Open Source Hardware (Hannig & Teich, IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 17th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleOpen Source Hardware
KeywordsOpen Source Hardware, Integrated Circuits, Ecosystems, Hardware, Open Source Software
AuthorsFrank Hannig, Jürgen Teich
PublicationComputer vol. 54, no. 10 (October 2021), pp. 111-115

Abstract: Hardware that can be manufactured from free and open source descriptions has gained a lot of momentum. This article gives a general introduction, focusing on electronics and integrated circuits, corresponding open ecosystems and organizations, and highlights benefits and challenges.

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

Also, check out the full list of articles.

Making Open Source Project Health Transparent (Goggins et al., IEEE Computer Column)

I’m happy to report that the 16th article in the Open Source Expanded column of IEEE Computer has been published.

TitleMaking Open Source Project Health Transparent
KeywordsOpen source software
AuthorsSean P. Goggins, Matt Germonprez, Kevin Lumbard
PublicationComputer vol. 54, no. 8 (August 2021), pp. 104-111

Abstract: This article explores the Community Health Analytics for Open Source Software (CHAOSS) project and how it plays an integral role in the automation of key measures to make the state of open source readily observable.

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

Also, check out the full list of articles.

The Future Resurgence of Copyleft

In 2009, half of open source code was licensed under the GPLv2 license, the canonical copyleft license. Every other license had less than 10% market share. Over the years, the MIT license and other permissive licenses kept climbing at the expense of the GPLv2. As of today, the MIT license is the leading license with more than 32% market share in absolute numbers, with the GPLv2 license having fallen below 20%.

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Open Source Project Licensing

In a well-working community open source project, many people contribute. In particular, software developers will submit code contributions. As a consequence, without further measures, the copyright in the project’s code will be widely shared among its contributors. 

To ensure that a project can be used without fear of violating someone’s intellectual property rights, all project artifacts, in particular the code, need to have a clear open source license, and ideally only one. 

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Open Source Explained (in German, without Jargon, in 1500 Words)

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.

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Company Support for Open Source Stable for 15 Years Now?!

I just read Nagle et al.’s Report on the 2020 FOSS Contributor Survey. They find that about 50% of contributors are paid by their employers to work on open source software. This confirms a 2013 paper on paid vs. volunteer work in open source of ours, which also suggested that about half of all development takes place on company time. The rub: Our paper used rather old, pre-Github times data from 2007 (culled from Ohloh, now OpenHub).

Does this mean that in the last 15 years or so corporate engagement in open source has remained stable?

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