Subject: Re: Introducing Open Solutions Alliance
From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <forrest@mibsoftware.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2007 10:15:51 -0500

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> 
> All I can say is that when they asked me to chair the panel (separate from 
> the question of whether CollabNet would be a member of OSA or not), I 
> didn't make it conditional on everyone fixing their licensing story 
> immediately.  Sounds like I've got at least one topic for the panel 
> already.
> 
> And I wasn't all that embarrassed.  :)

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.

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

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.

I'd really like to see more advocacy with these discussions along different 
lines....
1. "OpenSource" has a meaning, not just a marketing presence, and the marketing 
value is based on the meaning.  There is no "Open Source" brand promotion.  No 
one buys ad time.

That means everyone who wants to benefit from the brand have to live up to the 
meaning, or you are going to have a negative affect on your market penetration.
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.

2. A separate point from the "not meeting expectations argument", there is a 
value argument....

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.

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?

Do you REALLY want to frustrate the people who are trying to merge your code 
into someone else's and create something you never thought of, thereby 
increasing the size of the pie, not just changing how it is sliced?

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?

There isn't anything wrong with proprietary software business plans.  But you 
might want to review the previous point about calling it Open Source.

It doesn't take much talent to look at the OSD and see where a license doesn't 
conform.  It doesn't take much skill to call someone an interloper, or traitor, 
or double-agent.

It takes a lot of style and different level of effort to recognize and point out 
the flaws in the business plan and where there is value that is getting tossed 
aside.

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.