free software

Free Software Foundation to offer seminar on GPL enforcement and legal ethics

free software legal seminar

The Free Software Foundation will be providing a half-day legal seminar titled "GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics", taking place on Monday, March 24 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Anyone can register to attend the seminar, though it is aimed particularly at practicing lawyers and law students. For practicing lawyers in the US, continuing legal education (CLE) credits are expected to be available for many states. » Read more

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Three open source markdown editors put to the test

Open source markdown editors

Very much inspired by my interview with Bryan Behrenshausen, I’ve been spending a lot more time working with Markdown. Day-to-day, at work and at home, I usually work with either HTML or word processed documents. I’m fast with HTML and proficient with word processors, and I rarely need to convert one to the other, but I liked the idea of simplifying my process and using Markdown for everything, with pandoc to convert it.

Markdown is simple enough, but there is a learning curve, so while one of the advantages of it is that it doesn’t require any kind of special editor, the reality is that I needed something with a preview so I could make sure my syntax looked OK (which it often did not). As a result, I went through a few Markdown editors, trying to find the one I like best (and because I love a good rabbit hole).

I eventually narrowed my list to three: ReText, UberWriter, and gedit-markdown. » Read more

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Top 5 open source project management tools in 2014

open source project management

Last year, Opensource.com covered some popular open source project management tools (ProjectLibre, ]project-open[, and OpenProject.) We found these articles to be valuable to our readers, so here we take a look forward at what we think 2014 holds for these open source project management tools.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but each tool listed here has been deliberately selected based on a rich feature set. » Read more

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Wrapping up the Summer of Code at the Googleplex

Google Summer of Code annual Mentor Summit

Over 280 attendees representing 177 mentoring organizations gathered for a two-day, code-munity extravaganza celebrating the conclusion of Google Summer of Code with the annual Mentor Summit held at Google in Mountain View, California. » Read more

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Free software and comparative evaluation in the Italian Public Administration

not confidential government software

The on-going debate regarding the use of free and open source software in the Italian Public Administration (PA) seems to be coming to a satisfactory conclusion. Italian public administrations are now obliged to give priority to free and open source software. This preference, however, cannot be given without a "comparative assessment". One of the tasks of the Agency for Digital Italy is indeed to establish procedures and criteria that will help to justify their choices in the acquisition of computer programs.

» Read more

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New glossary helps break down common open source related terms

open source glossary released

A couple of months ago, I wrote the first draft of "A Free, Libre and Open Glossary." I am often frustrated by people using terms like "open source" and "free software" loosely, even though they have fixed and clear definitions. There is a web of terms, many of them using ambiguous terms like "open" or "crowd," that frequently confuse and blur the issue. » Read more

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FSFE opposes claim that free software harms consumers

balancing free software

Microsoft and Nokia protest "price predation" and play at being prey.


Does no-cost software harm consumers? The FairSearch coalition thinks so, at least when it comes to Google: They say Google engages in predatory pricing when it distributes Android – a Linux-based mobile operating system – without charge. Recently, FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) responded in a letter to the European Commission, labeling as "wrong" and "dangerous" FairSearch’s claims, and saying further: » Read more

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What motivates free software developers to choose between copyleft and permissive licences?

open source licensing

Free software licenses can be divided into two broad categories: copyleft licenses (like the GPL), which require derivatives of the software to be licensed under the same terms; and permissive licenses (like the MIT/X11 license), which allow the software to be reused in any project, even closed-source projects. There are variations, of course—the LGPL, for example, is a 'weak copyleft', allowing licensed works to be used in closed-source works, but requiring improvements to the work itself to be released under a copyleft license.

» Read more

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Open source as a civic duty

make things better

I occasionally get asked why I spend so much of my free time writing software and giving it away for free. There are a number of reasons for this—I like to build things and I use it as an excuse to practice and improve my skills—but one of the most driving motivators for me is that I see open source contributions as a civic duty, a moral obligation to the rest of the world.

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4 text editors for Linux

Review of 4 text editors for Linux

This is a short list of my favorite graphical text editors for Linux that can be classified as IDE (integrated development environment). Here, I give the pros and cons of working with the following:


 

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