Presenting The Linux Foundation's FOSS Bar Code Tracker
Article by George Norman
On 01 Jun 2012
Earlier this week The Linux Foundation announced that it released the FOSS Bar Code Tracker software tool. Released as an open source project by the organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, the new tool is meant to ensure open source compliance with auto-generated, custom QR codes. The tool simplifies the way open source components are tracked and reported by using an auto-generated, custom QR code for each product.

It can be a bit difficult to track software components and licenses in each product, considering that the use of Linux and other open source software in mobile and consumer electronics products is growing at a very rapid pace. Even a very diligent compliance officer or engineering manager may find it hard to efficient track software components and licenses in each product. This is where the FOSS Bar Code Tracker software tool released by The Linux Foundation comes in. By using this new tool, product development teams can create their own FOSS Bill of Materials, can identify FOSS components included in each product, and can update and share info throughout the supply chain.


The Linux Foundation’s FOSS Bar Code Tracker can also provide the mechanishm to load the standard file and generate the desired QR code for companies that adopt SPDX or other standard formats for open source license components.

Eben Moglen, executive director, Software Freedom Law Center, comments:
“As the supply chain has gotten more distributed, the process of license compliance needs to be easy, fast and streamlined. The Linux Foundation’s new FOSS Bar Code Tracker addresses this with a tool everyone can use. Automating this process will result in gains for FOSS developers, manufacturers embedding FOSS in their products, and users who want to get the most value from the products they buy.”

A one dimensional bar code, a QR code with data, or a QR code as a hot link is generated by the FOSS Bar Code Tracker as part of its Open Compliance Program. This means that at the click of a button, info about a product’s compliance can be accessed.

Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, comments:
“Through our Open Compliance Program, we’ve learned that companies desperately need a free software tool for tracking and reporting open source software components. The new FOSS Bar Code Scanner will drastically reduce the resources needed to track and report information about the software included in every product and instill even more confidence in the companies using Linux and open source software to compete in today’s mobile and consumer electronics markets.”

Additional information on The Linux Foundation’s FOSS Bar Code Tracker is available here.

Tags: Linux, Linux Foundation, FOSS Bar Code Tracker
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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