Video for Breaking Down Organizational Silos with Inner Source (in German)

Eberhard Wolff just published the recording of my lunch chat on Software Architektur TV with him. Our topic was inner source and how to tear down firm-internal silos for better code reuse, more knowledge sharing, and generally more satisfied employees. Check it out below (local copy) or visit Eberhard’s site for it!

Or, just take a look at @teapot4181‘s fabulous visual summary.

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Continuous Open Source License Compliance (Phipps & Zacchiroli, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 12th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleContinuous Open Source License Compliance
KeywordsOpen Source Software, Licenses, Supply Chains, Standards, Computer Security
AuthorsSimon Phipps, Meshed Insights Ltd.  
Stefano Zacchiroli, Universite de Paris, France
PublicationComputer vol. 53, no. 12 (December 2020), pp. 115-119
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Standardizing Open Source License Compliance With OpenChain (Shane Coughlan, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 11th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleStandardizing Open Source License Compliance With OpenChain
KeywordsCryptography, Distributed Databases, IEC Standards, ISO Standards, Legislation, Project Management, Public Domain Software, Software Development Management, Software Standards, Blockchain, Open Chain Project, ISO IEC JTC 1 PAS Transposition Process, Open Source License Compliance Standardization, Open Source Software, Standards, Licenses
AuthorsShane Coughlan, Linux Foundation
PublicationComputer vol. 53, no. 11 (November 2020), pp. 70-74
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Tools for Software Composition Analysis (Philippe Ombredanne, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the tenth article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleFree and Open Source Software License Compliance: Tools for Software Composition Analysis
KeywordsOpen Source Software, Software Composition, Open Source Licenses, Automation
AuthorsPhilippe Ombredanne, nexB Inc.
PublicationComputer vol. 53, no. 10 (October 2020), pp. 105-109
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A Researcher’s Perspective on “Do Developers Care About Open Source?”

Over on Twitter, that endless source of distraction, Matt Asay asked: “Do developers care about open source?” Apparently, he is asking in response to an interview he had with a vendor who claimed that developers don’t care whether their service is available as open source (it is not). According to the vendor, developers just want to use a reliable service (and pay).

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How Non-Software Vendors Fail and How Inner Source Can Help

Slowly but surely, non-software vendors have been waking up to realize that Silicon Valley, specifically, software vendors, are out to eat their lunch. In 2011, Marc Andreessen stated that software is eating the world, in 2015, Geoffrey Immelt said that GE is in the information business, and now in 2020, Volkswagen declared itself to be(come) a software-driven automobile vendor. However, this is more easily said than done, and the path to taking charge of your software future is fraught with possibly serious mistakes. One such mistake is to create your own internal software organisation. A better choice is to leave developers close to the products, but set-up an inner source program to connect them across the organization. Let me revisit this topic.

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The German Corona Warn App, a Legally Defective Product?

By all measures, the German Corona Warn app is already a highly successful software product. However, from the perspective of open source license compliance, it is defective. Using open source code in your product requires that you fulfill the obligations of the open source licenses of that code, and the Corona Warn app does not do that. Let me explain.

Open source code may be free to use, but it comes with strings attached, which are its licenses. An open source license spells out (1) permissions (you are allowed to use the code for free, among other things), (2) obligations to fulfill to receive the permissions (like giving credit to the original authors), and (3) prohibitions (for example, you are not allowed to claim endorsement of your work by the original open source programmers).

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What is Open Communication?

Open source collaboration requires open communication, they say. Just what is open communication, exactly? Drawing on past research [1], here are the four principles that make communication open. Open communication is communication that is

  • Public: All communication takes place in the public eye, and none or very little behind closed doors; private side-discussions are discouraged.
  • Complete: All communication is complete to the extent possible. Assumptions are made explicit and conclusions of discussions are summarized.
  • Written: All communication is in written form, allowing folks to participate at their own pace; any non-written communication will be transcribed.
  • Archived: All communication is archived for search and later retrieval. This documents communication for those not around (or awake).
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