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A Conversation with the President of the Open Source Initiative (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year and a half ago | from the keepers-of-the-free-and-open-source-flame dept.

Open Source 22

Simon Phipps is President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) at least until March 31, 2013. He is one of 11 Directors, with Legal Counsel Mark Radcliffe and OSI President Emeritus Eric Raymond serving as advisers. The main function of the OSI is to safeguard The Open Source Definition and to make sure that all software licenses it approves adhere to it. Over the years, license approvals have become contentious more than once. Lately, however, the OSI has avoided acceptance of new licenses that substantially duplicate existing ones, so a lot of the license approval furor has died down. Several recent improvements in the OSI include opening the organization to individual memberships, and setting up the FLOSS Competence Center Network, both of which will no doubt help the OSI carry out and expand its primary mission: "Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software."

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First Thoughts... (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42802179)

When I saw the picture that accompanies the "story" cut-and-paste (and Roblimo, thatâ(TM)s some fine "editing" you boys do down there at Slashdot), the first thing that came into my mind wasâ¦

Yo soy el presidente! Usted me llamà El Presidente!

Eric Raymond? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802255)

That guy's still around? I thought he was doing the second-ammendment dance somewhere.

Whoa. (0)

niix (839104) | about a year and a half ago | (#42802349)

Killer beard Roblimo!

I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802483)

I think that OSI is lacking more activism like the guys from FSF. But from the other side, I don't want OSI to turn dogmatic.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802883)

I think that OSI is lacking more activism like the guys from FSF. But from the other side, I don't want OSI to turn dogmatic.

Yeah, if they actually did anything then it might turn out to be something bad, but on the other hand it does seem like they should do something.

Lose the 'free' (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42806001)

More public activities, as opposed to activism, would be fine. Such as doing joint press releases w/ various organizations, be they companies, consortiums/SIGs, industry associations and whatever. But I don't want them to be anything even close to RMS - I want them to be a respectable, professional organization pushing the Open source agenda. featuring in joint corporate press releases, having booths of their own in CES and so on.

TFA, one thing I wish they'd do - lose the term 'Free' from all this, since in English, it's a very nebulous word, as even the FSF has finally conceded. In this case, 'Free as in beer' and 'Free as in speech' are the 2 meanings that spring to mind. Now, since OSI is an organization trying to attract business support and endorsement of 'Open Source' concepts, 'Free as in beer' is obviously a non-starter, but when they use Stallman's favored term 'FLOSS' as opposed to 'FOSS' the term 'Libre' already captures the 'Free as in speech' concept, so that either makes the term 'Free' either redundant w/ 'Libre' or it implies that the 'L' stands for 'Free as in speech' while the 'F' stands for 'Free as in beer'. That's not the message that they want to send. Or do they? I understand that they can't call it 'LOSS', but for the reasons I describe below, they should simply call it 'OSS'

Even 'Free as in speech' has one problem - the 'freedom to redistribute' clause. That is something that automatically caps what software vendors can earn. Take that requirement out and make it optional, w/o implying that a software that doesn't allow it is not open source. Yeah, OSI is more accommodating about the licenses it endorses, but this is about more than licenses. Losing this would make OSI even more business compatible. So just call it 'Open Source Products' to cover everything - hardware, software, concepts and so on - OSP.

Speaking about FSF and dogmatic, you know it when even Debian, which was a long time supporter of 'Free Software', embraces membership of OSI. Debian is one good example - they offer both liberated and unliberated software, but are careful to label them and 'warn' you about which is what, so that you can make a call. That's not good enough for Stallman, who thinks that unliberated software should have no place on Debian's servers - they should not even let you know that it exists, and should pretend that it doesn't. This is why the FSF deserves to be marginalized, and OSI deserves to be supported, even though the latter could be better.

Re:Lose the 'free' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42808147)

We also need a better word than libre, it makes you sound like a massive condescending tool.

Re:Lose the 'free' (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42812741)

Why not use the English word 'Liberated', which conveys the same meaning as 'Free as in speech, but not necessarily as in beer' that 'Libre' is supposed to convey? Only reason I see for not using it is that it sounds too Leftist, a throw-back to the communist guerillas branded as 'Liberation movements' in the Cold War era. Well, on that one, if that would be the perception, it would be in no small reason due to Stallman's activism, but that's no reason not to use it. Use 'Liberated' as the adjective in technology licensing to describe anything that comes from the FSF; in fact, if they could call themselves LSF or Liberated Software Foundation, that would be even better. But yeah, that would certainly be preferable to using foreign words like 'libre' and 'gratis' to describe something that should be easy to describe in English w/o invoking political concepts.

Yeah, and ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802509)

He is one of 11 Directors, with Legal Counsel Mark Radcliffe and OSI President Emeritus Eric Raymond serving as advisers. The main function of the OSI is to safeguard The Open Source Definition and to make sure that all software licenses it approves adhere to it

And I should give a shit because ....

No wait, I have plenty of money to bury these people in court with legal fees.

I LOVE America where he who has the most layers wins!

Fuck'em.

They're no FSF. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802645)

They have no ideals and no backbone. They are what's ruining free software for us all. As long as programmers release software following open source guidelines instead of the libre philosophy, they will continue to undermine the only movement which wishes to break our chains from corporate-controlled software from the likes of M$.

Open source is a corporate-friendly, fascism-enabling perversion of free software. It should rot in obscurity along with all it's supporters.

Re:They're no FSF. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42830551)

modded down on accident, removing mod

as a proud member of the idiotarian movement (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42802655)

"OSI President Emeritus Eric Raymond serving as advisers."

do not want.

Function (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42802847)

The main function of the OSI is to safeguard The Open Source Definition

I'm not sure this guy's up to the job. In ESR's day if anyone looked likely to run off with the Open Source Definition then he gunned them down in cold blood. I'm not sure this Simon Phipps can be as ruthless. Do we even know for sure that he still has the Definition?

Open Source Everything (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803077)

What an arrogant man. Personally I don't believe "everyone thinks open source should continue to mean what we think it should mean" at all.

Since the coining of the term Open Source 15 years ago, it has grown beyond just the world of software. Yes, hardware, but also beer, educational programs, organizational processes, and so much more. Linus Torvalds foresaw a future of "open source everything".

The Open Source movement should embrace this widening of the definition as it's being picked up by wider society, and promote that, instead of focussing just on software and being all boring about protecting a software-born strict definition. Let's build an open source society.

The difference in thinking is very much visible by the two webdomains:
opensource.org -> strict software licencing organisation
opensource.com -> website that showcases and embraces how the term Open Source is exploding all over the place.

anyone else? That pause button looks like hankie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803289)

is he crying, and wipin his eye or is it a "pause" button.

I had to do a double take.

OSI? Nope. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803335)

OSI is Overengineered and inflexible. I prefer the TCP/IP model for my Free Software.

Re:OSI? Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805899)

I realize you're trying to be funny, but this post is wrong in so many ways I just have to complain. For starters, TCP/IP is (one choice for a part of) the OSI model. The OSI model is quite flexible in that it allows the arbitrary exchange of layers (as long as it occurs on both sides for the relevant layer).

Re:OSI? Nope. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42807481)

OSI is Overengineered and inflexible. I prefer the TCP/IP model for my Free Software.

Having been to an OSI conference (London 2012) I can say in some cases they sort of miss the point.... The conference I attended was focus on the area of openness and interopability. Anyone who actually deals with interopability knows that semantics is complex and syntax is easy. What did we get from OSI... a wonderful pitch from various DDS vendors who thought DDS was the answer to interopability (DDS is 'just another' network based technology). So in some respect VortexCortex is actually correct, OSI isn't the answer.

Before anybody does a 'Whoosh'.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42812877)

The OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model for networking was created by the ISO, and NOT by this OSI (Open Source Initiative), which is a whole different thing altogether. TCP/IP is a part of the Transport layer in the OSI model, and the Transport layer in the DoD model. At any rate, the difference between the 2 models is only apparent in layers above the Network layer.

hey guys i'm wearing the OSI t-shirt!!! (0)

kunyo (863739) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803359)

what a cool guy

I'm all for Open Source. (-1, Troll)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803943)

But licenses are cunty and only enforceable through the violence of government.
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