Blender short film, new license for Chef, ethics in open source, and more news

Blender short film, new license for Chef, ethics in open source, and more news

Here are some of the biggest headlines in open source in the last two weeks

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In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the 12th Blender short film, Chef shifts away from open core toward a 100% open source license, SuperTuxKart's latest release candidate with online multiplayer support, and more.

Blender Animation Studio releases Spring

Spring, the latest short film from Blender Animation Studio, premiered on April 4th. The press release on Blender.org describes Spring as "the story of a shepherd girl and her dog, who face ancient spirits in order to continue the cycle of life." The development version of Blender 2.80, as well as other open source tools, were used to create this animated short film. The character and asset files for the film are available from Blender Cloud, and tutorials, walkthroughs, and other instructional material are coming soon.

The importance of ethics in open source

Reuven M. Lerner, writing for Linux Journal, shares his thoughts about need for teaching programmers about ethics in an article titled Open Source Is Winning, and Now It's Time for People to Win Too. Part retrospective looking back at the history of open source and part call to action for moving forward, Lerner's article discusses many issues relevant to open source beyond just coding. He argues that when we teach kids about open source "[w]e also need to inform them of the societal parts of their work, and the huge influence and power that today's programmers have." He continues by stating "It's sometimes okay—and even preferable—for a company to make less money deliberately, when the alternative would be to do things that are inappropriate or illegal." Overall a very thought-provoking piece, Lerner makes a solid case for making sure to remember that the open source movement is about more than free code.

Chef transitions from open core to open source

Chef, the company behind the well-known DevOps automation tool, announced that they will be release 100% of their software as open source under an Apache 2.0 license. This move marks a departure from their current open core model. Given a tendency for companies to try to move in the opposite direction, Chef's move is a big one. By operating under a fully open source model Chef builds a better, stronger relationship with the community, and the community benefits from full access to all the source code. Even developers of competing projects (and the commercial projects based on those products) benefit from being able to learn from Chef's code, as Chef can do from its open source competitors, which is one of the greatest advantages of open source; the best ideas get to win and business relationships are built around trust and quality of service, not proprietary secrets. For a more detailed look at this development, read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols's article for ZDNet.

SuperTuxKart releases version 0.10 RC1 for testing

SuperTuxKart, the open source Mario Kart clone featuring open source mascots, is getting very close to releasing a version that supports online multi-player. On April 5th, the SuperTuxKart blog announced the release of SuperTuxKart 0.10 Release Candidate 1, which needs testing before the final release. Users who want to help test the online and LAN multiplayer options can download the game from SourceForge. In addition to the new online and LAN features, SuperTuxKart 0.10 features a couple new tracks to race on; Ravenbridge Mansion replaces the old Mansion track, and Black Forest, which was an add-on track in earlier versions, is now part of the official track set.

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Joshua Allen Holm
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