ELC-E / LinuxCon 2015 (Dublin) Wednesday keynotes

Getting it right – Martin Fink, HP says copyleft is good, please default to copyleft licenses.
Building the J-Core CPU as Open Hardware: Disruptive Open Source Principles Applied to Hardware and Software – Jeff Dionne, Smart Energy Instruments
Business Innovation within Huawei’s Service Provider Operations (SPO) Lab – David Mohally, Huawei

Getting it right – Martin Fink, HP

[This was also covered by an LWN article]

Open source has won, it’s how things happen in the future. But to be successful, it’s not just a license, but also a community, so it’s not just a matter of throwing everything you have as proprietary out as open source. There are currently about 75 open source licenses. The term “open source” has been a blessing because it makes it easier to understand, but it oversimplifies the subtleties of the different licenses. 10 years ago, every company was creating their open source license. This proliferation can cause interoperability problems. Example: ZFS and DTrace are under CDDL, which is often incompatible with GPL. So the OSI has stopped approving new licenses unless they really make a difference. There are basically two types of licenses: copyleft and permissive. People are still uncomfortable with copyleft. However, copyleft is a good thing: it makes things reciprocal: I’m giving you this stuff, and your cost for using it is that you have to give your changes back. Permissive sounds more comfortable because it allows you to do proprietary stuff, but that is basically chipping away at the very thing that is enabling all the good open source stuff we have.
With copyleft licenses, there is no need for a bureaucratic approach for building a community, because there is no gain in creating proprietary forks. In permissively licensed communities, you often see that companies start fracturing the communities with their proprietary changes, so they need to create organisations and boards to make sure they really can still cooperate. Copyleft communities are self-regulating. Therefore: default to copyleft licenses!
HP just released the OpenSwitch product under an Apache (= permissive) license, which was unavoidable because the other actors in the networking sector simply wouldn’t accept a copyleft license.

Building the J-Core CPU as Open Hardware: Disruptive Open Source Principles Applied to Hardware and Software – Jeff Dionne, Smart Energy Instruments

When Jeff started uCLinux, the idea was to get Linux into all the processors that you find. All the pieces of hardware you find in a piece of equipment have some kind of microcontroller. Making this open hardware allows you to be sure that every one of these pieces really runs the software that you expect.
IoT is collecting data from all over the place. For the people selling the IoT services, it is very profitable to get all this data for business intelligence. If we can get an open source community running around open hardware, we can make sure that we really can control the IoT devices ourselves.
Linux happened as soon as it could: before 1990, it was not possible to run a UNIX on commodity hardware. Now, we’re at the point that we can build a processor in an inexpensive FPGA and even go to silicon. If we do this, we can reboot the hardware ecosystem.
J-Core is based on SuperH, whose patents have expired. The processor domain is a patent minefield.
This puts the power into the developer’s hands. Developing chipset hardware looks a lot like software.
Berkeley is also developing a RISC-V processor.

Business Innovation within Huawei’s Service Provider Operations (SPO) Lab – David Mohally, Huawei

Huawei’s SPO Lab looks at how the service provider’s environment is going to evolve in the future, both from the technological aspects and the business aspects. Telcos have been building proprietary stuff up to now, but that is going to change, partly because they will have to take on a lot of the principles that are used in e.g. container/cloud technology, SDN, orchestration.
The network is going to be used for many different types of services, e.g. IoT, big data. The idea is to treat these as network slices, and use virtualisation technologies to combine these slices in the network.

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