Open Source - Trends and Strategies

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  • 1. Introduction to Open Source Presented at the New York City Technology Forum November 7, 2008 Ted Brown, Executive Director, CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development
  • 2. Introduction to Open Source
    • What is Open Source?
    • Open Source Usage
    • History of Open Source
    • Beyond Software
    • Why Open Source Matters
  • 3. What is Open Source?
    • No general agreement of what open source means other than that the source code is public. Consequently:
      • Produced by people for people
      • Editable by anyone
      • No intent for profit
      • Owned by the consumer/community rather than rented from a corporation
    • Mostly we refer to Linux or to software built on top of Linux
  • 4. Open Source Usage
    • Licensing:
      • Wikipedia lists 11 popular and widely used licenses with strong communities, more than 18 others.
      • Most popular or well-known is the GPL license created by the Free Software Foundation.
    • As of August 2007, the GPL accounted for nearly 65% of the 43,442 free software projects listed on Freshmeat.com.
    • As of January 2006, about 68% of the projects listed on SourceForge.net.
    • As of yesterday there were over 136,000 open source projects on SourceForge.
  • 5. History of Open Source
    • “ For the first time, an aspiring programmer or hacker could read the source codes of the operating system, which to that time the software vendors had guarded vigorously.”
    • History of Linux , Ragib Hasan, 2002
    • First software was free (from IBM); they sold machines
    • Once the federal government required IBM to unbundle their software, others joined in charging for software their company developed.
    • Exactly who or when open source was first started as a movement is questionable.
      • Richard Stallman, who founded the Free Software Foundation in the early ‘80s, is often considered the father and prime mover of Linux.
    • If not for the internet, however, sharing development of code would not be feasible.
  • 6. Beyond Software
    • Cellphones
      • Becoming painfully obvious to hardware vendors that their current model of inexpensive hardware running proprietary software is no longer viable
        • Google’s Android
      • OpenMoko project another example of open source in mobile marketplace
    • Embedded systems
      • BMW and other car vendors are coming up with open source solutions to promote development on their platforms. Development usually comes from third parties who develop GPS and GIS software, but can be anything.
    • Digital phones, etc.
      • With open source, a “regular PC” can be turned into a number of usable machines, Asterisk PBX telephone switchboard, PFSense firewall/router, etc.
  • 7. OpenOffice: Writer
  • 8. OpenOffice: Base
  • 9. OpenOffice: Draw
  • 10. Backend Software: Drupal
    • Free software package that allows one or more users to publish, manage and organize content.
    • Applications include:
      • Community web portals
      • Discussion sites
      • Corporate web sites
      • Intranet applications
      • Personal web sites or blogs
      • Aficionado sites
      • E-commerce applications
      • Resource directories
      • Social Networking sites
  • 11. We are using Drupal for a large project encompassing many universities
  • 12. Why Open Source Matters
    • Economics
      • Support contracts much less expensive than end user license agreements and software currently sold.
      • Most everything that software vendors charge for today can be done for FREE
      • Certified support programs relieve strain on HR while still providing high availability and usability
    • Security
      • Transparency and use community ensures that updates are well-known and security issues promptly fixed
      • Publicly available source code helps ensure that issues are dealt with and understood
  • 13. Why Open Source Matters
    • Freedom
      • Using a third party operating system binds an organization to terms of a contract
    • Transparency
      • Organization knows what they are getting with software written and maintained internally – code does not reside in a black box.
    • Prevalence
      • User base of Linux and open source software growing faster than ever and it is becoming obvious that the people want a voice, which open source offers.
      • There is an organic evolution of software without profiteering
  • 14. Exploring Open Source
    • New York City Open Source Solutions Lab (OSSL)
      • Recently launched by CISDD
      • Housed at the CUNY Graduate Center
      • Partnership between CUNY, Intel, Red Hat
    • Purpose: To promote adoption of open source solutions in the public sector
    • State-of-the-art open source software facility
      • For government IT professionals
      • Allows for testing of open source solutions/ conferring on best practices
    • Visit http://www.cisdd.org/ossl/