Application for OSI Board Membership

February 8, 2006 § Leave a comment

Since I’m applying for public office, I may as
well state my agenda and qualifications publicly for anyone who wants to comment
(or hold me to

them later, if I should attain such
office).

What is your prior experience with open
source
software??
  ?http://www.opendarwin.org/~drernie/C1923057755/index.html ?*
Long-term participant in OSI License Discuss ?* Active on license
proliferation and membership
policy ? ?
What do
you desire to accomplish during your tenure on the board? ?What are
your objective in
joining? ?
 ?* My
perspective, from activity on all three OSI Mailing lists, is
that: 
a. The community needs a coherent, credible OSI
to present the pragmatic vision of Open Source software, as a complement to the
more ideological vision of the FSF. 
b. Other than a very few overloaded,
non-representative members, the OSI has ceased to have any meaningful
interaction with the community it is supposed to represent. 
c. If the OSI prefers to quietly fade away into a
benign, non-controversial caretaker organization, then I don’t think it matters
who is on the board or how it behaves. However, if it wants to play an active
role in shaping the future of the software industry, then I believe it needs to
radically revamp the face it presents to the community (web, lists, membership,
etc.). Otherwise, despite (or perhaps) due to its remarkable success in its
initial goal of establishing norms for licensing, the OSI risk becoming
increasingly irrelevant and
non-authoritative. 

 ?What
particular strengths might you have in terms of raising
financial, ?human, or other forms of capital on behalf of the
OSI? ?
 ?* As a product
manager, my primary skill set is distilling actionable decisions out of a
free-flowing mass of email, and helping groups present their views in the most
attractive and comprehensive way possible. Thus, my primary value (in these
terms) would be in increasing the effective use of existing capital, which I
believe is the essential first step to acquiring additional
resources.. ?  ?
Do
you have any reservations about working on the
Board?

 ?* Yes. My deepest
concern is that — from where I stand as an outsider — the Board does not
appear to have a coherent agenda, or at least lacks sufficient buy-in from
existing Board members to implement that agenda. If I am to work with the OSI, I
want to know that my efforts will (one way or the other) match the will and
actions of the Board, rather than being dissipated due to a lack of
coherency. ?
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