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Open Source Initiative Working Groups

Last modified by Administrator on 2015.09.18 at 06:10:57 PDT

Table of Contents

Characteristics of OSI Working Groups & Working Group Process

Characteristics of OSI Working Groups

Proposed/Current Working Groups

Awareness Expansion

  • Sponsor: Deb Bryant & Tony Wasserman
  • Working Group Home Page
  • Description: OSI’s presence and ability to communicate its mission, goals, activities and in the marketplace of ideas is need of improvement, as it is with many evolving non-profits. We propose creation of a working group focused on expanding global awareness of OSI and strengthening its ability to fulfill its mission.
    The work group would be comprised of experienced communications professionals and enthusiasts, marketing/research and brand experts, and community development and management leaders. Their task will be to review OSI’s communications strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, and to recommend steps that can follow to increase global awareness of OSI, while keeping within OSI's community culture, volunteer goodwill and financial resources.

FLOSS Desktop Refurbishment and Distribution

  • Co-Chairs: Katie Osterdahl & Kris Navratil
  • Sponsor: Patrick Masson
  • Working Group Page
  • Description: Student workshops run through schools providing access to a variety of project-based learning activities in FLOSS, including:
    • Hardware refurbishment: Students will rebuild and bring to operational condition decommissioned computers from local school districts.
    • Software Administration: Students will install and configure FLOSS software: operating systems and various desktop applications (LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.).
    • Mentorship: Students will develop a curriculum and teach "desktop literacy" to their peers and other members of the community using the refurbished FLOSS computers. After completion of the course, the participants will be able to take the computer home.
    • Peer Support Center: Students will create, manage and operate a "help desk" providing those who complete the course and using the refurbished computers a resource for ongoing support.

FLOSS Entities Working Group Proposal

  • Sponsor: Allison Randal
  • Working Group Home Page
  • Description: This working group is aligned with the OSI's misson to promote and protect Open Source, especially focusing on the "protect" aspects. Applying for 501(c)(3) or (c)(6) status has become the norm for new FLOSS projects. If that route were no longer feasible, it could result in serious harm to the future growth of Open Source. It is critical both to research the recent responses from the IRS and determine if we are in the midst of a trend-shift, and to explore alternatives to IRS 501(c) status for young projects.

Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW) Management Education Questionnaire and Analysis to Identify Priorities for Advancing: "A Management Education Syllabus on the Methods, Processes, Resourcing and Governance of Free/Libre/Open Works"

  • Sponsor: Joseph Potvin, Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
    The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
  • OSI Working Group Page: Free/Libre/Open Works (FLOW) Management Education Questionnaire and Analysis project.
  • Description:
    • This qualitative data will be analyzed in a short academic research paper due on 16 December 2014 for grading as part of J.Potvin's doctoral program at University of Québec. The hypothesis to be tested is: “Manager competencies in methods and processes for free/libre/open source software projects, portfolios or foundations are sufficiently distinct from those appropriate to work under restrictive software business models, as to require the adaptation and/or extension of current mainstream project management training resources, programs and certifications.”
    • Responses should be useful to the team preparing an “OSI Management Education Working Group Charter”, under the Outreach and Learning Committee of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The draft Charter will be considered for approval the OSI Board on 4 December 2013.
    • Responses should be useful to advance Version 1.0 of the Free/Libre/Open Works Management Syllabus to Version 2.0, as a shared asset going forward under management of the OSI Management Education Working Group. This work is being planned for January through March 2014;
    • Results may be used in consideration and planning of a broader questionnaire by the OSI Management Education Working Group in early in 2014.

Management Education About Free/Libre/Open Methods, Processes and Governance

  • Sponsor: Joseph Potvin, Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
    The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
  • OSI Working Group page: Management Education on Free/Libre/Open Works
  • Description:
    • Mainstream management education has not kept pace with the evolution of successful free/libre/open source peer-to-peer scenarios. Other than through individual project leaders who happen to be based at educational institutions, the management education field as a whole is only superficially engaging this approach. For the most part it's missing the substantial academic and formal business literature on free/libre/open ethics, methods, processes, governance, HR management, corporate strategy, law and financing, all of which have come to prominence in the operational life of business, government and science.
    • To give a prominent tangible example of the disconnect, in the past decade many commercial and government organizations worldwide have adjusted their competitive hiring and procurement processes to include a mandatory requirement for PMP Certification (Project Management Professional) or PRINCE2 Certification (Projects in Controlled Environments, v.2). But these frameworks assume projects that are under exclusive organizational terms, and hierarchical management. They have recently included “agile methods”, but they continue to lack significant accommodation of other key aspects of the free/libre/open way.

Open Source Bug Bounty (FS-ISAC)

  • Sponsor: Wayne Jackson, CEO
    Sonatype, Inc. 
  • OSI Working Group Page: Open Source Bug Bounty (FS-ISAC)
  • Description:
    • Address security issues within FS-ISAC by establishing a 'bug bounty' type of program for open source software.

Practices in Open Source Software Crowd-funding

  • Sponsor: Patrick Masson
  • Working Group Hope Page
  • Description: This working group is aligned with the OSI's mission to educate about and protect Open Source Software, expressly focusing on the "protect" aspects. Open source software, as both a development and business model, as well as crowd-funding for raising start-up capitol, have become popular. Despite increased interest in these approaches, many software project owners who use crowd-funding sites, as well as their potential contributors, lack the fundamental understanding of open source software communities and licensing to undertake informed decision-making in creating or contributing to projects labeled as "open" "open source" or "open source software." This effort will seek to partner with crowd-funding services to create and make available educational materials to help both developers and contributors authentically engage in the open source software development community.

Public Policy

  • Sponsor OSI Board Director Deb Bryant
  • OSI Working Group Page
  • Description OSI is often approached for assistance with questions and  expressed interests and need from the public sector about policy for free and open source software.  This includes a range of expressions of policy.  Examples of requests for help historically have included:
    • Model policies for government agencies, operations, contracts and procurement policies 
    • Public policies for broad adoption of free and open source software
    • Executive orders and other high-level policy guidance
    • National referendums
    • Economic Development initiatives
  • A working group is proposed to be established to extend the Open Source Initiative's resources to create an international collaborative effort to create a network of policy practitioners for the purpose of sharing best practices, documentation, and general knowledge and support for individuals and organizations with an interest in or responsibility for creating and implementing effective policies. In phase one of the project, we will identify a network of the willing and informed and create a sustainable inventory of existing policies (implemented). Phase two will be defined by the group based on what is learned along the way as opportunity and challenge. Prototyping

  • OSI Sponsor: Allison Randal
  • Project Sponsor: Aaron Wolf
  • OSI Working Group Page: Sponsorship Proposal
  • Description: is prototyping a new form of cooperative community sponsorship / long-term patronage for Open Source projects. While we hope long-term to operate as a full foundation handling donations between large numbers of donors and projects, this proposal is to support the prototyping stage. At this stage, we are focused on creating, presenting, and studying the concept of a network-driven many-to-many matching pledge as a mechanism to improve overall support for Open Source.

The Value of Support in Open Source

TLDRLegal Linkbacks

  • Sponsor: Kevin Wang (
  • OSI Working Group Page: TLDRLegal Linkbacks
  • Description: The goal of this project is to direct visitors that are looking for helpful, simple community interpretations towards TLDRLegal by establishing linkbacks between summaries and their respective license pages.  In terms of execution, it's important to have simple, accessible navigation while maintaining the following conditions:
    • Explicit disclaimers of endorsement of content, review and sourcing of summary data
    • Explicit disclaimers of legal advice
    • Clear separation between TLDR & the OSI designating it as a neutral 3rd party

      Note: The Initial Draft proposal is available for historical purposes.

A Government Open Source Manual

  • Sponsor: Bill Shelton
  • OSI Working Group Page: TBD
  • Current Working Site:
  • Description: Federal, State, and Local governments need cohesive and applicable instructions describing how to produce and use open source software.  Today, governments are left to figure that out with little, if any, official or practical guidance. Some governments and agencies have demonstrated success while others still struggle with the numerous complexities and salient constraints within government.  The primary goal of this working group is to create an authoritative reference manual that governments can use to implement open source as part of the culture. It will address and recommend processes and activities, highlight challenges with procurement, provide templates, references, studies, and guidance on privacy, paperwork reduction act (PRA), and cyber security. 

Founding an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory (FOSSEL)

  • Sponsor:  Kevin W. Shockey (
  • OSI Working Group Page: Founding an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory (FOSSEL)
  • Description: At the foundation of open source is the software development methodology which has changed the way software is conceived of, created, and maintained.  While this methodology has been quickly adopted and practiced in many of the leading economies of the world, it remains on the fringes in many of the smaller economies.  

As an example, within Puerto Rico, proprietary software and cultural bias has limited the impact and adoption of open source software.  Most of the software development methodology being taught on the island is limited to proprietary technologies.  Exposure to and education in open source development tools and methodologies are extremely limited.

This working group will focus on creating the policies, procedures, and processes that can help any country in establishing an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory.  The end result of this group will be a strategic road map that eases the burden of anyone wishing to establish a localized resource that can increase the adoption and usage of open source software. 

The key to sustainability of the laboratory will be largely dependent on whether the local community adopts the open source software development methodology.  Our largest contribution to that goal will be to produce software engineers who can increase the use of open source in the local talent pool.  Generous funding and donations would help a lot too.  The deeper we can make the open source talent pool, the closer we will be, to the adoption of the new practice in Puerto Rico.

Created by Patrick Masson on 2015.08.20 at 12:46:08 PDT

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