The latest version of Fedora, the Linux distribution that helps shape the features that make it into Red Hat's (RHT) open source platforms, is out this week, sporting updates in the realms of containerization, server databases, file storage and the GNOME desktop.
Open source fans have long had a rocky relationship with Microsoft. Everyone knows that. But, in many ways, the tension between Apple and supporters of free or open source software is even starker—even if it receives much less attention in the press. Why? Read on for some perspective.
In an age when Microsoft is floating the idea of open-sourcing even Windows, it's clear that open source has pretty much conquered the world of software—or the parts of it that matter, at least. But, in a lot of ways, the weight of open source is now extending into many other realms, defining how people interact and collaborate well beyond the context of computers.
Software licenses aren't very useful if no one adheres to them—and adhering to licenses gets tough quickly when you're dealing with complex supply chains of software whose numerous, ever-moving parts are licensed differently. That's why the Linux Foundation's Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) working group has rolled out an updated specification designed to make open source licensing simpler.
It's time for more standards in the open source Linux containers world. So says Red Hat (RHT), which has published a call for developers of containerization platforms, such as Docker, to adopt a standardized approach to building, packaging and distributing container-based apps.
One of the most puzzling questions about the history of free and open source is this: Why did Linux succeed so spectacularly, whereas similar attempts to build a free or open source, Unix-like operating system kernel met with considerably less success? I don't know the answer to that question. But I have rounded up some theories, which I'd like to lay out here.
What inspires open source programmers, defines their culture and sets the open source world apart from that of proprietary software development? That's an important question for understanding what drives the creation of monumental platforms such as Linux, OpenStack and Hadoop.
Red Hat (RHT) has rolled out the latest version of software tools to assist open source developers and administrators. Designed to complement the company's flagship product, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the tools include the newest stable releases of many popular open source software packages.
A couple of weeks ago, I made the case that, in the early days of Linux, most of the momentum behind the open source operating system revolved around building a Unix-like system that could run on personal computers and would be free, as in cost no money. The enthusiasm about freely shared code came later.
Times appear to be tough for the development team behind Apache OpenOffice, the open source office productivity suite that is popular on Linux, and runs on Windows and OS X as well. They're so tough, in fact, that some observers are questioning whether the project will soon fold.
The latest version of GNU HURD is out. If you're asking, "What is GNU HURD?" you're probably in good company. But as the open source kernel that was supposed to do what Linux ended up doing—provide the core for a cross-platform, Unix-like operating system whose code would be freely shared—the HURD is important. That it is still being actively developed three decades after its launch is worth remarking.
Open source is all about sharing, keeping code open and providing universal access. That, at least, is the received wisdom that has helped guide open source programmers and companies for the last two decades. But a look at the history of open source projects such as Linux suggests that sharing and openness were not actually the primary motives of their founders. Here's why.
Linux 4.0 made its official debut this week. Spoiler alert: The version number in this newest latest iteration of the open source operating system kernel doesn't mean it's actually four times better than version 1.0—or, for that matter, twice as good as the 2.x series, which was the longest-running in Linux's history. But it is a tight, stable release, according to developer Linus Torvalds.
The folding of private cloud vendor Nebula a couple of weeks ago seemed to suggest that OpenStack is becoming the exclusive domain of large, established open source companies that can package and integrate the cloud-computing platform for easy deployment.