2006 was a pivotal year for Open Source. 2007 should be a banner year.
In 2006, the OSI's agenda was focused on the problem of license proliferation (defining it, addressing it, and solving it), the harmonization of the definitions of open standards and open source software, and the launch of the new, version 3.0 website, which now serves this content. Of course the OSI also managed the day-to-day business of discussing and approving licenses, fund raising, answering frequently asked questions, and acting as faithful stewards of the Open Source Definition.
With approximately 60 licenses approved by the OSI since 1998, many open source stakeholders agreed that while choice was a Good Thing, too much choice was Too Much of a Good Thing. The License Proliferation Committee brought together a wide variety of stakeholders (license authors and license users, software developers and corporate attorneys) to discuss and recommend how to best remain inclusive and innovative while diminishing the risk of the open source community fragmenting into too many separate, incompatible licensing factions. Their discussions and recommendations resulting in a categorization that has helped simplify the understanding of the many open source licenses that exist, the development of software tools to help licensors choose appropriate licenses, and has precipitated the voluntary retirement of several licenses.
Dale Dougherty is giving his Make: presentation. Clearly, FOSS hackers are Make:rs. He referenced one of my favorite documents, the Crafter Manifesto, which can be found at http://ullamaaria.typepad.com/hobbyprincess/2005/03/draft_craft_man.html
While craft and play may seem as far from technology as one can get, as human endeavors (and we /are/ human) I believe they are intimately related.
Greetings from Brussels, where EuroOSCON 2006 is in progress. Top of my OSI agenda is getting the new website launched. Progress on this task has been sporadic over the year, largely frustrated by the fact that it takes a certain amount of coordinate effort up front to make it possible to accumulate asynchronous effort later. We are finally reaching that point where we can have a Wiki-enabled site that will permit such asynchronous and cumulative contribution. Yea!
The License Proliferation Committee is an ad-hoc advisory committee to the board. Many people are concerned that there are too many licenses of limited value. Yet other people ar concerned that policy concerns will cause open source licenses to be disapproved. The committee's work has resulted in a recommendation to be published in draft form to the community at OSCON2006.