Open Source: Outside the Box

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Open Source: Outside the Box

Outside the Proprietary Box


Innovation that sparks other innovations


Ex: AT&T and Carter Electronics (Carterfone)


AT&T had a monopoly on the market in the '60's
until Carter sued them. This integration of two
-
way
telephone technology sparked other innovations
such as the fax machine, answering machine and,
most notably, the modem.


Enormous consequences all because Carter made
the telephone market competitive and forced AT&T
to be more creative with their technology.


This is what Open Source is doing to the market.

Outside the Proprietary Box


Collaboration: Open Source depends on a
community of users and citizen developers to
continue developing and using the products.


Anyone with programming skills can make an
existing Open Source product their own.


Open Source is more about building
community than just putting out a product for
purchase.


There are licenses but no licensing fees. This
is the economic aspect of Open Source. The
licenses encourage sharing and participation.

What is Open Source (aka OSS)?


Open Source
: The term is most commonly applied to the
source code of software that is available to the general public
with relaxed or non
-
existent intellectual property
restrictions.



The “open source” label came out of a strategy session held
in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a
source code release for Navigator. The group of individuals at
the session included
Christine Peterson

who suggested
“open source”,
Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall,
Sam Ockman and Eric S. Raymond.



The Open Source Initiative (OSI) formed in February 1998 by
Raymond and Perens (Bruce)

... their goal was/is to
present the 'open source' case to commercial businesses.

Basic Terminology


Software is written as text (source code).


Software is most often distributed as an
application (binary) that runs in a specific
operating system and type of hardware
(architecture).


Source code is modified (compiled) and then
re
-
compiled to create another binary.


Free software and open source are in most
cases equivalent and may be found
abbreviated as FOSS or FLOSS.

The Beginning


Richard Stallman


Started writing free
utilities for Unix in 1984.


Launched the GNU
Project (OS).


Resigned from MIT and
founded the Free
Software Foundation in
1985. Resulted in GPL
(General Public License).


Created most of the
elements of a free OS,
except the kernel, by
1991.


Linus Torvalis


Linux (Kernel)



Wrote Linux in
1991


It was released under
GPL, the software
license written by
Stallman.

Four Essential Software Freedoms


Freedom to run the program for any purpose.


Freedom to study how the program works ad
adapt it to meet your needs. Access to the source
code is a precondition for this.


Freedom to redistribute copies to help your
neighbors (community).


Freedom to improve the program and release your
improvements (part of GPL) to the public, so that
the community benefits.


For more about FSF go to
http://www.fsf.org/
.

Common Model that Followed GPL


Linux = Operating System


Apache = Web (HTTP) Server


MySQL = Database Manager


Perl = Programming Language



Zackary Tirrel (technology consultant) says that
LAMP‏is‏“not‏just‏good‏software,‏it's‏good‏business,‏
and‏open‏source‏is‏too.”‏
-

Library Technology
Reports (43:3


Page 6).



I would also add to this model Firefox as the Browser
of choice for Open Source.

More than a Term, It’s a Culture


Open source culture is one that promotes the free
sharing of found and created content.


The culture relies on participation from the users
(who provide regular feedback and enhancement
requests) and the developers (core and citizen).


It encourages community members to modify the
products and redistribute them back into the
community (a goal to continually improve the
original product).


It has been called a business model... one that
encourages collaboration, innovation and
community.


Thus, the term Open Source Movement.

The Open ePolicy Group's Vision

From the ICT Harvard Berkman Center:



“Openness‏


a synthesis of collaborative
creativity, connectivity, access and
transparency


is revolutionizing how we
communicate,‏connect‏and‏compete.”

Benefits of OSS


Ability to customize and
extend the basic features
to meet your needs.


It's an environment that
encourages collaboration
and innovation from the
users and developers.


Flexible formats.


Less vendor speak.


Sometimes free can
become fee which could
be a benefit if you're the
programmer.


Most people that develop
open source do it because
they have a passion for it.


Eliminates the bottleneck
that happens with a lot of
enhancement requests for
proprietary software.


The right to experiment
and make it your own.


Economics: Better quality,
higher reliability, lower
costs and increased
choice.

Potential Downfalls


Projects get abandoned
and it's up to the
community to carry the
project forward.


No real standards


perpetual beta.


Copyright/Digital Rights
Management Issues do
arise.


If you plan to customize,
you need programming
knowledge.


Getting buy
-
in.




Sometimes free becomes
fee, which means you
might have to pay for
something that you
previously received for
free.


Just like with vendors, it
may take time to get all of
the features or
enhancements you want
in the product.


Sometimes a lot of
programming
terminology.

Examples of Good Use


Joomla at the South Carolina State Library:


Open Source Web Development Suite.


http://statelibrary.sc.gov



LibraryFind at OSU:


Federated Search (aka MetaSearch) & OpenURL
Resolver


http://libraryfind.org


http://search.library.oregonstate.edu/record/search


Examples of Good Use


Evergreen (ILS) in Georgia:


44 Libraries with 250 Locations


Includes Circulation, Cataloging and an OPAC that
uses faceted searching and FRBR
-
like records.


http://open
-
ils.org


http://demo.gapines.org


Greenstone Digital Library:


http://www.greenstone.org


http://www.cincinnatimemory.org/


http://www.thehackley.org/about.html


Examples of Good Use


State of Massachusetts (Productivity Suite):


In 2005, the state decided to move toward open file
formats for sharing electronic documents.


80,000 employees and 173 agencies were involved.


End result: Easier upgrades, more reliable, long
-
term
access to documents, better communication among
departments and better choice.


They didn't all have to use the same open source
software. They only had to use open source file
formats.


They hope this will lead to more competition in the
marketplace and therefore, lower costs.

Other Open Source for Libraries


Integrated Library
Systems (ILS):


Koha


OpenBiblio


Metasearch and
OpenURL Resolvers:


Umlaut


Keystone


Digital Library and
Repository:


DSpace


Fedora


OPAC
Replacements:


Scriblio


SOPAC

What Makes OSS Successful?


Interoperable



allowing the exchange, reuse, interchangeability
and interpretation of data across diverse architectures.


User
-
Centric



focus is on fulfilling the needs of the user keeping
in mind their potential hardware/software constraints.


Collaborative



permitting stakeholders to create, grow and
reform the OSS community to leverage their strengths, solve
common problems, innovate and build upon the existing
product/code.


Sustainable



maintaining a balance while addressing
organizational, technical, financial and legal issues in a manner
that allows the community to thrive.


Flexible



adopting seamlessly and quickly to new information,
technologies, protocols and relationships.


From Chapter 7 of
Library Technology Reports
(43:3).

Licensed Freedom


Freedoms associated with Free Open Source Software
are still protected by software licenses that vary:


GPL (GNU General Public License): Adheres to the FSF's
Four Essential Freedoms so users can:


Use the code for any purpose.


Redistribute the code to anyone else as long as it still bears
the GPL license.


Modify the existing code and create a new product that is
also released with a GPL license.


BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution): Also allows
redistribution but has less restrictions on that redistribution.


Visit
http://openacs.org/about/licensing/open
-
source
-
licensing

OR
http://fsf.org

for more information about OSS
licenses.

Your Thoughts?


Global impact?


Impact on Libraries?


Your experiences with OSS?




Additional Questions or Thoughts?

Additional Resources


SurgeForce:
http://sourceforge.net/

for downloads of OSS
software.


Open AL:
http://www.openal.org/

3D audio for gaming.


Media Coder:
http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/

Converts files to different formats.


LibLime:
http://liblime.com/

Vendor in OSS Software.


Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Book by
Steven Levy.


Revolution OS Documentary:
http://www.revolution
-
os.com/


Library Technology Reports

(43:3) Entire issue devoted
to Open Source Software.

Assignment


Instead of reading an article, go look at the open
source software available.


Download an application or review a demo of it.


Record your experience with the application,
potential uses for it in a library, if there are any
modifications that would need to be made to make it
“library‏friendly”‏and‏your‏general‏thoughts‏about‏the‏
use of Open Source Software in
libraries/businesses.


2
-
3 pages at the most.


Feel free to use articles or web resources to
supplement the paper.