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Open Source Business Resource (OSBR)

I recently joined the advisory board for The Open Source Business Resource (OSBR) which is one of my favorite reads when it comes to crossroads of open source and business. I find that when it comes to quality business-related open source material out there, we don’t have many options (or I’m just not aware of them yet). I mean, besides opensource.com, a couple analyst firms and a few interesting blogs, I don’t have much to go on.

In the latest issue of OSBR which targets the mobile industry, there’s one article I really appreciate by Andreas Constantinou which starts off with this revealing quote…

“Open source licenses tell only half the story. The governance model, the implicit rules defining transparency and influence into an open source project, is the small print that determines the power dynamics around that project.”

If you haven’t noticed, the mobile industry is in an open renaissance when it comes to giving people access to source and allowing them to contribute via a variety of levels. For those who had the pleasure to work in mobile in the past, this is a bit shocking given how the industry previously treated access to mobile operating system source. The important part of the article is when it starts mapping open source license types to governance models (see the fairly accurate figure below). And discusses how the mobile industry needs less marketing hype around the benefits of openness, but more education and clarity on governance models.

See where Eclipse fits in (it’s snuggling next to Symbian)? Do people like it there :)?

Just because Android says they are open, doesn’t necessarily mean they are when it comes to governance. Anyways, give the latest OSBR issue a read if the mobile industry is your cup of tea. If you want to see anything in upcoming issues, like a potential theme covered, please let me know.

  • I think that Constantinou misunderstands how Eclipse is governed. There is no way you can characterize Eclipse as a “members only” community the way LiMo is today and Symbian was until recently. That is just a mistake.

    The harder question is where does Eclipse actually belong. He doesn't really define “managed community” and “trust community”, so I'm not sure which applies to us.

    We're hoping to have a follow-up conversation with the author to figure that out.

  • I think that we aren't a “members only” community but we have a concept of membership that has certain benefits versus non-members. Sure, anyone can contribute to Eclipse and become a member… it's a meritocracy in the end but our governance model centers on the membership.

    Do you agree with that?

    The concept of managed community vs trust community needs a bit more explanation. These type of communities seem to lack a formal governance model and are made up of simply contributors.

  • kimmoir

    Interesting to learn that this organization has so many Ottawa people involved!

  • sdiz

    Android is controlled by Open Handset Alliance, not Google. The relationship between Google and OHA is just like IBM and Eclipse in the 3.0 days.

  • sdiz

    Android is controlled by Open Handset Alliance, not Google. The relationship between Google and OHA is just like IBM and Eclipse in the 3.0 days.

  • Who actually has commit access to Android? Which percentage of that is Google…

    My guess it’s still 100% Google unless that’s changed recently.