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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.

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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?

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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.

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Devon Zuegel GitHub Blog

GitHub Sponsors is out of beta

Earlier this week GitHub Sponsors came out of beta to general availability for developers with bank accounts in 30 countries (and growing). Also, check out the companion video celebrating some of the developers of GitHub Sponsors. Next steps? This is just the beginning for native sponsorships on GitHub. We’re working hard to build out great sponsorship experiences around the world.

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npm github.com

npm adds `fund` subcommand to help support maintainers

As of npm 6.13, maintainers can add a funding field to their package.json (which works very much like GitHub’s FUNDING.yml) and users can run npm fund to see how they can support their dependency authors. Darcy Clarke had this to say about the feature on npm’s blog: Post install you will now see output that describes the number of packages that have defined funding information. You can opt-out of this prompt by using the –no-fund flag if you so choose. At the end of August, we made a promise to the community to invest time & effort to better support package maintainers. This work is just the first, small step toward creating a means/mechanism for a more sustainable open source development ecosystem.

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Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

Getting financial support from your users

Mike McQuaid shared some background on the approaches they’ve taken (and their pros and cons) to make Homebrew financially sustainable. For predictable donations we set up the standard (at the time at least): a Patreon account. We offered nothing in exchange for donations but to told people we were an entirely volunteer-run project. … We show users a one-time message on first install or on a Homebrew update to tell them we needed donations and where and how to do so. As soon as this message rolled out we saw a huge jump on donations eventually settling between $2500-$3000 a month on Patreon…

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freeCodeCamp Icon freeCodeCamp

So long Meetup, and thanks for all the pizza

Meetup hiked their prices in a way that shifts the burden off the organizers and on to the participants. They’ve received enough blow back from this change that it wouldn’t surprise me if they adjust (or revert) course, but it may be too late. The open source community is already on the move. This will be a self-hosted Docker image that you can one-click deploy to the cloud, then configure through an admin panel. No coding required. Quincy and the freeCodeCamp team don’t have much more than a README and a schema right now, but objects in motion tend to stay in motion. It’s a great time to jump in and contribute. ✊

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Daniele Scasciafratte daniele.tech

Contribute to open source: the right way (Free 📘)

There’s probably nothing life-changing in here for those of us deep in the open source world, but I thought this was worth sharing just in case someone in your life could use a primer on what open source is all about and how to get involved. Have you ever wondered how the open source world exists thanks to the contribution of thousands of people all over the world? Is there a way to learn the skills to contribute at maximum, or to improve it?

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Vue.js n8n.io

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

n8n (a numeronym for “nodemation”) is a node-based workflow automation tool. The reason for the square quotes around “open source” is because it has a Commons Clause attached to its Apache 2.0 license, which means you can do anything you want with the source code except make money with it. Since n8n itself is built on open source tech such as TypeScript and Vue.js, this is a nice touch by the author in the FAQ: As n8n itself depends on and uses a lot of other Open Source projects it is only fair and in our interest to also help them. So it is planed to contribute a certain percentage of revenue/profit every month to these projects. How much exactly is not decided yet.

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Matt Mullenweg ma.tt

Debating OSS with DHH

Want to hear two of the top leaders in open source talk about their differing philosophies on open source and the modern web? The other week I ended up going back and forth in tweets with David Heinemeier Hansson, it wasn’t going anywhere but he graciously invited me to their podcast and we were able to expand the discussion in a way I found really refreshing and mind-opening. DHH and I have philosophies around work and open source that I believe overlap 95% or more, so… Here’s the Twitter conversation that started this debate on the Rework podcast.

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TechCrunch Icon TechCrunch

Automattic raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation

This raise comes from Salesforce Ventures — and it’s another clear win for commercial open source and the future of the open web. Funding rounds are something special for Automattic. While the company has been around for nearly 15 years, it hasn’t raised a ton of money. It closed a $160 million Series C round back in 2014 and raised little money before that. Automattic and the WordPress open-source project have a shared history. Many people are familiar with WordPress, the most popular content management system on the planet. The company contributes to the open-source project and also runs some of the most popular services on top of that project, such as WordPress.com and the Jetpack plugin, WordPress.com VIP (which TechCrunch uses) and WooCommerce. Here’s an interesting quote from Matt Mullenweg (Founder and CEO of Automattic)… What we want to do is to become the operating system for the open web. We want every website, whether it’s e-commerce or anything to be powered by WordPress. And by doing so, we’ll make sure that the web can go back to being more open, more integrated and more user-centric than it would be if proprietary platforms become dominant…

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Donald Fischer Opensource.com

The community-led renaissance of open source

Tidelift CEO, Donald Fischer: Today’s generation of entrepreneurial open source creators is leaving behind the scarcity mindset that bore open core and its brethren. Instead, they’re advancing an optimistic, additive, and still practical model that adds missing commercial value on top of raw open source. (Tidelift is a frequent sponsor of ours here at Changelog)

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Bryan Bogensberger blog.npmjs.org

npm announced plans to launch an open source funding platform

Bryan Bogensberger (CEO of npm) writes on npm blog: Over the past couple of years, we’ve observed a number of models emerging that enable a path towards sustainability for Open Source maintainers. Most notably: OpenCollective & GitHub Sponsors. We at npm are in full support of both these initiatives, and intend to collaborate further with these organizations. Now we are ready to invite the community’s most active contributors and the biggest enterprise consumers of public open source code to a working group to finalize the platform’s definition. Send questions/comments to funding-contributors@npmjs.com, or discuss your thoughts right here.

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Raspberry Pi cutiepi.io

A complete Raspberry Pi in a tablet form factor

CutiePi is a good name for this device. It sure is cute! We believe in open source, and we believe people should have control over the technology they use. Everything you see here is open source – schematics, PCB, drivers, firmware, UI, everything. It’s still early (no pricing, for example), but they’re shooting for a release before 2019 is out.

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Kitze Medium

GitHub stars won’t pay your rent

Kitze shared this somewhat controversial story of Sizzy — from struggling open source project to successful product launch and charging money. It’s important to hear more stories like this because not all of the roads of open source are paved with gold. Honestly, it felt kind of shitty to delete the repository and unpin the project from my profile. I hated the feeling but I had to shrug it off. I had to convince myself that I’m not doing anything wrong. The app was serving a lot of people for 2.5 years, and I rarely got any contributions. It was time to get real and think about what matters. Oh, here we go… I’m gonna mention the M word and lose a ton of readers at this point. Money. Money matters. Kitze also made an appearance on JS Party #72: LIVE from React Amsterdam.

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Smashing Magazine Icon Smashing Magazine

Improve your JavaScript knowledge by reading source code

One of the most amazing things about Open Source is how much it enables you to learn from the best. Just open up the source for your favorite library or framework and you can start learning from the best in the business. But that can feel intimidating. This article breaks down some approaches you can use to make it easier. As author Carl Mungazi says: Reading source code is difficult at first but as with anything, it becomes easier with time. The goal is not to understand everything but to come away with a different perspective and new knowledge. The key is to be deliberate about the entire process and intensely curious about everything.

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Manuel Bieh DEV.to

I will now charge my clients a fee to support open source projects

Manuel Bieh: As an independent Freelance Developer I was wondering how I can support the Open Source community… so I had this idea: starting with my next project I will ask my clients for an hourly rate that is 1 Euro higher than I originally negotiated or I would usually charge. I will take that money (up to ~160 Euros per month) and support those projects on Open Collective that I’m basing my work upon in my client’s project. I like the spirit of what Manuel is doing here, but I’d suggest a slightly different tactic: raise your rate by N euros/hr (where N is at least 10) and give that to open source maintainers whose software you use on the client’s behalf. No need to complicate the client relationship with additional line items or things to explain. Besides, you’re probably under charging as is. Most of us are…

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Ned Batchelder nedbatchelder.com

The 'why' and 'how' of corporations and open source

Ned Batchelder: if you want someone to do something, you have to give them a compelling reason to do it, and you have to make it as easy as possible for them to do it. That is, you need to have good answers to Why? and How? Let’s look at the Why and How model as it applies to corporations funding open source. They don’t do it because the answers to Why and How are really bad right now. I interviewed Ned for an upcoming maintainer-focused series of The Changelog. He’s been in the game a long time and has a lot of interesting things to say.

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André Staltz staltz.com

Software below the poverty line

André Staltz collected data from OpenCollective and GitHub so he could get some numbers behind his questions around the sustainability of donations in open source. The results I found were shocking: there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold. Read his full piece to learn about his collection methodology and read his full analysis of the findings.

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Elixir fullstackradio.com

🎧 Jerod talks Elixir and Phoenix on Full Stack Radio

Adam Wathan was gracious enough to invite me on Full Stack Radio to discuss why and how we built this very platform that I’m using to write and you’re using to read. Most of the show focuses on Elixir itself, with topics ranging from pattern matching and immutability to the pipe operator and deployment. Adam also got me to confess a dirty little secret… I still don’t really know what GenServers are! 😱

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