At first glance, the ecosystem in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)
world can seem a bit complicated. There are several ways to get software:
project websites where you can download it directly, use a software
management tool that your Linux distribution provides, or you may also be
able to install a Linux distribution that includes everything you need right
out of the box! Once you understand this ecosystem, you can find where your
contributions would be most useful, and why contributing is beneficial to
your organization and the FOSS community.
So, where does this all begin? FOSS often originates with a project which
maintains the source code for the software and provides its own development
and support infrastructure.
A Linux distribution is a carefully culled collection of software from these
upstream projects which makes a complete operating system and e... (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)
In January I attended the 10th annual Southern California Linux Expo. In
addition to speaking and running the Ubuntu booth, I had an opportunity to
talk to other sysadmins about everything from selection of distribution to
the latest in configuration management tools and virtualization technology.
I ended up in a conversation with a fellow sysadmin who was using a
proprietary virtualization technology on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Not only
did he have surprising misconceptions about the FOSS (Free and Open Source
Software) virtualization tools available, he assumed that some of the... (more)
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:
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)