newsforge story

Roger Browne roger at
Thu Sep 6 14:12:17 UTC 2001

Russell Nelson wrote:

> ... we're mired in bureaucracy ...
> What we're mired in, more than anything else, is the
> responsibility to never screw up (again).

That's an unrealistic expectation. Even if you guys were perfect, there
could occur external events such as an unexpected court ruling could
screw things up anyway.

"Achievement of good" is sometimes better than "pursuit of unattainable

> If you had to be perfect,
> you'd work what? slowly and carefully, that's right.
> The last time we worked quickly, on a deadline, we approved the APSL
> 1.0.  Anybody got a problem if we don't do that again?

Even if you work as slowly as possible, some licenses will slip through
which encounter problems in the future.

Here is my suggestion to reduce bureaucracy whilst protecting against

Change the rules so that OSI certification can be withdrawn if problems
come to light. Then, rapidly approve applications. The increase in
certified licenses will lead to widespread use of the OSI certification
mark, which will strengthen the position of the open source movement and
OSI in particular. In the rare case where certification might be
withdrawn, the resulting publicity will help to further clarify and
promote the cause of "true open source".

Alternatively, adopt a procedure for provisional certification. Every
application that is "prima facie" open source can be quickly given
provisional certification until you can examine it "in perfection".

Roger Browne - roger at - Everything Eiffel
19 Eden Park Lancaster LA1 4SJ UK - Phone +44 1524 32428
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