open source software

US government accelerating development and release of open source

open source software is commericial

I had a chance to catch up with David A. Wheeler, a long-time leader in advising and working with the US government on issues related to open source software. As early as the late 1990s, David was demonstrating why open source software was integral to the US goverment IT architecture, and his personal webpage is a frequently cited source on open standards, open source software, and computer security.

In this interview, we explore the current state of use of open source software by the US government, the challenges of the Federal acquisition system, and what he's excited about as he looks ahead for open source and government. » Read more

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Open source tools allow Project Tango to evolve with speed and agility

open source tools for Project Tango

Google's Project Tango is a platform for Android phones and tablets designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment around it. The devices track themselves with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and collect 3D points with a built-in depth-sensing camera. Project Tango is progressing at a fast pace thanks to many open source tools that facilitate the use of the 3D data. 

Only 200 of these devices have been made available to early testers and developers, and we had the luck of getting two of them at Kitware.

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Resources for libraries exploring the open source option

library tools for open source

Libraries of all types have the same questions about open source software that are asked by technologists in other fields. Does open source make sense for me? What open source packages mesh well with the skills already in my organization? Where can I go to get training, documentation, hosting, and/or contract software development for a specific open source package?

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we set out to build tools that help libraries answer these questions. These questions and answers may be useful to others as well. » Read more

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How to introduce open source to your public library

introducing open source

I was intrigued to read this recent article in The Guardian about public libraries’ new role as community problem solvers. If you read carefully into this article you’ll notice the author talks about libraries becoming more involved with "proactive community engagement."

This means that libraries are looking to community members as partners to help solve community problems. In the open source community, we’re familiar with how well these methods can work. In open source, different players contribute to group projects according to their own personal strengths. The results can be far greater than anyone originally imagines. » Read more

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Open source embroidery creates a niche stitch with the EmbroiderModder

Open source embroidery

There is exactly one Windows machine left in my house. I feel like I barely even know how to use it anymore, with the exception of its dedicated purpose: it runs my embroidery machine. And you only think whatever the latest video game you tried to crack was proprietary, locked-up madness. It takes two USB dongles in the computer that runs the embroidery machine—one for the software that drives the machine and one for the design software. You know that means it costs a small fortune. Thus, I've regularly looked for the latter (I'm not holding out any hope for the former), but had no luck until Embroidermodder 2 launched its Kickstarter campaign. » Read more

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Wallabag to serve your open source read-it-later app needs

Information wants to be free

No matter how well organized you are, no matter how well you manage your time, you probably don't get the chance to read all of the interesting articles that you find when you find them. To get around that, you can use services like Readability, Instapaper, and Pocket that allow you clip articles and read them when you do have the time. » Read more

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How Git redefined open source software development

developing possibilities

It's not hard to come up with a dozen different reasons why the rise of open source development has been a watershed event in both the software and hardware industries. All of us can build new web applications faster with our feet firmly planted on the shoulders of jQuery, Bootstrap, and Apache. Languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python power the Internet, and operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD provide the foundation for thousands of companies and services.

But open source isn't just about the free tools we have access to, it's also about the community of developers that will help support crazy new ideas and give them a chance to thrive, grow, and change the world; ideas that would never see the light of day in a closed source world. » Read more

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The business of guiding other businesses to open source

open source business

CEO Jeff Walpole of Phase2 helps persuade businesses to consider open source as a viable solution. Particularly, Drupal. Jeff says, "Phase2 invests an estimated $500,000 every year in time, code, and sponsorship to grow this remarkable open source project."

And, in return? Jeff and his team show others how to use Drupal. What sounds simple in this trade-off, in fact is not. Many don't understand open source, or they don't trust it. So, Phase2 makes a business out of being their guide through the murky waters of misperception and into the land of plenty (of open source). » Read more

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You can't have DevOps without open source

a new dawn

You probably think I'm going to talk about all the reasons why you should use open source tooling as the foundation for an effective DevOps culture in your organization, but that's not what this is about. Not to marginalize the complexity of the challenges faced by the team I work with, but I have confidence that the engineers are going to figure the tooling part out. Believe it or not, the daunting part is wrapped in cultural change.

I have spent a significant amount of time reading about cultural change, what you need to have an effective DevOps community, how you build high functioning teams, and asking the question, "How do I DevOp?" The ideas I've read have given me a few new things to stick in my tool belt. However, nothing has resonated with me as much as this: » Read more

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Dutch municipality group adopts and fosters open source

open source software for local government

The TYPO3 CMS project has a long history as open source project, with its foundation going back as far as 1997 when it was initially developed by Danish Kasper Skårhøj. Currently, the TYPO3 project has a solid foundation in Europe. Large cooperations like Deutsche Bank, Airbus, Air France, as well as, universities and non-governmental organizations like Food and Agriculture Organization, Greenpeace, and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons run on the TYPO3 CMS. » Read more

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