Open Source Icon

Open Source

All things open source.
122 Stories
All Topics

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 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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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…

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. ✊

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?

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.

An "open source" alternative to Zapier

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.

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…

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)

0:00 / 0:00