OSI at OSCON 2007

We've been setting up our calendar for OSCON 2007 Once again the OSI Board will be holding public meetings and also a day-long work session. Michael just blogged the "high points" but this is the whole list. As always, we're hoping to see any and all supporters of Open Source. There are some very interesting issues facing Open Source these days. Come be part of the action and help us work out solutions that will work to keep the Open Source Effect alive.

Sunday 1:00-5:00pm OSI Website Workday @ Hotel Monaco Boardroom

Monday 9:00am-5:00pm OSI Board Day-Long Work Session @ Hotel Monaco Boardroom

Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm Design Thinking Tutorial @ Portland Convention Center, Room D139/140

Tuesday 6:30-7:30pm Community Leadership Meetup. Location TBD.

Wednesday 11:35-12:20 Panel at OSCON Who Gets To Decide What Open Source Means?, Portland Convention Center Room Pacific 252

Wednesday 6:00-8:00pm OSI Public Meeting, "(Re)Desigining OSI", Portland Convention Center, Room Portland 252. Pizza will be served.

Board members are also available for short meetings to answer specific questions. Check for us at the O'Reilly booth on the Expo Floor, where we'll be distributing nifty tee-shirts with the OSI Trademark logo...show your Open Source pride.


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Java.sun.com, Sun's main Java site has an article(http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/javase/opensource_phipps/) that for me at least, was full of insight about the logic and economics of open source software communities. It summarizes ideas from Simon Phipps, Sun's chief open source officer who led the open sourcing of Java and Solaris. A taste of Phipps' insights: -- With the advent of the Web and broadband, the Information Age is fast becoming the Participation Age, information can flow anywhere, anytime, and collaborative software ecosystems are springing up everywhere, fundamentally altering the way software is produced. --In creating software that does not require the unique skills of a very few individuals, developers are more likely to be productive working in an open collaborative context than one that is closed. -- The commercial software market has been transformed in the last 25 years from one where software users became customers when they acquired the software to one where users become customers when they want to buy something -- often services, support, or training -- that enhances the value of the software they already have, and got for free. -- Open source is not about using software free of cost -- it is about creating valuable software and sustaining it by leveraging the network of other developers in the community. If open source developers keep their code for themselves, so many skills are needed that it becomes impossibly burdensome to maintain a fork. The best way to produce great software is to contribute back and avoid regression-test hell. As Phipps put it: “The Apache Software Foundation(http://www.apache.org/) “looked at their 10-year history and could not find a single example of someone forking an Apache code base and continuing with it as a fork without contributing code back in the end. Everyone either gives up or gives back -- there is no third way.” -- Users love open source software not so much because it is free, but because they can have control over what they are using. -- The trick to making money in open source is to turn competence in producing software into a competitive advantage in supplying the aftermarket with support and maintenance. My question: Is altruism and political ideology as insignificant as Phipps seems to think it is? I think altruism and wanting a better world is a key to open source. Am I being naive? Any thoughts.

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.