open source

The "From Mac to Linux" Issue

What you are reading right now is a Linux magazine—with a focus on Apple computers running macOS. (Or MacOS. Or however Apple is doing the capitalization nowadays.) I know, it's weird. It's extremely weird—like cats and dogs living together weird. But we're not here to bash on Apple. Neither are we here to sing praises to those down in Cupertino.

Hello Again, Linux

My first MacBook was the first computer I really loved, but I wasn't happy about the idea of buying a new one. I decided it's important to live your values and to support groups that value the things you do.

Open Source--It's in the Genes

What happens when you release 500,000 human genomes as open source? This. DNA is digital. The three billion chemical bases that make up the human genome encode data not in binary, but in a quaternary system, using four compounds—adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine—to represent four genetic "digits": A, C, G and T. Although this came as something of a surprise in 1953, when Watson and Crick proposed an A–T and C–G pairing as a "copying mechanism for genetic material" in their famous double helix paper, it's hard to see how hereditary information could have been transmitted efficiently from generation to generation in any other way. As anyone who has made photocopies of photocopies is aware, analog systems are bad at loss-free transmission, unlike digital encodings. Evolution of progressively more complex structures over millions of years would have been much harder, perhaps impossible, had our genetic material been stored in a purely analog form.

Open Source Is Winning, and Now It's Time for People to Win Too

Teaching kids about open source? Don't forget to teach them ethics as well. Back when I started college, in the fall of 1988, I was introduced to a text editor called Emacs. Actually, it wasn't just called Emacs; it was called "GNU Emacs". The "GNU" part, I soon learned, referred to something called "free software", which was about far more than the fact that it was free of charge. The GNU folks talked about software with extreme intensity, as if the fate of the entire world rested on the success of their software replacing its commercial competition.

What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community

"Marley was dead, to begin with."—Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. As you surely know by now, Linux Journal started in 1994, which means it has been around for most of the Linux story. A lot has changed since then, and it's not surprising that Linux and the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community are very different today from what they were for Linux Journal's first issue 25 years ago. The changes within the community during this time had a direct impact on Linux Journal and contributed to its death, making Linux Journal's story a good lens through which to view the overall story of the FOSS community. Although I haven't been with Linux Journal since the beginning, I was there during the heyday, the stroke, the decline, the death and the resurrection. This article is about that story and what it says about how the FOSS community has changed.

Spy Games: the NSA and GCHQ Offer Their Software to the Open Source Community

Spies worth their salt are generally expected to be good at keeping secrets. With dead drops, encryption, cyanide pills and the like, openly sharing useful information isn’t supposed to be a part of the job description. So it caught more than a few of us off guard when a couple years ago, some of the top spy agencies began contributing code to GitHub, making it available to the masses by open-sourcing some of their software.

Open Science, Open Source and R

Free software will save psychology from the Replication Crisis. "Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just 'psycho-babble'".—The Independent.

Some Thoughts on Open Core

Why open core software is bad for the FOSS movement. Nothing is inherently anti-business about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In fact, a number of different business models are built on top of FOSS. The best models are those that continue to further FOSS by internal code contributions and that advance the principles of Free Software in general. For instance, there's the support model, where a company develops free software but sells expert support for it.

Keeping Your Episodic Contributors to Open-Source Projects Happy

Community managers have long been advised to nurture top contributors, but it is also important to consider infrequent and casual (episodic) contributors. There are more potential episodic contributors than habitual ones, and getting the most out of your episodic contributors can require reconsidering your strategies for retaining and incorporating contributors.

Five Trends Influencing Linux's Growth at the Endpoint

A recent IDC InfoBrief identified Linux as the only endpoint operating system growing globally. While Windows market share remains flat, at 39% in 2015 and 2017, Linux has grown from 30% in 2015 to 35% in 2017, worldwide. And the trend is accelerating.

How Can We Bring FOSS to the Virtual World?

Is there room for FOSS in the AI, VR, AR, MR, ML and XR revolutions—or vice versa? Will the free and open-source revolution end when our most personal computing happens inside the walled gardens of proprietary AI VR, AR, MR, ML and XR companies? I ask, because that's the plan.

Reinventing Software Development and Availability with Open Source: an Interview with One of Microsoft Azure's Lead Architects

Microsoft was founded in 1975—that's 43 years ago and a ton of history. Up until the last decade, the company led a campaign against the Open Source and Free Software movements, and although it may have slowed the opposition, it did not bring it to an end. In fact, it emboldened its supporters to push the open-source agenda even harder. Fast-forward to the present, and open-source technologies run nearly everything—mobile devices, cloud services, televisions and more.