Can education and peer review keep a huge open source project on track?
When does a software project grow to the point where one must explicitly think about governance? The term “governance” is stiff and gawky, but doing it well can carry a project through many a storm. Over the past couple years, the crucial OpenStack project has struggled with governance at least as much as with the technical and organizational issues of coordinating inputs from thousands of individuals and many companies.
A major milestone was the creation of the OpenStack Foundation, which I reported on in 2011. This event successfully started the participants’ engagement with the governance question, but it by no means resolved it. This past Monday, I attended some of the Open Cloud Day at O’Reilly’s Open Source convention, and talked to a lot of people working for or alongside the OpenStack Foundation about getting contributors to work together successfully in an open community. Read more…
GUI Prototyping, Linux Containerisation, Searchable Apple Text, and Infosec Wargames
What's so interesting about another open source virtualization platform?
ZeroVM was the piece of technology that caught my attention during the recent Bay Area Apache Drill Meetup. What’s so interesting about another open source virtualization platform? To find out I did more reading and spoke with LiteStack founder, Camuel Gilyadov.
ZeroVM has its roots in the OpenDremel project. Camuel and his team needed a lightweight virtualization framework but couldn’t find one that suited their requirements for OpenDremel. They created ZeroVM and along the way addressed issues relevant to cloud applications, including security, multi-tenancy, and instant1 elasticity. I’m not claiming ZeroVM is mature technology, but there are two potential applications that data scientists will like: Read more…
Deployment, Image Distribution, Open Source Sharing, and Soulless Programming
- Thoughts on Web Application Deployment (OmniTI) — if your web site is your business, this stuff is critical and it’s under-taught. Everyone learns it on the job, and there’s not a lot of standardization between gigs.
- Github Enterprise — GitHub Enterprise is delivered in the industry-standard OVF format, which means you’ll be able to run it on virtualization layers like VMware, VirtualBox, and Oracle VM. An increasingly common way to sell web apps, but it’ll trigger GPL-style distribution terms in software licenses.
- SparkleShare — open source sharing tool that markets itself as “like Dropbox”. Uses git as a backend, so you can share via github.
- Whatever Happened to Programming? — When I was fourteen, I wrote space-invader games in BASIC on a VIC-20. If you were interested in computers back in 1982, I bet you did the same. When I was 18, I wrote multi-user dungeons in C on serial terminals attached to a Sun 3. […] Today, I mostly paste libraries together. So do you, most likely, if you work in software. Doesn’t that seem anticlimactic? Any time you are in the “someone else’s code is almost right, make the changes to improve it” situation, you’re doing unsatisfying programming. It’s factory assembly of software, not craftsmanship. Welcome to the future: you have been replaced by a machine, and the machine is you.
- How Many Really? — project by BERG and BBC to help make sense of large numbers of people, in the context of your social network. Clever! (via BERG London)
- Why the Best Days of Open Hardware Are Yet To Come (Bunnie Huang) — as Moore’s law decelerates, there is a potential for greater standardization of platforms. A provocative picture of life in a world where Moore’s Law is breaking up. A must-read.
- Ira Glass on RadioLab — fascinating analysis of a product that’s the result of skilled creators with high standards and a desire to do things differently. Lessons for all who would be different. (via Courtney Johnston)
Flexible Display, Free Icons, Virtualization, and Virtualization Management
- NanoLumens — flexible display technology, 2.6lbs/sq ft (that’s 17 kilofrancs/kelvin in metric, I think). (via Fiona Romeo)
- The Noun Project — a vast collection of free-to-use icons. (via Russell Beattie)
- VirtualBox —
SunOracle’s open source virtualization product, trivial to run multiple VMs on your local box. VirtualBoxes has pre-built VMs for common OSes.
- Vagrant — tool for managing VirtualBox VMs with provisioning and teardown, NFS folder sharing, host-only networking, etc.
PC in JS, Musical Visualization, S3 Parallel, and Tech-led Ed
- US Home Prices as Opera (Flowing Data) — reminded me of Douglas Adams’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” which has software that turns your company’s performance numbers into music. The yearly accounts of most British companies emerged sounding like the Dead March from “Saul”, but in Japan they went for it like a pack of rats. It produced lots of cheery company anthems that started well, but if you were going to criticise you’d probably say that they tended to get a bit loud and squeaky at the end.
- s3cmd Parallel — command-line tool with parallel uploads to s3. (via Nelson Minar)
- Eight of China’s Top Nine Government Officials are Scientists (Singularity Hub) — the article’s idiotic reduction to performance on standardised tests misses America’s primary strength against China, namely creative and flexible workforce. China will get there, but it’s not there yet.
Cloud Foundry is aggressively open middleware, offering a flexible way to administer applications.
By now, the popular APIs for IaaS have been satisfactorily emulated so that you can move your application fairly easily from one vendor to another. But until now, the PaaS situation was much more closed.