This site is the personal opinion of Alex Hudson. In particular, this does not reflect the views and/or policies of the Association for Free Software

OSS Policy V2 Redraft

Initial analysis on the redrafted policy of 28/7/2004.

Thoughts on the introduction

New, interesting definition of "open source" in the introduction - mixes up open source and copyleft, the first paragraph is the worst bit. Should compare & contrast to previous efforts; not sure if we have picked up on this before.

Thoughts on the Policy

The only changed point is the addition of the last point - OSS to be used as a default exploitation route for publically funded software (default, as in "applies if nothing else is done about it"). Initial thought here is - who chooses the licence? If it's a default, the presumption is that no-one can be bothered to do anything about the software: in which case, is anyone going to bother choosing a licence?

Perhaps also need to make a point about OSI not having supremacy within the community - something which is OSI-open source is not necessary FSF-free or DFSG-free. Guidance on licensing should take this into account.

Next Steps

  • Why are the DTi, eGU and JISC well-placed to develop licence guidance? I think they are not.... they should be doing this in public with feedback from the community
  • Unified access to the output - not necessarily a bad idea, but why? How will it integrate with the community? Can this be tied in with the current JISC mirror provision?
  • "OSS Proof of concept trials" - what are these? Shouldn't these be more widely disseminated?
  • eGU and the OGC should engage the community to support further use of "OSS" within Government

Random Notes

Perhaps need to make some kind of statement about open standards? Page with link to OIP