angry tapir writes: "When Oracle purchased Sun, many in the open source community were bleak about the future of MySQL. According to MySQL co-creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, these fears have been proven by Oracle's attitude to MySQL and its community. In the wake of the Sun takeover, Monty forked MySQL to create MariaDB, which has picked up momentum (being included by default in Fedora, Open SUSE and, most recently, Slackware). I recently interviewed Monty about what he learned from the MySQL experience and the current state of MariaDB."
angry tapir writes: "Contiki is a lightweight open source operating system designed for the 'Internet of Things': Networked, low-power embedded devices. It's been used for smart grids, smart streetlights, badger tracking systems and connecting a Gameboy to the Internet. I recently caught up with its creator, Adam Dunkels, to talk about the system's history and future plans, as well as a new company he's founded, Thingsqure, which hopes to make creating applications for the Internet of Things as easy as creating apps for smartphones."
angry tapir writes: "Identifying a gap in the market has been the key to many successful open source projects. In the case of the participants in Project Hexapod, a group of robotics enthusiasts based at the Artisan Asylum makerspace in Massachusetts, they identified a clear lack of six-legged, rideable robots. Members of Project Hexapod, which comprises three instructors, one teaching assistant, and 15 students, are building a robot dubbed ‘Stompy’: A arachnid-esque, six-legged, 1800kg hydraulic robot. Stompy will be 18 feet wide and will seat two people and have a ground clearance of six feet. The project has a Kickstarter page to raise funds. Project Hexapod will be “releasing our plans, our CAD, our diagrams, the presentations from all the lectures we gave in class, our lists of materials and parts” under an open source licence."
angry tapir writes: "BeOS may be dead, but over a decade after its lamentable demise the open source Haiku project keeps its legacy alive. Haiku is an attempt to build a drop-in, binary compatible replacement for BeOS, as well as extending the defunct OS's functionality and support for modern hardware. At least, that's the short-term goal — eventually, Haiku is intended significantly enhance BeOS while maintaining the same philosophy of simplicity and transparency, and without being weighed down with the legacy code of many other contemporary operating systems. I recently caught up with Stephan Aßmus, who has been a key contributor to the project for seven years to talk about BeOS, the current state of Haiku and the project's future plans."
angry tapir writes: "I recently caught up with some of the key developers of Rockbox: An open source firmware replacement for the stock firmware shipped on MP3 players. The project, which has been active for over a decade, currently supports products from more than half a dozen manufacturers, including Apple, Arhcos, iRiver and Toshiba. It involves extensive reverse engineering to figure out how the devices' stock firmwares operate, as well as the challenge of developing for greatly varied targets. You can read the interview here (or the full Q&As with the project's founder and some of the developers involved in it)."
angry tapir writes: "Women's participation in open source development is at a far lower level than women's participation in proprietary software development. One of the groups that aims to change this is the Ada Initiative: A non-profit organisation formed last year. I recently caught up with its two founders, Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora and comp sci PhD student Mary Gardiner, to discuss the project."
angry tapir writes: "The Open Source Ecology project is an attempt to apply the principles of open source to building sustainable communities through the creation of open source tools. The focus of the project is the development of 'Global Village Construction Set': A set of 50 open source tools, ranging from tractors to a laser cutter to a 3D scanner, designed to act as a 'civilisation starter kit' for building eco-friendly communities, with a focus on low-cost, DIY, use of recycled materials and closed-loop manufacturing."