User:Linpei Fan/FSOSS 14

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FSOSS 2014 Report


FSOSS (Free Software and Open Source Symposium) @ Seneca College, Toronto in 2014 is the thirteenth iteration hosted by Seneca College’s Center for Development of Open Technology (CDOT). The two-day event is hosted at the Seneca@York campus for the discussion of open source issues and the development of open source technologies and ideas. Speakers are invited from all over the world with the goal of providing open source alternatives for every aspect of computing. This year, FSOSS guides audience to explore the different ways in which open source is being used around the world to enhance various sectors of industry such as education, emerging hardware, and software. Three keynote speakers are invited for this year’s conference. They are David Humphrey (CDOT Researcher for Mozilla Foundation), Bob Young (Red Hat, Inc. Co-Founder) and Chris Aniszczyk (Head of Open Source at Twitter). And thirty-five speaker have presented at the conference.

Keynote Presentation - Chris Aniszczyk

Chris Aniszczyk is the Sr. Engineering Manager of Open Source at Twitter. He has been leading Twitter’s open source efforts through the creation of open source programs, managing inbound and outbound licensing of open source software and pushing for the evolution of Twitter’s open source strategy. He also sits on the Eclipse Foundation’s board of directors, having co-founded Code9 Consulting in 2008.

He has a presentation on Open Source Craft and Culture at Twitter. First of all, he introduced the history of Twitter, which is a company based on the open source. When Twitter keeps growing, there are more than 400 million tweets per day, and there are 100 open source projects running in Twitter. Then he talks about the Open Source Craft and Culture, in other word, operating principles, which include:

  • Use Open: use and benchmark open source software by default
  • Assume Open: Pretend the whole word will be watching
  • Define Secret Sauce: Define your secrete sauce so there’s a shared understanding that can guide decisions
  • Measure Everything: Affectionately called birdbrain in Twitter
  • Default to GitHub: Embrace social coding tools to lower the barrier to contribution and participation.
  • Default to Permissive: Maximize adoption and participation, which we favor instead of control
  • Acquire and Open: Include open sourcing software in M&A discussions
  • Pay it Forward: Support open source organizations and projects important to your business

Then he talked about the scaling an open source program with following automated things in open source:

  • Automated Process via JIRA Workflow, which is inspired from’s IPZilla
  • Automate Quality Checklist Tooling to check for baseline “quality” before it is open. There are several standard baseline to check before an open source project opens.
  • Automate Sourcing for Hiring. It is easy to filter the good candidate by reviewing the contributor’s performance on open source projects
  • Automate Reporting. It is easy to make a report for open source project because everything is already on github.

Here, audience could see that open source has significantly impact not only on the technical side but also on the management side.

Following, he talks about the evolution of Tweeter’s stack. Tweeter experienced 2009’s crazy growth and 2010’s World Cup woes. After several experimentations, they decided to use JVM as final solution. Next, he also mentioned some technologies using in Twitter stack, including Finagle, Zipkin, Scalding and Mesos.

In the end, he summarizes that there are three lessons can be learned. First, embracing open source. The best of breed solutions are open these days. Learn from your peers code and university research. Don’t only consume, give back to enrich ecosystem. Second, incremental change always win. Last, data center as a computer is future direction of infrastructure.

Mr. Chris has a lot of experience in open source, not only in Twitter, but also in his other working experience. The first two points are about the open source. The first one is his view point to open source. We could see he is an advocator for open source. And the second one is the key to success for open source users. For open source developers, making small changes increases chance of success.

Webmaker’s Tech: The Future of WebDevelopment - Kieran Sedgwick

Kieran Sedgwick is a student in Seneca College’s Computer Programming Analysis program and research assistant at Seneca College's Open Source research lab CDOT. He has nearly two years first-hand open source web development using NodeJS, AngularJS and more.

In this presentation, Mr. Kieran user Webmaker, an open source project in Mozilla, as an example to show how HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript to build a modern browser.

At the beginning, he pointed out that HTML5 and CSS3 have provided all of the elements required by a modern browser, such as using audio/video and rendering script map without plugin can be implemented in HTML5. And displaying fashion look, such as shadows, transitions and animations and so on can be implemented in CSS3.

Then he introduced web-based thin-client paradigm used in building a modern browser, which separates web apps into 2 phrases: front-end MVC with AngularJS and back-end data processing and persistence with NodeJS. In the front-end MVC with AngularJS, it allows databinding, template swapping. And it is the modules system for shared component. In the backend, javascript is the only programming language being used, which is call NodeJS. It is based on Google’s V8 Javascript engine. It has a robust core library, a thriving package management system and abstract framework, e.g. ExpressJS.

Overall, building a modern browser only require the knowledge on 3 programming languages, HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. In the question time, he discusses the advantages of using pure javascript in the backend with the audience. The obvious advantage he had is that it is easy for him to learn and user as a beginner without learning additional programming languages.

Comparison of two presentations

The similarities of these two presentations are how open source work with technologies and both speakers have strong agreement on open source. With more experience and profound understanding on open source, Mr. Chris clearly shows the craft and culture of open source and presents how open source works in a large scale a company (Twitter). He explicitly expresses he loves open source and gets a lot of advantages from it. Moreover, he hopes there are more and more people joining open source development.

Mr. Kieren is an intermedia open source developer, who works in CDOT, an open source organization. In his presentation, he did not explicitly mention his view point on open source. But from his words, audience can strongly receive the message that he has a very positive opinion on open source. He starts his career at an open source organization with the open source projects. He learns cutting edge technologies and grows rapidly in the open source environment. He gets many benefits from open source community. In his presentation, he uses an open source project to illustrate how the mentioned technologies work. It is inevitably showing audience how open source works in a small scale - a project from some aspect.


I agree with these two speakers’ viewpoints on open source. And I believe open source will become more and more popular because this development model is to collect many developers’ efforts and to be improved little by little to the final success. The systems built on the open source tend to be more mature since there are more people being involved and contributing.