Open source news roundup: March 7 - 13, 2015

Apple releases ResearchKit, Linux adopts a code of conflict, and more

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look Apple's open source ResearchKit, the Linux kernel community adopts a code of conflict, and more!

Open source news roundup for March 7 - 13, 2015

Apple introduces ResearchKit to aid medical research

Ars Technica was one of the many sites to cover Apple's introduction of ResearchKit. As Apple writes in its own press release, ResearchKit is "an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone® apps."

ResearchKit will be released as open source framework next month. It will be interesting to see under which license, and also if this framework can be ported to other platforms like Android and the recently released Ubuntu Phone.

Apple also introduced five apps that have already been developed on ResearchKit. More information can be found on www.apple.com/researchkit, and developers can find information at https://developer.apple.com/researchkit/.

Linux gets 'code of conflict' patch

Steven Vaughan-Nichols writes for ZDNet about the new code of conduct for the Linux kernel community. It was presented in the form of a patch to the kernel; written by developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, signed off on by 60 developers, and accepted into the kernel by Linus Torvalds.

Linux Foundation's executive director Jim Zemlin writes: "We believe the guidelines are grounded in the unique culture and process that makes Linux so successful. Conflict over code will and should happen. But the code is very clear that personal insults or abuse are not welcome."

Open source license usage on GitHub

Ben Balter, Government Evangelist at GitHub, blogs about license usage on GitHub. In his post, he stresses the importance of licensing itself: "Unless you've explicitly told others that they can modify and reuse your work, you've only showed others your code; you haven't shared it."

Since 2008, public repositories have gone from 60% to 20% in 2015 with the licensing of more code. The spike was in 2013 when GitHub launched choosealicense.com and introduced the license picker. Balter also writes, we can "look forward to a more in depth analysis over the coming weeks as to how license usage affects project success".

Open data to improve life in Australia

The Australian federal government is forging ahead with its open data agenda with help from the Open Data 500 study. The Australian government "has enlisted New York University's GovLab to investigate how Australian organizations are using government data sets." About the Open Data 500 study:

The Open Data 500 is the first comprehensive study of U.S. companies that use open government data to generate new business and develop new products and services. Open Data is free, public data that can be used to launch commercial and nonprofit ventures, do research, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems.

The result of this study, which Mexico and the United States are also part of, will be a publicly available report "that will help businesses to identify ways to reduce the costs of accessing government data, including licensing, versioning and control costs."

Mellon Foundation grants $750K to support open source library system

Indiana University and its partners at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan received two grants from the Mellon Foundation. The first grant provides $750,000 to the Indian University libraries, to support continuing development of the Avalon Media System, which is an open source product, designed to "help libraries and archives provide long-term online access to audio and video collections for primarily academic audiences."

According to Carolyn Walters, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries at Indiana University, "both of these grants will benefit a broad range of institutions and will have lasting impact on the library and the scholarly publishing communities."

The Avalon Media System is an open source system for managing and providing access to large collections of digital audio and video. The freely available system enables libraries and archives to easily curate, distribute and provide online access to their collections for purposes of teaching, learning and research.

In other news

Thanks, as always, to Opensource.com 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.