Jim’s been actively involved in Open Source since before the term was even coined. He started off by porting various projects over to Apple’s A/UX operating system and was the host of the infamous jagubox server. This led to his early involvement in the Apache Group. He is one of the co-founders of the ASF and served as a director there for almost 20 years. He’s served on other boards, including OSI, and continues to actively develop code, speak at conferences and earnestly advocate for Open Source. He is the OSPO lead at Salesforce.
How will you contribute to the board
Jim has deep experience in Open Source, and especially in handling the common, real-world pressures that exist in the Open Source eco-system. Being active in all areas and levels of Open Source provides Jim a unique and valued experience and insight. Jim drives trust and candid transparency with a focus on community and the individual contributor.
Why you should be elected
As Open Source has grown in popularity and in success, we have seen how conflicts and confusion has started to increase. The old days of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) has started to re-emerge, but not from those against Open Source, but those who want to redefine it. We see this with attempts to redefine the OSD, and with those purport to be the “real” stewards of what Open Source is today.
OSI needs to reinforce its leadership in Open Source and this is one of the primary interests of Jim. OSI should not shy away from making possibly unpopular decisions, if they are in the best interest of Open Source in general. OSI must be the undisputed voice of Open Source and with Jim on the board, his experience and reputation will help drive a pragmatic, radically candid, and forward-thinking board.
2 thoughts on “Jim Jagielski”
Questions for the candidates received from Luis Villa:
Your time: You have 24 hours in the day and could do many different things. Why do you want to give some of those hours to OSI? What do you expect your focus to be during those hours?
Licensing process: The organization has proposed improvements to the license-review process. What do you think of them?
Broader knowledge: What should OSI do about the tens of millions of people who regularly collaborate to build software online (often calling that activity, colloquially, open source) but don’t know what OSI is or what it does?
Regulation: New industry regulation in both the EU and US suggests government will be more involved in open source in the future. What role do you think OSI should play in these discussions? How would you, as a board member, impact that?
Solo maintainers: The median number of developers on open source projects is one, and regulation and industry standards are increasing their burden. How (if at all) should OSI address that? Is there tension between that and industry needs?
OSI initiative on AI: What did you think of the recent OSI initiative on AI? If you liked it, what topics would you suggest for similar treatment in the future? If you didn’t like it, what would you improve, or do instead?
Responsible licensing: There are now multiple initiatives around “responsible” or “ethical” licensing, particularly (but not limited to) around machine learning. What should OSI’s relationship to these movements and organizations be?
Thanks for these questions! I’ll try to answer as succinctly as possible.
Thanks for these questions! I’ll try to answer as succinctly as possible.
I’ve actually more available time to volunteer for OSI than I’ve had in many years. But even all time is precious, so why use some of mine here? The reason is because I feel that my time here, and especially my voice, is extremely valuable at this stage of the open source movement. As we have seen, there is still confusion and concern related to open source, and so much of this can be, and should be, alleviated and resolved by OSI. For me, the main focus would be on increased advocacy and education, especially directed towards governments and agencies with a somewhat inaccurate perception of open source, and what is actually feasible.
All improvements are welcomed, and though there might be debate on whether they are needed enough, I trust the cmmt to do the right thing. From a board level perspective, my only concern would be anything that needs to the undue and unwarranted increase in so-called “vanity” licenses, or in new licenses that don’t add anything beyond what already exists. We already have a ton of open source licenses.
As alluded to above, for me this should be a main consideration and concern for OSI. There is still confusion related to what open source is and what it means; there are still concerns that the OSD should be “modified” to reflect the world as it is today; there are still lots of people and projects that don’t grok _why_ open source is successful and especially the challenges and battles that needed to be fought, and won, for us to be at the state we are now. And, as it is said, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. If we truly want open source to continue to grow, be relevant, and be _true_ and _valid_, we must ramp up our advocacy, evangelization and education about core open source principles.
Unfortunately, government is one organization still somewhat confused about what open source is (and what it isn’t), and with the power and authority to force things upon the community, it is vital that they truly understand it before they try to regulate it, or impose standards upon it that simply cannot work. OSI needs to be trusted advisors for these sorts of governments and agencies. This would be part of my external advocacy focus, and a specific area where having ~30years of experience in working with open source (since before it was called that) would be extremely valuable.
As mentioned in the nomination statement, I very personally align with being the voice of the individual, unaligned, volunteer contributor. They need OSI’s support, and our voice. We need to recall that these people are the true catalysts of open source success, and they need protection and representation.
OSI initiative on AI:
I’ll be honest. I’m confused about how AI is somehow different or unique, from an open source perspective, than all the other forms of tech (crypto, big data, …) that are based around open source. I’d prefer that OSI focus on the open source intersection points, and not feel the need to dive into areas which are only very tangentially related to open source.
I’ll be honest again. Although I understand the motive and rationale behind this movement, there is a distinct and, IMO, non-negotiable conflict here with the OSD. I feel that we should work in trust and good faith with any orgs and entities in this area, but the fact is that parts of the OSD are diametrically opposed to those kinds of restrictions or limitations that some responsible licensing would require. Let’s also recall that one reason why open source works is that the licensing itself is quite clear with relatively little wiggle-room or concern for interpretation. As such, companies (and their legal teams) are OK with being involved because they don’t need to work about such hard-to-define-and-characterize words such as “evil”. Responsible licensing has a very hard battle, but it is theirs to take. Not OSI’s.