Open Source Weekly #3

I’ll write you once a week on open source, sustainability and avoiding complexity.
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While pursuing my goal to use 100% Free and Open Source software, I created my Fediverse account yesterday to gradually replace Twitter. You can follow me @sylvain@kerkour.fr to never miss one of my posts or ideas 👋
If you don’t have a Fediverse account yet you can create one here: https://mastodon.social.
What is the Fediverse and why is it better than Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and SoundCloud combined? I will explain everything in detail in a future issue :)

Projects

https://github.com/therecipe/qt (LGPL v3.0)
Qt is a cross platform, generalist C++ framework well-known for it’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) parts. These automatically generated bindings are high quality and allow you to create cross platform apps (desktop, mobile, IoT) in Go rather than C++. It’s a huge step forward regarding both security and ease of development.

https://github.com/kickscondor/fraidycat (Blue Oak Model License v1.0)
Fraidycat is a browser extension for Firefox or Chrome - or an Electron app - that can be used to follow folks on a variety of platforms.
I really love the interface of this project: rather than displaying all the feed’s items in a linear timeline, they are grouped by author. Thus, spammers are not rewarded.

https://github.com/akiraux/Akira (GPL v3.0)
Akira is not released yet so I couldn’t test it but I included it anyway to support its creators because I really want this project to emerge. It’s an Open Source alternative to Sketch, the industry standard UI design and vector graphics editor app which is only available for macOS.

https://github.com/tldr-pages/tldr (CC BY 4.0)
tldr (Too Loong, Didn’t Read) is a community driven, offline-first documentation library which goal is to replace man pages. It provides explanations and examples for a lot of existing programs. What I love is that the pages are written in Markdown!

https://github.com/bottlerocket-os/bottlerocket (Apache 2.0 or MIT)
Bottlerocket OS’ creators, Amazon AWS, describe the project as An operating system designed for hosting containers. It’s a very hardened Linux distribution where all new programs are written in Rust or Go. I really think this is the way forward for the programming world and am saddened to see some projects started in 2019/2020 to use C, C++ or Python.

MinIO (Apache 2.0)
You don’t want to put your users’ data in Amazon’s cloud? MinIO is a high-performance object storage server with a S3 compatible API. Their blog is really good to learn more about the inner working of storage servers.


Articles

https://blog.acolyer.org/2020/03/02/firecracker
Firecracker, another Amazon Open Source project written in Rust, is a virtual machine monitor designed for serverless. The author of the article compares the different modern methods of process isolation, it’s very interesting!


Security

https://github.com/dev-sec
This GitHub organization regroups a lot of guides and configurations to secure your servers’ operating systems and Kubernetes clusters.


Did you know?

Intellectual property: Copyrights vs Patents vs Trademarks
“Intellectual property” (strange oxymoron) is a vague term at which people love to throw everything and anything. Do you really know the difference between Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks?

Copyrights
Copyright is the exclusive right given to the creator of a creative work to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time.

Patents
A patent gives its owner a legal monopoly to make, use, sell or import an invention for a limited period of years.

Trademarks
Trademark law is intended to enable buyers to know what they are buying.

In my opinion, Copyrights should, at best, be limited to 3 years (after that, in average, a book no longer generate revenues) and be intransferable to limit parasitic behaviors like today’s publishing, music and entertainment industries. And even with that, what will happen when someone will copyright each and every possible combination of words by generating them with algorithms?
Patents should simply be abolished, practice has demonstrated that the system is too easy to game, benefices only trolls and does no good to society.
Trademarks are OK when not abused.

Anyway, as a young person, I implore you to vigorously fight this kind of bureaucracy which strengthens parasitic monopolies. Life is too short to consult a lawyer before whatever we want to do.

🎬 If you want to learn more about how much the mobile phone market is locked by a few nasty rent seekers due to patents, I recommend you to watch this video, where Nicole Faerber, Purism’s CTO explains it in detail (45mins).


Have a great day ✌️
Sylvain

I’ll write you once a week on open source, sustainability and avoiding complexity.
You can subscribe by Email, RSS or Mastodon