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Virtual event suggestions for open source communities

Introduction

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of life across every population and industry around the globe, numerous conferences, events, and meetings have been canceled or postponed. The Linux Foundation events team has been working in overdrive negotiating to cancel or postpone events that were or are impossible to operate this year safely. The health and safety of our communities and staff is our top concern.

The good news is that for those events that can no longer safely take place in person, virtual events still offer the opportunity to connect within our communities to share valuable information and collaborate. While not as powerful as a face-to-face gathering, a variety of virtual event platforms available today offer a plethora of features that can get us as close as possible to those invaluable in-person experiences. Thanks to our community members, we’ve received suggestions for platforms and services that the events team has spent the past several weeks evaluating. 

After researching a large number of possibilities over the last few weeks, the Linux Foundation has identified three virtual event platforms (and a small-scale developer meeting tool) that could serve the variety of needs within our diverse project communities. Our goal was to determine the best options that capture as much of the real-world experience as we can in a virtual environment for virtual gatherings ranging from large to small. After evaluating 86 virtual event platforms, and in the spirit of contributing back, we thought we would share what we learned.

Below is the shortlist of platforms we’ve identified for our potential use, based on which offered features that best replicate our in-person events of different sizes. We’re sharing our findings because these learnings might be a good fit for others in our community, or perhaps save you time looking at options. If you’re evaluating any platform, be prepared to spend a few weeks getting conversations started with salespeople, viewing demos, obtaining pricing, and negotiating features.

Why we chose the platforms listed

There are many virtual conferencing solutions offered in the market today. Each solution varies on price, features, scalability, and technology integration points. The list of every single platform and software solution we looked at, including open source-based solutions, can be viewed here. One of these other solutions might be a better fit for your organization’s needs. 

Finding a virtual event platform, however, is also just one piece of the virtual event puzzle. How you plan, structure, and execute the virtual event will be critical to achieving a successful community engagement. We stumbled across this great Guide to Best Practices for Virtual Conferences put together by the ACM Presidential Task Force, which we thought provided some great practitioner tips for communities running virtual events. 

Our goal was to find solutions for our events team that met the following three requirements: 

    • The ability to deliver the required content
    • The ability for attendees to network and collaborate with each other
    • The ability to deliver sponsor benefits in the platform for those companies supporting these events financially

Due to these requirements, we did not focus as much on web conference solutions, such as the now popular Zoom. However, if you are looking for a simple web solution, many of the typical web conferencing platforms are easy, quick options to set up a small virtual gathering. In many cases, you might not need all the features of the virtual events platforms.

There are even some wonderful open source options out there including:

    • Jitsi Meet, which has some very useful features like streaming, screen sharing tabs, sharing videos, and more that are not found in other solutions.
    • Open Broadcaster Software if you’re looking to record and stream session content, which can also be usefully paired with conferencing tools.
    • EtherPad, which many of our communities use and it’s exciting to see that there’s also video support to connect and talk while editing.
    • Big Blue Button that’s designed for teachers and students, but open source for anyone to use (and we know many of you have kids at home and might find this useful).

Linux Foundation virtual event platform shortlist

These tools are designed for medium to large events with multiple concurrent tracks, in-depth attendee networking and collaboration needs, and robust sponsor requirements. The pricing for each of these will depend on the specific event details, such as number of conference tracks, the number of chat rooms/attendee collaboration spaces, length of the event, number of attendees, and number of sponsor booths.

All of these event platforms (with the exception of QiQo Chat) have all the following standard functionality:

    • Web-based (HTML5) supporting Linux desktops/browsers (and also Windows and Mac)
    • Registration integrations that will comply with GDPR and privacy regulation requirements
    • Webhooks or REST APIs to integrate with security systems like SSO (Auth0) and SFDC.
    • Can be white labeled for your community’s event branding
    • Speaker Q&A chat available within sessions
    • Attendee networking capabilities
    • Integrated scheduling tools and agenda builder
    • Attendee analytics: booths visited, session attendance, etc.
    • Gamification options to drive attendee engagement
    • Pop-up notifications throughout the platform (‘Keynotes starting in 5 minutes!’, ‘Visit [Sponsor’s] booth’)
    • Guaranteed uptime, redundancies and autoscaling

inXpo Intrado

Best for large events with high budgets requiring a virtual conference experience with few compromises.

InXpo Intrado has robust hosting capabilities and uses hyper-scale cloud providers for its infrastructure to provide highly reliable and resilient performance. The company uses its own platform for session broadcast and integrates with third-party CRM and registration platforms. It offers 3D virtual environments throughout the platform as well as robust attendee networking options and sponsor benefits, including virtual booths. 

Benefits:

    • Extremely customizable, very immersive event experience. 3D environments & virtual booths (VR representation of physical world exhibit hall that looks like a video game)
    • A good user interface for attendees to access all content
    • No limit on concurrent sessions or live sessions so you will not have to worry about maxing out session/attendee capacities on this platform
    • The solution provider uses its own network infrastructure backbone that is fault-tolerant enough to support 98% of 911 call centers in the US
    • Real-time translation and closed captioning capabilities without requiring third-party platforms or plugins
    • Works from within China — used by Chinese companies to run in-country virtual events
    • Extra layer of attendee privacy protection with optional ‘pop up’ message for attendees to confirm before sponsors can gather any information about the attendee

Additional Considerations:

    • One of the most expensive platforms we evaluated
    • Potential longer turnaround time needed for event onboarding and setup
    • Sponsor booth templates are customizable for a fee
    • Does not allow you to plug in your own open source video streaming/video conferencing solution

MeetingPlay

Best for any size event where attendee networking tools are a priority and sponsor ‘booths’ aren’t required.

This platform can accommodate events of all sizes but does not have a 3D virtual exhibit hall/booth capability. That said, the sponsor benefits built into this platform are robust, and they have excellent attendee networking capabilities. You can use Meeting Play’s own integrated video conferencing solution for content delivery, or use your own. 

Benefits:

    • Heavy focus on “attendee” experience
    • AI-driven content, chat room and attendee suggestions — based on initial questions you can customize and ask of all participants
    • Allow for gated content with in-app registration upgrade options (freemium model) similar to offering a free “hall pass” and then requiring a higher registration to attend sessions
    • Sponsor pages are very robust offering sponsors the ability to chat 1:1 with attendees, show videos/demos, sharing resources, and more
    • Option to use MeetingPlay integrated video streaming solution, or the one of your choice via your own account
    • Works from within China — they support a number of customers in China and have virtual machines in-country that they use to test before going live for an event

Additional Considerations:

    • No 3D virtual exhibit hall or booth — sponsors receive a dynamic page that allows for real-time chat with attendees, downloadable resources, and a video player for demos or welcome videos
    • Looks more like a website rather than a virtual event
    • Only 2 concurrent live sessions at a time w/out additional fee. They recommend pre-recording most sessions and playing “simulive” (meaning it is played at a specific time, and speakers join real-time to do a text-based Q&A.) The platform has a limit of 8 concurrent live sessions at any one time
    • Collaboration spaces (used for sponsor booths, attendee ‘meeting rooms’ and any live sessions that have multiple speakers or require a two-way communication) are charged by the hour and by the number of attendees, which makes using these freely a bit difficult

QiQo Chat

QiQo is best for smaller technical gatherings that don’t need all the bells and whistles of an industry event focus. This is a great option for a focus on small group collaboration, such as developer meetings and hackathons.

QiQo acts as a Zoom wrapper for attendees collaboration and session broadcasting and is ideally suited for smaller events that have a more narrow focus, where communication and collaboration needs are more back and forth, versus one-way delivery. One unique feature of QiQo is it offers the ability to collaborate on Google Docs and Etherpad as both are both integrated into QiQo’s interface. 

Benefits:

    • Inexpensive
    • An affordable option for small meetings that only need an elevated video conferencing option for collaboration. Each live event on Qiqo comes with 10 Zoom breakout rooms by default
    • Great for small group collaboration in multiple workspaces – as a Zoom wrapper, it creates more of a virtual environment around an event with multiple breakout rooms for discussions
    • Includes a large number of built-in integrated tools for collaboration and productivity: Slack, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Etherpad
    • While Zoom is their default, their support team will work with you to set this up with Jitsi or another video conferencing solution of your choice
    • Works from within China depending on webcasting platform availability

Additional Considerations:

    • Simple Zoom wrapper to add collaboration features on top of Zoom – can be used with other video conferencing tools as well
    • Very limited sponsor elements
    • A little more challenging interface and workflow than other options — a lot of options, but definitely let ‘out of the box’
    • Minimalistic approach for collaboration

Conferencing platform feature comparison

Conferencing platform feature comparison

Screenshots gallery

Conclusion

With over 40 events remaining this year under the Linux Foundation umbrella of events, we have several conferences that might go virtual. Each of these will have different requirements, so to support our diverse communities, we needed a range of options and features. We do think that this portfolio of options together meets most of our various community needs, and we hope you find value in us sharing them, along with the list of all the other platforms we examined.

ONAP and OPNFV training sessions offered onsite at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles will help you integrate open source into your NFV/SDN deployments.

If you are attending ONS, you know the value of open source projects. You know they are going to play a critical role in your ongoing or upcoming SDN/NFV transformation. Open source projects have become very successful in the enterprise space and they are poised to do the same in the communications service provider (CSP) arena.

In fact, several CSPs are already taking advantage of open source. Orange and China Mobile have used OPNFV continuous integration (CI) pipeline and testing projects to create an NFV onboarding framework within their organizations. Orange uses OPNFV for NFVI and VIM validation, VNF onboarding and validation, and network service onboarding. China Mobile uses OPNFV for their Telecom Integrated Cloud (TIC) to continuously integrate, onboard and test NFVI, VIM and VNFs; and full network service onboarding and testing using OPNFV is on their roadmap. In a nutshell, OPNFV tooling can drastically improve your NFV journey.

That leads to a question—how can you learn more about these projects, determine their value for your specific environment and map out your organization’s next steps? Certainly, you can review online materials on your own. However, if you are like me and learn best when another human being is providing or explaining the material starting with the basics, at an unhurried pace, then the ONAP and OPNFV training sessions offered onsite at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles are something to consider. These training courses will empower you to integrate open source into your NFV/SDN deployments.

ONAP, the Open Network Automation Platform, provides network service design/lifecycle management and service assurance, and could serve as the centralpoint of your SDN/NFV efforts. Not only can ONAP fully automate network services, it can also help standardize VNF onboarding/validation, network service design, and analytic applications.

OPNFV, the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), creates reference architectures by integrating SDN/NFV-related open source projects, extensively tests the stack and fills feature gaps in upstream projects. OPNFV can be used to create reference stacks, validate and onboard VIM/NFVI/VNFs and establish interoperability. The OPNFV CI pipeline can also help organizations with cultural transformation to DevOps processes.

By taking either the ONAP or OPNFV course, you can learn deeply about the project, its components, and benefits to your organization. Both courses have two flavors —half day and full day. If your interest is mostly to get information, the half-day course is ideal. If you want to get your hands dirty, take the full-day course. All attendees will receive the same material in the morning. After lunch, full-day attendees will return and start hands-on labs. The OPNFV full-day course will take you through OPNFV deployment, Functest, and Yardstick testing projects. The ONAP full-day course will take you through ONAP deployment using OOM along with virtual firewall (vFW) network service creation and runtime. The labs are simple to follow but do require some basic Linux knowledge (i.e., command-line interface, elementary Linux commands including vi/vim, etc.)

If you will be at ONS and are interested in these areas, I encourage you to extend your stay through Friday and add a training course to your registration here.

Sign up to get the latest updates on ONS NA 2018!

Cloud native community’s premier event includes tracks for serverless, hardware hacking and service meshes

SAN FRANCISCO – February 20, 2018 – T he Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which sustains and integrates open source technologies like Kubernetes and Prometheus, today announced the keynotes and full agenda for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe on May 2 – 4 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Experts from Adidas, Booking.com, Checkfront, eBay, Lyft, New York Times, Norwegian Tax Administration, Spotify and Ygrene Energy Fund will present on how their organizations are adopting Kubernetes, Prometheus and other cutting-edge cloud native technologies. For example, Sarah Wells,Technical Director for Operations and Reliability at the Financial Times will be keynoting “Switching Horses Midstream: The Challenges of Migrating 150+ Microservices to Kubernetes.”

After a sold-out show in Austin last December, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe will bring together technologists from thriving open source communities all over the globe to further the education and adoption of cloud native computing. Maintainers and end users of CNCF’s hosted projects – Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing, Fluentd, Linkerd, gRPC, CoreDNS, containerd, rkt, CNI, Envoy, Jaeger, Notary, TUF, Rook and Vitess – and other cloud native technologies will gather for three days to share insights around this fast growing ecosystem. Register for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon by March 9 to save up to $300.

“By bringing all of the CNCF projects and other notable cloud native technologies under one roof, we provide a forum for showcasing a full range of technologies that support the cloud native ecosystem and enable this growing community to come together in-person for further collaboration,” said Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America saw record attendance levels, and we’re looking forward to furthering these conversations and growing ever more in Europe.”

A program committee of 55 experts led by conference co-chairs, Aqua Security’s Liz Rice and Google’s Kelsey Hightower, reviewed more than 1,083 submissions to help create the show’s diverse content slate. The agenda features a diverse mix of topics, including technical sessions on serverless, hardware hacking, and service mesh. Other presentations will address operations, storage, observability, and machine learning and data. KubeCon’s customizing and extending Kubernetes track will feature presentations on kubectl, APIs of the future, and custom resource definitions. KubeCon’s security, identity and signing track will feature interactive sessions like “Kris Nova and Jessie Frazelle Hack Each Other: Valuable Lessons in Securing a Multi Tenant Kubernetes Cluster.”

“Being cloud native requires an architecture that departs from traditional enterprise application design, enabled by a broad set of components and communities,” said Liz Rice, Technology Evangelist at Aqua Security. “KubeCon + CloudNativeCon brings together cloud native users and leading contributors across cloud native computing, containers, microservices, orchestration, and other related projects to further cloud native education, innovation, and real-world deployment.”

The community-curated schedule will feature keynotes from leading open source technologists, including:

  • Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering, Monzo Bank discussing the Anatomy of a Production Kubernetes Outage
  • Sahil Dua, Software Developer, Booking.com discussing Scaling Deep Learning Models in Production Using Kubernetes
  • Ricardo Rocha, Staff Member, CERN and Clenimar Filemon, Open-Source Developer on Container Orchestration and Information Security, Laboratório de Sistemas Distribuídos, discussing CERN Experiences with Multi Cloud Federated Kubernetes
  • Kelsey Hightower, Staff Developer Advocate, Google Cloud Platform, will discuss the serious idea underlying his humorous project No Code, one of the fasted trending projects in the history of GitHub
  • Liz Rice, Technology Evangelist, Aqua Security providing a CNCF Project Update
  • Alexis Richardson, Founder & CEO, Weaveworks discussing the CNCF 20-20 Vision
  • Aparna Sinha,Group Product Manager, Kubernetes and Google Kubernetes Engine, Google will provide a Kubernetes Project Update
  • David Aronchick, Product Manager, Cloud AI and co-founder of Kubeflow, Google will discuss Kubeflow ML on Kubernetes
  • Fabian Reinartz, Staff Software Engineer, CoreOS discussing Prometheus 2.0 – The Next Scale of Cloud Native Monitoring

We are also pleased to have the following co-located events be a part of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe. They are occurring on Tuesday, May 1, so attendees should plan their attendance when booking flights and hotel:

  • Containers, Kubernetes and OpenShift Hands-On Trainings along with an OpenShift Commons Machine Learning Reception presented by Red Hat
  • Cloud Foundry Day sponsored by Dell EMC
  • Kubernetes Hands-on Workshop presented by Heptio
  • Kubernetes the AWSome Way! presented by AWS
  • Mesosphere Advance: Creating the Future with Containers and Fast Data presented by Mesosphere
  • Your Path to Production-Ready Kubernetes presented by Weaveworks
  • Free Kubernetes Workshop presented by VMware

The full KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe program can be viewed here.

Thank You Sponsors

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe is made possible with support from Diamond Sponsors Cisco, {code}, IBM and Red Hat; Platinum Sponsors AWS, Azure, DataDog, Mesosphere, Mirantis, VMware and WSO2; along with more than 37 additional Gold Sponsors, Silver Sponsors, Start-Up Sponsors and Media Sponsors. For more information on sponsorship, please visit here.

Registration and Accommodations

Register here by March 9 to save up to $300 on registration. Additionally, hotel room rate discounts are available here. Book early, as the discounted rate is based upon availability.

CNCF Diversity Scholarship

The Foundation will be offering scholarships to members of traditionally underrepresented groups in the technology and/or open source communities. Visit here to learn more about scholarship and eligibility requirements. All applications are due by March 2.

Additional Resources

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud native computing uses an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of cloud native software stacks, including Kubernetes and Prometheus. CNCF serves as the neutral home for collaboration and brings together the industry’s top developers, end users and vendors – including the world’s largest public cloud and enterprise software companies as well as dozens of innovative startups. CNCF is part of The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization. For more information about CNCF, please visit www.cncf.io.

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Media Contact

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The Linux Foundation

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OSLS

Keynote speakers announced for The Linux Foundation Open Source Leadership Summit.

The Linux Foundation Open Source Leadership Summit is the premier forum for open source leaders to convene to drive digital transformation with open source technologies and learn how to collaboratively manage the largest shared technology investment of our time.

Confirmed keynote speakers and panelists for this year’s event include:

  • Deepak Agarwal, VP of Artificial Intelligence at LinkedIn
  • Subbu Allamaraju, VP of Technology, Expedia
  • Dustin Bennett, Software Engineer Sr. Manager, The Home Depot
  • Austen Collins, Founder & CEO, Serverless Inc.
  • Justin Dean, SVP Platform & TechOps, Ticketmaster
  • Ashley Eckard, Sr. Software Engineer, The Home Depot
  • Dr. Mazin Gilbert, Vice President of Advanced Technology, AT&T Labs
  • Chen Goldberg, Director of Engineering, Google Cloud
  • Nidhi Gupta, SVP of Engineering, Hired
  • Patrick Heim, Operating Partner & CISO, ClearSky Security
  • John M. Jack, Board Partner, Andreessen Horowitz and Advisor to The Linux Foundation
  • Edward Kearns, Chief Data Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Marten Mickos, CEO, HackerOne
  • Mark Russinovich, CTO, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft
  • Tarry Singh, Author, AI, ML & Deep Learning Executive, and Deep Learning Mentor, Coursera
  • Aaron Symanski, Chief Technology Officer, Change Healthcare
  • Rachel Thomas, Co-Founder, Fast.ai
  • Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation

Open Source Leadership Summit fosters innovation, growth, and partnerships among the leading projects and corporations working in open technology development. Business and technical leaders will gather at the summit to advance open source strategy, implementation and investment.

Here’s How To Join Us at Open Source Leadership Summit:

Speak

Are you a business or technical leader looking to advance open source strategy, implementation and investment? Join us and share your expertise at Open Source Leadership Summit. View the full list of suggested topics and submit a proposal by 11:59pm PST on Sunday, January 21, 2018.  

Attend

Attendance to Open Source Leadership Summit is limited to members of The Linux Foundation and LF Hosted Projects, as well as media, speakers and sponsors. If you are a member, and would like to attend, email us at events@linuxfoundation.org.  For media attendance inquiries, email Dan Brown at dbrown@linuxfoundation.org.

Sponsor

Showcase your thought leadership among a vibrant open source community and connect with top influencers driving today’s technology purchasing decisions. Learn how to become a sponsor.

Mark Hinkle on stage at Node.js Interactive in Vancouver, B.C.

On stage for the Node.js State of the Union at Node Interactive 2017 in Vancouver, B.C.

As we come into this year’s Node.js Interactive conference it’s a good time to reflect on the State of Node.js, and by any reasonable measure the state of Node.js is very strong. Every day there are more than 8.8 million Node instances online, that number has grown by 800,000 in the last nine months alone. Every week there are more than 3 billion downloads of npm packages. The number of Node.js contributors has grown from 1,100 contributors last year to more than 1,500 contributors today. To date there have been a total of 444 releases, and we have 39,672 stars on Github. This is an enviable position for any technology and a testament to the value of Node.js and the dedication of the Node.js community.  

Growth of Node.js From a User Perspective

We see incredible success with Node.js for front-end, back-end and full stack development. In this year’s Node.js User Survey we got incredible feedback and gained increased understanding of how Node.js is being used. We know that the the biggest use case for Node.js is back-end development, but users are also developing cross-platform and desktop applications, enabling IoT and even powering security apps. This week we are launching our annual survey again to identify trends and track our progress. I highly encourage you to take the survey and share your insights with the rest of the community.  

Node.js is also fortunate to be getting praise from several reputable third parties. The Battery Ventures Open Source Software Index (Boss Index), which ranks popular open source applications based on public interest, user activity, jobs impact and overall open source community impact has ranked Node.js the 4th most important open source project. Node.js is in good company as only Linux, Git and MySQL were ahead of Node.js; we beat out  well-established and impactful projects like Docker, Apache Hadoop and Spark.

The analyst community has taken note as well. Forrester published a brief earlier this year extolling, “Digital Transformation Using Node.js.” They said:

“The growth of Node.js within companies is a testament to the platform’s versatility. It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”

We also are seeing success as one of the most highly trafficked websites on the Internet according to research done by W3Techs. Node.js’ success at Twitter, LinkedIn, The New York Times, Netflix, Paypal and Yahoo! has significantly helped lend credibility to the project.

Open Source: The Punk Rock of the 21st Century

When I speak to groups and talk about Node.js I usually start with a very technical definition of what Node.js is and does. I talk about how Node.js utilizes the Chrome V8 engine to execute JavaScript on the server. This is huge for extending the language of the browser to the server and providing a foundation for developing many new kinds of applications.  

For those uninitiated in JavaScript development, I sometimes get a blank stare. However, when I talk about the incredible list of companies that are using Node.js – Airbnb, Lowes, Twitter, LinkedIn – and many others they have heard of I start to peak their interest.

Once I have their attention I like to use the analogy that open source developers are the punk rockers of their generation, something I truly believe. I then explain the reasons why I see similarities between punk rock and open source, particularly Node.js:

….many bands self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels….technical accessibility and a DIY spirit are prized in punk rock…….Punk rock is meant to be our freedom. We’re meant to be able to do what we want to do…. The issue of authenticity is important in the punk subculture—the pejorative term “poseur” is applied to those who associate with punk and adopt its stylistic attributes but are deemed not to share or understand the underlying values and philosophy…. At the end of the 20th century, punk rock had been adopted by the mainstream, as pop punk and punk rock bands such as Green Day, the Offspring and Blink-182 brought the genre to widespread popularity.  Wikipedia – Punk Rock

Node.js developers share this same DIY spirit, authenticity, and passion for their work. That passion has made Node.js a success. The lack of formality and the ability to collaborate share and express themselves has enabled Node.js to grow.

And just like punk rock, Node.js has gone mainstream. A small group of developers and users has risen to a level that is enviable by many mainstream technologies. As Node.js moves forward, it’s important to improve while not losing the “indy spirit” that has made us successful. It’s also important to accept the responsibility that we have to keep Node.js sustainable for the millions of users who depend on our technology every day.

The Future of Node.js: Grow, Engage, Educate

So what happens when you have meteoric success like Node? Sometimes you hit speed bumps and reach impasses. You face new problems and you start to reevaluate how you do things so you can continue to flourish. As we move forward with Node.js we need to make sure that we are working on making sure Node.js is a sustainable technology that will continue to support the needs of our developers and end users.

This year’s Node.js 6 was the most popular release – our LTS releases are increasingly becoming the most popular downloads. This move to provide a stable trusted version is one of the steps on the path to encouraging more users to engage with Node.js. To that end, I am advocating a very broad set of initiatives going forward – grow, engage and educate.

Grow

Node.js’ growth has been fairytale-like. Usage of the project is amazing. However, for Node.js to continue to succeed there needs to be more growth. Not just in raw numbers but in new industries, companies and organizations, all of which help build a more diverse developer and user core with a broader perspective.

We need to continue to share our success through press and analysts, so more users can discover not only the value of Node.js, but also the best places to use Node.js. We need to help enable our users to evangelize the technology and provide a platform to grow, through publications like Node.js Collection and more.  

Engage

Going forward we need to continue to engage users not only in GitHub, but through other venues that facilitate communication, like meetups, blogs and larger events. We need to help broaden our ecosystem and maintain our relationships with other technologies like JavaScript frameworks, databases, load balancers and cloud providers.

We need to make sure we foster a strong relationship with the package ecosystem that we critically depend on. 4,800 npm packages are published every week. That’s one package every two minutes 24 hours a day providing an unbelievable number of options to extend Node.js for a variety of uses. We want to where appropriate have strong relationships with those developers to help ensure they have the security and support they need to be successful.

“The community of npm and Node.js developers is now larger than the population of New York City, and they download more than 500 packages of reusable code every second,” said CJ Silverio, Chief Technology Officer of npm, Inc., which hosts the npm Registry of JavaScript packages. “Companies of every size have invested in developing within this ecosystem because it’s robust, secure, and growing more powerful every day.”

Node.js is one the most used workloads on Google, Microsoft and Amazon’s clouds. Twilio’s latest serverless offering is written and developed on Node.js. Google’s Cloud Functions is written in JavaScript and executed in a standard Node.js runtime.

Node.js is the most popular language on Bluemix. The developer base is very comfortable getting started with Node, and all of the other languages that IBM supports for polyglot developers. “Our view of the world is that it’s all about APIs. How to discover and make use of them, whether human or machine readable,” said Todd Moore, VP of Open Source Technologies at IBM in an interview with The New Stack.

We should continue to build our relationships with these companies, share stories about how best to use Node.js within these different environments, and engage with new developers who are sprouting up around cloud-native applications and arm them with best practices around Node.js.

Educate

We need to continue to educate our potential users and developers. The Code & Learns and NodeSchools have been very successful. We also need to continue to reach out to potential users who aren’t familiar with or as comfortable with open source and help them get up to speed with the Node.js Community and how to contribute to the project.

One of our biggest initiatives is around certifications that will dovetail with organizations providing training. Certification is not education, but it should provide a benchmark for training organizations to shoot for.

Overall, Node.js is in a good place, but we can and will be better. We need to evaluate our systems and structures to make sure we are ready for the next 8 million Node.js instances and to help encourage a better more effective community and collaboration. Our future relies on our ability to adapt and nurture that success and drive toward a stronger ecosystem that involves more developers, solution providers and others who can continue the work that has been done to date.

It’s been two years since The Linux Foundation forged a partnership with the Apache Software Foundation to become the producer of their official ASF events. This year, ApacheCon and Apache Big Data continued to grow and gain momentum as the place to share knowledge, ideas, best practices and creativity with the rest of the Apache open source community.

As 2016 draws to a close, we looked back at some of the highlights from ApacheCon and Apache Big Data and collected the 7 videos from our most-read articles about the events in 2016.

These videos help highlight the good work the open source community accomplished for and with Apache projects this year. We hope they inspire you to participate in the community and present your work again at ApacheCon and Apache Big Data, May 16-18, 2017 in Miami. The deadline to submit proposals is February 11!

Submit an ApacheCon Proposal      

Submit an Apache: Big Data Proposal

1. IBM’s Wager on Open Source Is Still Paying Off

When IBM got involved with the Linux open source project in 1998, they were betting that giving their code and time to the community would be a worthwhile investment. Now, 18 years later, IBM is more involved than ever, with more than 62,000 employees trained and expected to contribute to open source projects, according to Todd Moore, Vice President of Open Technology at IBM, speaking at ApacheCon in Vancouver in May.

“It became apparent that open source could be the de facto standards we needed to be the engine to go out and drive things,” Moore said in his keynote. “[The contributions] were bets; we didn’t know how this was going to come out, and we didn’t know if open source would grow, we knew there would be roadblocks and things we’d have to overcome along the way, but it had promise. We thought this would be the way of the future.”

Moore reiterated IBM’s commitment to open source, highlighting projects born at IBM’s developerWorks Open (dWOpen), such as SystemML, Toree, and Quarks, and now in the Apache Incubator.

Read our coverage of Moore’s presentation, and watch the full video below.

2. Open Source is a Positive-Sum Game, Sam Ramji, Cloud Foundry

As open source software matures and is used by more and more major corporations, it is becoming clear that the enterprise software game has changed. Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, believes that open source software is a positive sum game, as reflected in his ApacheCon keynote.

Invoking his love of game theory, Ramji stated emphatically that open source software is a positive-sum game, where the more contributors there are to the common good, the more good there is for everyone. This idea is the opposite of a zero-sum game, where if someone benefits or wins, then another person must suffer, or lose.

Read the full coverage and watch the video below.

3. Apache Milagro: A New Security System for the Future of the Web

With 25 billion new devices set to hit the Internet by 2025, the need for a better worldwide cryptosystem for securing information is paramount. That’s why the Apache Milagro project is currently incubating at the Apache Software Foundation. It’s a collaboration between MIRACL and Nippon Telegram and Telegraph (NTT), and Brian Spector, MIRACL CEO and Co-Founder, discussed the project in his keynote at ApacheCon in May.

Spector said the project was born in a bar on the back of a napkin after a brainstorm about how one would rebuild Internet security from the ground up. That sounds like a lot of work, but Spector believes it’s absolutely necessary: the future of the Web is going to be very different from the past.

Read the full article and watch the video below.

4. Netflix Uses Open Source Tools for Global Content Expansion

“We measured, we learned, we innovated, and we grew.”

Brian Sullivan, Director of Streaming Data Engineering & Analytics at Netflix, recited this recipe for the streaming video giant’s success several times during his keynote address at the Apache Big Data conference in Vancouver today. It was this mantra, combined with an open source toolkit, that took the stand-alone streaming product from a tiny test launch in Canada to making Netflix a global presence.

Read a summary of the presentation and watch the video, below.

5. Spark 2.0 Is Faster, Easier for App Development, and Tackles Streaming Data

It only makes sense that as the community of Spark contributors got bigger the project would get even more ambitious.  Spark 2.0 came out with three robust new features, according to Ion Stoica, the founder of Databricks.

“Spark 2.0 is about taking what has worked and what we have learned from the users and making it even better,” Stoica said.

Read our coverage of the keynote and watch the full presentation, below.

6. IBM Uses Apache Spark Across Its Products to Help Enterprise Customers

IBM is invested in Spark’s machine-learning capabilities and is contributing back to the project with its work on SystemML, which helps create iterative machine-learning algorithms. The company offers Spark-as-a-service in the cloud, and it’s building it into the next iteration of the Watson analytics platform. Basically anywhere it can, IBM is harnessing the efficient power of Apache Spark.

“We at IBM … have noted the power of Spark, and the other big data technologies that are coming in [from the Apache Software Foundation],” said Luciano Resende, an architect at IBM’s Spark Technology Center.

Read the full article and watch the presentation, below.

7. How eBay Uses Apache Software to Reach Its Big Data Goals

eBay’s ecommerce platform creates a huge amount of data. It has more than 800 million active listings, with 8.8 million new listings each week. There are 162 million active buyers, and 25 million sellers.

“The data is the most important asset that we have,” said Seshu Adunuthula, eBay’s head of analytics infrastructure, during a keynote at Apache Big Data in Vancouver in May. “We don’t have inventory like other ecommerce platforms, what we’re doing is connecting buyers and sellers, and data plays an integral role into how we go about doing this.”

About five years ago, eBay made the conscious choice to go all-in with open source software to build its big data platform and to contribute back to the projects as the platform took shape.

Read the full article about eBay and watch the presentation, below.

Share your knowledge and best practices on the technologies and projects driving the future of open source. Submit a speaking proposal for ApacheCon and Apache Big Data today!

Submit an ApacheCon Proposal      

Submit an Apache: Big Data Proposal

Not interested in speaking but want to attend? Linux.com readers can register now for ApacheCon or Apache: Big Data with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price.

Read More:

10 Great Moments from Linux Foundation 2016 Events

This year, more than 20,000 tech professionals gathered at 150 Linux Foundation events worldwide to learn and share open source technologies and best practices. Held in 46 cities across 14 countries — from the U.S. and Canada, to Germany, Spain, China and Japan — Linux Foundation events are where the creators, maintainers and practitioners of the world’s most important open source projects meet.

As 2016 comes to a close, we have taken a look back at some of the highlights from this year’s events and compiled 10 great moments into a photo gallery, including the 25th anniversary of Linux Gala, the first Kids Day at LinuxCon, and Cory Doctorow speaking on FLOSS. Please share your favorite moments with us in the comments!

Thanks to all of the speakers, attendees, sponsors, and staff who made 2016 the best year yet for The Linux Foundation’s open source events. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2017.

You can see the complete 2017 event schedule now. 

 

There are four essential questions a company should ask before it decides to create an open source project, according to Duane O’Brien, open source programs evangelist at PayPal.

  • Who cares?

  • Are we still using it?

  • Are we committing our own resources?

  • Can we develop it all in the open?

This framework, developed by O’Brien’s boss Danese Cooper, is useful in vetting internal software for release as open source projects.

In a nutshell, a company shouldn’t open source software that no one else cares about, that they themselves are not using, that they will not commit developer resources to maintaining, or that they continue to develop in secret without community inclusion. (You can see more details and the rationale behind each question in his blog post on OpenSource.com earlier this year.)

“If no one contributes it becomes unmaintained abandonware – a pollutant in the open source ecosystem,” O’Brien said in his talk on the four questions at LinuxCon Europe yesterday.

But what if the answers to these questions are consistently “no?” This is itself a litmus test for a company’s open source knowledge and culture.  

“Use these questions as pointers about what’s going on in the company,” O’Brien said.

1. Who cares?

“If you’re consistently getting: “no one cares,” it’s a good indicator that your technical community isn’t very well connected to the industry,” O’Brien said.  Open source advocates within a company should consider engaging in programs that encourage engineers to join communities and technical discussions. Some examples are:

  • start publishing a podcast

  • start publishing blog posts

  • encourage employees to attend meetups and talks

  • provide travel stipends for employees to attend conferences

  • bring outside experts in to give talks.

2. Are we still using it?

If a company only open sources projects they’re not using anymore, that’s bad corporate practice, O’Brien said. It damages that company’s reputation in the open source community.  

Instead, he recommends looking for what has replaced that defunct code and consider that as an open source contribution.

“Look for exciting things and mine them for open source projects,” he said.

3. Are we committing our own resources?

“If we aren’t committing resources, we’re probably pushing employees and engineers too hard,” O’Brien said. “They should never be asked to maintain open source projects on their own time.”

If a company never commits resources to open source, “it’s also probable that managers don’t understand what a healthy relationship with the open source community looks like,” he said.

More management training on the importance of open source software and how to best use it strategically may be beneficial.

4. Can we develop it all in the open?

And if code cannot be released publicly because developers don’t want anyone else to see it, you may have code quality issues. Or if they’re not willing to engage with the community, which is required to develop in the open, “then there are probably culture issues,” O’Brien said.

These issues can be addressed through employee training and improved code review processes.

Regardless of a company’s answers to the four questions, one of the best things they can do is share what they’ve learned with other developers and companies. It’s good source material for blog posts, white papers, and talks: what you tried, why it didn’t work, and what you’d do next time.

“So the people who come after us can see where we went wrong previously,” he said, and the entire industry can move forward.

Leading open source technologists from Cloudera, Hortonworks, Uber, Red Hat, and more are set to speak at Apache: Big Data and ApacheCon Europe, taking place Nov. 14-18 in Seville, Spain. The Linux Foundation today announced keynote speakers and sessions for the co-located events.

Apache: Big Data Europe, Nov. 14-16, gathers the Apache projects, people, and technologies working in Big Data, ubiquitous computing and data engineering, and science to educate, collaborate, and connect in a completely project-neutral environment; it is the only event that brings together the full suite of Big Data open source projects including Apache Hadoop, Cassandra, CouchDB, Spark, and more.

The event will feature more than 100 sessions covering the issues, technologies, techniques, and best practices that are shaping the data ecosystem across a wide range of industries including finance, business, manufacturing, government and academia, media, energy, and retail.

Keynote speakers at Apache: Big Data include:

  • Mayank Bansal, Senior Engineer, Big Data, Uber

  • Stephan Ewan, CTO, Data Artisans

  • Alan Gates, Co-Founder, Hortonworks

  • John Mertic, Director, Program Management, ODPi

  • Sean Owen, Director of Data Science, Cloudera

View the full Apache Big Data schedule.

Registration for Apache: Big Data Europe is discounted to $499 through October 3. Register Now! Those interested in also attending ApacheCon can add that to their Apache: Big Data registration for only $399. Diversity and needs-based scholarship applications are also being accepted. Apply now for a scholarship.

ApacheCon

ApacheCon, Nov. 16-18, is the annual conference of The Apache Software Foundation and brings together the Apache and open source community to learn about and collaborate on the technologies and projects driving the future of open source, web technologies and cloud computing.

The event will contain tracks and mini-summits dedicated to specific Apache projects organized by their respective communities. In addition, ApacheCon Europe will host complimentary tracks, including Apache Incubator/Innovation, Future of Web, and Community, as well as hackathons, lightning talks, and BarCampApache.

Session highlights include:

  • Building a Container Solution on Top of Apache CloudStack – Paul Angus, VP Technology & Cloud Architect, ShapeBlue

  • Practical Trademark Law For FOSS Projects – Shane Curcuru, VP Brand Management, The Apache Software Foundation

  • Building Inclusive Communities – Jan Lehnardt, Vice President, Apache CouchDB

  • Building Apache HTTP Server; from Development to Deployment – William Rowe, Jr., Staff Engineer, Pivotal

  • If You Build It, They Won’t Come – Ruth Suehle, Community Marketing Manager, Red Hat

View the full lineup of ApacheCon sessions.

Registration for ApacheCon is discounted to $499 through Oct. 3. Register Now! Or Apply for diversity and needs-based scholarships. Those interested in also attending Apache: Big Data can add on that event for an additional $399.
 

Watch open source leaders, entrepreneurs, developers, and IT operations experts speak live next week, Oct. 4-6, 2016, at LinuxCon and ContainerCon Europe in Berlin. The Linux Foundation will provide live streaming video of all the event’s keynotes for those who can’t attend.

Sign up for the free streaming video.

The keynote speakers will focus on the technologies and trends having the biggest impact on open source development today, including containers, networking and IoT, as well as hardware, cloud applications, and the Linux kernel. See the full agenda of keynotes.

Tune into free live video streaming at 9 a.m. CET each day to watch keynotes with:

  • Jilayne Lovejoy, Principal Open Source Counsel, ARM

  • Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO and Chief Product Officer, Docker

  • Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger Project

  • Christopher Schlaeger, Director Kernel and Operating Systems, Amazon Development Center Germany

  • Dan Kohn, Executive Director, Cloud Native Computing Foundation

  • Brandon Philips, CTO, CoreOS

  • Many more

Can’t catch the live stream next week? Don’t worry—if you register now, we’ll send out the recordings of keynotes after the conference ends!

You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #linuxcon. Share the live streaming of keynotes with your friends and colleagues!