Foss News- June 2015

How open software has become a source of grief for tech majors like Cisco, IBM & Oracle Read more : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47521852.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstIndustry bodies US-India Business Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry have urged the government to reconsider its push for open source software that will cut the cost of licensing from big companies such as Cisco, IBM and Oracle.In submissions to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), which were seen by ET, the two bodies suggested the government replace the clause on mandatory use of open software with "best-fit and and best-value technologies that support interoperability through open standards".DeitY announced the open source policy in March, making it mandatory for all software applications and services of the government to be built using open source software, so that projects under Digital India "ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs".

For technology giants, billions of dollars are at stake. The government's spending on information technology is expected to increase 5.7% to $6.8 billion in 2015, of which $860 million will be spent on software, according to research firm Gartner.

"In the future, the government has to spend money on IT and 15-20% of it can be shaved off comfortably by killing the licensing cost. The costs of migration are a one-time costs. We will have to absorb those costs over a period of time," said Professor Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard chair professor in quantitative methods and information systems at Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru.

According to DeitY Secretary Ram Sewak Sharma, the decision to use open source software is not "ideological" but "pragmatic" as it leads to more robust systems and avoids lock-in with vendors.

"When the architecture and each of the individual layers of the stack are open, closed source software becomes like a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that does not fit, " said Venkatesh Hariharan, director, Alchemy Business Solutions.

IBM Strengthens Effort to Support Open Source Spark for Machine Learning http://cloudtimes.org/2015/06/19/ibm-strengthens-effort-to-support-open-source-spark-for-machine-learning/ IBM is providing substantial resources to the Apache Software Foundation’s Spark project to prepare the platform for machine learning tasks, like pattern recognition and classification of objects. The company plans to offer Bluemix Spark as a service and has dedicated 3,500 researchers and developers to assist in its preservation and further development.

In 2009, AMPLab of the University of Berkeley developed the Spark framework that went open source a year later as an Apache project. This framework, which runs on a server cluster, can process data up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce. Given that the data and analyzes are embedded in the corporate structure and society - from applications to the Internet of Things (IoT) - Spark provides essential advancements in large-scale data processing.

First, it significantly improves the performance of applications dependent data. Then it radically simplifies the development process of intelligence, which are supplied by the data. Specifically, in its effort to accelerate innovation on Spark ecosystem, IBM decided to include Spark in its own platforms of predictive analysis and machine learning.

IBM Watson Health Cloud will use Spark to healthcare providers and researchers as they have access to new health data of the population. At the same time, IBM will make available its SystemML machine learning technology open source. IBM is also collaborating with Databricks in changing Spark capabilities. IBM will hire more than 3,500 researchers and developers to work on Spark-related projects in more than a dozen laboratories worldwide. The big blue company plans to open a Spark Technology Center in San Francisco for the Data Science and the developer community. IBM will also train Spark to more than one million data scientists and data engineers through partnerships with DataCamp, AMPLab, Galvanize, MetiStream, and Big Data University.

A typical large corporation will have hundreds or thousands of data sets that reside in different databases through their computer system. A data scientist can design an algorithm using to plumb the depths of any database. But is needs 90 working days of scientific data to develop the algorithm. Today, if you want to implement another system, it is a quarter of work to adjust the algorithm so that it works. Spark eliminates that time in half. The spark-based system can access and analyze any database, without development and no additional delay.

Spark has another virtue of ease of use where developers can concentrate on the design of the solution, rather than building an engine from scratch. Spark brings advances in data processing technology on a large scale because it improves the performance of data-dependent applications, radically simplifies the process of developing intelligent solutions and enables a platform capable of unifying all kinds of information on real work schemes.

Many experts consider Spark as the successor to Hadoop, but its adoption remains slow. Spark works very well for machine learning tasks that normally require running large clusters of computers. The latest version of the platform, which recently came out, extends to the machine learning algorithms to run.

Red Hat builds on its open source storage portfolio http://www.pcworld.com/article/2940932/red-hat-builds-on-its-open-source-storage-portfolio.html

Red Hat continues to make inroads into the enterprise storage software market, improving two of its core storage technologies and striking partnerships with key IT system resellers.

The company has updated both its Ceph and Gluster storage system software, in time for the Red Hat Summit, the company’s annual user conference, held this week in Boston.

Although Red Hat was initially known for its corporate-ready version of Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it has been expanding its open source-based stack to accommodate additional needs of large organizations, including software to manage large amounts of storage.

Red Hat took over the stewardship of the open source Ceph file system last year when it purchased Inktank Storage. It brought the Gluster file system, also open source, into the fold in a 2011 acquisition.

Gluster can be used for setting up storage clusters to hold large amounts of data, such as log files for big data analysis. Casio and Intuit both use Gluster.

Ceph, on the other hand, is ideal for cloud workloads, particularly those that need object-based storage. It is frequently paired with OpenStack cloud deployments. Yahoo uses Ceph to store for its Flickr photo sharing system. Because Ceph is open source, Yahoo was able to tweak the software to work more efficiently for its own case load.

With Ceph Storage 1.3, Red Hat used contributions from Intel and SanDisk to equip the software to work with solid state flash devices. Flash is quickly becoming the predominant medium in today’s servers, said Ranga Rangachari, Red Hat vice president and general manager for storage and big data.

Ceph has also been improved for virtual environments. The software can boot up more quickly in virtual machines, thanks to the use of read-ahead caching. Work has also been done to limit disk fragmentation, when blocks of data are distributed about a disk in such a way that it is difficult to quickly read them all. Ceph 1.3 is also smart enough to not let bureaucratic meddling slow performance at crucial times. It can block routine automatic administrative checks from taking place during periods of peak usage, when they could slow responsiveness. Developers also refined the software so that routine functions will run faster, such as resizing, deleting or exporting blocks of data.

Gluster got some new capabilities with its update as well. This is the first version of the software that does not require RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) technologies to ensure data integrity, meaning organizations could save on storage hardware by as much as 75 percent, given they would not have to buy the additional storage to make duplicate copies of the data.

Gluster can now also guard against bit rot, or the gradual decay of files on disk that can, over time, render them impossible to read.Gluster can now also take the place of hierarchical management systems (HSM), which offload old or less consulted data to less costly, slower storage systems. Gluster now offers operators fine-grain control of where to store data.

Red Hat struck a few deals with other IT service providers to expand the potential customer base for its storage software. About 60 percent of commercial Ceph or Gluster sales are done by Red Hat itself, but the rest are executed by partners, Rangachari said.

Systems provider Supermicro, which has offered Gluster systems, is now offering Ceph-based storage systems to its customers as well. Multimedia optimization software provider Vantrix has packaged Red Hat Gluster Storage into its Vantrix Media Platform to provide organizations with a way to store, archive and serve large amounts of content.

At the Summit, Red Hat also demonstrated some storage technologies it is currently developing. It showed off software that allows administrators to manage a diverse array of different types of storage systems from a single console. This software should be released later in the year, Rangachari said.

Why Companies That Use Open Source Need a Compliance Program https://www.linux.com/news/featured-blogs/205-mike-dolan/833369-why-companies-that-use-open-source-need-a-compliance-program

Corporate use of open source software is now the norm with more than 60 percent of companies saying that they build their products with open source software, according to the 2015 Future of Open Source survey. But that same survey also revealed that most companies that use FOSS in their products don’t have formal procedures in place for ensuring that their software complies with open source licenses and regulations.

This is a dangerous trend for these companies and the open source community as a whole. Open source compliance failures leave companies, their suppliers and customers, vulnerable to lawsuits and often require costly engineering solutions to fix the problem. See the 2013 Fantec decision in Germany as an example of the potential liability for not managing a supply chain appropriately. Companies that don't manage compliance also erode an open source community’s trust, which can diminish a company’s influence in the projects they rely on for their products and inhibit open source developer recruitment and retention -- a critical competitive edge. What is FOSS Compliance?

Most companies that have successfully integrated free and open source software (FOSS) and practices into their products create a FOSS compliance program. In its simplest definition, FOSS compliance means that users of FOSS must observe all the copyright notices and satisfy all the license obligations for the FOSS they use in commercial products. The complexity of achieving FOSS compliance increases slightly because you may also want to protect your intellectual property or possibly a third party supplier’s (whose source code is included in your product) from unintended disclosure.

FOSS compliance is typically more of an operational challenge related to execution and scaling than a legal challenge. Achieving compliance requires the aggregation of policies and processes, training, tools and proper staffing that enables an organization to effectively use FOSS and contribute to open source projects and communities. The goal is a FOSS compliance program that enables your business while respecting the rights of copyright holders who have offered you the ability to use the code freely. The R&D savings alone associated with the benefit your company derives would likely cover the internal process costs associated with complying with license obligations, and at the same time helping create a chain of compliance trust between your customers and suppliers.

The key to many successful FOSS compliance programs is a centralized core team, typically called something like the "Open Source Review Board" (OSRB). This team is usually comprised of knowledgeable experts in FOSS (e.g. from development and legal) plus representatives from engineering, product teams and supply chain. Well run programs often have a Compliance Officer (or sometimes called Director of Open Source) who owns the mission of compliance for the organization and who coordinates between product teams and business units. In addition to the core OSRB team, you may also find benefits from establishing an extended team that consists of various individuals across multiple departments (Documentation, Corporate Development, IT, Localization, etc.).

In this arrangement, legal counsel often provides practical advice to the software development team that enables developers to make daily decisions related to open source licenses without having to go back to the legal counsel for every single question. Much of this has been covered in our white paper, "Practical Advice to Scale Open Source Legal Support" where Ibrahim Haddad (now at Samsung Research Americas) discussed the role of legal counsel in ensuring FOSS compliance. He also examined practical advice that attorneys can provide to the software development team. Free FOSS Compliance Resources

A new Linux Foundation work group that aims to create a set of compliance best practices for companies to use not only internally, but with their supply chain. OpenChain seeks to embed best practices for FOSS compliance into supply chains, using a shared standard and best practices that form an auditable standard for FOSS compliance.

Debunking the Myths of the Open Source Community http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2015/06/02/debunking-myths-open-source-community/

Once a particular belief or habit has been hammered into the mind, it’s difficult to shake it. That’s especially the case in the open source community, where there are ingrained perceptions around open source software development and its leaders.

The Linux operating system is the most popular open-source software in the world and has been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. Readers will know the story of the underdog who rose to become the world’s leading server operating system. Android especially, a Linux derivative, has caused a stir in recent years with two out of three tablets and 75 percent of all smartphones using the Linux derivative operating system.

The Linux Foundation has published an interesting document about Linux Kernal Development. Since 2005, 11,800 developers have worked from 1,200 different companies on the Linux Kernel. More and more paid professionals are working on developing the Linux platform; at least 88 percent of the recent improvements have come from full-time developers. Among the companies that contribute most to the Linux kernel, we find hardware manufacturers such as Intel, IBM, Samsung, AMD and Nvidia as well as software companies like Red Hat, Oracle and SUSE. These companies have earned good money for years with the Linux systems and invest accordingly in its development.

It’s time we debunk these myths around the open source community.

Open Source is More Than Linux

Open source software is far more than just Linux. The internet is principally based - fortunately for us all - on open source software. This includes the Apache HTTP server project, the e-mail server Dovecot, the domain named software BIND, and PowerDNS or MySQL/MariaDB.

Although many of these are crucial components of the modern internet, their development is sometimes dependent on the work of a few. This is most obvious in the encryption software GnuPG which was principally authored by renowned German developer Werner Koch. The project’s continued funding seemed insecure before February of this year, but now happily seems assured.

Other software projects include organized charitable foundations, such as the Apache Foundation or Document Foundation which focus on generating public donations; this ultimately results in continuous funding from the IT industry.

Open Source as a Business Model

A number of companies in recent years have managed to build a sustainable business around open source software. Admittedly, the obvious example, Red Hat, has long shined the brightest of all the stars in the open-source community.

However, the recent changing of the guard of client-server architectures by internet-based services has offered tremendous opportunities for new business. Open source software guarantees interoperability through compliance with open standards and that adds huge value for the user in the form of cost advantages, competition, innovation, speed, vendor independence and investment security. Cloudera is the first of this new generation of software providers to finally generate more than $100 million in annual turnover. Other success stories that have made a business model on the back of open source software include the American powerhouses Hortonworks, MongoDB and Docker.

We in Europe and Germany also have a few hidden gems in the open source business: the MariaDB database, based in Scandinavia, has a good chance to repeat the successes of MySQL. And under the umbrella of Open-Xchange, after the recent mergers with Dovecot and PowerDNS, a heavyweight in the e-mail, collaboration and office software is growing.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

Fotoxx 15.06 Open-Source Photo Editor Released with New Tools and Many Improvements http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fotoxx-15-06-Open-Source-Photo-Editor-Released-with-New-Tools-and-Many-Improvements-482985.shtml

kornelix has just released a new version of its Fotoxx open-source and free photo and image editing and collection management software for GNU/Linux operating systems.

According to the changelog, which you can see below, Fotoxx 15.06 is here to introduce a new feature called HSL Color, which lets users change the color of highlighted areas of an image using an HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) color-chooser. To preserve current variation, it is possible to blend it with the original image.

Furthermore, the Threshold Denoise algorithm has been improved, a button has been added to the keyboard shortcuts section to report all of the standard shortcuts, and the Noise measurement tool has received some attention and it is now less sensitive to RGB levels that have a tiny gradient over the measured spot.

Another interesting feature of Fotoxx 15.06 is Cycle Desktop (background image), which makes the application run a photo in the background. Users who want to have a new desktop image each time they log into their sessions can add the app to the startup list. It is also possible to set an image as a desktop background for a specific period. A new slideshow transition has been added

Fotoxx 15.06 also adds a new slideshow transition that makes photos fall over to reveal the next one. A new function, called Set Desktop Image, will allow users to set any image as the desktop wallpaper directly from the application. The Mashup's user interface has been improved to make it easier to add lines, arrows and text to a layout.

Last but not least, an [auto] button has been added to the Trim/Rotate tool, allowing users to remove the black margins in an image that were left by warp or composite functions. Also, the Auto-Trim menu has been removed, the GUI and help text has received enhancements, and three minor bugs have been plugged. Download Fotoxx 15.06 right now from Softpedia.

Open source software is far more than just Linux. The internet is principally based - fortunately for us all - on open source software. This includes the Apache HTTP server project, the e-mail server Dovecot, the domain named software BIND, and PowerDNS or MySQL/MariaDB.

Although many of these are crucial components of the modern internet, their development is sometimes dependent on the work of a few. This is most obvious in the encryption software GnuPG which was principally authored by renowned German developer Werner Koch. The project’s continued funding seemed insecure before February of this year, but now happily seems assured.

Other software projects include organized charitable foundations, such as the Apache Foundation or Document Foundation which focus on generating public donations; this ultimately results in continuous funding from the IT industry.

Open Source as a Business Model

A number of companies in recent years have managed to build a sustainable business around open source software. Admittedly, the obvious example, Red Hat, has long shined the brightest of all the stars in the open-source community.

However, the recent changing of the guard of client-server architectures by internet-based services has offered tremendous opportunities for new business. Open source software guarantees interoperability through compliance with open standards and that adds huge value for the user in the form of cost advantages, competition, innovation, speed, vendor independence and investment security. Cloudera is the first of this new generation of software providers to finally generate more than $100 million in annual turnover. Other success stories that have made a business model on the back of open source software include the American powerhouses Hortonworks, MongoDB and Docker.

We in Europe and Germany also have a few hidden gems in the open source business: the MariaDB database, based in Scandinavia, has a good chance to repeat the successes of MySQL. And under the umbrella of Open-Xchange, after the recent mergers with Dovecot and PowerDNS, a heavyweight in the e-mail, collaboration and office software is growing.

The Future of Open Source

When it comes to open source software, it is clear that the community is worth a closer look. It has been a long time since open-source was nothing but some "free software" on a few thousand workstations in Munich. It’s clear that the time of open-source software in the cloud has has arrived - and the open community of open source is much broader than we think!

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

Fotoxx 15.06 Open-Source Photo Editor Released with New Tools and Many Improvements http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fotoxx-15-06-Open-Source-Photo-Editor-Released-with-New-Tools-and-Many-Improvements-482985.shtml

kornelix has just released a new version of its Fotoxx open-source and free photo and image editing and collection management software for GNU/Linux operating systems.

According to the changelog, which you can see below, Fotoxx 15.06 is here to introduce a new feature called HSL Color, which lets users change the color of highlighted areas of an image using an HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) color-chooser. To preserve current variation, it is possible to blend it with the original image.

Furthermore, the Threshold Denoise algorithm has been improved, a button has been added to the keyboard shortcuts section to report all of the standard shortcuts, and the Noise measurement tool has received some attention and it is now less sensitive to RGB levels that have a tiny gradient over the measured spot.

Another interesting feature of Fotoxx 15.06 is Cycle Desktop (background image), which makes the application run a photo in the background. Users who want to have a new desktop image each time they log into their sessions can add the app to the startup list. It is also possible to set an image as a desktop background for a specific period. A new slideshow transition has been added

Fotoxx 15.06 also adds a new slideshow transition that makes photos fall over to reveal the next one. A new function, called Set Desktop Image, will allow users to set any image as the desktop wallpaper directly from the application. The Mashup's user interface has been improved to make it easier to add lines, arrows and text to a layout.

Last but not least, an [auto] button has been added to the Trim/Rotate tool, allowing users to remove the black margins in an image that were left by warp or composite functions. Also, the Auto-Trim menu has been removed, the GUI and help text has received enhancements, and three minor bugs have been plugged. Download Fotoxx 15.06 right now from Softpedia.