If open source was born in the late 1990s and hit adolescence in the early 2000s, then this past decade represents its maturation into a full-blown force of nature. And as we head into the roaring 20s, it’s clear that open source is here to stay. Our top 10 open source blogs of 2019 underscore this point, showing the influence of open source on both culture and technology around the world. So, before we wave the past decade goodbye, let’s recap the blogs from 2019 that resonated most within our open source community and that provide clear insight into the trends shaping open source today.
Technology is integral to our interconnected world, but customers still struggle to receive software products in their own language and adapted for their specific international market. As usual, open source provides an answer through Project Singleton. Singleton standardizes and simplifies localization (the process of adapting software applications for a specific international market) and internationalization (the process of developing software applications in a way that enables localization). The project’s rise mirrors that of open source internationally. In fact, GitHub’s 2019 State of the Octoverse report found that 80% of contributors are based outside of the U.S., with Africa witnessing the largest growth in Git repository creation. To learn more about software globalization and why it’s important, check out the Singleton blog here.
Unfortunately, the gender wage gap still exists in technology just as it does in other industries. According to VMware’s Malini Bhandaru, salary negotiation skills are one of the best tools for achieving gender parity. But negotiations are also a scenario that commonly inspire fear, and that’s particularly true in software engineers who might be more inclined to shyness and may not possess strong English-language skills. However, Malini says negotiation skills are like any other in that they can be improved with practice. In this post, she shares insights and advice gathered over the years as both a woman in tech and a software engineer. Though targeted at women in technology, the advice is applicable to everyone, no matter their job or gender.
With VMware’s Nikolay Nikolaev as one of three core maintainers, Network Service Mesh (NSM) is an open source project we’ve kept our eye on for a while. And earlier this year, it rewarded this attention by being officially accepted as a sandbox project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. As part of the CNFC, NSM has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of other graduated projects, including Envoy and Kubernetes. Read the blog to learn about the benefits of CNCF sandbox acceptance.
2019 ushered in a host of updates for Project Photon, a lightweight Linux distribution designed for containers and cloud native technology that launched in 2016. Photon OS 3.0 now supports a number of bare metal configurations, including support for ARM64. It also includes three “sizes” of Photon for different applications or use cases. Check out the blog to learn more.
License compliance in container images has emerged as an important challenge for the open source community and a focus for us at VMware. Though well understood in more mature areas of open source, the swift adoption of containers has relegated compliance to an afterthought. Nisha Kumar explains why that poses legal, ethical, and business risks, while acknowledging that containers represent a unique compliance challenge given they contain many files with differing license obligations. In fact, GitHub’s Octoverse report found that 3.6 million repositories depend on each of the top 50 open source projects, proof of the interdependence in open source that can create compliance problems. This hot button issue is not going away, so read on to see Nisha’s tips for fulfilling compliance obligations.
According to the State of the Octoverse, over 87 million pull requests merged in 2019. Clearly, most open source contributors are interested in getting their code upstream. And perhaps no one has a better view into that process than Steven Rostedt. Steven has decades of experience working with the Linux kernel as both a maintainer and contributor and can certainly teach GitHub’s 10 million new users a thing or two about moving their code upstream. Hint: it starts with doing your homework on the project and its culture.
Opposite Steven Rostedt’s piece for contributors is Matt Hippely’s for maintainers. For every contributor hoping to get their code upstream is a few maintainers tasked with reviewing it all and deciding whether it fits with the project’s goals and style. As Matt explains, that’s a difficult task and one that he initially struggled with before implementing “The Humble Checklist.” The Humble Checklist is his method for ensuring high-quality code review, and it’s a strong starting point for any maintainer looking to institute a repeatable, standardized review process.
VMware’s Open Source team was busy throughout the year presenting at conferences around the world. That started early on with the Linux Foundation’s gRPC Conference. There, Venil Noronha presented on the ways in which web applications can benefit from gRPC by leveraging the gRPC sub-project, gRPC-Web, along with Istio. Venil explained how gRPC-Web addresses shortcomings in the core gRPC framework and elaborates on that in this recap blog post.
This one may seem a little out of place in our top 10 open source blogs list but Dimitar Yordanov is not your normal open source engineer. In fact, when he sends presentation proposals to open source conferences, he generally includes two ideas: one based on a given open source topic and the other in which he suggests a guided yoga session. Dimitar believes yoga is the very first open source project, but beyond his personal interest, he also believes yoga helps improve his open source work. Read on to see how you too can realize the benefits of yoga on your open source projects.
The security of open source software emerged as a hot topic within the technology community in 2020. For too long, security was an afterthought, even as open source software began to underpin product after product. Fortunately, that’s changing, and the establishment of the GitHub Security Lab is the latest step in the right direction. We are proud to join GitHub in this endeavor as a founding member of the Security Lab, along with 13 other organizations. For more information, check out GitHub’s blog post and visit our Open Source Blog to learn about VMware’s efforts around open source security.
It’s been quite a remarkable decade for open source, and we can’t wait to see what 2020 and beyond has in store. As always, be sure to get the latest breaking news, updates and in-depth features on all things open source by visiting our Open Source Blog and following us on Twitter (@vmwopensource ). See you in the new year!