Introducing Open Solutions Alliance

Brian Behlendorf brian at
Tue Feb 6 05:12:21 UTC 2007

On Mon, 5 Feb 2007, Danese Cooper wrote:
> Brian has been in India this past week.  Not sure when he's coming back to 
> the States.

More relevant is when I'm online, which is a cycle 10.5 to 13.5 hours 
different than most others on this list.  :)  I'll go "on the record" 
here, and while I realize this list is publicly archived, I don't see that 
it's worth reporting more widely until next week when it's launched.

The Kremlinology around this is no doubt entertaining, but there's less 
here than might meet the eye.  I'll be moderating a panel on it next week, 
and by then CollabNet might be a member.  But I'm neither driving this nor 
introducing it personally.  I'd prefer to be able to name those who I know 
are involved, but since they've clearly wanted to wait until next week for 
the launch, I want to respect their wishes.  The only reason to keep that 
list secret is to be able to launch a set of names at once rather than 
dribble them out piecemeal as that might imply that the project is owned 
by one outfit or another.

The article got it right as far as I know - the focus is both 
promotion of open source business apps (as distinct from most of the rest 
of the advocacy today, which is around operating systems or developer 
tools & frameworks) and on interoperability between them.  The first one 
is important - lots of us are gonna get creamed by the Sharepoint 
steamroller unless there's a message that makes sense for a certain kind 
of IT purchaser.  The second one is more important to me, though - it's 
just too hard, today, to get different web-based applications to work 
side-by-side for a single organization, unified in permissions management, 
search, user interface, avoiding duplication of function, and all that. 
Without the independents trying to standardize on a few things, only the 
monolithic players will win, which would suck.

The topic of not-OSI-approved-licenses hasn't yet come up in conversations 
I've been a part of, but I've only been a part of a few.  I would expect 
it to be a major topic after it's launched, though, as it directly relates 
to both purposes for the organization.  I've been very vocal in other 
settings (including here on this list) that one shouldn't even use 
little-o little-s "open source" to describe your software or initiative 
unless you're talking about an OSI-approved license - let alone Big-O 
Big-S "Open Source".  I don't see this outfit as being a trademark as 
enforcement organization the way that OSI should be, but nor do I see it 
condoning the kinds of behavior that have been mentioned on this list.

So don't expect "dazzling plans and a knock-your-socks-off marketing 
program on February 15".  Expect an exhibition of a list of companies 
interested in addressing the kinds of problems and willing to put a few 
coins and person-hours towards that.  Where it goes from there is anyone's 


p.s. - I asked Rick an off-list question back when the attribution thread 
started because I wasn't sure about my own line of legal reasoning for 
something, and wanted to avoid public embarrassment, since Rick can be 
pretty devastating in his replies.  Looks like that didn't work!

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