November 2014 OSI Newsletter

OSI Newsletter: November 2014

November 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

Autumn '14 Board Meeting

The OSI Board met in San Francisco, CA USA on November 11th and 12th, 2014 with a focus on strengthening the organization's current outreach efforts and building new bridges between open source communities. The Board was excited to review five new applications for Affiliate Membership as well as implement several new initiatives to help drive Individual Membership through the recognition of various roles and levels of access among our community. This included new Individual Membership discounts for students, volunteers working on OSI supported activities, those already members of OSI Affiliate organizations, members of Free Software Foundation and complimentary memberships based on need.

In addition, the Board was happy to review several new potential corporate sponosors.

The social highlight of the week was an informal get-together with OSI members, affiliates and sponsors at a local watering hole. Several local open source community members attended, including from Apache Foundation, Creative Commons, FreeBSD, Google, HP, Linux Foundation, OpenHatch, Mozilla, Y Combinator, Wikimedia and Wordpress.

New OSI Affiliates

ADMB Foundation

A foundation supporting the AD Model Builder, a powerful software package for the development of state-of-the-art nonlinear statistical models.

BigBlueButton Foundation

Fosters community and development for the BigBlueButton web conferencing system tuned for on-line learning. BigBlueButton enables sharing documents, webcams, chat, audio and your desktop.

Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance

OSEHRA serves as the hub of open source software efforts in the health information technology community.


Supports long-term development efforts of the TYPO3 content management platform and including organizing events, managing international standards, education and certification, as well as communication across the community.

Wordpress Foundation

A charitable organization founded to further the mission of the WordPress project: to democratize publishing software.

Member Profile: Joseph Potvin


Why is open source software important to you?

My very first experience structuring and sharing an application the free/libre/open way was in 1999. I was working as a project manager at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where we planned and developed from scratch a richly-featured distributed decision workflow management application. Within months of posting the full version 1.0 online under the GPL we received an offer from The World Bank to send IDRC some funds to advance it with new functionality, enough that we called it version 2.0. Well, I've pursued my career in this way ever since, in both commercial and public sector roles. For a decade and a half as an economist and project manager, all of my professional work has been free/libre/open in motivation, substance and form. Shaped by that first experience, it's never been a mystery to me how to make a living the free/libre/open way. So I try to help others understand this too.

Amongst the many insights I've gained from free/libre/open source software communities, perhaps the more critical is how to design for project resilience. That's to say: how to ensure that projects can outlast organizations, withstand austerity budgets, and bring coopetition into a highly competitive playing field. I'm busy applying this way of working within other domains besides software. But these always include one or two subprojects to extend or refine various free/libre/open source software applications.

Why did you join the OSI as an Individual Member?

Well, like many people, I wear different hats, being involved with diverse organizations. Joining as an individual member enabled me to interact with the OSI community wearing any of my various hats.

In addition to being an OSI Individual Member, are you involved in any other open source projects or communities?

My current doctoral disseration at U Québec involves extending the multi-region variant (regiO) of an economic model (Lagom) on the MASON platform (Multi-Agent Simulation Of Networks). All four layers are fully free/libre/open. I'm planning to contribute new capabilities to accommodate multiple currencies, to represent projects as supply-chain segments, and to include an additional type of agent in the model, the "project manager", who can control costs by, in part, exercising choice over all attributes of payment. Such granularity of control over payments could become possible through the W3C's current efforts through the Web Payments Interest Group. That W3C-convened community is negotiating towards a specification to standardize how browsers handle web payments. In my modeling extensions, the project manager agent will be provided with the ability to chose from amongst various benchmarks to calibrate algorithmic pricing in trade. Operationalizing this involves a number of somewhat separate free/libre/open sub-projects, in which I'm collaborating with some economists from different schools of thought in order to create simplified versions of each of their preferred value benchmarks, in addition to my own Earth Reserve benchmark. Each of these indices will rely only on real-world open data sources, which should facilitate independent validation, wider use and further experimentation. I also collaborate in the (newly formed) OpenChain industry alliance for source code license compliance management at the supply-chain scale.

How do you hope the OSI can further promote open source use?

Let me preface my answer here by outlining my particular way of perceiving the OSI's role. In my view the OSI and FSF have mutually complementary roles which, being an economist, I distinguish as supply-side and demand-side perspectives on the flow of knowledge. By my interpretation, the Open Source Definition seems to emphasize how suppliers may organize so that their interests are served when the flow of knowledge can out-perform the restriction of knowledge. On the other hand, the Free Software Definition seems to emphasize how users may organize so that their interests are served when they can be empowered by learning from the flow of knowledge at the individual and community scale.

This supply-side / demand-side duality is relevant in many domains of knowledge, not just software. Once the Free/Libre/Open Way (FLOW) emerged a clear success through a quarter century of effort by many people working in the software domain, the core ideas started proliferating rapidly elsewhere: free/libre/open source statistics, graphics, audio, hardware, money and so on. I and some others are attempting to bring some of these ideas into metropolitan-scale transit, and into the capital infrastructure sector. In any of these domains, I propose that both the supply-side and demand-side perspectives are indispensible.

So now back to your specific question: I hope the OSI can further promote understanding and experimentation with the principles of open source supply anywhere that user empowerment coincides with suppliers achieving better performance though the easier flow of knowledge.

OSI In The News...

See what the OSI Board of Directors are writing about and being quoted on...

Leslie Hawthorn was interviewed by RedHat's about her passion for open source and community management. In's article, " Lessons from the Women’s Resume Writing Workshop at LinuxCon," Leslie provides insight and tools employers look for that can help women's careers. Leslie was also featured in Craig Newmark's Six Women Making Waves in Social Justice in Technology.

Mike Milinkovich addressed Why "Open Leadership Has Become Essential" with Forbes Magazine, and offerd some insights on Eight Key Open-Source Internet of Things Projects

Simon Phipps provides comments in the Vancouver Sun article, Computer hacking scandals rock open-source software movement. In addition, as part of his regular column in Info World's Open Sources, Simon writes, Now crowdfunding: A laptop that protects your digital rights, Purism's laptop is almost 100 percent open source and features preinstalled privacy protection software; Little Suse wakes up, Linux shakes up, After years of playing second fiddle to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, can Suse Linux complete its post-Novell comeback? Twitter emoji: 5 lessons for effective open source, an emoji library may seem an unlikely source of best practices for open source. But Twitter's careful work provides an excellent guide; Microsoft must finish the job of opening .Net Microsoft's open developer strategy is amazing and welcome news. But the company must still bite the bullet and make peace with open source; Why all software needs a license, All software developers should add a copyright license. Why? Because open source licensing is all about granting permission in advance.

Tony Wasserman was quoted in a FedScoop article, "NSA releases first-ever open source software product." Tony will be speaking on, "The Rise of Open Source" at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, on Dec. 12th, and on "How the Internet Transformed the Software Industry" at Fudan University, Shanghai, on Dec. 15th. On the 17th, he'll Keynote the International Conference on Mobile Technology and Applications in Hong Kong " The Challenges of Universal Connectivity".

Stefano Zacchiroli was cited in's article " Debian decides again on init systems."

OSI Making News...

The Open Source Initiative is referenced throughout the media. Here's a some of the few articles pointing to the OSI and our work...

In the press...

Open Source May Not Mean What You Think It Means
Although inconceivable to some, open source may be a weakness rather than a strength. - Virtualization Review

Is the business of FOSS really community software? -

The Apache Software Foundation Celebrates 15 Years of Open Source Innovation and Community Leadership - Apache Foundation

Open source more about process than licensing -

How do you avoid being forked into oblivion?
Licenses and trademarks allow you to maintain control over your software. - Ars Technica

From Copyright To Right To Copy: "World Of Open Sources" - Mondaq

Openwashing: adopter beware"
As organizations who participate in the development of open source software reap the benefits and garner accolades “openwashing” becomes more prevalent.-

Top Tweets

Great news-Rwanda embraces open higher edu: "ripe moment for Rwanda to add value" via OSI Affiliate @creativecommons

OSI Sponsor @TwitterOSS devotes significant effort to emoji: 5 lessons for #opensource by OSI President @webmink

Next week OSI Sponsor @TwitterOSS is hosting a @finagle meetup at Twitter HQ, come check it out! #scala

Next Thurs try the @nginx Fundamentals class on us! FCFS-use code 5A2C-4051-B2D9 to register via OSI Spon @nginxorg

OSI Affiliate @tdforg has voted to join the @osballiance. via @Sweet5hark

Very exciting news: Honored to welcome @WordPress as an OSI Affiliate Member. @jenmylo

Our Newest Members... and why they joined.
Ricardo Bánffy, BrazilFree and open source software are are the most important shared goods of mankind. They make our new hyperconnected society possible and capable of evolving without the guidance of corporate entities.
Marcelo Bartsch, ChileJust want to help the OSI community, if I can, because I belive it is time to gave back all the support they had given.
Martin Callinan, United Kingdom
Gledston de Oliveira reis, Brazil
Andrew DeMarsh, CanadaOpen source software allows me to learn and improve myself without worrying about extremely restrictive licenses.
Mike Finch
Ryan Gates, United StatesI support Open Source Software.
Jeremy Graham-Cumming,
United Kingdom
I believe that open source is a viable model for software companies. It promises our society equal access to systems and software that have become an integral part of our lives. Common standards allow us as a whole to drive, expand and improve our technological scope.
Sandeep Khuperkar, India
Jie Liang, ChinaI love open source and want to help it's development!
Diana Matonis, United StatesI began programming in 1986 where most software was in-house and platform specific. Any updates were labor intensive and took too much time for the functionality gained. I wanted a standard so we could easily move the code to another platform to be compiled and work without the headaches we would encounter. I worked to this end. I saw the emergence of standard software packages which made life easier but then adding features specific to an organization became virtually impossible or cost ineffective. Today I am seeing the divergence of software code wars. The only way to continue to progress software code to be platform independent and have the capability to improve specific functionality is to have base codes as open source. It's cost and productivity effective in the end for all.
Konstantin Pastbin, New ZealandI support free & open source movement.
Andersen Pecorone, Belgium
Daniel Pimentel, BrazilBecause I believe in open source and I'm an open source developer too.
Dawid Roets, South AfricaThe knowledge of everyday users is limited to their own environments and they are not aware of all the development changes, alternative methods and specific solutions. Open Source Initiative provides a powerful community from across the globe to improve in the understanding and necessity of information.
Neil Sawbridge, United KingdomI believe this is one of the best ideas in computing today and I'm really excited about joining!
Andreas Schreiber, GermanyI would like to support OSI because I'm involved in Open Source strategy development. I give talks and trainings about Open Source licensing where I already promote using OSI approved licenses.
John Smith, New ZealandOf a long association with and empathy for the Open Source Development concept. System Integrator, ItalyFirstname Lastname, Country
Randy Thorton, United StatesOpen is the better way.
Plus another 6 anonymous members from Greece, Germany and the United States

Membership Card
Don't forget, if you're an OSI Individual Member you can request a Membership Card. These cards provide a variety of benefits from our Affiliates and Corporate Sponsors. Email us today to get yours.

OSI at SC14

The OSI was thrilled to participate in this year's Supercomputing Conference (SC14), "High Performace Computing Matters" at the invitation of OSI Affiliate The FreeBSD Foundation.

OSI SC14 Booth

OSI and FreeBSD Booth at SC14

The OSi was able to meet several open source enthusiasts working across industry, government and education. Not only are do these organizations use open source in for their advanced computing, but the develop it to advance computing. Of course the big news announced while the conference was underway was a $1,000,000 donation from Jan Koum, CEO and Co-Founder of WhatsApp.

OSI SC14 Booth

OSI at the SC14 Conference Hall Agora (Artist's conception)

OSI at Educause

Educause annual conference took place in Orlando, running September 29th through October 2nd. Several thousand delegates from North American and global higher education organizations were in attendance.

OSI SC14 Booth

OSI staff and open source supporters meet at EDUCAUSE

The Open Source Initiative and the Apereo Foundation, a higher education-focused open source initiative, organized the Open Communities Reception at Educause 2014. The reception was co-sponsored my several open initiatives supporting higher education, including:, BigBlueButton, ESUP, IMS Global, OERu, OSCELOT, Red Hat, SoLAR, and the University of Southern Queensland. The reception provided a great chance for attendees across open source communities supporting open source to meet, get to know one another and collaborate on shared initiatives.

The event was organized to coincide with

Community Updates & Events


AFUL shared a blog post from one of their members, " Why true open source is a game changer in IT infrastructure automation."

Apereo Foundation

The Sakai Teaching and Learning community is seeking submissions for the 2015 Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) competition. The award recognizes innovation and excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement. We look forward to entries from those using the Sakai CLE and the Apereo OAE (Open Academic Environment).

Mark Your Calendars! The Open Apereo 2015 conference is May 31 - June 3 in Baltimore, MD. Here are just a few reasons to attend this great event:

  • Share your great work with the community.
  • Learn and collaborate with your peers.
  • Hear about the exciting news and developments of your favorite Apereo projects (Sakai, uPortal, uMobile, CAS, Bedework, and more!).
Of course, there's much more to the Open Apereo conference. Stay tuned for call for proposals, keynote, program, and registration details. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore this summer!

The Debian Project

Each year for the past 14 years, Debian has held an annual conference for developers and users. Next year, DebConf15 will take place in Heidelberg, Germany in August of 2015. Nine companies have already committed to sponsoring the event by mid-November, and two more have joined since: credativ, sipgate, Matanel Foundation, Google, Fairsight Security, Martin Alfke / Buero 2.0, Ubuntu, Mirantis, Logilab, Netways, and Hetzner. Should you know of an organisation that would like to become a sponsor for the event, the DebConf team invites you to please have a look at the sponsorship brochure which has all of the details. Looking forward to a great conference!


OW2 has published the slides and video recordings from OW2con14. You can also find all the videos of the session OW2 organized at Open World Forum as well as some press coverage about OW2 in the Paris Open Source Week. And a kind reminder to those of you who had the good fortune to attend OW2con'14 in person, please take 15 minutes to complete the satisfaction survey.

The European Commission's Public Consultation on Cloud Computing and Software report will be published within the next few days. OW2 and OCEAN Project advocate a "Proactive Open Source Strategy for EU-Funded Collaborative Software Projects", our contribution is published here


The OS2 is pleased to announce that two new members have joined the OW2 community, long-time supporter of free and open source software, the City of Paris has joined OW2 to help promote its CMS software Lutece that was recently accepted into the OW2 codebase while the TIS innovation park in Bolzano joins OW2 to help develop awareness for innovative use of free and open source software throughout the South Tyrol region.

Affiliate Profile: Sahana Software Foundation

The Sahana Software Foundation is dedicated to the mission of saving lives by providing information management solutions that enable organizations and communities to better prepare for and respond to disasters. We develop free and open source software and provide services that help solve concrete problems and bring efficiencies to disaster response coordination between governments, aid organizations, civil society and the survivors themselves, such as:

  • Reuniting separated families through registering missing and found persons
  • Tracking and managing requests for help from individuals and organizations
  • Tracking organizations and programs responding to the disaster, including the coverage and balance in the distribution of aid, providing transparency in the response effort
  • Enabling relevant sharing of information across organizations, connecting donors, volunteers, NGOs, and government organizations, enabling them to operate as one

Sahana software was originally developed by members of the Sri Lankan IT community who wanted to find a way to apply their talents towards helping their country recover in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The word “Sahana” means “relief” in Sinhalese, one of the national languages of Sri Lanka. Our community has since grown to include experts in emergency and disaster management as full partners in the software development process. This is extremely unique in the governance of software projects, and a unique strength of the Sahana Software Foundation.

The Lanka Software Foundation (LSF) was the first owner of the intellectual property making up Sahana software, and under its stewardship, Sahana software grew into a global free and open source software project supported by hundreds of volunteer contributors from dozens of countries and it supported national and local authorities and relief agencies in their response to numerous arge-scale, sudden-onset disasters. In early 2009, the directors of the Lanka Software Foundation decided to allow Sahana to spin off into its own organization. The Sahana Software Foundation was established in 2009 by an initial board of directors as a non-profit organization registered in the State of California to serve the needs and requirements of a diverse group of customers.

Today SSF supports three main products:

  • Eden: Eden is a flexible humanitarian platform with a rich feature set which can be rapidly customized to adapt to existing processes and integrate with existing systems to provide effective solutions for critical humanitarian needs management either prior to or during a crisis.
  • Vesuvius: Vesuvius is focused on the disaster preparedness and response needs of the medical community, contributing to family reunification and assisting with hospital triage. It also provides client and staff registration capabilities for temporary sheltering and other emergency operations.
  • Legacy Products: There are several other versions of Sahana software that are no longer under active development, but remain a rich part of our project’s history. These systems were used in the response to many disasters and adopted by government agencies and humanitarian organizations for disaster preparedness programs – many of which are still in use today. The most notable of our legacy products is Krakatoa, the direct descendant of the original Sahana code base developed following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
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To promote and protect open source software and communities...

For over 20 years the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and build bridges between open source communities of practice. As a global non-profit, the OSI champions software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD), and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

Open source software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form. Software freedom is essential to enabling community development of open source software.