Monthly Archives: January 2016

FIWARE open-source Community

Around a Christmas tree at iMinds, a group of developers and entrepreneurs share experiences and ideas about FIWARE. One feeling is common to everybody: the urge to contribute. It is not by chance; the main topic of the discussion is the Open Source FIWARE Community, a promising initiative yet to be defined.

(Brussels, 13/01/2016) – FIWARE is all about open-source, its generic enablers, its Open APIs and even the booming OASC initiative. But in the heart of open-source itself lies the concept of community, and although there are ongoing efforts, we have asked developers and entrepreneurs involved in FIWARE how they feel about this.

Among the various concerns stated at the debate, three top ideas arose:

  1. A common place to share ideas, find people and talk with experts
  2. A way to give back. Contribute with fixes and features
  3. Blueprints almost ready-to-deploy for specific verticals

It is clear that the second idea comes from developers and the third one from entrepreneurs, but what is more interesting is that the first worries everybody. When we say “place”, we are not referring specifically to a venue or website, we are pointing at the concept of community. Of course there has to be meetings on rooms, URLs on the Internet and mailing lists, but those are technical details, all of them following the genuine concept of community creation.

FIWARE is a one-of-a-kind initiative (one may even call it an experiment) in the open-source scene. Coming from an EU-funded project instead of a bunch of coders makes its peculiarities a challenge when it comes to transitioning to an open-source community. As Stefano de Panfilis shows on his slides on the matter, it is about going “from a project with limited duration and carried out by partners to an open source community that is designed to last and be open to anyone who wish to actively contribute”.

Therefore it is reasonable to think the process won’t be soft and easy, and even worse, there are few similar initiatives from which to learn. But who cares? There is a number of companies and individuals willing to make it happen, and that’s what matters. We have to exploit the momentum of the FIWARE Accelerate program and the thrill among developers and entrepreneurs.

The moment is now, despite being announced for 2Q15, the FIWARE Community is not ready today and we are losing lots of opportunities. We ask for yet another effort to accelerate the process and begin the only possible way of a successful FIWARE initiative.

And remember, you are not alone, check out the FIWARE Community Map.

The FIWARE Association is keen to support this transition and will continue helping people to reach out peers on the FIWARE Association communication channels. Join the Association mailing list and Slack Channel.

Joaquín Cabezas

FIWARE Belgium Meetup. Join the Open Source Tech discussion

Join the next FIWARE BELGIUM devops meeting to discuss this edition's topic with Joaquin Cabezas, a representative of the FIWARE association. He will talk about the pitfalls and opportunities when choosing a platform to develop on.

The FIWARE devops meetups offer a sounding board and opportunity to meet other FIWARE developers. Please feel free to volunteer to present your project, product and services to the participants!

Date: 13.01.2016
Place: iMinds-SMIT-VUV, Pleinlaan 9, Elsene (Brussels)

Registration Link

FI What?

Starting into the year 2016 is a good point to look back on one-year journey with FIWARE and the progress of building a living community around the FIWARE eco system.

2016 will become a year where major player will continue battle for domination on service and technologies in the Internet of things, smart objects and smart cities. The winner takes it all. And the impact will affect our economic and social system for the next future decades.

FIWARE has the potential to become an alternative model on the cloud centric service models we are facing mainly dominated by the big Corp. players as Google, facebook, Microsoft and many more. The valley is pushing us into a future where economic and society is locked into the vendor services. In early 90’s the Internet crowd had a vision based upon the hacker culture of freedom. 25 years later we’ll lose that freedom by cloud based vendor locked business modells.

That’s a good reason for getting FIWARE into the battleground: the freedom of choice.

Spotting FIWARE outside the EC ecosystem

But why we do not massively spot FIWARE outside the EC funded ecosystem? To get an answer on that, we have a look on three core questions:

1. Can you explain FIWARE in one sentence?
FIWARE seems not having a clear mission to inspires an open source community. As FIWARE looks too big, too large, too complicated.

2. Can you inspire people outside the European Funding Community?
FIWARE is a brand build on blueprints of European funding project. Its core DNA is building upon EC funds. It’s not building on altruism, which is an important driver of open source movements. The mass of funding is may a curse, which keeps developers away of contributing for free their ideas and codes. Further more it leads into mindsets ruled by gated community of European funded stakeholders.

3. Can you tell the story of FIWARE technology excellence?
The brand FIWARE is loaded by the wording “Future Internet”. This leads in a misunderstanding in developer communities: they are seeking future new technologies in FIWARE – but all what they get is a mix of state of the art solutions. By that FIWARE is getting to loose attraction of developers seeking excellent new solutions for their daily software design problems.

Three obstacles for FIWARE to become a serious player on the battleground of future services in the Internet of Things or Smart Cities.

What we can learn from successful Open Source Communities

When The Things Network started to share its campaign vision it was unclear if they can go for success: only one reference implementation and no money. But the team made it to tell a story, which inspired developers worldwide to join and contribute the idea of an open LORA Network of Smart Cities. Today, groups in more that 30 cities worldwide are working on that idea. For free – contributing workforce and hardware. Furthermore within a couple of days a successful Kickstarter campaign was going to crowd fund the development of low cost LORA Hardware.

LORA is a new technology approach for the Internet of Things. It’s that “Future Internet” technology which attracts developers to have a look on it. LORA has the potential to have answers on certain problems in the low power and wide range data transmissions.

And the Things Network will provide a solution in the basic narrative of the Internet: Open Access in the Internet of Things.

Also the team behind the thing network is driven by the idea itself and they are willing to share tasks and efforts on an open community. It’s not a big governance model behind. The community is managed and build by just a Website, Forum and Slack Chat.

Next example: when Miguel de Icaza was forming the MONO Open Source Project, he had a clear vision: Implement and open source Version of Microsofts .NET. Beside the technology approach, the need of MONO was similar Linus Torvalds LINUX: unleash developers from the legal and economic power of a single big Corp. MONO had been successful and forced Microsoft to support the Open Source implementation.

Miguel is an experienced Open Source Developer. He is well connected in the Open Source Eco-System. But more important: he is a trusted evangelist on his Open Source mission of Mono.

Last example: The open source mission of ownCloud full fills the need for privacy and legal data proceedings. owncloud is a clear answer to that need. ownCloud Founder Frank Karlitschek is an experienced open source developer, who earned his reputation by working many years in the KDE open source community. Frank is convinced by Open Source. Developers worldwide do rely on him.

What it needs to become a successful FIWARE community?

FIWARE needs the power to inspire. This can’t be done by money or marketing. To inspire means to have a clear and simple message with experienced open source people behind.

FIWARE does not have to be perfect but it should provide an outstanding technological and social solution to solve market needs.

Further more FIWARE requires more trustworthy open source people in front with the capabilities to share and inspire developers.

Let’s debate on the FIWARE roadmap for 2016. Looking forward to your replies.