The First Derivative of Software is Eating the World

Marc Andreesen, venture capitalist at a16z, famously stated in 2011:

Software is eating the world

Wall Street Journal, 2011-08-11

Andreesen’s article describes the immediate impact of software, both as its own product category and as a component of increasing importance in existing (non-software) products.

I want to discuss what I consider the first derivative of Andreesen’s insight, the increase in innovation speed provided by software, and its impact on existing products.

Continue reading “The First Derivative of Software is Eating the World”

Industry Best Practices for FLOSS Governance and Component Reuse (EuroPLoP 2019)

Abstract: Corporate use of open source in software products is on the rise. While this brings a number of technological and business benefits to companies, it also comes with potential legal and financial risks caused by license non-compliance and ungoverned use of open source components. Companies address these threats with free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) governance – internal guidelines and processes for using open source components in products. An essential aspect of FLOSS governance is component reuse and component repository, which enable efficient governance for the previously used components by the company’s developers. In our study, we aimed to identify the current industry best practices for FLOSS governance and component reuse. We conducted 15 expert interviews in companies with high governance maturity, analyzed these interviews and derived 19 best practices cast in the pattern format of context-problem-solution. The format was inspired by design patterns and enables higher applicability of our research results by practitioners. The 19 best practices form a handbook on FLOSS governance and component reuse that also includes workflows connecting the individual practices into process templates.

Keywords: Open Source Software, FLOSS, FOSS, Open Source Governance, Best Practice, Commercial Use of Open Source, Component Repository, Component Reuse, Industry Best Practice, Introduction of FLOSS in Companies, Pattern, Pattern Language

Reference: Harutyunyan, N., & Riehle D. (2019). Industry Best Practices for FLOSS Governance and Component Reuse. In Proceedings of the 24th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2019). ACM, article no. 21.

The paper is available a PDF file.

Anecdotal Experience with Public Startup Funding in Germany

Sweble, now EDITIVE, is a research project that I started in 2009 with the goal of helping Wikipedia. It is now a startup that is bringing GitHub-style collaboration to office documents (pitch). To that end, we acquired 720K Euro of seed funding from Germany’s EXIST Forschungstransfer (in German) startup fund. This is free money, as it is a gift and no equity is lost. However, with that, the trouble started.

Continue reading “Anecdotal Experience with Public Startup Funding in Germany”

How to Select Open Source Components (Diomidis Spinellis, IEEE Computer Column)

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

TitleHow to select open source components
KeywordsOpen Source Software, Licenses, Documentation, Computer Bugs, Software Project Management
AuthorsDiomidis Spinellis, Athens University of Economy and Business
PublicationComputer vol. 52, no. 12 (December 2019), pp. 103-106

Abstract:

With millions of open source projects available on forges such as GitHub, it may be difficult to select those that best match your requirements. Examining each project’s product and development process can help you confidently select the open source projects required for your work.

As always, the article is freely available (local copy).

Also, check out the full list of articles.

If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 5/5: Inner Data

In five posts, I want to speculate about the next twenty years of open data based on the past twenty years of open source. The idea is to transfer what we learned from open source in one way or another to open data.

This is part 5 on inner data, that is, the collaborative creation and sharing of data within one company.

If this sounds easy, please meet the “modern” corporation with internal competition, phlegmatism and personal antipathy, all of which ensure the corporate silo structure.

Continue reading “If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 5/5: Inner Data”

If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 1/5: Definition

In five posts, I want to speculate about the next twenty years of open data based on the past twenty years of open source. The idea is to transfer what we learned from open source in one way or another to open data.

This is part 1 on the definition of open data.

Please note that beyond this intellectual exercise, some of this is already here and some of it is simply different.

Continue reading “If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 1/5: Definition”