Four short links: 26 March 2010

Chrome Extensions in Firefox, AUI Opened, Closing Open Hardware, Fixing Science Metrics

  1. Chrome Extensions Manager for Firefox — lets you run Chrome extensions in Firefox. I don’t think, though, that people choose Chrome over Firefox for the extensions (quite the opposite, in fact).
  2. Atlassian User Interface — Javascript HTML UI toolkit, opensourced by Atlassian. (via lachlanhardy on Twitter)
  3. Open Source Ethics and Dead End Derivatives — open source hardware is dealing with the problem of people changing open source designs but not publishing their modified source. Open source software hasn’t found an efficient and reproducible mechanism for dealing with this, though I’d love to be shown one. (via bre on Twitter)
  4. Let’s Make Science Metrics More Scientific (Nature) — excellent paper about the problem of the metrics for measuring scientific performance are based around papers and citations, but fail to take into account teaching, mentoring, communicating, etc. (via dullhunk on Twitter)
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  • Ken Williams

    Regarding “dead-end derivatives”: personally when I release something as open-source, which I do a lot, I consider it fine for someone to use it in a closed-source derivative. My agenda is to help people, not to grow the OSS beast.

    I’m also not sure I agree with “Open source software hasn’t found an efficient and reproducible mechanism for dealing with this.” People do have a major incentive to merge their changes back upstream: if they don’t, they have all the maintenance headaches of a new fork. Perhaps this same incentive doesn’t exist in the hardware world, I don’t know.

    Finally, although I came late to read the discussion on makerbot.com, I find Bre’s position very uninformed (which is bizarre). He claims that “if folks make a derivative of an open source hardware project, the expectation is that the new derivative files will be published.” Not true, it depends entirely on the license. If it’s a GPL-style license, yes; if it’s a BSD-style license (along with *many* others), no. I’m guessing it’s true of this particular license, but please don’t lump all open-source development into that camp.

    Again, maybe I’m off base and hardware is completely different from software in this regard, but I have a hard time seeing how that could be true.