Backlog assistance?

Alex Stewart alex at
Sat Sep 22 20:37:02 UTC 2001

Ok..  I find it interesting to note that despite significant back and 
forth and contributions from several different individuals, so far 
nobody in this thread has even attempted to address either of my actual 
questions.  I think I'm beginning to see why there's a backlog.

Steve Lhomme wrote:

> | > Completely. Since they are pending, they are not mentioned on the
> | > website.
> |
> | Therefore:  Consider yourself invited to read their postings to the list
> | archives and report back.

Ok, I was under the impression that since people had noted there was a 
backlog, there was something somewhere that kept track of what was in 
it, or somebody was at least trying to have some understanding of the 
general status.. apparently this isn't the case, so I'll just go look at 
the archives and try to figure out which licenses are still pending and 
which aren't, and whether any progress is actually being made..

I guess that's that question sorta answered.

> I will. But if you followed the thread I replied to a message that
> complained about a license being backlogged. And even if I'm new to this
> list it's not the first time I see people complaining about the stalled

> state of the OSI. (and outside this list too)

Umm, for the record, this thread was not a complaint, it was just an 
inquiry and offer of help.

After reading the responses here so far I've managed to come up with a 
couple more questions..

I've looked around all the pages I can find on, but I 
can find very little information about the organization itself (perhaps 
this is something I should be asking of osi at, but I 
figured I'd try here first).  How does the OSI actually work regarding 
license approval?  Who can or can't approve a license, and do they rely 
on help from others to evaluate them or otherwise move the procedure 
along?  How does this list actually fit in the whole process?  (is there 
a process at all?)

Basically, all I can find on the list is "submit it and we'll get back 
to you" (it isn't even terribly clear on who "we" is, though there's a 
side-note talking about when board meetings are, so does that imply that 
licenses are only approved by board vote?)

Also, regarding the whole issue of whether more licenses are a good 
thing or a bad thing, it seems to me that this should be determined to 
some degree by what the OSI is actually here for.  What is the 
organization's mission statement, anyway?  If the point is to provide a 
few good, clear-cut licenses for people to choose from, that's one 
thing, and suggests the OSI should be very picky.  If the goal is to 
encourage open-source licensing terms amongst the software community, 
that's very different, and suggests that the OSI should (try to) 
encourage (and thus certify) anything that meats the open-source 

If the goal is both, then it gets a bit more complicated, but if nothing 
else, I would suggest a better approach might be to have more than one 
tier:  "OSI Certified" can include umpteen billion licenses, but 
possibly have a smaller subset of "OSI reccomended" licenses that 
include the old standards and anything particularly 
significant/distinct.  On the web site, when somebody goes to look at 
licenses, they first get the list of "reccomended" licenses with a note 
that says "please use one of these if you can", and then a note at the 
bottom linking to the larger list of "OSI Certified" licenses, and only 
after you've gone through those do you get to the instructions for how 
to submit a new one.

But anyway, that's just some thoughts off the top of my head (my 
apologies if I'm reiterating things others have already said, I'm still 
slowly working my way through the archives).


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