Around building software

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What synchronous and non-distributed work look like. Is software development akin to that kind of work? Spoiler alert: it is not.

Beware readers: this newsletter is about the context around building a software and wasn’t written by a developer. Don’t run away yet, as it has however been signed off by a handful of them.

Good reading!

Planning before writing

Building a complex software is a long endeavor, which (arguably) starts long before you even start to write your first line of code. Prior to typing on your keyboard, a handful of critical decisions much be made that will have long lasting effects on the life of your project:


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New versions of both OpenPaaS and LinShare have been released recently, respectively 1.2 and 2.2. In OpenPaaS’ case, its website has been overhauled, and we invite you to take a peek at it. Throughout this newsletter, recent software changes will be introduced and a special attention will be dedicated to presenting LinShare, its history, and where it is heading to. But as a start, let’s talk about OpenPaaS, which has recently reached a new milestone.

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Open Collaborative Platform

OpenPaaS, our open collaborative platform, has hit version 1.2, also known as Botein. Botein, which also goes by the name Delta Arietis, is a star located in the northern constellation of Aries. …


Aiming for the star

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LINAGORA products illustrated as planets. The R&D team has contributed to bootstrap some of those products, in particular OpenPaaS and LinTO.

Exploring uncharted territories

Just like a small solar system, LINAGORA is made out of multiple independent entities that are all revolving around the sun. For us, those astronomical objects represent products such as OpenPaaS or LinShare, or company offices located in a handful of countries including France, Vietnam, Canada and Tunisia.

In this analogy, the sun illustrates the sense of purpose within the company, perhaps most importantly the support for free software — for which we all thrive — and which is illuminating the path so that we can go further, both individually and collectively.

Just as in outer space with the Voyager space probes, explorers are needed when it comes to discovering new planets, building new systems and helping us to better comprehend reality. …


Part II: shedding light on the darkness

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Hardware: irreducible complexity. Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

The problem

As stated in the part 1 of this article, hardware is indeed the black hole of computing today. Unsurprisingly, it is even considered harmful by some. The problem can be summarized in these words:

The fundamental building block of any computing system, the hardware, is also the least trustworthy. If hardware cannot be trusted, neither can software.Thus, software, which supervenes hardware, is unavoidably weakened and irremediably contaminated.

What can be done to change this situation? How can hardware be made more trustworthy? There are at least two angles to approach the problem:


Part I : a descent into the abyss

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An illustration of a black hole, used as a metaphor for today’s hardware, alongside dazzling points of lights, which can be associated to free and open source software. (© Alain r, CC BY-SA 2.5)

The second part of the article has been released!

Introduction

Let’s face it, amid revelations of hardware-level vulnerabilities such as Meltdown and Spectre, deploying software in today’s world looks a lot like shooting stars next to a black hole: very entertaining and deeply unsustainable. Why? Because computer hardware is sick. The layer on top of which every information system on earth is built is flawed, perhaps beyond salvation. Are we doomed? No, some glimpses of hope can be seen on the horizon: it may even be a good time to wage a fight to take the power back at the most fundamental level, and to start building a truly open information ecosystem, from top to bottom. …


A focus on side-projects

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Introduction

OpenPaaS’ developers and more generally LINAGORA’s employees are passionate and committed: they are working hard to ship better software, to exceed customer’s expectations and to seek new markets so that open source services and products can thrive.

This commitment does not only manifest throughout their job but also sometimes during their free time. It is the purpose of this newsletter to showcase some side-projects our team members and employees are involved in.

Making movies with Walid

Let’s start with Walid, a web developer who has joined the LinShare team a couple of months ago, after a successful training with OpenHackademy, LINAGORA’s initiative to help individuals acquire critical skills in information technology (Note: LinShare is LINAGORA’s secure file sharing solution). When Walid is not hacking into JavaScript and VueJS—his favorite framework so far — you could surely stumble across him filming and doing video montage, one of his other passion. …


Michael Bailly, OpenPaaS’ Product Owner, under the spotlight

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A representation of each and every files and directories located in the main OpenPaaS repository, as displayed by the open source software Gource. Directories appear as branches and files as leaves.

Introduction

Just like a plant, a software requires constant care so it can grow and flourish. OpenPaaS is no exception to the rule, except that it would be better pictured as the fertile soil — the platform — and the collection of plants that are being nurtured by it — its set of software. In other words, OpenPaaS is an ecosystem where applications can grow in symbiosis. If OpenPaaS is like a blooming garden, its main botanist-in-chief and visionary warden for the past five years has undoubtedly been Michel Bailly, OpenPaaS’ Product Owner. Where OpenPaaS comes from?; where it is heading?


Behold the new star in the sky

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OpenPaaS v.1.1.0 Antares is now on orbit!

Introduction

Earlier this year, while we could still be greeted with snowflakes on our way to work, OpenPaaS — the open source web-based collaborative platform — was officially launched. Six months and more than 2400 commits later, we are releasing the first major upgrade, version 1.1.0 dubbed Antares. It represents the work of more than 50 contributors.

For the first time, we have decided to name our release: astronomical objects will be used as a theme. Welcome to OpenPaaS Antares, one of the brightest star in the sky, and which is also designated as Alpha Scorpii. …


One quarter after OpenPaaS’ launch : reaching cruising speed

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The French aerobatic team at work: more than the sum of its parts. Photo by Joe deSousa on Unsplash

Introduction

A quarter has passed since OpenPaaS’ official launch at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It was back in February this year, and at this occasion, we released an article to reveal some of the inner workings of our awesome Open Source collaborative platform.

What happened since the launch? In this late June’s newsletter, lights will be shed on our latest teams’ achievements. Rather than a lengthy article, we will cover updates — with a focus on the Contact application — and discuss the state of the project in general.

General overview

How is OpenPaaS thriving since its debut? In one word: well! At the time of writing, our collaborative platform is being tested in half a dozen places and counting, in France and around the world. Future deployments are intended for as low as one hundred individuals to the tens of thousands. Now that OpenPaaS has been released, valuable external feedbacks are pouring in, allowing us to spot and fix bugs, and overall to make sure the platform is genuinely matching customer’s expectations. …


OpenPaaS and Entreprise service buses: on the road to full-on integration

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You can picture Entreprise Service Buses (ESB) as freeways connecting multiple cities from different countries (=applications written in many languages), allowing them to exchange individuals and merchandises (=information or services) using a standardized transport path or road (=bus). Photo taken in Shanghai by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Introduction

Among its other area of expertise, LINAGORA is proud to be a software editor focused solely on developing free and open source software. This openness has many benefits, including making integration between in-house applications much easier, and ultimately allowing for the consolidation of its portfolio.

In last month’s newsletters, we covered the long-term prospect of integrating LinTO, our open source smart assistant in the making, with OpenPaaS, our beloved collaborative platform. This late-May newsletter will illustrate how another in-house software, Petals ESBwhich is currently being integrated to OpenPaaS — can team-up with OpenPaaS to offer customers an even more complete experience. …

About

Lukas

Just another free software zealot @linagora

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