Cloud computing perspectives and questions

The World Economic Forum started a research project at Davos 2009 concerning cloud computing, which they broadly define to include all kinds of remote services, from Software as a Service to virtual machines.

Andy Oram was asked to provide some ideas on the implications of cloud computing for business as well as its future operating environment. This wiki is a discussion forum where anyone with relevant and valid ideas can suggest points for ongoing research into the social and economic issues (as well as relevant technical issues).

Cloud computing is a huge topic, of course, spawning whole fields of study (as well as a lot of hype). This wiki tries to focus on long-term social and economic effects, especially on a global basis.

Snort Cookbook

If you are a network administrator, you're under a lot of pressure to ensure that mission-critical systems are completely safe from malicious code, buffer overflows, stealth port scans, SMB probes, OS fingerprinting attempts, CGI attacks, and other network intruders. Designing a reliable way to detect intruders before they get in is an essential--but often overwhelming--challenge. Snort, the defacto open source standard of intrusion detection tools, is capable of performing real-time traffic analysis and packet logging on IP network. It can perform protocol analysis, content searching, and matching. Snort can save countless headaches; the new Snort Cookbook will save countless hours of sifting through dubious online advice or wordy tutorials in order to leverage the full power of SNORT.

Network Neutrality: Distinctions and Controversies

This page aims to distinguish different arguments and reasoning in the debate around network neutrality, or control over traffic transmission on digital networks. The page was created to disentangle the many arguments, because the people arguing for and against network neutrality use multiple definitions of the term and mix together many arguments on different levels. The purpose of this page is not to air polemics, but to elucidate the various points made for and against various forms of network neutrality.

The document treats network neutrality as a business practice, and therefore does not cover related topics such as copyright enforcement, censorship, the move of processing and data to remote servers (often called "into the cloud"), policies of mobile providers toward content and applictions, or surveillance. Essentially, the document covers a public issue that started as a set of economic concerns and has been invested by debaters with social policy concerns.

We the Media

We the Media

Big Media has lost its monopoly on the news, thanks to the Internet. Now that it's possible to publish in real time to a worldwide audience, a new breed of grassroots journalists are taking the news into their own hands. Armed with laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras, these readers-turned-reporters are transforming the news from a lecture into a conversation. In We the Media, nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist and blogger Dan Gillmor tells the story of this emerging phenomenon and sheds light on this deep shift in how we make--and consume--the news.

Gillmor shows how anyone can produce the news, using personal blogs, Internet chat groups, email, and a host of other tools. He sends a wake-up call tonewsmakers-politicians, business executives, celebrities-and the marketers and PR flacks who promote them. He explains how to successfully play by the rules of this new era and shift from "control" to "engagement." And he makes a strong case to his fell journalists that, in the face of a plethora of Internet-fueled news vehicles, they must change or become irrelevant.

Journalism in the 21st century will be fundamentally different from the Big Media oligarchy that prevails today. We the Media casts light on the future of journalism, and invites us all to be part of it.

Version Control with Subversion, 2nd Edition

Version Control with Subversion, 2nd Edition

Version Control with Subversion is useful for people from a wide variety of backgrounds, from those with no previous version control experience to experienced system administrators.

Subversion is the perfect tool to track individual changes when several people collaborate on documentation or, particularly, software development projects. As a more powerful and flexible successor to the CVS revision control system, Subversion makes life so much simpler, allowing each team member to work separately and then merge source code changes into a single repository that keeps a record of each separate version.

RESTful Web Services

RESTful Web Services

The popularity of REST in recent years has led to tremendous growth in almost-RESTful APIs that don’t include many of the architecture’s benefits. With this practical guide, you’ll learn what it takes to design usable REST APIs that evolve over time. By focusing on solutions that cross a variety of domains, this book shows you how to create powerful and secure applications, using the tools designed for the world’s most successful distributed computing system: the World Wide Web.

You’ll explore the concepts behind REST, learn different strategies for creating hypermedia-based APIs, and then put everything together with a step-by-step guide to designing a RESTful Web API.

  • Examine API design strategies, including the collection pattern and pure hypermedia
  • Understand how hypermedia ties representations together into a coherent API
  • Discover how XMDP and ALPS profile formats can help you meet the Web API "semantic challenge"
  • Learn close to two-dozen standardized hypermedia data formats
  • Apply best practices for using HTTP in API implementations
  • Create Web APIs with the JSON-LD standard and other the Linked Data approaches
  • Understand the CoAP protocol for using REST in embedded systems

Practical mod_perl

Practical mod_perl

mod_perl is an Apache module that builds the power of the Perl programming language directly into the Apache web server. With mod_perl, CGI scripts run as much as 50 times faster, and you can integrate databases with the server, write Apache modules in Perl, embed Perl code directly into Apache configuration files, and even use Perl in server-side includes. With mod_perl, Apache is not only a web server, it is a complete programming platform.

Getting mod_perl running is easy. Tweaking mod_perl and Apache for the best performance and reliability is much more difficult. This book is about building mod_perl, using it, programming with it, and optimizing it.

Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing

 Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing

Free and open source development models have made tremendous contributions to computing, sustaining both research and commercial projects and making it easier for large groups of people, who may not even be acquainted, to help each other. While this growing activity has a promising future, all of this work is built on top of licenses—legal documents—that often seem arcane or difficult to understand. Businesses and individuals aren’t always sure what is at stake in their decisions to participate, and deciding which license to use for a particular project can be a project of its own.

This book is designed to simplify those decisions, explaining the different licenses and their effects on projects, including both commercial and non-commercial projects. It explores how licenses can be used as glue to bind groups of people together in common, and how the different styles of license interact with different kinds of projects.

The licenses and projects covered include:

  • The MIT (or X), BSD, Apache and Academic Free licenses
  • The GPL, LGPL, and Mozilla licenses
  • The QT, Artistic, and Creative Commons licenses
  • Classic Proprietary licenses
  • Sun Community Source license and Microsoft Shared Source project

Each license is examined clause by clause, including both the original license text and explanation. This book also looks at issues affecting all of these licenses, including the formation of a contract, enforceability of warranty and other disclaimers, and cross-licensing.

Producing Open Source Software

Producing Open Source Software

The corporate market is now embracing free, "open source" software like never before, as evidenced by the recent success of the technologies underlying LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Each is the result of a publicly collaborative process among numerous developers who volunteer their time and energy to create better software.

The truth is, however, that the overwhelming majority of free software projects fail. To help you beat the odds, O'Reilly has put together Producing Open Source Software, a guide that recommends tried and true steps to help free software developers work together toward a common goal. Not just for developers who are considering starting their own free software project, this book will also help those who want to participate in the process at any level.

The book tackles this very complex topic by distilling it down into easily understandable parts. Starting with the basics of project management, it details specific tools used in free software projects, including version control, IRC, bug tracking, and Wikis. Author Karl Fogel, known for his work on CVS and Subversion, offers practical advice on how to set up and use a range of tools in combination with open mailing lists and archives. He also provides several chapters on the essentials of recruiting and motivating developers, as well as how to gain much-needed publicity for your project.

While managing a team of enthusiastic developers -- most of whom you've never even met -- can be challenging, it can also be fun. Producing Open Source Software takes this into account, too, as it speaks of the sheer pleasure to be had from working with a motivated team of free software developers.

Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution

Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution

Freely available source code, with contributions from thousands of programmers around the world: this is the spirit of the software revolution known as Open Source. Open Source has grabbed the computer industry's attention. Netscape has opened the source code to Mozilla; IBM supports Apache; major database vendors haved ported their products to Linux. As enterprises realize the power of the open-source development model, Open Source is becoming a viable mainstream alternative to commercial software.Now in Open Sources, leaders of Open Source come together for the first time to discuss the new vision of the software industry they have created. The essays in this volume offer insight into how the Open Source movement works, why it succeeds, and where it is going.For programmers who have labored on open-source projects, Open Sources is the new gospel: a powerful vision from the movement's spiritual leaders. For businesses integrating open-source software into their enterprise, Open Sources reveals the mysteries of how open development builds better software, and how businesses can leverage freely available software for a competitive business advantage.The contributors here have been the leaders in the open-source arena:

  • Brian Behlendorf (Apache)
  • Kirk McKusick (Berkeley Unix)
  • Tim O'Reilly (Publisher, O'Reilly & Associates)
  • Bruce Perens (Debian Project, Open Source Initiative)
  • Tom Paquin and Jim Hamerly (mozilla.org, Netscape)
  • Eric Raymond (Open Source Initiative)
  • Richard Stallman (GNU, Free Software Foundation, Emacs)
  • Michael Tiemann (Cygnus Solutions)
  • Linus Torvalds (Linux)
  • Paul Vixie (Bind)
  • Larry Wall (Perl)

This book explains why the majority of the Internet's servers use open- source technologies for everything from the operating system to Web serving and email. Key technology products developed with open-source software have overtaken and surpassed the commercial efforts of billion dollar companies like Microsoft and IBM to dominate software markets. Learn the inside story of what led Netscape to decide to release its source code using the open-source mode. Learn how Cygnus Solutions builds the world's best compilers by sharing the source code. Learn why venture capitalists are eagerly watching Red Hat Software, a company that gives its key product -- Linux -- away.For the first time in print, this book presents the story of the open- source phenomenon told by the people who created this movement.Open Sources will bring you into the world of free software and show you the revolution.