Open Source: What’s this all about?


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This presentation introduces open source software and aims to shed light on why you should care. We’ll highlight what you can or can’t do with it (licensing), and the pros/cons for businesses and individuals.

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  • The OSI: Open Source Initiative (a non-profit 501c3); Advocates/educators of open source and the body that approves licenses.\n\n\n
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  • Collaborators can be individuals, employees of organizations, live in other countries, have be held to different contract/copyright laws.\n\nNo (well, sort of) contract negotiation among companies.\n\n
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  • Who owns it? The original author, an employer, public domain?\n
  • at least in the US; All rights reserved! You cannot copy/modify/or even use it without permission.\n
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  • When you buy software, you do not become the owner. The same is true if you acquire freely available software.\n
  • You have given explicit permission to (and probably *how*) use the software.\n
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  • Amidst this complexity, how do people (working for different companies; maybe even competitors) avoid getting sued?\n\nTech companies LOVE litigation! (Read any recent news about Google, Apple, Oracle, or Microsoft)\n
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  • These are very simple; easy to use; \n
  • Essentially make it harder to sue the original authors; provisions may revoke rights in the case of a lawsuit;\n\nMay also require that all contributing authors verify that they have permission to contribute! (e.g. requiring employers to “sign off” on contributions).\n
  • Often described as Viral. If you incorporate this code into your own project, your entire project MUST adhere to the terms.\n
  • Part of the code can be “closed” (used in proprietary development; not shared). Part *must* be shared.\n\ne.g. A Library can be incorporated into a closed-source product, but changes to the library must be published.\n
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  • ESR: An early open source advocate\n\n\nThe Cathedral and the Bazaar\n\n
  • There are a lot of smart people that need to solve the same problems. You get a better solution when you work together.\n
  • In *my* opinion, stable, useful, working software (or components) is the greatest benefit of open source collaboration.\n
  • Try out “packaged” desktop software; Use open source tools/libraries if you’re a developer; Release your own software!\n
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  • There are thousands of software components/libraries for hundreds of languages that solve generic problems & are available under various licenses. \n
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  • PIA: Proprietary Information agreement. Many employees sign over rights to all IP upon employment... even for things created “off the clock”. \n
  • HOWEVER, this can often be overcome if you get permission (in writing from someone authorized to grant it!) for a project or OSS contribution BEFORE doing any work.\n
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  • Open Source: What’s this all about?

    1. 1. Open Source Software What’s this all about? Brad Montgomery @bkmontgomery
    2. 2. IANALI am not a lawyer
    3. 3. Do you write code?
    4. 4. Do you help create software?
    5. 5. Do you use software?
    6. 6. What is Software? in no particular order Mobile Software Desktop Software Operating Systems Embedded Systems SaaS/Web-based SoftwareSoftware Libraries/Components
    7. 7. What is Open Source?
    8. 8. ...a development method forsoftware that harnesses thepower of distributed peer reviewand transparency of process. - The OSI
    9. 9. ...a development method forsoftware that harnesses thepower of distributed peer reviewand transparency of process. - The OSI
    10. 10. ...a development method forsoftware that harnesses thepower of distributed peer reviewand transparency of process. - The OSI
    11. 11. “Open Source” is a process.
    12. 12. “Open Source Software” iscreated through this process.
    13. 13. How about an example?
    14. 14. Building in Public
    15. 15. Building in Public Actual Code is Public
    16. 16. Building in Public Contributors are public
    17. 17. Building in Public Edits are Public!
    18. 18. Open SourceThese peoplework together, butthey are notemployed by thesameorganization.
    19. 19. ...people work together, but they are not employed by the same organization.
    20. 20. Open Source is aFramework for Collaboration
    21. 21. Software isIntellectual Property
    22. 22. Software isIntellectual PropertySomeone owns it.
    23. 23. Software isautomatically copyrighted
    24. 24. Software isowned by the original author
    25. 25. Software isowned by the original authors
    26. 26. Software isowned by the original author’s employer
    27. 27. Software isowned by the original authors’ employers
    28. 28. :-(
    29. 29. Software ownership is Complex.
    30. 30. Software isnot (usually) sold.
    31. 31. Software is licensed.
    32. 32. Don’t get sued.
    33. 33. How does Open Source foster Cooperation?
    34. 34. Types of Licenses1. Academic2. Permissive3. Reciprocal4. Partially Closable
    35. 35. AcademicTo paraphrase:“You can do whatever you want with this code” Examples: BSD, MIT
    36. 36. Permissive• Grant substantial Permissions• May contain Patent or Trademark provisions• Provide additional protection to authors Example: Apache 2.0
    37. 37. Reciprocal “Share-Alike”• Permission to modify & distribute must be granted• Specifies Restrictions on Distribution/Use • Source code must be included • Modifications must be released under the same license Example: GNU GPL
    38. 38. Partially Closable• Require some sharing• Allow some proprietary use• Often a software library or component Examples: LGPL, MPL
    39. 39. Why “give away” your code?
    40. 40. “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” Eric S. Raymond
    41. 41. OR... “Why not let people atNASA, Google, and Twitter help you build stuff?”
    42. 42. Smart people working on a solution to the sameproblem == Better Software
    43. 43. How can this help me? Start using open source software!
    44. 44. Caution!“Read the Label” when using Open Source Software!
    45. 45. Developers: Save time Don’t reinvent the wheel.
    46. 46. Managers:Save money Encourage research & evaluation. Lean on proven solutions.
    47. 47. Students:Learn from Pros Get some real-world experience!
    48. 48. Contributing?Make sure you’re allowed!
    49. 49. Developers: Read your employers’ PIA.They may own your code/ideas.
    50. 50. Developers:Get permission. In writing.
    51. 51. Questions?
    52. 52. Thanks!