FLOSS Weekly 442: Hyperledger

Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 442, where Brian Behlendorf explained the Hyperledger Project of which he is Executive Director. An excellent show, with many interesting branching-off points.

Hyperledger is a project to maintain a platform for distributed ledger projects and the toolkits and apps that support and use them. It’s intended for building private systems where everyone participating can be identified, so does not have an associated proof-of-work token or the “cryptocurrency” aura that goes with it.

It may be the tool that finally re-decentralises the Internet. By taking away the shiny gold, people can finally see the power of a distributed ledger whose authority is established by consensus  rather than heirarchy. The book Simon mentions, “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando de Soto, is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Microsoft & Linux & Patents & Tweets

Fact-checking some tweets about Linux Foundation’s newest member and their harvesting of other members’ money.

unicorn

Microsoft recently joined the Linux Foundation while still asserting its patents against the rest of the membership. As I found that odd, I tweeted some casually-calculated statistics  about Microsoft’s patent revenues that seemed to me to simply be the aggregation of common knowledge. But maybe people have forgotten the details; at least two respondents asked me to substantiate the figures. Having struck a nerve, this post is by way of explanation. Continue reading

Formal certification for open source projects, is this progress?

By announcing its new certification process for Linux professionals at Linuxcon, The Linux Foundation made their pro-certification stance pretty clear. They’re not the only open source foundation endorsing peer-verified certification as an effective and useful way for those outside a community to place their trust in an individuals community credentials. The Document Foundation also offers a certification scheme, in their case for for LibreOffice migration professionals.

The two qualifications use slightly different procedures to assess candidates, but the outcome is a similar endorsement of community-recognised skills. How many other projects might be a good fit for this sort of certification? Should this become a more widespread practice? There are some obvious benefits to the practice, for a start it creates a concrete parameter for those outside the community to use when making hiring decisions. Both certifications appear to have made an impact in their respective fields, with the TDF certification already a requirement in some recruiting activities and The Linux Foundation’s introductory offer $50 certifications already sold out.

For more details about both certifications as well as more detailed discussion of potential criteria for new qualifications, see Simon’s InfoWorld article.