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  • lenz 13:35 on 2015-07-16 Permalink
    Tags: , licensing, , opensource   

    Creating a Contributor Agreement for Your Project 

    Back in the MySQL days, there was a need to have a contributor agreement that made it clear under which terms code contributions to the MySQL code base could be accepted. This was a requirement due to the dual-licensing model of MySQL, under which the software was available both under the GPL and a proprietary license.

    This agreement was further refined when MySQL was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008, which resulted in the “Sun Contributor Agreement” (SCA), which was used for all Open Source projects that were sponsored/governed by Sun Microsystems (e.g. OpenOffice.org, Java, etc.).

    The text of the agreement itself was licensed under a creative commons license (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported), and it was later used as the basis for contributor agreements of several other Open Source Projects, e.g. MariaDB or OwnCloud (even though both fail to give proper attribution to the original). In fact, the agreement still exists as the Oracle Contributor Agreement today, after Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle in 2010. If you would like to submit a patch to MySQL, you first need to get your name on the OCA Signatories List.

    While doing some research on creating such a contributor agreement for openATTIC, I was pointed to this very useful resource: http://contributoragreements.org/

    “Contributor agreements are agreements between an open source or open content project and contributors to the project that set out what the project can do with the respective contribution: code, translation, documentation, artwork, etc. The purpose of such agreements is to make the terms under which contributions are made explicit and thereby protect the project, the users of the project’s code or content, and often the contributors themselves. Contributor agreements provide confidence that the guardian of a project’s output has the necessary rights over all contributions to allow for distribution of the product under either any license or any license that is compliant with specific principles.”

    The nice part about this web site: it provides a guided Contributor License Agreement Chooser that allows you to compile a custom agreement based on the requirements (e.g. Copyright assignment, Patent clauses) that you define, similar to the Creative Commons License Chooser, where you can select the terms and conditions of your license to be guided to the appropriate choice.

    So in case your project needs a contributor agreement, please don’t re-invent the wheel and consider making use of this site instead! There are way too many custom agreements floating around already…

     
  • lenz 17:35 on 2015-07-01 Permalink
    Tags: , , opensource, ,   

    Moving on 

    Today, I’ve started a new chapter in my career: I’ve left TeamDrive Systems after 1.5 years and joined it-novum in Fulda, where I will be responsible for their open source storage solution openATTIC as a Senior Product Manager in their infrastructure group.

    (More …)

     
  • lenz 13:56 on 2015-06-04 Permalink
    Tags: opensource, photography   

    Pretty nifty, a site dedicated to tutorials, workflows and a showcase for high-quality photography using Free/Open Source Software: https://pixls.us/

     
  • lenz 12:22 on 2015-06-01 Permalink
    Tags: opensource, ,   

    Shared storage in the cloud 

    While virtualization makes it pretty easy to spawn up new VMs quickly (e.g. for load balancing purposes), I always felt that providing concurrent file-based access to the same data to these VMs has been somewhat cumbersome, even though it’s still a requirement for many applications that need to share data between parts of the application, or multiple instances thereof.

    If you didn’t have some kind of SAN/NAS solution in your data center, it usually involved quirks creative solutions on the VM side (e.g. setting up a VM instance that acted as a central file service via NFS/SMB, or using a shared disk file system like GFS2 or OCFS2). But even if you did, the underlying virtualization technology did not provide any integration or API-based approach to this (at least that was my impression).

    I recently stumbled over Amazon’s Elastic File System (EFS), which was announced on April 9th, 2015. EFS provides shared storage as a service (STaaS) via the NFSv4 protocol. This makes it pretty easy to mount the same share on multiple (Linux-based) VMs. Amazon only charges you for the storage that you actually use (billed monthly, based on the average used during the month), and the use of SSDs should make sure that latency (IOPS) does not suck too badly.

    Interestingly, Microsoft has been offering something similar for almost a year now: Azure File Service was announced on May 12th, 2014 already. It provides shared access to files via the SMB protocol (which makes it suitable for both Windows and Linux-based VMs). In addition to that, Azure File Service also provides a REST API to access and manage objects stored on this service, which makes this service more versatile/flexible. Similar to Amazon, Microsoft only charges for the disk space you actually use.

    Note that both EFS and Azure File Service are still labeled as “Preview” at the time of writing and have certain limitations you should be aware of (Unsupported NFSv4.0 Features in EFS, Amazon EFS Limits During Preview, Features Not Supported By the Azure File Service) – so make sure to have backups of any data you store on them 🙂

    The Open Source community has noticed the requirement for shared file access, too – Red Hat recently announced their participation in OpenStack’s Manila project, which provides a shared file service for this emerging cloud technology. From what I can tell, Manila’s focus currently is more on providing shared storage for OpenStack compute nodes, it’s not entirely clear to me yet if there are any plans to establish this as a solution to provide shared file systems to virtual machines as well (in addition to the object and block storage capabilities they already offer).

     
  • lenz 14:05 on 2014-12-09 Permalink
    Tags: cloud, opensource,   

    Ind.ie achieves their $100,000 fund raising goal 

    Congratulations to the Ind.ie team for reaching their goal of raising $100k before December 10th! It’s always nice to see successful crowd funding campaigns that support goals to improve our lives and society.

    I’m currently working on setting up Pulse (aka SyncThing) on my own infrastructure, as an alternative to BitTorrent Sync.

    I’m also looking forward to Heartbeat, their distributed social network project that is based on Pulse.

    I’m confident the money raised will be put into good use!

     
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