open source wgiss 39. definition of open source software (oss) open source or open source...
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- Open Source WGISS 39
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- Definition of Open Source Software (OSS) Open source or open source software (OSS) is any computer software distributed under a license which allows users to change and share the software freely. Open source software is required to have its source code freely available and end-users have the right to modify and redistribute the software to others.
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- Open Source Software Benefits to WGISS Open source software is much better at adhering to open standards than proprietary software is. Since we all value interoperability with other agencies, computer systems and science users, open source software is definitely the way to go. Plus this allows us not to be limited by proprietary data formats
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- Barriers to Reuse Many of the traditional software licensing mechanisms are viewed as a potential barrier to software reuse. Traditional licensing typically requires the re-user to negotiate usage terms and conditions with the intellectual property owner every time that they want to reuse something. It is worth noting that open source licensing is not appropriate for ALL software. For example, the presence of proprietary code or export control restrictions may be valid reasons for choosing not to go open source.
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- First, let's make sure we all understand that I Am Not A Lawyer. This is not legal advice.
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- Lets Discuss. How do you use open source software in daily practice? What repository do you use? What license? How does management at your agency encourage open source business practices? What is your flagship open sourced application? What problems did you encounter along the way?
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- Intellectual Property Who owns it? Does your agency have intellectual property issues involving copyrights or code provenance? Ignoring legal issues with software is costly! Many organizations have lawyers to consult on this topic. NEVER pretend to be a lawyer representing your agency.
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- Governance Does your agency have legal controls and processes in place to deal with open source software? That is, what is your open source governance strategy? you shall use no open source software. Develop a plan that specifies what processes are in place to release open source software in your organization.
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- Implementation How easy or hard has it been to integrate open source software in your agency? Ask yourself, does the software use recognized industry standards that allow interoperability?
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- Licensing - allows the source code to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions Does the license suit all your future plans for the code? The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is the most widely used free software license, which guarantees end users (individuals, organizations, companies) the freedoms to use, study, share (copy), and modify the software. Some open source licenses allow for free use in commercial applications and others do not. Now in the cloud era Some open source licenses specify some restrictions when you host software-as-a-service. Understand if the software you plan to use can be hosted on either a private or public cloud
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- Reputation Is your code (or the code you are using) well architected and implemented? Experts should asses the quality of the code. Dont force bad code down your developers throat. Includes quality of the documentation and user interface Know the contributors. Whether you are accepting open source code or trying to release it. Know your potential and current users of the software. Learn what other users have done with the software and about the quality of their experiences.
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- Should WGISS do more to support OSS use in CEOS? Can/should we offer lessons learned?
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