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Kai Katschthaler (they/them) for Scaleway

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🧊 Cool things for a hot open-source summer! (Scaleway Community Newsletter, June 2023)

This is the web edition of Scaleway's monthly community newsletter, where we share interesting stuff dedicated to various topics devs and devOps folks care about. If you want this in your inbox every month, subscribe today!

Hi there!

The temperatures are rising, people are going on holiday, and in many industries, work starts to slow down a bit over the summer. Perhaps you find yourself blocked in your work by someone who’s jetted off on a sunny holiday (how dare they? 😉).

Or maybe you’re the one who’s taken some time off, but you’ve got nowhere to go and are trying to escape the heat inside. 🥵

Why not use some of that extra time to contribute to your favorite open-source project?

So many companies’ software stacks are built on open-source tools. And many of us use open-source software almost daily in our private lives as well, often without noticing.

3d-rendered image of an iceberg. The tip of it that peeks out over the water surface is labelled “company’s software stack”. The much larger part of it that is under water is labelled “all free and open source libraries and software it relies on”

Source: Unsplash/Simon Lee

Taking the time to contribute to free and open-source software is a great way to give back to the often vastly under-compensated projects that keep our tech running. But it’s not the only way. You can find a bunch of other tips in our blog post Giving back to Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS)!

So — now that you’ve gotten past my enthusiastic attempts to make this seasonal —, let’s get ready for a hot open-source summer and cool off with a whole bunch of open-source-related topics, tips, and links!

📚 Cool OSS reads

As the image of the iceberg above so nicely illustrates, we’re relying on open source for a lot of the things we build. And if we forget that, we can potentially end up in hot water. Chris Lewis makes a case for Software Dependency Engineering to keep the dependency management problem from worsening and averting disaster.

While we’re at it, maybe we should also have a look at what even constitutes open source. Is a project still open source even if it is closed to contributions? How ‘open’ should your open source be? tackles this brilliantly, and I quite like that it also briefly taps into what accepting contributions can mean for maintainer mental health.

I also enjoyed reading The Unreasonable Effectiveness of VLC, which could best be described as a love letter to VLC. I’ve always been a huge fan of VLC myself — and I’m not saying that to butter up our new Scaleway CEO, who just so happens to have been involved in VLC’s early days, but because of how VLC disrupted the industry and made so many things so much easier.

📅 Cool OSS events

There are some cool open-source events/conferences coming up this summer as well.

Get ready for FOSSY 2023, the “first Free and Open Source Software Yearly conference”. FOSSY 2023 is an in-person event in Portland, Oregon (US), from July 13-16. The event has a reduced-fare ticket tier for those on a budget and a code of conduct.

Then there’s the Pass the SALT conference, a free conference dedicated to free software and security. The conference takes place in Lille, France, July 3–5, and also has a code of conduct.

Find more FOSS events near you on!

🪛 Cool new(ish) tools

A few weeks ago, Polar was published. Polar is an open-source tool to give maintainers a way to organize direct funding for specific issues in their backlog. Love to see open-source tools trying to solve open-source problems. 👏🏻

Screenshot of a tweet by Birk Jernström that reads: “Super excited to unveil and open source Polar today (in private alpha)! Polar gives open source maintainers a better and funded backlog based on what drives the most impact within their community.”

Source: Twitter

Another project in that vein is Overlay, an open-source browser extension to help developers evaluate open-source packages before picking them.

FerretDB is a (truly) open-source alternative to MongoDB. It’s not super mature, so you probably can’t completely replace MongoDB with it just yet, but it’s a good start. Which is why we decided to add FerretDB to Scaleway’s ecosystem a while back. 🎉 is here to make self-hosting web apps super easy and super secure. Each “grain” (or object) in the Sandstorm is containerized and isolated from others unless you say otherwise. You can install Sandstorm locally or in the cloud. Many of the apps available on the Sandstorm app market are also open source. Sandstorm runs on Linux.

As you probably heard, people aren’t very happy with Reddit at the moment, be it for charging huge monies for API access or the incessant targeted ads. So for everyone who likes their privacy, Teddit is here to save the day! Teddit (much to my disappointment, it doesn’t have a teddy bear as a logo) is a ​​free and open-source alternative Reddit front-end focused on privacy. No JS, no ads!

Windmill is an open-source alternative to Airplane and Retool, letting you turn scripts into workflows and UIs.

Meanwhile, Plane (accidental wind theme in this section of the newsletter) is an open-source project management tool for software development — basically an alternative to JIRA and the like.

👀 More interesting OSS-related links

That’s it for this month! Stay cool, stay hydrated, and show FOSS some love 💝


Kai from Scaleway

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