[PROPOSAL] Open Source certification

Robert Levin levin at openprojects.net
Sun Apr 11 19:30:29 UTC 1999

On 11 Apr 1999, Russell Nelson wrote:

> Robert Levin writes:
>  > Coming into the discussion late, I will comment that, to the extent that OSI
>  > performs its functions without consulting the community, it can't expect to
>  > be considered representative of the community.
> I consider us to be following Jon Postel's model.  Jon never seemed to 
> consult the community, but boy he sure listened.

You guys are not Jon Postel, and this is a different era.  If you want to
try to follow that model, then you can expect wide public comment when the
results are not to people's liking.

>  > There were clear, obvious problems with the Apple license, for example. 
> Everybody has 20-20 vision in hindsight.  I would point out that Bruce 
> was not removed from the board mailing list in a timely manner, and
> received a copy of the APSL at the same time we did.  If the problems
> were so obvious, why didn't Bruce spot them in time?

It's not my job to front for Bruce.  The rest of us got our first indication
that Apple was going to try to float an open source license when we saw the
license, with Eric's glowing endorsement.  And we commented on it.  That was
present tense commenting on a license by the vast majority of people who did
not get to peek at the license "before the fact."  That it was "20/20
hindsight" was not *our* doing.

>  > I think a lot of us would just like to see OSI research more than certify. 
>  > I.e., if someone comes to you to wanting to know if their new license is
>  > open source, resist the temptation to believe that it will be open source if
>  > you rule ex cathedra it's so.  Get input from the broader community, and
>  > express your opinions as opinions.
> mailto:license-discuss-subscribe at opensource.org .

It's a good concept.  I'll be interested in seeing how it works, and I'll
certainly put my two cents in.

Rob Levin

More information about the Spi-general mailing list