The Linux Foundation has always been committed to welcoming companies and organizations of all sizes as part of its heritage and ongoing vision for opening technology for all to experiment with and to build things. The Zephyr Project, an open source project to build a real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced last week they grew their community of contributors with support for more than 100 developer boards and the addition of six new members. These industry and academic leaders include Antmicro, DeviceTone, SiFive, the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, The Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) and Northeastern University. Its not easy to build an open operating system (OS), and it is not easy to compete for the attention of developers, particularly in the increasingly fragmented IoT and Industrial IoT domains, where there are nearly 500 different platforms, thousands of different companies, hundreds of different protocols, approaches and frameworks – but Zephyr clearly focused their mission on solving for specific challenges including standards and scale for systems. The Linux Foundation has related projects (for example, EdgeX Foundry), but Zephyr, like the gentle west wind, is going after the lightest approaches through an OS that can itself contribute to more rational hardware and software combinations that require less compute.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 31, 2020 – LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, announced maturing of its Fledge project, which has issued it's 1.8 release and moved to the Growth Stage within the LF Edge umbrella. Fledge is an open source framework for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), used to implement predictive maintenance, situational awareness, safety and other critical operations. Fledge v1.8 is the first release since moving to the Linux Foundation. However, this is the ninth release of the project code that has over 60,000 commits, averaging 8,500 commits/month. Concurrently, Fledge has matured into a Stage 2 or "Growth Stage" project within LF Edge.
Eric S. Raymond, one of open-source's founders, famously said, "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow," which he called "Linus's Law." It's one of the reasons why open-source has become the way almost everyone develops software today. That said, it doesn't go far enough. You need expert eyes hunting and fixing bugs and you need coordination to make sure you're not duplicating work. So, it is more than past time that The Linux Foundation started the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF).
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We all know how popular and helpful Linux and open source products are, but since most of them are available for free, how do the companies that produce them make any money to pay their bills? As it turns out, lots of ways. It used to be that key technology came from commercial companies like IBM and Microsoft and Sun. Even when Linux started to be a significant part of IT infrastructure, businesses got it from commercial companies like Red Hat, along with an enterprise-support licence. But the rise of open source means that some of the key pieces of technology that businesses and consumers alike rely on don't have a commercial business behind them.