Category Archives: opensource

The Complicated Economy of Open Source Software

An excerpt from a report, which looks at the complicated business of funding open source software development: On the surface, the open source software community has never been better. Companies and governments are adopting open source software at rates that would've been unfathomable 20 years ago, and a whole new generation of programmers are cutting their teeth on developing software in plain sight and making it freely available for anyone to use. Go a little deeper, however, and the cracks start to show. The ascendancy of open source has placed a mounting burden on the maintainers of popular software, who now handle more bug reports, feature requests, code reviews, and code commits than ever before. At the same time, open source developers must also deal with an influx of corporate users who are unfamiliar with community norms when it comes to producing and consuming open source software. This leads to developer burnout and a growing feeling of resentment toward the companies that rely on free labor to produce software that is folded into products and sold back to consumers for huge profits. From this perspective, Heartbleed wasn't an isolated example of developer burnout and lack of funding, but an outgrowth of a systemic disease that had been festering in the open source software community for years. Identifying the symptoms and causes of this disease was the easy part; finding a cure is more difficult. Further reading: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

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Tesla Hacker Launches Open-Source Project ‘FreedomEV’ To Run On Rooted Teslas, Bring New Wi-Fi Hotspot and Anti-Tracking Features

Slashdot reader internet-redstar writes: The Tesla Hacker, Jasper Nuyens -- who uncovered Tesla's "unconfirmed lane change" last year -- now launched at FOSDEM an open-source project called "FreedomEV" to run on top of rooted Teslas. It adds new features to the vehicles, such as a "Hotspot Mode" for in-car Wi-Fi and a "Cloak Mode" to prevent all location tracking and more. It hopes to become available for other cars too. Full presentation video can be found here. The Github project and the website. He is looking for contributors and support from Tesla.

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LibreOffice 6.2 Brings New Interfaces, Performance Improvements To the Open Source Office Suite

An anonymous reader shares a report: New interface styles and feature improvements are available in version 6.2 of LibreOffice -- the most popular open-source office suite -- released Thursday by The Document Foundation. As with any software update, bug fixes and feature enhancements are present, making this release a significant upgrade, particularly for users coming from Microsoft Office, or working with files created with those programs. LibreOffice now supports SVG-based icons for toolbars in the Breeze, Colibre, and Elementary icon sets as an experimental feature, to better support HiDPI displays increasingly found in notebook PCs. The Elementary icon set was also improved significantly, adding a 32px PNG version, and fixing inconsistencies between the 16, 24, and 32px versions, as well as adding more icons across the set to prevent reverting to defaults. In LibreOffice 6.2, the "Tabbed" interface is now available for Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw, and is considered sufficiently stable to be a default option. This interface mimics the oft-maligned "Ribbon interface" in Office 2007. The "traditional" Office-style toolbar is default, though the Tabbed interface can be enabled through the "View > User Interface" menus.

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GitHub Seeks Feedback on ‘Open Source Sustainability’

Devon Zuegel, "a developer with a passion for governance and economics," recently became GitHub's open source product manager to "support maintainers in cultivating vital, productive communities" -- specifically open source software (OSS). Thursday they put out a call for feedback from open source developers about their contribution hours, their projects, and especially their issues: As the OSS community has grown in scale and importance, the way we think about working together has to evolve, too. What works in a village or a town needs to evolve to serve a metropolis. Open source has grown from a small, academic sharing network to a giant, global web of dependencies. It now forms the backbone of the internet and technology in general. Just like any growing city, we have to coordinate the knowledge, infrastructure, and tools for the good of the whole community. OSS is an essential and special part of software development. OSS has also been the heart of GitHub since the beginning. However, there is so much more we could do to support the people behind it. I have many ideas, but first I want to hear from you. The essay argues OSS maintainers and contributors "don't have all the tools, support, and environment they need to succeed," including analytics, communication resources, recognition and "proportionate incentive to contribute time and money to creating and maintaining projects." (As well as deficiencies in both governance and mentorship.) And at the bottom of the blog post, there's a contact form. "I want you to be part of the conversation and our roadmap. These challenges are nuanced, and they are unique to each project and community, so it's crucial that we have an open dialogue as we focus on helping you address them."

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