Open Source / GPL

Stallman: OSDL patent project 'worse than nothing'

An effort by the Open Source Development Labs to help developers defend themselves against software patents has come under fire from Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman, who believes that the plan could backfire.

The controversy centers on the issue of patents on software processes, which many believe could threaten the future of open-source software and software innovation in general. Because software processes are abstract, critics say such patents effectively let companies monopolize ideas, without which software can't be developed.

GPL clarification needed ASAP

The Free Software Foundation urgently needs to explain how software governed by the current General Public License will interact with that governed by a successor now under development, the leader of the Open Source Development Labs said Wednesday.

Why the GPL rocketed Linux to success

Charles M. Hannum (one of the 4 originators of NetBSD) has posted a sad article about serious problems in the NetBSD project, saying "the NetBSD Project has stagnated to the point of irrelevance." You can see the article or an LWN article about it.

IT Industry Veteran Steve McManus Joins Zenoss Executive Team

Zenoss, Inc., a leading provider of open source network and systems management software, announced today that Steve McManus, former Vice Chairman and co-founder of Maryland-based software as a service pioneer USinternetworking, Inc., has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Client Services.

Eclipse Foundation Approves APERI Storage Management Project

The Eclipse Foundation, an open source community committed to the implementation of a universal development platform, today announced that it has approved the creation of the Aperi Storage Management Framework Project. The Aperi Project, which was proposed in June 2006, will give customers more choices for deploying open-storage infrastructure software - based on an industry-stand ard framework developed by the open source community.

When open source is not enough

There was some interesting buzz about the state of open source going around ApacheCon in Dublin.

On one hand, Apache is - and is widely seen as - a moderate, pragmatic voice in the FOSS world: the Apache license is explicitly business-friendly, and the conference was very happy to welcome the arch-enemy of more dogmatic FOSS advocates, Microsoft, among us.

New Zealand redefines open source as "code you can't modify"

New Zealand government officials have responded to my criticism of their newly released national DRM strategy -- their strategy for government adoption and use of technology that prevents copying and unauthorized use.

These technologies aren't fit for government use, for a number of reasons. Today, for example, whistle-blowers in government can take official documents that show malfeasance to an ombudsman or the press or their boss. Under the NZ proposal, they'll have to take their request for leaking sensitive information to a Ministry of DRM that will evaluate their request and determine whether to allow the disclosure.

Blazing trails with open source

It's often said that open source doesn't innovate. It imitates. That's certainly what the proprietary software industry would have you believe. And to look at the activity in some of the most prominent open source projects in use in enterprises today, it's tempting to agree.

For example, although open source databases are incredibly popular for all kinds of mission-critical applications, neither MySQL or PostgreSQL is really doing anything that IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sybase haven't been doing for years. Similarly, the OpenOffice.org productivity suite is an impressive example of community-driven development, and yet it's only real purpose is to create a free, standards-based clone of Microsoft Office. Even Linux itself is an attempt to rewrite Unix as free software.