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2019 OSI Board Elections

Tue, 2019-01-15 12:16

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is managed by a member-elected Board of Directors that is the ultimate authority responsible for the organization. The Board's responsibilities include oversight of the organization, including its operations, staff and budget; setting strategic direction and defining goals in line with the mission, and; serving the community through committees and working groups. The eleven person Board is composed of Directors elected by OSI Individual Members (5) and Affiliate Members (5). The General Manager of the OSI also serves on the Board as a Director (ex officio). The results of elections for both Individual and Affiliate Member Board seats are advisory with the OSI Board making the formal appointments to open seats based on the community's votes.

As a true corporate board, Board members must agree to, and comply with, the OSI Conflict of Interest Policy, and all Directors are expected to participate regularly in monthly Board meetings, any special meetings that may arise and the ongoing discussions related to the OSI specifically and open source generally.

Open Seats

(More information below, see "Nominations")

Upcoming 2019 Election Schedule
  • January 14, 2019: Announcement of election.
  • February 3, 2019 (12:00 a.m. PST): Nominations open
  • March 1, 2019 (11:59 p.m. PST): Nominations close
  • March 4, 2019 (12:00 a.m. PST): Elections open
  • March 15, 2019 (11:59 p.m. PST): Elections close
  • March 18, 2019 (12:00 a.m. PST): : Run-off elections open (if needed)
  • March 18, 2019 (11:59 p.m. PST): Run-off elections close
  • April 1, 2019: New Board Directors seated
  • May 6 & 7, 2019 : First in-person Board meeting (New York, NY)
Terms of Offices

No Board Director who has served for six consecutive years is eligible for re-election until a year has elapsed. As an example, someone elected to an Individual Member seat three consecutive times, and thus serving 6 consecutive years, or someone elected to an Affiliate Member Seat twice consecutively, and thus serving 6 consecutive years, will be term-limited and unable to be elected for a further consecutive term for either an Individual or Affiliate seat until a year has passed.

The representation of the board is as follows:

  • Five Directors of the Board are appointed based on Individual Members' votes (2 year term, maximum 3 consecutive terms)
  • Five Directors of the Board are appointed based on Affiliate Members' votes (3 year term, maximum 2 consecutive terms)
  • One Director of the Board will be dedicated to the General Manager, ex officio (term to last length of employment)
Election Process

Only current OSI Individual Members may run for an Individual Member seat on the Board (learn more about joining the OSI as an Individual Member), however those running for an Affiliate seat on the Board need not be an Individual Member. Those interested in running for an Individual Member seat do not need to be nominated and may run by simply completing the candidate information. Those interested in running for an Affiliate Member Board seat must be nominated by a current OSI Affiliate organization.

Standing for election is extremely easy. Current Individual Members who would like to run for an Individual Member seat can simply send a contact request, with the category “Candidate Nomination” via the OSI contact form (http//

Current Affiliate Members may send their nominations for Affiliate Member seats to the OSI via the OSI contact form ( Please select the “Candidate Nomination” category on the form.

Once we receive your request, we will promptly send you back information to create your election profile. Current election eligibility policy can be found here in the OSI Bylaws, Article V, Sections 3 - 5.

Voting in OSI elections is open to all Individual Members and the OSI Representatives of each Affiliate Member. Only Individual Members may vote in the election of Individual Member seats. Only Affiliate Member Representatives may vote in the election of Affiliate Member seats. Only one vote per Affiliate Member, as submitted by the Affiliate Representative will be counted in the election of an Affiliate seat. Elections for OSI Directors are held according to Bloc voting, or plurality-at-large, 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 will be elected to the open seats. Should a tie occur, a run off will be held between the tied candidates.*

Voting for all elections is done online using Helios Voting. When elections are held, OSI current and lifelong Individual Members and the Affiliate Members' Representatives receive email notifications with instructions on how to access the online voting systems, instructions on how to complete their vote, and a list of the candidates with further information about them and their interests/qualifications.

Becoming a member
If you are not an Individual Member and would like to vote in the election for an Individual Member seat, and/or run, for an OSI Individual Member Board Director seat, please consider registering for Individual Membership. Your participation is fundamental to make the OSI more community oriented and to better represent your interests. You can vote in the next election becoming a member now through the end of the election calendar. You may stand for election as long as you join, before nominations close.

OSI Election FAQ

Can I run for an Individual or Affiliate Member seat?
Yes, you can run for either seat, but not both during the same election.

In addition, to run for an Individual Member seat, you must be a current OSI Individual Member . However, you do not need to be an Individual Member to run for an Affiliate seat on the Board. Also, as the Affiliate Member seats are nominated by OSI Affiliate Member Representatives, each Affiliate may have their own requirements to earn their nomination (e.g. membership in their organization).

What do I need to do to be a candidate for an Individual Member, or Affiliate Board of Director seat?
To be a candidate for an Individual Member seat, you must be a current OSI Individual Member .

To be a candidate for an Affiliate seat on the Board you must be nominated by an OSI Affiliate Member Representative. Each Affiliate Member may have their own requirements to earn their nomination (e.g. membership in their organization).

What if I'm not an OSI Member and want to run?
Individual Membership is easy, and you can become a member right now, and still run for election. You may also contact an OSI Affiliate to ask about a nomination from them.

Can I nominate someone else for an Individual Member Board seat?
No. The OSI Board needs to have the commitment of the candidate that they are really willing to serve on the Board. But, you can contact your desired candidate and suggest that they self-nominate. All that is required is that they send an email!

  • Won't that leave out important candidates from this election?
    If candidates don't have time or are not interested in completing a simple form to self-nominate themselves, they probably don't have time, nor interest, to serve on the OSI Board, so they would not really be qualified candidates anyway.

Can I nominate someone else for an Affiliate Member Board seat?
No. Only OSI Affiliate Member organizations may nominate candidates for Affiliate Board seats.

Can I run for both an Individual Member Board seat and an Affiliate Member Board seat?
No. Candidates may only stand for one seat during each election.

As an Individual Member, can I vote for Individual and Affiliate Member candidates?
No, as an Individual Member you may vote only for candidates running for Individual Member seats on the Board. Affiliate Member representatives vote for candidates running for Affiliate seats on the Board. If you are both an Individual Member and an Affiliate Member representative you may vote for both Individual and Affiliate Member seats.

Categories: FLOSS Research

December 2018 License-Discuss List Summary

Mon, 2019-01-07 10:51

I've been asked to provide monthly summaries of the license-review and license-discuss mailing lists. The summaries will also be posted on their respective lists, though this blog version includes detailed links into the list archives. Any feedback is welcome, though replies on the content should of course be made to the original threads.

This month's topics:

  • International Licenses Redux
  • Proposed license decision process
  • "Consideration" in open source licenses
  • Open source license with obligation to display an attribution?
  • SSPL loose ends

License-Review summary:

International Licenses Redux

Richard Fontana suggests that the “International” license category should be expanded from non-English language licenses (LiLiQ) to cover licenses "targeting specific languages and jurisdictions", regardless of their language (EUPL, CeCILL). Language and jurisdiction are intertwined, as Mike Milinkovich explains: “By convention, OSS expects English as the language of the license, but there are places in the world where that is legally impossible [due to statutory language requirements].”

Proposed license decision process

Richard Fontana posts a draft for a clarified license decision process as discussed by the OSI Board. The proposal adds a clear Decision Date 60 days after initial license submission after which the OSI will defer the decision if discussion is ongoing, approve or reject the license if the discussion is conclusive, or withhold approval if the license can be reworked.

Bruce Perens appreciates that “software freedom” is an explicit goal of the proposed decision process, but notes that the term can be unclear. Lawrence Rosen argues that open source should be based on a more pragmatic definition.

Luis Villa asks about a specific test for software freedom, and whether license review would be coordinated with the FSF. Richard Fontana replies that he considers the OSD to be an attempt of a definition of software freedom, but that the OSD is limited and should not be viewed as as checklist or interpreted too literally. Focusing on software freedom as the actual goal would help avoid this. While Fontana would like to see greater harmonization between OSI and FSF wrt decisions on edge-case FOSS licenses, he doesn’t think their very different review processes should be closely coordinated.

What about harmful licenses that have been accepted by the OSI in the past? Perens specifically considers the SIL Open Font License. Rick Moen thinks that these licenses are a lingering though minor problem since there's a community expectation to use one of the major licenses. Luis Villa thinks a cleanup of old licenses might be a good idea and could also provide “case law” for the new license review process. Nicholas Weinstock would prefer existing licenses to be grandfathered.

“Consideration” in open source licenses

As a more pragmatic basis for the license review process than "software freedom", Lawrence Rosen proposes:

“Open source software” means software actually distributed under terms that grant a copyright and patent license from all contributors to the software for every licensee to access and use the complete source code, make copies of the software or derivative works thereof and, without payment of royalties or other consideration, to distribute the unmodified or modified software.

A discussion starts on the “without consideration” point. Florian Weimer notes that this term is difficult to understand outside of common law. For example, Kevin P. Fleming and Nicholas Weinstock note that the copyleft requirement to distribute source code might be interpreted as a consideration. Bruce Perens responds that the Jacobsen v. Katzer case shows that open source licenses do indeed have non-monetary considerations.

Lawrence Rosen insists that “considerations” should not be confused with “conditions”. Rosen claims that no open source licenses require considerations but that the OSI accepts some license conditions (e.g. copyleft conditions). Rosen thinks that creating open source software or receiving attribution is its own reward. (Note: Rosen’s distinction between considerations and conditions seems to prove Weimer’s point, and the claim about considerations directly contradicts Perens.)

A number of OSI-approved licenses explicitly mention considerations and conditions, as noted by Nicholas Weinstock. Perhaps the concepts can be distinguished by whether rights are surrendered or gained? Rosen agrees that these terms can have “subtle legal meanings, including in other countries” but explains that a consideration can be anything valued by the licensor, including "Peppercorns".

Nigel Tzeng notes that it is exactly the acceptable level of considerations that is at question for an open source license: “Some forms of consideration is okay, even good. Others become overreach.” Rosen acknowledges that and explains that he is primarily concerned about considerations by downstream users. (Note: it seems Rosen’s gripe with considerations is not so much the consideration itself, but that there might not be a clear recipient of the consideration.)

Regarding the “actually distributed” part, Nicholas Weinstock notes that the BSD license might fail that criterion since it has no express patent grant. Lawrence Rosen agrees and would object to new licenses without an explicit patent grant. In fact, licenses that expressly exclude patent grants have been rejected. However, Rosen acknowledges that especially academic licensors might only be able to provide limited grants. Rosen also points to possible issues around open standards.

Open source license with obligation to display an attribution?

Simon Cox asks [1,2,3] whether any open source license requires public attribution as a gesture of acknowledgement, e.g. as a logo on a website. Such attributions would make it easier to demonstrate the impact of open source projects, especially in the public sector/GOSS as emphasized by Stephen Michael Kellat.

Such attributions can be tricky. Danese Cooper recalls the tension between the OSI-approved Attribution Assurance License AAL and SugarCRM’s previous requirement to display their logo in the middle of each page (cf ZDNet) which was considered counter to the OSD. David Woolley mentions the difficulty around the advertising clause in the 4-clause BSD license.

Antoine Thomas notes [1,2] that attribution is usually not a problem since all attributions in a software are typically gathered on a separate page. Thorsten Glaser responds that this is only possible if the license is technology-neutral and doesn’t prescribe a specific attribution style. Glaser also raises the issue that a requirement for public attribution could fail the “Dissident” or “Desert Island” test (see DFSG).

Bruce Perens mentions two issues with “badgeware”: It would trigger requirements on mere use, and would make compliance infeasible for large projects such as Debian. Lawrence Rosen points out that OSD #10 “License Must Be Technology Neutral” prevents some badgeware licenses.

Bruce Perens notes that attribution requests rather than requirements are unproblematic. Lawrence Rosen thinks that mild requirements are perfectly reasonable, e.g.: “Licensee must display the name and source of the embedded software in as prominent a manner and place as the licensee displays its own trademarks.”

Rosen also voices an interesting view on the license review process: “Our job is to approve licenses that experiment successfully (?) with new license models, not to keep rejecting ways to obtain profit and recognition from software. Let us leave it up to the marketplace to determine acceptability of the license, as long as it is ‘open source software.’”

Chris Lamb suggests [1,2] adding a rider with an attribution request to any well-known license, e.g. the GPLv3. (Note: this could be a GPLv3 Additional Term.) Lawrence Rosen claims that the GPLv3 “doesn't protect attribution in derivative works.”

Regarding the Government Open Source Software (GOSS) attribution aspect, Nigel Tzeng expresses considerable frustration with respect to available open source licenses and the open source community. Visible attribution is often needed by public projects to ensure future funding.

Jim Jagielski and Lawrence Rosen disagree that GOSS would be fundamentally different from other projects in this respect. However, Rosen agrees that present licenses such as the GPLv3 fail to ensure sufficient attribution.

Christopher Sean Morrison lists a few US-specific problems or unresolved legalities that GOSS faces. This limits public sector participation in open source: “Nobody wants to be the guinea pig.” Tzeng points to the NASA and ECL licenses as examples where other public sector needs already made specific licenses necessary.

SSPL loose ends

The submission of the SSPL sparked lots of discussions about copyleft and review processes in general. A number of loose ends:

Kyle Mitchell followed up on two points from November. Responding to the older Freedom or Power? essay, Mitchell notes that there isn’t just the essay's producer–user power imbalance, but also an imbalance between producers. Mitchell argues that non-permissive licenses such as the SSPL are necessary to protect producers from their competitors.

There have not been many supporters for the SSPL. Mitchell notes that the number of supporters should not matter, so that the license review process doesn't turn into a popularity contest.

Previously, Kyle Mitchell had noted that some OSI-approved licenses trigger requirements on use and not just on copying: the OSL and AGPL. Florian Weimer thinks that the AGPL was originally intended for servers that also serve their source code and not for open-core business models. “People who have tried to use the AGPL in this way have been disappointed about the effects, I believe.” Weimer wonders whether such business models were a consideration for the OSL.

Should a license review focus on the license text or its potential use? Florian Weimer prefers a textual review because this avoids having to take a stance on Open Core business models. Brendan Hickey clarifies that a 2010 post on the OSI blog about this is a personal opinion and not official OSI stance.

Categories: FLOSS Research

December 2018 License-Review List Summary

Mon, 2019-01-07 10:49

I've been asked to provide monthly summaries of the license-review and license-discuss mailing lists. The summaries will also be posted on their respective lists, though this blog version includes detailed links into the list archives. Any feedback is welcome, though replies on the content should of course be made to the original threads.

This month's topics:

  • License committee report and review status changes
  • Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)
  • Support for SSPL v2
  • (A new license review process is being discussed on the license-discuss list)

License-Discuss summary:

License committee report and review status changes

Report by Richard Fontana

libpng license: Cosmin Truta withdraws the license.

SSPLv2: discussion will continue on the revised version.

YetiForce Public License 3.0: rejected.

License Zero Public License (L0-R): no decision because it had been effectively withdrawn.

Convertible Free Software License, Version 1.1: approval withheld pending a redrafted version. Elmar Stellnberger (the license submitter) is not certain which points would have to be changed. Carlo Piana emphasizes that giving the original authors special relicensing rights is discriminatory, especially in case of a fork.

Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)

On Nov 21, the SSPL v2 has been submitted for review.

Eric Schultz feels the revision has not been made in good faith and finds no substantial improvements. Schultz is particularly concerned that the “limitations what code is included on Section 13 seem practically limitless because Service is not defined.”

Bruce Perens links to Sunil Deshpande’s comments on the SSPL and feels “it manifests a lot of ignorance about Open Source and utter contempt for our community.” Eliot Horowitz (MongoDB) responds that Deshpande is unaffiliated with MongoDB. Instead, Horowitz points to an article on his blog. He also responds to individual issues:

Is it a problem that the SSPL extends to other software? Horowitz argues “no”: combining services over a network is the new dynamic linking, so it's OK to extend copyleft. (Note: this fails to consider the bounds of copyright, and that the SSPL would not just affect other services but e.g. deployment tools.) McCoy Smith is also concerned that the SSPL could require the disclosure of software that is similar or reverse engineered, without being a derivative work in the sense of copyright.

What constitutes making the Program available as a service? Horowitz claims that the SSPL's definition is easier to understand than the comparable section in the AGPL, and says the license cannot be more specific while remaining technology-agnostic and understandable.

Florian Weimer asks whether this would include services like providing pre-built binaries. Horowitz (MongoDB) responds that the terms covering distribution of binaries are identical with the GPL. Horowitz explains that running the software as a service here means running the software on behalf of someone else, and that this meaning is common and well understood.

(Note: I previously read the SSPL with service as in service oriented architecture, not as in cleaning service. Apparently, only service as in SaaS/PaaS is meant. Common usage or not, this is quite ambiguous.)

Lawrence Rosen takes issue with the SSPL’s “making available” definition: the “value” of a service cannot be calculated, and what a program “accomplishes for users” is subjective and addled by marketing. “You have created, at least in part, an unenforceable FOSS license with a nicer definition than AGPL of "program as a service" that still doesn't help much. :-)”

Nevertheless, Rosen thinks the flaws of the SSPL do not prevent it from being an open source license and votes for approval as an experimental license.

Support for SSPL v2

Greg Luck (Hazelcast) voices support for the SSPL v2. He argues that there is a need for an OSI-approved license addressing the issues raised by the Commons Clause and SSPL in order to prevent proliferation of open source-ish licenses in this area. Luck considers GPLv3 style copyleft and even the AGPL insufficient at preventing service wrapping by cloud providers. In his understanding, copyleft should prevent selling free software or the original developers should get a fair share of the profits.

Rob Landley responds that Stallman was well aware of the “service provider loophole” prior to creating the (A)GPLv3 license family. “If he and Eben Moglen working together for half a decade couldn't manage to address the issue and still call the result "Free Software", what makes you think you're going to?” Landley accuses SSPL supporters of wishful thinking: “that's now how copyright law and open source work”.

Carlo Piana sympathizes with Luck’s sentiment but doesn’t think the SSPL should be the license that OSI approves for this purpose. Piana is particularly concerned that the SSPL is so unclear in so many scenarios that most users are effectively forced to obtain a proprietary license. “It's the dual licensing paradigm on steroids”. Nigel T concurs and suggests that it’s not the responsibility of open source to enable a particular business model: “If you don’t want folks to profit from your codebase just make it shared source and move on.”

Bruce Perens adds that the “OSI doesn't prevent you from using any license. Just don't call it Open Source.” Perens points out that the OSD/DFSG ban on usage restrictions excludes some special interests, e.g. educational-only software. This is necessary so that an open source system can be used with legal certainty, for any purpose. But where are the communities that promote special non-open source licenses? “IMO the problem for some of the proposed licenses is not a lack of OSI's approval, but a lack of interest.” Nigel T points at CC-NC as a non-open license with a large community.

Perens also responds that any confusion due to a proliferation of non-OSS licenses “will not be OSI or Open Source's problem. You create this problem by leaving the tent.”

Brendan Hickey points out Luck’s misunderstanding of Free Software: it’s about reciprocity, not about encumbering commercial interests. Furthermore, Hickey argues that cloud providers sell reliability, not software. Therefore, the SSPL will not prevent large cloud providers from profiting from hosting open source software but at most inconvenience users.

Martin Verburg (jClarity) [1,2] chimes in with support for a common license that addresses these concerns, but advises caution – acceptance of such a license or even changing the OSD would have far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Instead he suggests a Infrastructure License Consortium in which vendors should develop a common license, independent of possible OSI approval. Regarding the SSPL, Verburg suggests to wait and watch: will other vendors take up this license?

Categories: FLOSS Research

Hacktoberfest Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Tue, 2018-11-13 07:25

Five years ago the community team at DigitalOcean wanted to create a program to inspire open source contributions. That first year, in 2014, the first Hacktoberfest participants were asked for 50 commits, and those who completed the challenge received a reward of swag. 676 people signed up and 505 forged ahead to the finish line, earning stickers and a custom limited-edition T-shirt.

This year that number is an astounding 46,088 completions out of 106,582 sign-ups. We’ve seen it become an entry point to developers contributing to open source projects: much more than a program, it’s clear that Hacktoberfest has become a global community movement with a shared set of values and passion for giving back.

To learn more about the results from the 5th anniversary of Hacktoberfest, please check this blog post from DigitalOcean:

The Open Source Initiative would like to thank DigitalOcean for not only for being a sponsor of the OSI and for hosting our website, but most importantly for creating such an inspiring program like Hacktoberfest. Happy 5th Anniversary, Hacktoberfest!

Categories: FLOSS Research

COSCon Bridges East & West, Open Source Powers Now & Future

Tue, 2018-11-06 15:50

The OSI was honored to participate in the 2018 China Open Source Conference (COSCon'18) hosted by OSI Affiliate Member KAIYUANSHE in Shenzhen, China. Over 1,600 people attended the exciting two-day event, with almost another 10,000 watching via live-stream online. The conference boasted sixty-two speakers from twelve countries, with 11 keynotes (including OSI Board alum Tony Wasserman), 67 breakout sessions, 5 lightning talks (led by university students), 3 hands-on camps, and 2 specialty forums on Open Source Education and Open Source Hardware.

COSCon'18 also served as an opportunity to make several announcements, including the publication of "The 2018 China Open Source Annual Report", the launch of "KCoin Open Source Contribution Incentivization Platform", and the unveiling of KAIYUANSHE's "Open Hackathon Cloud Platform".

Since it's foundation in October of 2014, KAIYUANSHE has continously helped open source projects and communities thrive in China, while also contributing back to the world by, "bringing in and reaching out". COSCon'18 is one more way KAIYUANSHE serves to: raise awareness of, and gain expereince with, global open source projects; build and incentivise domestic markets for open source adoption; study and improve open source governance across industry sectors; promote and serve the needs of local develoeprs, and; identify and incubate top-notch local open source projects.

In addition to all of the speakers and attendees, KAIYUANSHE would like to thank their generous sponsors for all of their support in making COSCon'18 a great success.

2018 China Open Source Annual Report - Created by KAIYUANSHE volunteers over the past six months, the 2018 Open Source Annual Report describes the current status, and unique dynamics, of Open Source Softwre in China. The report provides a global perspective with contributions from multiple communities, and is now available on GitHub: contributions welcome.

KCoin - Open Source Contribution Incentivization Platform - KCoin, an open source, blockchain-based, contribution incentivization mechanism was launched at COSCon'18. KCoin is curently used by three projects including, KFCoding--a next generation interactive developer learning community, ATN--an AI+Blockchain-based open source platform, and Dao Planet--a contribution-based community incentive infrastructure.

Open Hackathon Platform Donation Ceremony - Open Hackathon Platform is a one-stop cloud platform for hosting or participating online in hackathons. Originally developed by and run internally for Microsoft development, the platform was officially donated to KAIYUANSHE by Microsoft during the conference. Since May of 2015 the open source platform has hosted more than 10 hackathons and other collabrative development eforts including hands-on camps and workshops, and is the first project to be contributed by a leading international corporation to a Chinese open source community. Ulrich Homann, Distinguished Architect at Microsoft who presided over the dedication offered, “We are looking forward to contributions from the KAIYUANSHE community which will make the Open Hackathon Cloud Platform an even better platform for your needs. May the source be with you!”

Open Source 20-Year Anniversary Celebration Party - Speakers, sponsors, community and media partners, and KAIYUANSHE directors and officers came together to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Open Source Software and the Open Source Initiative. The evening was hosted by OSI Board Director Tony Wasserman, and Ross Gardler of the Apache Software Foundation, who both shared a few thoughts about the long journey and success of Open Source Software. Other activities included, a "20 Years of Open Source Timeline", where attendees added their own memories and milestones; "Open-Source-Awakened Jedi" cosplay with Kaiyuanshe directors and officers serving OSI 20th Anniversary cake as Jedi warrior's (inlcuing cutting the cake with light sabers!).

The celebreation also provided an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions to KAIYUANSHE and open source by two exceptional individuals. Cynthia Xin and Junbo Wang were both awared the "Open Source Star" trophy. Cynthia was recogmized for her work as both the Event Team Lead and Community Partnership Team Lead, while Junbo Wang, was recognized for contributions as the Open Hackathon Cloud Platform Infrastructure Team Lead, and KCoin Project Lead.

"May the source be with you!" Fun for all at the 20th Anniversary of Open Source party during COSCon'18.


Other highlights included:

  • A "Fireside Chat" with Nat Friedman, GitHub CEO, and Ted Liu, Kaiyuanshe Chairman
  • Apache Project Incubation
  • Implementing Open Source Governance at Scale
  • Executive Roundtable: "Collision of Cultures"
  • 20 years of open source: Where can we do better?
  • How to grow the next generation of university talent with open source.
  • Open at GitLab: discussions and engagement.
  • Three communities--Open Source Software (OSS), Open Source Hardware (OSHW) and Creative Commons (CC)--on stage, sharing and brainstorming.
  • Made in China, "Xu Gu Hao": open source hardware and education for the fun of creating!
Former OSI Board Director Tony Wasserman presents at COSCon'18


COSCon'18 organizers would like to recognize and thank their international and domestic communities for their support, Apache Software Foundation (ASF), Open Source Initiative (OSI), GNOME, Mozilla, FreeBSD and another 20+ domestic communities. As of Oct. 23rd, there were more than 120,000 viewerships from the retweet of the articles published for the COSCon'18 by the domestic communities and more retweets to come from the international communities. We are grateful for these lovely community partners. The board of GNOME Foundation also sent a greeting video for the conference.

Many attendees also offered their thoughts on the event...

COSCon was a great opportunity to meet developers and learn how GitHub can better serve the open source community in China. It is exciting to see how much creativity and passion there is for open source in China.
---- Nat Friedman, CEO, GitHub

COSCon is the meetup place for open source communities. No matter where you are, on stage or in the audience crowd, the spirits of openness, freedom, autonomy and collaboration run through the entire conference. Technologies rises and falls, only the ecosystem sustains over the community.

---- Tao Jiang, Founder of CSDN

When I visited China in 2015, I said "let's build the bridge together", in 2018 China Open Source Conference, I say "let's cross the bridge together!"
---- Ross Gardler, Executive Vice President, Apache Software Foundation

The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about "adoption and use of FOSS from industry leaders in China and around the world."

---- Tony Wasserman, OSI Board Member Alumni, Professor of Carnegie Mellon University

I'm very glad to see the increasing influence power of KAIYUANSHE and wish it gets better and better.
---- Jerry Tan, Baidu Open Source Lead & Deep Learning Evangelist

It is a great opportunity to share Microsoft’s Open source evolution with the OSS community in China through the 2018 ConsCon conference. I am honored to officially donate the Microsoft Open Hackathon platform to the Kayuanshe community. Contributing over boundaries of space and time is getting more important than ever – an open platform like the Microsoft Open Hackathon environment can bring us together wherever we are, provide a safe online environment enabling us to solve problems, add unique value and finally have lots of fun together.

---- Ulrich Homann,Distinguished Architect, Microsoft

I was impressed by the vibrant interest in the community for OSS and The Apache Software Foundation, particularly by young developers.

---- Dave Fisher, Apache Incubator PMC member & mentor

Having the China Open Source Conference is a gift for the 20-year anniversary of the birth of open source from the vast number of Chinese open source fans. In 2016, OSI officially announced that Kaiyuanshe becomes an OSI affiliate member in recognizing Kaiyuanshe's contribution in promoting open source in China. Over the years, the influence of Kaiyuanshe has been flourishing, and many developers have participated & contributed to its community activities. In the future, Huawei Cloud is willing to cooperate with Kaiyuanshe further to contribute to software industry growth together.

---- Feng Xu, founder & general manager of DevCloud, Huawei Cloud

Categories: FLOSS Research

Handshake's $200K Pledge Extends Reach of Open Source Initiative

Thu, 2018-11-01 11:39

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Nov. 5, 2018 -- The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) is thrilled to announce the largest single donation in organizational history, a $200,000 contribution from Handshake. Handshake is a new system for the internet namespace that builds in security, openness, and reliability from the start. Handshake's work—as a community-oriented organization, and the open technologies delivered—will jump-start a new era of public internet commons, where critical infrastructure is owned by the open source developers who build and sustain it.

As a symbol of Handshake's commitment to open source software, developers, and communities, the organization has pledged the entirety of their venture capital investment (approximately US $10.2M) to the free and open source software community. In addition to the generous support provided to the OSI, other recipients include, OSI Affiliate Members Debian, KDE e.V, Mozilla Foundation, and Wikimedia Foundation, as well as several other non-profits working in the public interest through openness and collaboration.

"These pledges serve as a long overdue thank you to the open source community both for the immeasurable contributions to the world, and making Handshake possible in the very first place," said Christel Dahlskjaer, Director of Philanthropy and Engagement at Handshake. "We thank the OSI for doing amazing work, while managing to maintain a proper grassroots approach—so much love for the work undertaken by the OSI."

Handshake's pledge arrives at a critical point in time for the OSI and the broader open source software movement. "Although the OSI and open source software have enjoyed tremendous success over the past twenty years, we're actually seeing greater confusion, even skepticism, around established norms, the principles and practices that have made open source development and technologies a standard across industries," said Patrick Masson, OSI's General Manager. "Handshake's funding will allow us to extend the reach and impact of our Working Groups and Incubator Projects, many which were established to confront the growing efforts to manipulate open source through "fauxpen source software" and "open-washing."

Contributions like those from Handshake, allow the OSI to maintain its internationally recognized status as a nexus of trust with a mandate to protect and promote open source. The OSI engages with open source developers, communities of practice, as well as the public and private sectors around the world, furthering open source technologies, licenses, and models of development that can provide economic and strategic advantages.

Masson added, "I know I speak for the OSI Board in expressing our deepest gratitude for Handshake's gift, which will support our ongoing work to promote and protect open source, but perhaps even more gratifying is Handshake's recognition of our commitment to, 'maintain a proper grassroots approach' in those efforts."

About Handshake
Handshake ( is building an alternative to digital certificate authorities using blockchain technology. It's a new system for the internet namespace that builds security, openness, and reliability into the protocol right from the start. Handshake will spark a new era of development in decentralized and secure internet protocols, which aims to redistribute ownership and control among internet users around the world. Blockchain technology has  the potential to create the internet imagined by its first pioneers: one free from corporate or government control. Handshake will be a key part of this movement.

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 (

Italo Vignoli
Categories: FLOSS Research

Progress in San Francisco's Open Source Elections Project

Mon, 2018-10-29 19:50

As many within the OSI community may know, the OSI has been following closely—and supporting—San Francisco's efforts to develop an open source elections system. Below is an update from Commissioner Chris Jerdonek of the San Francisco Elections Commision.

1. San Francisco Hiring a Project Manager!

San Francisco is now hiring a Senior Technical Project Manager to lead the open source voting project! This is a major step forward for the project. The salary is $163K / year. The position was first posted on Tuesday, August 28 and will stay open until filled (but you should try to apply ASAP if possible). Here is the job posting:

Help spread the word about this key position so the City can get good applicants! Here's a tweet you can retweet:

2. Applications Now Open for Open Source Voting Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The SF Elections Commission is now accepting applications to fill a vacancy on its 5-member Open Source Voting Technical Advisory Committee, which meets monthly. Here are the application instructions (applications are due Monday, September 24):

Also help spread the word about this opportunity! Here's a tweet you can retweet:

Below are some other key developments since May:

3. More Money Budgeted for the Open Source Voting Project

Thanks to the leadership of Supervisor (and Budget Committee Chair) Malia Cohen and Mayor London Breed, San Francisco allocated an additional $1.255 million towards the open source voting project late in the City's annual budget process. Mayor Breed signed the City's new budget on August 1.

This extra money will let SF start actual development of the voting system sooner, instead of having to wait another year. This brings the total amount of money allocated for the project to $1.68 million. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $125K left over from the $300K allocated in 2016
  • $300K allocated by COIT this spring
  • $1.255M allocated late in the budget process ($660K for 2018-19 and $595K for 2019-20)

Thanks also to the California Clean Money Campaign for being instrumental in organizing public support for this additional funding.

4. Civil Grand Jury Report

On June 29, 2018, the SF Civil Grand Jury issued a 48-page report on the status of the open source voting project after studying it for a year (focusing in particular on why it's not happening faster). The report can be found here, along with the press release they issued:

5. Elections Commission Resolution #2

On June 20, 2018, the Elections Commission unanimously passed a second resolution on Open Source Voting. This resolution can be viewed as an update or "sequel" to the resolution the Commission passed in November 2015, taking into account the events and developments of the past few years. This new resolution (as well as the first one) can be found here:

Thanks for reading and for helping to spread the word!


Categories: FLOSS Research

OSI Incubator Contributes to Success in STEM

Thu, 2018-10-25 17:06

Siena College's Urban Scholars Program provides elementary and middle school students in the Albany, New York school district educational opportunities within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related fields through active, hands-on workshops. Participants work closely with Siena student-mentors, in small groups, that encourage critical thinking, teamwork, and persistence to never give up if something seems too hard.  In 2015 Siena's Urban Scholars adopted the FLOSS Desktops for Kids program, and combined with other activities, has led to astonishing student outcomes: increased interest, and greater success, in STEM courses.

Dr. Michele McColgan and Dr. Robert Colesante of Siena College have released a report on the program and its success, finding:

  1. middle school students that have participanted in Urban Scholars have greater pass rates in middle school math and english language arts assessments.
  2. Urban Scholars' students passed New York State Regents Exams at a higher rate (68%) than non-participants (51%),
  3. those completing the program are more than twice as likely to not only continue on in STEM related courses, but also take advanced courses (i.e. AP courses),
  4. participants have higher graduation rates than non-participants for the two years in which data is available (2016-2017).

Congradulations to Drs. McColgan and Colesante, Siena College and of course the Urban Scholars themselves for their great success. The entire report is below.

Urban Scholars Program for the Albany School District - Outcomes from 2013-2017 I. Program Participants

The Siena College Urban Scholars Program (USP) has operated in conjunction with the Albany school district since 2003. It has focused on STEM content and activities since the 2010-11 academic year, and serves approximately 60 under-served, under-represented upper-elementary and middle school students each year. Students are bused to the Siena College campus on 14 Saturdays during the academic year, for a total of up to 70 contact hours per year. Students participate in short morning and afternoon meetings as a group, take two classes, and eat lunch in the college cafeteria. Classes are taught by college STEM faculty, STEM professionals, and undergraduate STEM students.

The Urban Scholars Program has a similar percentage of White and Latinx students, more African American students, and somewhat fewer Asian students than the district (see Figure 1). Participants were
very similar to non-participants in the poverty levels of the neighborhoods in which they live (see Figure 2).

Most students (93%) begin as 5th or 6th graders. Students in 5th - 6th grades comprise 41% of the participants and 7th-8th graders comprise 59% of the participants. Most students (92%) participate for 2 or more years, equating to 28 Saturdays or a approximately 140 contact hours. Of those, 26% participate for 3 years and 21% participate for 4 or more years.

Figure 1. Ethnicity of the students in the district (a) and students in the USP program (b).


Figure 2. Poverty level of the students in the district (a) and students in the USP program (b). II. Outcomes

A. Data Collection and Primary Questions
Recently, we began examining impact on New York State (NYS) assessments in english language arts (ELA) and mathematics during their middle school years, which take place while they are participating in
the program. Since many former students have progressed through high school, we also examine NYS Regents exams.

Participants are NOT self-selecting STEM achievers
The NWEA Math Growth score, a metric used by for schools to measure growth over time in math, was recorded for students from 2014-2017. As a baseline and to determine whether the students participating in the program are high achievers or are more motivated as compared to typical students in the school population, the NWEA score was recorded the year before participation and one and two years after the start of participation in the program. There was no difference in NWEA score before student participation and a very slight increase of 0.66 after one year of participation, showing that the students participating in the program were representative of the students in the school. As another potential indicator, final school grades in math courses (8th grade, algebra, geometry) were also analyzed and the participants in the program do not have higher course grades than their peers. Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting (VADIR) scores were analyzed and there were no differences for participants in the program and a control group. Based on these three results, the students in the program do not self select due to STEM interest or due to higher achievement in STEM courses.

Middle School Standardized ELA and Math Assessments
A comparison of the proficiency of participants in the Urban Scholars program and district students is shown in Figure 3a. Differences comparing participants in the program and non-participants were
significantly higher for both tests (p < 0.0001). 25% of participants passed middle school math assessments while 32% passed their ELA assessments.

High School STEM Course Taking
The topics of the regents courses examined include Living Environments (Biology), Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Global History, US History, and English Language Arts. The passing rates on the state exams for Urban Scholar participants and district students for test years from 2013 to 2017 are shown in Figure 3b. Participants in the program passed at a higher rate (68%) than non-participants (p < .0001 ).

Figure 3. (a) NYSED ELA and Mathematics proficiency for USP participants (n=329 ELA, n=309 Math) and Albany students (n=9780 ELA, n=9171 Math) and (b) and Regents passing rates for years 2013 to 2017.

Passing rates and exam scores by subject are shown in Figure 4. Participants are passing at higher rates (Fig 4a) and with higher scores (Fig 4b) than non-participants.

Figure 4. (a) NYS Regents Pass rates by subject for USP participants and Albany students and (b) and Regents mean scores for years 2013 to 2017.

The number of students taking advanced STEM courses is increasing, as shown in Figure 5a. This correlates with the percentage of students graduating with advanced designation (Fig 5b).

Figure 5. (a) Number of high school math and science courses taken by USP participants and Albany students and (b) and the percentage of students graduating with advanced designation for years 2013 to 2017.


Graduating with Advanced Designation
Graduation information for district students and participants is shown in Table 1. Since students begin the program in 5th or 6th grades, and our analysis begins with them in 2010-11, few have moved through high school to graduation. The data is preliminary from the school district. Still, participants have higher graduation rates than non-participants for the two years with data available (2016-2017).

Table 1. Graduation of District Students and Program Participants for 2016-17 (n=30)

  District Urban Scholars Program  Graduation Rate*  62%  93% - 100%  Regents with adv designation  13%  43%

Image credit: Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released. Public Domain,

Categories: FLOSS Research

Open Source Program Benefits Survey Results

Wed, 2018-10-17 09:37

There are many organizations out there, from companies like Red Hat to internet scale giants like Google and Facebook that have established an open source programs office (OSPO). The TODO Group, a network of open source program managers, recently performed the first ever annual survey of corporate open source programs and revealed some interesting findings on the actual benefits of open source programs.

According to the survey, the top three benefits of managing an open source program are:

  • awareness of open source usage/dependencies
  • increased developer agility/speed
  • better and faster license compliance
Corporate Open Source Programs on the Rise

According to the survey, 53% of companies have an open source program or plan to establish one in the near future:

An interesting factoid to see is that large companies are about twice as likely to run an open source program than smaller companies (63 percent vs. 37 percent). Also, technology industry organizations were more likely to have an open source program than traditional industry verticals such as the financial services industry. Another interesting trend was that most open source programs tend to start informally as a working group, committee or a few key open source developers and then evolve into formal programs over time, typically within a company’s engineering department.

Research Shows Giving Back Is A Competitive Advantage

It’s important to note that companies aren’t forming open source programs and giving back to open source for purely altruistic means. Recent research from Harvard Business School shows that open source contributing companies capture up to 100% more productive value from open source than companies who do not contribute back. In particular, the example of Linux was used showcased in the research:

"It’s not necessarily that the firms that contribute are more productive on the whole. It’s that they get more in terms of productivity output from their usage of the Linux operating system than do companies that use Linux without contributing."

In the survey, it was notable that 44 percent of companies with open source programs contribute code upstream compared to only 6 percent for companies without an open source program. If you want to sustain open source and give your business a competitive advantage, an open source program can help.

Finally, you’ll be happy to learn that the survey results and questions are open sourced under the CC-BY-SA. The TODO Group plans to run this survey on an annual basis moving forward and in true open source fashion, we’d love your feedback on any new questions to ask, please leave your thoughts in the comments or on GitHub.

 About the Author: Chris Aniszczyk is currently a Vice President at OSI Affiliate Member Linux Foundation, focused on developer relations and running the Open Container Initiative (OCI) / Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

Image credit: OSPO.png (CC BY-SA 4.0) by The Open Source Initiative is a derivitive of "Trollback + Company office.JPG" by Trollbackco from Wikimedia Commons, and used/edited with permission via CC BY-SA 4.0

Categories: FLOSS Research