We have been awash in predictions for weeks now. That’s what we do every time the calendar completes another trip around the sun.
And in most cases, as the year wears on and reality doesn’t always conform to the forecasts, that line from Yogi Berra (if he didn’t actually say it, who cares?) gets more and more relevant: Predictions are hard, especially about the future.
But when it comes to the future of open source software, given the trend lines of the past few years, it seems pretty safe to say that a single word—“more”—will be present in just about everything that happens in 2019.
More mergers and acquisitions following on the megadeals of IBM buying Red Hat and Microsoft buying GitHub. More organizations using more of it. More vulnerabilities, corresponding with more efforts by hackers to take advantage of those vulnerabilities. More licensing squabbles and lawsuits. More Linux everywhere, present in the cloud, the IoT, AI, big data, DevOps and blockchain.
Indeed, the 2018 Synopsys OSSRA (Open Source Security and Risk Analysis) report found that of more than 1,100 codebases audited, 77% of IoT codebases had open source components with an average of 677 vulnerabilities per application. Of all the codebases scanned, 74% had open source components with license conflicts.
Obviously, you don’t need a report to tell you that the IoT is still growing explosively, so all those things will grow along with it.
But “more” doesn’t get to every nuance of how much more, where, and how open source software will inhabit our lives and activities.
What follows are a few open source predictions that get into specifics, from several experts in the field. We’ll check back at the end of the year to see how they did.