Tom Watson, MP, Minister for Digital Engagement
Open Source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades: it has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations; it has shown how giant corporations themselves, and Governments, can become more innovative, more agile and more cost-effective by building on the fruits of community work; and from its IT base the Open Source movement has given leadership to new thinking about intellectual property rights and the availability of information for re–use by others.
This Government has long had the policy, last formally articulated in 2004, that it should seek to use Open Source where it gave the best value for money to the taxpayer in delivering public services. While we have always respected the long-held beliefs of those who think that governments should favour Open Source on principle, we have always taken the view that the main test should be what is best value for the taxpayer.
Red Hat and Microsoft Expand Server Virtualization Interoperability.
In response to strong customer demand, Red Hat and Microsoft have signed reciprocal agreements to enable increased interoperability for the companies’ virtualization platforms. Each company will join the other’s virtualization validation/certification program and will provide technical support for their mutual server virtualization customers.
Key components of the agreement:
- Red Hat will validate Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows 2000 Server SP42, and Windows Server 2008 guests on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies.
- Microsoft will validate Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 and 5.3 guests on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V (all editions) and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.
Once each company completes testing, customers with valid support agreements will receive cooperative technical support for:
- Running Windows Server operating system virtualized on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization, and
- Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualized on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
- Future versions of products from both companies are also planned to be validated under these agreements.
- The agreements contain no patent or open source licensing components.
- The agreements contain no financial clauses, other than industry-standard certification/validation testing fees.
From an essay by Jim Whitehurst for Educause.
Open source is now recognized in institutions of higher education as a viable technology solution that provides superior value at a fraction of the cost of proprietary applications. That’s a good thing—but that’s not all it can do. Open source can be a transformative force in education. In particular, it can transform computer science curricula. Academic institutions that are consumers of open source need to reverse roles and shift gears to “preach what they practice” and place higher emphasis on integrating open source into the classroom.
Open source is an increasingly important skill set that many of today’s computer science graduates are lacking. This is not because students aren’t interested in open source, but because very few colleges and universities currently offer open-source classes. In addition to eager students, there are many professors who are very interested in teaching open source in their classrooms and labs.
DoD starts site for open source
Saving money is the goal
By John Oram in California @ Monday, February 02, 2009 6:16 AM
David Mihelcic, the chief technology officer for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), says Defense Department officials have launched a new website where developers can work on open-source software projects specifically for the DoD. Red Hat, a Linux developer, stepped forward to assist with an initial open-source application.
Mihelcic said that the new site, Forge.mil, is based on the public site SourceForge.net ,which hosts thousands of open-source projects. “Forge.mil is really SourceForge.net upgraded to meet DOD security requirements,” Mihelcic said.
DISA is a Department of Defense combat support agency and provides real-time information technology and communications support to the president, vice president, secretary of defense, the military services, and the combatant commands. From its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters and through worldwide field activities, DISA offers IT services, capabilities and acquisition expertise so the US military can accomplish its missions.
A nice how-to-think-through the creation of a good open source project.
Bottom line conclusion: strive to be Open in everything you do, every LOC, every process, not just having available source — if you’re not doing that you are not getting all of the great benefits of Open Source which is the REAL reason why you do it, to achieve vibrant communities that feed off each other and get stronger because of it. If you’re mainly just talking to yourself (in stage 1), figure out how to maximize the stage 2.
If you have an open source project, think about how to grow a community of users and a community of developers. The latter is pretty darn hard, but a pretty rewarding thing to achieve.
I could have written this more simply — open source code is great, open everything is better. Hopefully this is useful to some new software companies out there, as well as some developers. The main idea here is, think community, not code. It’s everything — and when you do that, THAT is when you actually reap the benefits of open source. Otherwise the only real benefit you are getting is freedom to debug/fork, which is only a very small part of the equation.
Mozilla’s Director of Evangelism, Chris Blizzard writes about why open video is important.
The result of that has been an explosion of creativity and investment from single individuals all the way up to the largest companies. Anyone can have an impact and anyone can affect the technology direction of the web. Because anyone can build tools without permission that speak the lingua franca of the web, you can find tools to do just about anything. It’s a truly vibrant marketplace.
There’s one exception to this: video on the web. Although videos are available on the web via sites like Youtube, they don’t share the same democratized characteristics that have made the web vibrant and distributed. And it shows. That centralization has created some interesting problems that have symptoms like censorship via abuse of the DMCA and an overly-concentrated audience on a few sites that have the resources and technology to host video. I believe that problems like the ones we see with youtube are a symptom of the larger problem of the lack of decentralization and competition in video technology – very different than where the rest of the web is today.
In its second major open source story in a week, the BBC looks at the questions surrounding open source adoption in the UK’s schools and universities. A good portion of the article is spent on the notion that open source software doesn’t really save money because there are (re)training and migration costs associated with any new technology.
For once, it seems like a mainstream reporter asked a good follow up question.
Another issue frequently raised is that of technology lock-in, one of the biggest arguments used by open source advocates as to why Windows is still prevalent.
“Something that isn’t always taken into account when calculating software procurement costs, is the ongoing costs costs arising from licensing or technology lock-in,” said Mr Gavigan
Mr Gavigan felt that the free nature of open source software sometimes worked against it.
“Announcing you have spent amazing sums of money trying to tackle a problem has more impact with your audience than saying you have used a free solution. There is an unfortunate myth that if it doesn’t cost anything, it isn’t worth anything” he said.
The idea that Barack Obama is the first “open source president” seems to be spreading. It’s based on the way he ran his campaign, the change.gov transition site, and the participation sought by whitehouse.gov.
This is the latest mainstream paper to take up the notion, a column by Errol Louis in the New York Daily News.
Barack Obama isn’t just America’s first black President. He’s also our first “open-source” President, a leader willing to let anybody and everybody figure out how, when and where they want to get involved.
This goes way beyond urging citizens to volunteer in their communities, as Obama did the day before the inauguration. Our new President, the Community-Organizer-in-Chief, is radically redefining political participation so that followers can do as much or as little as they choose.
The “open-source” strategy was popularized by computer software companies. Instead of creating and selling a copyrighted program that costs millions to dream up, some firms simply give away the basic program and invite anybody to improve on it.
The result is programs that improve by leaps and bounds. And Obama has applied the idea to politics.
Michael Tiemann is a true open source pioneer and Red Hat’s VP of Open Source Affairs. He recently spoke to the BBC about open source principles applied to government.
So just how receptive will the 44th President will be to the idea of a implementing the workings of a new government around open standards?
“The concept of open source is going to become an undercurrent to almost everything this administration does,” declared the OSI’s President Michael Tiemann.
“The American concept of democracy is not just of the people and by the people but with the people.”
He said we have already seen a commitment to this open philosophy throughout President Obama’s election campaign.
“I think what we will see now is a maturation in America and around the world of an understanding of the open source model.”
At Twitter, two open source projects, Kestrel and Cache-Money keep things growing.
In some cases, our requirements—in particular, the scalability requirements of our service—lead us to develop projects from the ground up. We develop these projects with an eye toward open source, and are pleased to contribute our projects back to the open source community when there is a clear benefit. Below are two such projects, Kestrel and Cache-Money. Every tweet touches one or both of these key components of the Twitter architecture.