Open Source Bibliography

There are many resources (good and bad) on the web offering information, advice, and interpretation concerning Open Source. The following are references that we, the OSI Board, have found useful, either for informing ourselves or for helping others begin their education about open source. And as you explore these links, be mindful of these words attributed to the Buddha,
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense..."

Rich References


Open Source Software

Open Source Conferences and User Groups

  • OSCON. Note that O'Reilly Media put on many other conferences, most of which have strong open source components and/or constitutents.
  • FOSS4G. Free and Open Source Geospatial Information Systems conference.
  • Blender Conference. There are other regional versions of this conference that can be found at the website.
  • The Ottawa Linux Symposium. A premier event for hackers to discuss implementation experiences and chart the future of Linux.
  • The Wizards of OS conference in Berlin.
  • The FISL conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  • The FOSSSL conference (and other events) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • There are hundreds of conferences per year all over the world that advertise "Open Source" as a topic. Alas, these have varying degrees of quality and felicity and the OSI does not vouch for (nor recommend against) the ones not listed in this section. Check to see whether an OSI-affiliated speaker is listed as presenting if you wish to hear the OSI's thoughts or positions.
  • User groups tend to focus on software or groups of software used in a particular context: Linux users in Northern Virginia (NOVALUG), GIS developers and users who formed the Indian Chapter of OSGeo, or the dozens of topic-specific users of the R package and its extensions. There are many thousands of user groups, and the best way to find the one that's right for you is to search the web, find the mailing lists, and make contact.


Many more papers about open source can be found at MIT's Free/Open Research Community.

Packaged Open Source Software

Hundreds, if not thousands, of companies now sell commercially packaged and supported open source software. While many open source software packages do run on proprietary systems (Apache is quite popular on all operating systems platforms), Linux distributions provide a complete (and in some cases, exclusively) open source environment suitable for hand-held, desktop, server, and high-end enterprise/cluster/mainframe use.

The OSI website is built with and runs exclusively open source software, including Apache (web server), Drupal (content management and blogs), the PHP scripting language, the MySQL database, to name a few of the more well-known packages.

Open Source News

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.