The Open Source Movement

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Dec 13, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

1

The Open Source Movement

What is it, why is it, and to what
extent should it be embraced?

Stephen Brandon

Brandon IT Consulting

For the British Computer Society,

Glasgow

13 January 2003

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

2

Who is Stephen Brandon?


Music and Computing background


Technical Documentation (Yamaha, Japan)


5 years Systems Admin at Glasgow University,
Music Dept


Entered industry working in database and web
design


Now back into arts/media consultancy


infrastructure, networking, low level programming,
web, databases

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

3

Case Study

Faculty of Design and Music,
Kingston University


The task


Consolidate Macintosh computers in the faculty
-

planning, purchasing, software and network admin


Integrate information systems, for "single sign on" to
leverage campus
-
wide user information (Novell
eDirectory) for Macintosh user authentication


Mac OS 9 and OSX


There was then no Novell client for OSX

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

4

Case Study

The Lynch
-
pin


OSX can authenticate via LDAP


eDirectory can publish on LDAP


Lightweight Directory Access Protocol,
freely available specification, used in local
and wide
-
area authentication systems

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

5

Case Study

Obstacles


Institutional unwillingness to alter
eDirectory schema to provide extra
information for Macintosh clients


Certain key pieces of information (eg UNIX
UID numbers) missing from the eDirectory
schema

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

6

Case Study

The Open Source Solution


LDAP Proxy Server, built on
OpenLDAP
, with
customised scripted backend written in
Perl
,
using LDAP request library called
perl
-
ldap
.


Proxy Server (KingLDAP) takes authentication
requests, manufactures UIDs, GIDs etc on the
fly, then forwards the rest of the request to
eDirectory.


Some calculated information and stats are
cached in a
MySQL

database for ease of access,
with a
PHP/Apache

web interface.

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

7

Case Study

Summary


There was no commercial solution available


Integrating the authentication of two quite
separate networks was made possible by:


Open standards (Lightweight Data Access Protocol)


Open Software (
OpenLDAP
,
Perl
,
perl
-
ldap
,
MySQL
,
PHP
,
Apache
)


The solution can be made available to other
institutions (cont…)

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

8

Case Study

Summary (cont.)


I earned my wages putting the solution
together


Others can build on this solution and
improve it for everyone


I submitted bug reports, bug fixes and
general discussion to the actual authors of
the software (OpenLDAP and perl
-
ldap),
and received help in return

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

9

What is this thing called
“Open Source” Software?


Definition



The Internet Runs On It



Philosophy



Movement

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

10

Definition (OSD)


Free Redistribution


Source Code


Derived Works


Integrity of The Author's Source Code


No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups


No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor


Distribution of License


License Must Not Be Specific to a Product


The License Must Not Restrict Other Software


The License must be technology
-
neutral

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

11

Open Source Philosophy


Free as in speech, free as in beer


Freedom to innovate, and to stand on the
shoulders of giants


“The Cathedral and the Bazaar” (Eric S.
Raymond)


The Free Software Foundation, Richard
Stallman, and GNU

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

12

Philosophy

OSS Licenses


www.stromian.com

-

good starting point


BSD license


GNU license


MIT license


Others…

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

13

Philosophy

Richard Stallman and GNU


The GNU license, and CopyLeft

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

14

Philosophy

The Cathedral and the Bazaar


Eric S Raymond, author of
fetchmail


Seminal work, deals with:


Collaboration


Project management


Peer review


Kudos and egos


Quality control

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

15

Philosophy

The Cathedral and the Bazaar


Every good work of software starts by scratching a
developer's personal itch.


Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know
what to rewrite (and reuse).


“Plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.” (Fred Brooks,
The Mythical Man
-
Month
, Chapter 11)


If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find
you.


When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is
to hand it off to a competent successor.


Treating your users as co
-
developers is your least
-
hassle
route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

16

Philosophy

The Cathedral and the Bazaar


Release early. Release often. And listen to your
customers.


Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.


If you treat your beta
-
testers as if they're your most
valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your
most valuable resource.


The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing
good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is
better.


Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come
from realizing that your concept of the problem was
wrong.

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

17

Philosophy

Threats to Freedom


Digital content control and licensing


Lock
-
out of free software from tenders


Software patents

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

18

The Open Source Movement


Flagship projects


Key Companies


Key Software and Technologies


Key Web Sites


Resources

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

19

Movement

Flagship Projects


Linux


Apache


PHP, Perl


GNU


OpenOffice & Ximian
Evolution


SAMBA


others

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

20

Movement

Key Software & Technologies


Desktop


KDE, GNOME


Office


StartOffice, KOffice,
Ximian; various
organisers


Graphics


Gimp, FilmGimp


Servers


Web, e
-
mail, database,
application, filestore,
backup, print etc.


Internet


Netscape, Konqueror,
Nautilus, Mozilla, Lynx;
chat clients; P2P & VPN


Multimedia


MP3 players, SMix, GSMP
(audio editors), MP3
encoders / players etc.


Video playback and
drivers


Scanner & printer drivers


Emulators


Windows, Atari, Mac

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

21

Movement

Key Companies/Organisations


RedHat, SCO, Debian, Slackware, SuSE (Linux)


O’Reilly (Documentation)


VA Linux (Sourceforge, OSDN)


Sun (Java, OpenOffice, hardware), IBM (Linux)


GNU Foundation (GNU/Linux)


Electronic Frontiers Foundation [EFF]


Apple (Darwin)

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

22

Movement

Key Web Sites


opensource.org


redhat.com


sourceforge.net


slashdot.com


apache.org


linuxuser.co.uk


freshmeat.net

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

23

Movement

Struggles & Controversies


External


vs Microsoft


Government tenders


Protecting open
standards


How to make money


Public perception


Internal


GNU vs other licenses


How to make money


Philosophy


Organisation and
fragmentation

© 2003 Brandon IT Consulting

24

Movement

Business Models


tomandandy.com
(film music composers)


funding OSS developers, building tools for internal use


falch.net
(Palm development software)


funding OSS developer for lower level toolkits, selling
upper layer software


ximian.com
(productivity software)


making money on support and after
-
sales


Accessorising


selling books, compatible hardware or complete
systems with OSS pre
-
installed.