Elana Hashman, 2019

Last modified by Elana Hashman on 2019/03/13 20:09

A call to action

I'm trying to recruit new OSI members! If you like my platform, please consider signing up for an Individual Membership and reach out to let me know. I'll send you a shoutout on the fediverse or Twitter ^_^

» Sign up for an Individual Membership «

Why am I running for the OSI Board?

If elected to the board, I have three goals I'd like to accomplish:

  • To grow the OSI's membership,
  • To defend the Open Source Definition, and
  • To define the future of open source.

Grow the OSI's membership

Nearly 5300 developers completed GitLab's 2018 developer survey; 43% of the 100k developers who completed StackOverflow's 2018 developer survey contribute to open source. The OSI has approximately 500 individual members. If the OSI is to be representative of the wider open source community, it must broaden its membership.

To demonstrate my commitment, during my campaign, I pledge to recruit 25 new Individual Members, which would grow the OSI's membership by 5%.

As a board member, I will advocate for offering gratis Individual Membership to all members of Affiliate Projects and new discounted Individual Memberships, and will focus on outreach to recruit new Affiliate Projects. Offering gratis student/needs-based membership on request does not scale; a concern many folks outside of Europe and North America have raised during my membership drive is the affordability of membership. I will investigate solutions that help make individual OSI memberships more accessible to everyone!

Defend the OSI Definition

Recently, we've seen the proliferation of a number of new protectionist licenses, as corporations become more concerned about their open source projects being monetized by other corporations that don't contribute back. I think corporate sustainability and community sustainability are different things, and I'm concerned that the idea of "sustainability" is being co-opted by companies that define it as seeing greater financial returns from their open source projects.

Non-free licenses masquerading as "open source" jeopardize the free software commons. As a Debian Developer, I've made a commitment to the community to uphold the Debian Free Software Guidelines. The OSI's prominence gives me the opportunity to take on that responsibility with greater reach in upholding the Open Source Definition.

Define the future of Open Source

Software licenses are a means, not an end, to open source software. Focusing on licensing is necessary but not sufficient to ensure a vibrant, thriving open source community. Focus on licensing to the exclusion of other serious community concerns is to our collective detriment.

All of the software communities I participate in consider themselves to be "open source communities". And yet, I see very few folks from the core JavaScript, or Python, or Clojure communities involved with or advocating for the OSI. The vast majority of my colleagues would not be able to tell you what the OSI does beyond maintaining the OSD, and for most of them, software licensing is a minimal concern, a "solved problem." If open source is for everyone, and if the OSI is to continue to represent the open source community and play a key role in the future of open source, then it is critical for it to engage the wider community for input and collaboration.

To this end, as a board member, I will advocate for running a community survey on the broader topic of open source: what open source means, what open source can achieve, what challenges the growth and sustainability of open source. I think it's a shame that the only available self-reported data from the open source community are from corporate surveys like GitLab's or StackOverflow's. Community data provides a foundation for the OSI to defend the present and define the future of open source software.

Why vote for me?

My platform is actionable, specific, and measurable. For example, when I say I want to grow the OSI's membership, this isn't just a platitude: I'm running a membership drive to recruit 25 new members and I've nearly met my goal already! If you vote for me, it's easy for you to hold me accountable to these specific commitments.

I have a cross-cutting, boots-on-the-ground view of the challenges and needs of the FOSS community. I'm active as a developer in many different open source communities: the Python community, the Clojure community, the JavaScript community, the Kubernetes and CNCF communities. I bring a new, broad perspective to the Board as a primarily technical contributor from communities who are not yet deeply involved with the OSI, and pledge to represent their interests.

As a packager, I have a practical understanding of software licensing and redistribution. Defending the Open Source Definition isn't just about ideology for me: threats to the FOSS commons directly impact my work as a downstream developer. Packaging FOSS for distribution in Debian, applying patches, and sharing derivative works all require a deep understanding of the practice of software licenses and copyright. Hence, I have important and applicable experience for license review.

Who am I?

I'm the Queen of Debian Clojure, Empress of Symbol Versioning, Conqueress of ABIs, Python Packaging Authority, ELF Herder and the winner of the Software Freedom Conservancy's 2018 Award for most odd, but needful volunteer assistance. I care deeply about not just the philosophy but the practice of free and open source software, and seek to further both ideals and implementation through my community work.

As a Debian Developer, I upload and maintain the 50-some Clojure package ecosystem between the Clojure and Java Teams in Debian and Ubuntu, and as a Python Packaging Authority committer, I hack on portable binary Python wheels for Linux. I was elected a Python Software Foundation Fellow in 2018 for my contributions to the Python ecosystem. I'm also a current member of the Kubernetes Instrumentation SIG, where I work on benchmarking and metrics usability. I've submitted patches and documentation to projects spanning many languages, from Pelican and Molecule to Leiningen and clojure.java.jdbc. My first contributions to open source were through OpenHatch, beginning in 2013, where I later served as a core maintainer and login team member until the project was sunset.

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