Forking or collaborating: the mix of open source ethics

When it comes to Open Source software, forking is a feature! Anil Dash said it well: There are several related technical concepts that can answer to the name “fork”, but the one I reference here is the dramatic moment when a software project undergoes a schism on ideological or technical grounds. Instead of merely taking their ball and going home, those who forked were taking a copy of your ball and going to a new playground....

 · Laura Lis Scott
magnifying glass over a sheet of printed paper

What is Open Source really about?

This question has me pondering the broader values behind open source: openness to inspection, openness to revision and improvement, working together in a commons, not in a doctrinaire centralized system but rather in an informally organized (if at all), decentralized coming together based upon common interest. That’s not to say there aren’t rules. Scientific research has traditionally been open source. I recommend James Burke’s Connections for some wonderful perspectives on this subject....

 · Laura Lis Scott
diamond-shaped chart representing how much attention is given to each release of software

How to use open source (and how not to)

The open source path can be a delightful and cost-effective way to go for a web-based project. However, if you don’t understand the primary dos and don’ts of open source, a “free” open source website can quickly become a costly and difficult bear to manage. As open source software becomes more popular and more relevant to the needs of non-tech-minded people and organizations, we thought we’d offer some basic background on how to use – and not to use – open source for a web platform....

 · Laura Lis Scott
a blue smiley-face water drop

On itch scratching, hitchhikers and growing within the interactive ecosystem

The story goes like this: A couple hundred years ago, Scottish chemist Joseph Black was approached by some Scotch distillers. With the explosion of coal power, they wanted to know exactly what techniques they should use to replace their wood-burning distilling processes with coal-fired methods. Black did some experimentation and developed for them the appropriate method. But his calculations reportedly inspired some new ideas in his colleague, James Watt, who took Black’s ideas of “latent heat” and used them in the development of a new steam engine....

 · Laura Lis Scott

Looking back at 2005

This past year has brought about many changes. Early in 2005, when we started up pingV, Katherine and I had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve in five years, ten years…. Those plans are still there, still in the works. But wasn’t clear back then was how we ourselves would work our own ways down both the internet and television paths towards the inevitable convergence, when interactive television — the medium combining the hyperlinking freedom of the web with the full-motion video of television — becomes a reality....

 · Laura Lis Scott