Did Remix OS violate the GPL and Apache licenses?

In today's open source roundup: Controversy rages around possible license violations by the developers of Remix OS. Plus: 4 questions to ask before open sourcing a project. And DistroWatch reviews Kwort 4.3.

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4 questions to ask before open sourcing a project

Open source is all the rage these days, but not all projects should be open sourced. Opensource.com has four helpful questions to consider before you open source any project.

Duane O'Brien reports for Opensource.com:

One of the most common tasks in any company's open source department is evaluating internal software to see if it would be a good candidate to give back to the community. When performing this task at PayPal, we found it useful to take each potential open source project through a vetting process originally framed by Danese Cooper that seeks to answer four primary questions:

1. Who cares?

2. Are we still using it?

3. Are we committed to it?

4. Can it be developed in one public tree?

These four questions do not answer all concerns by any means. Any company will still need to evaluate the project against any intellectual property (IP) considerations they may have. A study of similar open source projects should be undertaken to make sure your effort is not duplicative. The project still has to make sense both for your company and for the open source community at large, but these questions can serve as a good starting point for the conversation and can help filter out projects that are non-starters.

More at Opensource.com

Kwort 4.3 review

Kwort is a Linux distribution that is based on CRUX, and promises to provide a simple system geared toward advanced users. DistroWatch has a full review of Kwort 4.3, and laments the lack of documentation for this distro.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

At the end of 2015, I reviewed Arch Linux. At the time I commented that Arch's minimal and sometimes cryptic nature might not make it practical in many situations, but there are things I respect about Arch. Specifically, Arch keeps its users on the cutting edge of technology and, perhaps more importantly, the Arch Linux project has extensive, well written documentation.

Running Kwort was a little like running Arch Linux, but with older packages and virtually no documentation. An experienced user may be able to get Kwort installed by following the on-line guide, but beyond that point there does not appear to be much we can do with Kwort. I was able to get a graphical user interface running, edit text files, play multimedia files and browse the web. But there was no image editing, no screen shot tools, no productivity suite and not even a working graphical file manager. This made running Kwort a very limiting experience and the lack of integration with VirtualBox did not help matters.

My experience with the distribution was, at times, made more frustrating when I had to do things like drop to a command line to fix audio output or download the default software repository data. I'm not sure why repository data is treated as an add-on, it's not as though Kwort is desperately trying to save space since the project ships with the Chrome web browser.

I think my biggest frustration though, after having tried Kwort, is I suspect I am missing out on something, but simply do not know what because of the sparse documentation. There could be a great community repository of software or more useful tools or wonderful reasons for the design decisions made. However, I am not aware of them. For a distribution to be useful it needs, in my opinion, to either present its features in an easy to explore way (like Ubuntu) or it needs to have great documentation (like Arch Linux). Kwort, though it has merit in its lightweight nature, is not easy to explore and has very little documentation. Two factors I think will keep most users away from this minimal distribution.

More at DistroWatch

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