I will begin by defining the two subjects in the above question. “Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner.” (Wikipedia). Open source software exists in everyday technology, like the apps on smartphones, the televisions we use, and even on the complex operating system, Linux. There are hundreds of thousands of open source software packages in existence today.
The title of this post may be a bit misleading. This article is not about how people find open source software (OSS) to use, it’s about how people go about finding OSS used in the applications they develop.
Today’s post concludes this article; Parts 1 and 2 of which can be found in series on this blog page.
Today’s post continues Part 1 from yesterday, which can be found here.
I would like to share a little bit about how Open Source Software (OSS) is foundational to the fascinating and evolving industry of High Performance Computing (HPC). This first part of my three-part post will introduce the IT sector known as HPC. On Friday, I will be highlighting the first three of five packages that are really cornerstones of HPC. In my conclusion next Wednesday, I’ll present the final two packages and draw a few conclusions about the field, exploring the contributions that OSS makes to HPC, and that HPC is making to OSS.
As I sat at the Linux Collaboration Summit, listening to Matt Jones from Jaguar Land Rover relay what drivers want from the software in their cars, and announce the Automotive Grade Linux User Experience Contest, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. "I'm quite sure there isn't ANY software in my car," I whispered to the colleague sitting next to me. The car of which I spoke was a 1994 Saturn station wagon. Software? It seemed highly unlikely. The extent of the "in-vehicle infotainment" system was a tape deck, with which I used a dubious tape deck converter to listen to music off my phone, and a radio that occasionally required a certain amount of violent hitting on the dashboard to stay on any given station. I knew I was still living in the automotive Stone Age, yet, when Jones reported a surveyed desire for HD displays and Internet connection at all times in vehicles, I wasn't sure this was a bad thing.
In a recent article1, Monty Widenius, a primary author of MySQL, argues that typical open source licensing is a problem for entrepreneurs, and that a change is needed. He recommends something he calls “business source,” which essentially means code under a commercial license that automatically converts to an open source license after a defined period of time, such as three years. Each new version of the code triggers a new three-year license clock for that version.
A number of interesting press releases by industry experts published this year show some of the most impressive data ever on the exponential growth of open source software adoption. Open source buzz is humming both behind the scenes and on the front page in just about every major industry that touches a piece of modern technology!
Before I jump into my topic, here is some background for those new to open source licenses.
I am asked two very reasonable questions, on a very regular basis, by some very interesting people.
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