OSI set to expand open source mission

Defender of the faith on new crusade


The Open Source Initiative (OSI), defender of the open-source faith, will soon expand its reach, embracing representatives from other open-source groups and the world of business.

The OSI is planning an affiliate scheme, and this will include the Linux Foundation, among others. The affiliate scheme will be finalized and start accepting new members by the time of the O'Reilly Open-Source Convention (OSCON) in late July, the OSI has said.

The organization will begin accepting "for profit" affiliates – a term that covers commercial companies – in time for the Open World Forum in October. A corporate advisory board that allows corporations to join is planned for the end of 2011

OSI also hopes to offer an affiliate program for individuals too. And working groups are on the roadmap, set to arrive in the third quarter of 2011. The plan was outlined at this week's Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco, California.

If all goes according to plan, the OSI's workload and staffing needs will expand with the new program, meaning that for the first time, the group will start charging members a subscription in order to fund itself.

The OSI will also create a new board that wil function much like the board of the Apache Software Foundation, overseeing particular open source projects.

In its current form, the OSI is operated by a board of 11 individuals. The group is best known for its work approving licenses for use open-source software.

The group was created 13-years ago by open-source high priests Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens. It was designed to be a steward of open source, a general education and advocacy group. Committed libertarian Eric Raymond laid the foundation the community development model with his 1997 paper The Cathedral and the Bazaar, while Perens authored the original draft of the Open Source Definition.

The group sprang up in the late 1990s, as Linux came to the attention of those outside the core hacker world. Netscape had tapped Raymond to figure out how to open source its browser after it had been comprehensively beaten by Microsoft's Internet Explorer. In 1998, Netscape released its code and created the Mozilla Project.

Speaking at OSBC this week, OSI director Simon Phipps said that the first part of the OSI's mission has been realized, that open-source is now global and dominant. Now, it's time for more sustained advocacy.

"The biggest risk is dilution of the concept by people who don't embrace the ideals behind it," he said. "Open source needs that building of bridges function done more strongly and assertively."

Speaking to The Reg, Phipps said that with links into other groups and participation from a broader number of open-source constituents, the OSI could act as more of a spokesperson on behalf of open source and a point of contact for government agencies like the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ), which may not know who to contact when dealing with issues like regulation and competition.

What happens once the changes are made is unclear. It sounds like the plan is to bring in more people and then see what they'd like to do with the OSI. They might set up specific working groups or lobby in particular areas.

The OSI tried to evolve in 2009, but the affiliate project was killed last year when those involved couldn't agree on new ideas. Apparently, this is one reason why the OSI is bringing on organizations first and individuals later. Organizations may have a better feel for what's needed from the new OSI.

"The first question is to bring stake holders together and change the OSI's role if they want to," Phipps told us. "The OSI's role might change depending on what the new stake holders do." ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels
    The little lander that couldn't (any longer)

    The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.

    Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.

    "InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."

    Continue reading
  • The ‘substantial contributions’ Intel has promised to boost RISC-V adoption
    With the benefit of maybe revitalizing the x86 giant’s foundry business

    Analysis Here's something that would have seemed outlandish only a few years ago: to help fuel Intel's future growth, the x86 giant has vowed to do what it can to make the open-source RISC-V ISA worthy of widespread adoption.

    In a presentation, an Intel representative shared some details of how the chipmaker plans to contribute to RISC-V as part of its bet that the instruction set architecture will fuel growth for its revitalized contract chip manufacturing business.

    While Intel invested in RISC-V chip designer SiFive in 2018, the semiconductor titan's intentions with RISC-V evolved last year when it revealed that the contract manufacturing business key to its comeback, Intel Foundry Services, would be willing to make chips compatible with x86, Arm, and RISC-V ISAs. The chipmaker then announced in February it joined RISC-V International, the ISA's governing body, and launched a $1 billion innovation fund that will support chip designers, including those making RISC-V components.

    Continue reading
  • FBI warns of North Korean cyberspies posing as foreign IT workers
    Looking for tech talent? Kim Jong-un's friendly freelancers, at your service

    Pay close attention to that resume before offering that work contract.

    The FBI, in a joint advisory with the US government Departments of State and Treasury, has warned that North Korea's cyberspies are posing as non-North-Korean IT workers to bag Western jobs to advance Kim Jong-un's nefarious pursuits.

    In guidance [PDF] issued this week, the Feds warned that these techies often use fake IDs and other documents to pose as non-North-Korean nationals to gain freelance employment in North America, Europe, and east Asia. Additionally, North Korean IT workers may accept foreign contracts and then outsource those projects to non-North-Korean folks.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading
  • Google assuring open-source code to secure software supply chains
    Java and Python packages are the first on the list

    Google has a plan — and a new product plus a partnership with developer-focused security shop Snyk — that attempts to make it easier for enterprises to secure their open source software dependencies.

    The new service, announced today at the Google Cloud Security Summit, is called Assured Open Source Software. We're told it will initially focus on some Java and Python packages that Google's own developers prioritize in their workflows. 

    These two programming languages have "particularly high-risk profiles," Google Cloud Cloud VP and GM Sunil Potti said in response to The Register's questions. "Remember Log4j?" Yes, quite vividly.

    Continue reading
  • Rocket Lab is taking NASA's CAPSTONE to the Moon
    Mission to lunar orbit is further than any Photon satellite bus has gone before

    Rocket Lab has taken delivery of NASA's CAPSTONE spacecraft at its New Zealand launch pad ahead of a mission to the Moon.

    It's been quite a journey for CAPSTONE [Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment], which was originally supposed to launch from Rocket Lab's US launchpad at Wallops Island in Virginia.

    The pad, Launch Complex 2, has been completed for a while now. However, delays in certifying Rocket Lab's Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) pushed the move to Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

    Continue reading
  • Alibaba Cloud adds third datacenter in Germany
    More Euro-presence than any other Chinese company, but still nowhere near Google or AWS

    Alibaba has pulled ahead of its Chinese rivals in Europe with the opening of a third datacenter in Germany.

    The company said the Frankfurt datacenter serves cloud computing products to Europe and "adheres to the highest security standards and the strict compliance regulations set out in the Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalog (C5) in Germany."

    The addition brings Alibaba Cloud to a network of 84 availability zones in 27 regions worldwide. The company's first European cloud center arrived in Frankfurt in 2016.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022