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History of open source in government

pssst! open source in use here

It is difficult to imagine the Federal government moving in one well-coordinated direction on any matter, and so it has been with the adoption of open source software. Some agencies were early adopters, especially the academic and research communities. As it did in universities, open source adoption in the US government originated in research settings, where sharing and collaboration were already part of the culture of pedagogy. In this way, the government had been using and creating open source software even before it was called "open source." Other agencies and departments have been more conservative, for a variety of reasons, and are only just now bringing open source software into their operations. With this in mind, the history of open source in the US government is best understood as a series of individual stories that have collectively led to the pervasive adoption of open source we see today. » Read more

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Community spotlight: 5 questions with system administrator Marek Mahut

Community spotlight: 5 questions with system administrator Marek Mahut

Meet Marek Mahut. He's a system administrator in Brno, Czech republic, works for Red Hat, and has an interest in the public sector—particularly in how it can be more open and transparent. Marek has contributed several articles on public policy and transparency in government, including Open source is illegal? This very popular post generated thousands of page views and some interesting conversation. Marek also contributes reports on several open source events that he attends.

On opensource.com, community is very important. We want to continue to recognize our community members who contribute in ways other than writing articles--things like rating and commenting, voting in polls, and sharing our collective work on social media. We hope you enjoy getting to know Marek. » Read more

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Who gets a seat at the table?

Who gets a seat at the table?

“That was a small lesson I learned on the journey. What is interesting and important happens mostly in secret, in places where there is no power. Nothing much of lasting value ever happens at the head table, held together by a familiar rhetoric. Those who already have power continue to glide along the familiar rut they have made for themselves.”
—Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table

Back in September I was lucky enough to participate in IBM's centennial THINK forum in New York City . The lineup included a staggering array of CEOs of the biggest, oldest, and most influential companies in the world, several heads of state (on loan from the General Assembly sessions at the UN across town), and a handful of boldface journalists and thought leaders. For all of the power on display in that room, the real topic of the moment was insurrection. » Read more

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Perspective from an open source newbie

Gandhi quote at Red Hat headquarters

In my first week at Red Hat, having come from a long history of using proprietary software in the corporate workplace, it only took a few hours to wash away more than fifteen years of plugging overly long license codes into software before I could sit down and use it. What had become second nature during those years vanished the moment I began using an open source desktop. » Read more

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Open For Business: The reputation economy of open source--do you take the egg roll?

Open For Business: The reputation economy of open source--do you take the egg ro

Open source software has been referred to as a "gift economy," one where valuable goods and services are exchanged without the expectation of payment. That’s fine, so far as it goes, but when it comes to businesses involved with open source software, I think the term "reputation economy” is more accurate. » Read more

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How open and transparent can a public company really be?

Here on opensource.com, we often talk about the benefits of an open, collaborative approach, and I see new stories every day that help showcase the benefits of an open organizational model.

But for public companies, the benefits of an open approach are often overshadowed by the risks. During my time at Red Hat (a publicly-traded company for much of my tenure), our approach was traditionally to "default to open," sharing as much information as we could, both inside the company and with the outside world. » Read more

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Jim Whitehurst on the next twenty years of Linux

Open source leader Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO

LinuxCon 2011 kicked off this morning with a retrospective from Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, on the accomplishments of Linux in its first twenty years. Self-professed geek and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, whose Linux use started with Slackware in the late 90s, followed by Fedora, followed Zemlin with a keynote addressing the next 20 years of Linux. » Read more

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Bob Young on Lulu and collaborative innovation, part 2

In part 1 of this post, Bob Young talked about his history as a typewriter salesman, Red Hat's beginnings, and how we are all collaborative by nature. In the second part, below, he talks about his current company, Lulu, publishing, and more about collaborative innovation. » Read more

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Red Hat, opensource.com, and the high road

In my role as Red Hat’s brand manager, I am always on the look out for interesting and provocative readings about brands and branding in general. Inside the technology industry, outside the technology industry – it’s all good. There’s something to be learned from every great case study, thought piece, theory, and brand story. » Read more

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Lessons learned from Groklaw: The power of collaboration

Like many, I was surprised-but-not-really when Pamela Jones announced that she would be retiring original content on the legal analysis site that grew to fame within and without the open source community as it rose to do battle with the incredibly audacious claims by The SCO Group that Linux was directly derived from UNIX. » Read more

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