In this Special Edition of our weekly open source news roundup, we look back at the top news stories in 2015!
I looked most closely at news in the areas of business, government, and hardware. There has also been remarkable news about how open source continues to help make a difference and the world a better place.
Open source is no longer optional
This year sawcontinued growth for both use and adoption of open source software in the enterprise software market. Many companies made some of their software open source, like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and others. Also, Microsoft acquiredRevolution Analytics, an open source data analytics company. Fun fact: IBM made ~50 applications open source this year .
The 2015 Linux Jobs Report compiled by the Linux Foundation and technology recruiter Dice told us companies wanted moreLinux-savvy employees.
And,machine learning has been in the spotlight this year, with companies like Google, H2O.ai, and Microsoft releasing software and getting funded.
Has thegolden age of open source arrived? Marius Moscovici, founder and CEO of Metric Insights, says "no company can afford to ignore open source software. Just the fact that Apple is open sourcing its Swift programming language indicates that the advantages of open source are no longer optional."
Open hardware is everywhere
Open source hardware has been a hot topic in the news throughout the year. We saw the release of theRaspberry Pi 2and Raspberry Pi Zero, the Ubuntu smartphoneAquaris E4.5, and a nine dollarcomputer.
Richard Stallmanspoke about open hardware’s potential to be one of the next big things and gave some advice on licensing.
And, the Open Source Hardware Association announced a certification process for Open Source Hardware. And, much to our delight, the phenomenom of 3D printed prosthetic hands won the UK James Dyson Award.
New projects and organizations
The Linux Foundation initiated theNode.js Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation , the Open Mainframe Project , the Kinetic Open Storage Project , the R Consortium, and the security-focused badge program.
Thecontainer coalitionsought a common standard, Mozillalaunched the Open Source Support Program, and Creative Commons created an Open Business Models Initiative .
Anniversaries in open source
It’s difficult to cover all of the awesome anniversaries in open source out there, but we managed to highlight theGNU Manifestoturning 30, 10 years of Git, and GNOME’s18th birthday.
Governments around the world commit to openness
The World Wide Web Foundation confirms that many governments made a commitment to openness this year in their second open data barometer report . The most transparent governments for 2015 are: The United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Sweden, France, and New Zealand.
In the news this past year, the The White House hired a few new people with a commitment to openness and released its third Open GovernmentNational Action Plan, which includes 40 new or expanded initiatives for open access, education, and data. The UK took another stepthis year away from proprietary software, Franceadoptedeven more open source, and the European Commission funded an international project called ExaHyPE for supercomputers.
Open data propelled by creativity
Creativityto propel open data forward can be seen in government, business, and a participatory society this year. Good example of this are projects like Professor Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner’s $100 million project calledBreakthroughand a new pan-Europeanopen data portal launched by the European Commission. The portal is designed to make open data sets more accessible and to encourage the wider use of the data. Open Knowledge supported these efforts by releasing an update of theirOpen Data Handbook this year.
Open education ready for the future
This year, Open edX addedCreative Commons licensing to their content, and Creative Commons sent an open letter to the Obama administration calling for administrative action to ensure that federally funded educational materials are made available as Open Educational Resources for the public.
A better place
Open source continues to better our world and our lives.
NASAsent open designs to the international space station,Arduino was used for scientists living in Antarctica, andDocker supports whale and marine wildlife conservation. Earthquake victims in Nepal where helped by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and OpenMRS joining the fight againstEbola. Plus, read up on this FedEx-style system forhumanitarian aid.
These highlights of amazing open source in the news this year was barely the tip of the iceberg! What news was important to you this year? Share with us in the comments.