Open Source Initiative Blog

  1. Resources designed to fill key skills gaps as open source industry matures.

    OSCON – PORTLAND, OR – July 17, 2019 –Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) will partner with The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) to provide new educational offerings for the open source community, the university announced at OSCON 2019.

    As more companies start leveraging Open Source Software to reduce costs, decrease time to deployment and foster innovation, the organizations that have realized success as open source consumers are now extending their participation within open source communities as collaborators and contributors. This shift can create new challenges to traditional business processes and models, requiring dedicated policies, programs and personnel to ensure that the investments in open source projects produce the desired benefits while still aligning with the values of the open source communities. The Brandeis GPS-OSI partnership will help address the growing demand for expertise within organizations seeking to authentically collaborate with, and productively manage, open source resources.

    “Understanding how to assess, engage, and contribute to open source communities while also delivering value to your company is the next generation skill set employers are looking for,” said Patrick Masson, general manager of the Open Source Initiative. “We're thrilled to work with Brandeis to help continue the incredible growth of open source software and projects.”

    True to open source software process and principles, the educational offerings coming out of the partnership will be crowd-sourced and jointly developed by an advisory board comprised of university curriculum development experts and senior open source advocates from Amazon, Red Hat, Bloomberg, Twitter and other leading companies.

    “Brandeis GPS is known for developing programs that keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in technology,” said Dr. James La Creta, the university’s chief information officer and chair of the Master of Science in Technology Management program. “Much like the other graduate programs at Brandeis GPS, open source technology's flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness makes it extremely desirable for organizations. It yields a better quality product, creates a culture of collaboration, and attracts curious and innovative talent that all CIO's covet.”

    Courses and other initiatives are currently in development, and the university expects to announce more information about the first open source educational program later this year. Visit www.brandeis.edu/open-source to learn more.

    About Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies
    Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) offers fully online, part-time graduate programs, specializations, and professional development courses in today’s most in-demand fields. With graduate programs that include Technology Management, Information Security Leadership, User-Centered Design, and Digital Innovation for FinTech, Brandeis GPS strives to provide programs that empower students to be on the leading edge of advancements in technology and innovation. Courses are led by industry experts who deliver professional insights and individualized support. Brandeis GPS is dedicated to extending the rigorous academic standards that make Brandeis University one of the top institutions in the country to a diverse population seeking to advance their careers through continuing studies.

    About The Open Source Initiative
    Founded in 1998, The Open Source Initiative 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, opensource.org.

  2. Generous support from long-standing open source collaborator and contributor will advance open source alignment and foster open standards.

    OSCON, Portland, OR - July 15, 2019 – The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the founding organization of the Open Source Software movement and steward of the Open Source Definition, announced today corporate sponsorship by Juniper Networks, the longstanding proponent of open source software and open standards, and industry leader in automated, scalable, and secure networks. Juniper Networks firmly believes open source and open standards foster greater innovation, and for years has actively participated in a variety of open source communities and key standards bodies, including FreeBSD Foundation, Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and OpenStack Foundation. In addition to their support of open source foundations, the networking company has released or contributed to many free and open source projects such as OpenStack, Ansible, Salt, PyEZ, wistar, OpenNTI, Tungsten Fabric, along with dozens of others.

    “Open source has never been more fundamental to technology innovation today, forming the building blocks for widely used platforms in networks, clouds and applications in every industry sector.” said Randy Bias, VP of Technology and Open Source Software. “Juniper supports the OSI’s key role in articulating and defending the principles on which open source is based, especially as the technologies in which open source is used rapidly evolve and respond to competitive and regulatory pressures.”

    “Open source has meaning,” added VM (Vicky) Brasseur, Director of Open Source Strategy at Juniper Networks. “It means a lot to Juniper Networks, which recognises the benefits it receives from using Open Source Software and its responsibilities to the communities that build that software. That meaning extends beyond the software to the term itself, as represented in the Open Source Definition (OSD). Without this shared and standard definition, Juniper and other enterprises could not communicate and operate effectively. We at Juniper are grateful for the dedication that OSI has shown over the past and future years to protecting the Open Source Definition and the meaning of open source.”

    As more and more companies shift from being consumers of open source to contributors—or even creators—of open source, many face internal challenges: executive buy-in, re-orienting middle management, re-engineering internal processes, and identifying compatible business models that don’t just work with open source (or conflict with it), but actually leverage its power to innovate and differentiate. These are the issues now front and center for so many seeking the benefits and successes of Open Source Software, and this is exactly where the OSI is focusing work today: continuing efforts in awareness and adoption, while expanding work to promote authenticity and foster sustainability.

    Support from the world’s leading technology companies, like Juniper Networks, is critical for not only the financial contributions that keep OSI operational, but also for their role as exemplars who help to inform current practice and mentor the broader Open Source Software community. “Juniper have been tremendous support to OSI while we have been establishing the Open Source and Standards Working Group to address the challenges faced understanding open source by the de jure standards community” said Simon Phipps, OSI Director and immediate past President. “Having them additionally offer sponsorship is most welcome and we look forward to further collaboration.”

    About Juniper Networks
    Juniper Networks simplifies the complexities of networking with products, solutions and services in the cloud era to transform the way we connect, work and live. We remove the traditional constraints of networking to enable our customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure networks that connect the world. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Discover more about Juniper Networks and open source, at https://www.juniper.net/us/en/company/open-source/.

    About The Open Source Initiative
    Founded in 1998, The Open Source Initiative 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 and sponsorship opportunities, please see, https://opensource.org/sponsors, or connect via Twitter.

     

  3. Over the past year, the definition of open source has been challenged, as some companies wanted to change the licensing of their software while continuing to reap the benefits of calling it open source, or at least the benefits of being potentially confused with open source.

    That makes the work of the Open Source Initiative more important than ever. For more than 20 years, the OSI has been a steadfast guardian of the Open Source Definition. They’ve kept it focused on user freedoms, evaluating new proposed software licenses against that definition, while discouraging further license proliferation. They’ve also been instrumental to the success of open source through their tireless advocacy and education work.

    These objectives resonate with the work we do at the OpenStack Foundation (OSF). Today open source is necessary, but not sufficient: users of open-source licensed software are sometimes denied some of the original free and open source software benefits. We need to go beyond how the software is licensed and drive new standards on how open source should be built. Users should be able to tell easily the difference between a truly open collaboration guaranteeing all of open source benefits and single-vendor or open core projects.

    “Without this single, standard definition of [the kilogram] or other fundamental units, commerce as we know it would not be possible. There is no trust in a world where anyone can invent their own definition for units, items, and concepts on which others rely, and without trust there is no community, no collaboration, and no cultural or technological development,” OSI, affirmation of open source definition.

    This work cannot happen unless we base it on a strong and steady open source definition, focused on user freedoms. That’s why two months ago the OpenStack Foundation joined other open source organizations in signing the affirmation of the open source definition. That’s also why today the OSF is joining the Open Source Initiative as an affiliate member.

    I’m looking forward to working closer with the OSI on those critical topics, and discuss challenges in the future of Open Source with them.

    About the author

    Thierry Carrez is the vice-president of engineering at OSI Affiliate OpenStack Foundation and an OpenStack Technical Committee elected member. A long-time advocate of free and open source software and Python Software Foundation fellow, he was previously involved with Ubuntu server and Gentoo Linux security.


    Image credit: "CarrezBlog.png" is a derivative of "Locusts and wild flowers", by Jonathan O'Donnell, via Flickr, and used with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

    This article was originally published in Superuser

  4. PALO ALTO, Calif. - July 2, 2019 -- The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community, announced today the affiliate membership of TODO Group. Boasting membership from some of today's most active corporations working in and with Open Source Software, the TODO Group shares experiences, develops best practices, and collaborates around common tooling to address some of the most common challenges related to open source program management, development, deployment, and management.

    As Open Source Software continues its growth into and across corporate infrastructure, more and more companies are seeking peers and partners to help understand, not only "the value of open source" but "the open source ethos" as well. Businesses across industries--not just technology--use, contribute to, and maintain, thousands of open source projects, both large and small. Despite open source's twenty year history, many of these programs face challenges in ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and contributing back to other projects effectively. Here, as a resource to those seeking authentic engagement with open source communities of practice, the OSI and TODO Group will work together, helping organizations identify potential projects, assess community alignment, and participate credibly and reliably to foster success.

    "TODO Group wants to join as an affiliate to support the mission of the OSI which we believe is a critical organization protecting the values of the open source community." says TODO Group co-founder, Chris Aniszczyk

    Of particular note are, The Open Source Guides, developed by the TODO Group in collaboration with The Linux Foundation (also an OSI Affiliate Member), and the larger open source community. The Guides collect best practices from the leading companies engaged in open source development, and aim to help organizations successfully implement and run an open source program office. The OSI and TODO Group expect these guides to be living documents that evolve via community contributions. The TODO Group also runs the official open source program management survey every year.

    "OSI is excited about the work TODO Group is doing, especially with its guides. They're paving the way for companies to more fully realize the value of Open Source Software, both for the business and for the end user," said OSI Vice President, Josh Simmons.

    The OSI Affiliate Member Program is available at no-cost to nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies that support the OSI's mission to promote and protect open source software. As the steward of the Open Source Definition certifying Open Source Software Licenses, by establishing such certification as the standard for open source software development and distribution, and with the support of our Affiliate Membership, the OSI has become a cornerstone of software freedom.

    About TODO Group
    TODO: talk openly, develop openly. The TODO Group members believe they will improve their open source programs - and their contributions to the open source movement as a whole - by working together. TODO is specifically intended as a forum for companies' open source program managers to come together. Members generally tend to represent companies who consider open source to be an adjunct their core business. To learn more about the TODO Group, visit, todogroup.org.

    About The Open Source Initiative
    Founded in 1998, The Open Source Initiative 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, opensource.org.

  5. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering has published an article on company contributions to community open source projects authored by partners in the LIM-IT project.

    "On Company Contributions to Community OSS Projects" reports an investigation of how practitioners working for businesses interact with eight community OSS projects of various sizes in diverse domains, including cloud computing and the internet of things. The article also investigates why contributors working for companies use particular ways of working to achieve the strategic aims of the businesses that commission their work.

    Through analysis of interviews with practitioners, the article provides insights into how individuals working on behalf of companies can and do interact with projects, and the motivations for their actions arising from business and technical pressures. Factors influencing contributor work practices can be complex and are often dynamic and include considerations such as company and project structure, as well as technical concerns and business strategies.

    For example, interviewees reported the value of using mailing list questions to send signals to multiple audiences, including the core developers and their own clients. Other interviewees described the challenges of delivering business products and services that depend on software from the OSS projects investigated, and how those challenges can motivate approaches to the company's software development process that may involve additional work in the short term, but are expected to bring long-term benefits to the business.

    The article also describes the motivations of some businesses that contribute to OSS projects in ways that intended to support the project itself rather than just making technical contributions such as implementing new features and fixing bugs. In most such cases, interviewees reported that the OSS project was a significant component of a company product, and, in a few cases, critical to the business. Company contributions aimed at sustaining the OSS project, often made through core developers employed by the business, included nurturing new contributors and improving software quality, and have the benefit of supporting the long term aims of the business.

    The article is published as open access.

    The LIM-IT Project
    The LIM-IT project is a collaborative research project between eight Swedish companies and the Software Systems Research Group at the University of Skövde. The project is financially supported by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation. The overarching goal of LIM-IT is to develop, use, and scrutinise effective work practices and strategies for the development, procurement, and organisational implementation of software systems in a number of complex application domains, where such software systems with associated digital assets typically involve several open source projects (as well as proprietary software).


    Submitted by,
    Simon Butler, School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden
    Björn Lundell, Software Systems Research Group, University of Skövde, Sweden & OSI Affiliate Member, Open Source Sweden

    Image credit: "PubCompanyContribsOSSP.png" is a derivative of "BUSINESS_cubestalk.png", via OpenSource.com, and used with permission under aCreative Commons with Attribution (CC-BY-SA) license.