Open source news roundup for June 23, 2018

New releases from Facebook and Google, CPTPP's potential open source impact, and more news

Catch up on the latest open source headlines.

Weekly news roundup with TV
Image by :

Subscribe now

Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look new open source from Facebook and Google, the CPTPP's potential to harm open source, open source traffic management, and more.

Facebook and Google release more open source

Internet juggernauts Facebook and Google built their services with a lot of open source software. And while both companies are jealously guard their core code, they do release quite a bit of open source software.

Facebook recently open sourced two applications. First, the Sonar debugging tool. The three-year-old Sonar, which you can grab off GitHub, "provides engineers with an intuitive way for inspecting and understanding the structure and behavior of iOS and Android applications." On the heels of Sonar came the release of the Katran load balancing tool. Katran "keeps the company data centers from overloading."

Meanwhile, Google's computing like it's 1987 with the release of its GIF for CLI utility. As the name suggests, it's a terminal application that "can convert a Graphics Interchange Format image into ASCII art for terminal." You can find the source code for GIF for CLI on GitHub.

CPTPP could harm open source software

That's the conclusion of Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA), an open source advocacy group based in South Australia. The group is urging the Pacific nation's government to withdraw from the "CPTPP (Comprehensive & Progressive agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership) over provisions that could decimate the Australian open source community."

The OSIA "has identified loosely worded clauses within the chapter on electronic commerce that could have major impacts on creators and users of open source software." It would be "the courts interpret the term 'commercially negotiated contracts' as including FOSS licenses all the time, some of the time or none of the time." The OSIA's Jack Burton bluntly stated that "we have a situation where the most favorable interpretation could decimate our industry, whereas the least favorable could destroy it."

Louisville sharing its traffic management data

The city of Louisville, Kentucky has shared its traffic and road accident data with "over 60 governments around the world through the Open Government Coalition." The Coalition, which is an alliance of government agencies working on open source projects, will use the data to "improve their understanding of local traffic."

Louisville decided to open source the data because, according to Michael Schnuerle, city's Chief Data Officer, "working in the open and developing this collaboratively, we've been able to develop such a broad range of support from all of these governments that would be interested in the final product." The data's worked in Louisville—it's helped the city reduce congestion by 30%. So far, eight cities have grabbed the data to create their own traffic databases with the aim of repeating Louisville's success.

Gandiva project aims to improve the performance of analytics engines

One of the biggest challenges in analyzing huge data sets is the speed and efficiency at which computers can process that data. Data specialist company Dremio thinks it has a solution with its open source Gandiva Project for Apache Arrow.

Built on top of Apache Arrow (a platform for in-memory data), Gandiva "reduces the number of CPU instructions that must be executed and makes the remaining instructions more efficient." Dremio's CTO Jaques Nadeau says that "Gandiva can make Apache Arrow operations up to 100 times faster." Nadeau also believe that other technologies and platforms "including Apache Spark, Pandas and even Node.js could benefit from adoption of Gandiva."

In other news

Thanks, as always, to staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar to see what's happening next week in open source.


About the author

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 all that seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: The Plain Text Project, Open Source Musings, The Monday Kickoff...