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Open Source & Research


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Open Source Software in an Academic Environment - Developing, Supporting and Integrating

Presented at the Future Networks 6th FP7 Concertation Plenary Meeting

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Open Source & Research

  1. 1. Brussels, 2010<br />Open Source Software inan Academic Environment<br />Developing, Supporting and Integrating<br />Diogo Gomes <dgomes@><br />
  2. 2. Open Source Software (OSS)<br /><ul><li>“Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.”</li></ul><br />
  3. 3. Academic relationship<br /><ul><li>In its essence it is very close to the way Research is done in Academia
  4. 4. Peer-Review
  5. 5. Open Access
  6. 6. It is therefore natural that important Open Source projects started in Academic Environments, e.g.
  7. 7. Stallman started GNU while at MIT
  8. 8. Linus started Linux while at HUT
  9. 9. BSD was developed at Berkeley</li></li></ul><li>Academicrelationship<br /><ul><li>Why is Open Source Important to Academia?
  10. 10. It gives researchers open access to important technologies, e.g.
  11. 11. Network Simulators (NS, OMNET++)
  12. 12. Database Systems (MySQL, PostgreSQ, CouchDB)
  13. 13. Mobile Platforms (Android, MeeGo)
  14. 14. And they give it back to the Open Source Community, e.g.
  15. 15. Developing (Diameter, Linux IPv6 stack)
  16. 16. Supporting (hosting, patching, enhancing)
  17. 17. Integrating (Research Projects, Linux Distributions, Operating)</li></li></ul><li>Developing<br /><ul><li>How does one start developing OSS ?
  18. 18. By interacting with an existing OSS project
  19. 19. Through collaboration with an established OSS project
  20. 20. Forking a project
  21. 21. Mostly out of need…
  22. 22. In order to achieve a given research goal, the need usually arises to develop a given technology
  23. 23. Due to lack of an affordable alternative
  24. 24. Due to the limitation of an already existing software</li></li></ul><li>Howis OSS developedin Academia<br /><ul><li>Main drivers:
  25. 25. Msc and Phd thesis
  26. 26. Research Projects
  27. 27. Timeframes
  28. 28. Short to Medium
  29. 29. 1 Developer (Msc/Phd student)
  30. 30. Medium to Long
  31. 31. >2 Developers
  32. 32. Community formed around the project
  33. 33. New students</li></li></ul><li>Supporting OSS<br /><ul><li>The success of an OSS project can depend on:
  34. 34. The vitality of the project (#commits, #bug fixes)
  35. 35. The level of documentation
  36. 36. The size of its community (not just #devs)
  37. 37. The amount of visibility given to (articles, website references)
  38. 38. Supported given by Univ. Aveiro to OSS projects:
  39. 39. GLUA (Univ. Aveiro Linux User Group)
  40. 40. Seeding a community of OSS enthusiasts
  41. 41. CodeUA
  42. 42. A platform for project hosting (similar to, Google Code)
  43. 43. Fostering young students to join research projects as OSS developers
  44. 44. Learning how to do research and how to develop software professionally in an early stage of their degrees.</li></li></ul><li>Integrating OSS<br /><ul><li>Most of the projects developed in Academia have OSS components (OS, Libraries, Frameworks)
  45. 45. Many of the partnerships established by the Academia with Industry partners in which there is a transfer of knowledge involve OSS projects previously developed by the Academia.
  46. 46. Integrating OSS into existing products
  47. 47. Rapid Prototype creation through the use of OSS
  48. 48. OSS is mostly used as a common ground in consortiums with legal issues regarding software licenses
  49. 49. Through OSS everyone has the same rights and dues</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Various OSS projects:
  50. 50. COPSpp – IETF COPS protocol implementation
  51. 51. MRD6 – Multicast Routing Daemon for IPv6
  52. 52. Odtone – IEEE 802.21 protocol implementation
  53. 53. PMIPv6 – IETF Proxy Mobile IP Protocol Implementation (ongoing)
  54. 54. Licenses
  55. 55. We have used GNU Lesser General Public License in all projects
  56. 56. Feedback from the community
  57. 57. MRD6 has evolved into part of the Debian distribution.
  58. 58. Odtone is widely accepted by the IEEE802.21 community as a reference implementation </li></ul>OSS @ University of Aveiro<br />
  59. 59. OSS @ EU Projects<br /><ul><li>In all of the projects I’ve participated, OSS was involved
  60. 60. Integration
  61. 61. Linux, MIPL, Gstreamer, OpenIMS, Sailfin, Android
  62. 62. Development
  63. 63. MRD6 – IST-Daidalos
  64. 64. Odtone – ICT-C-CAST
  65. 65. Some projects required that we explained to partners the rules of OSS
  66. 66. Release of code developed in the project as OSS, enabled a better dissemination of the project results, leading to several internal follow-up projects.
  67. 67. Technology that otherwise would have been kept solely inside a project, is now shared amongst everyone.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>OSS is an important aspect of the research done in Academia
  68. 68. Developing, Supporting and Integration OSS is a challenging task but also a very fruitful one
  69. 69. Students are early engaged with real life software development problems and challenges
  70. 70. Many resources are spent supporting the projects
  71. 71. OSS projects usually lead to a better dissemination of ideas and accomplishments then just academic publications
  72. 72. Research Projects take advantage of the existence of OSS to quickly bootstrap
  73. 73. Many OSS Projects lead to new companies and businesses.
  74. 74. The University of Aveiro has already fostered several OSS projects and continues to support students and researchers that wish to develop and release OSS.</li>