Daimler: Our developers know about the advantages of Open Source Software

Vlado Koljibabic is Head of CASE IT at Daimler AG, the parent company of the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. He aims to strengthen the idea of Open Source in his company. Daimler is a partner of FOSSASIA. Torben Stephan interviewed Koljibabic on the advantages of open source software.

Stephan: What does CASE stand for?

Koljibabic: CASE is the combination of everything disruptive regarding our business: Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric. These topics shall help us to transform from a car manufacturer to a mobility services provider. This is key in order to remain successful in the future.

How much Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is actually part of a Mercedes?

We have been using FOSS for many years. Any Mercedes-Benz comes with a CD full of FOSS licenses. Every license belongs to a piece of open source software which is implemented in our cars. Even our Mercedes me app contains seven OS licenses. We use it because our developers know about the advantages of OSS.

Which are?

We don’t need to develop everything from scratch, we can reuse things where it makes sense and contribute to the development of open standards that increase efficiency throughout the system.

Daimler is a member of the “Automotive Grade Linux” (AGL) initiative initiated by the Linux Foundation. Isn’t that the right place for such open standards?

Absolutely. During FOSSASIA, with the community, we discussed the opportunity of defining an open standard for electric vehicle charging stations. From my point of view it definitely does make sense to develop this via the AGL. On the other hand Daimler might put even more commitment into this project to show we seriously want to be part of this.

Vlado Koljibabic CASE IT Daimler
Vlado Koljibabic CASE IT Daimler

What’s the advantage of open source software compared to proprietary?

Two things: Nobel Prize laureate John Nash showed that sharing of commodities brings advantages to all players in the market. For me this is the secret of the success of open source software. Beside this we can use existing software solutions for recurring processes. And the car industry is full of recurring processes. If there is no ready-to-use solution, we can initiate and design the processes and contribute to the community.

How do other business units within Daimler respond to this ideas?

For a company like Daimler these are huge changes. That’s why we do this step-by-step. First of all we convince our internal stakeholders of the reasonableness and the value of FOSS. As a following step we accelerate the topic within concrete projects. The overall process of enhancement of OSS usage is initiated and strategically supported. Jan Brecht the CIO of the Daimler AG drives and promotes the initiative essentially.

In which fields would you refrain from publishing your source code?

For example in highly sensitive areas in terms of competition. One example is Autonomous Driving – I would not be the first to focus on open source when it comes to this topic right now. But I’m sure that within the next years, there will be a deck of open source tools for Autonomous Driving, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence everyone can use.

Daimler uses a lot of open source. But what are you giving back to the community?

We are a member of the Linux Foundation and partner here at FOSSASIA. However, we don’t contribute source code yet in the context of open source projects. But we see the demand of the community and are working on it continuously to contribute as soon as possible.

UNESCO Hackathon at FOSSASIA Summit in Singapore

Join the UNESCO Open Data Hackathon at the FOSSASIA Summit, create open source apps and games that tackle climate change, environment and sustainable development challenges, and win awesome prizes! The hackathon takes place from Saturday 24 March to Sunday 25 March 2018 at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Singapore.

We are specifically interested in applications and games that set an example for others who could replicate solutions in other countries, and in particular in the Mekong countries, to tackle the sustainable development challenges. It is our goal to engage the developer community to develop innovative applications in open source by leveraging the open data and knowledge available.

We are inviting developers, designers, open source contributors, bloggers, journalists and all FOSSASIA community members to be part of the UNESCO Hackathon. We are especially encouraging applications from the Mekong region to join the contest. The hackathon is open for all and awesome prizes are waiting for you!

For participants from outside of Singapore we have the possibility to host them in a Singapore hostel. Please apply here. The number is limited. UNESCO encourages the application of women and girls.

How do I sign up?

1. Get your ticket to the Event on eventyay.com.

2. Sign up on Devpost.

3. Join the Gitter channel at https://gitter.im/fossasia/hackathon (requires login with Github).

4. Find team members and create your team preferably at least 3 members and maximum 5 contributors. You are also welcome to sign up and then wait until the Presentation of Ideas on Saturday before deciding to join a team, however we’d encourage you to form/join a team in advance if you already have an idea that you’d like to work on.

5. Join the event at the Lifelong Learning Institute on Saturday, March 24 at the opening at 2.00 pm until 10.00 pm and on Sunday, March 25 from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm.

Visit the website at unesco.sciencehack.asia and stay connected, join the event on Facebook and Meetup and follow FOSSASIA on Twitter.

UNESCO Hackathon Schedule

Hackathon Opening: March 24, 2018

12.00 Registration Opens
14:00 Opening
14.10 Intro of Background, Rules and Prizes
14:20 Presentation of Ideas, Teams and Team Building Activities
15:00 Begin of Hacking Activities
19.30 Dinner
22:00 Closing of Space

Hackday: March 25, 2018

08:00 – 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 – 13:00 Hack Activities Continue
13:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Hacking Continues
14:00 Submission Form Closes
15:15 – 16:00 Presentation of Outcome
16:00 Judges Withdraw for Consultation
16:30 Award Announcement and Ceremony
17:00 Summit Closing

Location/Venue

Lifelong Learning Institute

Address: 11 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408601

Prizes

Prizes are awarded for three teams, and each team prize with a value of 1000 SGD. Win cool gear, hardware, raspis, Arduinos and more!

Project Submission Requirements

For the expected outcome of the hack, the applications or games shall be open source and use open data to tackle the climate change, environment and sustainable development challenges.

They shall address one or several of the following requirements:

  1. Respond to pressing environmental challenges at local, national or regional levels in Asia

  2. Enable the visualization of data in an innovative and/or easy-to-understand way

  3. Mobilize and create engagement of variety of stakeholders and sectors in society on climate change, environment and sustainable development

  4. Gender-sensitive prototype, recognizing or encouraging women’s participation in sustainable development

Functioning App

An important point is, is the prototype or showcase functioning? We prefer real code and design implementations over mockups.

What to enter

Please submit a link to the app, a Github repo link and a short presentation as a download or on Google drive (ensure it is set to public sharing). You can also share anything else to demonstrate your work and let us test it.

  • Video: The platform accepts links to YouTube, Vimeo or Youku. If you like you can post a short video to demonstrate your work.

  • File Upload: There is also an option to upload a file. The platform allows submitters to upload one file, though they can combine files into a single ZIP file.

  • Other: The platform requires contestants to enter an entry name and description. Please also accept the the conditions of the contest including sharing your work under certified Open Source license.

Platform

Share information about what operating systems or devices can your hack run on.

Ressources

Include information about API, SDK, or data set, that are required to run the app.

New vs. Existing

Any work done need to be new for the competition. Existing apps are not eligible. However the specific details what is acceptable and what is not will be determined by the jury. For example existing apps that have been modified substantially and include entirely new functionality would still be eligible.

Submission Rights & Display

The submissions should be Open Source and licensed under a compliant Open Source/Free Software license. They should be upload to a Github repository.

We also request the right to use the winners’ names and work to promote the competition and hackathons in future.

Links

UNESCO Hackathon: https://unesco.sciencehack.asia

FOSSASIA Summit: https://2018.fossasia.org

Tickets: https://eventyay.com/e/db15e7db/

Project Signup: https://fossasia-unesco.devpost.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/139329623548116/

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/FOSSASIA-Singapore-Open-Technology-Meetup/events/247899257/

FOSSASIA: https://twitter.com/fossasia

List of Open Data Resources in Asia

Data portals across Asia: http://dataportals.org
China: http://opendatachina.com
Singapore http://data.gov.sg
Indonesia: https://petabencana.id/map/jakarta
Cambodia: https://opendevelopmentcambodia.net
Thailand https://data.go.th, http://catalog.opendata.in.th
Vietnam: https://vietnam.opendevelopmentmekong.net/data/
World Bank: https://data.worldbank.org
India http://data.gov.in

GET and POST requests

If you wonder how to get or update page resource, you have to read this article.

It’s trivial if you have basic knowledge about HTTP protocol. I’d like to get you little involved to this subject.

So GET and POST are most useful methods in HTTP protocol.

What is HTTP?

Hypertext transfer protocol – allow us to communicate between client and server side. In Open Event project we use web browser as client and for now we use Heroku for server side.

Difference between GET and POST methods

GET – it allows to get data from specified resources

POST – it allows to submit new data to specified resources for example by html form.

GET samples:

For example we use it to get details about event

curl http://open-event-dev.herokuapp.com/api/v2/events/95

Response from server:

Of course you can use this for another needs, If you are a poker player I suppose that you’d like to know how many percentage you have on hand.

curl http://www.propokertools.com/simulations/show?g=he&s=generic&b&d&h1=AA&h2=KK&h3&h4&h5&h6&_

POST samples:

curl -X POST https://example.com/resource.cgi

You can often find this action in a contact page or in a login page.

How does request look in python?

We use Requests library to communication between client and server side. It’s very readable for developers. You can find great documentation  and a lot of code samples on their website. It’s very important to see how it works.

>>> r = requests.get('https://api.github.com/user', auth=('user', 'pass'))
>>> r.status_code
200

I know that samples are very important, but take a look how Requests library fulfils our requirements in 100%. We have decided to use it because we would like to communicate between android app generator and orga server application. We have needed to send request with params(email, app_name, and api of event url) by post method to android generator resource. It executes the process of sending an email – a package of android application to a provided email address.

data = {
    "email": login.current_user.email,
    "app_name": self.app_name,
    "endpoint": request.url_root + "api/v2/events/" + str(self.event.id)
}
r = requests.post(self.app_link, json=data)