Simon Willison’s Weblog

151 items tagged “opensource”

2018

Typesense (via) A new (to me) open source search engine, with a focus on being “typo-tolerant” and offering great, fast autocomplete—incredibly important now that most searches take place using a mobile phone keyboard. Similar to Elasticsearch or Solr in that it runs as an HTTP server that you serve JSON via POST and GET—and it offers read-only replicas for scaling and high availability. And since it’s 2018, if you have Docker running (I use Docker for Mac) you can start up a test instance with a one-line shell command. # 6th April 2018, 5:07 pm

2017

Pull request #4120 · python/cpython. I just had my first ever change merged into Python! It was a one sentence documentation improvement (on how to cancel SQLite operations) but it was fascinating seeing how Python’s GitHub flow is set up—clever use of labels, plus a bot that automatically checks that you have signed a copy of their CLA. # 7th November 2017, 2:06 pm

The only thing that would have been nice is that after the project had been finished and the chip deployed, that someone from Intel would have told me, just as a courtesy, that MINIX 3 was now probably the most widely used operating system in the world on x86 computers. That certainly wasn’t required in any way, but I think it would have been polite to give me a heads up, that’s all.

Andrew S. Tanenbaum # 7th November 2017, 11:50 am

2013

What are some good open source projects that VMware is directly part of?

To my knowledge they fund almost all of the development work on RabbitMQ, Redis and the Spring Java framework.

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What are the most commonly used or most interesting open-source packages and software?

I’d say the open source browser engines, Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit (Safari, Chrome, iOS, Android) are probably some of the most important and widely used pieces of open source code these days.

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2012

To become a better developer ? To read more OR to create/contribute to open source projects?

Contribute to an existing project, rather than starting one yourself. There are a bunch of benefits:

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Is there a free/open-source software source code search engine?

If you want to search through actual code in open source projects, GitHub search is fantastic https://github.com/search—e.g. here’s a search for all Ruby code that mentions oauth https://github.com/search?q=oaut...

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How can a new developer get involved in open-source projects?

I was going to say the same thing. Find a useful project in GitHub (preferably one that clearly has an active maintainer), fork it, fix a bug (look at the project’s issue tracker) then make a pull request.

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2011

What is the typical time overhead in using an open source package vs. an equivalent commercial package?

It totally depends on the software in question. If you are moving to popular, well maintained open source packages (things like nginx, solr, MySQL) you can often expect a large improvement in developer productivity due to the increased amount of tutorials, forums, mailing lists, irc channels and stackoverflow/quora posts you’ll have access to.

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Why Facebook open-sourced its datacenters. Jon Stokes speculates that Facebook plan to use open source hardware to compete with Google at datacenter efficiency . This isn’t a new pattern. Years ago when I worked at Yahoo! I was furiously jealous of the secret sauce technologies that allowed Google to build big applications faster than anyone else, such as BigTable and map/reduce. Today, the open source world has created better, free alternatives—sponsored in part by Facebook, Yahoo! and other Google competitors. # 9th April 2011, 7:54 am

What is a good business model for open source projects?

Consulting.

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2010

What is the story of Advogato?

There’s a Google Tech Talk about Advogato: http://video.google.com/videopla...

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Slide, Inc.—open source. slide.com have open sourced a whole bunch of interesting Python libraries, most of them involving C extensions or greenlet non-blocking I/O. wirebin (fast binary serialization of native Python types) and meminfo (an extension for finding precise in-memory sizes of Python objects) look particularly interesting. No documentation yet—not even a readme. # 17th June 2010, 8:05 pm

tobeytailor’s gordon. Another Flash runtime in pure JavaScript project, released back in January. Not quite as advanced as Smokescreen yet (it doesn’t have an audio implementation) but already available as open source under an MIT license. # 29th May 2010, 11:57 am

Django 1.2 release notes (via) Released today, this is a terrific upgrade. Multiple database connections, model validation, improved CSRF protection, a messages framework, the new smart if template tag and lots, lots more. I’ve been using the 1.2 betas for a major new project over the past few months and it’s been smooth sailing all the way. # 17th May 2010, 9:11 pm

RE2: a principled approach to regular expression matching. Google have open sourced RE2, the C++ regular expression library they developed for Google Code Search, Sawzall, Bigtable and other internal projects. Unlike PCRE it avoids the potential for exponential run time and unbounded stack usage and guarantees that searches complete in linear time, mainly by dropping support for back references. # 12th March 2010, 9:28 am

Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free. With Symbian now open source, are there any widely used operating systems left (besides Windows) that don’t have an open source core? # 4th February 2010, 8:38 am

The Maximal Usage Doctrine for Open Source. Yehuda Katz shares my own philosophy on Open Source licensing—stick BSD or MIT on it to maximise the number of people who can use it. The projects I work on are small enough that I don’t care if someone makes big private improvements and refuses to share them. I can see how much larger projects like Linux would disagree though. # 6th January 2010, 5:23 pm

2009

Semantic Versioning. Tom Preston-Werner provides a name, specification and URL describing the relatively widely used Major.Minor.Patch versioning system. This is really useful—by giving something a name and a spec, people can say “this project uses semantic versioning” and skip having to explain their backwards compatibility policy in full. # 15th December 2009, 9:53 pm

EtherPad is Back Online Until Open Sourced. Fantastic news. EtherPad just got acquired by Google and announced the team would be joining the Google Wave effort and the existing service would be shut down. Lots of people complained, so they’re going to keep it alive until they’ve open sourced the code! # 6th December 2009, 9:08 am

Opening Up Librelist.com Code, Looking For Volunteers. Zed Shaw’s Librelist is a new service for open source project mailing lists, aiming to be donation supported in a similar way to Freenode IRC. The code is all available, and is written in Lamson and Django. # 4th December 2009, 9:25 am

Announcing Kong: A server description and deployment testing tool. An ultra simple website monitoring tool written in Django which makes it easy to manage a list of Twill scripts for testing different sites. It was developed at the Lawrence Journal-World—Eric showed me a demo if this a year or so ago and I’ve been hoping they would open source it. # 18th November 2009, 12:47 pm

Introducing the YUI 3 Gallery. Write a plugin for YUI3, BSD license it and sign a CLA and Yahoo! will push your module out to their CDN and make it loadable using the YUI().use() statement. They’re coordinating the submissions using GitHub. # 4th November 2009, 11:14 pm

Introducing Resque. A new background worker management queue developed at GitHub, using Redis for the persistence layer. The blog post explains both the design and the shortcomings of previous solutions at length. Within 24 hours of the release code an external developer, Adam Cooke, has completely reskinned the UI. # 4th November 2009, 8:20 pm

Traffic Server. Mark Nottingham explains the release of Traffic Server, a new Apache Incubator open source project donated by Yahoo! using code originally developed at Inktomi around a decade ago. Traffic Server is a HTTP proxy/cache, similar to Squid and Varnish (though Traffic Server acts as both a forward and reverse proxy, whereas Varnish only handles reverse). # 1st November 2009, 12:15 pm

Why I like Redis

I’ve been getting a lot of useful work done with Redis recently.

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Introducing Cloudera Desktop. It’s a GUI for Hadoop, and under the hood is a whole stack of open source software, including Python, Django, MooTools, Twisted, lxml, CherryPy, Mako, Java and AspectJ. # 21st October 2009, 6:48 pm

You count the “value” that is lost by people who would have made money selling rival goods, but can’t now because they can’t compete with free. But you don’t count the value that is created by people who build upon the freely given goods. [...] In other words, you only look at the first-order effects. It’s the same mistake a lot of people make when they accuse open source developers of “dumping” and ruining the market for competing software. That’s true, in a very narrow sense, but it ignores all the other people who took that software and used it to create something else of value.

Mark Pilgrim # 21st October 2009, 9:59 am

There was this clamour in the past to get companies to open source their products. This has stopped, because all the software that got open source sucked. It’s just not very interesting to have a closed source program get open sourced. It doesn’t help anyone, because the way closed source software is created in a very different way than open source software. The result is a software base that just does not engage people in a way to make it a valid piece of software for further development.

Ian Bicking # 21st September 2009, 6:22 pm

Kung Fu People (via) The first site to launch based on the open source Django code from djangopeople.net! # 19th August 2009, 11:37 am