undermine public understanding of the freedoms which the words originally conveyed. This is why we are using trademarks early and often in Lightmeter — to avoid problems for users and ourselves later on.

The Changelog The Changelog #429

Community perspectives on Elastic vs AWS

This week on The Changelog we’re talking about the recent falling out between Elastic and AWS around the relicensing of Elasticsearch and Kibana. Like many in the community, we have been watching this very closely.

Here’s the tldr for context. On January 21st, Elastic posted a blog post sharing their concerns with Amazon/AWS misleading and confusing the community, saying “They have been doing things that we think are just NOT OK since 2015 and it has only gotten worse.” This lead them to relicense Elasticsearch and Kibana with a dual license, a proprietary license and the Sever Side Public License (SSPL). AWS responded two days later stating that they are “stepping up for a truly open source Elasticsearch,” and shared their plans to create and maintain forks of Elasticsearch and Kibana based on the latest ALv2-licensed codebases.

There’s a ton of detail and nuance beneath the surface, so we invited a handful of folks on the show to share their perspective. On today’s show you’ll hear from: Adam Jacob (co-founder and board member of Chef), Heather Meeker (open-source lawyer and the author of the SSPL license), Manish Jain (founder and CTO at Dgraph Labs), Paul Dix (co-founder and CTO at InfluxDB), VM (Vicky) Brasseur (open source & free software business strategist), and Markus Stenqvist (everyday web dev from Sweden).

Daniel Stenberg daniel.haxx.se

What if GitHub is the devil?

Daniel Stenberg answers critics who believe curl shouldn’t be hosted on GitHub (for various reasons) by asking himself the question: what happens if GitHub “takes the ball and goes home”?

No matter which service we use, there’s always a risk that they will turn off the light one day and not come back – or just change the rules or licensing terms that would prevent us from staying there. We cannot avoid that risk. But we can make sure that we’re smart about it, have a contingency plan or at least an idea of what to do when that day comes.

Whether or not you agree with Daniel’s GitHub-related conclusions, this statement is 💯% true and we should all be doing similar analyses before adopting any 3rd-party offering.

The Changelog The Changelog #428

Open source civilization

This week we’re talking about open source industrial machines. We’re joined by Marcin Jakubowski from Open Source Ecology where they’re developing open source industrial machines that can be made for a fraction of commercial costs, and they’re sharing their designs online for free. The goal is to create an efficient open source economy that increases innovation through open collaboration. We talk about what it takes to build a civilization from scratch, the Open Building Institute and their Eco-Building Toolkit, the right to repair movement, DIY maker culture, and how Marcin plans to build 10,000 micro factories worldwide where anyone can come and make.

Ben Johnson github.com

Open source, but closed to contributions

Maintainer burden is real.

As the author of BoltDB, I found that accepting and maintaining third party patches contributed to my burn out and I eventually archived the project. … Small contributions typically required hours of my time to properly test and validate them.

I am grateful for community involvement, bug reports, & feature requests. I do not wish to come off as anything but welcoming, however, I’ve made the decision to keep this project closed to contributions for my own mental health and long term viability of the project.

The simple solution is for GitHub to allow repo owners to restrict which users can interact with the pull requests feature for a given repo. This would be a great usage of the teams feature already in place.

The Changelog The Changelog #427

The rise of Rocky Linux

This week we’re talking with Gregory Kurtzer about Rocky Linux. Greg is the founder of the CentOS project, which recently shifted its strategy and has the Linux community scrambling. Rocky Linux aims to continue where the CentOS project left off — to provide a free and open source community-driven enterprise grade Linux operating system. We discuss the history of the CentOS project, how it fell under Red Hat’s control, the recent shift in Red Hat’s strategy with CentOS, and how Rocky Linux is designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Drupal dri.es

Happy 20th birthday, Drupal! 🎂

Drupal creator Dries Buytaert with lots of reason to celebrate:

On January 15, 2001, exactly 20 years ago, I released Drupal 1.0.0 into the world. I was a 22 years old, and just finished college. At the time, I had no idea that Drupal would someday power 1 in 35 websites, and impact so many people globally.

Quite the accomplishment. Congrats to Dries and the entire Drupal community!

In this post, he also shares why he’s still working on the project and details 3 birthday wishes for Drupal:

  1. Never stop evolving
  2. Continue our growing focus on ease-of-use
  3. Economic systems to sustain and scale Open Source

Those sound like noble wishes to me. 💯

The Changelog The Changelog #424

You can FINALLY use JSHint for evil

Today we welcome Mike Pennisi into our Maintainer Spotlight. This is a special flavor of The Changelog where we go deep into a maintainer’s story. Mike is the maintainer of JSHint which, since its creation in 2011, was encumbered by a license that made it very hard for legally-conscious teams to use the project. The license was the widely-used MIT Expat license, but it included one additional clause: “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.” Because of this clause, many teams could not use JSHint.

Today’s episode with Mike covers the full gamut of JSHint’s journey and how non-free licensing can poison the well of free software.

The Changelog The Changelog #423

Coding without your hands

What do you do when you make a living typing on a keyboard, but you can no longer do that for more than a few minutes at a time? Switch careers?! Not Josh Comeau. He decided to learn from others who have come before him and develop his own solution for coding without his hands. Spoiler Alert: he uses weird noises and some fancy eye tracking tech.

On this episode Josh tells us all about the fascinating system he developed, how it changed his perspective on work & life, and where he’s going from here. Plus we mix in some CSS & JS chat along the way.

Medium Icon Medium

Death of an open source business model

Joe Morrison:

Until yesterday, I was still clinging to a few shreds of romantic optimism about open source software businesses. Mapbox is the protagonist of a story I’ve told myself and others countless times. It’s a seductive tale about the incredible, counterintuitive concept of the “open core” business model for software companies.

We’ve discussed the challenges with open core on many occasions (this episode of The Changelog on Nextcloud immediately comes to mind), but most of those conversations center around the tension of balancing commercial and open source interests. This Mapbox open core story, on the other hand, has a different villain:

Today, we’re gathered here on the internet to mourn the death of the open core business model. We’re here to tell stories of the before-times, to reminisce about how smart we thought we were. We went against consensus, and we were wrong. Because, open core is dead.

Cloud killed open core.

Medium Icon Medium

OpenStreetMap is having a moment

Joe Morrison on how OpenStreetMap has quietly become a core piece of open source infrastructure:

OpenStreetMap is now at the center of an unholy alliance of the world’s largest and wealthiest technology companies. The most valuable companies in the world are treating OSM as critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software ever written.

What a success story. Do you think it can be repeated?

OpenStreetMap is having a moment

Matt Klein changelog.com/posts

My secret to building Envoy's community

Envoy’s open source community is amazing. I looked the other day, and at least on GitHub, just from a code contribution perspective, we’re almost at 600 contributors. Which for a fairly low-level C++ project… that is freakin’ incredible. It just blows my mind. And then you look at all of the vertical products and all these other things that are built on top…

There are many factors that contributed to this success, but one thing I did early on stands out as the most important thing I could’ve done. In this post I share my secret with you.

Jussi Pakkanen nibblestew.blogspot.com

The 9 phases of an open source project maintainer

Running an open source project is more than just writing code. Jussi Pakkanen says “…most of all work has to do with something else,” which if you listen to The Changelog, our Maintainer Spotlight series, or Request for Commits then you know this all too well.

This places additional requirements to project maintainers that are often not talked about. In this post we’ll briefly go over nine distinct phases each with a different hat one might have to wear. These can be split into two stages based on the lifetime and popularity of the project.

Twitter Icon Twitter

Guido van Rossum comes out of retirement, joins Microsoft

Guido van Rossum:

I decided that retirement was boring and have joined the Developer Division at Microsoft. To do what? Too many options to say! But it’ll make using Python better for sure (and not just on Windows :-). There’s lots of open source here. Watch this space.

Late last year Guido left Dropbox to head into retirement. Apparently “retirement was boring.” I’m curious to see how coming out of retirement changes things at the steering level of Python.

We talked mid last year with Brett Cannon about Python’s new governance and core team. I don’t recall their plan accounting for the possibility for their BDFL to come back from retirement. 😱

I’m sure whatever is to come for Python with Guido being back, it’ll be a net positive.

Opensource.com Icon Opensource.com

Improve open source community sustainability by tracking these two metrics

Kevin Xu:

There are plenty of metrics you can track—stars, forks, pull requests (PRs), merge requests (MRs), contributor counts, etc.—but more data doesn’t necessarily mean clearer insights. I’ve previously shared my skepticism about the value of these surface-level metrics, especially when assessing an open source project’s health and sustainability.

In this article, I propose two second-order metrics to track, measure, and continually optimize to build a strong, self-sustaining open source community

Those two metrics? Breakdowns of code reviewers and leaderboards of different community interactions. (He also explains why. Worth a read.)

Peter Wang anaconda.com

Anaconda's dividend program helps sustain the open source DS/ML community

Anaconda CEO (and Practical AI guest) Peter Wang:

I am excited to announce the Anaconda Dividend Program, which formalizes our commitment to direct a portion of our revenue to open-source projects that help advance innovation in data science. We are launching the program in partnership with NumFOCUS, and will kick off with a seed donation of $10,000, as well as an additional 10% of single-user Commercial Edition subscription revenue through the end of this year. Going forward, we will fund the dividend with at least 1% of our revenue in 2021, with a minimum of $25,000 committed for the year.

We’ve been beating the successful-businesses-that-thrive-in-large-part-due-to-open-source-software-should-set-aside-revenues-to-support-those-projects drum for years now, so it’s exciting to see forward-looking companies like Anaconda step up and do just that. More like this! 🙏

The New Stack Icon The New Stack

An open source leader is gone, a remembrance of Dan Kohn

Thanks to Alex Williams over at The New Stack for doing a great write up remembering Dan Kohn and the tremendous mark he has left on open source and Cloud Native. Of course Dan had help along the way, but by-and-large the CNCF and “cloud native” as we know it are the direct result of Dan’s vision and leadership.

Thank you Dan. You will be missed.

We knew little in 2016 about what Dan was up to but we soon got a hint. The CNCF was already established but what it represented was still a bit unclear. If anything, Dan was a businessman and a computer scientist. He knew the economic importance of at-scale computing and the technical complexity that made it so fascinating.

The technical community was ready for someone like Dan — they needed help. Open source cloud native projects were growing but the resources were essential to keep progress moving. He was there to make sure the work got done that technologists should not have to do: Building awareness, supporting the publicity of new projects and perhaps most of all, smoothly running the conferences.

We’ve had Dan on The Changelog a few times. Go back and listen to episode #276 and episode #314 to hear from Dan himself about the journey of the CNCF and Cloud Native.

An open source leader is gone, a remembrance of Dan Kohn

Markus Hatvan markushatvan.com

Why you should start contributing to open source software right now

Markus Hatvan:

There are outstanding advantages to contributing to open source software. As a firm believer in making software better continuously, the main reason for writing this article was to motivate and get more developers into the field.

The reasons might be obvious to us, but they’re well-explained here and worth a share to you friend/colleague who could use a nudge.

The Changelog The Changelog #418

Maintaining the massive success of Envoy

Today we welcome Matt Klein into our Maintainer Spotlight. Matt is the creator of Envoy, born inside of Lyft. It’s an edge and service proxy designed for cloud-native applications. Envoy was unexpectedly popular, and completely changed the way Lyft considers what and how to open source. While Matt has had several opportunities to turn Envoy into a commercial open source company, he didn’t. In today’s conversation with Matt we learn why he choose a completely different path for the project.

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