Today in open source: November 16, 2016

Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation, a new Firefox release, and more open source news

A look at what's happening right now across the globe in open source.

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The world of open source software is a busy place. Sometimes keeping up with all of the news, announcements, and cool things to be discovered can be difficult. Here's a look at some of what we're reading today.

Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation

While it may be a logical step from all of the love the Redmond-based computing giant has been showing for Linux in recent years, those who followed the operating system wars of decades before still probably never thought they would see this day: Microsoft is joining the Linux Foundation. But with Microsoft's participation in a number of Linux Foundation supported projects, and their increased support for Linux interoperability in many products, the relationship between Microsoft and the open source community has clearly changed for the better.

New release of Firefox

The Mozilla Foundation has officially launched version 50.0 of the popular Firefox web browser, which includes a number of new features and changes. Included in this release are updated keyboard shortcuts, expanded WebGL support, download protection for executable files, rendering fixes, added built-in Emoji support, and more. There's also a more extensive list of changes aimed specifically at web developers, helpful for anyone who works professionally in web design.

Supercomputers: 99.6% Linux

While Linux is still in a battle for mindshare on the desktop, and has made huge advances in conquering the server and mobile markets, there's one area where the domination of the Linux operating system is almost complete: supercomputing. A look at the top 500 of the fastest computers in the world found Linux to be the operating system in use on 498 of them, a small increase over last year.

4.8 Linux kernel sees update

Not even a week after the last update to the 4.8 kernel, the latest stable release, yesterday brought an eighth round of updates. It's a rather minor release, changing only a minimal number of files, but brings a few important updates to drivers for various devices as well as networking changes.

Battles between big data projects

While Hadoop was the darling of the big data community not all that long ago, it's clear that Apache Spark has seen a great deal of momentum in development and adoption over the past year. In an essay on InfoWorld, Matt Asay takes a look at the forces of change around the open source big data ecosystem and what they might mean for those trying to build a business around big data.

Avoiding burnout in open source

Over on The New Stack, Dawn Foster takes a look at some of the challenges faced by members of the open source community as they struggle to move as fast as possible while avoiding burnout. Citing examples from multiple talks at OSCON Europe, Foster gives information overload, rapid scaling, community behavior, and other factors as some of the stressors felt by open source developers.

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About the author

Jason Baker - I use technology to make the world more open. Linux desktop enthusiast. Map/geospatial nerd. Raspberry Pi tinkerer. Data analysis and visualization geek. Occasional coder. Sysadmin. Web maker. Red Hatter since 2013.