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.
“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.”
“We are highly dependent on the open source frameworks and libraries developed by the community,” Global Forest Watch Engineering Lead Thomas Maschler says. “There is so much innovation coming out of open source software. We tend to be on the early adopter side when it comes to tools and frameworks and we wouldn’t be able to move at the same speed if we would work with proprietary software.”
NASA has been using open-source software in some of its R&D projects for about 10 to 15 years now and it keeps a very extensive catalogue of the open-source code it has used. But open-source tech in space exploration mission has been a rare thought. But space missions are now focused on the use of technologies that are less expensive and more accessible. And therefore open source software in space exploration projects are pretty much be in vogue.
Technology played a key role in the entire Mars mission. For example, the 4-lb helicopters were contractors from recognizable companies like AeroVironment, Lockheed Martin, and Qualcomm. And behind its expansive software were thousands of open source developers from GitHub, the team of developers contributed code, documentation, graphic design, and more to the open source software that made Ingenuity’s launch possible, said a GitHub Blog, celebrating the moment in open source history.
The ramifications of the SolarWinds attack are still unfolding more than four months since the breaches were revealed to the public. One underappreciated facet of the wide-ranging scandal that has engulfed much of the U.S. government and hundreds of major companies involves the powerful role the open source community played in helping enterprises respond to the crisis, according to Greg Bell, co-founder and CSO of cybersecurity company Corelight.
“What happened with the Sunburst malware is that when FireEye/Mandiant discovered the attack and made this sort of amazingly detailed disclosure, they released information about the attack—so called indicators of compromise—in open formats on GitHub, the platform where open source tools are built and where information is shared,” Bell said.
Safety: the source code of these applications is available to everyone, so we can see what he wants to do and discover if it harbors any malicious intent. Privacy: these applications are aimed at protecting users’ private data, which they will not be sold or done business with. Quality: there is a false feeling that free applications are of poorer quality, but that is not the case. They may not be aesthetically so pretty, but they do count with the same functions, or even more, than proprietary applications. Free: all the applications present in F-Droid are free and have no in-app purchases or subscriptions. Some developers accept donations, but many of them simply want publicize their creation and that it can be useful to users.
Market forces, limits of scaling and the emergence of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence have fueled the rise of open source hardware. Still, as this EE Times Special Project demonstrates, physical, legal and economic barriers remain as a fledgling group of open source advocates and a handful of commercial vendors seek to democratized hardware design.
Those proponents and early adopters have focused their energies on reduced instruction set computing, the foundational RISC architecture that emerged from the University of California at Berkeley in the 1980s. RISC has seeded the beginnings of an ecosystem extending beyond processor technology to include open interconnects, network and, ultimately, open computing.
As with open source software, key chip makers are eyeing the open hardware movement. Some perhaps with trepidation as semiconductor scaling runs out of steam and monster GPUs and CPUs accelerators approach the end of the line, giving way to new heterogeneous devices and chiplets.
GitHub is expanding the functionality of its CLI (Command-Line Interface) tool to bring Actions to your terminal.
The first stable version of GitHub CLI launched in September last year with the aim of enabling developers to keep their repo workflows in their terminal.
“Developers spend a lot of time in their terminals, and our CLI helps to mitigate the frequent context switching between your terminal and GitHub.com,” Amanda Pinsker, Product Designer at GitHub, said last year.
GitHub Actions aim to make it easy to automate your software workflows either through building custom actions or using those created by the huge community.
Oxen is essentially a developer platform for privacy tools. It offers a wide range of tools, libraries, and end-user products aimed at solving many of the challenging issues plaguing the digital security space.
The Oxen network is powered by the project’s homegrown blockchain, which also facilitates a parallel privacy-friendly cryptocurrency network that guarantees fast and anonymous transactions.
The Oxen Service Nodes, a distributed network of community-operated nodes, powers the platform’s native blockchain. These nodes are instrumental in ensuring that all features and services offered by the network operate smoothly round the clock.
Platforms like CitizenLab offer solutions for government entities to make data-driven decisions with greater transparency. CitizenLab has expanded its reach in recent years to better serve U.S. cities, and now it is open to all civic organizations.
A blog post written by co-founder and CEO Wietse Van Ransbeeck on March 30 explained the company’s decision to shift to an open source model. The use of open source software in government can provide many benefits for agencies, like the ability to tailor base code to fit a community’s specific needs. As Van Ransbeeck described in the blog, the main goals in this shift are to lower the threshold to participation and increase transparency.