FLOSS Research

Open Source Election System Certified

Open Source Initiative - Thu, 2018-04-12 11:22

OSI Affiliate Member, The National Association of Voting Officials (NAVO), announced this week the certification of the Prime lll open source election system for the State of Ohio.

NAVO spokesperson Brent Turner stated the ballot delivery system is, “the first step toward appropriately secure voting systems replacing the ‘secret software‘ systems that have plagued our democracy“. Turner summarized the current proprietary vendor sold U.S. voting systems as, “antiquated, insecure, and a threat to national security,“ and referenced New Hampshire's recent deployment of the “All for One“ open source system based on Prime lll, as further momentum. “We have been focused on Florida, California, and New York to upgrade security and reduce costs as well. Now is the historic moment for all the states to step up and defend our democracy. Paper ballots and audits are a plus, but the essence of vote counting security is the public software.” said Turner.

Recently State of Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard announced Federal legislation embracing the movement toward open source / publicly owned paper ballot systems (see, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Securing America’s Elections Act to Ensure Integrity of 2018 Elections, https://gabbard.house.gov/secureelections)

Submitted by Brent Turner, The National Association of Voting Officials

Categories: FLOSS Research

Engineering Group and Open Source Initiative Partner for Enhanced Leadership in Open Source: Engineering Group continues its support of global open source software communities.

Open Source Initiative - Wed, 2018-03-28 09:29

Rome (Italy) - March 27, 2018 – Engineering Group, the global IT player and Italian leader in digital transformation, announced their continued sponsorship of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The OSI is internationally recognized as the stewards of open source software, working to promote and protect open source projects, development and communities. For 20 years the organization has served as the reference point for individuals, non-profit organizations, international enterprises, and governments that recognize the critical role of open source in enabling flexibility, transparency, innovation, and added-value in technology-based products and services.

Moreover Daniele Gagliardi—Technical Manager at Engineering Group’s Open Source Competency Center—has been re-elected Corporate representative in the Board of Directors of OW2 (www.ow2.org), one of the major global open source software communities and an OSI Affiliate Member. It grants the durable and sustainable development of the most adopted and reliable enterprise-level open source solutions. OW2 hosts over 100 open source projects, including Knowage, SpagoBI, Spagic and Spago4Q, realized by Engineering Group.

As for Knowage—the reference brand for business analytics—the most important novelties, available for download on OW2 marketplace starting from 6.2 version, focus on improved features supporting data inquiry and cross navigation through interactive cockpits, in order to offer even more flexible and effective tools to extract value from one’s business data. For all updates and upcoming events, visit www.knowage-suite.com.

“Engineering Group’s sponsorship highlights the broad appeal and value of open source software and the communities of practice that enable its development, we are so grateful to have their support” said Patrick Masson, OSI General Manager. “Engineering Group serves as a model across industries, showcasing how business can authentically engage, as users of open source software, as developers of open source projects, and as contributors to open source communities.”

About Engineering Group
Engineering Group (www.eng.it) is the Italian leader in the Information Technology sector, with more than 10,000 employees and 50 sites in Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Republic of Serbia, South America and the United States. The Technical, Innovation & Research Division includes the Open Source Competency Center.

About The Open Source Initiative
Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see https://opensource.org.

Categories: FLOSS Research

CAVO Promotes Open Source Voting in Documentary and Legislation

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 2018-03-20 16:49

The California Association of Voting Officials' (CAVO) Brent Turner to appear in open source voting documentary.

"The Real Activist" slated for release this summer will include an interview with Brent Turner of OSI Affiliate Member CAVO, as well as coverage of the groups work to promote open source software within US elections' voting systems. The documentary highlights Turner's efforts and CAVO's mission to secure the United States election systems through GPL licensed open source software. Famed narrator Peter Coyote also stars in the film along with former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and many political notables.

One of CAVO's (www.cavo-us.org) recent successes has been to involve California Clean Money in the push for state legislation, as well as the solidification of the San Francisco open source voting system project.

Turner, along with Bash Shell creator Brian Fox, have been pushing to include open source language in voting legislation, and have secured interest from Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently introduced the "Securing America’s Elections Act". Fox, who also serves a National Association of Voting Officials Board Member, said, "We are pleased to see Congresswoman Gabbard leading the country toward safe and secure election systems. The open source software language in her legislation, in addition to the necessary paper ballot component, will give appropriate security direction to the nation's election officials. Congresswoman Gabbard is appreciated as a pioneer advocating the science of protecting our democracy."

"The language in the Gabbard bill is a good start " adds Turner, "the race is on to see if we can get the election system secured before it's too late."

People interested in the subject of open source voting are invited to attend the CAVO TOWN HALL meeting on March 28th in San Francisco, California.

Categories: FLOSS Research

2018 Affilaite and Individual Member Election Results

Open Source Initiative - Sat, 2018-03-17 15:48

The OSI's 2018 elections ran from February 3, with the opening of nominations, through March 16, when the voting was closed at 12:00 midnight PDT. This year's Board of Directors election sought to fill two Affiliate Member seats, and two Individual Member seats.

Voting in OSI elections is open to all OSI Individual Members and the community representative of each OSI Affiliate Member. Only the Individual Members may vote in the election of Individual Member seats and only the Affiliate Member representatives may vote in the election of Affiliate Member seats (only one vote per Affiliate Member, as submitted by the affiliate representative). Elections for OSI Directors are held according to "approval voting", where each eligible voter votes for as many candidates as they feel are qualified to hold a Board seat. The candidates supported by the greatest number of voters are elected to the open seats.

Again, in this year's election, the OSI was fortunate with a slate of highly qualified and enthusiastic candidates. The complete list of candidates running for Individual and Affiliate seats is available on the OSI wiki.

The OSI would like to thank all of those who ran for the Board. Volunteering to serve the OSI and support the Open Source community is a tremendous commitment in time and energy--we truly appreciate their willingness to contribute to our continued success and participate in our ongoing work to promote and protect open source software, communities, and development as well as the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

The winners of the 2018 Board of Directors elections are,

  1. VM Brasseur (elected by the Individual Membership)
  2. Chris Lamb (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
  3. Faidon Liambotis (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
  4. Josh Simmons (elected by the Individual Membership)

We would like to welcome the new Board Directors and thank the OSI membership for voting. The current Board will meet on Monday, March 19, 2018 to ratify the election results. New Board Directors will take their seats on April 2nd, 2018.

Categories: FLOSS Research

Crowdsourcing FOSS Project Success: Clearly defined project data, a smooth path to widespread adoption.

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 2018-03-06 13:09

PALO ALTO, Calif. - March 6, 2018 -- Today the Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced its Incubator Project, ClearlyDefined, a crowdsourced project aimed at boosting the success of FOSS projects by clearly defining their status. Absences or ambiguities around licensing or known security vulnerabilities can erode confidence and limit project success. Project teams often are not aware of these concerns or do not know how to address them. ClearlyDefined identifies the gaps and works with project teams to fill them.

"This is an important project to amplify the success of FOSS projects through wider adoption and confidence. It aligns closely with OSI's mission to educate and advocate for open source," said Simon Phipps, President of the board of directors of the OSI, curator of the world's open source licenses.

While the project scope includes licensing, security, accessibility and other essential information, the initial focus is on factual licensing data such as licenses, copyright holders, and source code location. These are the key elements in understanding and meeting the license obligations related to consuming FOSS. Through a series of automated tools and human curation, the ClearlyDefined community has already curated licensing data for 1,000 of the most popular projects on GitHub and in key package management ecosystems.

"ClearlyDefined applies open source hallmarks—collaboration and openness—to the problem of curating FOSS itself. Contributing licensing and vulnerability data to the originating projects improves life for everyone. Project teams get updated information and guidance on enabling their community, and consumers gain the confidence they need to move fast and engage even more." — Jeff McAffer of the ClearlyDefined project team.

In addition to curating and contributing required data, ClearlyDefined provides a clearing house service, a one-stop shop, where consumers can get the data they need in canonical, machine-readable form. This enables unprecedented automation and rigor.

Today the Eclipse Foundation also announces that it will donate curated data to ClearlyDefined to assist in seeding information about projects within the Java ecosystem.

"ClearlyDefined is important to the Eclipse Foundation because as a large-scale producer of open source we want our projects to be more clearly defined, both for ourselves and our downstream consumers. We are excited to donate some of the curated data we have generated over the past decade about the FOSS we consume to help kick start ClearlyDefined's crowdsourcing effort," — Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

"Complying with license terms is a critical part of our open source engagement. It is not unusual for a single product to use 1000s of FOSS components. Companies cumulatively spend millions of dollars a year discovering license terms and the information needed to comply. That work is duplicated many times over and takes away from deeper engagement and innovation. Being able to get and contribute the data we need through ClearlyDefined allows us to go faster and engage more." — Rashmi Chitrakar, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

As an incubator project of the OSI, ClearlyDefined is a vendor-neutral open source project with an open governance model. Standardized harvesting tools are run by community members and the resultant data contributed. Like any open source project, contributions are vetted and accepted by committers (called curators here), and pushed up to the original projects. Getting many eyes on the data enhances its quality and pushing the data upstream benefits everyone.

"Having a trusted source of curated upstream project metadata will help the entire ecosystem. The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Projects--SPDX, FOSSology, and OpenChain--look forward to working with ClearlyDefined to create data that can be exchanged in a vendor-neutral manner." — Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs, The Linux Foundation.

ClearlyDefined is also important to the community as a whole and is an important initiative to capture data about FOSS that may be lost over time. The project is collaborating with Software Heritage to store the data in long term


"Software Heritage's mission is to collect, preserve and share all the software source code of the world. We are delighted to see ClearlyDefined taking up the important task of curating the metadata about software projects, and we are very pleased to work with them to preserve this precious information that would otherwise be lost as technology and developers move on." — Roberto Di Cosmo, CEO of Software Heritage, an initiative started by Inria, in collaboration with UNESCO.

About ClearlyDefined
ClearlyDefined (https://clearlydefined.io) is a working group of the Open Source Initiative, the stewards of open source licensing. Individuals from Microsoft, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., HERE Technologies, Amazon, nexB, the Eclipse Foundation, and Software Heritage are collaborating to ensure the success of the initiative and welcome additional participation from the open source community.

About The Open Source Initiative
Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see https://opensource.org.

Categories: FLOSS Research

OSI Celebration at Campus Party Brazil

Open Source Initiative - Mon, 2018-03-05 14:37

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Campus Party Brazil 2018 during the first week of February. Campus Party Brazil is among the largest and most diverse tech events in the world. The eleventh edition of the event received a total of 120,000 attendees, of which 8000 were "campers" (participants who actually camp in tents inside this week long event). Approximately 40% of attendees were women, which is a very high mark for a tech event.

The OSI was well represented at Campus Party. Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI, flew in from New York to meet staff member Nick Vidal and two former OSI Board members who live in Brazil: Bruno Souza, founder of SouJava (the world's largest Java user group), and Fabio Kon, professor at USP university (the top higher education institution in Latin America).

Patrick gave his talk entitled The Third Decade of Open Source at the main stage, where he offered an overview of the first two decades of Open Source, and went on to predict the next decade. The first 10 years of open source were dedicated to advocacy and controlled by controversy. In the second 10 years we saw adoption and even ascendancy within many sectors. Ahead, in the third 10 years, the goal is assimilation, and the expectation is authenticity.

There were several talks and activities related to Open Source at Campus Party, including a keynote from the legendary Jon "Maddog" Hall, president of OptDyn. Maddog presented Subutai, an Open Source, container-based P2P Cloud computing platform that allows anyone to share, barter, or rent computer resources using Subutai's cryptocurrency.

Many Open Source communities and projects were present at Campus Party:

There were also several Open Source friendly companies present at Campus Party, including:

These were just a few communities and companies we were able to meet in person at Campus Party. An additional list of Open Source activities at Campus Party is available here.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Open Source, the community led by Paulo Christiano and Luckas Judocka organized a wonderful Birthday Party attended by almost 100 people. The food was generously provided by iFood (thanks Eduardo Ximenes and Nara Zarino). Rachel Brochado also brought in a cake and some cupcakes. To celebrate the next decade of Open Source, we invited Guilherme Faria, a 10-year old boy who loves Linux, to blow out the candles. Guilherme represents the next generation of the Open Source community,

We want to thank everyone from the Open Source community who made this celebration so special. Our many thanks to the Campus Party organizers Thalis Antunes, Izabel Valverde, Juliana Teodoro, Paco Ragageles and Tonico Novaes.

We look forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Open Source at these upcoming events in Brazil:

For upcoming events worldwide, please see:


If you are interested in learning more about Open Source in Brazil, please check this excellent summary from O’Reilly:


Categories: FLOSS Research

SalesAgility, the driving force behind SuiteCRM, joins Open Source Initiative as Corporate Sponsor.

Open Source Initiative - Sun, 2018-02-25 20:33

Commitment to openness, freedom and collaboration in open source demands a different corporate mindset, a different set of values and a different set of behaviors.

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Feb. 26, 2018 – The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the global non-profit dedicated to promoting and protecting open source software, announced today the Premium Sponsorship of SalesAgility, the authors and maintainers of SuiteCRM. Began in 2013 as a fork of SugarCRM’s Community Edition, SuiteCRM is a completely open source CRM solution delivering all the functionality expected of an enterprise-class CRM application. SuiteCRM is now generally acknowledged to be the world's leading open source CRM solution.

SalesAgility, as an employee-owned and community driven consultancy, is deeply committed to open source, believing the culture of co-creation inherent to open source best serves the long term interests of clients and is the future of business applications. With its community focus, the company has embraced and celebrates the principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, open standards, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community: the same values the OSI promotes among communities of practice to drive genuine open source development.

“We’re so very pleased to have SalesAgility’s support, especially now, as the OSI enters it’s 20th year,” said Patrick Masson, General Manager of the OSI. “We’re thrilled to see the success of open source and the success of companies like SalesAgility who are authentically engaged in the open source community. This is where our work over the next decade must now focus, learning from that success to help companies understand best practices so more may realize the benefits of community-driven development. SalesAgility is one of these that we can reference and which can serve as a mentor to others.”

“We are excited to be members of the Open Source Initiative”, said Greg Soper, founder of SalesAgility. “The work the OSI has done over the last 20 years is extraordinary, and we are looking forward to collaborate together to ensure the success of open source in all fields.”

The OSI has been crystallizing consensus around open source licensing, benefits of participation, and community norms for the last 20 years, and will remain committed to that work. Yet as successes have increased, in both the adoption of open source software and the communities that enable it, the OSI’s work will evolve. Many agree, “Open Source has won,” and an organization dedicated to simply promoting adoption and advocating for collaboration is no longer enough. Although the OSI will continue to take on this work when needed, the organization has identified additional goals for itself, specifically in helping organizations align with established norms, best practices, and the open ethos that has led to Open Source Software’s tremendous growth. Through the support of companies like SalesAgility, who are actively engaged in open source development, the OSI not only receives critical resources for continued operations, but importantly, real-life references that can help inform open source communities of practice, and even mentor organizations just entering the open source ecosystem.

About SalesAgility
SalesAgility is the driving force behind SuiteCRM, the world’s most popular open source CRM. SuiteCRM is a fully featured CRM, that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, allowing organisations and enterprises to be in full control over their own customer data. With a community over 88,000 people, a download count of over 800,000 and an estimated user count of over 4 million users, SuiteCRM is world’s most popular open source CRM.

Powered by a highly skilled team, SalesAgility provides SuiteCRM services that include support, consultancy, custom development, migrations, and training, as well as SuiteASSURED: a fully supported, discrete build of SuiteCRM, created to provide total care for enterprise-class customers and other large organisations. For more information, visit https://suitecrm.com or follow @SuiteCRM on Twitter.

About The Open Source Initiative
Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see https://opensource.org.

Media Contact
Italo Vignoli

Categories: FLOSS Research

OSI Joins UNESCO to Grow Open Source Community

Open Source Initiative - Wed, 2018-02-14 08:36

Participate in the #OpenTechNights Program today and Win a Free Stay during the FOSSASIA Summit 2018 from the Open Source Initiative and UNESCO

The FOSSASIA Summit 2018 takes place in Singapore from Thursday, March 22 – Sunday, March 25. Open Source contributors can now apply for a free ticket to the event, and accommodation throughout conference. In addition, you’ll be eligible to participate in: A featured workshops, the UNESCO hackathon, and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Open Source Initiative. All you have to do is convince us, that you are an awesome Open Source contributor and book your trip to Singapore!

About #OpenTechNights

Developers from all over the world are joining the FOSSASIA Summit. We want to connect established and new Open Tech contributors alike. With the support of UNESCO, the Open Source Initiative, and other partners, we are inviting Free and Open Source Software contributors to join us. Winners will receive free lodging at a shared accommodation in the centre of Singapore, and a free ticket to the conference.

Winners are expected to join the summit each day, to participate in the workshops, and the Hackathon on Saturday/Sunday, March 24/25. We would also hope you can support the Open Source Initiative at their booth.

How do I sign up?

Step 1: Please fill in our form here before February 28, 2018.

Step 2: We will notify all winners within three days of their submission, however judging will begin immediately, and continue until all open spots are filled, so the earlier you apply, the higher your chances to win. Please note, winners will receive free accommodations in the Singapore. Flight and other travel costs are not included and are the responsibility of the attendee.

Step 3: Selected applicants must confirm their itinerary and tickets before March 1st to insure their free stay in Singapore. Earliest check-in possible is Wednesday March 21, latest check-out is Monday, March 26. Please indicate your arrival and departure times in the application form.

Expectations of Participants – Share what you learn

Attendees support volunteers, speakers and participants at the event, and take a shift at the Open Source Initiative’s booth. Let’s bring the spirit of sharing Open Technologies and learning together! Please confirm your participation in the specially featured workshops on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 9.00 AM – 6.00PM. Attendees participate in the UNESCO Hackathon on Saturday, March 24 (2.00 PM – 10.00PM) and on Sunday, March 25 (9.00 AM – 5.00PM). Attendees help reach out to community members who cannot join us at the event, make tweets, share what you learn on social media, publish photos and put up blog post about the summit.

Apply Now

Apply for a free stay with #FOSSASIA #OpenTechNights supported by the Open Source Initiative and the UNESCO and participate at the FOSSASIA Summit 2018 now here!

More Information

More updates, tickets and information on speakers on our website: https://2018.fossasia.org.

Thank you to our Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors whose support enabled this event, and our other activities throughout our 20th anniversary in 2018.

Categories: FLOSS Research

Why I want you to run for the OSI Board

Open Source Initiative - Thu, 2018-02-08 20:28

The Open Source Initiative board is homogeneous, stratified across generations.

We fit across three (tech) generations of contributors to free and open source software–those who were involved in the early days of free software; those who found places in the community after open source had been established; and the group paultag humorously dubbed the GNU generation–none of us have lived in a world without the explicit concept of user freedom.

Within my cadre of FOSS-loving millennials, several of us have fairly similar stories, both inside of our FOSS lives and out: we all had formative life experiences of financial hardship, and tech helped us emerge into comfortable, middle-class lifestyles. We’re all community-focused and have worked as community managers. We’ve been finalists for the same jobs.

That is to say, while we have different opinions and different outlooks, we all come from fairly similar places.

While I would not go as far as to say the same is true across each generation represented in the board, we do a fairly good job of agreeing with one another. Occasionally we argue, but that frequently comes from practical points and specific concerns relating to the gritty logistics of making decisions for an organization.

We have a range of experiences represented when you take the board as a whole, but not as different as I would like to see.

The fact is, the board does not represent the greater FOSS community. This is why it’s important for more people to join the OSI–in order to vote in elections and make sure their voices are represented. In order for this representation to be real, we need people from different backgrounds and viewpoints to stand for election and become board members.

To say this in more explicit terms: the OSI board is extremely (exclusively) white. Two board members are European, eight of us from the United States, and there is one Canadian. I think this is a problem.

What do I want from you? If you’re from outside North America, I want you to run for the OSI board. If you’re a racial minority, I want you to run for the OSI board. If you come from a background that is a part of the FOSS movement, but not represented, I want you to run for the OSI board. Are you from North America? Are you white? Are you a college educated coder working in a cool tech job? That is -awesome-. I am some of those things. I want you to reach out to your friends with different backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge and encourage them to run for the OSI board.

Think you’re unqualified? You’re totally not. One of the things I’ve learned about life–and especially FOSS–from three of my amazing free software mentors is that we’re never qualified when we start something new–or at least we don’t feel that way. I had no clue what I was doing when I first thought about running for the OSI board. All I knew was that I wanted to do more for the community.

Think you’re too busy? You might be! You might not be! We’re a pretty busy lot, and we each put in what we’re capable of. Sometimes that’s advice and ideas; sometimes it’s fundraising, financial literacy skills, ideas, organizing, writing, and anything else you bring to the table.

Think you’ve nothing to say? I bet you do.

Joining a board is not only about you–it’s about giving back to the community that has given you so much. It’s about pushing a movement forward. It’s about bringing the ideas and voices of others to the table, and making sure that everyone is heard.

If you’re interested in running, but scared, uncertain, don’t think you’re qualified, want help, or just want to talk more about the responsibilities, please email me at molly [at] opensource [dot] org or Josh Simmons at josh [at] opensource [dot] org.

Board members also get sweet email addresses, and that alone is reason enough to run.

Previously, the board was appointed by the board. This gave them the opportunity to create a group representing a range of experiences and skill sets, as well as fill necessary niches of knowledge (licensing, technical skills, community organization, etc). Now that we have a board elected by membership, it’s more crucial for people to both nominate themselves, if they don’t see enough representation, and join the OSI. In order for elections to actually reflect the FLOSS community, wee need a strong, varied membership from all over the world. So, in addition to running or encouraging your friends to run, consider joining as an Individual or Affiliate member.

Categories: FLOSS Research

Happy Anniversary—The Next 20 Years of Open Source Begins

Open Source Initiative - Sat, 2018-02-03 08:53

Open Source Software—yes, we did coin the term (thanks Christine Peterson) and started the movement—is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone.

Thirty-five years ago when Richard Stallman decided that he could no longer tolerate proprietary software, and started the free software movement, software freedom was misunderstood and dismissed. Twenty years ago a group of free software advocates gathered in California and decided that software freedom needed to be brought to the business world. The result was a marketing program called “open source”. That same month, February 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded as a general educational and advocacy organization to raise awareness and adoption for the superiority of an open development process.

It is said, whenever you start a revolution first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they join you.

People did laugh at the idea of free software, they questioned the quality of the software, the feasibility of the development model, and the commitment of the community. English-speaking people only heard the word “free” as in no money, and they laughed at the idea of software being created without cost or payment.

With the launch of the open source marketing program people fought us. SCO fought very strongly. It tried to kill off Linux. Microsoft tried to kill open source, conspiring in something called the Halloween documents.

Yet today they’ve joined us—open source is eating the software world. As the vast majority of users and developers believe, open source improves your efficiency in software development, it leads to and eases interoperability, and fosters higher quality software delivered faster and cheaper. Businesses find open source software fundamental to infrastructure, as well as a critical factor for driving innovation.

But we’re also facing the next 10 years of open source.

The first 10 years of open source were dedicated to advocacy and controlled by controversy. In the second 10 years we saw adoption and even ascendancy within many sectors. Ahead, in the third 10 years, the goal is assimilation, and the expectation is authenticity.

Over the next ten years, the OSI anticipates open source communities to gradually change. The first decade was characterized by enthusiasts or hobbyists—a hacker community—devoted to developing specialized tools or projects to replace off-the-shelf software. In the second decade open source focused on components, and was dominated by single-project specialists (i.e. individual companies, or non-profit organizations). The third decade will be dominated by generalists—businesses, consortia, and foundations—that work across many open source communities, integrating them and their outputs.

We also saw the first decade dominated by the search for “the open source business model.” We may never have found it, just companies that started up and tried to control us through their business. During the second decade, businesses focused on services supporting their internally-developed open source products. Over the next decade businesses will sell (and hire) the skills to assemble, integrate, and operate the component parts that characterizes today’s businesses like Google and Facebook and Twitter—every business will face complexity, and scaling that complexity in production.

Open source succeeded because the OSI first defined open source (thanks Bruce Perens & Debian), then standardized licenses. What we'll see in the next decade is the consolidation of licenses, and sadly, we expect to see abuse of the open source software label (i.e. fauxpen source and openwashing). We will see a stabilization and a shrinking of the number of licenses in use, because of the need to manage ecosystems of complexity.

In the third decade of open source, we will rediscover software freedom. We allowed ourselves to be divided—the free software and open source communities—and pretended there was a difference between the two, but there is not. They are both expressions of software freedom and we're going to rediscover that in the next 10 years because we will be forced to solve problems with new models: cloud computing, the Internet of Things, manipulation of Big Data, Blockchain, 5G, etc. As we solve those problems we will discover that it is vital to go back to the Four Freedoms, ensuring software is free to use, that it is open to study, that it may be freely changed, and that it may be equally distributed.

Finally, the OSI has a future as well. The OSI has been crystallizing consensus for the last 20 years, and we're committed to that work. Our support for continued growth, in both open source software and the communities that enable it, will change. “Open Source has won” so the need for combating "fear, uncertainty and doubt," the propaganda that questioned open source software’s viability or feasibility, has waned. An organization dedicated to simply promoting adoption and advocating for collaboration is no longer enough. Although the OSI will take on this work when needed, the upcoming decade will require adopting and contributing organizations to operate and engage authentically, ensuring interactions between projects and communities conform to established norms, best practices, and an open ethos if they want to successfully manage the emerging complexity. Helping open source users, developers, and communities here, will be an important role for the OSI in the third decade.

New initiatives with institutions of higher education and professional development programs will allow those just beginning with open source or those working to address complexity, no matter what their role—developer, community manager, project/program manager, marketing professional, attorney, CIO, CEO or any other—to benefit from all the opportunities of software freedom.

OSI Working Groups will be expanded. We will continue to invest in groups and projects that directly increase the awareness and adoption of open source, and build bridges between communities. But we realize, due to open source’s broad influence spanning many technologies, sectors, and industries, that we will need to extend the scope of our initiatives to address new issues, emerging from fields which we never anticipated impacted before, or simply did not exist.

In the very near-term—and on a much lighter note—over the next year we will be celebrating: celebrating 20 years of open source and 35 years of software freedom. So along with our affiliate members, sponsors and some of the worlds most influential conferences, we're calling a big party and you're all invited. That big party starts on the 3rd of February, 2018—today—with anniversary celebrations throughout the world, the first are at FOSDEM (right now) in Brussels, and at Campus Party Brasil, in Sao Paulo (also right now). In addition to these events we will be hosting celebrations at other venues and conferences across the globe, at ACT-W, All Things Open, FOSSAsia, Linux.Conf.au, LinuxFest Northwest, OpenApereo, OpenCamps, OpenExpo, OSCON, Paris Open Source Summit, and SCaLE16x.

In recognition of both OSI's and Open Source Software’s 20th Anniversary, and in order to begin our work for the next decade, we are launching the Open Sources Network (online via Opensource.net), which will serve both as a community of practice and a mentorship program for those addressing legacy issues of open source as well as facing the complexity ahead. The goal of the Open Sources Network at opensource.net is to further promote and support adoption of open source software over the next twenty years as issues shift from open source’s viability and value to issues around complexity and authentic participation.

The Open Sources Network connects those that “get it” and “did it” with a global network of highly qualified peers across industries. Your experiences as an exemplar in the community will help others address common (or unique) issues. Some open source themes you will find to explore include:

  1. Development : How has open source benefited code development at organizations in terms of costs, quality, customization, security, support, and interoperability? How do organizations manage open source development/contributions?
  2. Business: What business practices align best with open source? How do companies collaborate with others to enhance products and services while creating new business opportunities?
  3. Brand Awareness: How have organizations’ commitment to open source helped promote their brand among the open source community, their communities, markets, and industries?
  4. Community Building: How has open source helped organizations connect with developers, businesses, non-profits, government, and/or educational institutions.
  5. Talent Nurturing: How has participation in the open source community helped organizations attract and retain the best talent?
  6. Open Innovation: How has open source, both from a legal perspective (e.g. OSI-approved licenses) and social perspective (culture of collaboration), helped organizations drive innovation?
  7. Leadership: What is the future of open source? What are the challenges and opportunities for the next 20 years within and across different organizations, projects, technologies? How will open source shape industry, and what role will organizations play?

We hope you will join us in celebrating throughout 2018, but also join us in our work over the next decade. We've come an amazing distance from 35 years ago, and we’ve achieved so much over the past 20 years: we can all be proud of what we’ve accomplished, excited about what is yet to come, and committed to continued development. The future of open source belongs to us!

Image credit: RevolutionOS, ©Copyright 2002 Wonderview Productions, LLC All Rights Reserved http://www.revolution-os.com/
Edited by, Patrick Masson.

Categories: FLOSS Research

"Anyone and Everyone," Leslie Hawthorn Reflects on 20 Years of Open Source.

Open Source Initiative - Thu, 2018-01-25 09:29

I believe there are two big challenge currently facing open source communities: cultivating empathy and sustaining maintainers.

The Open Source Software Movement and the Open Source Initiative will celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2018. As part of that celebration, we're asking open source luminaries to reflect on the past twenty years—the milestones, success, controversies, and even failures—to capture and understand our shared history, and the impact of the open source movement on not only software and technology, but also business, community and culture. We're also curious to hear what those who have done so much to help drive open source to where it is today, on where it should go tomorrow.

We thank very much all of those who have not only take the time to offer their perspectives here, but who have also worked so hard of the past 20 years to make open source software and the OSI so successful.

In this edition, we hear from Leslie Hawthorn. Leslie is a former OSI Board Member, and an internationally known developer relations strategist and community management expert, Leslie has spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She’s best known for creating the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launching Google’s #2 developer blog, and receiving an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010. Her career has provided her with the opportunity to develop, hone, and share open source expertise spanning enterprise to NGOs, including senior roles at Red Hat, Google, and Elastic.

If you cheer during movies when you hear the words “I fight for the users” or “Get your head out of your cockpit,” the two of you will likely get along famously. Follow her on Twitter @lhawthorn or read her blog at https://hawthornlandings.org/.

1. What does "open source" mean to you, and what do you think its most significant impact has been?

My understanding of the term open source is of course rooted in the OSI's Open Source Definition, which you can read in its entirety at https://opensource.org/osd. For me, the most important aspect of these principles is that developers can create software that is of value to themselves and others, then make it available to everyone for their own use. The greatest value of open source lies in the fact that anyone can make use of it provided they have the knowledge to do so, and they may also make improvements to that software that benefit themselves and others.

In terms of overall impact, I’m delighted to see that companies have adopted the open source model as a cornerstone of their businesses. Without open source languages, libraries, operating systems and frameworks, the technological innovations we see today would have taken much longer or, perhaps, have been cost-prohibitive. Now anyone with a great idea can start a successful company by building a compelling application atop an open source stack and bring that idea to market quickly.

It’s easy to point to the importance of open source software in building large corporations like Google - without the gratis and open source LAMP stack, the company arguably would not exist today - but for me open source’s impact on business is more compelling at the individual and small business level. Small businesses can thrive producing open source software and/or supporting its use; just take a look at the huge number of SMBs supporting say the Drupal content management system or the great success that Basecamp (formerly 37signals) has had creating their products with Ruby on Rails. Not to mention the great success they have achieving work-life balance for their employees whilst profiting handsomely!

2. Over the past 20 years, what do you feel has been some of the key developments in the open source software movement that has led to its success? What do you think is still missing?

The adoption of open source software by businesses has been one of its key success factors. Most companies no longer believe the bad press that open source software is dangerous or that open source licenses can harm their business. Even Microsoft now loves Linux (and Go, and Python, and ….)!

While we’re still in the early stages of adoption, I think that a greater acceptance of InnerSource principles by companies will be the next great step for open source. (For those unfamiliar with the term, the idea is to develop software behind the corporate firewall as ‘open source’ - with everyone having access to the code repositories to follow development or even contributing, regardless of where they sit in the organization.) By entrusting an organization’s technical team’s to work in The Open Source Way, companies have become demonstrably more efficient in their development practices, saving time, money and, most importantly, making their employees feel a greater sense of ownership and empowerment over their work. People who feel a great sense of autonomy and mastery produce beautiful things.

3. How has the OSI been able to further the awareness and adoption of open source software, development, communities? What should the OSI be focusing on in the future?

The OSI’s advocacy work over the years has been a crucial part of ensuring that the Open Source Definition (OSD) applies to a given work. We’ve seen a ton of “open washing” - companies claiming a work is open source even when it does not conform to the OSD - as the idea of openness and transparency has gained popularity with developers and consumers alike. The OSI works to make sure that the freedoms promised to a particular person under the OSD are present in a product when its called “open source”; it’s not just a PR ploy.

For the future, I would love to see the OSI focus on improving the overall ecosystem for open source projects in a variety of ways: helping to make our communities more diverse so that the software available meets the needs of the greatest number of people; sharing the knowledge of 20 years of history with technologists so we can live up to open source’s great promise of not constantly reinventing the wheel; championing the values of openness and transparency not just in how they impact software development, but also as a model for all of society.

4. What are your expectations for open source software and communities over the next 10 or even 20 years?

I believe there are two big challenge currently facing open source communities: cultivating empathy and sustaining maintainers. (You can argue that the second is actually a subset of the first point, but I believe it’s critical to analyze the two separately.) We are in the earliest stages of solving both problems.

Cultivating empathy in open source is crucial as it seems that everything - well, almost everything - is built upon open source software. While the old adage is that good open source developers scratch their own itch, when creating works that are used so widely, we must always be aware that not everyone shares our “itches,” meaning our life experience. (While neither is open source, consider two hot button issues of today: abuse on Twitter and issues with the facial recognition feature of the new iPhone, both criticized as a result of their creators’ not sufficiently understanding use cases and life experiences beyond their own.)

Regardless of differing life experiences, humans have the need to solve the same problems with software. The more that we see empathy blossom into a key feature of our development practices, the more we will see that the resulting technology provides benefits to wider swathes of people. The benefits for users who do not have our same itches provide benefits to all users, making products better.

Supporting maintainers in their work must be more effective to make open source software production sustainable. There are a large number of people working unpaid on various mission critical pieces of software; an unsettlingly large number, actually: open source maintainers working as individuals simply cannot sustain what has been coined open source’s “free rider problem.” (I highly recommend Nadia Eghbal’s excellent research under the auspices of The Ford Foundation, Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure, for both its scholarly depth and highly approachable discussion of the topic.)

No person or small group of persons can be relied upon to create and support software used by thousands of people without financial support, not to mention project management assistance, quality health care, and the opportunity to take a break from one’s work. The general interim solution has, thus far, been for large corporations to hire key developers and pay them to continue work on their open source project, but this solution has been problematic. It works wonderfully when the developers’ and company’s interest converge, but these developers may find themselves at odds with their company’s expectations for prioritizing feature development or even demonstrating the importance of funding their work when a particular tool or language is no longer in vogue at that company. We need to figure out a reasonable way to ensure that those creating important works of software are compensated and cared for beyond traditional employment relationships.

Fortunately, this problem is being actively addressed by a number of smart folks so I’m confident we’ll see a more sustainable approach to open source development in the coming decade. We’ve seen developers get support via crowdfunding sites like Patreon or Librepay, but I think that programs & platforms targeted specifically at open source developers will meet with greater success than those focused on supporting creators in general. The folks at GitHub have created a program focusing on support for open source maintainers, led by the aforementioned scholar Nadia Eghbal. There are start ups focusing on helping maintainers create sustainable small businesses, such as Tidelift (not coincidentally founded by open source developers), and even co-op models for maintainer support, such as snowdrift.coop.

Categories: FLOSS Research

Open Source Initiative Announces New Partnership With Adblock Plus

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 2018-01-16 12:03

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Jan. 16, 2018 -- Adblock Plus, the most popular Internet ad blocker today, joins The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) as corporate sponsors. Since its very first version, Adblock Plus has been an open source project that has developed into a successful business with over 100 million users worldwide. As such, the German company behind it, eyeo GmbH, has decided it is time to give back to the open source community.

Founded in 1998, the OSI protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure. Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see.

Commenting on the partnership Patrick Masson, General Manager at the OSI said, "We're very excited to welcome Adblock Plus to the OSI's growing list of sponsors. Adblock Plus and eyeo demonstrate how open source software can not only support business but actually drive business — two important lessons we here at the OSI have been promoting for nearly 20 years."

"With transparency being of utmost importance to us, Adblock Plus has been an open source project from the very start " said Wladimir Palant, eyeo founder & original developer. "This allowed us to build a loyal community around the project, with volunteer contributions helping the project to grow and thrive. We appreciate the work done by our community and will continue investing efforts into keeping Adblock Plus a truly open project where everybody can contribute"

Till Faida, founder and CEO of eyeo adds: "I am proud that we have built a successful company based on open source software. We are convinced that being open is key to innovation, so for us it is a mission and a business case. Today, eyeo has more than 100 employees all around the world, producing and running open software, wherever possible. With Adblock Plus we want to contribute to a sustainable, fair and open web for creators and consumers. So it is only logical to provide our products as open source."

Adblock Plus joins a broad range of well-known technology and software companies that all started as open source projects and matured into open source businesses. Now they are contributing back to the broader open source community as OSI sponsors and supporters.

About Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus (https://adblockplus.org/) is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extension (add-ons) puts users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 1 billion times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received About.com readers' choice award for best privacy/security add-on. Adblock Plus is a free browser add-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and Opera for desktop users, and offers a free browser for mobile users on iOS and Android.

Follow Adblock Plus on Twitter at @AdblockPlus and read our blogs at adblockplus.org/blog/. Media press kit with FAQ, images and company statistics is available at: eyeo.com/en/press.

Adblock Plus Media Contact
Laura Dornheim
+49 172 8903504

About The Open Source Initiative

Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see https://opensource.org.

Follow the OSI on Twitter at @opensourceorg, and read our blogs at opensource.org/news.

OSI Media Contact
Italo Vignoli

Categories: FLOSS Research