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March 31, 2014 Newsletter

 

March 2014 OSI Newsletter

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Open Source Initiative

...formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

Collaborate, Contribute, Co-create

 
 

OSI Welcomes Two New Affiliate Members

 

The Open Source Initiative is very pleased to announce two new Affiliate Members: inBloom and LinuxFest Northwest. The OSI Board of Directors offers a warm welcome to both!

With inBloom and LinuxFest Northwest joining as OSI Affiliates, our membership of non-profit organizations supporting our mission increases to thirty.


inBloom LogoinBloom is an independent nonprofit organization that provides a Secure Data Service that enables widely varied educational tools to work together so that teachers can more easily tailor education to the needs, skill level and learning pace of each individual student.

As a company that has built a disruptive technology for an industry where there is a lot of resistance to change, our mission mirrors that of the OSI as educators and advocates for the transparency and community involvement that is synonymous with open source software,” said Vincent Mayers, Open Source Community Manager at inBloom.


LinuxFest Logo LinuxFest Northwest provides a creative environment for the open source community to come together to share new, innovative ideas, and promote through educational activities Linux/open source software principles and technologies to the general public.

Bill Wright, Board Member of LinuxFest Northwest, noted, “As a nonprofit organization we feel a strong camaraderie with the OSI in mutually promoting our goal to facilitate a viable and effective Linux and open source community.”

LinuxFest Northwest 2014 is coming up soon, April 26th and 27th in Bellingham, WA.


The OSI would like to thank both the community and leadership of inBloom and LinuxFest Northwest for their trust and participation. "The OSI vision of building bridges within the open source community is strengthened and advanced by these two additions," said OSI President Simon Phipps.

 
 
 

AFUL launches international petition to stop forced sale of software with hardware

When you buy a computer, telephone, tablet-pc, etc., you first make a hardware choice, then must pay again for an operating system (Microsoft Windows, MacOS, etc) and bundled software, even if you choose to replace those later, with perhaps open source options. Most people simply accept this, becoming technologically dependent, hence vulnerable. The best thing for consumers is to have a choice in the software installed (from the BIOS up to the desktop).


AFUL has developed a petition requesting new laws to separative hardware and software dependencies.

 

Top 5 Reasons
to Attend EclipseCon

Learn – EclipseCon attendees have access to 14 tutorials, 120 sessions, 4 theme days (Java 8, Vert.x, IoT/M2M and PolarSys) and the CDT/Linux Tools/PTP Summit.

Experts – Talk to the project leaders, committers and industry experts...

Information – Start thinking about the new Java 8, what you should know about Eclipse 4, modeling, life cycle tools and other cool stuff.

Unplug and get inspired – Get away from your daily routine. You’ll definitely be inspired and discover fresh ideas!

Network – Meet peers, members of the Eclipse Community and Eclipse Foundation Staff Members.


Why not also stay to visit San Francisco after the conference!

 
 

Individual Member Profile: Allison Randal

 

Allison is a software developer and open source strategist, currently working on OpenStack at Hewlett-Packard. Her hobby is applying the concepts of quantum physics to the problems of massively concurrent architectures.


Allison Randal

OSI: What open source projects or communities are you involved with and how?
Randal: I'm an Ubuntu Developer, a Debian Maintainer, one of the organizers for DebConf this summer in Portland, on the board of the Perl Foundation, emeritus board member of the Python Software Foundation, and recently started employment as a full-time contributor to OpenStack. Of historical interest to the OSI audience: I was the primary drafter of the Artistic License 2.0 and the Perl Foundation contributor license agreement, a review committee member for GPLv3, and one of the drafters of the amicus brief (for OSI, Creative Commons, etc) that turned the tide for the Jacobsen v. Katzer case. I'll be staffing the OSI booth at LinuxFest Northwest in April, together with Ben Reser.


OSI: What do you find most appealing about open source software and/or the open source community?
Randal:In the beginning, open source was an idea that software freedom was for everyone, not just for revolutionaries. Then it became a mission, to gain acceptance in business contexts that traditionally resisted or actively fought against software freedom. From that mission grew a movement, a social transformation toward open communication and collaboration (both individual and corporate) as a fundamentally superior method of developing software. In all of these areas, open source has largely succeeded, at least to the point that the hard uphill fight is done, and the remainder is a matter of intelligently steering down the long slope on the other side of the mountain, to avoid pits or cliffs.

My interest now is in the future of open source, where will we go from here? Among other things, I believe that licensing will continue to be absolutely essential. I agree with the concerns over license proliferation that started in the mid-2000's (I was one of the active amplifiers of the meme), and I'm pleased that the flood of new licenses we feared has been prevented, focusing people down on a few "standard" choices. But at the same time, I fully expect the next 30 years of international law to be every bit as interesting as the past 30 years, which means that open source licensing must either continue to evolve with the times or suffer the consequences of ossification. I've been thrilled to see efforts like Richard Fontana's copyleft-next, that re-examine our base assumptions and actively look to the future.


OSI: What motivated you to donate to, or become a member of the OSI?
Randal: I eagerly anticipated the OSI introducing a membership model for years, both from conversations with various past and present board members, and as a participant in a discussion group circa 2008-9 who provided some early input into the shape of OSI membership. So, I signed up for the individual membership program as soon as I heard it was launched.

I see Membership as important to the OSI because it provides an avenue of participation from the broader open source community, and helps the organization to constantly renew relevance in the evolving open source ecosystem.


OSI: What do you hope the OSI can do to promote open source awareness and adoption?
Randal: The biggest obstacles I see to open source adoption are in usability, with solutions probably best left to specific projects with a depth of knowledge in their unique problem domains. More to the point, it would be possible to launch a usability initiative across the full spectrum of the open source community, but I don't personally think that's where the OSI should be investing its efforts.

On awareness, there are plenty of open source projects that have achieved brand recognition even in the wilds of tech consumership (Firefox, Ubuntu, Android, etc.), so what we're aiming for isn't so much broadcasting the existence of open source, as it is broadcasting the *meaning* of open source. Our greatest challenge in the next decade or so is making sure the signal of software freedom isn't lost in the noise of general technical progress. It's partly an act of definition, what is and isn't open source. It's partly an act of interpretation, evaluating current events in the light of open source, and re-evaluating open source in light of current events. And it's partly an act of inspiration, highlighting successes (and failures) and pointing the way to the future. This is an area where I think the OSI can and should have a substantial impact, not as an exclusive owner, but as an influential participant in the open source community.


 
 

Is Open Source Software The Answer to Oregon's IT Problems?



OSI Board Director Deborah Bryant spoke with Oregon Public Radio's Dave Miller on "Think Out Loud," about her experience with open source software while working as Deputy Chief Information Officer for Oregon and how to promote greater use across State government.

 
Kiva

Open source software comes with the liberty to use, study, improve and share the software any way you want, made concrete and reliable by an OSI-approved copyright license. It empowers you to control your own world without needing permission from anyone else to make your life better. The Open Source Lending Team at Kiva makes micro-loans to people all over the world so they can lift themselves out of poverty rather than requiring charity. We believe that sharing and empowering others is to the benefit of us all. That's at the heart of Kiva, as well as at the heart of open source software. As Team Captain, I invite you to join us. -- Simon Phipps"

 
 

Corporate Sponsor Profile: Twitter

 

The OSI asked Twitter's Open Source Manager, Chris Aniszczyk how he and Twitter are working within the open source community.


OSI: Twitter is investing significantly in open source software and communities, can you tell us how Twitter is participating [i.e. using, developing, collaborating] with open source software?

Since the beginning, Twitter had a strong open source culture and been built atop open source software. We started out with a simpler MySQL, Ruby on Rails and Memcached stack but Twitter rapidly evolved from a simple application into a service-oriented architecture, leading us to integrate even more open source technologies such as OpenJDK (JVM), Netty, Apache Lucene, Apache Thrift, Apache Hadoop and Redis. We are thankful for a variety of open source communities and give back when we can and it makes sense. In 2011, we established a dedicated Open Source Programs office (opensource.twitter.com) to facilitate our relationship with open source communities we depend on. You can follow @TwitterOSS to stay in touch.


OSI: What are some of the open source projects/communities Twitter is particularly interested in for 2014?

In 2014, we are heavily focus on expanding the Apache Mesos and Apache Aurora open source communities which are critical to Twitter’s and many other companies infrastructure. You can learn more about the Mesos ecosystem by reading this article in WIRED. While not directly related to open source, I recently helped create and launch our #DataGrants program at Twitter. We are requiring all research to be published in an open access journal and any source code to be published under an OSI approved license.

Finally, we are excited to support and participate in the Outreach Program for Women (@fossopw) for the first time in our history. This is also our third year supporting and participating of Google’s great Summer of Code program.


OSI: There are many benefits to open source software, what do you find most appealing about the use of open source software and/or the open source community?

For me personally, it comes down to having the ability to control your destiny and realizing that innovation happens elsewhere. For the first point, having access to the source gives you the ability to tweak it to your needs and not be held hostage by some vendor. In Twitter’s case, we are able to tweak projects like MySQL and Apache Lucene to make it work for our growth challenges (and of course work with upstream to get our changes incorporated). To quote Linus Torvalds, “When it comes to software, I much prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.” Also, the more you contribute to projects and open source communities, the more influence you have in steering the projects in the direction you want them to go.

For the second point, the amount of open source code and communities out there is staggering and only continues to grow. It doesn’t make sense to invent everything from scratch and sooner or later, someone will suggest or implement an improvement to your open source project which you otherwise may not have thought of (or care about at the time). Also by sharing code and participating in open source communities, you open yourself to criticism and people may contribute or point you to a better technology.

I can go on and on about this, so I better stop now and invite anyone to discuss this topic with me over frosty beverages in person or over Twitter.

 
 

Join the OSI
at LinuxFest Northwest

The OSI will be participating in the 2014 LinuxFest Northwest Conference on April 26th & 27th in Bellingham, WA. The OSI's Deb Bryant, along with OSI Individual Members Allison Randal and Ben Reser, will be staffing the OSI table at the conference. Stop by and say hello...


Membership Card

...if you show your OSI Membership card and get a cool gift.


Don't have a membership card?

 

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors

OSI Corporate Sponsors

 
 

Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation
unite against software patents

In rare joint move, OSI and FSF come together
to file a U.S. Supreme Court briefing
 

By Simon Phipps, OSI President

How important are software patents? We know they're a threat to the freedom of developers to collaborate openly in communities, chilling the commercial use of shared ideas that fuels engagement with open source. We know that the software industry was established without the "incentive" of software patents. But the importance of the issue was spotlighted yesterday in a joint action by two leading open source organizations.


In a "friend of the court" (amicus curiae) briefing submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative joined the Software Freedom Law Center in calling for the verdict in the pivotal case CLS Bank vs. Alice Corporation to be affirmed. Written by lawyer and leading software freedom thinker Eben Moglen, the joint submission is the first united action by FSF and OSI since they joined in opposition to the transfer of Novell's patent portfolio by CPTN, a shady consortium of major software corporations opposed to open source.


The brief asserts the basic arguments that processes are not patentable if they are implemented solely through computer software, and that the best test for whether a software-implemented invention is solely implemented through software is whether special apparatus or the transformation of matter have been presented as part of the claims (the "machine or transformation" test).


The brief goes on to assert that, in the long experience of both the OSI and the FSF, finding software-only inventions unpatentable will not imperil the pace of software innovation. That is fueled by free sharing and open publication, not by granting monopolies on ideas. The proof? The history of the free software movement and the worldwide adoption of open source software by industry -- notably by the largest holders of patents -- shows that patenting software has not contributed to the important software innovations of the last generation.


I endorse and welcome this joint position calling for firm clarity on software patents. (I was obviously party to the decision to take it, although I'm not writing on OSI's behalf here.) With 15 years of history behind us, there's far more that unites the FSF and the OSI than divides us. We've each played our part in the software freedom movement that has transformed computing. Now all of us in both communities need to unite to end the chilling threat of software patents to the freedom to innovate collaboratively in community.


This article, " Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation unite against software patents," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of the Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

 
 
 
 

Upcoming Affiliate Events

 

AFUL

No upcoming events

Apereo

2014 Open Apereo Conference: Innovate. Incubate. Implement
Hilton Downtown - Miami, FL
2014/06/01 - 2014/06/04


Creative Commons

CommonsFest Heraklion, Crete, Greece
2014/05/09 - 2014/05/11

WikiConference USA 2014 New York, NY
2014/05/30 - 2014-06/01

Workshop on the Ostrom
Bloomington, Indiana, United States
2014/06/18- 2014/06/21

OKFestival
Berlin, Germany
2014/07/15- 2014/07/18

Wikimania 2014
London, England
2014/08/08- 2014/08/10

Defensive Patent License Launch Conference
Conference in Berkeley, California, USA
2014/11/07


Debian

Debian Bug Squashing Party
Salzburg, Germany
2014/04/25 - 2014/04/27

14. Linuxtag
Berlin, Germany
8.-10.5.2014


The Document Foundation

LibreOffice Conference
Bern, Switzerland
2014/09/02- 2014/09/05

Software Freedom Day
Global
2014/09/20 - 2014/09/20


Drupal Association

Drupal Camp Pune - 2014
Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Khadki, Pune (SIMS)
2014/04/5 - 2014/04/6

NYC Camp 2014!
New York, New York, USA
2014/04/10 - 2014/04/13

DrupalCamp Frankfurt 2014
Frankfurt, Germany
2014/04/12 – 2014/04/13

DrupalCamp Donetsk 2014
Donetsk, Ukraine
2014/04/25 – 2014/04/27

Drupal Camp Manila 2014
Manilla, Philippines
2014/04/26

DrupalCamp St. Louis - 2014
St. Louis, Missouri
2014/04/26

Western NY State Drupal Mini-Camp
Ellicottville, NY, USA
2014/04/264

Drupal Days 2014 - Milano
Milano, Italy
2014/05/08 – 2014/05/10

DrupalCamp Scotland 2014
Edinburgh, Scotland
2014/05/09 – 2014/05/10

DrupalCamp Spain 2014
Valencia, Spain
2014/05/16 – 2014/05/18

DrupalCamp Wrocław Spring 2014
Wrocław, Poland
2014/05/16 – 2014/05/18

Drupal Camp Alpe-Adria 2014
Portoroz, Slovenia
2014/05/17 – 2014/05/18

DrupalCamp Yorkshire 2014
Leeds, England
2014/05/31 – 2014/06/01


Eclipse Foundation

EclipseCon France 2014
Toulouse, France
2014/06/18 - 2014/06/19

EclipseCon Europe 2014
Ludwigsburg, Germany
2014/10/28 - 2014/10/31

Eclipse Day Sydney
Sydney, Australia
2014/04/01

Eclipse Day Vorarlberg 2014
Dornbirn, Austria
2014/04/29

Eclipse Day Florence
Florence, Italy
2014/05/23

Eclipse IDD 2014
Berlin, Germnay
2014/06/03


Free BSD

BSDCan 2014
Ottawa, Canada
2014/05/14 - 2014/05/17


Friends of OpenDocument

No upcoming events

inBloom

No upcoming events

Joomla

JoomlaDay™ Norway 2014
Oslo, Norway
2014/04/01

JoomlaDay™ Atlanta 2014
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2014/04/05


KDE eV

No upcoming events

The Linux Foundation

Android Builders Summit
San Jose, California, USA
2014/04/29 - 2014/05/01

Embedded Linux Conference
San Jose, California, USA
2014/04/29 - 2014/05/01

ApacheCon
Denver, Colorado
2014/04/07 - 2014/04/09

Cloud Stack
Denver, Colorado
2014/04/09 - 2014/04/11

CloudOpen Japan
Tokyo, Japan
2014/05/20 - 2014/05/22

LinuxCon Japan
Tokyo, Japan
2014/05/20 - 2014/05/22


The Linux Fund

No upcoming events

LinuxFest Northwest

No upcoming events

MariaDB Foundation

Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo
Santa Clara, California, USA
2014/04/01 - 2014/04/04

Open Source Data Centre 2014
Berlin, Germany
2014/04/08 - 2014/04/10


Mozilla Foundation

Mozilla Festival
London, UK
2014/11/24 – 2014/11/26


The New Zealand Open Source Society

No upcoming events

Open Source Software Institute

No upcoming events

Open Source Sweden

No upcoming events

Outercurve Foundation

No upcoming events

OW2

Cloud Computing World Expo
Paris, France
2014/04/09


Plone Foundation

The Wine and Beer Sprint 2014
Munich, Germany
2014/03/29- 2014/04/02

Plone Open Garden 2014
Sorrento, Italy
2014/04/22 - 2014/04/26

Berlin, Germany
2014/04/30

World Plone Day
Worldwide
2014/04/30

World Plone Day at Four Digits
Arnhem, Netherlands
2014/04/30

World Plone Day 2014 at Betahaus
Berlin, Germany
2014/04/30


Python Software Foundation

PyCon 2014
Montréal, Canada
2014/04/09 - 2014/04/17

Djangocon Europe 2014
Var, France
2014/05/13 - 2014/05/18

PyCon APAC 2014
Taipei, Taiwan
2014/05/16 - 2014/05/19

PyCon Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
2014/05/20 - 2014/05/22


Sahana Software Foundation

No upcoming events

SOUJava

QCon
São Paulo, Brazil
2014/04/09 - 2014/04/11


Tiki Software Community Association

FROSCON 2014
St. Augustin / Bonn, Germany
2014/0823 - 2014/0823

OpenSym 2014
Berlin, Germany
2014/08/27 - 2014/08/29


Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimania 2014
London, England
2014/08/08 - 2014/08/10
Fringe - Pre-Wikimania Hackathons
Social Machines Hack
2014/05/24 – 2014/05/25
Free Culture Hack
2014/06/07 – 2014/06/08
Future of Education Hack
2014/06/21 – 2014/06/22
Open Data Hack
2014/07/05 – 2014/07/06
Open Scholarship Hack
2014/07/19 – 2014/07/20
Hackathon
2014/08/06 – 2014/08/10

Wikiotics

No upcoming events

 
 
 

Photo credits: "Blister in the Sun" by Martin Fisch (marfis75), CC = Attribution, Share Alike