Open Source

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A Chance Gardener

Harvesting open-source products and planting the next crop

by George Neville-Neil | October 17, 2018


A Conversation with Chris DiBona

Chris DiBona has been out front and outspoken about the open source movement.

by Eric Allman | October 1, 2003


Closed Source Fights Back

SCO vs. The World-What Were They Thinking?

by Greg Lehey | October 1, 2003


Commercializing Open Source Software

Many have tried, a few are succeeding, but challenges abound.

by Michael J. Karels | October 1, 2003


Desktop Linux: Where Art Thou?

Linux on the desktop has come a long way - and it's been a roller-coaster ride. At the height of the dot-com boom, around the time of Red Hat's initial public offering, people expected Linux to take off on the desktop in short order. A few years later, after the stock market crash and the failure of a couple of high-profile Linux companies, pundits were quick to proclaim the stillborn death of Linux on the desktop.

by Bart Decrem | June 14, 2004


From Server Room to Living Room

How open source and TiVo became a perfect match

by Jim Barton | October 1, 2003


Is Open Source Right for You?:
A Fictional Case Study of Open Source in a Commercial Software Shop

The media often present open source software as a direct competitor to commercial software. This depiction, usually pitting David (Linux) against Goliath (Microsoft), makes for fun reading in the weekend paper. However, it mostly misses the point of what open source means to a development organization. In this article, I use the experiences of GizmoSoft (a fictitious software company) to present some perspectives on the impact of open source software usage in a software development shop.

by David Ascher | June 14, 2004


KV the Loudmouth

What requirement is being satisfied by having Unclear build a P2P file-sharing system? Based upon the answer, it may be more effective, and perhaps even more secure, to use an existing open source project or purchase commercial software to address the business need.

by George V. Neville-Neil | June 7, 2007


Open Source to the Core

The open source development model is not exactly new. Individual engineers have been using open source as a collaborative development methodology for decades. Now that it has come to the attention of upper and middle management, however, it's finally being openly acknowledged as a commercial engineering force-multiplier and important option for avoiding significant software development costs.

by Jordan Hubbard | June 14, 2004


Open-source Firmware

Step into the world behind the kernel.

by Jessie Frazelle | July 17, 2019


Opening up the Baseboard Management Controller

If the CPU is the brain of the board, the BMC is the brain stem.

by Jessie Frazelle | January 6, 2020


Queue Portrait: Robert Watson

Queue's Kode Vicious interviews Robert Watson, a security researcher and open source developer at the University of Cambridge about a project studying the boundaries of the hardware/software interface. Covering a wide ranging set of topics, from the tension between security and system performance, to the challenges putting together a team capable of building a variant of the MIPS processor. The interview covers the interplay between CPU design, operating systems, compilers, and applications, areas normally thought of as separate, but which influence each other in unexpected ways in practical, running systems.

October 12, 2012


The Age of Corporate Open Source Enlightenment

Like it or not, zealots and heretics are finding common ground in the open source holy war.

by Paul Ferris | October 1, 2003


There's No Such Thing as a Free (Software) Lunch

"The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software to make sure the software is free for all its users." So begins the GNU General Public License, or GPL, which has become the most widely used of open source software licenses. Freedom is the watchword; it's no coincidence that the organization that wrote the GPL is called the Free Software Foundation and that open source developers everywhere proclaim, "Information wants to be free."

by Jay Michaelson | June 14, 2004


Thread Scheduling in FreeBSD 5.2

A busy system makes thousands of scheduling decisions per second, so the speed with which scheduling decisions are made is critical to the performance of the system as a whole. This article - excerpted from the forthcoming book, "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System" - uses the example of the open source FreeBSD system to help us understand thread scheduling. The original FreeBSD scheduler was designed in the 1980s for large uniprocessor systems. Although it continues to work well in that environment today, the new ULE scheduler was designed specifically to optimize multiprocessor and multithread environments. This article first studies the original FreeBSD scheduler, then describes the new ULE scheduler.

by Marshall Kirk McKusick, George V. Neville-Neil | November 30, 2004


GNU Tools: Still Relevant?

Often lost amid the focus on software you don't have to pay for - such as Linux and Eclipse - is any mention of the organization that started it all: the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

by Alexander Wolfe | January 29, 2004


Viewing Open Source with an Open Mind

When the first issue of ACM Queue came out, the staff did some market research to see what people most wanted to hear about. Rather to our surprise, open source came out at the top of the list. We knew open source was popular, but it seemed like every computer magazine on the planet had already dedicated at least one issue to it—in fact, several magazines are entirely devoted to the topic. Surely open source has been thoroughly explored.

by Eric Allman, Kirk McKusick | October 1, 2003