Category Archives: Common

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.

World Café: FIWARE community building at ICT

You are using FIWARE technologies or are planning to do so? You are a stakeholder involved in the FIWARE programme? Then join our interactive networking session at ICT 2015 on the 21st of October 2015 at 9:00 and contribute to shaping an active FIWARE community.

FIWARE Association ICT World Cafe

Background:
With the FIWARE Accelerator Programme the European Commission encourages startups and SMEs to build products, services and business upon the FIWARE technology layer. As a result of this program around 1.000 companies and / or products are built up on FIWARE technology.

The faith of these companies and products is strongly connected to a sustainable future development of FIWARE and an ecosystem which will provide the FIWARE services on best economic and social conditions.

By the time of ICT, hundreds of companies will have had their first experience with creating products based on FIWARE and their lessons learned will be invaluable.

Workshop concept:
The FIWARE Association together with the Coordination and Support Actions FI Business and iHub.eu network will animate this interactive group networking session with which we will contribute to the community building among companies that use FIWARE or that are interested to do so in the future.

Using the world café format, we will investigate into common needs of companies using FIWARE and we will promote sustainable personal links between them. The outcomes of this session will also be valuable input to all stakeholders involved in the FIWARE community on how to make the FIWARE ecosystem sustainable.

Possible number of participants: 40
Date: 2015-10-21
Time: 9:00 – 9:45
Place: Room 5

REGISTER HERE

The future is still much bigger than the past

26 years ago Tim Berners Lee invented the world wide web. A good reason to start this post with one of his quote.

1989 Berners Lee could'nt predict that his work at CERN will lead in one of the biggest impact on society. HTML in that time was not perfect. But it had the potential to inspire people worldwide to create products based upon the initial work of Berners Lee.

The lesson we can learn on FIWARE: You may don't need to provide a perfect product when an idea is born. You need people which share the vision.

But don't get trapped to believe that inspiring people is just a marketing challenge. Early stage HTML was not perfect in the technical implementation but it had already a brilliant simple concept. Easy to understand and with high clarity in the technical approach. This mix attracted developers worldwide and results to success.

Looking on FIWARE today, we can learn from the success story of Berners Lee:

It's essential to bring high clarity into the solution stack.

FIWARE is branded "Future Internet". Let's simplify, in order developers can recognize the brilliance. 

We invite you to discuss the tools needed at IoT Week Lisbon.

Meet and discuss on IoT Week Lisbon 18th June

Let's meet and discuss about the future tools needed to build an open source ecosystem on FIWARE.

During IoT Week Lisbon you can get in touch with board Members of the FIWARE Assiociation. On 18th we invite you to join an open dialogue on FIWARE:

Rob van Kranenburg

Mirko Ross

Alexandra Rudl

Joaquim Cabezas

Pedro Malo

More information on IoT Week lisbon: http://iot-week.eu/events/iot-week-lisbon/

Licenses on FIWARE – Terra Incognita

Beside functionality, quality and documentation the license is one of the most important point of using open source code in commercial products.

It's important to know, if and how the license of a FIWARE Generic Enabler has effects on the overall solutions stack of your work.

So let's have a look on the licenses of Generic Enablers

In the FIWARE Association we did a brief look on the licenses described in the Generic Enabler Catalogue and add them to a map of the FIWARE Architecture Specification. This should help to visualize todays license situation and to get a feeling on the terra incognita (the FIWARE reference architecture map does not match 100% to the names of the GE in the catalogue – we did our best to identify the catalogue GE's. Just let us know if we missed a GE.)

FIWARE Generic Enabler License Map

First the good news:

All Generic Enablers available in the FIWARE Catalogue are published under OSI approved Open Source Licenses. If you use FIWARE Generic Enablers from the catalogue you can be sure that your GE is based upon an OSI approved real open source license.

9 different Open Source Licenses in the FIWARE GE Stack

But what else we see: Generic Enablers in the FIWARE Catalogue are published with different open source licenses. We count at least 9 different license types on the review. Including a broad range of license with strong copyleft effect as GPL and permissive license as MIT.

GPL and MIT for example are OSI approved open source licenses – but they are build on complete different philosophy regarding the freedom of commercialization. GPL has a very strong copyleft – and it's not made for selling code based upon classical proprietary vendor revenue models. On GPL vendors business model has to be charging distribution fees or additional service around the product. The product it self cannot charged by license fees. In opposite the MIT is more vendor friendly: it does not force your overall product to run under open source by copyleft and it allows to use code within a classical proprietary software solution.

On complex open source projects it's not unusual that you can't avoid to build the solution by using code published on different licenses. But at all developers and maintainers should be very careful by mixing too many open source licenses. Adding different licenses to the stack is increasing complexity of how the different licenses are affecting the legal frame of the overall product build upon the software stack.

Managing licenses in open source stacks is a main task

Having 9 different licenses over a set of 40 Generic Enables is increasing the legal complexity on how to use FIWARE by commercial products. Additional on the copyleft licenses we also have to deal with different versions of GPL, GPL v2, GPL v3, LGPL and AGPL. Why? It obviously looks likes a missing task of managing the license model of FIWARE in detail.

One of the most important goals must be to simplify the license map and to install a license management.  Companies and FIWARE users are in need of an easy to use legal frame to build successful commercial products and services.

 

 

 

 

Keep it simple

Developers like open source when the solution makes their life easier. They turn away if it’s more complex than their daily challenges.

Also the maintainer of an open source community project is in need to avoid complexity.

Because simplicity will lead into a manageable environment:

  • Easy to keep documentation on track
  • Less efforts on providing updates and upgrades
  • Less risk to lose sight of vulnerabilities on code reviews
  • Clear legal fundament with transparent license policies

If we look on FIWARE to today, the eco system needs improvements to attract developers and to provide a maintainable eco system.

Keep is simple will be good guideline go into a reliable future.

But it also takes some painful actions:

  • Remove all parts from FIWARE which are not useful for the core solution (btw. What’s the core solution? Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Rich Media or 3D User Interfaces? State today it sounds like a solution for everything – which is not helpful to attract developers)
  • Reduce Code to a common Open Source License model (instead mixing at least 9 different licenses under one core)
  • Bring the GE’s to common Linux based distribution (force maintainer to adept on a common distribution base)
  • Rebuild the documentation (it will be less documentation than today, more easier to maintain)

It sounds easy, but avoiding complexity on an open source eco system is a never-ending task. State today this is not a question of money. It’s a question of willing ness of courageous actions.

hello world!

Learning a new programing language printing „hello world!“ on you screen is the first step of success. It’s a very good analogy on our first milestone with the FIWARE Association.

In the last weeks we build up a board of exiting people to get faces on the front of the FIWARE Association. From now the FIWARE Association has a visible frontend and we move into the phase of action.

hello worldOne task will be building bottom up a sustainable open source community for the further development of FIWARE. Developers should contribute their reviews of the FIWARE stack and improvements of Generic Enablers to maintainers. That’s minor a question of open source code management tools – this is more over a question of creating and keeping open source spirit in the FIWARE community. “Let’s inspire” will be a good driver for the FIWARE association. 

FIWARE has the potential to become an open Gateway from BAN (Body Area Network build with wearable) to VWAN (Very wide area Networks on meshed Smart Cities). The FIWARE stack needs to run on a common Linux base upon different scales: from an e.g. Arduino in the IoT up to a VM  or a massive Cloud Service.

The vision: "FIWARE out of the box" – simple to install and easy to integrate on every scale.

To achieve this we have to get rid of dependencies in the actual GE Stack: License mismatch and unmaintainable code.  This will open a wide ecosystem for FIWARE and a big business potential for everyone: Enterprises and SME as well.

Mirko Ross

1 2