Happy Tenth Anniversary OSL

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Oregon State University Open Source Lab unofficial commemorative logo, celebrating ten years of operation.

This evening Oregon State University Open Source Lab gathered staff, students and friends to celebrate their tenth anniversary.  Was great to see the crew, and exciting to hear about their direction for the next decade.  Their quiet and critical support of community open source projects continues.  Drop in on their web site, and if you’re in the Corvallis, Oregon area, ask for a tour of the OSL; they love to share.

If you’re interested in a light technical overview of OSL’s hosting and network capacity, hosted projects, and growth over the last ten years you can check out OSL director Lance Albertson’s presentation at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) earlier this year.

Up Next: Open Source Initiative Board of Directors

Up Next: Open Source Initiative Board of Directors

Chicago’s lakefront. Photograph: Richard Cummins/Corbis

I’m headed to Chicago.  No, not a delegate to the NATO Summit, but expect to share the same traffic jams.

This weekend thirteen Open Source Initiative (OSI) directors meet face-to-face in Chicago.  Three directors are recently elected, myself included, and a full agenda awaits.

If you’re not familiar, here’s the nutshell background:

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

One of our most important activities is as a standards body, maintaining the Open Source Definition for the good of the community. The Open Source Initiative Approved License trademark and program creates a nexus of trust around which developers, users, corporations and governments can organize open source cooperation.

The most pressing issue for the board today is moving the organization from a self-appointed group of volunteers to that of a member-driven organization, no small task, but an important one if OSI is to become most relevant.

- Deb Bryant

Open Government Communities Survey; Be Counted

If you’re involved in Open Government, I encourage you to participate in this first informal open government communities survey. The objective of the short survey is to create a view of the broad community of constituents that comprise the open government movement, with a special interest in understanding the interplay and influence of open source software and the open source community in forwarding their objectives.

The first set of responses collected by September 18th will travel to Northern Ireland for my presentation at the OpenGov Conference in Belfast on September 22nd, 2011. Results of the survey will be shared this fall on the Government Open Source Conference web site (goscon.org). Any questions? email me.

Thanks in advance or your participation!

Open Source Lab Inside Story at OSBC March 18th

OSBC_bannerMy executive hero and Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSU OSL) visionary Curt Pederson will be doing a talk about the OSL at this week’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.  If you’re going to be at OSBC drop by and thank Curt for his critical role in making the case for the creation of the OSL six years ago.  The dedicated staff and students at the OSL have created a world-class home for dozens of important open source communites like the Linux Foundation, Apache Foundation, Drupal, Gentoo Foundation, Debian Linux and many more.

Curt is a fantastic supporter of open Collaboration and loves to share the inside story of the Lab. He’ll be speaking Thursday March 18th at 4 p.m., here’s the abstract:

Inside the Open Source Lab
Curt Pederson, Vice Provost and CIO, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University has emerged as one or the global leaders in the expanding “open source” movement and an integral part of a growing Oregon movement in support of community based innovation and collaboration. From Oregon resident Linus Torvalds and Governor Kulongoski to the student employees working in the Open Source Lab (OSL), we have a very unique open climate for doing leading edge research, teaching and business in Oregon and beyond.

Curt Pederson will describe Oregon State University’s role in today’s emerging “open ecosystem” and how the OSL has gone from being a spectator to having one of the largest host sites of open source applications and community Linux releases in the world. Curt will also discuss the overall ROI that OSU has obtained by using open source tools versus other commercial solutions.

Whitehouse.gov Migrates to Open Source Drupal

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Yesterday the White House Office of New Media announced it had migrated its legacy system for whitehouse.gov to Drupal.  Let’s be clear that this constitutes a change in plumbing – important plumbing – and not policy – but is a significant and of course highly visible sign that open source software has gone main stream.

Perhaps we can look forward to that day in the future when someone quips “No one ever got fired for implementing Drupal”.

This made yesterday a double red letter day for me and my colleagues in Oregon; an open source application was rolled out in mission-critical environment in government AND it was one the projects supported by Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab (OSL) where I work.  Double the satisfaction.  Although I don’t talk about it much here – where I focus on government adoption of open source – our core activity at the OSL is supporting many significant open source projects through hosting, administration and development as part of our charter to build community.  We’ve been quietly at work since 2003 at this important endeavor.

There is no shortage of news coverage on this event so I won’t rehash here.  I’m focused on the upcoming Government Open Source Conference – GOSCON DC, but wanted to share with you that Drupal Association will be present at the event next week – November 5 at the Ronald Regan Building & International Trade Center.  On-line registration is still open, hope you will plan to join us if you’re in the area (or make the trip, we have colleagues as far away as Japan joining us for the day!)

Open Source for America Unvieled at OSCON

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Not too long ago I attended TransparencyCamp in DC and led a discussion on how to work with government.  The session was intended for technologists and advocates. I was pleasantly

surprised to find one of the participants was a senate staffer.  After listening to much of the discussion she explained that she had worked on a bill that included a

role for open source software which eventually failed to move forward.  Her question to me:  why was that no one from the open source community stepped forward or offered to help answer questions.  Where were they?  Her question gave me pause.

Several moths later, the cavalry has arrived.  Along with the town crier, the

librarian, the community manager, the mayor and a cadre of plumbers.  The newly formed coalition is “Open Source for America”, and I’m pleased to have bee

n a par

t of its founding effort.  Read more at the association web site.