This brought us May. MY balance of 2021 part 6

This brought us May

En my review Regarding what happened in 2021, I see that the month of May brought its own controversy, a fight between volunteer developers and a businessman controlling a project, and a reflection by Linus Torvalds on the work of companies.

The purchase of Audacity

Later it will become one of the controversies of the year. But, for the moment, the brief news told us about what someone bought Audacity, one of the most popular open source audio editors. The buyer was Muse Group, which owns MuseScore music notation software.

The new owners promised to hire more professional developers and designers.

The ones who got smart

As part of a research project, two members of the University of Minnesota had been deliberately patching security issues into the Linux kernel.. The problem is that neither Linus Torvalds nor anyone at the Linux Foundation knew about it.

The response was immediate and came from Greg Kroah-Hartman, developer responsible for maintaining the Linux kernel for the stable branch, who reacted by banning not only them, but any developer connected to the university, from further contributing.

According to the evaluation of an advisory committee, out of a total of 435 contributions made by members of the university, the vast majority were in good standing. 39 had errors and needed to be corrected; 25 had already been corrected, 12 were already obsolete; 9 had been done before the research group existed and one was eliminated at the request of its author.

Under pressure from the community, the researchers had to apologize:

First, we made a mistake by not engaging collaboratively with the Linux kernel community prior to conducting our study. We now understand that it was inappropriate and hurtful to the community to make it a subject of our investigation and waste their effort reviewing these patches without their knowledge or permission…
...
Second, given the flaws in our methods, we do not want this work to stand as a model of how research can be done in this community. Rather, we hope that this episode will be a learning moment for our community, and that the resulting discussion and recommendations can serve as a guide for proper future research.

Linus word

In May, Linus Torvalds gave an email report and had some interesting definitions.

On the role of large companies in the development of Linux, he commented:

And many of the big tech companies that use the kernel end up being actively involved in the development process. Sometimes they end up doing a lot of internal work and they're not very good at pushing things back (I won't name names, and some of them are really trying to do better), but it's actually very encouraging to see the big companies that are getting involved.

 

Shoot Bitcoin

One of the declines that the most famous of cryptocurrencies took last year was caused by increased efforts by Chinese regulators to crack down on the use of cryptocurrencies by financial institutions.

Banking and internet industry associations said in a joint statement that payment and financial institutions should not accept cryptocurrencies as payment or offer services and products related to them. The statement was reproduced on none other than the WeChat account of the People's Bank of China.

In the text, in addition to qualifying the recent increase in value as "speculation", they stated that cryptocurrencies are not "real currencies" and should not be used as such in the market.

But, according to gossip, China wants to promote its own digital currency, in addition to being concerned about the lack of controls on Bitcoin and the possibility that its users will be scammed.

See you never Freenode

It would be contradictory for the developers of an open source project to communicate via WhatsApp, so the bulk of the work is coordinated via IRC. Until early last year, the main communication tool was Freenode. However, due to a series of conflicts between the volunteer collaborators and the company that owns the project, the former created a new project called LiberaChat which the best known open source communities migrated to.

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