The Importance of Neutrality

Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs) at our member organizations recognize the importance of neutral governance in the projects they choose to take a dependency on for themselves. They also recognize the importance of “doubling down” on engineering investment. 

These organizations typically are past the stage where they want to be strictly consumers of open source software; they’re ready to be participants (hopefully among many) in the actual development process of the software and tools they are using. They ultimately recognize that the ancillary benefits are significant even if the technical vision might change from their internal priorities.

There are clear benefits to having their projects work under an open governance model designed to encourage other organizations to participate and contribute under a “do-ocracy” where the people doing the work make the decisions for the project community. 

A neutral home for projects can bring stability and trust, such as the community not worrying about the parent pulling back the source code or somehow acting against the community’s interests. It also eliminates any distinction between “Commercial Open Source Software,” where some permissions in the software are limited, and fully open versions of the software. 

The TODO Group: OSPO Collaboration

TODO is an open group of organizations that collaborate on practices, tools, and other ways to run successful and effective open source projects and programs. TODO Group functions as a community to bring the people managing Open Source Program Offices (OSPO) together in a meaningful way; check out the OSPO Landscape (ospolandscape.org) for some examples, or the OSPO101.org materials found at github.com/todogroup/ospo101.

TODO Group publishes guides on collected best practices from the leading companies engaged in open source development. These guides (todogroup.org/guides) aim to help organizations successfully implement and run an open source program office. The TODO Group also hosted the first OSPOCon in North America and Europe this year.

TODO published its 2021 Annual OSPO Survey results in September. The findings indicated there are many opportunities ahead to educate companies about how OSPOs can benefit them.

  • OSPO Structure: Professionalization continued among OSPOs, with 58% formally structured programs up from 54% the previous year. Prospects for more funding brightened compared to 2020.
  • OSPO Benefits and Responsibilities: OSPOs had a positive impact on their sponsors’ software practices, but their benefits differed depending on the size of an organization.
  • Organizations without an OSPO: Almost half of the survey participants without an OSPO believed it would help their company, but of those that didn’t think it would help, 35% said they haven’t even considered it.
  • Value of Open Source Participation: 27% of survey participants said a company’s open source participation is at least very influential in their organization’s buying decisions.

FinOps: Cloud Financial Operations‭ ‬

The FinOps Foundation joined the LF’s family of communities in June of 2020. Its mission is to advance the discipline of cloud financial operations (“FinOps”) through best practices, education, and standards among individuals responsible for cloud billing and operations.

The FinOps Foundation includes 4000 individual members worldwide and 40 corporate vendor members, including Google, VMware, Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey, and others. In the same way that DevOps revolutionized development by breaking down silos and increasing agility, FinOps increases the cloud’s business value by bringing together technology, business, and finance professionals with a new cultural set, knowledge skills, and technical processes. 

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the TODO Group and the FinOps Foundation.

To learn how your organization can get involved with TODO Group, click here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with FinOps Foundation, click here 

The global pandemic brought the OpenJS Foundation closer to the end-users and contributors of its hosted JavaScript projects. With more than 97 percent of the world’s websites using JavaScript, it is the foundation for online commerce, economic growth, and innovation.

Following the 25th anniversary of JavaScript, the OpenJS Foundation continues to see an exciting future for the number one programming language, evidenced by the diverse, multi-stakeholder communities that make up OpenJS.

OpenJS is a global community — two years ago, created by the merger of the Node.js and JS Foundations. The OpenJS foundation hosts 38 JavaScript projects, including Node.js, AMP, Electron, jQuery, webpack, Node-RED, and Appium.

OpenJS is a member-supported organization, with companies like IBM, Google, Joyent, Microsoft, GoDaddy, and Netflix, and more providing financial support and active involvement in our governance process.

Netflix has been an end-user and contributor of the Node.js project since 2013 and one of the largest-scale Node.js deployments in production. As platforms grow, so do their needs. However, the core infrastructure is often not designed to handle these new challenges as it was optimized for a relatively simple task. Netflix, a member of the OpenJS Foundation, had to overcome this challenge as it evolved from a massive web streaming service to a content production platform. Netflix runs a serverless Node.js platform that powers all the devices’ user interfaces and use cases for web applications supporting content production.

In 2021 OpenJS welcomed new members: American Express, Bloomberg, Coinbase, NodeXperts, Sentry, and Stream. JavaScript is core to each of these companies’ leadership positions in the market, and by supporting OpenJS, they support the infrastructure and long-term growth of key open source projects on which they rely.

As a global leader in business and financial information, data, news, and analytics, Bloomberg has a long-term investment in JavaScript through contributions to core projects and ongoing participation in standards, notably for the JavaScript language itself. Bloomberg has more than 10,000 frontend apps and tens of millions of lines of JavaScript code that cover both consumer web and the Bloomberg Terminal, the desktop application core to Bloomberg’s business. Furthermore, more than 2,000 software engineers are writing JavaScript at Bloomberg, another testament to the company’s innovation and commitment to the programming language and the open source community.

At OpenJS World 2021, OpenJS Board President Todd Moore, VP of Open Technology and Developer Advocacy at IBM, joined OpenJS Executive Director Robin Ginn for an opening keynote. They described how, through OpenJS, the industry could confidently enter a JavaScript ecosystem that prioritizes stability and openness in the shared technologies while recognizing the unique needs of individual participants.

OpenJS Foundation Executive Director Robin Ginn extended an open invitation: “Our goal at OpenJS is to incubate and sustain a healthy JavaScript ecosystem. To get involved, go to our website at openjsf.org/collaboration. Through your participation, we know the best is yet to come for the future of JavaScript.”

Todd Moore shared why IBM invests in the OpenJS Foundation and why so many of their employees actively participate among OpenJS communities: “IBM and our customers today rely upon many of the open source JavaScript projects hosted at the OpenJS Foundation — it’s in all our economic interests to invest in that technology as it is the plumbing that creates the opportunity for all of us to share in.”

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the OpenJS Foundation. To learn how your organization can get involved, click here

In 2019, the Linux Foundation added the Joint Development Foundation (JDF) to its family of project communities to build upon its existing body of specification work. The addition of JDF to the Linux Foundation brought with it a unique but straightforward process that allows new projects to form quickly and collaborate under a standardized set of governance principles that ensure the resulting specification can be implemented with open source licenses. 

In 2021, the Linux Foundation has steadily increased interest and new project formation under Linux Foundation Standards (LFS) across various technical disciplines. We have also seen an acceleration of members and contributions in our established projects. 

“2021 can be characterized as a year of progress for LF Standards and JDF. We saw solid operational improvements in our traditional specification efforts, steady uptake on the Community Specification program, and some new wins with the acceptance of the SPDX specification by JTC1. The ability to quickly wrap a specification project with an open source project using well-established governance and standards-making processes seems to have fulfilled an unmet need in our industry,” said Seth Newberry, the General Manager of JDF.

“We reached out to the Linux Foundation because we wanted to create the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA.org) under a simple but formal project structure. Given our project goals of creating technical specifications for countering misleading information online through digital provenance, it was critical to get up and running quickly and with minimal complexity” said Andy Parsons of Adobe Systems. 

“The JDF program is great for us. It has a simple set of templates we used to ensure we employ good standards practices, and it was very quick to set up the legal entity and the project. We’ve also enjoyed excellent support from an experienced team at the Linux Foundation since its inception. We achieved a draft release of the specification in about 8 months, which may be a record in standards-setting. We could not have done this without the LF and JDF.”

Looking ahead, LF Standards expects to become more active and visible in the standards-setting community, especially leveraging the Community Specification as an entry point for new projects that need the established governance and process structure of a traditional standards project but with the low/no-cost project onramp. LF Standards will also begin to fully adapt the investment in project onboarding and reporting tools being developed in LFX, allowing the projects to bring on new contributors quickly, with low overhead, and gain insights about the engagement with the contributors and the progress of the specifications.

An example of the Linux Foundation’s increased standardization efforts has been The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), which addresses the prevalence of misleading information online through the development of technical standards for certifying the source and history (or provenance) of media content. C2PA is a Joint Development Foundation project, formed through an alliance between Adobe, Arm, Intel, Microsoft, and Truepic.

C2PA unifies the efforts of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) which focuses on systems to provide context and history for digital media, and Project Origin, a Microsoft- and BBC-led initiative that tackles disinformation in the digital news ecosystem. C2PA has been active in discussions with legislators, educating policymakers about technical and industry issues surrounding malicious synthetic media.

A public draft of the C2PA specification is currently available for review here.

The most significant improvement to the Linux Foundation Standards offerings is the breadth of options available to companies who want to create technical collaborations that can result in an important public specification. Traditional standards-making organizations are typically technology-specific, created for a specific purpose, and have highly customized bylaws that take time to develop, review and sustain with a bespoke legal entity. 

Linux Foundation Standards have a harmonized set of standardized project charters with compatible governance and process rules that allow contributors to germinate an idea using the free repository-based Community Specification. This can ultimately be matriculated to a compatible traditional-mode standards effort with a formal corporate structure that can hold assets in common and raise funds. All of these efforts can ultimately be submitted to the JTC1/ISO/IEC for consideration and adoption as an internationally recognized standard using the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) process. Additionally, in the spirit of expanding its industry relationships, JDF projects have added new Liaison agreements with standards bodies such as the IPTC, ETSI, SMPTE, and others.

These standardization efforts are made possible by the Joint Development Foundation. To learn how your organization can get involved and form a project, click here

To learn more about and get involved with C2PA, click here

Linux Foundation Public Health is Still Making Strides in 2021

Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) hosts, supports and nurtures open source technology to benefit public health initiatives.

Since its founding a little over a year ago, the organization has become a go-to resource for governments and industry partners to get advice on the latest technologies coming to market. Over 50 jurisdictions worldwide have come to trust LFPH for unbiased, clear guidance on how to take advantage of technologies within our program areas of exposure notification and COVID credentials. National and global institutions such as the WHO, CDC, UN, and GAO have also invited LFPH to present at meetings, contribute to reports, and assist them in their own understanding of this technology.

Meanwhile, LFPH projects and initiatives continue to grow. The Global COVID Certificate Network and standard developments happening at the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative are becoming some of the leading groups solving the challenges of interoperability between divergent systems and standards emerging around the world. The organization’s leadership role in the Good Health Pass Collaborative has established LFPH’s voice as one of the leads in the ethical, privacy-first design of public health software. With the addition of Herald, Cardea, and MedCreds, the foundation’s projects are now used in over a dozen states, provinces, and countries worldwide to help fight COVID-19 and safely reopen borders. 

While COVID is not going anywhere, LFPH is charting a path forward beyond pandemic response. The pandemic has highlighted the need to overhaul public health infrastructure worldwide to create better ways to share data within and across borders. Open source software will be a crucial piece of solving that puzzle worldwide.

OpenTreatments‭ ‬&‭ ‬Rarecamp: Addressing Rare Diseases

In March of 2021, the Linux Foundation announced that it would be hosting RareCamp and the OpenTreatments Foundation. RareCamp enables treatments for rare genetic diseases regardless of rarity and geography.

Four hundred million patients worldwide are affected by more than 7,000 rare diseases, yet treatments for rare genetic disorders are underserved. More than 95 percent of rare diseases do not have an approved treatment, and new treatments are estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

The RareCamp open source project provides open governance for the software and scientific community to collaborate and create the software tools to aid in creating treatments for rare diseases. The community includes software engineers, UX designers, content writers, and scientists who are collaborating now to build the software that will power the OpenTreatments platform. The project uses the open source Javascript framework NextJS for frontend and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Serverless stack – including AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon DynamoDB – to power the backend. The project uses the open source toolchain Serverless Framework to develop and deploy the software and is licensed under Apache 2.0 and available for anyone to use.

The project is supported by individual contributors and collaborations from companies that include Baylor College of Medicine, Castle IRB, Charles River, Columbus Children’s Foundation, GlobalGenes, Odylia Therapeutics, RARE-X, and Turing.com.

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the LFPH and OpenTreatments foundations.

To learn how your organization can get involved with LFPH, click here

To learn how your organization can get involved with OpenTreatments, click here

The transition from centralized fossil-fuel generation to renewable and distributed energy resources will mark the most significant reimagining of power systems in over 140 years, and it will fundamentally transform our economies. Approximately 75% of carbon emissions can be mitigated through the electrification of energy, transportation, and the built environment. By adopting an open source strategy that maximizes flexibility, agility, and interoperability, we can innovate at the speed of the urgency needed to decarbonize and save our planet.

Since nearly all aspects of life on Earth will be touched, our future rests on cooperation that will enable the evolution of the marketplace, driven by competition and innovation. Collaboration is central to finding a path to decarbonization, which is the fundamental and existential paradigm shift facing humanity. Collaboration is also at the heart of why over the next 30 years, the Linux Foundation will play an increasingly important role as the planet negotiates the transformation of the world’s largest machine — the electrical power grid — and the economies and societies that depend on it. 

The Linux Foundation has the opportunity to take a proactive position and tremendous potential to help address the critical global challenges stemming from climate change which, if left unabated, guarantee catastrophic disruptions in our physical and emotional worlds. The LF shows a path forward that is open and collaborative so that companies, countries, even continents can work together versus the often uncoordinated and piecemeal efforts in place so far that, if left unchecked, will fall short.

The threat is real

Undoubtedly, worldwide climate change is the greatest existential threat facing humanity since asteroids caused the 5th extinction 65 million years ago. 

And it is now locked in, with climate change driving the planet’s health past tipping points that we cannot reverse. We are now in a battle of staving off our own demise, and we must transition whole economies off fossil fuels to renewables without tanking those economies and unleashing chaos. 

Since the mid-1800s, three charts reveal a lock-step progression of fossil fuel, GDP, and carbon parts per million — the pollution that contributes to a warming world. The externalities that have driven the economic expansion of the last 150 years are now forcing a reconciliation. We are at the last possible moment. 

Climate solutions at the Linux Foundation

Several Linux Foundation projects are already working on various climate solutions.

LF Energy is accelerating the decarbonization of the global economy through the transformation of power system networks and delivering a full interoperability stack for EVs and vehicles to grid (V2G) to onboard intermittent and renewable energy at scale. 

Related:

2021 was a pivotal year for LF Energy in its mission to lead the energy transition through global open source collaboration. Highlights include:

LF Energy software projects in development are innovating on substations and multi-protocol gateways, electrifying transportation, improving grid automation, reducing grid congestion, creating flexible markets, enabling avoided energy markets, increasing grid resilience, improving data monitoring and analysis, and optimizing network operations.

Via the collaboration that forums like LF Energy provide, innovative technologies can get to market faster. As LF Energy members grow to include traditional utility OEMs like GE and Hitachi ABB, those technologies are more likely to be adopted and spread faster throughout the energy ecosystem.

OS-Climate is developing a platform of data and analytics to close the $1.2 Trillion gap in financing and investment required to achieve Paris Climate Accord goals. Avoiding catastrophic global warming levels and ensuring resilience to climate impacts requires rapidly closing the $1.2 trillion gap in investment for climate solutions each year. But pension funds, asset managers, banks, corporations, and regulators lack the data and analytics required to reallocate financing toward decarbonization. 

Related:

At COP-26 in Glasgow this week, OS-Climate rolled out its prototype Data Commons and AI-enhanced tools for climate-alignment and physical risk analysis of portfolios — key for transitioning the global economy to Net Zero emissions and a sustainable future. In the last year, membership and number of active contributors have grown by more than 300% and more than 600%.respectively.

In May of 2021, the Linux Foundation, with Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC, along with its partners Accenture, GitHub, and Microsoft, announced the formation of the Green Software Foundation to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards tooling, and leading practices for building green software.

As we think about the software industry’s future, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organizations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe. With data centers worldwide accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, we must address this as an industry.

The Green Software Foundation was born out of a mutual desire to collaborate across the software industry. Organizations with a shared commitment to sustainability and an interest in green software development principles are encouraged to join the Foundation to help grow the field of green software engineering, contribute to standards for the industry, and work together to reduce the carbon emissions of software.

The rest of the Linux Foundation ecosystem can play a substantial role going forward by enabling that power quality and power consumption — so that one day, every device running Linux or embedded Linux on the edge which draws energy from power networks can provide arbitrage to the grid by accepting a price signal.

On that day, every project at the Linux Foundation will address some part of the decarbonization of the global economy. Linux helped build the world we see today; The Linux Foundation will be central to transforming the world so that future power systems will enable our grandchildren’s children to inherit a healthier planet.

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the LF Energy, OS-Climate, and Green Software Foundation projects. 

To learn how your organization can help transform and decarbonize our power system networks while accelerating the transition to electric mobility from fossil fuels, get involved with LF Energy by clicking here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with OS-Climate, click here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with Green Software Foundation, click here

Authors: John Mertic, Maemalynn Meanor, Jason Perlow

The mainframe is a foundational technology that has powered industries for decades, including government, financial, healthcare, and transportation. With the help of surrounding communities, the technologies built around this platform have paved the way for the emergence of a new set of technologies we see deployed today. Notably, a significant number of mainframe technologies are profoundly embracing open source.

Linux comes to the mainframe

As Linux began to take the world by storm in the 1990s, a small group of mainframe enthusiasts started experimenting with Linux on IBM System 390 (a previously current generation of mainframe hardware). Over the last 20 years, others like Hitachi and Fujitsu also invested in enabling open source and Linux on their mainframe platforms. Linux on mainframe marked its official start on December 18, 1999, with IBM publishing a collection of patches and additions to the Linux 2.2.13 kernel. 

The year 2000 brought momentum to Linux on the mainframe. The first true “Linux distribution” for these systems came in early 2000 as a collaboration between Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Think Blue Linux by Millenux in Germany. By October of that year, SUSE became the first vendor-supported Linux Distribution, in the first release of what’s now known as SUSE Enterprise Linux. SUSE’s first s390x distro represented an early example of the mainframe leading the way in the evolution of computing technology.

Today, nine known Linux distributions currently provide an s390x architecture variant: Alpine, ClefOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, OpenSUSE, RHEL, SUSE, and Ubuntu.

The expansion of the mainframe as a platform for Linux continues to be nurtured in the Open Mainframe Project, with key projects outlined below helping Linux on the mainframe continue to be a platform used by Fortune 100 companies worldwide.

  • Feilong, which provides an interface between z/VM (the primary hypervisor for mainframe, is directly based on technology and concepts dating back to the 1960s) and modern cloud stack systems such as OpenStack, is jointly developed by IBM, SUSE, and others.
  • Tessia is a tool that automates and simplifies the installation, configuration, and testing of Linux systems running on the Z platform.

Developments in COBOL 

COBOL, which stands for “Common Business-Oriented Language,” is a compiled, English-like computer programming language developed for use as a business applications language. Its roots go back to the 1950s, and COBOL is still frequently used in many industries for key applications.

The COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 put high levels of stress on various government services due to the unprecedented number of unemployment applications and other similar needs. This put the spotlight on COBOL, as it was then the predominant technology used for these systems. This also highlighted the perceived lack of talent to support these systems, which have code going back to the 1960s. 

The vast COBOL and mainframe communities quickly addressed this need and made several efforts to provide a sustainable home for COBOL.

  • Calling all COBOL Programmers Forum – an Open Mainframe Project forum where developers and programmers who would like to volunteer can post their profiles or are available for hire. Whether they are actively looking for employment, retired skilled veterans looking to stay involved, students who have completed COBOL courses, or are professionals wanting to volunteer, the forum offers the opportunity for job seekers to specify their level of expertise and availability to assist. Employers can then connect with these individuals as needed. 
  • COBOL Technical Forum – a new forum created specifically to address COBOL technical questions in which experienced COBOL programmers monitor activity. The forum allows all programmers to quickly learn new techniques and draw from a broad range of community expertise to address common questions and challenges exacerbated during this unprecedented time. 
  • Open Source COBOL Training – the Open Mainframe Project Technical Advisory Council has approved hosting a new open source project that will lead collaborative efforts to create training materials on COBOL. The courseware was contributed by IBM based on its work with clients and institutions for higher education and is provided under an open source license. 

These initiatives were followed by a formal COBOL Working Group established later in 2020 to address the long-term challenges in building a sustainable COBOL ecosystem. 

In early 2021, attention turned to the tooling ecosystem for COBOL developers with the launch of the COBOL Check project. This initiative enables test-driven development (TDD) practices for COBOL by providing a unit testing framework.

Zowe brings together the industry leaders to drive the future development paradigms of the mainframe

Traditionally, organizations have been challenged by integrating mainframe applications and data with the other systems that power their enterprise. This integration task further created a talent development challenge, as the paradigms between mainframe and other enterprise computing systems differed enough to make skills not easily transferable.

Broadcom, IBM, and Rocket Software saw this challenge and independently developed various frameworks to close this gap with the mainframe development experience. These include:

  • An API Mediation Layer for standardizing the API experience for mainframe applications and services
  • A CLI tool that could be run on a developer’s laptop or other non-mainframe systems and used for DevOps tooling integration.
  • A Web Desktop interface to make it easier to develop web-based applications that leverage mainframe services and data using common development toolkits.

These components came together in August 2018 in Zowe, which was the first open source project launched that targeted the z/OS operating system (the predominant operating system on mainframe systems). The intention of bringing this project into the vendor-neutral Open Mainframe Project was to establish Zowe as the dominant development and integration tool for mainframe systems, aligning the mainframe community around Zowe.

After Zowe 1.0 was released in February 2019, the project quickly turned to enable a downstream ecosystem of vendor offerings to flourish by establishing the Zowe Conformance Program in August 2019. To date, there are more than 50 Zowe Conformant offerings from 6 different vendors in the mainframe industry.

In addition, Zowe has brought new projects into its scope, with the following incubator projects as of August 2021:

  • ZEBRA, which provides re-usable and industry compliant JSON formatted RMF/SMF data records so that many other ISV SW and users can exploit them using open-source SW in many ways (contributed by Vicom Infinity).
  • Workflow WiZard helps developers and systems programmers simplify the generation and management of z/OSMF workflows (contributed by BMC).

Zowe boasts more than 300 contributors with more than 34,000 contributions as of August 2021.

Mentorship to support the mainframes of tomorrow

Open Mainframe Project has experienced record growth in contributions this year, with more than 105.31 Million Lines of Code written and over 9,600 commits submitted by Open Mainframe Project communities to date— a 100 percent increase across 20 projects and working groups. These numbers will only increase as Open Mainframe continues to be the cornerstone of governance and innovation for modernizing the mainframe and its path to IoT, Cloud, and Edge Computing.

But the mainframe workforce is aging — in fact, many organizations employ mainframers who half or more of their staff will be eligible for retirement soon. The aging workforce will be a global issue as many schools have shifted from teaching mainframe skills and important languages like COBOL and assembler. Some students don’t even know what a mainframe is or aren’t aware they use one each day. 

The mainframe isn’t going away, so that means we need to get younger mainframers on board.

That’s why the Linux Foundation chose to help close the skills gap through education and training. Through the Open Mainframe Project’s Mentorship program, the project offered a hands-on experience in an open source environment with leaders from member companies such as BMC/Compuware, Broadcom, IBM, Micro Focus, Rocket Software, and many others.

This year, the mentorship program welcomed its largest mentee class from around the globe that worked on popular projects such as ATOM, COBOL Programming Course, COBOL Working Group, Mainframe Open Education, Polycephaly, Software Discovery Tool, and Zowe. Through one-on-one conversations, collaborative community meetings, technical development, and accessibility to mainframe technology, Open Mainframe helped lay the groundwork for the next generation of mainframers. 

Additionally, as COBOL continues to be on-demand this year, Open Mainframe continued to enhance resources: 

  • The COBOL Programming Course, which also became the first Open Mainframe project to complete the lifecycle and graduate to become a mature active project, went through an extensive overhaul to provide more detailed content for a better experience and deeper understanding for students and developers looking for a refresher course.
  • COBOL Check launched in March to improve the design, understandability, maintainability, and longevity of core business applications. It supports IBM’s mainframe modernization program by enabling restructuring of existing applications of APIs. COBOL Check will complement the COBOL Programming Course and will leverage the support of the COBOL Working Group.

The future is bright for the mainframe

The mainframe has seen a resurgence in the past five years, with the launch of the Open Mainframe Project and the industry coming together in key open source projects in the COBOL, Linux on System Z, and z/OS ecosystems. The Open Mainframe Project hosts more than 20 projects and working groups supported by over 45 organizations as of August 2021, with no signs of slowing anytime soon.

Open Mainframe Summit 2021

For the second consecutive year, Open Mainframe Project hosted its flagship event virtually on September 22-23.

The theme of this year’s Open Mainframe Summit expanded beyond the mainframe to highlight influencers with strengths in the areas supporting or leveraging the technology like continuous delivery, edge computing, financial services, and open source. Keynote speakers for the event included Gabriele Columbro, Executive Director of Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS); Jason Shepherd, Vice President of Ecosystem at ZEDEDA and Chair of the LF Edge Governing Board; Jono Bacon, a leading community and collaboration speaker and founder of Jono Bacon Consulting; Steve Winslow, Vice President of Compliance and Legal at The Linux Foundation; Tracy Ragan, CEO and Co-Founder of DeployHub and Continuous Delivery Foundation Board Member, and more.

The event also highlighted projects, diversity, and business topics that offered seasoned professionals, developers, students, and leaders an opportunity to share best practices and network with like-minded individuals.

Open Mainframe Summit ended with 219 registered attendees that represented 83 companies. During the conference, there were 167 unique users on the platform, a 77% attendance rate, which is a slight increase when compared to last year.

The conference videos are available on the Open Mainframe Project Youtube Channel. Click here for the complete playlist.

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the Open Mainframe Project. To learn how your organization can get involved, click here

Author: Chris Friedt, Sofware Release Manager, Zephyr Project

Here we are – 2 ½ years since the release of Zephyr Long Term Support (LTS) V1.

In what seems like the blink of an eye, Linux has turned 30 and has gone where no penguin has gone before. Some may forget that the Zephyr Real-Time Operating System went to space, too (albeit under a different name).

Meanwhile, here on Earth, the Zephyr Project received 26,845 commits, 1,764,230 lines of code added, and published ten tagged releases since the LTS V1.

Our contributing community continues to grow – 500 to 1384. If you haven’t met our Embla Flatlandsmo, our 1000th contributor, you can do so here. Numerous Zephyr-based products have been launched (one day, I would like to know just how many). Companies have been formed around Zephyr, and many of them contribute back to the Zephyr Project on GitHub.

Zephyr is now a common theme at technical conferences:

Let’s take a quick look at some of the changes that have enabled Zephyr’s success.

What’s New in LTS V2

In September, when we said that this is the biggest release of Zephyr ever, we weren’t kidding! Below are some of the highlights extracted from the complete v2.7.0 ChangeLog.

  • Zephyr SDK users should adopt the new Zephyr 0.13.1 SDK release
  • The new SDK includes
    • initial support for building Zephyr on macOS
    • updated Qemu version to 6.0.0
    • updated to GCC 10.3
    • updated to support ARC64
    • improved C++ support
    • switched to using newlib-nano
    • updated to Yocto 3.2.3 baseline
    • updated OpenOCD snapshot

Major enhancements with this release include

  • Bluetooth Audio, Direction Finding, and Mesh improvements
  • Support for Bluetooth Advertisement PDU Chaining
  • Added support for armclang / armlinker toolchain via toolchain abstraction
  • Added support for MWDT C / C++ toolchain via toolchain abstraction
  • Update to CMSIS v5.8.0 (Core v5.5.0, DSP v1.9.0)
  • Support for M-Profile Vector Extensions (MVE) on ARMv8.1-M
  • Improved thread safety for Newlib and C++ on SMP-capable systems
  • IEEE 802.15.4 Software Address Filtering
  • New Action-based Power Management API
  • USB Device Framework now includes all Chapter 9 defines and structures
  • Generic System Controller (syscon) driver and emulator
  • Linker Support for Tightly-Coupled Memory in RISC-V
  • Additional Blocking API calls for LoRa
  • Support for extended PCI / PCIe capabilities and improved MIS-X support
  • Added Service Type Enumeration (STE) with mDNS / DNS Service Discovery
  • Added Zephyr Thread Awareness for OpenOCD to West
  • EEPROM now can be emulated in flash
  • Added both Ethernet MDIO and Ethernet generic PHY drivers

Growth Since LTS V1

Since LTS 1.14.0, the number of unique contributors to the Zephyr Project has nearly tripled from 500 to 1384. Zephyr is now supported on more than twice as many boards, increasing from 160 to 400, and now runs on 12 different architectures (counting ARM cortex-a, cortex-r, and ARC64). Our peak commit velocity has nearly doubled from 1.4 to 2.5 commits per hour.

Zephyr’s team of maintainers has doubled from approximately 25 to 50 and our team of collaborators has nearly tripled from 30 to 81.

The total number of distinct areas (subsystems, OS features, etc.) requiring maintainership in Zephyr has increased from 80 to 113, and there are no signs of slowing down.

1.14.0 (LTS V1)2.7.0 (LTS V2)
Contributors5001384
Boards160400
Architectures812
Commit Velocity1.4 commits per hour2.5 commits per hour
# of Maintainers~2550
# of Collaborators~3081
# of Areas~80113

Major Enhancements Since LTS V1

Most of our community members have eagerly adopted tagged releases. Still, for companies that have based products on the LTS V1 release, there have been a tremendous number of major enhancements since then.

  • The kernel now supports both 32- and 64-bit architectures
  • We added support for SOCKS5 proxy
  • Introduced support for 6LoCAN, a 6Lo adaption layer for Controller Area Networks
  • We added support for Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
  • We added support for UpdateHub, an end-to-end solution for over-the-air device updates
  • We added support for ARM Cortex-R Architecture
  • Normalized APIs across all architectures
  • Expanded support for ARMv6-M architecture
  • Added support for numerous new boards and shields
  • Added numerous new drivers and sensors
  • Added BLE support on Vega platform
  • Memory size improvements to Bluetooth host stack
  • We added initial support for 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture
  • CANopen protocol support through 3rd party CANopenNode stack
  • LoRa support was added along with the SX1276 LoRa modem driver
  • A new Zephyr CMake package has been introduced
  • A new Devicetree API which provides access to virtually all DT nodes and properties
  • The kernel timeout API has been overhauled
  • A new k_heap/sys_heap allocator, with improved performance
  • Zephyr now integrates with the TF-M (Trusted Firmware M) PSA-compliant framework
  • The Bluetooth Low Energy Host now supports LE Advertising Extensions
  • The CMSIS-DSP library is now included and integrated
  • Introduced initial support for virtual memory management
  • Added Bluetooth host support for periodic advertisement and isochronous channels.
  • Added a new TCP stack which improves network protocol testability
  • Introduced a new toolchain abstraction with initial support for GCC and LLVM/Clang
  • Moved to using C99 integer types and deprecate Zephyr integer types
  • Introduced support for the SPARC architecture and the LEON implementation
  • Added Thread Local Storage (TLS) support
  • Added support for per-thread runtime statistics
  • Added support for building with LLVM on X86
  • Added new synchronization mechanisms using Condition Variables
  • Add support for demand paging, initial support on X86
  • Logging subsystem overhauled
  • Added support for 64-bit ARCv3
  • Split ARM32 and ARM64, ARM64 is now a top-level architecture
  • Added initial support for Arm v8.1-m and Cortex-M55
  • Removed legacy TCP stack support which was deprecated in 2.4
  • Tracing subsystem overhaul / added support for Percepio Tracealyzer
  • Device runtime power management (PM) completely overhauled
  • Automatic SPDX SBOM generation has been added to West
  • Added an example standalone Zephyr application

Areas to Improve

New technical features and enhancements are proposed every day. However, it’s also important to periodically step back and look at how efficiently our wheels are turning as an organization. At the request of our valued community members, several areas have been tagged for improvement.

  • We need more Collaborators and Maintainers (Reviewers) to match our growth
    • More reviewers mean less time in review for each PR; on average
    • Some Maintainers oversee multiple areas, giving them less time to focus
    • We want you! (if you have what it takes)
    • Technical expertise, patience, time, and a good track record of contributing
    • See Project Roles for Maintainer responsibilities
  • Record and publish Zephyr commit statistics similar to the Linux kernel
  • Use a finer granularity of permissions on GitHub (currently in progress)
  • Provide a qualification process and Rolodex of Zephyr consultants

Looking to the Future

There are currently 107 RFC tickets open for virtually every kind of enhancement. Below are just a few that I am personally quite excited about!

  • native_posix board support for macOS
  • A sensor and message-bus framework (based on Android’s CHRE)
  • A generic State Machine Framework
  • Addition of a Pin Control API and Devicetree bindings
  • A USB-C Driver Framework (based on the ChromeOS stack)
  • A unified framework for multiple clock sources, domains, and timer resolutions
  • Multiple network interface auto-configuration via Devicetree
  • Improved support for multiple radio devices and wireless coexistence
  • Improved Language and Runtime Support: MicroPython, C++, Rust, eBPF
  • Improved support for ISO C, C++, and POSIX standards
  • Additional support for Remote Procedure Call frameworks like gRPC and Thrift

Of course, one of the greatest facets of Zephyr’s future is the community, and we welcome all of our future community members with open arms. For those new to Zephyr, the best place to begin is the Zephyr Getting Started Guide. At any time, please feel free to reach out to us on Discord to chat.

Closing Remarks

Every second of every day, millions of Zephyr-based Internet-enabled devices wake up, process a few bytes of data, resonate at GHz frequencies, and then quietly go back to sleep, consuming precious micro-amps of battery power. While others, at the opposite end, never get to sleep at all and process immense payloads in custom hardware accelerators in some of the world’s largest data centers.

This is our community. We scale. We solve categorically hard problems. We hold each other to high standards. We help one another through thick and thin, and in doing so, we are able to achieve the most incredible things!

We’re excited to announce the release of Zephyr LTS V2. And to our community, I say thank you!

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the Zephyr project. To learn how your organization can get involved, click here

Imagine you have created an open source project that has become incredibly popular.  Thousands, if not millions, of developers worldwide, rely on the lines of code that you wrote. You have become an accidental hero of that community — people love your code, contribute to improving it, requesting new features, and encouraging others to use it. Life is amazing, but with great power and influence comes great responsibility.

When code is buggy, people complain. When performance issues crop up in large scale implementations, it needs to be addressed. When security vulnerabilities are discovered — because no code or its dependencies are always perfect — they need to be remediated quickly to keep your community safe.  

To help open source projects better address some of the responsibilities tied to security, many communities hosted by the Linux Foundation have invested countless hours, resources, and code into some important efforts. We’ve worked to improve the security of the Linux kernel, hosted Let’s Encrypt and sigstore, helped steward the ISO standardization for SPDX, and brought together a community building metrics for OSS health and risk through the CHAOSS project — among many others.

Today, we are taking steps with many leading organizations around the world to enhance the security of software supply chains. The Linux Foundation has raised $10 million in new investments to expand and support the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and its initiatives. This cross-industry collaboration brings together an ecosystem to collectively identify and fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities in open source software and develop improved tooling, training, research, best practices, and vulnerability disclosure practices. We are also proud to announce that open source luminary, Brian Behlendorf, will serve the OpenSSF community as General Manager. 

Financial commitments for OpenSSF include Premier members such as AWS, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Ericsson, Meta, Fidelity, GitHub, Google, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Red Hat, Snyk, and VMware. Additional commitments come from General members, including Aiven, Anchore, Apiiro, AuriStor, Codethink, Cybertrust, Deepfence, Devgistics, DTCC, GitLab, Goldman Sachs, JFrog, Nutanix, StackHawk, Tencent, TideLift, and Wind River.

To learn more about how to join the OpenSSF or to get involved in one of its six working groups, listen in to this brief introduction from Brian Behlendorf recorded this week at KubeCon:

In 2021, the Linux Foundation and its community will continue to support education and share resources critical to improving open source cybersecurity.  For example, this week, we also hosted SupplyChainSecurityCon, where the SLSA and sigstore projects were heavily featured.

If you are an open source software developer, user, or other community participant who just wants to help further protect the software that accelerates innovation around the world, please consider joining one of our six OpenSSF working groups, or suggest a new working group that addresses gaps in software supply chain security needs.

You can follow the latest news from OpenSSF here on our blog, Twitter (@TheOpenSSF), and LinkedIn.

Background

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a project hosted by The Linux Foundation, provides a neutral forum for open source software developers in the motion picture and broader media industries to share resources and collaborate on image creation, visual effects, animation, and sound technologies. 

It was created in 2018 after the conclusion of an investigation by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Science and Technology Council holding an 18-month investigation on the state of open source in the industry. This aligned with the need for a vendor-neutral foundation to provide a sustainable home for open source projects that are key to the growth of the industry.

Identifying the need for exemplar assets for community use

As of August 2021, The Academy Software Foundation provides a home for Open Shading Language, OpenColorIO, OpenCue, OpenEXR, OpenTimelineIO, OpenVDB, and MaterialX.

As these projects have progressed in development, there was a need identified to have production-grade digital assets (e.g.,3D scene data, images, image sequences, volumetric data, animation rigs, edit decision lists) available for use in development and testing environments to ensure these projects can scale to the demands of the movie and content creation processes. 

Furthermore, the ASWF identified an additional need to have production-grade assets for general research and learning purposes. 

The ASWF identified two objectives to address these requirements:

  • Provide a vendor-neutral home for both homing the assets and being a curator for exemplar assets that would align with the industry needs.
  • Create a licensing framework striking a balance between the needs in research, learning, and open source development, with the intellectual property concerns of production-grade assets (as they often come from real productions).

An open community comes together

There was some precedent in the industry, with the 2018 release of the Moana Island Scene by Disney Animation. This sparked several discussions in the industry on how to have a larger set of similar assets available for community use leading to the creation of an Asset Repository Working Group at the Academy Software Foundation in 2020.

The culmination of this working group came in July 2021, with the transition of the working group to a formal project that will establish the infrastructure and governance of the Assets Repository. The intention is for the project to function and work like any other open source project, with full transparency and community participation, to identify and curate exemplar assets. 

At the same time, the legal counsel across Academy Software Foundation members came together to align on the ASWF Digital Assets License, which was created in the spirit of licenses used previously in the industry and designed to specifically ensure these assets can be used for education, learning, research, and open source development. The ASWF Digital Assets License helped create a bridge between producers and consumers of these assets, establishing standardized terms to enable collaboration and the re-use of content in an industry where it had previously been limited.

As of August 2021, there is interest from multiple organizations in contributing assets to this repository as it takes form over the next few months.

Conclusion

The Linux Foundation has been the home for vendor-neutral collaboration in both horizontal technology spaces and vertical markets such as automotive, networking, energy, and here motion pictures. In supporting over 750 open source projects, we are starting to see more and more efforts such as these where the collaboration outside of traditional software development and into educational materials, community development, and standards. The Assets Repository project at the Academy Software Foundation is a great example of the unique collaboration opportunities that open source brings and are driven by our open communities.

We’re pleased to announce that Michael Cheng joined the Linux Foundation Board of Directors earlier this year. Michael is a product manager at Meta, currently supporting open source and standards work across the company. Michael is a former network engineer and M&A attorney. He previously led the product, commercial, and intellectual property functions on Meta’s M&A legal team.

Michael has built some of the world’s most valuable and innovative open source ecosystems, representing billions of dollars of value, including GraphQL, Magma, Diem, ML Commons, and many others.

In 2018, Michael helped design the Joint Development Foundation — a lightweight, turnkey solution for the development of technology standards and specifications. Michael then brought in GraphQL as the JDF’s first project. GraphQL now powers trillions of API calls every day for some of the world’s largest companies.

Michael Cheng

Michael was one of the founding members of ML Commons, an industry-wide consortium that aims to unlock the next stage of AI/ML adoption by creating useful measures of quality and performance, large-scale open data sets, and common development practices and resources. Michael served as ML Commons’ first treasurer, and it has since grown to more than 50 members and affiliates representing a broad cross-section of the ML ecosystem.

This year, Michael created the Magma Foundation, the first open source platform that enables telecom operators to build modern and efficient mobile networks at scale. Michael now chairs the board of the Magma Foundation — growing its ranks to more than 20 members this year.

Michael is also a champion of diversity. Late last year, at the height of the pandemic, Michael designed and launched the Major League Hacking (MLH) Fellowship program to address challenges faced by both early-career developers who saw many of their job and internship opportunities disappear open source maintainers struggling to keep projects afloat. The Fellowship has been effective at helping students land desirable jobs while increasing the aggregate health of the open source projects that participate in the program. Michael also launched the Black Developer Scholarship for developers who self-identify as Black or African diaspora to participate in the Fellowship.

Michael has also played an integral role in the creation of the Presto Foundation, eBPF Foundation, Ent Foundation, Reactive Foundation, Urban Computing Foundation, and OpenChain.

“Michael is one of the rare breeds of lawyers who possess both a strong technical background and a sharp mind for process improvement.  His leadership at Meta has made a meaningful impact within the OpenChain project and beyond.  I warmly welcome him to the Linux Foundation board.”

Dave Marr, Vice President, Legal Counsel at Qualcomm Technologies

“Facebook is built on top of open source and has shown a strong commitment to investing back into the communities from which we all benefit. Micheal’s legal background and technical knowledge make him an ideal member of the Linux Foundation board. His leadership is just another example of Facebook’s commitment to open source and collective innovation.” 

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation

“Successful open source work requires an intersection of legal, business, technical, and community thinking and Michael brings all those skills in one very integrated way.  And his perspectives from his experience shepherding multiple open source projects at scale and in production is of great value to the Linux Foundation board. I am excited to welcome him to the board and to work with him on advancing open source innovation.” 

Nithya Ruff – Chair, Linux Foundation Board of Directors, Head, Comcast Open Source Program Office

“Michael’s role in growing some of the Linux Foundation’s most valuable communities cannot be understated. He brings a level of technical depth, legal acumen, and industry credibility that has been instrumental in stitching together novel coalitions of companies, NGOs, and individuals into dynamic and sustainable communities. We’re thrilled to have him on the board.”

Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, CNCF

“Michael’s talents, skills, and experience have been brought to bear at Facebook to transform the company’s identity in the open source software community. His leadership, vision and understanding of the importance of collaboration and the development of consensus in the legal and technical communities of important projects have made Meta a key driver in open source.”

Keith Bergelt, CEO, Open Invention Network