Open Source Initiative Blog

  1. Commitment To Elevating The Very Best

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked for over 20 years to promote and protect open source software and communities, animated by the principles of software freedom and recognition of the value of collaborative development. While open source is distinct from free software, this distinction isn’t clear for many, and our shared roots bind us together.

    It is because of our shared history and our commitment to elevating the very best qualities of the open source movement that we choose to make this statement today:

    OSI applauds the efforts of every individual who has ever spoken up and taken steps to make free, libre, and open source software communities more inclusive. Without you, the movement would be less vibrant, less welcoming, and irreversibly diminished.

    Whether you’ve led your community to implement a code of conduct or taken the time to mentor someone who isn’t like you, whether you’ve reported toxic behavior or pressured community leaders to act: thank you. It takes courage to change the status quo, and all too often, that comes at a personal expense.

    Ultimately, ours is a moral movement, and our integrity hinges on whether we rise to meet the challenge of seeking justice and equity for all.

    As we move forward, we hope that we can learn as a community and incorporate the lessons of the past into building a better future. Further, we hope we can build bridges to those who have been shut out of our movement, whether by omission or commission, at the hands of systemic bias as well as toxic and predatory behavior.

    As the saying goes in open source, “Many eyes lead to shallower bugs.” So too do many perspectives lead to better software. Here’s to a better, more inclusive tomorrow.

    - The OSI Board of Directors


    Image credit: "CommitmentToElevatingTheVeryBest.png" by Open Source Initiative, 2019, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication, is a derivative (cropped, scaled, and color adjusted) of "American avocets flying above Floating Island Lake" a U.S. National Park Servicephoto, available under Public Domain, via the U.S. National Park Service.

  2. OSI Announces Appointment of New Board Directors

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is pleased to announce the appointments of Deb Bryant and Tracy Hinds to fill the two vacant seats on the OSI Board of Directors. Their terms will begin immediately and run through October 2021. We hope you will join us in welcoming both to the OSI.

    Deb Bryant is returning to the OSI Board after spending several years away. After spending her days as the Senior Director of the Open Source Programs Office at Red Hat, Deb volunteers for open source organizations and supports the open source community. Bryant is passionate about open and transparent governments, bringing open source technology and ideas into the public sector.

    Tracy Hinds has an impressive history of managing development, operations, and growth for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Previous Education and Community Manager as well as Board Director of the OpenJS(formerly Node.js) Foundation, Hinds now works as Head of Platform at Samsung NEXT and is the president of GatherScript, where she works to support startup engagement and community, inspired by her prior work as a web engineer, community builder, OSS advocate, and strategist.

    As previously announced, with the resignation of two directors, the OSI found itself in a position to appoint two new people to the OSI Board. We were very fortunate to receive over twenty recommendations from the OSI community. The result was an impressive list of highly qualified leaders in open source software, all of whom would undoubtedly contribute much to the OSI and our work with the open source community.

    The OSI Board would like to thank all of those who made recommendations, and especially those who stepped forward for consideration. We are always so impressed by and grateful for the contributions and commitment of the open source community in supporting our work.

    We would also like to remind the open source community that two "individual member" board seats will be open in next year's election. Nominations open on February 3, 2020, You can learn more about the OSI elections process and important dates at https://opensource.org/elections.

    The OSI Board of Directors

     

  3. Network Time Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative

    Network Time Foundation’s membership highlights larger initiative extending engagement across open source software communities.

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - October 17, 2019 -The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the global organization working to promote and protect Open Source Software, is pleased to announce the new affiliate membership of Network Time Foundation (NTF). NTF develops, maintains, and administers a variety of open source projects, including Ntimed, Linux PTP, RADclock, General Timestamp API, and, most significantly, the Network Time Protocol, one of the oldest continuously running protocols on the internet. NTP delivers the accurate, synchronized time that is a bedrock assumption of the moment-by-moment operations of networking computing. NTP communicates and synchronizes computer clocks robustly and efficiently.

    While Network Time Foundation was established relatively recently, in 2011, to provide direct services and support to improve the state of accurate computer network timekeeping in the general community, development of NTP dates back to 1981 and has served as essential infrastructure enabling the Internet as we know it, and ensuring our modern world runs on time.  Network Time Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public benefit organization, develops, produces and maintains the most widely used open source precision time synchronization software, and has led the engineering and development of related IETF protocol and algorithmic standards.  Secure and reliable timekeeping is essential to record-keeping in all industries, from financial to medical and beyond.  Without NTF and their projects, the flow of information to the world's interconnected devices would slow, or even stop.

    The OSI was chartered in the late 1990s to advance the ideals of open source development and raise awareness and adoption of open source software. Today, the OSI continues to promote and protect open source software and the communities that create and maintain it. As the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), as the certifying body for OSI Approved Open Source Licenses, and by establishing such certification as the standard for open source software development and distribution, the OSI has become a cornerstone of software freedom.

    “Network Time Foundation successfully applied to OSI to have the NTP License approved as an open source license back in 2008, and NTF is pleased to increase its participation and cooperation with the OSI and its members,” said Harlan Stenn, NTP’s Project Manager, and Release Engineer.

    “It is a real honor to welcome Network Time Foundation to the OSI as an affiliate member,” said Patrick Masson, General Manager of the Open Source Initiative. “There are just some open source projects fundamental, essential, iconic, to not only making today’s technology-driven world work for us, but that can also serve as a reference point to help others understand how today's projects can work for us: NTP is one of them.”

    The OSI Affiliate Member Program allows any non-profit organization, user community or educational institution—unequivocally independent groups with a clear commitment to open source—to join the OSI in support of our mission to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source software and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.
     
    About Network Time Foundation
    Network Time Foundation is all about advancing and supporting these efforts. The scope of this work ranges from helping to craft the precise description of how to exchange time (standardizing protocols and behaviors), writing high-quality software and documentation, understanding and accommodating how things behave in a wide variety of real-world situations and helping people and organizations trust that they have reliable and accurate timestamps.  They do their level best to make sure that Network Time is running, ready and available to everyone who needs it.  Please visit https://www.nwtime.org for more information about Network Time Foundation.

    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 public charity with global vision based in California.  For more information about the OSI, please see https://opensource.org.

  4. Updates to the OSI Board

    Dear Members,

    Moving forward, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) will appoint two directors based on the board’s discretion, as opposed to elections held with the individual and affiliate membership. As a result, the OSI Board will consist of 4 members chosen by the individual membership, 4 members chosen by affiliates, 2 members chosen by the board, and the general manager. The majority of the OSI Board will still be elected.

    Each year the OSI holds elections, however per OSI bylaws, the elections’ results are advisory only, rather than binding. While the OSI honors the elections’ results, and appoints those with the highest number of votes as Board Directors, the makeup of the OSI Board is ultimately the decision of the board.

    With the resignation of two directors, the OSI found itself in a position to appoint two new people to the OSI Board. Current board directors have spent a significant amount of time discussing the best way to accomplish this. Should the board look at past election results? Should it run another election?

    For some time the OSI Board has been thinking about adding two fully appointed seats -- where directors are chosen by the board, rather than through an advisory election. OSI directors are concerned about the diversity of the OSI Board and its ability to represent the open source software community’s diversity in multiple dimensions. The OSI wants to ensure the board includes the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to run a successful organization: non-profit experience, fundraising, organizing, legal expertise, advocacy, and technical expertise are just a few examples of the skills considered important to the OSI.

    After much discussion, the board agreed that the vacancy of the two seats through resignation was a good opportunity to change the board make-up from ten elected seats and one ex officio member, to eight elected seats, two appointed seats, and one ex officio member.

    Moving forward there will be one fewer affiliate seat and one fewer Individual seat occupying the OSI Board. The upcoming elections will reflect this accordingly.

    We are currently conducting a search for two new OSI Board Directors. While the decision will be made internally, you can recommend someone by emailing the OSI at osi@lists.opensource.org, using the subject line “Board of Directors Recommendation.” Please include information about why you believe this person will be a strong addition to the OSI Board. Areas of particular interest to the board are: previous board experience, fundraising skills, non-profit experience, and diversity of perspective. The OSI Board will be making a decision by the next board meeting, which is Friday, October 11th, so please have all recommendations submitted by the end of the day on Friday, October 4th, AOE (Anywhere On Earth).

    Thank you for your membership to the OSI, and your ongoing support of the Open Source Software community.

    Cheers,
    Molly de Blanc
    President, Open Source Initiative
    she/her

  5. OSI Seeks Faculty (YOU!) to Teach New Open Source Courses

    You probably know a little something about Open Source Software?

    The OSI is fortunate to include in our membership, board alumni, and business partners some of the world's most renowned innovators and recognized leaders in Open Source Software. Together the OSI community represents every facet of open source, including technical development, business practices, community management, as well as licensing and related legal issues. As more organizations leverage Open Source Software, employers are seeking talent well-versed in open source methods, culture, and management practices to ensure that their investments in open source projects provide the desired benefits for the company, while aligning with the values of, and contributing to, open source communities.

    A new educational program...

    Together with Brandeis University, we’re launching a new academic specialization in Open Source Technology Management. Although the courses include some technical topics, they are meant to serve the growing demand for technology and organizational managers to work with, support, and participate in open source technology adoption, development, and community.

    Teach for us, for all of us!

    We’re seeking passionate practitioners, working in and with Open Source Software, to share their knowledge and experience with students interested in the growing number of careers supporting Open Source Software.

    These are employment positions, not volunteer roles.

    If you are interested, please visit the links above and if you have any questions please feel free to contact Patrick Masson at masson@opensource.org or Ken Udas at kenudas@brandeis.edu. In addition, please feel free to share this information with anyone who might be interested.


    Image credit: "OSTMFac01.png" by Open Source Initiative, 2019, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication, is a derivative (cropped, scaled, and color adjusted) of "Double O Arch" a U.S. National Park Servicephoto, available under Public Domain, via the U.S. National Park Service.

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