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There’s little in this world that’ more saddening than telling a friend, “You blew it.” But that’s how I feel about Six Apart and their blogging / CMS system Movable Type.
They had a chance to use open source to make something really remarkable with their product, and all but squandered it.
I say this as a Movable Type user, which is why it pains me to say these things. I’d hate to think my loyalty was misplaced, because in the time I’ve used it I watched as one fellow user after another defected to competing products — mainly Automattic and WordPress.
So what went wrong? For starters, it wasn’t that Movable Type switched to an open source model. It was how they went about doing it.
Movable Type wasn’t originally open source, but it was licensed liberally enough that it almost didn’t matter. Many people could use it without paying for it, and for most people that was enough. But the licensing for version 3.0, released in 2004, placed far more emphasis on the user paying a licensing fee. It was still possible to get a free license, but on terms that didn’t allow redistribution of the product.
Many of the “little” folks who had been using Movable Type up to that point started to get worried they would suddenly have to start paying licensing fees. It wasn’t even the cost of the product that bugged them, but the principle of the thing: it felt like a bait-and-switch. Who’s to say they wouldn’t be given equally cavalier treatment in the future?
Faced with this, and with the rise of the unambiguously-licensed WordPress (GPLv2), a lot of Movable Type folks decamped and switched to that product, which began to thrive thanks to their input and usage. It wasn’t until Movable Type version 3.3 released two years later that a free version for personal users was released.
In late 2007 Six Apart created an explicitly open source version of Movable Type, based on version 4 of the product, and licensed under the GPL. The main differences between the commercial and open source editions were features designed specifically for enterprise users, like commercially-developed SEO add-ons.
It was a step in the right direction, and was welcomed by those who had been asking for such a thing, me included. But, again, it was too late to woo back the people who had already defected. For them, Movable Type was scorched earth.
And by that time, WordPress had already built a culture of open engagement with customers. There was a broad and growing palette of plugins, templates and other add-ons, created by people who had been in bed with the product for a good long time. (The gallery of templates for WordPress is something that’s cited regularly as a reason why it’s a superior product.)
Six Apart did go to some length to document their templating language and make it easier to convert WordPress templates to something Movable Type could use. But they waited too long to start doing those things on a scale that mattered, and by that time some really creative and inspiring template designs were coming out of the WordPress crowd.
WordPress also got something right early on that remains a point of trouble for Movable Type: make it easy for people to get on board with the software and stay on board. A WordPress installation can upgrade itself from a browser-based control panel with the push of a button. By contrast, Movable Type still has to be manually upgraded. It’s too easy to get the process wrong, and so whenever a new point release came out I resigned myself to setting aside a day to upgrade and test.
That such manual work is still necessary is another sign of how most of what drove Movable Type’s general direction seemed to focus on appealing to commercial customers, not the base of “in-the-trenches” users who were actually grappling with the product on a daily basis. Hence the add-ons for SEO and such, which most individual bloggers (me included) turned off the minute they installed the product.
When a company “does” open source, a lot of how they are perceived to approach it will shape things. Oracle’s commitment to open source is perceived very differently from Red Hat’s. Not just because of the size of one company vs. the other or their intended markets, but because Red Hat puts more of their money where their mouth is, while Oracle is inspiring more dissention than loyalty among open source folks.
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The open source community has responded to this trend with a host of new projects, including solutions that help enterprises track and manage mobile devices, mobile development tools for creating new apps and open source apps that enable greater productivity. This month, we’ve put together a list of 50 of these tools that are worth notice. While there are many good open source mobile apps for home users, this list focuses instead on those that would be most useful in the workplace.
Please note that this is not a ranking. Apps are divided into categories and arranged alphabetically within each category.
As always, if you know of additional open source tools that you think should be on our list, feel free to note them in the Comments section below.
Convertigo is a full-featured enterprise mobility platform for developing, deploying and managing apps. In addition to the free community edition (which has been installed more than 50,000 times), it comes in paid standard and extended editions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X with clients for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry
ForgeRock offers several different access management and identity management tools, including several that support mobile devices, mobile apps and APIs. Support is available through a paid subscription that comes in several different tiers. Operating System: Linux
3. OCS Inventory NG
Many IT departments use OCS Inventory NG to track their on-site hardware, and now the tool offers agents for Android and Windows mobile devices as well. It detects active devices on the network and provides information about the type of device and installed apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, Windows Phone
This tool includes both a mobile backend as a service that can be deployed in private clouds and a mobile enterprise application program (MEAP). Features include an enterprise sync platform, push notifications, mobile remote procedure caller (RPC) and a management console. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X (supports Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices)
5. WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager
This comprehensive enterprise mobility solution includes MDM, mobile app management, enterprise app store and mobile data security features. Paid support and training are available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Solaris
Short for “Android Privacy Guard,” APG is an implementation of the OpenGPG encryption standard for Android. It offers encryption, decrption, signing and key management capabilities. Operating System: Android
Ever wonder if your Android apps are watching you? The Android Security Evaluation Framework (ASEF) attempts to answer that question by running apps through a test suite to locate malware, adware and bandwidth hogs. Operating System: Android
8. The Guardian Project
The Guardian group offers numerous security- and privacy-related apps for Android devices. In addition to Orbot (see below), this project includes Orweb private Web browser, ChatSecure private and secure messaging (formerly Gibberbot), ObscuraCam privacy camera, Pixelknot hidden message and Ostel encrypted phone calls. Operating System: Android
9. KeePassDroid, 7Pas (KeePass for Windows Phone), iKeePass
KeePass is one of the most popular open source password safes available. Developers have ported the app to all of the major mobile operating systems. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Phone
10. LBE Privacy Guard
LBE claims to be the “most powerful privacy protection software for Android.” It blocks malware and unwanted traffic as well as giving users more control over which data apps can access. Note that in order to use it, you’ll need a rooted phone. Operating System: Android
Instead of saving your passwords in a vault, MasterPassword generates secure passwords on demad using an algorithm based on your name, the site and your master password. The benefits of this approach are that you never have to worry about syncing and you don’t have to trust your passwords to a cloud provider. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android
Orbot allows Android devices to access the Internet via the secure, private Tor network. In order to provide truly anonymous communication, it sends encrypted messages through several servers to make the traffic impossible to trace. Operating System: OS Independent
13. Secrets for Android
Encrypt your passwords and other “secrets” in a secure database. There’s also a PC Version called PCSecrets that allows you to access the data from your computer and enables easy data transfer to a new device. Operating System: Android
Winner of a Black Duck Rookie of the Year award, XPrivacy allows users to limit the categories of data that Android apps can access. If an app requires permission to access contacts or location data in order to run, XPrivacy will feed it fake data so that the app keeps functioning while protecting the user’s privacy. Operating System: Android
15. Apache Cordova
16. Appcelerator Titanium
Used by more than 75,000 applications, the Titanium platform includes an open source SDK with over 5,000 device and mobile operating system APIs, the Studio Eclipse-based IDE and the Alloy MVC framework. A mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) is also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Developed by Twitter, Bootstrap claims to be “the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.” Highly customizable, it allows users to check boxes to indicate which components they would like to include in their download. Operating System: OS Independent
Recently, as commercial search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, and MSN Search are escalating their reach of web surfers while growing stronger by the moment, there has been a reaction by the “non-commercial” crowd to bring about an alternative. Open source activists have put together Nutch search engine technology which may bring an alternative to the regular search engine field.
According to the Nutch project they provide a transparent alternative to commercial web search engines. Only open source search results can be fully trusted to be without bias. (Or at least their bias is public.) All existing major search engines have proprietary ranking formulas, and will not explain why a given page ranks as it does. Additionally, some search engines determine which sites to index based on payments, rather than on the merits of the sites themselves. Nutch, on the other hand, has nothing to hide and no motive to bias its results or its crawler in any way other than to try to give each user the best results possible.
Over the past week, three open source search engines have gathered the attention of the searching community, two of which are using Nutch and one of which is still in the idea/development stage.
This month MozDex, an open source search engine built entirely using different open source technologies, has been tweaking and refining its search results while in beta testing. While in “deep crawl,” MozDex plans on full indexing within the upcoming weeks.
Search results clustering attempts to overcome the problem of information overload, since most search engines are based on keyword-based queries and endless lists of matching documents. Unfortunately, even when exceptional ranking algorithms are used, relevance sorting inevitably promotes quality based on some notion of popularity of what can be found on the Web.
One approach is to automatically group search results into thematic categories, called clusters. Assuming clusters descriptions are informative about the documents they contain, the user spends much less time following irrelevant links.
According to Research Buzz, OpenIndex is not quite an open search engine project, but more of an index (as states the simple name) or a community-built search engine. Claiming that they do not have the hardware to power a huge web index (As of yet) OpenIndex is open to ideas of users who join their community.
OpenIndex puts forth the idea of a decentralized, multi-computer powered search index; “Although we wouldn’t likely have large computers available, we could have many small ones, contributed by interested volunteers, and distributed across the community – even across the globe. Perhaps it’s the only way to have a publically-owned and operated index.- it certainly seems appropriate.
A distributed system of servers would apportion all of the tasks of running an index among them. This would create a massive system of computers running in parallel, doing tasks as they are required. Costs would be distributed among the servers.”
Silicon Valley AI company Cerebras released seven open source GPT models to provide an alternative to the tightly controlled and proprietary systems available today.
The royalty free open source GPT models, including the weights and training recipe have been released under the highly permissive Apache 2.0 license by Cerebras, a Silicon Valley based AI infrastructure for AI applications company.
To a certain extent, the seven GPT models are a proof of concept for the Cerebras Andromeda AI supercomputer.
The Cerebras infrastructure allows their customers, like Jasper AI Copywriter, to quickly train their own custom language models.
A Cerebras blog post about the hardware technology noted:
“We trained all Cerebras-GPT models on a 16x CS-2 Cerebras Wafer-Scale Cluster called Andromeda.
The cluster enabled all experiments to be completed quickly, without the traditional distributed systems engineering and model parallel tuning needed on GPU clusters.
Most importantly, it enabled our researchers to focus on the design of the ML instead of the distributed system. We believe the capability to easily train large models is a key enabler for the broad community, so we have made the Cerebras Wafer-Scale Cluster available on the cloud through the Cerebras AI Model Studio.”Cerebras GPT Models and Transparency
Cerebras cites the concentration of ownership of AI technology to just a few companies as a reason for creating seven open source GPT models.
OpenAI, Meta and Deepmind keep a large amount of information about their systems private and tightly controlled, which limits innovation to whatever the three corporations decide others can do with their data.
Is a closed-source system best for innovation in AI? Or is open source the future?
“For LLMs to be an open and accessible technology, we believe it’s important to have access to state-of-the-art models that are open, reproducible, and royalty free for both research and commercial applications.
To that end, we have trained a family of transformer models using the latest techniques and open datasets that we call Cerebras-GPT.
These models are the first family of GPT models trained using the Chinchilla formula and released via the Apache 2.0 license.”
Thus these seven models are released on Hugging Face and GitHub to encourage more research through open access to AI technology.
These models were trained with Cerebras’ Andromeda AI supercomputer, a process that only took weeks to accomplish.
Cerebras-GPT is fully open and transparent, unlike the latest GPT models from OpenAI (GPT-4), Deepmind and Meta OPT.
OpenAI and Deepmind Chinchilla do not offer licenses to use the models. Meta OPT only offers a non-commercial license.
OpenAI’s GPT-4 has absolutely no transparency about their training data. Did they use Common Crawl data? Did they scrape the Internet and create their own dataset?
OpenAI is keeping this information (and more) secret, which is in contrast to the Cerebras-GPT approach that is fully transparent.
The following is all open and transparent:
Compute-optimal training status (yes)
License to use: Apache 2.0 License
The seven versions come in 111M, 256M, 590M, 1.3B, 2.7B, 6.7B, and 13B models.
IT was announced:
“In a first among AI hardware companies, Cerebras researchers trained, on the Andromeda AI supercomputer, a series of seven GPT models with 111M, 256M, 590M, 1.3B, 2.7B, 6.7B, and 13B parameters.
Typically a multi-month undertaking, this work was completed in a few weeks thanks to the incredible speed of the Cerebras CS-2 systems that make up Andromeda, and the ability of Cerebras’ weight streaming architecture to eliminate the pain of distributed compute.
This is the first time a suite of GPT models, trained using state-of-the-art training efficiency techniques, has been made public.
These models are trained to the highest accuracy for a given compute budget (i.e. training efficient using the Chinchilla recipe) so they have lower training time, lower training cost, and use less energy than any existing public models.”Open Source AI
The Mozilla foundation, makers of open source software Firefox, have started a company called chúng tôi to build open source GPT and recommender systems that are trustworthy and respect privacy.
Databricks also recently released an open source GPT Clone called Dolly which aims to democratize “the magic of ChatGPT.”
In addition to those seven Cerebras GPT models, another company, called Nomic AI, released GPT4All, an open source GPT that can run on a laptop.
— Nomic AI (@nomic_ai) March 28, 2023
The open source AI movement is at a nascent stage but is gaining momentum.
GPT technology is giving birth to massive changes across industries and it’s possible, maybe inevitable, that open source contributions may change the face of the industries driving that change.
Read the official announcement:
Cerebras Systems Releases Seven New GPT Models Trained on CS-2 Wafer-Scale Systems
Featured image by Shutterstock/Merkushev Vasiliy
Meanwhile, IT giants such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and Siebel are also expanding more broadly into BI.
Nequalsone, for example, is now using Oracle’s 10g database and Web portal, running on Linux, as the basis for a series of applications aimed at building patient loyalty for hospitals by tracking patients’ impressions of health care experiences.
“We’re also looking at adding realtime reporting capabilities [from Oracle] to provide BI reports for clients,” said Harry Slaughter, the company’s CTO, in an interview with LinuxPlanet.
A slew of recent vendor announcements from Oracle, Business Objects, JasperSoft and others has delivered mainstream attention to the broadening availability of BI products for Linux.
Actually, though, BI for Linux is not exactly entirely new, points out Dan Everett, an analyst at Ventana Research, during another interview.
Companies like Hyperion began adding offering software for Linux a number of years ago. JasperSoft, Pentaho, Actuate, and other open source start-ups came into the mix later.
Many of the first open source BI products, however, were aimed at report-writing, and for the most part, these tools have been used by developers, Everett said.
Some long-time BI vendors are offering open source databases as embedded BI repositories, while at the same time allowing customers with existing commercial databases to keep using SQL Server or DB2 instead, for instance.
Business Objects, for example, is now using MySQL as a repository, said James Thomas, the company’s director of marketing, in another interview.
At pricing of $1,000 per user seat, for example, a company with 16,000 employees would need to pay $160,000 for a full-fledged BI deployment, Everett hypothesized.
“Among midmarket companies, there’s been a real push toward TCO,” concurred Business Objects’ Thomas.
At the same time, open source BI start-ups are spreading out into new directions.
Pentaho, for example, recently acquired the Weka open source project in a bid to add data mining capabilities to its BI suite.
Pentaho is also teaming with vendors such as IBM, Actuate, Scapa Technologies, and Zend in support of the Eclipse Foundation’s BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) 2.0 project.
For its part, JasperSoft has announced a Jboss reporting portal.
But the industry convergence upon BI doesn’t stop there. For instance, Oracle’s emerging BI suite brings together products created at both Oracle and PeopleSoft for data warehousing, data mining, reporting, management, and information delivery.
Not to be outdone, long-time BI specialists are taking new steps into open source.
Business Objects recently announced a version of its Crystal Reports report-writer for the Eclipse crossplatform development environment.
Crystal Reports, a product originated by Cognos, has supported Linux ever since version 9. Business Objects has been in charge of Crystal Reports since the acquistion of Cognos.
“Linux is certainly not the most popular platform we’ve seen, but it’s starting to hit more of a mainstream deal,” according to Thomas.
As Thomas sees it, some Linux customers are moving to the platform from Windows, yet more of them are migrating from Unix platforms from Sun, HP, and IBM.
“One of the big areas where we’re seeing a lot of Linux is in financial centers. And in Europe, there’s been a push toward non-Microsoft environments,” he observed.
“We’ve had really solid partnerships with Red Hat and Novell. We do a lot of joint selling and joint engagements.”
Business Objects customer Tradewinds is just one example of a financial service firm that’s adopted Linux.
“Linux is our strategic platform,” affirmed Tradewinds CTO David Meredith, also in an interview.
Within the midmarket, many customers are now runing Crystal Reports Server on Linux, according to Thomas.
“They are tending to wish that the JasperSofts and Pentahos of the world would just go away,” said Ventana’s Everett.
“But they’re also dealing with reality, and looking at [what kinds of opportunities] open source can bring.”
As a result, veteran players in this market are starting to change their business models, the analyst observed.
Emerging approaches include BI appliances, embedding BI reporting tools into applications, and the “software as a service” business model.
“And some companies are building hosted [BI] solutions,” Everett added.
Systems integrators and other partners are becoming increasingly important, the Ventana analyst suggested.
Business Objects is one of the companies that is already modifying its business model. “We recognize that developers are accustomed to getting [report-writers] for free,” said Business Objects’ Thomas.
“Our philosophy is that you can download Crystal Reports [for Eclipse] for free. But for things like higher-end support and greater scalability, customers need to pay,” Thomas told LinuxPlanet.
This article was first published on chúng tôi
The Dot Com Crash and the Great Recession contributed to the beginning of open source adoption
While the economy for the future is highly uncertain, financial sector finds loopholes to survive the crisis. One such instance is the Covid-19 pandemic that has pushed the world into an unprecedented financial crisis. When the time is bad and the fall seems to continue for a long time, companies started adopting an open source method to fight against the downfall. Remarkably, this is not the first time that economic slowdown has boosted theLessons from the past recessions
The most lucrative period of open source software is 2000 and 2008. These are the years whenReasons to adopt open source
Using open source comes with a couple of relieves. Potentially, open source saves a ton of financial resources by simply implementing already existing software like Drupal rather than building something from the ground. Open source profit is like making money out of scratch. Another credit is that it gives a certain level of liberty. By using open source, the reliance on a single organisation is blocked. Remarkably, the chances of open source going bankrupt are slim making it more reliable. Fast-tracks innovation by gathering information Open source is a system where a lot of information, from here and there is gathered. There are hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world involved in open source software and its development. The enormous number of contribution from various sources reflects at the innovation fast-tracked innovation. Open source’s innovative powers are not limited to a single person or organisation, they stretch over the entire population. Anyone from the corner of a world can add features to the open source. Survey findings from 2023 recession on open source
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