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Measure your open source community’s age to keep it healthy

By Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona
October 16, 2014

To really grasp a free/open source software project, you need to know how the community that develops and supports it is evolving. Attracting lots of new members will be a reason for celebrating success in a young project — but …

Measure your open source community\'s age to keep it healthy

By Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona
October 16, 2014

To really grasp a free/open source software project, you need to know how the community that develops and supports it is evolving. Attracting lots of new members will be a reason for celebrating success in a young project — but …

Measure your open source community\'s age to keep it healthy

By Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona
October 16, 2014

To really grasp a free/open source software project, you need to know how the community that develops and supports it is evolving. Attracting lots of new members will be a reason for celebrating success in a young project — but …

OpenStack creates a structure for managing change without a benevolent dictator

By Andy Oram
July 24, 2014

When does a software project grow to the point where one must explicitly think about governance? The term “governance” is stiff and gawky, but doing it well can carry a project through many a storm. Over the past couple years, …

OpenStack creates a structure for managing change without a benevolent dictator

By Andy Oram
July 24, 2014

When does a software project grow to the point where one must explicitly think about governance? The term “governance” is stiff and gawky, but doing it well can carry a project through many a storm. Over the past couple years, …

OpenStack creates a structure for managing change without a benevolent dictator

By Andy Oram
July 24, 2014

When does a software project grow to the point where one must explicitly think about governance? The term “governance” is stiff and gawky, but doing it well can carry a project through many a storm. Over the past couple years, …

Online communities could benefit from the power of offline meetings

By Andy Oram
July 22, 2014

As software vendors, open source projects, and companies in all fields rush to gather communities around themselves, I’m bothered that we haven’t spent much time studying the lessons face-to-face communities have forged over decades of intensive work by a dynamic …

Online communities could benefit from the power of offline meetings

By Andy Oram
July 22, 2014

As software vendors, open source projects, and companies in all fields rush to gather communities around themselves, I’m bothered that we haven’t spent much time studying the lessons face-to-face communities have forged over decades of intensive work by a dynamic …

Online communities could benefit from the power of offline meetings

By Andy Oram
July 22, 2014

As software vendors, open source projects, and companies in all fields rush to gather communities around themselves, I’m bothered that we haven’t spent much time studying the lessons face-to-face communities have forged over decades of intensive work by a dynamic …

Health IT is a growth area for programmers

By Andy Oram
April 11, 2014

O’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who …

Pursuing adoption of free and open source software in governments

By Andy Oram
March 25, 2014

Free and open source software creates a natural — and even necessary — fit with government. I joined a panel this past weekend at the Free Software Foundation conference LibrePlanet on this topic and have covered it previously in a …

Open Source convention considers situational awareness in cars, and more

By Andy Oram
July 29, 2013

Every conference draws people in order to make contacts, but the Open Source convention also inspires them with content. I had one friend withdraw from an important business meeting (sending an associate) in order to attend a tutorial. Lots of …

Community Leadership Summit tracks the forces that spread ideas

By Andy Oram
July 22, 2013

American businesses, along with many others around the world, hustle to find enough programmers and computing staff. The gap widens precariously between the number of job openings and the number students graduating with the necessary skills. And yet, at the …

Open source software creeps in to health care through clinical research

By Andy Oram
June 25, 2013

Although open source has not conquered the lucrative market for electronic health records (EHRs) used by hospital systems and increasingly by doctors, it is making strides in many other important areas of health care. One example is clinical research, as …

Three organizations pressing for change in society’s approach to computing

By Andy Oram
May 16, 2013

Taking advantage of a recent trip to Washington, DC, I had the privilege of visiting three non-profit organizations who are leaders in the application of computers to changing society. First, I attended the annual meeting of the Association for Computing …

Survey on the Future of Open Source, and Lessons from the Past

By Andy Oram
May 15, 2013

I recently talked to two managers of Black Duck, the first company formed to help organizations deal with the licensing issues involved in adopting open source software. With Tim Yeaton, President and CEO, and Peter Vescuso, Executive Vice President of …

Designing resilient communities

By Andy Oram
April 15, 2013

In the open source and free software movement, we always exalt community, and say the people coding and supporting the software are more valuable than the software itself. Few communities have planned and philosophized as much about community-building as ZeroMQ. …

Saint James Infirmary: checking the pulse of health IT at HIMSS

By Andy Oram
March 11, 2013

I spent most of the past week on my annual assessment of the progress that the field of health information technology is making toward culling the benefits offered by computers and Internet connectivity: instant access to data anywhere; a leveling …

Android offers a standard platform for health care apps

By Andy Oram
February 25, 2013

Video systems can streamline hospital care in all sorts of ways from displaying messages (“Quiet time is 1 to 2 PM today”) to taking patient surveys, showing patients their X-Rays, and helping patients view their records from their beds. But …

Open source developers combine efforts in the health care field

By Andy Oram
December 13, 2012

I had a chance to listen in a recent meeting of Open Health Tools, a trade association bringing together companies, academics, and standards bodies who create open source software tools for all stages of the health care field. Open Health …

Open source software as a model for health care

By Andy Oram
October 9, 2012

(The following article sprang from a collaboration between Andy Oram and Brigitte Piniewski to cover open source concepts in an upcoming book on health care. This book, titled “Wireless Health: Remaking of Medicine by Pervasive Technologies,” is edited by Professor …

Growth of SMART health care apps may be slow, but inevitable

By Andy Oram
September 13, 2012

This week has been teaming with health care conferences, particularly in Boston, and was declared by President Obama to be National Health IT Week as well. I chose to spend my time at the second ITdotHealth conference, where I enjoyed …

Seeking prior art where it most often is found in software

By Andy Oram
August 28, 2012

Patent ambushes are on the rise again, and cases such as Apple/Samsung shows that prior art really has to swing the decision–obviousness or novelty is not a strong enough defense. Obviousness and novelty are subjective decisions made by a patent …

Smart notebooks for linking virtual teams across the net

By Andy Oram
August 13, 2012

Who has the gumption to jump into the crowded market for collaboration tools and call for a comprehensive open source implementation? Perhaps just Miles Fidelman, a networking expert whose experience spans time with Bolt, Beranek and Newman, work on military …

Inside GitHub’s role in community-building and other open source advances

Inside GitHub’s role in community-building and other open source advances
By Andy Oram
July 26, 2012

In this video interview, Matthew McCullough of GitHub discusses what they’ve learned over time as they grow and watch projects develop there. Highlights from the full video interview include: How GitHub builds on Git’s strengths to allow more people to …

Democratizing data, and other notes from the Open Source convention

By Andy Oram
July 25, 2012

There has been enormous talk over the past few years of open data and what it can do for society, but proponents have largely come to admit: data is not democratizing in itself. This topic is hotly debated, and a …


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