The rise of open-source software in 2020, amidst a global pandemic, can be attributed to the sudden spike in demand for the faster development of software programmes and applications. In March 2020, GitHub noticed a major uptick in open-source projects. Many streaming websites even cut back on bandwidth consumption by reducing video streaming quality and download speeds. This is where open-source software comes in. With proprietary software being more costly in terms of speed of deployment, more enterprises turned to open-source software. Integrating open-source code accelerates software development. It makes information more democratised and thus allows a technically diverse group to develop applications rapidly. Many developers usually back open-source software, thus finding solutions to software problems and creating new applications much more straightforward.
The Linux Foundation has lifted the lid on a new open source digital infrastructure project aimed at the agriculture industry. The AgStack Foundation, as the new project will be known, is designed to foster collaboration among all key stakeholders in the global agriculture space, spanning private business, governments, and academia.
As with just about every other industry in recent years, there has been a growing digital transformation across the agriculture sector that has ushered in new connected devices for farmers and myriad AI and automated tools to optimize crop growth and circumvent critical obstacles, such as labor shortages. Open source technologies bring the added benefit of data and tools that any party can reuse for free, lowering the barrier to entry and helping keep companies from getting locked into proprietary software operated by a handful of big players.
“Hello and welcome to seven layers where every episode we look at a different aspect of technology, from literal wires in the ground to switches and routers and all the way up to the exploding amount of smart devices around us.
I’m your host Connor Craven associate studios editor at SDxCentral. This week, we are continuing to look at open source technology. In just a moment, you’ll hear from Deb Bryant, senior director of the Open Source Program Office at Red Hat. If you haven’t listened to our last episode on open source tech, I highly recommend going back and giving it a listen before Deb and I began our conversation. I won’t delay you any longer, please sit back and enjoy my interview with Deb Bryant of Red Hat.”
What makes a piece of software FOSS depends on the licences its creators have chosen to adopt. But beyond licensing, FOSS is about harnessing a culture of open and transparent collaboration to co-create something useful for users and other developers around the world.
In each of these examples, anyone located anywhere in the world has the freedom to view the source code, use it, add to it and modify it to make something new. For the creators of FOSS, this presents an opportunity to problem-solve with tech talent from around the world, to collaboratively improve their code, and further develop their own skills. A wide range of such open-source products is gaining popularity around the world and being used for large-scale tech development and business operations.
Despite making Android an open source project in 2007, Google replaced some OS elements with proprietary software when Android gained popularity. /e/ Foundation has replaced the proprietary apps and services with MicroG, an open source alternative framework which minimizes tracking and device activity.
Simply, open source software is software that is licensed in a way that allows people to freely use, study, modify, and distribute the software. These open source licenses differ greatly from proprietary software licenses, where only the original owner can copy, alter, or distribute the software.
Since open source refers to a wide variety of software programs, the use cases vary greatly. However, a Red Hat open source enterprise report found open source software is critical to infrastructure networks.
95% of respondents said open source software was strategically important to the enterprise’s overall infrastructure strategy, up from 89% in 2019. Only 42% of respondents report using proprietary software, down from 55% in 2019 and respondents expect that to keep falling — this number is expected to be down to just 32% in two years.
You see, the common misconception with Linux is that it’s something only computer gurus, geeks, and coders can use. Many people think that the only reason you’d use a Linux-based Operating System is for hacking purposes. The other misconception is that a Linux-based Operating System is so much different than Windows or Mac that you’d spend all your time learning something new.
All of this I’ve found to be untrue, by a long shot. Yet fear – fear of the unknown is what keeps many from trying it.
What is truly interesting about the Linux Community is the vastness of options. When I discovered that I had a choice, that I wasn’t stuck with something I didn’t enjoy, it was like my eyes were opened to a brand new world that I never knew existed. Plus if I didn’t like one, I could just download another distro and try it out. If something wasn’t stable or fast enough, no problem. Why? Because I had options.
Open source software has been a key underpinning of enterprise IT for years, so it’s no surprise that it’s helping to drive the infrastructure part of the equation forward just as much as application development.
Some projects are much more influential than others, and here are five that are doing the most to help enterprise infrastructure keep pace with the demands of an ever-more sophisticated operating environment.
- Linux itself
A year later, FOSS came into the limelight based on four freedoms. The four freedoms of free software were established solely as a result of the free software movement, and they denote what exactly constitutes free software.
Here are the freedoms;
- Freedom 0 – this is the freedom that allows you to use the program for any purpose; you simply run it as you wish.
- Freedom 1 – it is the freedom to accessing the code. It means that you can study how the program works. Interestingly, you have the freedom to change it to do your computing just as you wish.
- Freedom 2 – this is the freedom to redistribute the copies to others to help them.
- Freedom 3 – it’s the freedom to distribute your copies of modified versions to others. That way, you give the entire community the chance to benefit from the changes you made. A precondition for this is accessing the source code.
The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced Linux Foundation Research, a new division that will broaden the understanding of open source projects, ecosystem dynamics, and impact, with never before seen insights on the efficacy of open source collaboration as a means to solve many of the world’s pressing problems. Through a series of research projects and related content, Linux Foundation Research will leverage the Linux Foundation’s vast repository of data, tools, and communities across industry verticals and technology horizontals. The methodology will apply quantitative and qualitative techniques to create an unprecedented knowledge network to benefit the global open source community, academia, and industry.