Introducing Open Solutions Alliance

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Mon Feb 19 05:42:22 UTC 2007

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller wrote:
> Disclosure: Chris DiBona worked for VA Software/OSTG before he decided
> to tread the evil/not evil line at Google (which also runs on lots of
> proprietary software).

Thanks for being up front about everything.

> reality = implementation is everything. The sheer amount of
> *work* that keeps it running is not visible from the outside, nor is the
> huge VA/OSTG financial commitment to this site even during times when
> it's been a financial drag on the company.

I understand it's a financial burden to provide the service, but that's
not a reason to restrict the source.  In fact, it may be a reason why
releasing the source won't harm you financially (few can afford to do it
on the same scale).

> The original reason for code going proprietary -- and the
> creation of the "SourceForge Enterprise Edition" proprietary software
> product -- was abuse. was always supposed to host only projects
> that used OSI-approved licenses, but we kept finding proprietary
> software people using the site's facilities.

That still seems to be true, including again-ironically, at least one
fellow member of the OSA (Openbravo, MPL+B,  I'm certainly just as
against proprietary licenses using the site as your company.  This just
seems to be an enforcement issue.

Did you consider a "Rat this project out!" button (you might want to
work on the wording).  They're surprisingly common in other kinds of
communities.  This might be more effective than you'd think.

> Now that VA is profitable instead of struggling for its (corporate)
> life, I'm sure we'll reopen the code licensing question again.

Again, thank you for this.  Looking forward to the big OSA press release
that says it's going GPL again. ;)

> Meanwhile, quietly and behind-the-scenes, we are making major
> contributions to the Xaraya CMS project

Looks like a nice GPL CMS package, but I can't say I've heard of it before.

 and building whole new book
> publishing venture whose sole purpose is to create high-quality, up to
> date documentation for open source software.

Surely you mean high-quality, update to date *free*
( documentation, right? :)

> As far as "our" participation in OSA.... in a corporate sense we're
> suckers for almost anything that looks like it might boost the
> Linux/FOSS cause.  I'm not in favor of every one we sponsor (or at least
> publicize for free) but most of them end up doing the world some good,
> and in the end I think that's what counts.

Hopefully these aren't all at $10,000 a pop.

Matthew Flaschen

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