Category Archives: Commercial OSS

News about business models based on Free Software

Innovation By Design

I have contributed to Engineering’s Ingenium webzine talking about how open source is  the innovation backbone powering the Bitcoin revolution. Below you find the English version, read more at the Engineering site.

2013 was considered the year of Bitcoin, the new cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer communication protocol that provides a secure and decentralised system for the transfer of property rights. Each block in the chain of transactions is certified by network nodes which are paid for this activity. Known as “mining”, this activity is financed by the limited and controlled production of new Bitcoins. To circumvent the system’s security it is necessary to invalidate the rules applied to each transaction, and this requires obtaining control of more than 50% of the network nodes. Investing in Bitcoin is not without risk. In December 2013, China banned bitcoins, on 28 February 2014 the main exchange (Mt Gox) declared bankruptcy and, more recently, the U.S. administration has expressed its willingness to fiscally regulate the cryptocurrency. Each time the market has reacted negatively and then recovered, but it is certainly premature to express an opinion on the future of this means of payment. But a question is worth asking: why are innovation and Open Source inseparable in Bitcoin?
The protocols underlying internet, and Bitcoin is no exception, are based on “rough consensus and running code”, that is, on public discussion and implementation. If Bitcoin had been a private protocol it would have been impossible to verify collectively the effectiveness and an ecosystem would not have been developed which to date has already attracted 100 million dollars’ worth of investment by venture capital, and has already been able to cope with problems in software thanks to the timely mobilisation of the community of developers. The Bitcoin project is in fact developed on GitHub and distributed and discussed on SourceForge.
But if cryptocurrency is the first practical application of the protocol, it is not necessarily the one with the greatest potential for innovation. Today, applications are being designed that intend to extend the principle of operation of this protocol for the transfer of ownership of other assets, such as the management of derivative instruments like ‘Contracts for Difference’. Developments are also being conceived that will enable the creation of “virtual companies” in which each stakeholder will participate through the purchase of “shares” or receive them in exchange for their contributions, thus achieving the business rules of the organisation ‘cabled’ into the code. It is the cooperative model underlying the Bitcoin community, and more generally the Open Source community, which transforms the very way in which the business is established and evolves. Bitcoin could be the platform on which businesses, customers and users will find a new way to exchange value, products and services.

Only our name is changed

logo_slashdot_hdI’m not sure I’ve mentioned before that SourceForge has been acquired by Dice Holdings back in Septmeber 2012. As a result the name of our parent company has been changed in Slashdot Media. As you could easily guess the name comes from the heritage of Slashdot, one of the three Geeknet media properties bought by Dice (namely FreeCode, Slashdot and SourceForge).

So said, SourceForge is still dedicated to being the most trusted source for Open Source, and will continue to provide free hosting for your Open Source project, and you’re welcome either if you need the full set of tools or just a way to distribute your program.

If you didn’t check it out yet, take a moment to look at our brand new Enterprise directory (beta).

If you want to know more about our new corporate entity, you can read all about it at slashdotmedia new website.

SourceForge Enterprise Directory Makes ITDMs’ Lives Easier

Liferay Resource CenterSourceForge just launched a new Enterprise Directory, a sub-section focused specifically on Enterprise projects. These are the projects that are geared specifically for use within a company, ranging from office suites to ECM, backup software and more.

Either enterprise-grade projects developed at SourceForge or at other forges would benefit from being enlisted in the new directory, now enriched with a resource center containing useful information about partners, add-ons, books and upcoming events.

Over 40 million unique visitors per month come to SourceForge looking for open source software, and enterprise-grade products is a big part of it. The Enterprise directory is just aimed at making IT Decision Makers’ lives easier, by gathering projects’ relevant information in one single page.

Hope you’ll enjoy, stay tuned!