Open Source Track at TDC 2013: São Paulo

The Developer’s Conference” is a 5 day event for all things software development, which opens its doors in São Paulo this week on Wednesday 10th. Simon will be there running an Open Source Track along with fellow OSI director Bruno Souza. The track runs on the Wednesday, with presentations and seminars from a range of speakers, covering topics from “decentralising the web” to “contributing to open source projects” and “A developer response to software patents”. If you’re attending TDC or are in São Paulo for any other reason, get along to the open source track!

A Change in License for Berkeley DB

Perhaps you didn’t spot it, but last month in their new Berkeley DB release Oracle changed the license associated with the software. Many will see this as a betrayal of trust, despite the fact that the new license (the AGPL) is also strongly copyleft, published by the FSF and approved by the Open Source Initiative. Of course, Oracle are completely within their rights to change the license as they see fit, but for Web developers using Berkeley DB for local storage, the seemingly small change from one strong copyleft license to another may well be seen as cynical and manipulative.

Why would that be? Continue reading

Internet Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

The Internet Hall of Fame was started last year by the Internet Society as an annual awards program to celebrate those who have made a significant contribution towards the internet’s development and advancement. This year a further 32 names have been announced as new additions to the hall of fame.

Congratulations to all of those who are being inducted into the hall of fame this year and our thanks as well for enabling the internet to become what it has.

A number of names on the list stand out as being of particular note to those of us concerned with digital and intellectual property rights. Continue reading

Open World Forum Extend Call for Papers

Open World Forum has been bringing together European decision makers to explore the impact and potential future impact of free and open source software since 2008. This year it’s grown again, is moving to a larger venue and will be taking place on October the 3rd, 4th and 5th in Paris, France.

Describing the overarching theme of the event as “demystifying practical innovation”, organisers are extending their call for participation. There’s a wide scope within that general theme for discussion on everything from massive open online courses to whether use of cloud technologies should be seen as a lock in or an opportunity. In the CODE section of the event topics range from big data to web accessibility to mobile technologies.

There are plenty more topics on their list, so take a look for yourself and if something catches your eye, run with it and get a proposal in now! We hope to run a track there on the subject of “Freedom To Innovate” and we’ll watch for submissions on this theme. Not only is it a great event, it’s also an opportunity for members of the open source community to get their voice heard by a large number of European decision makers.

CERN Building Open Source Hybrid Cloud

It was only a couple of months ago that CERN celebrated 20 years of the open web. We pointed to the way that freedom had allowed the web to succeed in a way that the patented Gopher couldn’t compete with. Today brings the announcement of another big success for open software, as CERN move into a year long collaboration with Rackspace to create an a new cloud computing facility (in conjunction with their existing OpenStack clouds) to handle the massive quantity of data created by CERN’s experiments.

The move highlights one of the ways in which open source software can be of value to the scientific community. Speaking on that topic, CERN’s IT infrastructure manager Tim Bell said that open source technologies, “foster continuous technological improvements through community contributions, while also giving us the ability to quickly address challenges, such as massive scaling, by leveraging the work of others.”

What he’s highlighting here is the flexibility of the open source approach. Flexibility is the core value of open source software; allowing you to be free to innovate and problem-solve rather than becoming a vassal to your suppliers’ business models. CERN unleashed this change when they set the Web free; it’s good to see them still using the same approach to create new revolutions today.