I’m going to experiment with a new (to me) format in ComputerWorld; a “while you were out” round-up of the most interesting links I’ve tweeted in the last seven days. The first is up today, for open source – let’s see how well it works.

Beating A Dead FRAND

Of course FRAND terms are incompatible with software freedom, even if you can find a project that has devised a construct to allow it to attempt to accommodate that incompatibility. When a standard includes patents that are not automatically licensed to all implementers — on “Restriction Free” (RF) terms — that means a standard may require permission to be implemented. Requiring explicit permission to act is anathema to software freedom.

Read more on ComputerWorldUK.

Why Did Bern Switch?

I had the chance to discuss with a key instigator the background to the decision by the Swiss city of Bern to switch to open source. You can read about it in my column in ComputerWorldUK today.


CDB Not Fit For Purpose

I felt the report from the UK’s Joint Select Committee investigating the draft Communications Data Bill (CDB) needed a tl;dr summary, so wrote one in ComputerWorldUK today.

Intended to Fail?

Was Freiburg’s cancellation of its open source migration a foregone conclusion? With friends to support my terrible German, I tried to find out – see ComputerWorldUK for more.

Does Rooting Void Your Warranty?

Find out on ComputerWorldUK 🙂

Open Means No Patents

I’m delighted with the definitions the UK Government has chosen for “open source” and “open standards” in their new Open Standards Principles. They are using OSI as their benchmark for open source, and have a clear statement that only standards with all rights to implement freely available are open. I’ve written more on ComputerWorldUK.

Concentration of Power

Hearing that Amazon had remotely wiped someone’s Kindle, I decided to investigate and find out if it had actually happened. It hadn’t, but what had happened instead was perhaps as distressing and educational. I wrote about it on ComputerWorldUK.

Kicking Comic Sans

If you have been using the font Comic Sans to support dyslexics, there’s a new font in town – see ComputerWorldUK.

The Forces Of Open

No Entry Sign With Helper Lifting Bar

What’s driving open source? That was the question InfoWorld asked me to explore for a feature-length article. I spent a good deal of time over the summer thinking about it, and went on to present some ideas as the opening keynote at the eighth International Conference on Open Source Systems in September.

My conclusion is that the key forces driving open source – both for good and bad – are:

  1. The rise of open source foundations
  2. The number of licensing choices available, and how they are understood
  3. The threat of software patents and responses to it
  4. Cloud computing and the usage modalities it induces
  5. Big data and the change in the value point of software it implies

I’m continuing to work on these ideas and welcome input.

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