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OSI, Third Decade of Open Source, 20 Years and Counting

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OSS
  • Why I want you to run for the OSI Board

    In the world of tech, we fit across three generations of contributors to free and open source software–those who were involved in the early days of free software; those who found places in the community after open source had been established; and the group paultag humorously dubbed the GNU generation–none of us have lived in a world without the explicit concept of user freedom.

    Within my cadre of FOSS-loving millennials, several of us have fairly similar stories, both inside of our FOSS lives and out: we all had formative life experiences of financial hardship, and tech helped us emerge into comfortable, middle-class lifestyles. We’re all community-focused and have worked as community managers. We’ve been finalists for the same jobs.

    That is to say, while we have different opinions and different outlooks, we all come from fairly similar places.

  • FOSDEM: The Third Decade of Open Source

    This weekend I spoke at FOSDEM in Brussels to deliver the opening conference keynote. My subject was “The Third Decade of Open Source” and as OSI President I summed up the main events of the last 20 years, some of the key facts behind them and then offered five trends that will shape the next decade.

  • Open Source Software: 20 Years and Counting

    When the decision was made to follow the label open source, a rift opened up within the free software movement. Classical adherents of the traditional values – Stallman in particular – viewed the Open Source Initiative as pandering to corporate interests, concerned purely with the marketability of the idea, and less with the social and ethical values.

    The debate still rages on, in 2016 Richard Stallman posted on the GNU website that “open source misses the point of free software” and that “supporters of open source considered the term a marketing campaign for free software…while not raising issues of right and wrong that they might not like to hear.”

    Disagreements aside, the value of open source to the tech industry in the past twenty years is incredible. Fuelling a generation of thinkers and tinkerers and a whirlwind of technological advances, it will continue to grow and shape our digital future.

    In an increasingly digitized world, the core values of the movement are ones that we should consider as we move forward.

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