While a comparatively young industry, the software industry nevertheless has a history, and taking from the playbook of other disciplines, understanding our history is important to understanding our future. So I want to ask:
What (if any) historic periods are there in single-vendor open source firms?
Inner source is the use of open source practices within companies. Engineers generally love it, but any open-source-style collaboration across business unit boundaries will usually get stopped dead in its tracks by the financial compliance department. That’s because financial compliance is likely to worry that to the tax authorities such inner source collaboration will look like attempts at profit shifting.
Below, please find a 20min. presentation on inner source and transfer pricing that I prepared for a workshop at the German Ministry of Finance. It is aimed at non-technical people.
Feel free to shoot any questions you might have my way.
I’m happy to report that the 14th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.
Open Source Community Governance the Apache Way
Open Source Software, Distributed Computing, Documentation
Isabel Drost-Fromm, Apache Software Foundation Rob Tompkins, Apache Software Foundation
Computer vol. 54, no. 4 (April 2021), pp. 70-75
Abstract: An open source project without the people is a dead project—or at least one that is fairly deep asleep. While all successful open source projects understand that they need to build a community around their project, the exact options for doing so differ.
An open source company is a company whose business model is built on a customer acquisition process in which customers first use a free-to-use open source version of the product before being upsold to a commercial offering by the company.
In 2006, we set-up SAP forge to make finding and collaborating on inner source projects easy. The advice of how to design a forge or portal for this purpose hasn’t really changed over the years. The most important advice is:
Make the forge available at one place (and one place only) with a memorable URL like forge.acme.corp
The second most important advice is on the design of the home page of the forge. There are a couple of independent mechanisms that should be present. In order of descending importance (read: prominence of screen real estate given):
This 5min. video discusses basics of turning your research into a startup. It focuses on public funding. The video was created for the March 2021 DAAD PRIME workshop, but is not restricted to a postdoc audience. Indeed, it works for anyone with a good idea and ideally a team who is willing to move to Germany to benefit from its rich ecosystem for public funding of startups.
I’m happy to report that the 13th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.
A Brief History of Free, Open Source Software and Its Communities
Open Source Software, Licenses, Internet
Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Computer vol. 54, no. 2 (February 2021), pp. 75-79
Abstract: Free, open source software (FOSS) has a long history, beginning with the origins of software itself, when the terms free software and open source software were not yet defined. Learning about the milestones of this history may help to understand FOSS today.
How can you spin your research into a startup? We asked Dirk Riehle, professor of Computer Science and advocate for founders with an academic background, for insights and advice. Before becoming a professor, Dirk has worked in industry, always in close connection with startups. His passion for entrepreneurship has become a big part of his professorship and Dirk has been developing, guiding, and supporting startups from research.
tl;dr The communities that form around community open source are very different from those that form around commercial open source; confuse them at your own risk.
The recent announcement by Elastic to relicense their software away from open source licenses to commercial and source-available licenses only has triggered the debate about rights and expectations of open source communities again (local copy 1, 2, 3).
Legally speaking, I assume that this is fully within Elastic’s rights. I assume they either outright own all copyright to the relicensed code or collected copyrights by way of contributor license agreements from anyone whose code they accepted into their code base.