This candid 2011 talk about the history of OpenSolaris fork Illumos doubles as a history of the late Silicon Valley giant Sun, its engineering and corporate culture, its disastrous acquisition by Oracle, and the rise of open source in the 2000's. [more inside]
Judaism's core texts grew out of millennia-long conversations and arguments across generations, with interconnected dialogues, source citing and (re)interpretation. Now, it's all going digital: Sefaria is creating a massive public domain, interactive "living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and translations." Their goal is to build a reference resource and community that "gives a better learning experience than anything that comes before it," from ancient to modern texts and "all the volumes of commentary in between." Read texts, browse submitted public source sheets on dozens of topics or visualize associations between texts.
While it used to be the leading alternative to Internet Explorer (and others), Firefox has seen its market share erode steadily since the 2008 debut of Google Chrome. The Mozilla Foundation has made several oft-controversial bids at relevancy, including native video chat, Pocket integration, a mobile browser (and OS), a UI overhaul, and a rapid release schedule that's reached version 40 (and counting). But the latest proposal -- part of a reboot of the stalled Electrolysis multiprocessing project -- will prove the most daunting. Although it will modernize the browser's architecture, it also deprecates the longtime XUL framework in favor of more limited and Chrome-like "web extensions" -- requiring Firefox's vast catalog of powerful add-ons to be rewritten from scratch or cease functioning. While developers will have until 2017 to fully adapt, opinion is divided -- NoScript's Giorgio Maone reassures doubters, while the DownThemAll! team says "it feels like I just learned my dear old friend Firefox is going to die." [more inside]
The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
“Box 73 and Box 96 contain interesting manuscripts on drunkenness, swearing, adultery and much more...”. The Bentham Transcription Project is using crowdsourcing to transcribe 40,000 unpublished manuscripts of utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who died in 1832 but still sits and watches. (prev) In four months, they've knocked off 435 already. [more inside]
In Two Bits (full-book in html) , Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software, but also music, film, science, and education. The author encourage his readers to modulate the book. [more inside]
Omeka is a newly available, open-source web platform, bringing good-looking, functional online exhibitry within reach of smaller museums, libraries, and arts groups. From the Center for History and New Media.