Open Source Observatory (OSOR)
Using the proprietary OOXML document format, i.e. docx, pptx and xlsx, makes you more vulnerable to phishing and other attacks. Earlier this month, the Japanese anti-virus company Trend Micro published a blog post describing how the attack group "Operation Pawn Storm" uses spear-phishing mail messages with malicious Office documents to target the military, governments, defense industries and the media.
Read more: Proprietary OOXML document format makes you more vulnerable to attacks
Evaluating whether an open source software package meets the requirements for a specific application, or determining the best match from a list of packages, requires information on both the quality and the maturity of the software, as well as understanding whether the software is continuing to evolve and if there is a substantial and active community of users and developers. Furthermore, during the development/deployment lifecycle it is important to regularly re-assess and identify any risks that might emerge from a decline in the quality indicators and to monitor progress made and value created from on-going development and further contributions to the OSS package. Currently, these tasks require considerable effort by seasoned developers/architects whose time is scarce and costly.
Ossmeter is a European FP7 research project that will help users and developers of open source software to automatically evaluate and compare OSS packages and the surrounding communities involved in their evolution, utilising an extensive suite of measurements, thereby significantly reducing the time needed to perform evaluations and improve decision-making.
The Ossmeter platform is currently being developed and will be made available as a public service. In addition, the software will be published as open source, so companies can also deploy it as an in-house quality management tool for their own software or use the toolset to build or expand a consulting business.
Read more: Ossmeter: a platform to automatically assess, monitor and compare OSS packages
Today, there is still nothing like a level playing field for open source and closed source software. Even so, regulators need to think about how they will recognize it, and then maintain a delicate balance afterwards. Recent research using mathematical economics shows that a mixed market in which open source and closed source companies coexist delivers the most value to society.
Unfortunately, analysis shows that equilibrium mixed markets consistently produce too many open source firms to maximize welfare. Many governments have turned their own major spending on software and accompanying services into a policy instrument — some more successfully than others — by establishing formal preferences (and even mandatory requirements) that systematically favour open source over closed source. Unlike the case of government provided open source code, however, this intervention could actually reduce welfare.
In this article we present research conducted by Sebastian von Engelhardt, who has developed an economic model to analyse market dynamics along the open source - closed source axis. In this model, firms produce and sell ICT products (goods and services) that consist of two complementary parts. The first is software, which can be open source or not, and the second consists of either hardware, services, or (proprietary) software, or a mix of these.
Best-of-breed approach results in huge economic gains
Acronym: Open source mail/messaging
Target Users or Group:
Geographic coverage: EU
This article focuses on messaging systems. These systems traditionally consist of e-mail and associated applications like address books, calendaring/scheduling, task lists and notes. Nowadays, real-time and multimedia applications such as presence/status information, instant messaging (IM), internet telephony (Voice over IP, VoIP) and video calling are quickly becoming part of the typical messaging suite, in integrated form referred to as unified communications.
In this case we stay away from the related field of collaboration/groupware applications, containing workflow, chatroom, wiki, bookmarking, videoconferencing, file sharing, collaborative editing, task/project management, application sharing, revision control, and other functionality that is used to create a collaborative working environment.
We do realise, however, that all these applications are part of a continuum spanning personal communications, via groupware and enterpriseware (e.g. blogging and intranets), all the way to publishing to the whole (online) world (i.e. social media).
Read more: Open source offering a plethora of mail/messaging solutions
The Bulgarian government has added open source as a requirement to its 'Preliminary criteria for the eligibility of eGovernment projects'.
The document states that:
- all rights with regard to the interface design and the source code of the project must be transferred from the contractor to the contracting party;
- the source code developed for the project must be made publicly available in an online Revision Control System during development;
- for all projects, it should be explored whether the whole or part (i.e. libraries, packages, modules) of the software can be based on existing open source software; if it is financially justified, using open source is the preferred approach;
- to facilitate the use of the online Revision Control System and to guarantee the real-time availability of the latest version of the source code, the system should function as the central and original repository.
Read more: Open source part of Bulgarian eGovernment tender requirements
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