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Why the future of open source is trust

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Some of the brightest minds and talented developers converged on the city of Dublin to share more than just a pint or two of Guinness. The community came together at the Open Source Summit Europe 2022 to share stories, best practices and glimpses into the future of open source and what it means for them. 

Intel has been a contributor to open source since 1991, and over the last 20 years has helped nurture the ecosystem to grow as it stands today. Much of the world relies upon open source software and tools, without even knowing it. From the web browser you’re reading this on to the app that delivers your lunch, so much of our day-to-day lives rely on the very platform that was built as a hobby.  

Still, there are challenges ahead.

Intel’s Director of Security Communications, Christopher Robinson (aka CRob) gave a keynote at the Open Source Summit in Dublin titled “The Future of Open Source is Trust.  

Trust is earned. Robinson states his bona fides as “a history of doing interesting (and “sometimes useful)” things in the community to accumulate it – not to mention he’s a “41st level Dungeon master and 24th level securityologist.” He draws a sharp portrait of trust building during the founding of the Linux operating system and some of the challenges the open source community has faced through the years as threats became more widespread 

Along the way, the threat landscape changed as adoption of these amazing new tools penetrated further and further into our everyday lives,” Robinson says, citing examples from the heartbleed bug to the more recent Log4Shell vulnerability.

These former hobbyists transformed into troubleshooters and the tools at their disposal sharpened, too. “With each new high-profile incident pounding home the notion that we had become critical infrastructure! These headlines over the last few years about high-profile breaches and incidents also highlights gaps in our trust and understanding. 

One thing didn’t change – the community. Through the ups and downs, those who were passionate about open source banded together to help create solutions for some of the ecosystem’s biggest problems. 

One important example? The Open Source Software Security Foundation (OpenSSF), formed in 2020 to improve the security of the open source software ecosystem and the whole open source software supply chain. Corporations, maintainers, researchers, enthusiasts, academics, and individuals have joined together to zoom in on specific security problems. 

Projects like sigstore, Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), SLSA, Scorecard Project and Badges have all become parts of the story of how the community has banded together to make the whole ecosystem better, Robinson notes.  Focusing on in key areas that have the potential for maximum benefits for all open source software maintainers and consumers, OSSF contributors transparently gather to help work on these tough problems. 

The community is at the heart of open source. By coming together, conversations turn into ideas and ideas then turn into frameworks and hours spent writing code to solve problems.  
We can’t wait to see where the next 20 years will take us, but let’s go there together, building trust along the way. 

About the author 

Sonia Goldsby brings over a decade of experience in event planning, open source program and project management to Intel. Her focus at Intel is leading marketing initiatives and driving cross-functional open source events. She enjoys spending time with family and traveling. 



Photo by Ruslan Zh on Unsplash

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Open Source Summit is the premier event for open source developers, technologists, and community leaders to collaborate, share information, solve problems, and gain knowledge, furthering open source innovation and ensuring a sustainable open sim so dep source ecosystem. It is the gathering place for open-source code and community contributors.

Open Source Summit is a conference umbrella, composed of a collection of events covering the sim viettel most important technologies, topics, and issues affecting open source today.