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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coming to the search engines near you...

Last week, we talked about how Microsoft Bing and Google Search are having separate talks with Twitter, hoping to integrate real-time Twitter updates to their search results, so, who got the deal? Well, both actually. Shortly after Microsoft announced their deal with Twitter followed by an on-stage demonstration during a conference, Google updated the company’s blog saying “RT @google: Tweets and updates and search, oh my! “. Are you looking forward to seeing Twitter updates with your search results?

(Source : LowYatt.net)

Watch Disney content right from the cloud

Walt Disney is going digital, delivering media content right into consumer’s PC and mobile phones. No, they are not putting their content online for consumers to download and ultimately, to pirate, this new service will allow users to watch the media content they paid for over the cloud. The advantage of such technology? You don’t have to go out and buy a Disney DVD for your children and you can watch the content on even a mobile phone, but the bad side? This technology is hardly applicable for families out on a road trip and have limited Internet connectivity, and especially for those with painfully slow Internet.

(Source : LowYatt.net)

What is Open Source Software (OSS) ?

The free software movement was launched in 1983. In 1998, a group of individuals advocated that the term free software should be replaced by open source software (OSS) as an expression which is less ambiguous and more comfortable for the corporate world. Software developers may want to publish their software with an open source license, so that anybody may also develop the same software or understand its internal functioning. Open source software generally allows anyone to create modifications of the software, port it to new operating systems and processor architectures, share it with others or market it.
The Open Source Definition, notably, presents an open source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open source software. Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder. Several open source software licenses have qualified within the boundaries of the Open Source Definition. The most prominent and popular example is the GNU General Public License (GPL). While open source distribution presents a way to make the source codes of a product publicly accessible, the open source licenses allow the authors to fine tune such access.
The open source label came out of a strategy session held in Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator (as Mozilla). A group of individuals at the session included Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, John Hall, Sam Ockman, Christine Peterson and Eric S. Raymond. They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to clarify a potential confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word "free" in English. The 'open source' movement is generally thought to have begun with this strategy session. Many people, nevertheless, claimed that the birth of the Internet, since 1969, started the open source movement, while others do not distinguish between open source and free software movements.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word 'free' to mean "free as in free speech" and not "free as in free beer" with emphasis on the positive freedom to distribute rather than a negative freedom from cost. Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti-commercial.
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was formed in February 1998 by Eric S. Raymond and Bruce Perens. With at least 20 years of evidence from case histories of closed software development versus open development already provided by the Internet developer community, the OSI presented the 'open source' case to commercial businesses, like Netscape. The OSI hoped that the usage of the label "open source," a term suggested by Peterson of the Foresight Institute at the strategy session, would eliminate ambiguity, particularly for individuals who perceive "free software" as anti-commercial. They sought to bring a higher profile to the practical benefits of freely available source code, and they wanted to bring major software businesses and other high-tech industries into open source. Perens attempted to register "open source" as a service mark for the OSI, but that attempt was impractical by trademark standards. Meanwhile, due to the presentation of Raymond's paper to the upper management at Netscape--Raymond only discovered when he read the Press Release, and was called by Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale's PA later in the day--Netscape released its Navigator source code as open source, with favorable results.

Development philosophy

In his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar, open source evangelist Eric S. Raymond suggests a model for developing OSS known as the bazaar model. Raymond likens the development of software by traditional methodologies to building a cathedral, "carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation". He suggests that all software should be developed using the bazaar style, which he described as "a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches."
In the traditional model of development, which he called the cathedral model, development takes place in a centralized way. Roles are clearly defined. Roles include people dedicated to designing (the architects), people responsible for managing the project, and people responsible for implementation. Traditional software engineering follows the cathedral model. Fred P. Brooks in his book The Mythical Man-Month advocates this model. He goes further to say that in order to preserve the architectural integrity of a system, the system design should be done by as few architects as possible.

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