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  • Open Source Initiative Announces New Partnership With Adblock Plus

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - Jan. 16, 2018 -- Adblock Plus, the most popular Internet ad blocker today, joins The Open Source Initiative® (OSI) as corporate sponsors. Since its very first version, Adblock Plus has been an open source project that has developed into a successful business with over 100 million users worldwide. As such, the German company behind it, eyeo GmbH, has decided it is time to give back to the open source community.

    Founded in 1998, the OSI protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure. Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see.

    Commenting on the partnership Patrick Masson, General Manager at the OSI said, "We're very excited to welcome Adblock Plus to the OSI's growing list of sponsors. Adblock Plus and eyeo demonstrate how open source software can not only support business but actually drive business — two important lessons we here at the OSI have been promoting for nearly 20 years."

    "With transparency being of utmost importance to us, Adblock Plus has been an open source project from the very start " said Wladimir Palant, eyeo founder & original developer. "This allowed us to build a loyal community around the project, with volunteer contributions helping the project to grow and thrive. We appreciate the work done by our community and will continue investing efforts into keeping Adblock Plus a truly open project where everybody can contribute"

    Till Faida, founder and CEO of eyeo adds: "I am proud that we have built a successful company based on open source software. We are convinced that being open is key to innovation, so for us it is a mission and a business case. Today, eyeo has more than 100 employees all around the world, producing and running open software, wherever possible. With Adblock Plus we want to contribute to a sustainable, fair and open web for creators and consumers. So it is only logical to provide our products as open source."

    Adblock Plus joins a broad range of well-known technology and software companies that all started as open source projects and matured into open source businesses. Now they are contributing back to the broader open source community as OSI sponsors and supporters.

    About Adblock Plus

    Adblock Plus (https://adblockplus.org/) is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extension (add-ons) puts users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 1 billion times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received About.com readers' choice award for best privacy/security add-on. Adblock Plus is a free browser add-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and Opera for desktop users, and offers a free browser for mobile users on iOS and Android.

    Follow Adblock Plus on Twitter at @AdblockPlus and read our blogs at adblockplus.org/blog/. Media press kit with FAQ, images and company statistics is available at: eyeo.com/en/press.

    Adblock Plus Media Contact
    Laura Dornheim
    laura(a)adblockplus.org
    +49 172 8903504
    @schwarzblond

    About The Open Source Initiative

    Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see https://opensource.org.

    Follow the OSI on Twitter at @opensourceorg, and read our blogs at opensource.org/news.

    OSI Media Contact
    Italo Vignoli
    italo(a)opensource.org



  • Twenty Years and Counting

    The third decade of open source software starts in February 2018. How did it rise to dominance, and what’s next?


    20 years ago, in February 1998, the term “open source” was first applied to software, Soon afterwards, the Open Source Definition was created and the seeds that became the Open Source Initiative (OSI) were sown. As the OSD’s author Bruce Perens relates,

    'Open Source' is the proper name of a campaign to promote the pre-existing concept of Free Software to business, and to certify licenses to a rule set.

    Twenty years later, that campaign has proven wildly successful, beyond the imagination of anyone involved at the time. Today open source software is literally everywhere. It is the foundation for the Internet and for the worldwide web. It powers the computers and mobile devices we all use, as well as the networks they connect to. Without it, cloud computing and the nascent Internet of Things would be impossible to scale and perhaps to create. It has allowed new ways of doing business to be tested and proven, allowing giant corporations like Google and Facebook to start from the top of a mountain others already climbed.

    Like any human creation, it has a dark side as well. It has also unlocked dystopian possibilities for surveillance and the inevitably consequent authoritarian control. It has provided criminals with new ways to cheat their victims and unleashed the darkness of bullying delivered anonymously and at scale. It allows destructive fanatics to organise in secret without the inconvenience of meeting. All of these are shadows cast by useful capabilities, just as every human tool through history has been useful both to feed and care and to harm and control. We need to help the upcoming generation to strive for irreproachable innovation. As Richard Feynman quoted,

    To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.

    As open source has matured, so the way it is discussed and understood has also matured. The first decade was one of advocacy and controversy, while the second was marked by adoption and adaptation.

    1. In the first decade, the key question concerned business models – “how can I contribute freely yet still be paid”, while during the second more people asked about governance – “how can I participate yet keep control/not be controlled”.
    2. Open source projects of the first decade were predominantly replacements for off-the-shelf products, while in the second decade they were increasingly components of larger solutions.
    3. Projects of the first decade were often run by informal groups of individuals, while in the second decade they were frequently run by charities created on a project-by-project basis.
    4. Open source developers of the first decade were frequently devoted to a single project and often worked in their spare time. In the second decade, they were increasingly employed to work on a specific technology – professional specialists.
    5. While open source was always intended as a way to promote software freedom, during the first decade conflict arose with those preferring the term “free software”. In the second decade this conflict was largely ignored as open source adoption accelerated.

    So what will the third decade bring?

    1. The Complexity Business Model — The predominant business model will involve monetising the solution of the complexity arising from the integration of many open source parts, especially from deployment and scaling. Governance needs will reflect this.
    2. Open Source Mosaics — Open source projects will be predominantly families of component parts, together being built into stacks of components. The resultant larger solutions will be a mosaic of open source parts.
    3. Families Of Projects — More and more projects will be hosted by consortia/trade associations like the Linux Foundation and OpenStack and by general purpose charities like Apache and the Software Freedom Conservancy.
    4. Professional Generalists — Open source developers will increasingly be employed to integrate many technologies into complex solutions and will contribute in a range of projects.
    5. Software Freedom Redux — As new problems arise, software freedom (the application of the Four Freedoms to user and developer flexibility) will increasingly be applied to identify solutions that work for collaborative communities and independent deployers.

    The OSI Board of Directors and many Board Alumni will be expounding on all this in conference keynotes around the world during 2018. Watch out for OSI’s 20th Anniversary World Tour!


    This article was originally published in Meshed Insights, and was made possible by Patreon patrons.

    Image credit: "NextDecade.png" is a derivative of "woodland-road-falling-leaf-natural-38537.jpeg", via Pixabay, and used with permission under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.



  • Twenty Years and Counting

    The third decade of open source software starts in February 2018. How did it rise to dominance, and what’s next?


    20 years ago, in February 1998, the term “open source” was first applied to software, Soon afterwards, the Open Source Definition was created and the seeds that became the Open Source Initiative (OSI) were sown. As the OSD’s author Bruce Perens relates,

    “Open Source” is the proper name of a campaign to promote the pre-existing concept of Free Software to business, and to certify licenses to a rule set.

    Twenty years later, that campaign has proven wildly successful, beyond the imagination of anyone involved at the time. Today open source software is literally everywhere. It is the foundation for the Internet and for the worldwide web. It powers the computers and mobile devices we all use, as well as the networks they connect to. Without it, cloud computing and the nascent Internet of Things would be impossible to scale and perhaps to create. It has allowed new ways of doing business to be tested and proven, allowing giant corporations like Google and Facebook to start from the top of a mountain others already climbed.

    Like any human creation, it has a dark side as well. It has also unlocked dystopian possibilities for surveillance and the inevitably consequent authoritarian control. It has provided criminals with new ways to cheat their victims and unleashed the darkness of bullying delivered anonymously and at scale. It allows destructive fanatics to organise in secret without the inconvenience of meeting. All of these are shadows cast by useful capabilities, just as every human tool through history has been useful both to feed and care and to harm and control. We need to help the upcoming generation to strive for irreproachable innovation. As Richard Feynman quoted,

    To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.

    As open source has matured, so the way it is discussed and understood has also matured. The first decade was one of advocacy and controversy, while the second was marked by adoption and adaptation.

    1. In the first decade, the key question concerned business models – “how can I contribute freely yet still be paid”, while during the second more people asked about governance – “how can I participate yet keep control/not be controlled”.
    2. Open source projects of the first decade were predominantly replacements for off-the-shelf products, while in the second decade they were increasingly components of larger solutions
    3. .
    4. Projects of the first decade were often run by informal groups of individuals, while in the second decade they were frequently run by charities created on a project-by-project basis.
    5. Open source developers of the first decade were frequently devoted to a single project and often worked in their spare time. In the second decade, they were increasingly employed to work on a specific technology – professional specialists.
    6. While open source was always intended as a way to promote software freedom, during the first decade conflict arose with those preferring the term “free software”. In the second decade this conflict was largely ignored as open source adoption accelerated.
    7. So what will the third decade bring?

      1. The Complexity Business Model — The predominant business model will involve monetising the solution of the complexity arising from the integration of many open source parts, especially from deployment and scaling. Governance needs will reflect this.
      2. Open Source Mosaics — Open source projects will be predominantly families of component parts, together being built into stacks of components. The resultant larger solutions will be a mosaic of open source parts.
      3. Families Of Projects — More and more projects will be hosted by consortia/trade associations like the Linux Foundation and OpenStack and by general purpose charities like Apache and the Software Freedom Conservancy.
      4. Professional Generalists — Open source developers will increasingly be employed to integrate many technologies into complex solutions and will contribute in a range of projects.
      5. Software Freedom Redux — As new problems arise, software freedom (the application of the Four Freedoms to user and developer flexibility) will increasingly be applied to identify solutions that work for collaborative communities and independent deployers.
      6. I’ll be expounding on all this in conference keynotes around the world during 2018. Watch out for OSI’s 20th Anniversary World Tour!


        This article was originally published in Meshed Insights, and was made possible by Patreon patrons.

        Image credit: "NextDecade.png" is a derivative of "woodland-road-falling-leaf-natural-38537.jpeg", via Pixabay, and used with permission under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.



  • Open Yet Closed

    In these days of code that no single mind can grasp, it's hard to see how software freedom is present when there's no realistic community access to source code.


    In the early days of Free Software, it was a safe assumption that anyone using a computer had coding skills of some sort -- even if only for shell scripts. As a consequence, many advocates of Free Software, despite a strong focus on user freedoms, had a high tolerance for software that made source available under free terms without providing binaries.

    That was considered undesirable, but as long as the source code could be used it was not disqualifying. Many other ways evolved to ensure that the software was somehow impractical to deploy without a commercial relationship with a particular vendor, even if the letter of the rules around Free Software was met.

    This tolerance for "open but closed" models continued into the new Open Source movement. As long as code was being liberated under open source licenses, many felt the greater good was being served despite obstacles erected in service of business models.

    But times have changed. Random code liberation is still desirable, but the source of the greatest value to the greatest number is the collaboration and collective innovation open source unlocks. While abstract "open" was tolerated in the 20th century, only "open for collaboration" satisfies the open source communities of the 21st century. Be it "open core", "scareware", "delayed open", "source only for clients", "patent royalties required" or one of the many other games entrepreneurs play, meeting the letter of the OSD or FSD without actually allowing collaboration is now deprecated.

    As a consequence, OSI receives more complaints from community members about "open yet closed" than any other topic. Companies of all sizes who loudly tout their love for open source yet withhold source code from non-customers generate the most enquiries of this type. When approached, OSI contacts these companies on behalf of the community but the response is always that they are "within their rights" under the relevant open source licenses and can do what they please.

    One claim that deserves to be soundly debunked is that it's OK to withhold open source code from non-customers. All open source licenses should be interpreted as requiring source to be made available to the public. OSD 2 is very clear:

    2. The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.M/small>

    Interestingly it's common that the companies involved obtained the source code they are monetising under an open source license, while they themselves own the copyrights to a tiny percentage of the code. They can be considered to have enclosed the commons, enjoying the full benefits of open source themselves -- and celebrating it -- but excluding others from collaboration on the same terms.

    Many community members would tolerate this were it not for the company claims to be strong supporters of open source. Even this behaviour might be mitigated for some with upstream code contributions. But in the absence of public code, most community members dispute something is open source, regardless of the license used. "Open yet closed" may have been tolerated twenty years ago, but today the rule is open up or shut up.

    Image credit: "OpenClosedPost.png" is a derivative of "Paris - A Bicycle against an old wall - 4292.jpg", 2008 by Jorge Royan (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons and used with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.



  • Open Source Initiative Announces DigitalOcean Corporate Sponsorship

    Cloud services platform will provide both financial and in-kind contributions to support OSI infrastructure and new collaboration platform.

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - Nov. 8, 2017 -- The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), dedicated to increasing the awareness and adoption of open source software, is delighted to welcome DigitalOcean as a Premium Sponsor. DigitalOcean, a cloud services platform designed for developers, will provide both financial support and hosting for several OSI community-driven services.

    A Forbes' Cloud 100 company, DigitalOcean's active engagement and investment in open source software highlights how today's most innovative and successful companies have recognized the value of, and opportunities within, open communities of collaboration. The company regularly sponsors open source related MeetUps and Hackathons—including their popular "Hacktoberfest", develops tutorials on open source technologies and techniques, maintains and contributes to a number of open source projects, and of course offers hosting to open source projects and foundations.

    "DigitalOcean's support provides a critical boost to the OSI's ongoing operations, and for the new, community-focused programs we'll be launching in 2018," says Patrick Masson, General Manager at OSI. "With the growth in open source software across all sectors, the OSI is seeing more and more requests for assistance and resources. DigitalOcean's services will provide the OSI with the dedicated infrastructure we need now to successfully extend and expand our support for the new and growing roles emerging in open source communities of practice."

    "One of our core company values is, our community is bigger than just us," says Greg Warden, VP, Engineering at DigitalOcean. "From our KVM-based hypervisors to our Go and Ruby applications running on our Kubernetes clusters, DigitalOcean is built on a foundation of open source. That's why it is so important for us to support the Open Source Initiative in its work promoting and protecting open source on behalf of the community."

    As a non-profit, community-driven organization, the OSI relies on the support of volunteers who lend their time to develop and manage internal operations and working groups; individual contributing members, whose annual dues provide critical support and votes elect the Board; Affiliate Members, composed of a who's who of open source projects and foundations, and; corporations who choose to support our mission through in-kind donations and generous financial contributions.

    About DigitalOcean

    DigitalOcean is a cloud services platform designed for developers that businesses use to run production applications at scale. It provides highly available, secure and scalable compute, storage and networking solutions that help developers build great software faster. Founded in 2012 with offices in New York and Cambridge, MA, DigitalOcean offers simple services, transparent pricing, an elegant user interface, and one of the largest libraries of open source resources available. For more information, please visit http://www.digitalocean.com or follow @digitalocean.

    About The Open Source Initiative

    Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

    Media Contact
    Italo Vignoli
    italo@opensource.org




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