Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
robin at roblimo.com
Fri Sep 2 11:56:15 UTC 2005
> Does OSI certify all licenses that comply with the OSD?
> Does OSI certify all good licenses that comply with the OSD?
I believe OSI should certify all licenses that comply with the OSD.
Otherwise the OSI becomes like a city zoning board or other regulatory
agency that doesn't merely set down requirements for results ("All
windows in new construction should be able to withstand 140 MPH winds or
be be provided with removable coverings able to withstand 140 MPH
winds") but specifies brands of windows and otherwise micromanges the
details of even the most minor construction or renovation project.
I also believe OSI should provide a list of "recommended" licenses. This
would make the OSI into a valued advisor, like a building inspector who
suggests particular construction methods and materials based on years of
experience, rather than a bureaucratic overlord that seems to operate by
whim and and makes decisions based on politics, not suitability for use.
Another possibilbility: Offer a list of "most popular" licenses.
SourceForge.net could supply this data in multiple forms, if asked. You
can already get a good sense of license popularity by going to -
http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=14 - but it
might be more useful, and fairer to newer licenses, to show not only
all-time popularity but also licenses chosen by newer projects over the
last 30/90/365 days. This would also make trends in licensing apparent,
which is useful data both individual and corporate open source
developers should have in hand before they make licensing decisions.
Bottom line: I see the OSI as a standards-setting body, similar to the
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) or W3C (World Wide Web
Consortium). The SAE sets standards for fastener dimensions, strength,
corrosion resistance, and other characteristics but doesn't tell a
production machine shop *how* to achieve those standards. The W3C sets
standards for valid HTML and other code read by Web browsers, but
doesn't tell you what server software you should use to deliver that code.
Standards-setting bodies concern themselves with results, not with the
mechanisms used to meet their standards.
Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
Editor in Chief, OSTG
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