OSI Board Meeting Minutes, April 12, 2006

OSI Board Meeting Minutes, April 12, 2006

April 12, 2006


Mr. Michael Tiemann, President
Ms. Danese Cooper, Secretary / Treasurer
Mr. Russ Nelson, Director
Mr. Ken Coar, Director
Mr. Matt Asay, Director
Ms. Laura Majerus, Director of Legal Affairs
Mr. Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel
Mr. Ernie Prabhakar, Board Observer
Mr. David Axmark, Board Observer
Mr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, Director (joined call late)

Mr. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Director
Mr. Joi Ito, Director
Mr. Bruno Souza, Director

Quorum Established at 11:00 am EDT/ 08:00 PDT.


1. Website Administration:

Ms. Cooper will contact Mr. Ito to get administration privileges for the Board Wiki to add new members Mr. Asay, Mr. Prabhakar and Mr. Axmark to the Wiki’s user list.

2. Backup officers:

a) There is a need to define and nominate backup officers. It has come to the attention of the Board that in certain cases due to travel, the existing Board members need assistance in performing their OSI duties. So Mr. Tiemann moves that the Board appoint Mr. Nelson as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and Mr. Coar as Vice President. To the extent required to create this position the OSI By-Laws may need to be amended. Mr. Coar seconds. Passed by General Assent. Mr. Radcliffe will investigate editing by-laws.

3. Face to Face meeting venues and priorities:

a) Discussion: Ongoing as part of larger 2006 goals discussion.

b) Venue possibilities include:

  • ApacheCon EU 2006: Informal working session on June 29, 2006. Mr. Asay, Mr. Weerawarana, Mr. Coar and Ms. Cooper are confirmed to attend. Session will cover work on "State of Open Source" position paper, make progress on selecting tactical efforts in EU, and website content.
  • OSCON 2006 (July 24 to 28, Portland, OR): Public meeting during OSCON. An all day meeting is proposed to be held on Sunday, July 23 and 1/2 day on Monday July 24. Mr. Tiemann and Mr. Asay must attend the Executive Radar event which is all day on Tuesday. Ms. Cooper will find a room. Mr. Steve Mallet, OSI Webmaster, should also attend.
  • Other possible events for quorum meeting: OSCON EU 2006, FOSS-SL, FOSS.IN
  • Need to find another event in late Fall, early Winter for a 2nd meeting.

4. New business:

No new business

5. Goals for OSI 2006 presented by Mr. Michael Tiemann

The OSI has had a remarkable list of open source thought leaders working for and/or with the board. And open source has not so much moved to the mainstream as it has become the new mainstream. Now is the time to be decisive and lead!

The challenge that the OSI faced in the past year (2005-2006) has been one of focus. As an all-volunteer organization, it demands a lot of each of the Board members time and effort and impacts their schedules. The Board members have all been guilty of having great potential but not great follow-through. The Board needs to seriously discuss how it can focus the OSI’s agenda and carve out personal and professional time so that this time next year OSI can pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

a) The license proliferation discussion has entered a new phase. Two years ago the OSI identified and promoted the problem. Over the past year the OSI defined and then refined the problem definition with the help of many people outside the OSI. Today the OSI needs to take the initiative to drive the license proliferation problem to a solution that allows it to declare victory and make that declaration meaningful. Mr. Tiemann would suggests that the OSI try to set milestone dates, map out all the outstanding issues and discussion threads, and come up with a schedule that forces us to make concrete progress on a weekly basis to meet these deadlines. In particular, he’d like to see that participation of the Board accelerates, rather than retards the progress of the license proliferation committee.

b) Launching the Open Standards committee: Mr. Tiemann thinks that the OSI Board has been timid about doing this because it realizes that doing so could suck up virtually all of the time that every board member has to devote to it. Nevertheless, by taking no outward, public position, OSI is losing our chance to have a strong position on this subject. Mr. Tiemann thinks OSI needs to come to a decision on how large a chunk of this problem we really want to address and then divvy it up to those who can commit to spending the necessary time.

c) Membership: This topic has been stalled even though Mr. Tiemann think we all believe that at some point in the future the OSI will become a membership organization. Given that there is consensus, should we not try to control our own destiny?

6. Individual opportunities and/or aspirations:
The OSI Board needs to identify what are the specific things that each board member wishes to make sure we do and do well this coming year? Specific conferences? Position papers? Endorsements? etc.

Ms. Cooper notes that we’ve done very little PR, in part because whenever any of us post a suggestion about producing some public-facing statement, there’s never a "+1" comment to encourage the matter further. What is the right balance to strike here? This is just one of potentially many topics we might discuss.

7. Follow-up:
A follow-up call should be done on April 21st or 22nd. Note that Mr. Tiemann will be speaking at FISL on Apr 22nd at 11:00AM, the day of the formal launch of the GPL v3 in Brazil.

8. Ideas for face to face meeting:
Finally, this agenda clearly identifies ideas for an all-day face to face meeting. It’s very hard work to do goals and annual planning on a conference call. Perhaps the Board should look at opportunities to get together before OSCON. Should we think about trying to meet May 6th (Saturday) at some "central" location?

Committee Reports:

1. License committee status presented by Mr. Nelson.

a) Compiere follow-up on using/reusing CDDL or other OSI-approved license. This is being followed-up by Mr. Tiemann and is in progress.

b) License Proliferation convergence: Mr. Nelson suggests that the Board and LPC need to converge to a mutually reinforcing position that the community can follow.

c) There is a need to have a) a physical report that the Board can approve and b) a list of License Stewards to approach.

Mr. Nelson has been working on the License Stewards list. There are two unaccounted for.

  • Vovida, was acquired by VALinux and so contacting them is probably best
  • Framework, Mr. Radcliffe suggests publishing a "public notice" (at SourceForge, License Discuss, Slashdot etc.) is the best way to go.

d) Process: A draft report will be prepared by Ms. Majerus by April 14, 2006. The committee should have one week to review (by April 21, 2006). The Board can review the report simultaneously and then approve for release to the License Stewards. These License stewards should have a 3 week comment period (by May 12, 2006). Thereafter the Public community comments process begins on the "License Proliferation Discuss" mailing list (with a target date to finalize by May 31, 2006). In order to extend understanding of this report by all BOD members, Mr. Eric Raymond, OSI Founder and President Emeritus, and Mr. Prabhakar will create a draft press release by May 1st for discussion at the May 10th.

e) License-discuss mailing list participation: The Board needs to make sure that members are staying on top of the one operational commitment of the Board, reading License-Discuss. Mr. Nelson reports that the Public seems now to know that new licenses are not desired (thanks to License Proliferation Committee work), and hence there haven’t been any new submissions that the Board needs to talk about or act upon. Ms. Cooper expressed concern that some license authors might be declining to submit but still claiming Open Source approval.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00pm EDT/ 10:00am PDT (presumed).