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SourceForge Hijacking Open Source Project Downloads

Today I read about how SourceForge is hijacking nmap downloads through their old SourceForge account…

This is just plain naughty behavior in open source land… SourceForge has previously done this with the GIMP project and inserted adware into the download. They even created a response page based on the criticism from that incident stating that:

This is a 100% opt-in program for the developer, and we want to reassure you that we will NEVER bundle offers with any project without the developers consent.

Outside of this just being dubious behavior, this looks to be a lie based on what the  nmap developers have stated. Also, what is concerning is that who knows what other open source projects SourceForge is trying to do this for.

This should be a lesson and even a wake up call to open source projects who use external services like SourceForge… there’s inherent risk if the tide of the business you depend on changes.

Furthermore, this is another reason hosting your project at a quality open source foundation can be beneficial as they generally won’t do these type of shenanigans as they protect your projects best interests. These open source foundations can also help you secure a trademark for your project which can help fight against these types of issues.

Stay diligent!

UPDATE: A response from SourceForge

@RogueRunning Trail Series 2015: The Ranch

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to finish the Rogue Trail Series at the beautiful (but a little muddy from all the rain) Reveille Peak Ranch:

I finished in 02:58:58 with the first two 10K laps taking about 54 minutes each and the final painful lap taking about 70 minutes. I ended up fighting some stomach issues in the last few miles and just couldn’t keep my pace in check (hey it happens).

In the series, I finished 10th overall with a cumulative time of 08:26:23 which I’m happy with, definitely not my best but I’m getting back in the swing of things.

Next up is my favorite trail series of the year… Capt’n Karls! Nothing more fun than running races in the dark with your headlamp, who doesn’t love 7pm start times?

Protip: Airline Customer Service via Twitter DMs

Here’s a secret for those of you who travel a lot like me for business. Some airlines have fantastic customer service via Twitter Direct Messages (DMs), even better than using the phone for most issues in my experience!

Over the past several months, @AmericanAir has been a pleasure to work with over Twitter DMs for when travel issues unfortunately happened. I’ve shared this little secret with friends and they had similar success with other airlines like @VirginAmerica and @Jetblue, especially when phone wait times were atrocious. Also, I’m definitely not the only one who has noticed this.

In the end, I hope more airlines and businesses follow this customer service model, or at least offer it as an option. For most issues, it’s usually simpler to deal with things over direct message (text) than having to interact with someone over the phone, especially when you’re on the go. I even see a future where you can even automate most of these interactions so you may not need a human being for a good portion of customer service requests.

Anyways, happy and safe travels!

@ApacheParquet Graduating and Mesos with Siri

The last week for me has been fun in open source land outside of me getting two of my wisdom teeth pulled out of my face. On the bright side, I have some pain killers now and also, two notable things happened. First it was nice to finally graduate Parquet out of the Apache Incubator:

It’s been a little over two years since we (Twitter) announced the open source columnar storage project with Cloudera. It’s a great feeling to see a plan come together and see this project grow over the years with 60+ contributors while hitting the notable achievement of graduating out of the Apache incubator gauntlet. If there’s any lesson here for me, it’s much easier to build an open source community when you do it an independent fashion with at least someone else in the beginning (thanks Cloudera).

Another notable thing that happened was that Apple finally announced that they are using Mesos to power Siri’s massive infrastructure.

In my experience of building open source communities, there are usually your public adopters and private adopters. There are companies that wish to remain private about the software they use at times and that’s fine, it’s understandable when it can be viewed as a competitive advantage. The challenge is how you work with these private adopters when they use an open source project of yours while wanting to collaborate behind the scenes.

Anyways, it’s a great feeling to see Apple opening up a bit about their infrastructure and open source usage after working with them for awhile. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come from them. Also, it would be nice if Apple just updated Siri so when you ask what Mesos is, it replies with a funny response and proclaims her love of open source infrastructure technology.

Overall, it’s been a great last week.

@RogueRunning Trail Series 2015: The Tangle

This morning I had the opportunity to take part in The Tangle 30km:

Besides getting rained on a couple times, it was a beautiful run in the hill country. It was my first time at Flat Creek Crossing Ranch and I enjoyed the wide open terrain and even a cave on the course. Time wise, I ended up finishing in about 2:43 which isn’t fantastic but I’ll take it given the course was challenging and new to me. I’ll be better equipped next year.

Anyways, next up is the last race of the series, Reveille Peak!

Hells Hills 25K

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of running the Hells Hills 25K in Smithville, TX

It was a beautiful course and I averaged 8:54 min/mi.

Next up, the Tangle 30km trail race.

@RogueRunning Trail Series 2015: The Maze

Yesterday, I had a fantastic time running the first edition of the Rogue Trail Series for 2015, The Maze:

I managed to finish in about 2 hours and 37 minutes according to Strava:

I definitely went out of the gate a bit to fast and suffered later on, but the course was beautiful. Anyways, I’m really looking forward to the next race in the series which is at Flat Creek Ranch.

Thoughts on running an open source program (via @TODOGroup)

I recently posted on the @TODOGroup blog on why we run an open source program at Twitter:

Outside of just my experience, it’s been great to see other companies participating in this effort so you can hear from them too on running open source programs:

There should be more blog posts from us in the future about this topic, on top of us discussing other issues pertinent to companies working with open source communities.

Anyways, I hope you learned something new from these posts and if you’re a fan of company open source programs, please consider pushing your company or others to establish an official open source program or office. We all should give back as it’s in our best interest.

FoundationDB and Open Source Foundations

Just like any other day, I saw a funny tweet across my timeline this morning:

Not sure if you heard the news, but FoundationDB was a company with a decent amount of open source projects around a NoSQL database. They recently were bought by a much larger company and decided to close down the project, including removing the source and binaries from distribution channels.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but open source foundations are really useful. As a consumer, it helps you ensure that there is an independent governance structure in place along with fair ownership of the code (usually the foundation). This means that code won’t disappear overnight since an independent entity owns it, along with the broader community. From a producer point of view, you can build diversity in ownership and committers which will help you in the long run in building a sustainable open source community.

Oh well, c’est la vie.

Quick update and nice set of genuine tweets from the CouchDB folks who saw the benefits of having the code exist at an open source foundation:

Linux Kernel’s Code of Conflict

The Linux Kernel recently has come up with an aptly named “Code of Conflict” to deal with some of the criticism inside that community:

There’s also an interview from the Linux Foundation Executive Director, Jim Zemlin about this topic:

While not perfect in my opinion, it is the step in the right direction to ensure a well behaving community. While most people will be excellent to each other, there will also be outliers. Also, it’s important to set expectations within a open source community and really just set the ground rules.

Finally as a prediction (and hope), I expect to see more open source communities, foundations and even companies start implementing these code of conduct style guidelines this year.