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Posts Tagged ‘open source community’

Bruce Perens To Answer Your Questions

October 15th, 2012 10:25 admin View Comments

Open Source

In the summer of 1999, Bruce Perens became our very first interview subject, answering questions about open source licensing. 15 years later, Bruce is still one of the most influential programmers and advocates in the open source community. He’s graciously agreed to answer all your questions about the state of things and what’s changed in those 15 years. As with previous interviews, we’ll send the best questions to Mr. Perens, and post his answers in a day or two. Ask as many questions as you’d like, but please keep them to one per post.

Source: Bruce Perens To Answer Your Questions

Adventures In Rooting: Running Jelly Bean On Last Year’s Kindle Fire

October 8th, 2012 10:15 admin View Comments

Android

concealment writes “Luckily, the Fire’s low price and popularity relative to other Android tablets has made it a common target for Android’s bustling open-source community, which has automated most of the sometimes-messy process of rooting and flashing your tablet. The Kindle Fire Utility boils the whole rooting process down to a couple of steps, and from there it’s pretty easy to find pretty-stable Jelly Bean ROMs. A CyanogenMod-based version is actively maintained, but I prefer the older Hashcode ROM, which is very similar to the interface on the Nexus 7.”

Source: Adventures In Rooting: Running Jelly Bean On Last Year’s Kindle Fire

Ubuntu Unity Ported To Fedora Using OpenSUSE

July 19th, 2012 07:26 admin View Comments

GUI

sfcrazy writes “The general tendency within the open source community is to a whole new wheel to push your own cart. A majority of open source projects are suffering from duplication. Luckily, we just noticed a great example of such collaboration (or using resources by different competing projects) within the distro community. Ubuntu’s popular Unity shell is being ported to Fedora (the distro which leads the development of Gnome shell and its also the breeding ground of many latest technologies which are used by the rest of the GNU/Linux world). Interestingly developers users openSUSE’s build service to create this port. openSUSE leads the development of Gnome and KDE along with LibreOffice.” Calling Unity “popular” seems like a stretch, but it’s certainly where a lot of Ubuntu work has been lavished; the cooperation that open source code fosters at least lets whoever wants to use or develop it do so.

Source: Ubuntu Unity Ported To Fedora Using OpenSUSE

OpenLogic Backs Linux On Windows Azure With SLA

June 7th, 2012 06:34 admin View Comments

Cloud

MikeatWired writes “OpenLogic announced on Thursday that it will provide CentOS Linux — and service-level agreement (SLA) support — through Microsoft’s new Windows Azure gallery. Yesterday, Microsoft announced support for Linux instances on its cloud service, among other cloud news, in what Wired Enterprise’s Cade Metz dubbed an Amazonian facelift. OpenLogic’s Steven Grandchamp writes in a blog post that for ‘enterprise developers and IT folks who are multi-source and multi-platform, today’s announcement is good news. The Windows and Linux worlds take one step towards each other.’ However, Grandchamp notes that despite Microsoft ‘maturing its views on open source’ with ‘significant work’ with Node.js, Hadoop, and Samba, the open source community ‘will meet [Linux on Azure] with overall wariness and skepticism.’ ‘Some will view this with hope and a positive step; others will continue to be cynical,’ he writes. ‘For me, it’s part of a larger overall process that continues to signal open source coming of age. What major vendor doesn’t have an open source story now? It’s such an ingrained part of development, from legacy to mobile to cloud, that we can’t live without and we are figuring out how to love living with it.’”

Source: OpenLogic Backs Linux On Windows Azure With SLA

Intel Builds On Top of Android, But Hedges On Open-Sourcing Improvements

June 7th, 2012 06:35 admin View Comments

Android

Barence writes with this news as carried by PC Pro: “Intel claims it is making significant improvements to the multicore performance of Android — but isn’t sure if it’s willing to share them with the open-source community. Speaking to journalists in London, Intel’s mobile chief Mike Bell said that Intel’s engineers were making significant improvements to Android’s scheduler to improve its multicore performance. ‘Android doesn’t make as effective use of multicore as it could,’ he said. However, when pressed by PC Pro on whether those improvements would be shared with the open-source community and Intel’s competitors, Bell remained non-committal. ‘Where we are required to give back to open source, we do,’ said Bell. ‘In cases where it’s not required to be open source, I’m going to think about it. I don’t like doing R&D for competitors if they’re not going to contribute themselves,’ said Bell, before adding that ‘in general, our philosophy is to give things back.’”

Source: Intel Builds On Top of Android, But Hedges On Open-Sourcing Improvements

[Poll] How Much Has Oracle’s Lawsuit Against Google Damaged Its Reputation Among Developers?

May 23rd, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

The jury is in and Google has triumphed in almost all phases of its trial against Oracle over the use of Java in Android. Oracle spent years nurturing its relationship with developers who use its products, including MySQL and NoSQL Database. But the company’s aggressive move to assert its interest in Java – which is, after all, open source – puts the developer community’s goodwill at risk. How badly has Oracle damaged its reputation?

Sun Microsystems was well-loved among developers. It created Java and gave it to the world, asking little in return. It took big bad Microsoft to court and won. Java is one of the most important software innovations of the Web era. Until it sold itself to Oracle. 

Oracle acquired Sun in January 2010 and took all of seven months to bring charges against Google for infringing its rights to Java. The database king claimed that Google not only violated a variety of patents but copied the Java language and its application programming interfaces (APIs) outright. It sought damages of $6 billion – roughly a billion shy of what it paid for Sun. The case hasn’t gone smoothly. As of last week, it looked as though Oracle does not have a strong claim to Google’s profits from its use of Java in Android. 

And this is where Oracle has not only damaged its bottom line, but also its credibility. Java has been and will likely always be open source and free. Sun created it as such and developed it more as a steward than an owner. By attempting to copyright the API regardless of the impact it would have on the entire software ecosystem, Oracle has thrown the legal nature of computer languages and programming into question.  

How badly have Oracle’s legal machinations hurt its brand? How badly have its legal machinations damaged its credibility with developers and the open source community? Take the poll below.

 

Source: [Poll] How Much Has Oracle’s Lawsuit Against Google Damaged Its Reputation Among Developers?

[Poll] How Much Has Oracle’s Lawsuit Against Google Damaged Its Reputation Among Developers?

May 23rd, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

The jury is in and Google has triumphed in almost all phases of its trial against Oracle over the use of Java in Android. Oracle spent years nurturing its relationship with developers who use its products, including MySQL and NoSQL Database. But the company’s aggressive move to assert its interest in Java – which is, after all, open source – puts the developer community’s goodwill at risk. How badly has Oracle damaged its reputation?

Sun Microsystems was well-loved among developers. It created Java and gave it to the world, asking little in return. It took big bad Microsoft to court and won. Java is one of the most important software innovations of the Web era. Until it sold itself to Oracle. 

Oracle acquired Sun in January 2010 and took all of seven months to bring charges against Google for infringing its rights to Java. The database king claimed that Google not only violated a variety of patents but copied the Java language and its application programming interfaces (APIs) outright. It sought damages of $6 billion – roughly a billion shy of what it paid for Sun. The case hasn’t gone smoothly. As of last week, it looked as though Oracle does not have a strong claim to Google’s profits from its use of Java in Android. 

And this is where Oracle has not only damaged its bottom line, but also its credibility. Java has been and will likely always be open source and free. Sun created it as such and developed it more as a steward than an owner. By attempting to copyright the API regardless of the impact it would have on the entire software ecosystem, Oracle has thrown the legal nature of computer languages and programming into question.  

How badly have Oracle’s legal machinations hurt its brand? How badly have its legal machinations damaged its credibility with developers and the open source community? Take the poll below.

 

Source: [Poll] How Much Has Oracle’s Lawsuit Against Google Damaged Its Reputation Among Developers?

Disassembling Android Part 2: Who Wields the Blowtorch?

May 21st, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

This is Part Two of a two-part series on Disassembling Android. 

“Android is open for disruption.” That’s what Stewart Putney, CEO of the mobile gaming company Moblyng, said last August. He was talking about the potential for HTML5 Web apps to disrupt the Android Market (now Google Play), but he may have been oddly prophetic. Android has not been riding high in 2012. More than one competitor is lining up to strike a decisive blow.

To truly disrupt Android, other OS makers face an uphill battle. It is no longer 2009, when Android stepped into a mobile market hungry for options beyond the iPhone (then only on AT&T) and the aging BlackBerry and Windows Mobile ecosystems. The market is now well established and the only two players that currently mean anything are iOS and Android.

For the sake of clarity, let’s look at the other contenders (in order of importance):

  • Windows Phone: On its way to becoming a solid Number 3 behind iOS and Android.
  • BlackBerry 10: Research In Motion’s next BlackBerry operating system and perhaps its last gasp to save the franchise.
  • Mozilla B2G: Open, browser-based OS currently in development from Mozilla and the open source community. 
  • Tizen: Formerly MeeGo. Has the backing of the Linux Foundation and Intel, and it has caught the eyes of several manufacturers looking for an alternative.
  • Linux/Ubuntu: Pure, open Linux-based OS has been kicked about by the open source community, but generally unavailable in devices until 2013 at the earliest.
  • webOS: Open-sourced by Hewlett-Packard, may have a legitimate future if developers embrace browser-based mobile interaction.

Microsoft and Nokia would love nothing more than to see Windows Phone eat Android’s market share. In the short term, that is not going to happen. The best Windows Phone, the Lumia 900, available through AT&T, does not measure up well with the best Android phones, either in specifications or user interface. What Windows Phone does have going for it is increasing traction with both carriers and manufacturers tired of dealing with the array of Android devices and the never-ending need to support them. Windows Phone is a known quantity and will continue to rise in market share. It will not reach the levels of Android, but it can shave 5% to 10% of its market share within a couple of years, especially if carriers continue to market and subsidize Windows Phone devices.

The problems for Windows Phone in disrupting Android are the macro-problems that face any OS aiming to usurp the crown. First, the Windows Phone Marketplace is a wasteland of copied and boring apps (with a few exceptional entries). Developer support is critical to the success of a smartphone OS, as developers create the content that drives adoption. The better a developer can fare on a platform, the harder it will work to build a productive ecosystem around it. Windows Phone and BlackBerry do not, at this point, have developer interest equivalent to Android and iOS. With almost 500,000 apps in Google Play (against 70,000 for Windows Phone and BlackBerry), conquering Android is bound to be an uphill battle. 

Manufacturers and carriers may be starting to look at throwing more weight behind Windows Phone. There are a variety of reasons for this. The most important is that Microsoft is willing to pay for visibility, and manufacturers and carriers are happy to take money whether or not Windows Phone actually sells well. 

While Windows Phone appears to be on the rise, Blackberry is still in wait-and-see mode. What will BlackBerry 10 ultimately look like? Will it be sexy enough to not only compete with the current crop of Android phones but remain viable for two or three years? To take market share back from Android, RIM needs to focus as much on what it releases this year as what that platform will look like in 2014. 

Tizen occupies an interesting space in this ecosystem. It has indirect backing from Samsung and could easily add HTC to the list of supporters if manufacturer relations turn sour with Google over its Motorola acquisition. Tizen will continue to be pushed by Intel – but the fact is that there may be little hope for it. It does not have the industry clout to disrupt Android in the short or long term. A wild card: Tizen has been seen running Android apps, a development that could give it traction.

What applies for Tizen also applies for webOS. These open source projects will likely produce nominal results and devices, at best. 

That leaves the two most intriguing candidates – Ubuntu and Mozilla. These are also open source projects, but they have significant developer communities behind them. Canonical has proposed an Ubuntu mobile operating system that has potential to step right into Android’s position. One can imagine that an Ubuntu mobile OS would be very similar to Android (both with a Linux kernel) but not tied to Google. That would please Google’s manufacturer and service partners that would love to be free of Google’s regulations about how a device must behave to be allowed access to Google Play. 

Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko Mockups

Mozilla is in a different category. It is an operating system that is of the browser, by the browser. In that way, it’s similar to Google’s Chrome operating system, though B2G would be specialized toward mobile devices rather than notebooks. This is where HTML5 could truly disrupt Android, as it would run through the mobile Web and not be restricted by… anything. The trick for Mozilla is to create a browser-based operating system that has all of the device capabilities that Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone have with native APIs and hardware acceleration. That is not something the HTML5 environment does currently (at least, not well) and will be the biggest challenge for Mozilla as it develops the OS. Right now, Mozilla’s problems are technical in nature. Get the OS right first and then we can start talking about how it deals with manufacturers, carriers, developers, marketers, advertisers and the rest of the mobile ecosystem. Of all the methods and technologies used by would-be Android competitors, HTML5 has the highest ceiling. The company that pulls together a browser-based mobile operating system could fare very well, especially with developers. 

Taken individually, each would-be Android killer has strengths and flaws that will help and hinder it in trying to unseat Google. The near-term players (Windows Phone and BlackBerry) will have to battle OEMs and manufacturers and curry favor with developers. Everybody else still has to work out development and technical issues before they can gain the kind of traction that Android has created. 

Consequently, for the next two years or so, the mobile world will likely be a race between Apple and Google. 2012 will not be the Year Of Something Other Than Android. 2015 and beyond? Perhaps. 

What do you think has the greatest potential to disrupt Android? Let’s hear your picks in the comments. 

Source: Disassembling Android Part 2: Who Wields the Blowtorch?

Software Patents Good For Open Source?

May 19th, 2012 05:56 admin View Comments

Australia

schliz writes “The Australian software patent system could be used by open source developers to ensure their inventions remain available to the community, a conference organized by intellectual property authority IP Australia heard this week According to Australian inventor Ric Richardson, whose company came out on top of a multi-million dollar settlement with Microsoft in March, a world without software patents would be ‘open slather for anybody who can just go faster than the next person.’ Software developer Ben Sturmfels, whose 2010 anti-software-patent petition won the support of open source community members such as Jonathan Oxer, Andrew Tridgell, and software freedom activist Richard Stallman, disagreed.”

Source: Software Patents Good For Open Source?

Conflict of Interest Derails UK Government Open Source Consultation

April 27th, 2012 04:27 admin View Comments

Government

judgecorp writes “The UK government’s consultation about the use of open source in public sector IT has been sent back to square one, with discussion results scrapped because the facilitator, Andy Hopkirk, is involved with Microsoft. Hopkirk is well regarded, but the open source community feels the debate dismissed RF (royalty free) standards in favor of the FRAND definition, which is more favorable to proprietary vendors.”

Source: Conflict of Interest Derails UK Government Open Source Consultation

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