From the Board

Zak Greant's OSI Weekly Report 2008 Week 12

This report is a summary of Zak Greant's Open Source Initiative activities for the week of March 23rd to 29th, 2008.

This Week

  • Alolita Sharma, Andrew C. Oliver and I sent the draft infrastructure RFP to the board for review.
  • Worked with the rest of the OSI team on developing the affiliate/membership/somethingship program.

Next Week

Patent owners and Open Source

Are you a patent holder, wondering how to write software which implements your patent? Here's my advice: Patents expire. Towards the end of the patent's lifetime, you want to be trying to transfer the patent's franchise over to the relationship between the patent-holder and the licensee. That can be done with closed-source software, but you risk competitors writing their own software. With Open Source software, as long as you manage the relationship with the user correctly, you end up with a franchise.

Microsoft needs to blush

OOXML needs to die. It's clear that OOXML is a faux standard -- not because it's a vendor standard. There are lots of vendor-created standards which are real standards (e.g. PostScript). No, OOXML is a botch because it's expressed in terms of an undocumented Microsoft graphics library. OOXML is all "and then a miracle occurs". You've seen that cartoon, right?

Who speaks for the Open Source Community?

Steve Ballmer asks, in an E*Week interview, who speaks for the Open Source Community, and answers his question by saying that nobody does. True enough! He then goes on to point out that Larry Ellison, he speaks for Oracle, yes. True enough! But who speaks for the proprietary software vendors? When we, the open source community, want to make an agreement with the proprietary software vendors, who do we talk to? Do we talk to Larry? Or Steve? Or Jonathan? Or Curley? Or Moe?

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