Actively Supporting the Development of OSS
Advance OSS Along with Society and
Bring About Innovation
March 25, 2020
Corporate Technology Strategy Division,
OSS made in cooperation with people all over the world
There is a type of software that is made available for free public use, subject to a set of terms and conditions, called Open Source Software (OSS) which is continually being co-created by many people over the world, breaking down the boundaries between businesses, regions, fields of industry and the like. We spoke to Osamu Ueda, Corporate Technology Strategy Division, Sony Corporation, who contributes to OSS. "One occasionally comes across OSS that excels in all areas including quality, performance as well as function. One representative example would be Linux, which can be used as the base software of computer systems. Linux has over 25 million lines of source code*, to which, it is said, several tens of thousands of people over the world contributed. An incredible number of people trust and work in harmony with each other, build a community and through diligent application, continue development. This is the OSS activity."
*Source code: Source code is a kind of blueprint for software. It is written in sentence-like structures.
Mutual growth through bonds of trust
Sony started using Linux in their products in around 2003. Ueda hasn't just been using the software, but also actively supporting its development. “It isn't only with Sony either. I'm taking part in many activities with my counterparts in other Japanese companies, developing programs for the global OSS community.” Tim Bird from Sony Electronics Inc. has also been involved in Linux's development community. "From 2017 through 2019, he had been selected as one of ten technical advisors to The Linux Foundation board, an international consortium that aims to link developers and the commercial world. He played an intermediary role for us, conveying Sony's anticipations and details of improvement to them."
Currently, those in the developer community are taking a great deal of interest in the use of Sony's products and the respective technological developments, and it seems that Sony have been able to make good relationships of trust with the community.
Actively learn from the world's intelligence
Recently, Sony has been releasing more and more software as OSS that was developed completely in-house. After making it available to the public, many people from around the world make use of it and give feedback, allowing Sony to improve their software even further. Ueda weighs in on this. "I'd like to continue these kinds of positive activities in the future too. Through the process of building cooperative relationships and trust, and connecting this to innovation, we can learn a lot. We'd love it if you could also find an opportunity to dive into the OSS developers' community!"