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Advocating open source management can be a disaster

…but it doesn’t have to be
Submitted by Phil Odence on Fri, 09/02/11 - 7:44am.

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, National Public Radio ran a piece on the challenges of risk management. Government officials, right up to the President, took heat for over blowing the potential danger, whereas surely they'd have been vilified if things had gone the other way and people had died due to insufficient warning. Don't get me started on the riskless society. The public's reaction reminds me of when my youngest was four and I chided her about how dangerous it was to run into a parking lot without looking. "But I didn't get hit by a car," was her reaction.

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So much open source, so little time…

The three key things to consider when you are selecting open source
Submitted by Phil Odence on Wed, 06/22/11 - 10:51am.

The Free Software Foundation recently updated its license recommendations guide. While there are a lot of developers looking to license their creations under open source licenses-with new projects popping up at a rate of hundreds per day-there are many more developers selecting open source components for apps and stacks they are stitching together.

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Give developers what they want; they’ll get it anyway

Interesting discussion with Red Monk’s Stephen O’Grady
Submitted by Phil Odence on Fri, 06/03/11 - 2:56pm.

Developers think of a forge as a place to get, develop and share code. Turns out that data on their use of forges is very useful for analyzing development trends and the implications for IT professionals managing development. A study announced yesterday of data aggregated from four popular forges provides some great insights.

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Great news...now you can download your very own E. coli bacterium

Microbiology is going open source
Submitted by Phil Odence on Wed, 05/11/11 - 2:14pm.

The same concepts that have lead to open source rockin' the software world have spawned the beginning of a revolution in biotech. An organization called Biofab, funded by the NSF and run through teams at Stanford and Berkeley, is applying open development approaches to creating building blocks (BioBricksTM from BioBricks Foundation) for the bio products of the future. Now, the first of those building blocks (based on E. coli) are just rolling off the production line.

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New open source license is for the birds

OSI officially considering the merits of the Chicken Dance License
Submitted by Phil Odence on Fri, 04/01/11 - 6:18pm.

OK, I'm slow on the draw, but it's still April Fools Day, so I'm in the office a little late to get this off my chest. The story is factual, though the subject is somewhat of a tongue in cheek: Last week, one Andrew "Tuna" Harris formally requested approval from the Open Source Initiative (OSI) of the Chicken Dance License (CDL). It looks like it won't fly (yuk, yuk) but it seems to have gotten some semi-serious consideration.

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Android is a cool example of benefits and challenges of developing with open source

With big, complex projects, open source licensing can be tricky business, but it's manageable
Submitted by Phil Odence on Mon, 03/28/11 - 6:22pm.

As discussed in my last posting, Android is a particularly visible and broadly used project, and for that reason is drawing a fair amount of legal attention. There are aspects of the project that demonstrate the two-edged sword nature of open source: Developing with open source components provides a huge productivity gain, but companies need to be smart about it.

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Android is hot…and getting hotter.

Along with its meteoric rise in popularity, the platform is generating some legal heat
Submitted by Phil Odence on Mon, 03/21/11 - 9:29am.

Yes, Android is smokin'! It's clearly been hot in the sense of a big success, extremely popular and market buzzword. And, more recently, there seems to be some heat-generating intellectual property friction around the platform. So, hot and heated. But, the legal issues, albeit in the press because of the popularity of the platform, are just visible examples of what any organization developing with open source needs to manage.

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Dev and ops, a marriage made in heaven?

Open source plays matchmaker for “Devops”
Submitted by Phil Odence on Mon, 02/14/11 - 8:49am.

It may not have been love at first sight, but now IT development and operations teams are going beyond just cozying up and are, in fact, marrying their efforts . Open source has played a key role, and has been conspiring with the trends towards cloud computing and agile development to bring these cute kids together.

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New cloud applications drive popularity of the AGPL license

Another good reason for IT groups to manage open source use
Submitted by Phil Odence on Fri, 02/04/11 - 10:24am.

Diaspora, the hottest new open source project, is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License or AGPL. So are two other new, popular cloud applications, RapidFTR and ownCloud. Add to that popular forges Launchpad and Gitorious.

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Here come the open source rookies!

A look at the most active new open source projects from 2010
Submitted by Phil Odence on Tue, 01/11/11 - 7:46am.

In the rapidly changing world of open source, it's interesting to look at popular new projects on the leading edge. Black Duck (my company) just announced its list of open source "Rookies of the Year" for the third year running.  Annually, we try to separate the future Hall of Famers from the future Go Down in Flamers. The press release does a nice job outlining the study and the winners.

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Big news about the big duck in the open source pond

Black Duck buys Ohloh.net
Submitted by Phil Odence on Tue, 10/05/10 - 6:53am.

Today Black Duck announced the acquisition of Ohloh.net from Geeknet.  Here's some of the inside scoop about our impressions of Ohloh and why this is all a good thing for the community and Black Duck.

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Recent court ruling makes it more important than ever to understand the GPL

It’s much less dangerous than a chainsaw
Submitted by Phil Odence on Thu, 09/09/10 - 7:52am.

When Alan Shimel reported on the recent court decision against Westinghouse Digital in the BusyBox suit, he talked of the GPL having teeth. Think about the teeth of a saw. Very useful, but requiring understanding and care. It's surprising how misunderstood the license is, especially given its popularity.

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Today Linux Foundation steps up to enable industry open source adoption

Compliance program does the right thing to help companies do the right thing
Submitted by Phil Odence on Tue, 08/10/10 - 9:02am.

Today the Linux Foundation launched its Open Compliance Program. This bold new initiative promises to increase adoption of open source and help companies comply with open source licenses. It combines some efforts already in place with several exciting, newly unveiled elements-more about those below.

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Surprise! SAP is now big into open source

If you ask them, “Why?” they’ll answer, “Why not?”
Submitted by Phil Odence on Thu, 08/05/10 - 4:47pm.

The announcement of SAP as a Black Duck customer and (omagosh!) a user of open source brought some surprised reactions from the press, including my dear editor Julie Bort.

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Open source has created software overload

Open source has passed three new milestones including a sense that there’s now too many choices.
Submitted by Phil Odence on Mon, 07/19/10 - 10:31am.

Last week, Stephen O'Grady from RedMonk came all the way down to Waltham from Portland, ME (or I guess that must be up, if Maine is "Down East") to speak with us at Black Duck. He was happy to report that open source is alive and well and made a number of interesting points about the software market and open source.

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Open source helps those who…get a little help from their friends

Many resources are available to aid organizations adopting open source
Submitted by Phil Odence on Tue, 07/06/10 - 7:46am.

Whereas most developers have familiarity with open source, fewer of their managers and even fewer senior execs have much experience with it, especially when it comes to corporate policy or governance. Thus, it's good news that there are organizations and resources that can help companies get their collective heads around the issues and best practices for managing them.

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Following the invisible thread of software into the future

IBM Rational's GM inspires with a compelling vision
Submitted by Phil Odence on Thu, 06/24/10 - 7:42pm.

IBM Rational GM, Danny Sabbah's keynote at the recent Innovate conference painted an inspiring future picture for anyone involved with software. He described the pivotal role of software-powered Smarter Products in IBM's vision of a Smarter Planet. And lest you feel alienated because you don't work for a software company or a product company, don't worry...you do. All companies are becoming software companies and products are evolving into inter-organizational systems of systems with software being the "invisible thread" that stitches them all together.

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“Not All Open Source is Created Equal” Redux

Everything you always wanted to know about open source licenses in 500 words or less
Submitted by Phil Odence on Wed, 06/16/10 - 10:07am.


I enjoyed Eric Gries' recent piece 

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No more waiting for the bus; open software can keep you warm and dry

Transit companies are opening their data for traveler-friendly apps
Submitted by Phil Odence on Mon, 06/07/10 - 7:14am.

In my younger years, I had a system whereby if I dashed out the door as soon as the Green Line train appeared in my kitchen window, I could just beat it to the Northeastern T-stop. Now my old kitchen window is being obsoleted by an iPhone app called Catch the Bus. In fact, that's just one of the available ways of accessing the open real time data now provided by the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority).

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Free Beer!

Community development isn't limited to open source software
Submitted by Phil Odence on Wed, 05/26/10 - 11:11am.

I heard a rumor about an open source beer and it's true! The idea is to use an open development methodology, like the approach for open source software, to create and propagate a better beer. A handful of examples have bubbled up from the idea though none has yet hit it big.

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