Hi! I'm Thierry Carrez. I'm running for election for an affiliate member seat on OSI board of directors, on behalf of the Open Infrastructure Foundation (formerly known as the OpenStack Foundation). Continue reading to learn more about me and why I'm running!


I'm 48, based in France, working from home on open source software in a small village since 2008. A Mechanical Systems engineer by trade, I'm currently the VP of Engineering at the Open Infrastructure Foundation, in charge of the health of the open source projects we support. Prior to that, I've been a contractor helping with OpenStack Release Management (2010-2013), a Technical Lead for Ubuntu Server at Canonical (2008-2010), and an IT Manager at various companies before that.

My relationship with F/OSS

I've been using free and open source software in one form or another, personally and professionally, since 1995. I started with Red Hat Linux, then moved to Gentoo Linux in 2002. Noticing a gap in vulnerability management, I proposed to help and started actively contributing, becoming the Security team manager, driving the reform toward an open governance, and finally getting elected to the Gentoo Council in 2005.

I got hired by Canonical in 2008 to work from home as a technical lead on Ubuntu Server. In 2010 I followed a couple of ex-Canonical folks to work on a nascent open source alternative to the big proprietary clouds, called OpenStack. This project was formed on strong principles of open collaboration: open source of course, but also open development (accessibility to all), open design (design done in the open), and open community (any contributor can get elected to governing bodies). In 2012 I was recognized as a Python Software Foundation Fellow. When the OpenStack Foundation was formed in 2013, I was part of the initial staff there, and still am to this day.

Early 2019, the OSI's legitimacy came under attack as pseudo-open licenses were developed to preserve specific business models. This prompted the OSI to put out a strong Affirmation of the Open Source Definition, which the OpenStack Foundation joined and signed. To further support the legitimacy of the OSI, the OpenStack Foundation formally became an Affiliate organization of the OSI in 2019.

Why I'm running

Open source in 2021 is at a crossroads. Its benefits for users and the strength of its collaboration model has made it very popular and successful against its proprietary alternatives. However, as we were "winning", the landscape evolved. Software companies trying to capitalize on the "open source" brand have created development models and played licensing tricks that make them much closer to proprietary software than to openly-developed open source software. Worse, they actively dilute the meaning of "open" and "open source" by trying to associate their software with it, and attacking the legitimacy of the Open Source Definition and the OSI as its guardian.

The old binary distinction (proprietary vs. F/OSS) is no longer enough. Licenses are still very much necessary, but no longer sufficient. We need a richer taxonomy to describe what's out there in 2021, and inform potential users of their exact rights and benefits. Beyond the license the code is released under, how the software is produced actually matters. Open source that is closed to contributions, or under a copyright license agreement, is very different from openly-developed, openly-governed open source.

I have been advocating for going beyond licenses for a while. I now think the OSI is the best place to drive that fight for the future of open source. If elected, I'll to bring my experience of Open Source project management and governance, as well as my experience of Open Source Foundation boards, to the OSI. I intend to drive the discussion on evolving the OSI scope to go beyond open source licenses and into taking a more active role at classifying the various types of open source, highlighting the benefits of each.

More about me


Created by Deb Nicholson on 2021/02/16 22:45

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