The State of Open Source
This month's theme includes the following featured articles:
Choosing an Open Source Software License in Commercial Context: A Managerial Perspective
Learn about a model that emphasizes how software companies perceive different open source software licenses and rationalize their license choices. More »
Security in Open Source Web Content Management Systems
Web content management system vulnerabilities are attractive targets for attackers, leaving the applications and their nonexpert users open to exploitation. More »
Open Source Software Considerations for Law Enforcement
Can law enforcement agencies leverage open source to benefit the communities they serve? More »
Open Source Data Collection in the Developing World
Open Data Kit enables timely and efficient data collection on cell phones, a much-needed service in the developing world. More »
A Comparative Analysis of Open Source
Software Usage in Germany, Brazil, and India
Learn about open source software adoption by governments, education, and businesses in Germany, Brazil, and India.
Commodification of Industrial Software: A Case for Open Source
To compete successfully, software-intensive companies will need to adopt new forms of collaborative development involving open source software. More »
It seems like just yesterday that open source was the new craze that was going to sweep change and revolution into the software industry. Like all new tech trends, it was amorphous—it was everything from a methodology to tools to a social movement. It was loved and hated. And as with all tech trends, some predicted its demise, claiming that it was just another fad that would fizzle out without making a dent in the technology world. And like all predictions, the truth is never the "absolute" predicted by either the proponents or the opponents.
Not only did open source not fade away, it hasn't finished evolving yet. Open source has become a serious and substantial component of applications, embedded systems, operating systems, and common devices that consumers use daily. It has altered software development, licensing, hardware, methodologies, and a myriad of devices used by individuals, businesses, and governments, while simultaneously impacting the lives of people across the socioeconomic scale around the world. Additionally, the evolution of open source as a business model hasn't followed the path predicted by anyone "in the know" in the late '90s, or in the early 2000s, for that matter. And as open source has meandered down its evolutionary path, technologists, businesses, and governments have faced new and interesting challenges—and opportunities.
This month's Computing Now theme compiles a variety of articles that show the many current faces of open source. "Choosing an Open Source Software License in Commercial Context: A Managerial Perspective" provides some useful perspectives on how an enterprise should be aware of and properly use open source licensing (for both the components it might use in developing software and the release of software it produces). "Security in Open Source Web Content Management Systems" is an excellent overview (and reminder) about keeping up with plugging the known exploits in commonly used open source CMS tools. Don't let the title of "Open Source Software Considerations for Law Enforcement" stop you from discovering principles, concepts, constraints, and ultimate uses of open source that are applicable to any organization. "Open Source Data Collection in the Developing World" is a wonderful article about an actual (and very influential) use of the Google Open Data Kit in saving lives in Africa. It might provide inspiration on how to solve data collection challenges you may be facing. If you're looking for a strong overview of open source use outside of the US, "A Comparative Analysis of Open Source Software Usage in Germany, Brazil, and India" will give you a solid perspective on how three leading nations are employing open source in government, business, and education. "Commodification of Industrial Software: A Case for Open Source" provides some interesting theories, concepts, case studies, and visual models on how to properly value and employ open source in various business contexts. Lastly, "A Stage Model of Evolution for Open Source Software" discusses the 3 generations of open source evolution through the maturity curve (IEEE login is required to view the full text of this article). In addition to these articles, we're providing a few links to open source sites to extend your research and learning on open source.
While these articles provide a snapshot of the state of open source today, the only safe assessment is that more change is on the way. Be sure to monitor Computing Now, IT Professional, IEEE Software, and other IEEE publications for additional issues and articles on open source as we cover this ever-changing landscape.
Do the Luddites Ever Win?
Advocates for traditional newspapers have been calling for a tax on Internet activities that would support paper-based journalism. Such whining about the rise of a new technology isn't new—but does it work? More »
The Power of Mobile Computing in a Social Era
Read about the implication of the pervasive use of mobile phones in online social networking applications and the challenges imposed, as well as the opportunities this reality brings. More »
AI Space Odyssey
Opportunities for space exploration to benefit from intelligent systems are evolving in unexpected directions, but with certain invariants regarding knowledge representation and process modeling. More »
Monitoring in a High-Arctic Environment: Some Lessons from MANA
Monitoring terrestrial high-arctic ecosystems is difficult because of their limited access, extreme weather, and absence of communication infrastructure. A sensor-network-based data acquisition system in Greenland, addresses these challenges. More »
The Business Goals Viewpoint
A business goals viewpoint can help capture precise, unambiguous business goals, which in turn helps architects design systems that are more responsive to organizational needs. More »
Using Visualization to Debug Visualization Software
These guidelines for debugging visualization software come from experience in developing applications for industry and research. They exploit the strengths of computer graphics and visualization while using good software development practices. More »
Money for Research, Not Energy Bills
High performance computing facilities in the US consume enormous amounts of electricity. This case study describes strategies to achieve facility energy reductions through thoughtful design. More »
Knowledge Discovery from Community-Contributed Multimedia
Every minute, Flickr uploads 4 billion new images and YouTube, 24 hours of video. A special issue looks at the challenges of social multimedia data. More »
Google-Wide Profiling: A Continuous Profiling Infrastructure for Data Centers
GWP's always-on infrastructure for recording event samples and associated information vectors supports queries to improve data-center applications' performance. More »
A Common Language Framework for Next-Generation Embedded Testing
The New Scan Description Language could provide a significant advance toward fully automated, portable testing. More »