Assistance with Open Source adoption

Open Source

20 Years with, and at OSCON

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:40


OSCON, the annual open source conference organized by O'Reilly Media, is always a great event for the open source community to come together to acknowledge the advancements of the open source software movement and the communities that enable it. However 2018 was a special year as several open source projects and communities marked significant milestones and celebrated anniversaries, including the OSI (you may have heard, it's our 20th).

In recognition of the success of the open source software movement, and successes of so many organizations that have contributed to software freedom, the OSI organized a full-day of presentations, discussions, and activities. The track, "Open Source Anniversary: Our Shared Successes", not only celebrated the founding of the open source software movement and the OSI itself in 1998, but also the anniversaries of several other key initiatives that have enabled the free and open source software movement to thrive.

  • Deb Nicholson, Director of Community Operations at Software Freedom Conservancy, presented 30+ years history of the Free Software movement.
  • Jose Parrella, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft and Debian Developer, provided highlights of Debian's 25 years.
  • The 25th anniversary of Red Hat was covered by Michael Tiemann, former OSI Board President and VP Open Source Affairs at Red Hat.
  • The FreeBSD Foundation, celebrating 25 years, was represented by their Executive Director, Deb Goodkin.
  • Abby Mayes, Practice Lead, Working Open at Mozilla, shared Mozilla's 20 year history.

Highlighting the continued growth and maturity of the now twenty-year open source software movement, our track also included several other talks featuring emerging initiatives:

  • OSI Incubator Project ClearlyDefined, crowdsourcing FOSS data for project success, was introduced by Carol Smith, Senior Open Source Program Manager at Microsoft and OSI Board Director.
  • Software Heritage, browsing 20 years of FOSS, and then some, was presented by Stefano Zacchiroli, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Université Paris Diderot, CTO of Software Heritage, former Debian Project Leader, and former OSI Board Member.
  • OSI Board Director/Treasurer and Program Manager at Google, Josh Simmons, presented, "Teaching the next generation to FLOSS."

Finally, we were very fortunate to host two very special keynotes:

Later in the evening, to celebrate this special occasion, we hosted a party, "Cupcakes & Cocktails" where the real highlight of the day took place: a memorable panel discussion on the founding the OSI, and its early work in promoting open source, with OSI Co-founder Bruce Perens, former OSI President Michael Tiemann, and former OSI DIrector Danese Cooper, moderated by current OSI President Simon Phipps. We were honored with over 150 guests joining us for the party, who not only heard some of the history of open source from those who made it, but may have also participated in a little bit of history themselves that evening.

While the anniversary track was a real highlight in our celebration of open source over the past 20 years, throughout OSCON we also conducted interviews with open source luminaries to capture their recolections of the movement's beginnings, and expectations for the future of open source software. We were fortunate to speak with Tim O'Reilly, Bruce Perens, Chris DiBona, Luis Villa, Alolita Sharma, and several other key people from the open source movement. In the coming months we'll share these interviews, along with each of the presenttions and the panel discussion from the day's events, here and on our community portal OpenSource.Net.

Importantly, we want to thank our dedicated sponsors for their support in making all of our events, and indeed, all of OSCON so successful: Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, GitHub, Google, IBM, Indeed, Heptio, Linux Foundation, Microsoft, and Percona.

OSCON was a great opportunity to celebrate our Anniversary. We want to thank everyone who has helped us make this celebration a wonderful experience!



Categories: Open Source

Should we celebrate the anniversary of open source?

Open Source Initiative - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:43

Today in Portland at OSCON, OSI will be celebrating 20 years of open source. I’ve had a few comments along the lines of “I’ve was saying ‘open source’ before 1998 so why bother with this 20 year celebration?”

That’s entirely possible. The phrase is reputed to have been used descriptively about free software — especially under non-copyleft licenses — from at least 1996 when it appeared in a press release. Given its appropriateness there’s a good chance it was in use earlier, although I’ve not found any reliable citations to support that. It was also in use in another field well before then, to describe military or diplomatic intelligence obtained by studying non-classified sources.

But there’s no doubt that the gathering at VA Linux where a group of key figures adopted Christine Peterson’s suggestion and decided to use the term to label a marketing programme for free software was a crucial moment. From that point onward, people who wanted to promote software freedom in business or wanted to identify their own approach to doing business with free software had a collectively-agreed term. It’s much easier to make a thing real if you have a word for it.

From that moment it became easy to talk about open source projects, open source business models, the benefits of open source and so on. Yes, people could talk about free software in the same way, but many of us found setting a “price frame” at the start of a discussion an unhelpful distraction requiring justification — “you mean you just want to give it away?” This arose because of the strength for native English speakers of the notion of zero cost associated with the word “free” and the need to dive into discussions about freedom in order to counter it.

The formation of OSI also changed things. By defining open source in reference to a definition of how to identify licenses that deliver the right to use, study, improve and share code, developers were empowered to use open source software without needing to seek further advice. By making a talking point of the methodology enabled by software freedom, open source enabled business adoption in a way that a frame based on promoting liberty would possibly derail. Together, this convergence of meaning made open source a lightning rod for change and an idea that could be spread outside a bubble of like minds. That’s not to say open source lacked a philosophical base; rather, that base became a foundation rather than the lead talking point.

Open source did not emerge from a void. It was consciously a marketing programme for the already-15-year-old idea of free software and arose in the context of both the GNU Project and the BSD community and their history (stretching back to the late 70s). We chose to reflect this in the agenda for our celebration track at OSCON.

But that doesn’t mean its inception is irrelevant. The consensus to define open source at the VA Linux meeting and the subsequent formation of OSI and acceptance of the Open Source Definition changed the phrase from descriptive to a term of art accepted globally. It created a movement and a market and consequently spread software freedom far beyond anyone’s expectations. That has to be worth celebrating.

Image credit: "spirit.png" is a derivative of "43427372221_5c3afe5d39_h.jpg", via Meshed Insights, and used with permission under a Creative Commons with Attribution (CC-By) license.

This article was originally published in Meshed Insights, and was made possible by Patreon patrons.

Categories: Open Source

Open Cars Kick-Off Conference

Open Source Initiative - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 09:35

Convened by Bruce Perens, one of the founders of the Open Source movement in software and an authority on Open Standards, and Open Research Institute, Inc. the Open Cars Kick-Off Conference will be held November 6, at the Marriott Airport Lakeside, Orlando, Florida, USA

Autonomous cars are coming. But how are we going to deal with keeping both the software and hardware up-to-date? Odds are, a three-year computer and software a few months old are going to be too old to drive autonomously, at least while the technology is in its infancy. And how do we train the guys in your local garage to maintain an AI?

The automobile industry thinks they have a solution: lease rather than sell autonomous cars, lock the hood shut, and maintain them exclusively through their dealers.

That works great for the 1%. But what about the rest of us? The folks who drive a dented, 10-year-old car? We should have the option to drive autonomous cars, and to participate in the same world as the more wealthy folks.

Open Cars will be the solution. These are automobiles sold with standard fittings, plugs and standards, so that an autonomous driving computer can be purchased in the aftermarket, installed and tested by a certified mechanic, and put on the road. Similarly, the on-board computer, communication, navigation, and entertainment system on an Open Car will be pluggable, purchased on the aftermarket, and will fit into well-defined niches in the vehicle.

By facilitating a competitive market for self-driving computers and other accessories that can be installed on any Open Car, Open Cars will increase the speed of self-driving development, preserve healthy competition, increase quality and lower cost through the force of an open market.

This one-day conference will introduce the concept of the Open Car, ongoing research, and how we will establish the Open Car as a reality.

Come to Orlando in November! Bring your family! The venue is a short drive from Disneyland, Universal, SeaWorld, and other attractions.


Conference attendance will cost $60. Tickets will be available in a few days. To register your interest in the conference and be informed when ticket sales and hotel reservations open, subscribe to the Open Cars announcement list.

Open Cars? Open Source?

Open Cars mean open standards built into new cars that will support an aftermarket for autonomous driving and other electronic accessories. Open Source is not required.

The autonomous driving solutions added to Open Cars are likely to be sold for profit, some sort of certification and a specialized mechanic are necessary and must be paid for. Computer, communication, navigation, and entertainment systems have less stringent requirements and Open Source implementations are likely.

However, Open Standards make the development of Open Source autonomous driving systems possible. The potential for an Open Source implementation which is audited, certified, and sold might make Open Source autonomous driving solutions workable.

Call For Papers

A few slots are open for presentation by leading researchers in the field. Please submit your abstract only via email to ASAP.

Follow-Up Meeting

A follow-up meeting on November 7th for sponsors and active participants shall discuss how we carry forward the Open Cars campaign.


The first paper on Open Cars has been published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. The paper was a collaboration between ORI president Bruce Perens and Boalt Hall (Berkeley Law) professor Lothar Determann.

Image Credit: "Koenigsegg CCX with dihedral doors open" (Koenigsegg_CCX_(16702216680).jpg), by Axion23 - Koenigsegg CCX, CC BY 2.0,

Categories: Open Source

Anniversary Schedule at OSCON

Open Source Initiative - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 14:01


The Open Source Initiative (OSI), in conjunction with OSCON, will be celebrating 20 years of Open Source next week at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland. The OSI will be hosting a day of community-led lightning talks, open source related activities, and an after party on Wednesday (July 18th). Entrance is free, courtesy of OSCON, but registration for the Expo Plus pass is required using the promo code EXPOFREE. The Expo Plus pass gives access to the event organized by the OSI, while the regular pass gives access to all other OSCON sessions and activities. The promo code “OSI20” gets 20% off any regular pass.



Schedule Open Source Anniversary (Room F149)  9am Keynotes  10:20am Morning Break   11am Simon Phipps: Welcome
Keynote: Danese Cooper & Stephen WalliHeroic and inspiring tales of open source  11:50am Carol Smith: ClearlyDefined: Crowdsourcing FOSS data for project success
Stefano Zacchiroli: Software Heritage: browsing 20 years of FOSS, and then some 12:30pm Lunch 1:45pm Patrick Masson: Welcome
Keynote: Bruce Perens: 20 years of Open Source  2:35pm Jose Parrella: 25 years of Debian
Abby Mayes: 20 years of Mozilla  3:15pm Afternoon Break  4:15pm Deb Nicholson: Free Software: Our Past and Our Future
Deb Goodkin: 25 years of FreeBSD  5:05pm Michael Tiemann: 25 years of Red Hat
Josh Simmons: Teaching the Next Generation to FLOSS
Vicky (VM) Brasseur: Closing 5:45pm Booth Crawl (5:45pm - 7:00 pm) 7:00pm - 9pm 20th Anniversary Party (Cupcakes and Cocktails)
Panel with OSI / Open Source Founders


The OSI will also be celebrating the Anniversary at the Community Leadership Summit, held just before OSCON (July 14-15). The event is free to attend, but registration is required:

Categories: Open Source

Linux Australia Joins Open Source Initiative

Open Source Initiative - Thu, 07/05/2018 - 07:23


PALO ALTO, Calif. - July 5, 2017— Linux Australia, Inc, the organization representing thousands of Linux and open source community members in Australia, was recently accepted as a member of the Open Source Initiative, the global non-profit working to promote and protect open source software, further strengthening international relationships with partner organizations committed to free and open source software, hardware and culture.


The Open Source Initiative is the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant. The organization's members play an important role across the world in community building, education and public advocacy to promote the importance of non-proprietary software. In doing so they further international awareness of how open source technologies, licenses and models of development can provide economic and strategic advantage.

President of Linux Australia, Kathy Reid, was delighted with the move. “We’re incredibly proud to bring Linux Australia into the Open Source Initiative fold - joining a strong and active international community of practitioners, policy advocates and technologists committed to the benefits that open source technologies can provide. As the Open Source Initiative celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we look forward to partnering with both OSI and other partners to continue to strengthen international open source communities of practice. As new developments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and other emergent technologies come to the fore, the principles and ethos underpinning open source are more important than ever. “

Patrick Masson, General Manager of the Open Source Initiative, was equally positive. “We’re honored to welcome Linux Australia as an OSI Affiliate Member. As a community-driven organization working to advance software freedom, Linux Australia serves as a model for open source collaboration, co-operation, and co-creation. Most already know of Linux Australia’s premier international conference,, however Linux Australia’s efforts to advance free and open source software are far broader: cultivating communities of practice, supporting projects to promote Linux, creating educational resources to further understanding and adoption. We look forward to working with Linux Australia and their membership--in all their activities--and thank them for their ongoing commitment and contributions to software freedom.”


About Linux Australia

Linux Australia is the peak body for Open Source communities in Australia. Linux Australia represents thousands of users and developers of Free Software and Open Technologies, and facilitates internationally-renowned events including—Australasia's grassroots Free and Open Source Software Conference. Individuals who join Linux Australia directly participate in online discussions on mailing lists covering a range of topics and user communities. Members of Linux Australia participate in sub- committees and special interest groups, organize events or stand for election to the Linux Australia council. Linux Australia Members may submit applications for funding for projects relevant to or beneficial to the Australian FOSS community under the grants program. Linux Australia membership is free and anyone can join.

Media contact: Kathy Reid, President, Linux Australia

About the Open Source Initiative

Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative promotes and protects open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. The OSI Affiliate Program allows non-profit organizations to become OSI members--an ideal way to support the mission of the OSI and contribute to the continued awareness and adoption of open source software. Affiliate Membership A “who’s who” of open source communities. For more information about the OSI, see

Media Contact: Italo Vignoli, Director, Open Source Initiative

Image credit: " 2003" by Lauchlin at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

Categories: Open Source

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Open Source at OSCON

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:20

OSCON (Open Source Convention) has been the focal point of the open source movement. The inception of OSCON came from an event focused on Perl and grew to cover the other scripting languages. It has since evolved into the destination for all things free and open. The event has also provided a platform for the launch of major initiatives such as Kubernetes 1.0 and OpenStack—both announced at OSCON.

This is a special year for OSCON, as the event will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary. OSCON will take place in Portland, Oregon, with training and tutorials happening July 16-17, and the conference happening July 18-19.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI), in conjunction with OSCON, will be celebrating our shared 20th Anniversary in July 18th. The OSI will be hosting a day of community-led lightning talks, open source related activities (historic exhibits, timelines, photo booths, etc.), culminating with an after party, “20 Years, Time for Cheers!”, right after the Booth Crawl.

The OSI is organizing three main activities for OSCON:

  • Lightning talks: OSI community members will provide lightning talks to share how they are engaging with the open source community and finding success.
  • Stickers and Swag: We’ll have a dedicated space for our community to share promotional materials about their organizations, and open source projects.
  • After Party: All OSCON attendees are invited to our after party for “Cupcakes and Cocktails.” We want to celebrate this historic milestone for our community.

OSCON Expo Plus passes are now available for FREE using the promo code EXPOFREE, or using the promo code “OSI20” to get 20% off any regular pass:

The Expo Plus pass gives access to the “Open Source Anniversary” track (organized by the OSI) in room F149, while the regular pass gives access to OSCON’s "Open Source Past, Present, and Future" track, in room E146.

The OSI will also be celebrating the Anniversary at the Community Leadership Summit, held just before OSCON (July 14-15). The event is free to attend, but registration is required:

OSCON continues to be the catalyst for innovation, bringing together large corporations and grass-roots communities to share insights and foster change. Open source helps technology to thrive, and in its 20th year, OSCON continues on with the tradition of bringing the latest technological advances and a path to successfully implement open source.

Categories: Open Source

Article 13 – An Existential Threat

Open Source Initiative - Mon, 06/25/2018 - 08:57

As Europe's latest copyright proposal heads to a critical vote on June 20-21, more than 70 Internet and computing luminaries have spoken out against a dangerous provision, Article 13, that would require Internet platforms to automatically filter uploaded content.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a letter from more than 70 leaders in the emerging meshed society (including me) which criticises Article 13 of the European Union’s proposed new copyright regulations. This Article starts from the assumption that the only role of an individual is to consume copyrighted works and hence deduces that any act of publication on the part of an indivdual must be infringing the copyrights of a corporation unless proven otherwise. The text doesn’t state things that clearly, but the effect is unmistakeable. It’s as if a politician was proposing to ban syringes because addicts use them, without considering that hospitals do too.

The regulations go on to use the power of “safe harbour” – an increasingly popular legislative device that grants delay or immunity from prosecution as a party to an offence to a company if it can demonstrate it has taken specified actions. For example. it’s “safe harbour” that induces YouTube to take down your videos when a copyright holder asserts the bird song in the background is in fact a song they published. Getting that video re-posted involves you, an individual, taking on terrifying potential liability in the event the copyright holder litigates so YouTube can be absolved of it.

In the case of the EU proposal things aren’t even that good – there’s no way for a platform to discharge liability and no appeals process specified, so any match in the filter will always mean a take-down you can’t fix. As the EFF say, “What began as a bad idea offered up to copyright lobbyists as a solution to an imaginary “value gap” has now become an outright crisis for future of the Internet as we know it.”

This applies equally to open source communities. If Article 13 endures, every project may need to apply trigger-happy filtering and default censorship to bug reports, code commits, forum postings and pretty much every other element of normal community discourse. The service would of necessity have to be expensively acquired from proprietary vendors using opaquely-maintained databases and invisible algortithms. The financial risk of not doing so would be immense and the burden of doing so would be prohibitive.

While changes have been made to the proposed rules to allegedly make space for open source projects, they are ineffective since they are not sufficiently conclusive to real project leaders and hosts; for example, they assume open source projects are “non-commercial”. It’s potentially an existential threat to open source projects across Europe.

As the letter states,

We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online. But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks. For the sake of the Internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.

Both personally and on behalf of the Open Source Initiative, I urge the European Parliament to do this, and to strike Article 13 from this regulation to save Europe’s open source communities from having an inherent disadvantage on the world stage. The misguided rules may have passed in committee, but they must not be allowed to pass through the European Parliament.

If you’d like to tell the MEP’s from your country your views on this, please visit – you have until July 3rd.

Image credit: "og-copyrightbot-hd.png" is a derivative of "og-copyrightbot-hd.png", via Electronic Frontier Foundation, and used with permission under a Creative Commons with Attribution (CC-By) license.

This article was originally published in Meshed Insights, and was made possible by Patreon patrons.

Categories: Open Source

Welcoming Software Heritage

Open Source Initiative - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:41

Coade Stone, like that used in the Nelson Pediment at the Old Royal Naval College, is a fantastic artificial rock whose creation process was lost for more than a century because it was kept secret. Software too is a precious part of our cultural heritage. OSI Board President Simon Phipps' spoke at the opening of Software Heritage at UNESCO, highlighting the importance of curating and sharing software, because sharing it guarantees its preservation in the very long term.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to bring greetings from the Open Source Initiative, the global charity promoting open source and acting as steward of the open source definition and the list of approved licenses.

Open source is 20 years old. By popularising the pre-existing concepts of free software, it has been at the heart of the connected technology revolution. Open source gives developers permission in advance to collaborate and innovate regardless of affiliation. OSI-approved open source licenses are the hidden power behind Linux, Apache, Mozilla, Android and more.

But by granting all the rights necessary to us and our fellow community members to use, study, improve and share the software powering modern systems and networks, allowing us to collaborate with many “known others”, open source also unreservedly grants permission to “unknown others” to repurpose, rehost, reuse and revolutionise.

Availability to the outsider — to society in general — is crucial to our future. When software stays locked up inside the corporation or institution, when code created by the state with public funds remains secret, it does not add to our collective knowledge and is lost when its host moves on and the innovation it embodies is lost to society. This was the original motivation for previous generations to create temporary intellectual monopolies such as copyright, as an incentive to creators to make their creations public.

As time has passed, those intellectual monopolies have themselves been regarded as property and the knowledge and culture they embody is increasingly witheld from society. Open source allows that new-found wealth to be “spent” in a new way to stimulate collaboration. Collaboration in community has gone on to amplify innovation and accelerate adoption.

Software Heritage completes the new social contract enabled by open source. It provides the ultimate historical reference for the code behind our culture and comprehensive library of innovation to provide a “mounting block” to the shoulders of the giants before us. We should strive to get all the software that matters into this new digital Library of Alexandria.

It’s especially important that software funded with public money finds its way into Software Heritage. As Lessig observed, the practical experience of the law and of society is through code and all the software that governs our lives and liberty should be public code in this new library. More than just allowing us now to guard our freedoms, future historians will need source code to fully understand our digital present.

So as President of OSI, I warmly welcome the opening of Software Heritage. Open source delivers software freedom, and the Software Heritage archive takes the result and keeps it free for all time. That’s a great contribution to the modern world – congratulations!

Categories: Open Source

Open Source Principles Give the Workplace Soul

Open Source Initiative - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 13:26

As part of the 20th anniversary of open source software and the Open Source Initiative , the OSI is reaching out to our community of individual and affiliate members, sponsors, current and past board directors, and supporters to share their success stories. We want to hear from those who’ve succeeded in, and with, open source software, development, and communities. This time, we're hearing from OSI Premium Sponsor Cumulus Networks.

Why did you choose open source? How did you build your team? What issues did you overcome? Where did you find support? What are the benefits you've realized?

We hope that by sharing these stories of success from you peers and colleagues, we can help those just beginning their journey with open source software, those just joining the open source community. We'll post these articles here, and then add them to for archiving and future reference. -- Thank you to all of those who are sharing their stories here and again contributing—in another way—to the success of open source.

I started thinking about what exactly makes my employer, Cumulus Networks, the way it is. And the conclusion I’ve arrived at is that the principles of open source that make our technology so innovative and forward-thinking also extend to the workplace. An open development environment translates to an open working environment, and the beliefs of the open source community translate into positive influences in the workspace. Anyone who’s spent time at our office, in our bootcamps, with our people, etc. can feel that Cumulus Networks has “soul.” We’ve got a passion, substance, life and feeling that pulses throughout our space like a funky bass line.

My former employers are pretty varied, ranging from a restaurant to a university, but all of those jobs had one thing in common — they had no soul. To these Pink Floyd-ian businesses, employees were just cogs in the machine meant to forfeit passion for profit. Each day I dragged myself out of bed, drudged to work and slogged through my day. And I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced at least one of these soulless jobs in their life. Specifically, in the world of networking, I hear engineers talk about how they “did their time” at proprietary businesses as though they had served time in prison.

If you work with or follow Cumulus at all, you probably know all about our initiative to bring S.O.U.L (Simple, Open, Untethered Linux) into networking (for the uninitiated, feel free to check out our S.O.U.L page to learn all about the movement!). You could argue that S.O.U.L is what gives us “soul.” With that in mind, I’m not exaggerating when I say that, from the moment I started my first day at Cumulus Networks, I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. Stepping into the business of open source software and open networking felt like walking into an open field, where I was encouraged to explore, collaborate and create. Never before in my career have I felt so supported and encouraged to think outside the box. And I’m not the only person who feels this way — Cumulus Networks was ranked as one of the best places to work for the Glassdoor 2017 awards!

So how exactly does that happen? Let’s break down some of the principles of open source development and communities, and how we’ve incorporated those through S.O.U.L to show how they change the office environment.

Simple solutions from complex minds: We believe that networking shouldn’t be complicated. That’s why we promote open source solutions like Network Command Line Utility (NCLU), automation and Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP). Our amazing engineers make it look easy, but trust us, a lot of hard work goes into making life easier for network operators. So what does this look like in the office? It looks like groups of employees openly communicating with each other to find the best solution possible. It looks like efficiency in all departments. And, if you want a real-life example, it looks like a couple engineers putting their heads together and figuring out how to reconfigure the coffee grinder so the switch only needs to be pressed once, expediting the caffeination creation process. Now that’s zero touch provisioning!

Open hardware, open environment: Cumulus Networks is all about white box and open hardware. So, it makes sense that our office “hardware” is equally open and customizable. Forget traditional, closed-off cubicles; they have no place here. Instead, the space is open and full of large, adjustable desks with no dividers. If I need to talk with engineering, I don’t have to navigate a maze of tiny, grey prisons to find someone to talk to. I simply walk (or roll my chair) through the open, sunlit office. Plus, our higher-ups aren’t sectioned off in big, private offices. If I have a question for the CTO, all I have to do is turn around and ask (he sits right behind me, and sometimes he lets me pick what music we listen to).

Untethered creativity = limitless possibilities: Nobody here is just a cog in the corporate machine. Cumulus is founded on the idea that we’re driving forward, not keeping up. The limits associated with proprietary networking don’t hold back your network, and they certainly don’t get in the way of our engineering team’s ingenuity. It’s how we’re able to create amazing products for our customers like Cumulus NetQ, and contribute innovations like ONIE to the Open Compute Project. There’s nothing quite like working at a company where you can see creativity and innovation in action.

Linux — a language everyone can speak: Linux provides interoperability throughout the stack, which is why it’s often referred to as the language of the data center. And that’s how easy it is to communicate among teams at the Cumulus office. From sales to engineering, no matter what team you belong to, we care about every step in the operation. It’s all about complete interoperability — no bottlenecks here. We take the time to understand what’s going on in all parts of the company to keep things running smoothly. Here’s an example: you may think that a member of the marketing team wouldn’t know CI/CD from AC/DC, but did you know we’ve all taken Cumulus Linux training courses so we could seamlessly communicate with engineering? That’s right, we even configured switches using Cumulus VX! Everyone at Cumulus cares about Linux networking, but we also care about helping each other out and keeping communication as open as our network.

Cumulus Networks is dedicated to thinking outside of the box so we can innovate what’s inside of the white box, and the open source culture that ideology fosters is what gives us soul. It’s like the lyric from that song by The Killers: “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!” We’re not being marched around and having orders barked at us. Working here, working in the open, and working with open source means being an individual, and that’s the beauty of having both S.O.U.L and soul.

By Madison Emery, Marketing Intern,
Cumulus Networks, OSI Premium Sponsor

“Open Source Principles Give the Workplace Soul” by Madison Emery, copyright 2018, originally appeared on the “Better Networking, Cumulus Networks Blog at, and is used and adapted with permission.

Categories: Open Source

San Francisco Open Source Voting Update for May, 2018

Open Source Initiative - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 19:57

This update was provided by Chris Jerdonek (@cjerdonek) and has an important and urgent call to action to help defend elections in California: This Sunday, May 6 at 2pm in San Francisco's Mission District, an open source voting "campaign kick-off" event is happening with many city and state leaders speaking in support. Can you spare some time to help?

I. Campaign Kick-off Event! Confirmed speakers include State Assemblymember David Chiu, State Senator Scott Wiener, Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, SF Board of Supervisors President London Breed, SF Board of Supervisors Budget Chair Malia Cohen, former State Senator Mark Leno, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, and Christine Pelosi, Chair of the California Democratic Party Women's Caucus.

Please RSVP and attend if you can, and bring a friend! It's important to show our elected officials there is strong community support, and it will be a chance to see many city leaders in person.

For more info and to RSVP, visit this page:

Help spread the word by retweeting this tweet and following @SFOpenVoting on Twitter:

SF Open Source Voting supporters! Please sign up to attend this Sunday, May 6's #opensource voting campaign kick-off at 2pm in San Francisco's Mission District! Speakers include @DavidChiu @Scott_Wiener @LondonBreed @MaliaCohen @MarkLeno and more!

— SF Open Voting (@SFOpenVoting) May 1, 2018

A PDF flier is also available to print out.

The organizers are still open to having more event cosponsors (no financial commitment needed, just your organization's name in support). Let me know if you're interested. Finally, whether or not you can attend on Sunday, please ask the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to fund the open source voting project in this year's budget.

Thank you to the California Clean Money Campaign for setting up the links above and for organizing the campaign kick-off (more on their involvement below).

II. Latest Developments

To bring you up to speed on where things are currently at, below is a timeline of key events (in chronological order) since last my last update. My last update was in September.

  1. Fall 2017: If you recall from my last update, last fall the San Francisco Department of Elections issued an RFP for someone to write a report to analyze the feasibility of the City and County of San Francisco developing and certifying an open source voting system. This was at the request of the Mayor's Office during Mayor Ed Lee's tenure. The consulting firm Slalom won the contract out of three bidders. The contract was for $175K to write the report. This was taken out of the $300K that Mayor Lee allocated in 2016 for the planning phase of the open source voting project. Slalom's report was originally supposed to be finished at the end of January 2018, but it wasn't finished until a couple months later (more on this below).
  2. January 2018: San Francisco's budget process started around January like it does every year. It will continue until around August 1. Mayor Farrell will propose a budget to the Board of Supervisors around June 1, which is one month from now. After that, the Board will have a chance to make changes to the Mayor's proposed budget. It's important for the Mayor's initial proposed budget to include adequate funding for the project. It is much harder for the Board to change the budget after the fact because there are less funds to work with. In parallel and on a similar schedule, the California State government is also going through its own budget process.
  3. February 2018: In February, a good government group called the California Clean Money Campaign stepped up in a big way to help build support for and secure funding for San Francisco's open source voting project -- both at the city level and at the state level. California Clean Money is a statewide non-profit with over 100,000 members or supporters. Last fall they capped a successful 7-year campaign to pass the landmark California DISCLOSE Act. They have a lot of grassroots organizing clout, so their help has been huge for us! They are the ones organizing the kickoff event on May 6 in San Francisco.
  4. March 8, 2018: At its March 8 meeting, the Elections Commission's 5-member Open Source Voting System Technical Advisory Committee (OSVTAC) approved a brief letter to send to the Elections Commission. The letter spells out some recommendations on how initial development funds should be spent. Briefly, it recommends that the City hire a full-time lead for the project as a first step to coordinate and decide next steps. Currently, there is no staff person in City government with the time and expertise to lead the project. TAC's recommendation also says that the vote-by-mail components of the system should be developed first. It outlines a number of reasons for this, including because it would be easier and cheaper to do, and because 63% of voters voted by mail in the last election. So this would be a way to get a bigger bang for the buck initially. You can read OSVTAC's full 2-page letter here.
  5. March 21, 2018 (#1): Slalom's feasibility report was originally supposed to be finished at the end of January. Instead, it was completed in mid-March and published in the agenda packet of the San Francisco Elections Commission's March 21 meeting, which you can find here. The Elections Commission briefly discussed the report at that meeting.
  6. March 21, 2018 (#2): Also at the Elections Commission's March 21 meeting, the California Clean Money Campaign announced some exciting news during public comment. They announced that State Assemblymember David Chiu and State Senator Scott Wiener both agreed to submit a budget request in the State's budget process for $8 million in matching funds for the development of an open source voting system licensed with GPL version 3, which is a strong copyleft license. The funds would be made available to one county in California. California Clean Money is working with them on the request. However, to proceed with the request, they needed a letter of support from one or more of Mayor Farrell, Supervisor Malia Cohen (because she chairs the San Francisco Board's Budget Committee), and President of the Board London Breed. Assemblymember Chiu and Senator Wiener are two of San Francisco's three representatives in the State Legislature. Senator Wiener is also the one who authored the Board of Supervisor's December 2014 resolution that committed the City to moving forward on open source voting. The resolution passed unanimously at the time. Mayor Farrell, Supervisor Cohen, President Breed, and Supervisor Kim are among the supervisors that all voted in favor of the resolution at the time.
  7. March 21, 2018 (#3): After discussing the Slalom Report and hearing the above news at the meeting, the Elections Commission then voted unanimously to do three things: First, to adopt the recommendations of the Commission's Technical Advisory Committee and send them to the Mayor's Office, as well as to the City's Committee on Information Technology COIT. (COIT is a large 15-member body within San Francisco government that reviews and decides on funding allocations for any technology project over $100,000. The Mayor uses COIT's funding recommendations when crafting a budget to propose to the Board of Supervisors, but isn't limited to following COIT's recommendation.) Second, to request that the Mayor and Board of Supervisors budget at least $4 million for the first year of development. Third, to ask Mayor Farrell and Board Budget Chair Malia Cohen to send a letter to the State Capitol in support of the budget request that California Clean Money was working on with Assemblymember Chiu and Senator Wiener.
  8. April 1, 2018: The San Francisco Examiner published a front-page article on April 1 about the developments at the March 21 Commission meeting, including the possibility of $8 million in state matching funds, and whether Mayor Farrell and Supervisor Cohen were willing to send a letter: “Open-source voting in SF may require match of state, local funds.“
  9. April 4, 2018: A few days after the first SF Examiner article, Supervisor Cohen agreed to send a letter in support of the budget request. However, Mayor Farrell still hasn't agreed to sending a support letter, even though sending such a letter wouldn't commit San Francisco to allocating any funds towards the project. The Examiner published a second article on April 4 covering these newer developments, including Supervisor Cohen's support: “State funding proposal for open source voting gains support.“
  10. April 13, 2018: At its April 13 meeting, COIT's Budget & Performance Subcommittee voted unfortunately to recommend allocating only $300K for the first year of the open source voting project. It's not clear what that money would or could be used for, though, since it falls below the estimates for any of the next steps outlined in Slalom's Report. You can see their matrix of recommended funding amounts (including the open source voting project) in the document on this page called, "FY 2018-19 & FY 2019-20 Subcommittee Budget Recommendations.pdf."
  11. May 4, 2018: At its May 4 meeting, COIT will be voting on whether to approve its Budget & Performance Subcommittee's recommendation to allocate only $300K to the project for the next fiscal year (from August 2018 to July 2019). Mayor Farrell will use COIT's recommendation in deciding how much money to allocate for the project in his proposed budget due to the Board by June 1. And again, to email the Mayor and other key people in the City's budget process to ask them to fund the project, visit this link (same link as above).

While Chris Jerdonek is a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, he provides this update as a member of the public and not as a Commissioner.
The contents of this email can also be found online at

Categories: Open Source
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