Open source news roundup for September 17-30, 2017

Facebook re-licenses React.js, a new open source tool from Oath, and more news

We take a look back at the biggest open source news of the past two weeks.

Open source news roundup for September 17-30, 2017
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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Facebook's about-face on React.js licensing, Oath open sourcing Vespa, and more.

Open source news roundup for September 17-30, 2017

Facebook does an about-face on React.js licensing

Recently, Facebook drew the ire of the open source community by licensing React.js (a widely-used JavaScript library) under a so-called BSD + Patents license. That license drew fears of patent litigation and React.js was rejected by the Apache Foundation and WordPress decided to ditch it. As a result of the backlash, the social media giant has backtracked and re-licensed the library.

Going forward, React.js will be under the MIT license. Why? According to Facebook's director of engineering Adam Wolff, React.js is the cornerstone of a lot of web software "and we don't want to hold back forward progress for non-technical reasons." Joining React.js under the MIT license umbrella are three other Facebook open source projects: Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js. However, Wolff noted that many of the company's popular projects "will keep the BSD + Patents license for now."

Oath open sources Vespa content tool

Oath, the company behind Yahoo!, has released a key internal tool called Vespa as open source. Vespa is considered one of the company's most important pieces of software, which has been "long used to make recommendations, target ads, and execute searches."

Yahoo! uses Vespa in 150 of its applications for "quickly figuring out what to show a user in response to input, like when they type text into a box." That, according to CNBC, makes Vespa "suitable for use at big companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google." The source code is available on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license.

New partnership to improve academic publishing

A major problem with academic publishing is the opaqueness of the submission and review processes. eLife and the Common Knowledge (Coko for short) Foundation want to change that. They're teaming up "to build a user-driven, open source submission and peer-review platform."

The goal of that platform is to make the process of submitting and reviewing academic works, along with communicating with authors and reviewers, smoother. To do that, eLife and Coko will "move away from the monolithic software models of the leading solutions in use today and develop a more modular, modern solution designed with the user at its center," said eLife's Giuliano Maciocci. The system will be based on Coko's PubSweet framework, and will be "developed in the open to allow the community to track, participate and share in the project."

In other news

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That idiot Scott Nesbitt ...
Scott Nesbitt - I'm a long-time user of free/open source software, and write various things for both fun and profit. I don't take myself too seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: Twitter, Mastodon, GitHub, and... more about Scott Nesbitt