Last modified by Allison Randal on 2015.05.25 at 12:34:03 PDT


About me

Twitter | GitHub | LinkedIn

I'm active in a handful of open source projects: I'm an Ubuntu Developer, a Debian Maintainer, one of the organizers for DebConf this summer in Portland, on the board of the Perl Foundation, emeritus board member of the Python Software Foundation, co-founder of the FLOSS Foundations group for open source leaders, and a full-time contributor to OpenStack. Of historical interest to OSI members: I was the primary drafter of the Artistic License 2.0 and the Perl Foundation contributor license agreement, a review committee member for GPLv3, and one of the drafters of the amicus brief (for OSI, Creative Commons, etc) that turned the tide for the Jacobsen v. Katzer case.

I'll be staffing the OSI booth at LinuxFest Northwest in April, together with Ben Reser.

Why I'm running for election

I believe that licensing will continue to be absolutely essential to the future of open source. I agree with the concerns over license proliferation that started in the mid-2000's (I was one of the active amplifiers of the meme), and I'm pleased that the flood of new licenses we feared has been prevented, focusing people down on a few "standard" choices. But at the same time, I fully expect the next 30 years of international law to be every bit as interesting as the past 30 years, which means that open source licensing must continue to evolve with the times. I've been thrilled to see efforts like Richard Fontana's copyleft-next, that re-examine our base assumptions and actively look to the future. It's not something that needs radical change, just a steady, thoughtful eye to the future.

Another important aspect of the OSI's mission is education. Plenty of open source projects have achieved brand recognition even in the wilds of tech consumership (Firefox, Ubuntu, Android, etc.), so what we're aiming for isn't so much broadcasting the existence of open source, as it is broadcasting the meaning of open source. Our greatest challenge in the next decade or so is making sure the signal of software freedom isn't lost in the noise of general technical progress. It's partly an act of definition: what is and isn't open source. It's partly an act of interpretation: evaluating current events in the light of open source, and re-evaluating open source in light of current events. And it's partly an act of inspiration: highlighting successes (and failures) and pointing the way to the future. This is an area where I think the OSI can and should have a substantial impact, not as an exclusive owner, but as an influential participant in the open source community.

Contact information

Feel free to ask questions here or contact me on Twitter (@allisonrandal). Thanks

Created by Allison Randal on 2014.03.16 at 16:13:35 PDT

Submit feedback regarding this wiki to

This wiki is licensed under a Creative Commons 2.0 license
XWiki Enterprise 5.2.2 - Documentation