F/OSS: An Innovation-Friendly Sofware Engineering Paradigm


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F/OSS is often considered from ethical, community, legal viewpoints. This presentation promotes the idea that Free/Open Source is somewhat a software engineering paradigm, which comes with methods / best practices; tooling; and management / governance technics.

Presentation delivered at the IN'Tech event, Grenoble/Montbonnot, January 12, 2010.

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F/OSS: An Innovation-Friendly Sofware Engineering Paradigm

  1. 1. Free/Open Source An Innovation-Friendly Sofware Engineering Paradigm F. LETELLIER IN'Tech – 12 janvier 2010 François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  2. 2. Free / Open Source Software  Free software ≠ freeware  Four “Freedoms” (R. Stallmann) to run the program, for any purpose  to study how the program works  to redistribute copies  to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public  A whole range of licenses – based on copyright  Copyleft : GPL, LGPL, ...  Academic / permissive : BSD, MIT, APL …  Internationalization : CeCILL, EUPL  F/L/OSS = Free/Libre/Open Source Software François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  3. 3. Source Forge 500 top projects New technology N. for a platform Existing techno. New market Radical innovation 1% <1% Existing market <1% 10% No innov. 87% Source: Innovativeness of open source software projects, K. Klincewicz 2005 François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  4. 4. structure input output R&D expenditure # researchers # patents filed # start-ups # publications Licensing François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  5. 5. Source: European Commission, “Towards a European Research Area, Key Figures 2001 – Special edition: Indicators for benchmarking of national research policies” François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  6. 6. F/L/OSS = Software Innovation Dark Matter ? Hobbyists, part-time contributors Volunteers or transparent efforts Anonymous (collective) Incremental Free (gratis), Free (open) François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  7. 7. The finger pointing to the Moon is not the Moon François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  8. 8. FLOSS potentially saves the industry 36%+ in software R&D investment that can result in increased profits or be more usefully spent in further innovation Study on the economic impact of OSS on innovation and the competitiveness os the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in the EU, 2006, UNU-MERIT, NL François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  9. 9. Uses at home/soho Builds on other works Sell substitutes Contributes as a hobby Company Research XYZ Lab Transfers research results Worldwide F/L/OSS Code Base Shares R&D on Develops with non core-business taxpayers money Company Company Public XYZ XYZ Administration Uses in production process Sell hw/sw complements Offers services “publish” According to a protocol: the license “subscribe” François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  10. 10. Free/Open Source Projects  Project - the basic unit in F/L/OSS communities  collaborative development  technology driven - mostly code production  Project leaders  often are at the origin of the project, oversee its major direction  personality and charisma are key  Core members «(sometimes organised as PMC)  make significant contributions over time  usually less than ≈ 15 p (over this limit, the project is likely to give birth to subprojects)  Active users (aka « contributors »)  report bugs, write documentation, occasionally patches François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  11. 11. Evolutionary dynamics FLOSS License Free distribution Modif. Source code (contrib.) Source code Source code Source Source code code Source code Source code Source code François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  12. 12. François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  13. 13. Source : FOSS-Bridge workshop, Hanoi, 2008 François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  14. 14. Utilisateurs Contributeurs Besoins « Committers » Maîtrise du code Diffusion (légale, technique) Licence libre Code source Gestion des versions François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  15. 15. Collaborative Development Environments (“Forges”)  Mailing lists, forums - form a knowledge base  Wikis - online documentation  Source code management - so concurent development can happen  CVS, SVN  Bug tracker  Bugzilla, TRAC  Administration tools, user management, stats, continuous integration, ... François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  16. 16. F/L/OSS Software Engineering Tools IDEs SCM  Eclipse  CVS  TopCaseD  SVN Test  GIT  Junit CDE / Forges  Continuum  Savane  CLIF  Gforge  LibreSource François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  17. 17. F/L/OSS Languages and... (Source) Code! Compilers Librairies, frameworks  C - GCC  Struts  Cocoon Interpreters / script  Spring  PERL Platforms  PHP  Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP  Python... Middleware  JBoss  eXo Portal François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  18. 18. The F/L/OSS “Adoption Ladder” Project & Value appropriated ecosystem coordination Development time Identification, Adoption, Migration, Collaborate Training and redefine Champion Devt time Contribute Community interaction Use Support to 3rd parties Time Denial Engineering driven Business driven François LETELLIER Source: FLOSSMetrics project www.flet.fr
  19. 19. F/L/OSS Policies in Western Companies 27% corporations have a formal FLOSS policy - 18% plan to adopt one in the coming year 67% companies mostly use FLOSS as ‘gratis’ software 54% use unchanged or adapted FLOSS code in their in- house developments 49% contribute to FLOSS (bug reports, patches) 11% have FLOSS committers in their staff Source: CIO.com APR 2008 François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  20. 20. Selecting F/L/OSS Projects  # of developers, contributors  Activity on the mailing lists, forums, rate of release, # of downloads  Code quality and maturity, available documentation, bugs reported and fixed, roadmap  Reputation, notoriety, references  Compliance with open standards (even though not in the requirements)  Tests, benchmarks, pilot experiments - don't trust the glossy brochure  License (& legal) François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  21. 21. QSOS François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  22. 22. Employment Profile of FLOSS Developers Developers: Do you think that proven participation in the FLOSS community can compensate for the lack of formal qualifications, like certificates or university degrees? 14,00% Yes No 16,00% Don't know Employers' perspective: While hiring, how do you compare a formal computer science qualification to practical experience as a FLOSS developer? 70,00% 15,00% 28,00% Formal better FLOSS better Both equal Don't know Source: presentation by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, ICOS 2005 39,50% 17,50% François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  23. 23. Associations of Companies Associations of Individuals Individuals François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  24. 24. François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  25. 25. A Business Ecosystem Platform The OW2 Value Proposal Software Technical Services Academi a Vendors Systems Forge Companie Integrators Mailing lists, Wiki, etc. s Government Individual s Community Services Governance framework Produce Users Activities rs Re-use Use / Integrate Marketing Services Contribute Feed-back Projects promotion Brand and awareness © OW 2 Consor t ium 2 0 0 8 www.ow2.org 25
  26. 26. 26 François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  27. 27. FLOSS Impact Estimate in the European Union (2006) ● The existing base of quality FLOSS applications would cost firms about 12 Billion Euros to reproduce internally ● This code base has been doubling every 18-24 months over the past 8 years and this growth is projected to continue for several more years ● Increasing FLOSS share of software development from 20% to 40% would lead to a 0.1% increase in annual EU GDP growth, excluding benefits within the ICT industry itself, ie 10+ Billion Euros annually François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  28. 28. “Enterprise friendly” Management and Governance Collaborative, Free/Open Source Project Based Software Engineering Engineering paradigm Tools François LETELLIER www.flet.fr
  29. 29. Thank you for your attention! François Letellier - www.flet.fr François LETELLIER www.flet.fr