VSHN.timer #152: The Challenges of Open Source

5. Sep 2022

Welcome to another VSHN.timer! Every Monday, 5 links related to Kubernetes, OpenShift, CI / CD, and DevOps; all stuff coming out of our own chat system, making us think, laugh, or simply work better.

This week we’re going to talk about how to run Open Source projects (and also how not to!)

1. The Open Source software community has provided the world with amazing software available for literally no cost. André Staltz has analyzed the mean time between the release of a commercial software package and its Free and Open Source (FOSS) equivalent and sees that it’s getting smaller and smaller. We do not totally agree with the conclusions, though; organizations are going to keep making money with software in spite of the final observations of this article, and in various different ways. The analysis also considers both FOSS and commercial alternatives to be fully comparable in quality and features, which is not always the case.


2. Managing Free and Open Source projects is very complicated; there’s interpersonal conflict between team members, and also dealing with abuse from outsiders. And to top it off, there’s licensing: MIT or GPL? Apache or Public Domain? artemis everfree has published a widely shared rant about how the same binary is distributed with different licenses across various Linux distributions.


3. In the age of package distribution platforms, software vulnerabilities, and Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs), build reproducibility is becoming a major concern. Christian Rebischke, currently Arch Linux Trusted User, gives a glimpse at a day in the life of an Arch Linux package maintainer.


4. Companies are building very strong businesses around Open Source software; take for example AdGuard and their DNS product, or NGINX, the makers of the fastest and most lightweight Open Source web server, leader of its segment for over 18 years.


5. Creating and managing Free and Open Source projects is no small feat. We recently found out that in 2020 Karl Fogel updated his landmark 2007 O’Reilly book „Producing Open Source Software“. A very useful resource for everyone dealing with the intricacies of FOSS projects, and even better, it’s completely free (as in beer) to download.


Have you open-sourced your code? How do you manage your FOSS projects? Would you like to share some tips and tricks with the our readers? Get in touch with us, and see you next week for another edition of VSHN.timer.

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Adrian Kosmaczewski

Adrian Kosmaczewski ist bei VSHN für den Bereich Developer Relations zuständig. Er ist seit 1996 Software-Entwickler, Trainer und veröffentlichter Autor. Adrian hat einen Master in Informationstechnologie von der Universität Liverpool.

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