6 August 2012

My Open Source Involvement

My current employer is refreshingly serious about software licenses. For example if an open source library is GPL licensed, it just cannot be used in a product or service offering. End of story. All other companies, I have ever worked for, just did not care. I like being serious about software. But it is not just about using the software, in fact it is about being contaminated with someone else's intellectual property, whatever this might be. To comply with my employer's bureaucracy I have to report my open source involvement and get written permission from my manager. Ok, so let's collect all my active open source projects and list them here as well. Some advertising never hurts.

Open Source Water Bottles
  • It began with PMD (BSD License), a source code analyser for Java, which I used a lot. In 2004 I started submitting patches and later I created my own set of custom rules as Maven module. Unfortunately the new PMD 5.0 is not backward compatible, so I have some pending work to do here. (Source Code)

  • In 2008 I created a system tray notifier to monitor build servers under BSD license. The source code is on my Bitbucket account. I use it myself and have to create maintenance releases from time to time. (Ah delicious dog food ;-)

  • javaclass-rb is a Java class file parser in Ruby. I created it in 2009 and I there is a small release once a year. Although it is not finished, it is particularly useful to analyse custom Java code. I hope that I will have some time in the future to describe it in detail.

  • Since last year I am organizing Hackergarten Vienna. Hackergarten is a craftsman's workshop, a classroom, a laboratory, a social circle, a writing group, a playground and an artist's studio. We meet once a month and work on Open Source. During this time I have submitted patches with working code to Commons Exec, Castor, Commons Email and JMeter (all under Apache License).

  • My latest project is BaDaDam, an experimental BDD framework for Java. It allows you to write stories in plain text, implement them in Java classes and just run them using JUnit. Some people from Hackergarten have helped me with contributions.

  • Occasionally I submit pieces of code to Rosetta Code, a programming chrestomathy site.


rjahn said...

Did you sign CLAs for your contributions and your previous employer(s)?

Without CLAs it is a risk for the OS projects to use/integrate your code.

Be sure that your employer signs your CLA too because there is a difference between a private citizen and an employee.

Peter Kofler said...

Thank you rjahn, I was not aware of CLAs. I thought it would be enough to testify that my changes are free of any IP, like the Apache Jira asks me to do when submitting a patch. I am quite sure my employer will be unable to sign this, but I will enjoy the sport of keeping my managers and the legal department busy. I agree, if they ask me to document my open source activity, they should also be prepared to sign the CLA on approval of my work.