Four short links: 14 September 2011

Web Stack Catalogue, DIY Microscopes, Open Source Covenant, and Moore's Law Redux

  1. StackParts — catalogue of different parts of the open source web stack, from Joshua Schachter. He’s looking for helpers.
  2. DIY MicrosocopesKeeling’s lowfi contraption, featured in MAKE magazine and virally spreading across science classrooms the country over, is bringing microscopes not just to eye level, but street level. Blowtorch and pipette glass makes for a Leeuwenhoek microscope.
  3. The Covenant — Lexis Nexis are open sourcing their Hadoop-alike. They want to dual-license, requiring contributor copyright assignment, but copyright assignment and dual-licensing have a bad rep in the open source world because companies can subsequently abandon the open source component. Bruce Perens crafted a covenant: each copyright assignment of a patch can only happen if the company agrees not to abandon the open source project for three years. This document is a good read, though, for a lot more of the thinking behind the agreement. Unfortunate name, though: The Covenant were the villains in the Halo game.
  4. Ben Hammersley on The Future — Moore’s Law means anything that is dismissed on the grounds of the technology-not-being-good-enough-yet is going to happen. In a fantastic talk (I linked to Ben’s notes), this sentence jumped out. I hadn’t really appreciated this before, but it is absolutely true.
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  • Jim Stogdill

    Wrt the HPCC dual licensing scheme, it seems to me that it will work better if there is significant outside contribution since the risk of “default” increases in inverse proportion to the amount of external code they would have to replace. Obviously there will be an internal accounting of how much code is locking them into the three years (and would have to be replaced), I wonder how transparent and obvious that amount will be to a developer considering whether or not to contribute.