Open source news roundup for October 11 - 17, 2014

Open source drones, open source in Europe, and more

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at open source in Europe, Adobe dropping support for Linux, open source drones, and more!

Open source news for your reading pleasure.

October 11 - 17, 2014

Open source gains more ground in Germany

It's no secret that on a number of German government departments and municipalities which have, or are in the process of, ditching proprietary software for open source. Nick Heath reports on the latest government to make the switch: the town of Gummersbach in North Rhine-Westphalia. The town recently moved it computers from Windows XP to Linux. It's a move that's said to have saved the town a "five-figure sum."

New European Commissioner advocates free software

During the course of his confirmation hearings, incoming EU Commissioner for the Single Digital Market Andrus Ansip "stated clearly that the European Commission must encourage the use of free software." Ansip also stressed the need for the European Union to support the expansion of free software. It will be interesting to see if Ansip will be able to expand the reach of free and open source software throughout the EU. But if previous experience is any indication, countries in the EU are open to a shift away from proprietary software.

Adobe stops supporting Linux: how the open source community should respond

If you didn't know it already, Adobe has pulled the rug out from under the Linux version of Adobe Reader (its PDF reader software). What's the big deal? Aren't there native Linux PDF readers? Over at TechRepublic, Jack Wallen points out that "there are a lot of government entities making a major shift to the Linux platform" and that those entities use PDF documents that contain features that Okular or Evince don't support. To eliminate this problem, Wallen suggests dumping PDF and for "the open-source community to come together and create the next document format that is truly portable (instead of 'profitable')."

The Linux Foundation launches the Dronecode project

Want an open source drone? Thanks to the Linux Foundation's Dronecode project, that could be a reality sooner than you think. Backed by a number of well-known technology firms and drone companies, the project has over 1,200 developers working to create "a common, shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)." Quoted in this article at ZDNet, the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin said the project will result in "even greater innovation and a common platform for drone and robotics open-source projects."

Open source needs more than good code. It needs good marketing, too

ReadWrite's Matt Asay points out that "most open source developers focus on writing great code and don't bother marketing their project." But, Asay writes, open source projects can learn from the lessons of Apache Storm's marketing efforts. The key? Asay advises getting your project a storyteller and take the time to create interesting, compelling, and informative marketing materials.

In other news

A big thanks, as always, to staff member Jen Wike Huger and moderators Robin Muilwijk and Joshua Holm for their help this week.

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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...