Open Source Journal on Ulitzer
The November 2009 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM) has a very
interesting article by Paul Stachour and David Collier-Brown entitled “You
Don’t Know Jack About Software Maintenance”. The authors argue
energetically for using versioned data structures and “continuous
upgrading” to improve the state of the art of software maintenance.
The piece got me thinking about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and
“continuous upgrading”. Here are seven observations on FOSS software
maintenance that occurred to me as I reflected on the CACM article:
FOSS projects “continuously” apply bug fixes and feature enhancements at
no additional cost to their users. By applying these improvements
“continuously”, the user reaps a steady stream of “interest payments”
providing ever-improving security, performance, and functionality. Since FOSS
incurs ... (more)
Federal Computer Week published a great, succinct quote from Richard
Schaeffer Jr., the NSA’s (National Security Agency) information assurance
director, on three approaches that are effective in protecting systems from
We believe that if one institutes best practices, proper configurations
[and] good network monitoring that a system ought to be able to
withstand about 80 percent of the commonly known attack mechanisms
against systems today, Schaeffer said in his testimony. You can
actually harden your network environment to raise the bar such that
the adversary has to ... (more)
Although I haven’t seen a thoroughly researched study, I figure there must
be at least 250,000 FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) tools available to
every systems administrator on the planet (230,000 at SourceForge + 15,000 at
Launchpad + 12,000 at CodePlex + 5,000 at Google Code and that doesn’t
count the Linux kernel or any of the myriad other self-hosted projects).
These 250,000+ resources comprise the full “toolbox” that admins can use
for building solutions with FOSS; they represent the FOSS equivalent of COTS
(Commercial Off-The-Shelf). Of course, if you add open source b... (more)
Last week I read a good article on cloud computing, Cloud ROI: A Grounded
View. It seems that even with all the hype (or because of it?) most are not
“running blindly” to adopt “the cloud”. I must admit the cloud
metaphor has a powerful poetic charm to it.
That is probably why it has grabbed the attention of so many over the past
few years. Everything in our world is ephemeral, so there is an aptness to
the concept of a “cloud”. Moreover, I too like and use cloud analogies.
But I am now looking for clearer skies!
Here is a short list of my gripes about "the cloud":
What does “... (more)
Open Source Journal
Welcome to our new blog.
This blog is part of a new educational initiative to foster a deeper
understanding of the capabilities and issues involved with administering FOSS
(Free and Open Source Software) to deliver concrete business benefits.
Although our subject will sometimes become technical, we will strive to
address the business benefits at the beginning of each and every post.
Therefore, we are confident that this blog will prove interesting and
understandable to a broad variety of leaders, managers, and technicians.
We look forward to an engaging discu... (more)