[License-discuss] OSI practicing what we preach

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Thu Jun 6 01:52:32 UTC 2019

I agree with Rick that Free Software organizations, and that includes OSI,
should make use of entirely free software run for them by a non-profit that
contributes its modifications back to the projects. But I don't know who
that would be today. Should we be putting together crowdfunding to create
such a thing? I would certainly pay for such a service for my company and
personal use.



On Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 17:18 Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Luis Villa (luis at lu.is):
> > People who have asked questions of the list have certainly been told
> that,
> > both explicitly and by implication ("well, it isn't written down anywhere
> > else, so...") Usually politely, but polite terrible news is still
> terrible
> > news.
> That's regrettable and it would certainly be better to be able to point
> to a summary in some suitable non-mailing-list ticket.  As with the SVLUG
> example, there is a tendency to rely on an existing tool for unsuitable
> uses, if that's what is on hand, and I imagine people get lazy and don't
> want to spend time getting and providing the right per-message
> Pipermail archive URL.
> Well, at least this was not an OSI statement or (I gather) from an OSI
> Board member, which was the impression I got from your initial footnote.
> > https://github.com/OpenSourceOrg/ has existed, and been relied on, for
> some
> > time. And that's purely proprietary.
> Although past regrettable decisions are, in my opinion, best not used to
> justify future ones, I have the pleasure today of bringing good news:
> The proprietary GitHub service and the theoretically open source &
> self-hostable but extremely ponderous and overengineered GitLab codebase
> have, for some years, had excellent, modestly scoped, open source
> alternative codebases, fully suitable for self-hosting and devoid of
> bloat.
> In particular, _Gitea_ is excellent and increasingly in use by Linux
> distributions for their own code repositories, in managing their software
> development teams.  (If you want an example:  Devuan Project.  There are
> others.)
> https://gitea.io/
> So, today's the day OSI can start migrating that repo off proprietary
> software, and onto something less horribly overfeatured than is
> Microsoft's GitHub service, to boot, on any OSI static IP.
> (Administrative burden, you say?  But this isn't corporate bloatware, so
> please check the Gitea docs, and you'll see there's rather little.)
> > More generally, SaaS is a massive channel for open source these days, and
> > the org has very limited organizational bandwidth. It would seem odd to
> > insist on both avoiding one of (the?) predominant open source
> distribution
> > model, and imposing overhead on the org.
> Is is not the least bit odd to model the suitability of open source to
> be in control of one's computing infrastructure -- the way businesses
> control business risk by deploying autonomous open source -- by doing so.
> (Example:  A year from now, Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc.
> advises that it's shutting down its free hosting.  Is OSI able and
> prepared to migrate everything?  To where?  Uh-oh.  Yes, theoretically
> the Discourse Web-forum software is open source hence migratable, but
> in practice it's about as vendor-locked-in as is GitLab data.)
> On the other hand, it's entirely impossible to compete with the zero
> administrative overhead of outsourcing to third-party hosted software,
> so if that's the criterion OSI wants to apply, then outsourcing will
> automatically win, every time.
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