How open source got its groove back

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
1011_OpenSource_04
Puppet Labs software is used to manage and automate large corporate data centers. Making it intuitive and powerful to use is the focus of VP Teyo Tyree (left) and user experience expert Randall Hansen.
Photo by Michael Cogliantry
OSU also happens to be the physical home for the holy grail of open source: the Linux kernel. Linux, like Windows, is an operating system that controls a computer’s hardware. Virtually every open-source program works on Linux, and was written by Lake Oswego resident Linus Torvalds. The kernel is the heart of Linux and its source code rests on disk drives housed in the Open Source Labs on the OSU campus along with other major open-source software code such as Apache and Drupal.

“The Lab connects the dots between academia, economic development and companies,” says Deborah Bryant, public sector communities manager at OSL.

It’s likely that open source will continue to thrive in the region. For one thing, Portland under Mayor Sam Adams has launched a number of projects, such as CitySync, PDX Reporter and more, based on open- source technologies. And the mayor has been a high-profile supporter of open source by being a regular keynote speaker at OSCON and Open Source Bridge. Transit agency Tri-Met also evaluates open-source software for every software purchase.

In addition to the city, the state of Oregon in 2003 was the first in the nation to mull legislation to force agencies to consider open source as an alternative to commercial products. Although it did not pass into law, the state does have a charter statement from its CIO Council to “consider open-source opportunities to accomplish the mission of state government and achieve the state’s business objectives.”

Beyond that, open source is doing great on its own. Market researcher IDC says open source is a $5.8 billion industry growing at 22% annually, much faster than the 8% growth of the commercial software business. A lot of that new growth promises to happen in Oregon because if history tells us anything, the vibrant open-source community here will lure more businesses, which will generate more jobs, which attract more developers, creating an expanding virtuous circle of technical talent and talent-hungry enterprises in the region.

Mark Everett Hall is a Salem-based journalist who has been a writer and editor for Computerworld, MacWeek, and Performance Computing. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

More Articles

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS