In 2005 I visited India for the first time. It was a whirlwind tour and one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. The purpose of my visit was to promote open source based on my own experiences, and to get a first-hand understanding of the challenges and opportunities for open source in the world's most populous democracy.
Mark Webbink has launched a new blog called Walking With Elephants. If Mark had been a developer working on glibc he might have gotten away with "Dances With Wolves", but as a lawyer who has spent many years working with some of the largest software companies in the world, his title is certainly apt. As is his tag line: The Guy With The Shovel.
Earlier this summer I attended an event featuring Diane Rehm, host of The Diane Rehm Show. At a time when the radio talk show format seems to have reached a point where the only way to be heard is to yell, and where the outrageous behavior of the host becomes news far more important than the subjects they cover, Diane Rehm steadfastly refuses to be drawn into the fray. Her show is a forum of respect for ideas and the people who choose to express those ideas. The most aggressive thing I've ever heard her say in response to a guest is "I'm sorry Mr. So-and-so, but that's just not true." And of course, she's right: when Mr. So-and-so tries to jam the air with counter-factual information, she and her line of producers are vigilant, but not disrespectful. The result has been a remarkable opportunity to hear ideas discussed and developed rather than packaged, ram-rodded, or pilloried.
Dilbert mentions Open Source today. Or, rather, his boss mentions it "because it's free." Which it is, but it's the freedom to run, modify, and share software that's important.
In the Pointy-Haired Boss's office:
PHB: "From now on, I want you to use Open Source software for everything we do. It's free."
Dilbert: "I'll be right back."
At Alice's desk:
Dilbert: "It's an emergency. I think he's been reading."
The issue of whether OSI should shift from the current limited board composition to be a [potentially] representative member-based structure has been a fairly long-standing question. However, it has been gaining more traction and attention of late, and we have a forum here on the OSI site for discussions about it.
Yesterday I seeded the forum with some of the basic questions about the topic, and we invite your thoughts and participation. Let us know what you think!
The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance dates back to 2004, but the kernel of truth it reveals could be even more stunning for the world of open source. Here is the teaser from the Dexiner (pronounced Designer) website:
Design is a critical component of business performance. We’ve heard designers, commentators and companies say it. But, to date, the evidence for the link between shareholder return and investment in design has been scarce and anecdotal.
I first met Pierre Fricke in late 1998 or early 1999 when he was working for IBM. He was one of four people charged by IBM to research and evaluate the strategic implications of open source software for IBM's business. Because I was a founder of the world's first open source company, he was keen to understand what I saw back in 1989, what I saw looking to 1999 and beyond, and whether our experience (which earned upwards of $24M of revenue in 1999) could possibly inform the strategy for a company more than 1000x our size.
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.