OSSG Article


Open Source Specialist Group Project contest – the results

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The Open Source Specialist Group Project contest received a number?of high quality applications.

We are delighted to share the names winners:

  • Dan Gorringe, for the category Best School Project
  • Chelsea Back, for the category Best Apprenticeship Project
  • Luke Robert, for the category Best First Year?Project

BCS books programme survey

BCS books

The BCS books programme supports IT managers, professionals and users by focusing on the evolving needs of people, process and technology in the workplace, enabling organisations to build IT capability in line with their strategic requirements.

We hope you will help us by taking a few moments to complete this short questionnaire. Your feedback will assist us in reviewing existing and emerging areas in IT and in establishing topics for further research and development.


Call for Open Source Project Contest Applications

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The BCS OSSG desires to support and encourage students and apprentices to use and develop open source software and hardware in their project work.

All students and apprenticesare invited to enter one of the project contests sponsored by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. The project contests are as follows:

  • Best school projectfor students who are still at secondary school or sixth form college
  • Best first year projectfor students who are in their first year of study at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI).
  • Best second year projectfor students in their second year of study at a UK HEI (also those on an industrial year or 3rd year of a 4 year degree – basically this is for students between their first and final years).
  • Best final year undergraduateprojectfor students in their final year of study for a BA, BSc, BEng, or in the penultimate year of an MEng (this will often be the 3rd year, but may be the fourth or fifth year, if the student has taken a year abroad, year in industry, or is studying for a 4 year Scottish degree).
  • Best apprentice projectcompleted by an apprentice working in a UK company on an approved apprenticeship scheme.

The winner in each category will be awarded a cash prize of 100;application must be submitted by 15thAugust 2016.

More information at http://ossg.bcs.org/student-project-2016.


How to Start your Open Source Business

Tariq Rashid

All (almost all) the talks at the Open for Business conference, that was hosted as part of the Wuthering Bytes festival at the end of September, have been recorded and are now available on line.

This includes recordings of the talks by Tariq RashidRob Blake,  Stuart Mackintosh (second talk), Rob TaylorScott Wilson, Amanda Brock Peter CoatesRobin KennedyCornelia Boldyreff and Adam Jollans.

The entire video set is also available as a playlist, allowing you to relive the day in its entirety.

Publishing the talks on-line provides a permanent repository of information that will serve as an invaluable resource to those running, starting up or considering starting, their own open source business.

All the details in the Embecosm web site.


OSS 2016 Call For Contributions

 

The 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems (http://oss2016.org)

Gothenburg, Sweden, 30 May – 02 June 2016

Scope of OSS 2016

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) has had a disruptive effect on the software industry and the ways that organizations and individuals create, distribute, acquire and use software and software-based services. The FLOSS movement has created new kinds of opportunities such as the emergence of new business models, knowledge exchange mechanisms, and collective development approaches. On the other hand, the movement has introduced new kinds of challenges, especially as different problem domains embrace openness as a pervasive problem solving strategy. FLOSS can be complex yet widespread and often cross-cultural. Consequently, they require an interdisciplinary understanding of their technical, economic, legal and socio-cultural dynamics.

Many organizations that have been known for developing proprietary software are now actively involved with FLOSS. FLOSS adoption continues to grow among businesses, governments, and other organizations. FLOSS remains important for educators and researchers, as well as an important aspect of e-government and information society initiatives, providing access to high-quality software and the code used to create it.

The goal of 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2016 is to provide an international forum where a diverse community of professionals from academia, industry and public sector, and diverse FLOSS initiatives can come together to share research findings and practical experiences. The conference is also a forum to provide information and education to practitioners, identify directions for further research, and to be an ongoing platform for technology transfer, no matter which form of FLOSS is being pursued.

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Making your program faster and greener

Jeremy Bennett, Embecosm

Abstract

Compilers take computer programs and translate them to the binary machine code processors actually run. Two of the most widely used compilers are completely free and open source: GCC and LLVM. In this article we look at two recent industrial research projects supported by Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, which advance the state of the art with these compilers.

The MAGEEC project, a joint project between Embecosm and Bristol University, is an open source machine learning framework for any compiler, which allows the compiler to be trained to generate more energy efficient code. A side-benefit is that energy efficient code turns out to be much faster code.

Superoptimization as a technique to achieve the ultimate in compiled performance has been around in academic circles for nearly 30 years.

During the summer of 2014, Innovate UK funded a feasibility study to see whether any of these techniques were commercially viable. The good news is that some techniques could now, or with a modest amount of further industrial R&D, offer exceptional benefit for real-world software. And once again the software is open source.

MAchine Guided Energy Efficient Compilation (MAGEEC)

A study carried out by James Pallister at Bristol University and funded by the UK compiler development company Embecosm in summer 2012 found that choice of compiler optimization  flags had a major effect on the energy consumed by the compiled program. The bad news was that the options to be used varied from architecture to architecture and program to program [1].

The MAGEEC project was funded by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) under its Energy Efficient Computing initiative, to develop a machine learning based compiler infrastructure capable of optimizing for energy. Running from June 2013 to November 2014, it was a joint feasibility study between Embecosm and Bristol University, to develop a machine learning compiler infrastructure that could optimize for energy. Key criteria were that the infrastructure should be generic, it should optimize for energy, that it should be based on real energy measurements, not models and that it should create a fully working system. The entire project was free and open source. (more…)


OWASP Winter Code Sprint

Winter Code SprintThe second round of the OWASP Winter Code Sprint is now open to mid October and is looking for students to work on current open source security projects

The OWASP Winter Code Sprint (OWCS) is a program to involve students with Security projects. By participating in OWCS a student can get real life experience while contributing to an open source project and getting university credits.

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Volunteers needed for the Open Source SG

Help wanted

Would you consider helping your Specialist Group to provide a full and varied programme for BCS members and the public?

The Open Source SG of BCS is also looking for volunteers to assist with the running of the SG, which includes its events programme. There are a variety of duties available for everyone no matter how much time you are able to give.

Becoming a volunteer for BCS is a great way to expand on your CV, as well as providing a service for local members.

If you have an interest in helping the BCS Open Source Specialist Group by volunteering your services, then please contact the Member Groups Team on groups@hq.bcs.org.uk for more information on the roles available.