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© Lead Image © alphaspirit, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © alphaspirit, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 204/2017

In the news: Reddit closing doors to open source, VMware brings its cloud to AWS, Gnome celebrates its 20th birthday, SQL Server comes to RHEL; OpenShift comes to Azure, and FDA recalls nearly half a million pacemakers over security concerns. 

Reddit Closing Doors to Open Source

Reddit, the peanut gallery of the Internet, reported in a blog post that it is shutting down their open source repository on GitHub: "We're archiving reddit/reddit and reddit/reddit-mobile which are playing an increasingly small role in day to day development at Reddit. We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in this over the years."

Reddit was open source in 2008, roughly 10 years ago, when it was a new company, because they wanted the source code of their product to be available as open source.

However, as the company grew, they found it difficult to keep up with their open source code, and their GitHub repo had not been updated for a long time. The company provided many reasons behind "doing a bad job of keeping their open-source product repos up to date."

Some reasons are legit and many others not. One such reason given by the company is that "Open-source makes it hard for us to develop some features 'in the clear' (like our recent video launch) without leaking our plans too far in advance. As Reddit is now a larger player on the web, it is hard for us to be strategic in our planning when everyone can see what code we are committing."

Companies like Red Hat, SUSE, Google, CoreOS, Docker, and others continue to innovate, yet all of their code is available as open source. The company has given many other reasons, but all fall flat compared with the way the larger open source world functions. Reddit will continue to open source some of their tools.

The good news is that Reddit is not a platform that's used by others to build their Reddit-like services, so Reddit source code might not be missed by the larger open source communities.

VMware Brings Its Cloud to AWS

At the VMware World Conference, VMware announced the arrival of VMware Cloud to AWS. VMware will be selling and supporting the service as an on-demand, elastically scalable cloud service. This announcement is the culmination of the strategic partnership that the two companies forged last October.

"VMware and AWS are empowering enterprise IT and operations teams to add value to their businesses through the combination of VMware enterprise capabilities and the breadth and depth of capabilities and scale of the AWS Cloud, providing them a platform for any application," said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware.

This service is initially available in the US West (Oregon) region through VMware and members of the VMware Partner Network.

The VMware Cloud on AWS supports custom-sized VMs to run any OS that is supported by VMware by using single-tenant, bare-metal AWS infrastructure.

"Each SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center) consists of 4 to 16 instances, each with 36 cores, 512GB of memory, and 15.2TB of NVMe storage. Clusters currently run in a single AWS Availability Zone (AZ) with support in the works for clusters that span AZs. You can spin up an entire VMware SDDC in a couple of hours and scale host capacity up and down in minutes," said AWS in a blog post.

The company also added that VMware Cloud on AWS runs directly on the physical hardware to avoid nested virtualization, while still taking advantage of a host of network and hardware features designed to support their security-first design model.

The entire stack of AWS compute, storage, database, analytics, mobile, and IoT services can be accessed directly from applications.

Gnome Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

Gnome was started by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena-Quintero on August 15, 1997. The primary goal of the project was to create a fully open source alternative to KDE, which was based on the Qt widget toolkit that used a non-free licence back then.

Since its initial release in 1999, there have been 33 stable releases of Gnome to date. While Linux caters to power users, developers, and sys admins who prefer CLI, Gnome focuses on ease of use. No wonder Ubuntu, a distribution targeting PC users, picked Gnome as the default desktop environment.

Gnome has made some significant progress in the Linux desktop space with the 3.x family. They have built a distro agnostic software center that allows users of any distro to not only install and update applications, but also update the distribution itself.

Gnome also brought the capability of accessing Google Drive from within Linux desktops, a feature that's not officially supported by Google.

No wonder that even the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, runs Gnome as his favorite desktop.

Gnome used to be the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, before Canonical introduced its own Unity shell. As a result of that decision, Gnome lost millions of users. But recently, Canonical decided to pull out of the desktop space and focus on enterprise. They ditched Unity and went back to Gnome. That means Gnome will return to millions of Ubuntu desktop users.

Happy 20th Birthday, Gnome.

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