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Open source coding

Misunderstandings of the GPL Licensing is a common issue. It can create problem for both developers and sys admins. Most developers and admin think that they understood all legal mumbo jumbo associated with GPL. You can take the Free Software licensing quiz and test your knowledge of the GPL and LGPL.

Linux: Install Django Open Source Framework

Django is a high-level Python Web framework (open source framework) that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Django is awesome programming framework. Red hat magazine has published excellent tutorial:

In today's world, web development is all about turnaround. Businesses want to maximize production outcome while minimizing development and production time. Small, lean development teams are increasingly becoming the normal large development departments. Enter Django: a popular Python web framework that invokes the RWAD (rapid web application development) and DRY (don't repeat yourself) principles with clean, pragmatic design.

This article is not about teaching you how to program in Python, nor how to use the Django framework. It's about showing how to promote your Django applications onto an existing Apache or Lighttpd environment.

=> Installing/Configuring/Caching Django on your Linux server

Nice short guide for writing a kernel module for FreeBSD operating system. From the article:

FreeBSD 7.0 has already been released. If you are a real hacker, the best way to jump in and learn it is hacking together an introductory kernel module. In this article I’ll implement a very basic module that prints a message when it is loaded, and another when it is unloaded. I’ll also cover the mechanics of compiling our module using standard tools and rebuilding the stock FreeBSD kernel.

=> Writing a kernel module for FreeBSD

Related: How To Compile a Linux Kernel Modules

Hackontest is a 24 hour programming competition between various open source software projects. The event takes place at OpenExpo on September 24/25, 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland. The contest is sponsored by Google. From the contest page:

The participating teams may win cash prizes of USD 1000, 2500 and 5000. Next to fun and competition, the elected open source developers receive a free trip to Zurich, Switzerland, including accommodation and meals from September 23 - 26, 2008 up to USD 1000 each person.

The idea of the Hackontest event is three-fold:

  • First of all, hackers (=smart programmers) of open source projects meet physically during 24h and enhance their software with a certain feature. Thus their Free Software project gets improved in terms of code and the developers have a fun time meeting in one place and competing for some nice prizes.
  • Second, users of open source software get the opportunity to file features they've missed in their favorite applications and operating systems. Therefore, during the selection process everyone who registers may file feature requests and others may vote and comment on them.
  • And third, visitors of the Hackontest event get the chance to see the commitment and team work with which open source software is created. Like this, the public becomes more aware of the creative processes and the power of collaborative effort by international open source communities.

Hackontest web site (via ./)

Good learning stuff - at no cost!

From the page:

This website provides tutorials and sample course content so CS students and educators can learn more about current computing technologies and paradigms. In particular, this content is Creative Commons licensed which makes it easy for CS educators to use in their own classes.

The Courses section contains tutorials, lecture slides, and problem sets for a variety of topic areas:

* AJAX Programming
* Distributed Systems
* Web Security
* Languages

In the Tools 101 section, you will find a set of introductions to some common tools used in Computer Science such as version control systems and databases.

The CS Curriculum Search will help you find teaching materials that have been published to the web by faculty from CS departments around the world. You can refine your search to display just lectures, assignments or reference materials for a set of courses.

=> Google Code University (via Digg)

Coverity Logo

Coverity is a company that creates tools for software development. Its premiere product is Prevent, a static-analysis code inspection tool. Coverity offers the results of Prevent's analysis for free to open source developers.

From the project home page:

In collaboration with Stanford University, Coverity is establishing a new baseline for software quality and security in open source. Under a contract with the Department of Homeland Security, we apply the latest innovations in automated defect detection to uncover some of the most critical types of bugs found in software.

So the most notable use of Prevent is under a U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract, in which it is used to examine over 150 open source applications for bugs. Popular open source projects, such as Samba, the PHP, Perl, and Tcl dynamic languages used to bind together elements of Web sites, and Amanda, the popular open source backup and recovery software running on half a million servers, were all found to have dozens or hundreds of security exposures and quality defects.

For example, over 75% of the defects Scan identified in Samba were fixed within two reviews of the Scan analysis.
Over 75% of the defects Scan identified in Samba were fixed within two reviews of the Scan analysis.
(Fig. 01: Samba Project Code Scan Result)

=> More information about project and bugs (including charts) available at offical web site.

A total of 7,826 open source project defects have been fixed through the Homeland Security review, or one every two hours since it was launched in 2006, according to David Maxwell, open source strategist for Coverity, maker of the source code checking system, the Prevent Software Quality System, that's being used in the review.

This project is really helping out to improve overall open source software quality.

Intel has just released source code for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). It provides some Fibre Channel protocol processing as well as the encapsulation of FC frames within Ethernet packets. FCoE will allow systems with an Ethernet adapter and a Fibre Channel Forwarder to login to a Fibre Channel fabric (the FCF is a "gateway" that bridges the LAN and the SAN). That fabric login was previously reserved exclusively for Fibre Channel HBAs. This technology reduces complexity in the data center by aiding network convergence. It is targeted for 10Gps Ethernet NICs but will work on any Ethernet NIC supporting pause frames. Intel will provide a Fibre Channel protocol processing module as well as an Ethernet based transport module. The Open-FC module acts as a LLD for SCSI and the Open-FCoE transport uses net_device to send and receive packets.

This is good news. I think one can compare bandwidth and throughput for copper and fiber Ethernet. If you are going to use copper you need to stay within 15m of the switch. This solution will try to bring down cost. One can connect to 8-10 server to central database server with 10G and there could be few more applications.

=> Open FCoE project home page