Introducing Open Solutions Alliance

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Wed Feb 7 01:22:28 UTC 2007

Forrest J. Cavalier III wrote:
> Open Source is not for everyone.
> It is awesome that Open Source has marketing presence and value separate
> from the benefits. We have seen recent examples of people who want to
> gain that marketing value, but don't care as much about the OSD and
> getting OSI approval.

I'm not sure what you mean, but I'm bothered by those who use the
marketing of open source without providing full OSD-compliance, which to
me is the real value.

> So, what does this list do when faced with that?

Press for licenses to be submitted, then reject the non-compliant ones.
 Possibly, OSI should also speak out against non-compliant/non-submitted
licenses, but I don't think it's strong enough in its current form.

> Seems to me there has been a lot of debate, bickering, and argueing over
> semantics and what the OSD and the approval process means for this or
> that clause, and what are the motivations and hidden agendas of us or them.

The OSD is not a matter of mere semantics, but defines the meaning of
open source.

> 1. "OpenSource" has a meaning, not just a marketing presence, and the
> marketing value is based on the meaning.

It *should* be based on the meaning, which is in turn based on
OSD-compliance.  However, companies are getting marketing value without
OSD-compliance.  That is the problem.

  There is no "Open Source"
> brand promotion.  No one buys ad time.

Yes, but open source has implicitly (the best way) earned a brand.

> They will get a temporary 'bounce.'  Then when those potential customers
> who were attracted by "Open Source", those who know what it means, and
> why there is benefit, will become your detractors.

However, very few (and even fewer in these business markets) actually do
have a strong grasp of what open source means.  Thus, there will not be
many detractors unless OSI leads the way.

> If you really want the value of Open Source, and you have a business
> case for it, then violating one of the OSD principles is shooting
> yourself in the foot.

If you want the true value of Open Source, but not if you only want the
buzzword value.

> All this badgeware debate lost sight of something important: the amount
> of code that you copyright and therefore gets your badge is totally
> dwarfed by the oceans of Open Source code that get written by others. Do
> you REALLY want to make all that code incompatible with your code base?

They don't care; we do.  That's part of the problem.

> If you answered YES to either of those, if frustrating people is
> important, you actually can't make your business case for Open Source. 
> You better go back to your business plan and fix that, don't you think?

We'd prefer that, but they *WON'T* if they can get away with it.

> I appreciate all the efforts of everyone to keep the OSD meaningful. But
> I think we make "OpenSource" have more value when we talk about value,
> not just OSD conformance.

OSD-conformance is the value of open source.

Matt Flaschen

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