In this Sustain Podcast episode, we have Patrick Masson, who is the General Manager and Board Director of OSI (Open Source Initiative). Patrick gives some very interesting “nerd history” on Open Source Software.
“I really think Open Source will take off once all the software companies are gone.”
“We need to have more joiners of projects than starters of projects. And so, again, there’s no real reason to differentiate any of these.”
Excellent, this is much better. Thanks!
It seems like this version takes up more screen real estate. Maybe I should just make it text, drop the audio element?
Are there any open source tools for automatic transcription? I would use one of those. There were several services, but because of sustainability problems I don’t see anything ready.
Zoom provides one but it’s hit and miss. The problem is removing the stuff our sound editor cuts out, formatting, etc. We would need to have someone dedicated to that task.
Snippet of what Zoom gives us:
132 00:14:12.120 --> 00:14:16.440 Patrick: Key reasons to get together was actually the label free software and there was a lot of confusion. 133 00:14:17.790 --> 00:14:25.590 Patrick: With free versus no cost and free versus liberty or or Libra. And the idea was to make 134 00:14:26.610 --> 00:14:40.470 Patrick: The development concept and software freedom more palatable to business folks who, who, if they were selling software probably didn't want somebody to walk in and say, hey, it should all be free and then they think cost or it had a context of 135 00:14:44.730 --> 00:14:46.800 Patrick: Beyond just the technology. 136 00:14:48.180 --> 00:14:55.440 Patrick: Broader personal freedoms and things like again, which a lot of companies may not want to have been, it may not have been too interested in getting into 137 00:14:55.980 --> 00:15:10.440 Patrick: So the term open source was coined. Well, technically, the term open source software was coined open source the label had been around before that it dates back from the earliest I could find is if this is all too much NERD HISTORY. You can edit. 138 00:15:11.280 --> 00:15:11.880 Richard Littauer: This is great. 139 00:15:13.200 --> 00:15:26.580 Patrick: You can actually go find open source intelligence as it as a reference to World War two and and apparently the US military and British military would use sort of publicly available information to assess 140 00:15:27.930 --> 00:15:37.320 Patrick: The success, which is sort of a strange word to say success in their bombing campaign. So as the price of oranges went up or or the lack of other 141 00:15:37.950 --> 00:15:47.190 Patrick: staples that were delivered via train or roads, they could determine whether or not their, their head bomb the bridge or something like that. So this open source intelligence. 142 00:15:47.670 --> 00:15:57.450 Patrick: Was the idea of publicly available information. So Christine Peterson, who was with the foresight foundation actually suggested the term open source. 143 00:15:58.110 --> 00:16:06.270 Patrick: And applying it to software again making the connection between publicly available and accessible information to the source code. 144 00:16:06.810 --> 00:16:24.780 Patrick: And it was really a marketing campaign again to try to capture the momentum of the Netscape communicator release and tailor a message that would be more palatable to business so they could engage with open source soon after that that was in February of 98 145 00:16:25.800 --> 00:16:41.340 Patrick: Within a couple weeks. Bruce parents had been suggested the, the use of the Debian free software guidelines as the initial template for the open source definition. The goal was to 146 00:16:42.510 --> 00:16:58.650 Patrick: Create a standard, if you will, around software licensing processes that we could sort of stamp a certification that said that if you met these 10 a lot the time it was nine nine guidelines than the license would be 147 00:17:00.150 --> 00:17:12.870 Patrick: Labeled open source guaranteeing permission first or software freedom to use that software and that was adopted and the first license was the then Netscape Public License. 148 00:17:13.500 --> 00:17:24.180 Patrick: Which now is the Mozilla Public License, but also existing licenses, like the GPO family of licenses and the BSD and those sorts of licenses. So that was the idea 149 00:17:25.200 --> 00:17:30.240 Patrick: You know, if we could, we could guarantee software freedom through licensing, we could cultivate the 150 00:17:31.290 --> 00:17:43.860 Patrick: Community of collaboration around software development and open source would be successful and in some way. I think that helped in where we are today because it seems to be open source of pretty successful 151 00:17:49.260 --> 00:17:49.890 Patrick: More history. 152 00:17:50.490 --> 00:17:52.350 Richard Littauer: No, I was given the chance for someone else to jump in. 153 00:17:52.800 --> 00:17:54.690 Richard Littauer: That silence out Paul um 154 00:17:55.800 --> 00:17:59.250 Richard Littauer: That's awesome. So you talk about, I didn't know that. 155 00:18:00.810 --> 00:18:10.470 Richard Littauer: That's awesome. I didn't know at all about the war that is super cool. The price of oranges. Everything seems to start with oranges. No, it doesn't. But certainly war. 156 00:18:10.830 --> 00:18:21.240 Justin Dorfman: Actually, yeah, it's a lot of innovation usually comes from war, I mean, I'm not advocating it but it's that when you said that I was like really as like that's that's a cool fact 157 00:18:21.780 --> 00:18:27.600 Richard Littauer: I mean, I know a lot of linguistic stuffs like NLP stuff came out of MIT, which came directly out of, like, you know, do D funding. 158 00:18:28.020 --> 00:18:29.430 Richard Littauer: So it's also kind of similar. 159 00:18:30.480 --> 00:18:39.000 Richard Littauer: You mentioned this phrase at the end building communities of collaborative contributors. Basically, which I think is something you're focused on very heavily at the OSI right 160 00:18:40.020 --> 00:18:49.440 Richard Littauer: You sort of lose that already with their 10 volunteers who are collaborating openly and that's that's volunteers is like that's awesome work that's God's work. Right. 161 00:18:50.700 --> 00:18:51.870 Richard Littauer: How do you see 162 00:18:53.610 --> 00:19:00.150 Richard Littauer: Open Source and communities of like collaborators changing in the, um, 163 00:19:02.340 --> 00:19:05.520 Richard Littauer: Can you talk more about communities of collaborative contributors 164 00:19:08.040 --> 00:19:25.320 Patrick: I'll step back a little bit touchy again on the history of the other side when they first started up. It was really about validating the collaborative network effect of many eyeballs. Right. The, the likenesses law. Many eyeballs may call book shallow or something along those lines and 165 00:19:26.400 --> 00:19:33.420 Patrick: There was this perception by and if people could see my air quotes I have them up now by professional developers. 166 00:19:35.160 --> 00:19:47.160 Patrick: That there was it that that open source software and community driven development was amateur work. It was hackers in the basement. It wasn't deemed high quality. 167 00:19:48.660 --> 00:19:54.690 Patrick: And in fact, that was often used by companies or organizations. 168 00:19:55.860 --> 00:20:07.110 Patrick: As a lever or to sort of pass doubt or fear, uncertainty and doubt but into open source communities like oh, that can't be that good. It was built by a bunch of wackos in 169 00:20:07.680 --> 00:20:15.990 Patrick: A basement and they weren't even paid. How could that be as good as our slick cellophane wrapped on the box there in the box on the shelf software. 170 00:20:17.880 --> 00:20:21.810 Patrick: And there are other issues around. Well who do you call there's no support. 171 00:20:24.090 --> 00:20:35.220 Patrick: Security if anybody can see the code and it's going to be more insecure. So they're all of these sorts of things. So the OSI really focused at the beginning on addressing those building confidence within communities to actually 172 00:20:36.120 --> 00:20:55.140 Patrick: Form and self organize and and and create the software that was really the first 10 years until I think Wired magazine in 2012 had a, I don't know if there's a cover, but it says, Open Source one. So I guess that makes it legit at that point. 173 00:20:56.400 --> 00:21:06.600 Patrick: And the shift in that second decade was really around how to help projects form and create communities. 174 00:21:08.580 --> 00:21:19.050 Patrick: What do they need to do, how they and not so much prescriptive or, or, you know, direction and this is the right way, but to share the variety of ways that communities conform. 175 00:21:19.920 --> 00:21:27.750 Patrick: To meet their needs offer their contributors, whatever it is they're looking for the advantages that that community might offer 176 00:21:29.370 --> 00:21:39.420 Patrick: And so that really became the focus, how to form create maintain communities. And now today with the growth of communities, you know, size works really around 177 00:21:40.920 --> 00:21:51.630 Patrick: I haven't thought of a better word, because this is sort of sounds like accusation but authenticity within communities, how do, how does both the community and those 178 00:21:52.860 --> 00:21:54.090 Patrick: Looking at the community. 179 00:21:55.230 --> 00:22:01.080 Patrick: Determined determine the authenticity or honesty or or even just practices of those companies. So you can think about 180 00:22:02.400 --> 00:22:19.410 Patrick: An individual I'm some developer who who is working on a technology or a tool or for some reason is motivated to join a community. How do I assess that community to understand how it behaves its organizational structure the roles that might be open for me. 181 00:22:21.570 --> 00:22:29.430 Patrick: Even cultural things, how to how to comments without getting yelled at, or you know what the bug reporting process is like or what the 182 00:22:30.270 --> 00:22:38.490 Patrick: Conferences or meetings or all those sorts of things. And then how do I ensure that those are those are aligned with whatever my 183 00:22:38.850 --> 00:22:43.950 Patrick: Expectations values assumptions are for what a quote open source software community might be like 184 00:22:44.760 --> 00:22:50.340 Patrick: So that's one perspective and that just importantly is is looking at communities and authenticity. 185 00:22:51.090 --> 00:23:01.380 Patrick: Within the organization. So how, if I'm part of a project already, how do I ensure that that person coming into visit discovers those things can assess those things and feels confident in joining 186 00:23:02.550 --> 00:23:07.200 Patrick: So that's today where we're really working on, because we're definitely seeing all sorts of 187 00:23:08.340 --> 00:23:09.960 Patrick: Activities and 188 00:23:11.790 --> 00:23:19.680 Patrick: Behaviors out there and organizations that are that are practicing some what I think personally and what the OSI 189 00:23:20.700 --> 00:23:23.700 Patrick: Has recognizes some pretty disingenuous. 190 00:23:24.960 --> 00:23:33.840 Patrick: Activity trying to capture on the success of open source leverage that success to further their own perhaps not to open the 191 00:23:36.480 --> 00:23:36.810 Patrick: Goal. 192 00:23:37.200 --> 00:23:39.030 Justin Dorfman: I think you call it open washing 193 00:23:39.750 --> 00:23:41.850 Patrick: Right. So that's one term, we actually 194 00:23:42.090 --> 00:23:51.900 Patrick: We have four terms now that shows the complexity of this issue is that we're creating a larger and larger vocabulary to describe the nuance of each nefarious actor 195 00:23:53.370 --> 00:23:53.850 Patrick: The 196 00:23:54.180 --> 00:23:55.740 Patrick: Open washing is really 197 00:23:57.150 --> 00:24:01.650 Patrick: Michelle thing came up with that. That's the first reference I found a bit Audrey waters also 198 00:24:03.030 --> 00:24:03.840 Patrick: References that 199 00:24:07.110 --> 00:24:15.540 Patrick: It's really a marketing scheme. So the idea with open watching is to associate yourself with the ideals. The ethos. The practices, the language. 200 00:24:16.050 --> 00:24:28.170 Patrick: The messaging of free and open source software in order to capture customers gain audience traction media attention, whatever it might be. And there's some pretty 201 00:24:29.520 --> 00:24:37.080 Patrick: Gross examples gross in both ugly and gross as in large examples of this. 202 00:24:37.650 --> 00:24:40.020 Richard Littauer: Like, no, no. 203 00:24:41.910 --> 00:24:42.810 Ops Open Collective: Thank you, Justin. 204 00:24:42.960 --> 00:24:45.480 Justin Dorfman: No, come on, come on. We gotta have some 205 00:24:46.170 --> 00:24:58.770 Justin Dorfman: Okay. I even think of that weight know you do have an open source project know what PA Dodo. What is an example like what recently, you know, I know, I know. Christiana shack on Twitter was ranting about a 206 00:24:59.520 --> 00:25:08.220 Justin Dorfman: Company, that's, I don't even remember or nor do I want to promote maybe it's not good. I get to promote them, I guess, I guess I understand where you're coming from. 207 00:25:08.820 --> 00:25:16.470 Patrick: You know, this also ties into a lot of criticism, the OSI gets if you look at our website. I think the quote is where the pragmatic 208 00:25:16.920 --> 00:25:28.770 Patrick: Organization and that and that a lot of the work we do is is when an issue comes up we reach out to the organization tap them on the shoulder and say hey you know 209 00:25:29.700 --> 00:25:40.440 Patrick: That add that you have about your new open source tool is it's not open source is not using an open source license. It's not or, you know, whatever it might be. 210 00:25:41.880 --> 00:25:58.560 Patrick: That's our first step is to to because honestly, in a lot of these it. It's not even that the case that maybe I came down too harsh on on the initially here because, without a doubt, the majority of people we contact are 211 00:25:59.700 --> 00:26:01.350 Patrick: Unbelievably excited about. 212 00:26:02.400 --> 00:26:16.260 Patrick: very engaged with and motivated by open source software and they simply may not have the they've grown up with it. And I don't mean that in an age thing. I mean that in a sense of 213 00:26:16.770 --> 00:26:28.200 Patrick: Their whole career has been open sources. The default, you know, if we want to say, look, you know, the OSI was super successful and by 2000 everyone was using open source are aware of it. 214 00:26:28.650 --> 00:26:36.720 Patrick: And that's 20 years of people using open source. So if it's the default. Now I can appreciate that many folks may not have the nuanced. 215 00:26:37.350 --> 00:26:45.210 Patrick: You know, because there isn't anything much more exciting than intellectual property and licensing for developers. So I you know I while I missed it by that they're 216 00:26:45.210 --> 00:26:45.780 Patrick: Not 217 00:26:46.260 --> 00:26:59.580 Patrick: They're not fully engaged in this I can understand that they aren't. And so their misuse of the open source label or miss application of licenses or whatever it might be. Without it out is more often related to
Zoom is not Open Source.