On Monday 18th July 2005 at the BCS London Offices an interesting and informative OSSG Committee meeting took place with Open Source Initiative (OSI).
Present at this informal meeting from OSI were Danese Cooper and Chris DiBona who both serve on the OSI Board of Directors. Also in attendance were Zaheda Bhorat and Simon Phipps who are currently unaffiliated to OSI except by interest. Simon works for Sun Microsystems, and Zaheda works for Google. They are both “Open Source Domain Experts” in their respective companies. Representing OSSG at the meeting were Committee members Patrick Tarpey, Andrew Nicholson, and Mark Elkins.
Danese outlined the purpose of OSI whose website can be found at http://www.opensource.org/. So far more than 50 licences have been approved by OSI, which owns the Open Source trademark. This means that anyone wishing to call a new Licence Open Source should get it approved by OSI. However OSI is not keen to promote a proliferation of Open Source Licences such as Ã¢â‚¬Å“vanity licencesÃ¢â‚¬Â. Danese explained this is where the main motive of an individual is to try and create a licence for the sole reason of associating their name with it. Please see http://opensource.org/docs/policy/licenseproliferation.php for a fuller OSI view on Licence proliferation.
Simon Phipps mentioned that roughly 60% of all Open Source Developers are based in Europe. In many parts of the world there is some confusion over the Open Source concept resulting in a total disregard for the ideology behind Open Source Licensing terms. For example OSI members voiced a concern that it was not uncommon for Open Source code to be taken and used without putting the code developed from it back into the Open Source pool.
Chris DiBona and Danese Cooper who are both based in California have recently written a book with Mark Stone entitled Open Sources 2.0 and published by Oreilly & Associates Inc. Zaheda Bhorat who works in London requested to be kept informed of forthcoming OSSG events so we look forward to seeing her again in the next few months. Dependent on other commitments there is a fair chance we will see Simon Phipps, who is a BCS Hampshire member, at our forthcoming Open Source Software Quality in Practice event to be held in Southampton on the 27th October 2005 at Southampton Institute (shortly to become Southampton Solent University from 15th August 2005).