[Geowanking] FW: Geowanking Digest, Vol 41, Issue 16

michael gould gould at lsi.uji.es
Sat Apr 21 04:48:14 PDT 2007


Very interesting and relevant thread!

Good to see that people are considering serious study/reflection on the real
(socio-economic) impacts of FOSS. I suppose you know about
http://opensource.mit.edu
But if not, have a look: a wide community of people studying this
phenomenon.

A related (tangential?) topic that I think can be valuable to study is the
idea of some sort of index or yardstick, to know when an SDI exists and when
it is still in formation. Doug Nebert suggests a technology definition (SDI
1.0) and this idea is getting some traction within the GSDI Tech WG and
related groups (i.e. OGC). I think that the more relevant measure is not so
much whether technology pieces are/are not in place, but rather whether data
sharing and (multi-agency) collaboration exist. That is, one agency putting
up a WMS and serving x% more maps annually, is not enough to qualify as
SDI...however many govt agencies are claiming SDI on this basis.

Is there a parallel with FOSS? Talk versus action, and how to measure the
difference?

Cheers,

-------
Michael Gould
Centro de Visualización Interactiva  www.cevi.uji.es
Dept. Information Systems (LSI), Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellón, Spain
email: gould (at) lsi.uji.es  //  email2: mgould (at) opengeospatial.org
research group  www.geoinfo.uji.es  //  personal  www.mgould.com
AGILE www.agile-online.org
Vespucci Summer Institute www.vespucci.org
Erasmus Mundus: Master in Geospatial Technologies www.mastergeotech.info
 
 
 
 
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to
[mailto:geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to] On Behalf Of
geowanking-request at lists.burri.to
Sent: viernes, 20 de abril de 2007 22:12
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Subject: Geowanking Digest, Vol 41, Issue 16

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship (Brent Fraser)
   2. Re: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship (Sean Gillies)
   3. Measuring Open Source Citenzenship - Reconsidering (Landon Blake)
   4. Re: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship - Reconsidering
      (Gregor J. Rothfuss)
   5. Re: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship (Frank Warmerdam)
   6. Re: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship - Reconsidering
      (Kake L Pugh)
   7. RE: Measuring Open Source Citenzenship - Reconsidering
      (Landon Blake)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 12:40:27 -0600
From: "Brent Fraser" <bfraser at geoanalytic.com>
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship
To: <geowanking at lists.burri.to>
Message-ID: <025201c7837b$5d7911a0$160002c0 at shark>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"

Landon,

  I'd be more interested in measuring the quality (and other
things) of open source PROJECTS rather than corporations.
The quality of a corporation's contribution really wouldn't
change how much effort (or money) I put into an open source
project (or whether I would recommend it to someone), but
the quality of the project itself might.

  And to answer your specific question, perhaps it would be
better to reward corporations (and individuals?) who
contribute.  Maybe a Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum status
recognition or induction into an Open Source Hall of Fame?
More carrot, less stick.

Brent Fraser
GeoAnalytic Inc.
Calgary, Alberta

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Landon Blake" <lblake at ksninc.com>
To: <geowanking at lists.burri.to>
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 11:44 AM
Subject: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship


I've been thinking about writing a short article on the
involvement of
corporations in the open source world. Specifically, I want
to describe
a system or set of rules for measuring the quality of a
company's
involvement in an open source community. In other words, I
want to
provide some measuring sticks that can help developers and
managers
answer the question "What type of citizen is this company in
the open
source community?".

I think these guidelines can help developers and users that
want to
evaluate the merit of companies that claim to follow the
open source or
FOSS idealogy. I think it is very possible for a company to
release code
under an open source license, but at the same time to be
lousy members
of the open source community.

I've already got some of the measuring sticks in mind. Has
anyone done
work on this topic before? Would you like to share with me
what measures
you use to gauge the "worthiness" of a company involved in
open source
development?

I think this will become a more important subject as open
source
software development becomes more mainstream and more
companies become
involved. I think it will also be important to separate the
corporate
leeches from those that really give back to the open source
community.
Perhaps a standard rating system will evolve from the
article, if one
does not exist already.

Thanks for your thoughts.

The Sunburned Surveyor




------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 12:59:00 -0600
From: Sean Gillies <sgillies at frii.com>
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Message-ID: <46290D74.6010500 at frii.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> Rich Gibson wrote:
>> Hi Landon,
>>
>> With respect, I think that is a bad idea.  Framing this is a matter of 
>> judging various types of citizenship creates an additional obstacle 
>> for companies to dodge when attempting to go FOSS.
>>
>>  > I think it is very possible for a company to release code under an 
>> open source license, but at the same time to be lousy >members of the 
>> open source community.
>>
>> You initially used the word citizenship, and here moved to 'members of 
>> the open source community,' and decided that some members of the 
>> community are 'lousy.'  This framing bothers me.  Code is good.  
>> Releasing code is good.  Anything beyond that is gravy...
> 
> Rich,
> 
> I completely agree with you, and find this whole line of review makes
> me queasy.  It's like trying to judge which companies are "christian
> enough", or turning it around which might be communist sympathizers.
> 
> I think we can laud some companies for taking progressive steps with
> regard to open source, and we can occasionally highlight companies who
> have gone out of their way to throw up anti open source FUD (ie. SCO,
> Microsoft at times).  But beyond that the whole idea smells bad to me.
> 
> Without going into specifics, I've seen examples of organizations being
> judged as "not open source enough" by puritans and seen the damage it
> can cause.  It seems like something that splits the community up rather
> than putting up a big tent and letting different folks and organizations
> come in as far as they are comfortable with.
> 
> Landon - don't forget how powerful your blog can be! :-)
> 
> Best regards,

Frank, I agree with you (!) mostly, but I have to ask for specific 
examples of these organizations that were damaged by the puritans. Did 
they have to lay people off because some Stallman wanna-be criticized 
them on a blog? Did any IPOs fall flat? Is there a dollar figure for the 
damage caused by open source jihadists?

Cheers,
Sean

-- 
Sean Gillies
http://zcologia.com/news



------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 12:28:47 -0700
From: "Landon Blake" <lblake at ksninc.com>
Subject: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship -
	Reconsidering
To: <geowanking at lists.burri.to>
Message-ID:
	<0D544207876CDA428F17DD7EA448C1927D9B94 at bailey.DOMAIN.KSNINC.PVT>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

I didn't realize this would be such a sensitive issue. I am glad that I
bounced the idea to the geowanking list before I published anything in a
more public forum.

First let me say that I believe some members of this forum have voiced
an appropriate concern that I didn't think of, and further more, a
concern that I need to be conscious of.

I do think my intentions were misunderstood somewhat. I think my use of
the word "lousy" might have had something to do with that. I have no
problem with people making money from FOSS software. That might even be
something I might want to do one day. :] 

Let me tell you what prompted by original post on this topic, and then
maybe we can get some more thoughts on it.

The thing that first got me thinking of this topic was a link to an
article sent by a friend from work. This friend doesn't know very much
about open source, but he knows that I dabble in it. Here is the link to
the article:
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&
articleId=9011340

I had never before considered that a company might release source code
under an open source license as a way to harm a competitor. That got me
to thinking, what motivates companies to release code under an open
source license? After a company does so, what makes it an ethical member
of the open source community? Is source code like drug money? Can it be
tainted if depending on the source?

What is the difference between a company that releases its source code
under an open source license, but makes no or little work to integrate
contributions from the community? What about a company that manages an
open source product, but makes critical decisions about the code base
without informing or involving the non-corporate and volunteer
developers? 

I'm not saying that what these companies are doing is wrong, but I think
it is obvious that some companies are better open source partners than
others.

The other thing that triggered this post was my IT Guys decision to
pick-up a commercially supported Linux version. I'd been using Debian
for a while, but he wanted something that had a company standing behind
it. We decided to go with Xandros. 

I asked myself, "What type of open source citizen is Xandros? How
actively do they participate in Debian development? Are they just
sucking blood from Debian to make a profit, or are they applying
bandages and helping to heal wounds? How does the Debian project feel
about Xandros? How do I find out if there a company that I want to put
my dollars behind.

What if I was an investor and not just an IT Guy looking to buy a single
seat of an operating system? How does an investor learn which companies
play nice with open source, and which ones are just catching a ride on
the latest "buzz-word" technology?

Let me tell you what I think the most important reason is to answer the
question I have raised.

What if I'm a business considering how to release open source software
and I want to "do-it-right"? Where would I look to guidelines on how to
be a good member of the community, and where would I look for things to
avoid? Where is my guide on being a good open source citizen?

It may be true that the open source community isn't mature enough to ask
questions like this. However, it sounds like a really interesting
question for someone pursuing an economics major...

The Sunburned Surveyor



-----Original Message-----
From: geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to
[mailto:geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to] On Behalf Of Sean Gillies
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 11:59 AM
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> Rich Gibson wrote:
>> Hi Landon,
>>
>> With respect, I think that is a bad idea.  Framing this is a matter
of 
>> judging various types of citizenship creates an additional obstacle 
>> for companies to dodge when attempting to go FOSS.
>>
>>  > I think it is very possible for a company to release code under an

>> open source license, but at the same time to be lousy >members of the

>> open source community.
>>
>> You initially used the word citizenship, and here moved to 'members
of 
>> the open source community,' and decided that some members of the 
>> community are 'lousy.'  This framing bothers me.  Code is good.  
>> Releasing code is good.  Anything beyond that is gravy...
> 
> Rich,
> 
> I completely agree with you, and find this whole line of review makes
> me queasy.  It's like trying to judge which companies are "christian
> enough", or turning it around which might be communist sympathizers.
> 
> I think we can laud some companies for taking progressive steps with
> regard to open source, and we can occasionally highlight companies who
> have gone out of their way to throw up anti open source FUD (ie. SCO,
> Microsoft at times).  But beyond that the whole idea smells bad to me.
> 
> Without going into specifics, I've seen examples of organizations
being
> judged as "not open source enough" by puritans and seen the damage it
> can cause.  It seems like something that splits the community up
rather
> than putting up a big tent and letting different folks and
organizations
> come in as far as they are comfortable with.
> 
> Landon - don't forget how powerful your blog can be! :-)
> 
> Best regards,

Frank, I agree with you (!) mostly, but I have to ask for specific 
examples of these organizations that were damaged by the puritans. Did 
they have to lay people off because some Stallman wanna-be criticized 
them on a blog? Did any IPOs fall flat? Is there a dollar figure for the

damage caused by open source jihadists?

Cheers,
Sean

-- 
Sean Gillies
http://zcologia.com/news

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------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 15:49:24 -0400
From: "Gregor J. Rothfuss" <gregor at apache.org>
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship -
	Reconsidering
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Message-ID: <46291944.8080606 at apache.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Landon Blake wrote:

> I had never before considered that a company might release source code
> under an open source license as a way to harm a competitor. That got me
> to thinking, what motivates companies to release code under an open
> source license? After a company does so, what makes it an ethical member
> of the open source community? Is source code like drug money? Can it be
> tainted if depending on the source?

increasing competition by releasing open source software is a good thing 
and has nothing to do with ethics.


------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 16:07:56 -0400
From: Frank Warmerdam <warmerdam at pobox.com>
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Message-ID: <46291D9C.4030300 at pobox.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Sean Gillies wrote:
> Frank, I agree with you (!) mostly, but I have to ask for specific 
> examples of these organizations that were damaged by the puritans. Did 
> they have to lay people off because some Stallman wanna-be criticized 
> them on a blog? Did any IPOs fall flat? Is there a dollar figure for the 
> damage caused by open source jihadists?

Sean,

I meant damage in the sense that it made some question there interest
in being involved in open source, and has contributed to some schisms in
the open source geospatial community.  (projects, companies and people not
getting along well, etc).

I'm not really all that concerned about IPO's, etc.

Incidentally, I'm not talking about our schism. :-)

Best regards,
-- 
---------------------------------------+------------------------------------
--
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam,
warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org



------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 21:02:54 +0100
From: Kake L Pugh <kake at earth.li>
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship -
	Reconsidering
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Message-ID: <20070420200253.GA4900 at the.earth.li>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

On Fri 20 Apr 2007, Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> wrote:
> I had never before considered that a company might release source code
> under an open source license as a way to harm a competitor.

This sounds a little like the recent rant by a VP of SFWA (Science Fiction
Writers of America):
  http://community.livejournal.com/sfwa/10039.html

It didn't get much sympathy - see the comments.

Kake


------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 13:09:49 -0700
From: "Landon Blake" <lblake at ksninc.com>
Subject: RE: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship -
	Reconsidering
To: <geowanking at lists.burri.to>
Message-ID:
	<0D544207876CDA428F17DD7EA448C1927D9B99 at bailey.DOMAIN.KSNINC.PVT>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

Kake,

I hope you didn't think that I was ranting. That wasn't my intention. I
was just curious more than anything, and wondered if others had
considered or thought about this subject.

I hope I didn't offend anyone by trying to stimulate some conversation.
:]

The Sunburned Surveyor

-----Original Message-----
From: geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to
[mailto:geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to] On Behalf Of Kake L Pugh
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 1:03 PM
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] Measuring Open Source Citenzenship -
Reconsidering

On Fri 20 Apr 2007, Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> wrote:
> I had never before considered that a company might release source code
> under an open source license as a way to harm a competitor.

This sounds a little like the recent rant by a VP of SFWA (Science
Fiction
Writers of America):
  http://community.livejournal.com/sfwa/10039.html

It didn't get much sympathy - see the comments.

Kake
_______________________________________________
Geowanking mailing list
Geowanking at lists.burri.to
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including translation and transmission errors. If the reader is not the
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have received this information in error, please notify the sender
immediately.


------------------------------

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