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.
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
I spoke to the OpenGov and eParticipation Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland in late September. The event was produced by the University of Ulster with the help of a number of organizations and sponsors. I’d met faculty from the University when they came out to visit the Open Source Lab and learn more about the OSL’s success with supporting global open source communities. was pleased to be invited to share what I’ve learned working with a number of Open Government / Open Data initiatives and the open source community in the US.
Speakers ranged from county government to senior UK government, included industry, entrepreneurs and academics. Topics extended to open data and information exchange in health IT. A presentation from an Italian company which produces town hall style meetings using electronic voting described their product and process. The system was utilized during the Day 2 eParticpation Summit. The software interestingly enough was actually written by the Tuscany government and is available as open source.
It was interesting to see the conference and summit take the policy issues related to open data head on. In contrast to the US where private industry and civic advocates have driven the train while (most notably) the Federal government is de-funding transparency sites, Ireland and the UK governments themselves seem more engaged in creating a road map for opening their data and making that transition sustainable. At the same time, the open source community seems less engaged there in supporting more civic and volunteer approaches to opening up government.
GOSCON AWARDS for Open Business Use in Government Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Excellence Awards for Open Source Business Use in Government.
It’s true. After five years of operation of the Government Open Source Conference, we’re looking forward to recognizing government employees who have made significant accomplishments in the application of Open Source Technology to meet government business or mission requirements.
To nominate a government employee or project, visit http://www.goscon.org/awards for information and an on-line submission form. Deadline is Friday Oct 23 2009.
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.
I’m happy to report GOSCON this year is featuring more government open source projects and implementations that ever. I’m especially excited about our Open Public Health IT track which covers the spectrum between local and international governments and vendors. GOSCON is all about building the IT ecosystem and I’m pleased to say this will be an outstanding showcase innovative work done by agencies as thoughtful stewards of our tax dollars. Enough said. Here’s the press release in full for your perusal:
(okay – must add…. you can read the case study for the Health Atlas Ireland project on the epractice.eu web site).
Portland, Ore. – September 18, 2008 – Deb Bryant, Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) director, announced today that the fourth annual 2008 conference will feature an Open Public Health IT track to explore both a strategic direction for open source in the public health sector as well as real-world applications that are in use today by agencies around the world.
For the first time, GOSCON is bringing together thought leaders in government, open source, and public health who will share their deep, practical experience in public health, enterprise architectures, standards, as Continue reading