Open-Source-Software, im engeren Sinne, ist Computer-Software (Programme), die kostenfrei genutzt, modifiziert, und weitergegeben werden können. Bekannte Beispiele für Open-Source-Software sind das Linux Betriebssystem und der Firefox Web-Browser. Open Source im weiteren Sinne ist ein von Menschen getragenes Phänomen, das uns ungeahnte Möglichkeiten der weltweiten Zusammenarbeit sowie neue Geschäftsmodelle gegeben hat.
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?
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.
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.
Next month, February 2021, I will be presenting lightening talks at both FOSDEM 2021 (Feb 6th) and FOSS Backstage 2021 (Feb 10th) about how to get your Ph.D. and have a startup too. At FOSDEM it will be a 5min. presentation, at FOSS Backstage a 15min. presentation. Both conferences are free to attend virtually, and in both cases, you can ask questions and get to know more about this initiative. See you there!