The Role of FOSS Foundations
Clean IP management and neutrality encourage collaborative development.
There’s an excellent discussion begun over the past few days on the value of foundations in the free and open source software (FOSS) world. It includes people calling into question the Apache Software Foundation’s role, promoting foundations, and discussing the broader role of FOSS foundations. This was my take.
Do Lawyers Ignore Copyright Law?
Creating software versus creating contracts and a little irony to start your week.
A view on the irony of lawyers ignoring copyright law to make the practice of law easier for them, while making software developers lives more complex.
Software Discipline and Open Source
Software discipline is critical to successful community development
Good software is developed by good software developers. It involves a discipline not found in most programmers. Rigorous version and configuration management, checklists for style and review, “desk” checking reviews before commits, automated (continuous) builds, and fully automated test frameworks are all necessary steps to successfully, reliably delivering executable software that works. I argue that scaling a software project (open or otherwise) is impossible without this discipline.
Peace and Harmony between FOSS contributors and lawyers
Version 1.0 of the The Harmony Documents Launch
Harmony is an effort that was begun and shepherded by Amanda Brock, the general counsel at Canonical, makers of Ubuntu Linux. The intent was to create a small collection of consistently-worded contribution agreements (both licenses and assignments) for free and open source projects to use to reduce the friction such agreements can cause when they’re encountered for the first time by corporate counsel unfamiliar with FOSS licensing. The first version of the work was published in July, 2011 and this was my take on it.
Re-inventing SuSE and Three Futures for Mono
Imagining the potential for Mono going forward
In June 2011 we saw the rolling announcements out of Attachmate as SuSE gets spun into a separate organization with a return to Germany and Mono employees (along with many other Novell employees) finding themselves on the outside looking in. Here were three ideas for the future of SUSE and Mono.
The End of the Symbian Foundation
The end of the Symbian Foundation was in sight before it ever began.
My analysis of how the Symbian Foundation failed before it ever got going properly.
Red Hat Obfuscation is a Tempest in a Teapot
Voting with one’s pocketbook and one’s feet is exactly what software freedom is about.
I encounter another reference in the mainstream analysis about Red Hat “obfuscating” their work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This really is a tempest in a teapot, and I outline why I think that's so.
Solving the Apple App Store Incompatibility with the GPL
What’s needed is a little legal linguistic grease to enable the two orgs and their differing goals to slide by one another.
Here was an idea for all open source legal experts to gnaw on and solve for the community. I saw that Apple pulled down the VLC media player because of the conflict between the GPL and the Apple App Store terms of service. I think there are easy ways around the GPL software on Apple Appstore debate.